Friday, December 31, 2010

Countdown to 2011 - day one, the last day of 2010

This year:
I lost a very dear friend, Joe,
sold my series of paintings 'Euphony',
met old schoolmates after 30 years,
gone total vegetarian,
wrote 13 episodes for a TV animation series for the 1st time,made a lot of zines,
wrote lots of proposals,
rekindled old friendships,
ignited some new ones,
wrote more articles,
was interviewed for various issues,
I almost gave up on humanity,
I regained hope from 'angels',
I cry for the animals,
I wish I could have done more...

Next year,
please be kind to the animals,
please say a little less hurtful words,
please open your hearts and minds,
be kind, be kind.
please don't be judgmental,
please don't find faults,
please don't condemn in the name of the divine,
when all you can be is to be truly kind,
please be good to yourself,
please share your love with others,
please wake up and stop being blind,
just remember we are all one and the same kind.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to 2011 - day two

Next year if you can't be an activist, be active
if you can't be a producer, be productive
if you can't be a creator, be creative
if you can't be an innovator, be innovative
if you can't be an inventor, be inventive
if you can't be a sensor, be sensitive
if you can't be an acceptor, be acceptive
if you can't comprehend, be comprehensive
if you can't be a preceptor, be perceptive
if you can't be a giver, be a gift
to all and everyone but mostly to yourself.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Countdown to 2011 - day three

Some numbers you will encounter for next year using the dd/mm/yy format:-

010111
100111
110111
011011
101011
111011
011111
101111
111111
131211

So what does it all mean? It could mean nothing really, but if you want to make something of it these dates are cool to remember or have something on to remember it by especially 111111 like what I did for 101010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Countdown to 2011 - day four

I never thought I'd live to see this day when I was a kid. Back then 1984 was a big deal because of George Orwell's book about a dystopian that world may be upon us, which didn't seem plausible then but is becoming more tangible as time goes by. And then the thought of the 90s brought about more science fiction which was suppose to become our reality like the TV series Space 1999 where we could would come close to living on Moonbase Alpha. But that too did not come to pass. Only Prince reminded us to "party like it's 1999!"

One of the greatest scare that I remember was the Millennium bug or Y2K which could send us back in time if all the computer systems crashed. But everything went back to the way they were without a glitch or a stitch either from an early preparation or an unfounded fear.

2010 or the year we made contact was also upon us according to Arthur C. Clarke after our space odyssey in 2001. But they didn't make as much hype as the movie 2012. Anyway, as we approach 2011 with our fears and tears or joys and toys here are a few number sequences that might be of interest to you if you are the kind of person who like numerology, enneagram, The Number Devil (a novel by Hans Magnus Enzensberger), Numb3rs (TV series), The Number 23 (Joel Schumacher's movie), Pi (Darren Aronofsky's movie) and that's just naming a few.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You may want to read this


In a troubled and corrupted world such as now, this book that I stumbled upon is inspiring, practical and utterly witty. It's about time we all did something worthwhile in our lives.

Let this year be

This year is coming to a close with or without a big bang.
I've seen some nasties and I've seen some crazies
but I've also seen some nicees.
Of course there are the lonelies, the fidgeties,
the wannabees and the irritatees.
There are the talkies who are opinionated to the max,
and those who are quiet as can be.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the meanies
out to get everyone else who is not like them.
Supported by brain-dead cronies
who are nothing more than wasted zombies.
What about you?
Where do you stand?
What do you want to do?
Who do you want to join?
Are you one of the meaties
or are you one of the veggies?
Do you look at life as empties
or do you look at them as fullies?
No one can make you say or do,
think or act with what you don't agree with.
Do you think discriminating someone else
is going to bring hope and salvation for your soul?
Do you think ostracizing others
makes you a better person?
Do you think you are better and always right
because you belong to the exclusive company?
But when you become an oldie
whatever you have done will stay with you
and bring back memories of the past,
of your actions and your disgust.
Time is slipping through
and we will all be gone soon,
either let this year be
or make up for something better for you and me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Koc Perempuan: Female Coach - is it even necessary?


I remember reading the big hoo-ha about introducing a female coach for the KTM at some point but didn't think much about it until yesterday when I took the train from Sentul to KL Sentral. Since it was my first time taking the train at rush hour at about 7.20pm I didn't bother to board the Koc Perempuan because I had a male companion with me at the time. As soon as we reached our destination I was just about to get out of the doors when a mob of insane crowd rushed in like it was December 21st, 2010. Someone or a few someones brushed themselves up against my breasts before I realized what had happened. By the time I stepped out onto the station I was dazed and stupefied.What the...

So if you ask me if the special coach is necessary you'll know what I have to say about that. I really don't know why all these people have to barge in as though it was the last train to salvation. I don't know if the special coach will be any better during rush hour of course but I told my friend the next time we board the train he will have to cross-dress and follow me to the female coach to avoid any unnecessary close proximities in the future.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why do people get so angry when we tell them the truth?

Why do people get so angry when we tell them the truth?
That they are not as good as they they they are,
That they are not a good leader,
That they are talking too much to be heard,
That they are wasting a lot of time setting up meetings which lasts for hours
That is quickly forgotten about why they meet in the first place,
That their religion brings more suffering than love,
That they are not ready to get married,
That they are not ready to have children,
That they are not ready to start a family,
That their parenting skills need more attention,
That they would be better off if they quit their bad habits,
That things can get better if they want it to,
That people who do not fall into a 'normal' society are still people,
That accepting these people can do no harm,
That being a vegetarian could be a good thing,
That buying a pet only encourages people to trade them like commodities,
That keeping a pet is forever,
That a pet finally becomes part of the family,
That having a domestic helper doesn't mean she could be bullied,
That accumulating things will not make the environment any better,
That someday, whatever they do now, they will have to pay back in more ways than one.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ops Bilang - Let's Talk






This is one of the most brilliant forum-performances I have ever been to. There is definitely something for everyone; like Mei Chern singing a heart warming song about death penalty or Fahmi Reza educating us about hak pelajar or Pang giving us a paronomasia step by step guide to sodomy.

I like especially Amir Muhammad's personification of blood types as he juxtaposes them to the different levels of society with a tinge of humor and vivid imagery. Fahmi Reza's slide show on student power is simply inspiring and it makes me want to go back to school to pick up a placard while trying to make my grades. Jerome's poem on federalism is just as beautiful as it is potent. I like also Yati's short skit, which was taken to a heighten level by Ayam, about civil versus syariah law on the proper burial for a muslim convert. Vernon Adrian Emuang talked about his origin and the connectivity to the indigenous community on a musical journey of aesthetic monologue. Like a straight-faced Andy Kauffman, Pang delivered his sodomy guide to an uproarious crowd who just can't get over the fact that he can be as corny as he is a-maze-ing :P And finally, closing the night of fantastic and splendid performances was Jo Kukathas's omnipresent voice interweaving several issues about rape into one solid performance of an installation of a schoolbag and a chair.

What a wonderful night to provoke electrical charges in our heads as we ended it with our usual feast to gyrate our stomachs.

Ops Bilang is held in conjunction with CIJ's launch of the e-forum which can be found at the link below.
http://letstalkabout.cijmalaysia.org/

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today's Lunch


The salad, not the plant:
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Onions
Garlic
Chick Peas
Raisins
Sugared Melon Strips
Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Chili Flakes

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Something's gotta give

Today I felt a little restless, which made me took a very long walk around the housing area in the rain. After sweating out the aches and pains my body had endured due to the unhealthy sitting in front of my laptop I was shocked out of my system and began to recall the times when I was younger and bolder when I used to explore life and venture to frontiers no man has ever gone before. I would spontaneously push out the bicycle and try out smaller routes to find how they are linked to major roads. I would go out anytime of the day or night just to feel alive as I let the breeze baptize me with its energy. I would even pack my bags up and go to where I feel compelled to go.

But as I grow older I began to withdraw from the world where I used to love; the open space and the outdoors. Everything is tagged with danger and caution signboards, leaving us no space to move around except within secured parameters. Is this how we all live these days? Isn't this so pathetic?

I, for one, really miss the joy of being free to do as I please without the fear and anxiety of a grievous world that we know. These days the fear doesn't only come from lurking criminals in the dark but also corrupt governments and perverted authorities. Haven't we had enough of all the nonsense that have been thrown at us? Are we not ready to stand up and make our presence known? What is it going to be now? Take it on the left cheek and then the right?

I am at the top of the world looking beyond the rim of the world. Something's gotta give, I iterate, something's gotta give.

Being Human

Being human
is to be confined in small spaces.
Whether in an area call home
or in a place call office.
We travel from one confinement to another
and call it by many different names.
It could be a shopping mall, a restaurant,
a hospital or a prison.
But they are all the same.
A school, a rest room,
a cinema or a theatre,
they are all some form of trap
to keep us all in.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
Perhaps few do sleep under the night sky
and watch the stars above.
Perhaps few scale the hills and mountains
and sail the seven seas.
But at the end of the day
why do we crawl back into
the holes and cavity,
to sleep, to rest, to find security?
Or is being human all about
hiding in closets,
buidling up fences,
raising up walls
and locking all doors?
If that is all there is to be human
perhaps I shall just turn
into a butterfly and live briefly
but happily.

You are nothing but bullies

I remember how you treated me
like I was of no values and principles,
like I was unworthy of your presence.
I don't want to remember that but I can't help myself
knowing that there are people like you out there
who think nothing of everyone else except yourself.
Repeating your bullying tactics on someone else.
I know you are good at what you do
but you are not great,
you don't move the world with you attitude
you just move people away from you.
All I did was to sit there listening to you
and you betrayed my trust by casting me away
like I was of no consequence.
I wouldn't have bothered if it hadn't hurt.
I am trying to move on
and move apart from people like you
but you come back with your impossible gaze
and your relentless pride.
I know you are being devoured by your own guilt,
by your own ego
but what can I do?
You prefer to keep that as your friend, as your family.
You can hide from yourself in a mask
but everyone knows you are a disgust
in the manner that you think,
in the way that you speak,
in everything that you are.
Just because you have the means
to push and pull everyone around
it doesn't mean you will
be respected and honored.
Not in this life, not in the next.
You are nothing but a coward
because you are a big bully
who has demons residing in your wretched body.
Whatever you have sent out to the universe
will come back to you twice as much.
How many times must I remind you?
Your version of hell is of the worst kind
and you know it.
So don't give me that look!
You know who you are.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Cry for God's people

When I was a kid I was taught to pray for the heathens, gentiles and pagans because they were not living in accordance to God's will. They needed to be saved from damnation, from the devil who had possessed them to worship animals and plants, elements and the unknown. This new God that worshipers brought was full of compassion and love. This God they recommend was forgiving and nurturing. And everything good will come to those who believe.

But, for those who don't the God will wipe out the unbelievers from the surface of the earth. Although he has the patience of a father he also has the wrath of a man who had been wronged. He takes away all that is bad and rewards the good by ten-fold. He punishes the evil and the wicked. He is a God of war when necessary.

As I grew up thinking I was among the chosen one I too did my part to convert everyone I could to save them. But then I got thinking and asking why do you allow the religious to get away with things? And the worshipers told me, 'God will take care of it.' I asked why are some people condemned for who they are? And the worshipers said, 'God condemns the aberrant.' I asked why are we not reaching out more to the people in the street and give them shelter and homes when the holy places are made of polished marble and scented wood? And the worshipers said, 'Those people chose to live that way and not everyone is worthy enough to be in God's presence.' I asked them why do we not love the trees and animals more? And the worshipers said, 'The have no soul.' I asked why do we come together to pray but stand away from the unfortunate ones who get bullied by authorities and self-proclaimed powers? And the worshipers said, 'God will punish those people only in the afterlife.'

And I walked away crying, crying for God's people.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be Gentle on Yourself

I've been meaning to tell you this
that you are okay, that you are fine.
You don't need a reason, a nod or a wish
to be the person who has always been on your mind.

Be gentle on yourself if no one will
take a little time off to imagine
that you can fly, or be crazy, be still,
be love, be beautiful, be anything.

Anyone can call make you feel ashamed.
but you know it will all be in vain.
They can even take away your pride and wealth
but always be gentle on yourself.

You don't need to justify your life,
you don't need to clarify your feelings,
you just have to know one thing to strive
and that is to trust your inner being.

Be gentle on yourself and be happy,
Eat heartily and rest your jaded body.
All you need is a little laughter to unfold
and a good helping of love deep within your soul.

Be kind, be courageous,
be compassionate, be generous.
But most of all and above all else
be good, be true, be gentle on yourself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doing Time (for the things you never did)

I spent a long time putting this book together and trying to market it for what it's worth. But that didn't happen and I cast it aside for a while and let life unfold itself up until now. It was going to be 101010 today and what better way to share this ebook with anyone who wants to read it, right? Dedicated especially for my former students, who taught me more than I could ever learn on my own, I would like to share this with anyone else who follow this blog.

There comes a time when we realize how lost we are in a world full of options and distractions. Doing Time is about that awakening and about taking back control of ourselves to set things back on track.
 Doing Time (for the things you never did)                                                                   
 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dream of the Great Goliath

This friend, who doesn't drive anymore in this world, drove me around like a tour guide to a fantastical humungous industrial place where it sounds like Seri Kembangan or Yunus or something weird. He told me it was a Tesco industrial area.

It was dusty and cars sped by like futuristic flying machines but people looked quite the same as they are now.

 One of the structures that took my breath away was a gargantuan weather-beaten gateway that was leaning to a tipping point but was still standing.

 
Following that was this leviathan building that seemed abandoned and empty sort of like pigeon holes that resembled car parks and the sign said North Korean Laundry.  It felt creepy as though I was here before...


I asked him why he brought me to this monstrous fabrication and he told me his friend wants him to run an educational institution and he brought me in to help. I was excited and thrilled but at the same time feeling displaced. He pointed out to the building where I was going to teach but we couldn't get in yet because the people holding the keys were still asleep.

Our next stop was our new home where an indigenous looking man and his mother were going about their daily routine outside the house. This strange abode had to be opened with from a small door at the bottom, unhook the bolts at the side and then the whole structure opened up to a regular looking door.


It had an oriental feel, like some old Chinese decorated house and the first thing we did was to grab our pillows and rest on the wooden platform. He told me that this had been a good day and it was time to lay our heads down and take a break.

And like wow, I woke up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and bewildered.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear Animals: We’re SORRY

Today my niece told me about this beautiful poem written for the animals. I went online to search for it and I found the author who allowed me to repost this on my blog. Brings tears to my eyes and a hollowness to my heart. Thank you Shira.


Dear Animals,
We’re sorry we hurt you.
We’re sorry we torture you.
We’re sorry we burn you for fun.
We’re sorry we poke you.
We’re sorry we prod you.
We’re sorry we subject you to a lifetime of pain so we can eat you.
We’re sorry we kick you just to feel better about ourselves.
We’re sorry we rip the skin off your bones while you’re still alive.
We’re sorry we sell you in pet shops and then abandon you when we’ve had enough.
We’re sorry we leave you in garbage cans.
We’re sorry we shove hormones down your throat.
We’re sorry we steal your babies from you.
We’re sorry we throw you off of bridges.
We’re sorry we chain you up all day and all night.
We’re sorry we drown you.
We’re sorry we force you to do unnatural tricks for our entertainment.
We’re sorry we forget to feed you or give you water.
We’re sorry our disgruntled slaughterhouse workers take out all their aggressions on you.
We’re sorry we force you to fight each other.
We’re sorry we force you to fight us.
We’re sorry we use you for transportation.
We’re sorry we sacrifice your life so we can have another leather couch, car seat, belt or pair of shoes.
We’re sorry we make you scream in pain and then put a picture of a smiling chicken on the box.
We’re sorry we make you feel like you are part of the family and then forget about you when the baby comes.
We’re sorry we drag you behind our cars.
We’re sorry we keep you in dark, crowded, horrid living conditions.
We’re sorry we force feed you to make you fatter.
We’re sorry we burn your front paws in order to make you stand on two feet so our children can laugh.
We’re sorry we sexually abuse you for our fetishes.
We’re sorry we trap you.
We’re sorry we hunt you.
We’re sorry our shelters still use inhumane methods of killing you.
We’re sorry we subject you to a lifetime of terrorizing experiments so we can have yet another shampoo.
We’re sorry we don’t report our neighbors who are mistreating you to the authorities.
We’re sorry we poison you in the middle of the night.
We’re sorry we humiliate you.
We’re sorry we keep you alone indoors all day long and then get too lazy to take you for walks.
We’re sorry we choke you and suffocate you.
We’re sorry we yell at you.
We’re sorry we leave you out in the cold rain and in the hot sun.
We’re sorry we forget you in boiling hot cars with no open windows.
We’re sorry we intimidate you to feel powerful.
We’re sorry we dump you when you’re old and sick.
We’re sorry we sacrifice you for our beliefs and religions.
We’re sorry we starve you as a form of “art”.
We’re sorry we expose you to explosions and gunshots so we can film another movie.
We’re sorry we trap you in zoos so we can watch you suffer.
We’re sorry we treat you like objects that can be exploited for our own selfish purposes.
And most of all: We’re sorry we don’t recognize you for the amazing, intelligent, glorious, magnificent creatures that you are.
Sincerely,
The Human Race
(Written by Shira Tamir © 2010 http://www.1111now.com/)

Shh...Diam which means Shut Up!


Last night I had the most memorable and exciting night watching a fairly new band call Shh...Diam! made up of Farah - Vocals/Lead Guitar, Yon - Second Guitar, Diyana - Bass, Jellene - Drums. This, all girl, rock-pop band is one of the most outstanding of Malaysian singers I have seen to date. The whole Annexe, where they performed last night, almost come down when their songs got under our skins.

There are two of their sample songs in their facebook account but they are nothing compared to their live performance which is mind blowing. Them girls can really rock! If you ever get a chance see them live! I hope this band goes a long way and shut everyone up from their measly boring lives!


* photo taken from their facebook profile (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/ShhDiam/110087765681320)

Monday, September 27, 2010

If you stop thinking about yourself for once

If you stop thinking about yourself for once
you will see that there are other people around you.
People who may need comfort, people who may need love,
and people who may need a little just to get through.

If you stop thinking about yourself for once
you may realize that the pet you are to buy
will be nothing more than another toy
for you to play with, for you to own until it dies.

If you stop thinking about yourself for once
you will see the bigger picture of your life.
Rather than nitpick the small and insignificant ounce
and appreciate what your small mind can derive.

If you stop thinking about yourself for once
and stop talking about what luxuries you can possess.
Be humble for the precious things you have
instead of being so frightfully obsessed.

If you stop thinking about yourself for once
maybe you will learn to understand.
What it's like to be whole again,
what it's like when you're not vain.

Ultimately, if you stop thinking about yourself for once
you may actually feel a little more love.
From the people you ignore and from the things that you abhor
and actually know what kindness is truly for.

Are you responsible or are you irresponsible?

Yesterday I walked past a pet shop and saw the cutest of puppies and kittens for sale behind glass compartments. I said to my friend how could anyone not like animals is beyond me. And the saddest thing about a pet shop is the abhorring idea of breeding and selling of animals for people to have company to fill up their lonely nights? As playthings for their kids? As a gift for someone's birthday or anniversary? I still find trading animals for pets or entertainment is like buying and selling of babies. How does the human heart beat?

I once heard someone saying that she loved animals and that's the reason she buys them to keep as pets. Doesn't that kind of love extend to the strays that are discarded in the streets and back lanes? Doesn't love shelter homeless cats and dogs as well? Doesn't love embrace all that is rejected rather than reserved for all that is deserving?

And here I am reading the news about how the government is swindling the indigenous people of their lands for a mere token sum of money (http://sarawakreport.org/2010/09/raziah-grabs-multi-million-dollar-forest-for-just-rm-250/) and what Vatican City knew all along (http://lezgetreal.com/2010/09/cnn-asks-what-the-pope-knew/) and the man who sold reptiles for a living (http://themalaysianlife.blogspot.com/2010/09/lizard-king-convicted.html)

The intelligence of the human species is remarkable and amazing to the point of being admirable but look at how it is being manipulated for a short term gain. How responsible are we as a part and a whole of society? How irresponsible are we for ignoring things which we deem unpleasant?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Would you rather gather up your fortune or live a brief life-changing moment?

I was talking to a friend the other day about people who are not considered to be the 'pure Malaysian breed' getting shipped out of the country at some point in time in the future. This great exodus in the what-if-scenario would have an impact only futurists, scientists, philosophers and sages could guess. I for one believe that earth is not a place to be staked and claimed. No where on earth should a human being embrace and hold on to take ownership. Of course that being said greedmongers would take the opportunity to plunder every chance they can like in this link http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6448 where the Penans are fighting to survive from unscrupulous loggers backed by the government.

Still, the idea of losing one's land and property is such a devastating concept that most people would literally die to protect them. I wouldn't dare ask anyone what they think of getting thrown out of a country they have been living in and contributing on its progress for generations. Being the freebird that I want to be I wouldn't mind leaving if it comes to that. But then again, it wouldn't be fair to others who have accumulated wealth and livelihood that have given them comfort and peace of mind.

Unlike most people I haven't gathered much in my life and most things are dispensable. The only real treasures I have are my writings, which now have been stored in the virtual world, and perhaps some great books, again which can be found online somewhere in the world. Of course I love a wonderful home where it is serene and away from the madness of the outside world, but then again I could find that in nature couldn't I? I also wish to enjoy good food that are scrumptious and delectable but then again my main diet are usually vegetables and fruits and they are always fresh and tasty anyhow anywhere I can get them. TV? I'm better off watching the clouds go by, gazing at the stars, zoning out with the crashing waves and stillness of the lake. And as for clothes, I'd rather have comfort than beauty anytime and I'm still waiting to make my own one of these days, if that day would ever come. So what else have I got to root me to the ground? Love, there must be love to hold me back. But unconditional love always sets things free doesn't it?

So I told my friend that I was ready to leave even if a spaceship comes passing by to offer anyone who wants a ride to the galaxies and milky ways. After all, how long is one's life compared to a life-changing moment?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More things I learned about Penang

This trip, I saw the other side of Penang which most Penangnites see and it wasn't very pleasant. But then again...

1. Motorists & bikers here love to honk every chance they get
2. Crossing a road can be hazardous to one's health or lives can be shorten by a few years
3. The Mat Rempits are bolder and brasher
4. When there is a traffic jam, everything's toast
5. Bikers love weaving in and out unexpectedly like how cats dash across the road since they have 9 lives
6. You need to drive 3 times the length to get to a destination which is one short drive away
7. The Hungry Ghost Festival can pop up just about anywhere. The strangest being the one in the wet market.

...food is still good, some parts of the beach is still nice and Freda Dragonstar is still one of the best entertainers in town if you know where to look for her.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Mad Man

There's a mad man around the corner,
I see him sleeping on the sidewalk over yonder.
When he wakes he holds a conversation,
With himself or maybe with an alien encounter.

No one cares if he would sleep or wake,
No one bothers to take him home.
Everyone walks away from his wretched state,
I wonder if he is all alone.

Wasn't he someone's father?
Isn't he someone's brother?
I am only sure he's someone's son
But he sits there as though he's not one.

There's a Buddhist temple a few blocks away,
There are a few Churches in that vicinity.
There is a mosque somewhere nearby
And there are Indian temples that are extremely pretty.

The mad man in his frazzled rag,
Sits there whistling his dreamy tune.
What secrets does he hold in his bag?
Something God-like I presume.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

As gay as anywhere else

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/as-gay-as-anywhere-else/

This is quite a hilarious and wonderful piece written by Colin Boyd Shafer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things I learned about Penang

I had the opportunity to visit Penang for two weekends and both for very different reasons. Some of the things that struck me were these:

1. It sure has a lot of U-turns
- I thought it would make getting to a place a little more inconvenient but it wasn't. But I can't say that for KL.

2. Trees are everywhere and they make such magnificent canopies
- I'm now wondering if Penangnites are nature lovers or tree huggers

3. People are generally born/bred with a very Hokkien humor
- You've got to know Hokkien to know the wit that comes with the puns, sing song rap and lilt in their everyday conversation

4. Food is everywhere and most of them are good
-  It's actually hell for those on a diet.

5. If I'm not mistaken drivers seem to have more patience
- I didn't hear people honking to get the traffic moving

6. The Botanical Gardens in Penang is simply glorious but I can't say I felt the same with the KL Lake Gardens or FRIM...

7. Isn't it quite obvious Penang is under a political siege by the authorities to expose the immoral side lately?

8. At the Lam Wah Ee hospital everything is so convenient, people are so efficient and the vicinity is simply beautiful. I can't remember if there is another hospital with easy access to parking, quick registration and the doctor's appointment that is kept on time.
- I couldn't believe it when I saw everyone in the cafeteria clearing their own dishes after their meal. I know Ikea and other fast food joints tried the same system but failed miserably.

9. It can be as hot as hell but heavy rain can come down just the same.

10. And I love the funny sounding names of places and ideas that seem to be a Penang identity. Who would have thought of places call Nasi Kandar Beratur or Line Clear Nasi Kandar or there's this place where you don't order food from the menu but eat what they serve on that day. How nifty is that?

Perhaps this is just a bias opinion that cannot approximate the general view of what Penang is really like. But my weekends there were nothing short of my expectations.

Monday, July 12, 2010

So Soon

So soon I was dreaming during classes,
not really making the grades and advances.
So soon it was all over
and school is now just an old reminder,
of who I was
and what I've been through
with teachers I loathed
and teachers I admired.

So soon I was on the dentists's chair
I begged for mercy and my life to spare,
So soon it was all over
and my teeth are all prim and proper.
But now it's time to return
to that clinical atmosphere
which I have come to fear
and ask why technology hasn't progressed here?

So soon I had doubts of growing up
wondering what I could do to fit in with the crowd,
So soon it was all over
and now I'm so glad to be the writer
I've always wanted to be.
To make words dance with glee.
Getting books out to everyone,
making movies while having fun.

So soon I was trying to be like everyone else
then I realized I didn't want to be.
So soon it was all over
and I chose to be who I am for good and better.
I managed to escape life's misadventures
and walk the path I set out for myself.
Now that I am older
I am in love with everything pure of heart and nature.

So soon I began my life in chaos
searching for the truth and answers.
So soon it was all over
when I found my soul beneath the traces
of love and compassion
when I heard my true confession
that lead me to this day
with clarity all the way.

So soon I was born to my parent's delight
in their arms I nestled with joy and pride.
So soon it was all over
now they are in my arms altogether.
So soon I am older and perhaps wiser
through years of missteps and blunder.
So soon I will be all over
and I ask myself if I have done what I set out to adventure?

And a happy birthday to me...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For Your Sake

For your sake,
animals are tested, skinned and cooked
for you to feel good,
for you to have food,
for you to look beautiful,
for you to feel comfortable.

For your sake,
someone worked his hands to the bones,
for your lovely luxurious home,
for your territorial zone,
for your breakfast on the table,
for your accessories and apparels.

What have you done besides
bitch and fuck around?
What have you done except
sulk and frown?
About things you haven't got,
about things you deserve,
about blessings from your god,
about always being first.

For your sake,
others have to suffer,
because you are the master,
because you are the leader,
because you the commander,
because there's no one else better.

For your sake,
earth cries for you,
nature weeps,
and all this ... for your sake,
for your sake.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food for Thought

You think this is reality?

Someone came up with law and order. Someone else set aside culture and tradition. And then someone else put together god and religion. Someone else suggested that you work hard for the money because dreams can't feed you and you think all this is reality?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quote of the day

Doesn't it make you wonder what is the big deal about going into the office and pretend what you are doing means the world to you? So that you can make your boss happy, so that they can make their bosses happy, so that they can make the government richer, so that it can purchase more weapons, build a nuclear power plant, mismanage the country, murder anyone it likes and take away your identity and rights? Doesn't it make you wonder what the fuck this shit is all about? And doesn't it make you wonder why you keep doing it every day and feel like shit all the time?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the telephone for godssake!

 Antonio Meucci

Today while writing a script for a children TV series I found out that Alexander Graham Bell wasn't the inventor of telephone! Like Nikola Tesla before him who was discredited by Thomas Edison for his AC system which we are using today.

 Nikola Tesla

When I find out truths like these I get really mad about unscrupulous and heartless people and wish them a horrible death. As much as I believe in the karmic law I am still frazzled to know that there are such cowards who will do anything for fame and fortune.

I wonder if cowards and superfluous people read articles like these and realize they are one of them? Do they even have a conscience? In my horror stories, it is usually the conscience that comes back to haunt them not ghosts, monsters or evil spirits.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/jun/17/humanities.internationaleducationnews

Bell did not invent telephone, US rules

Scot accused of finding fame by stealing Italian's ideas

Italy hailed the redress of a historic injustice yesterday after the US Congress recognised an impoverished Florentine immigrant as the inventor of the telephone rather than Alexander Graham Bell. Historians and Italian-Americans won their battle to persuade Washington to recognise a little-known mechanical genius, Antonio Meucci, as a father of modern communications, 113 years after his death.
The vote by the House of Representatives prompted joyous claims in Meucci's homeland that finally Bell had been outed as a perfidious Scot who found fortune and fame by stealing another man's work.
Calling the Italian's career extraordinary and tragic, the resolution said his "teletrofono", demonstrated in New York in 1860, made him the inventor of the telephone in the place of Bell, who had access to Meucci's materials and who took out a patent 16 years later.
"It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the life and achievements of Antonio Meucci should be recognised, and his work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged," the resolution stated.
Bell's immortalisation in books and films has rankled with generations of Italians who know Meucci's story. Born in 1808, he studied design and mechanical engineering at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, and as a stage technician at the city's Teatro della Pergola developed a primitive system to help colleagues communicate.
In the 1830s he moved to Cuba and, while working on methods to treat illnesses with electric shocks, found that sounds could travel by electrical impulses through copper wire. Sensing potential, he moved to Staten Island, near New York City, in 1850 to develop the technology.
When Meucci's wife, Ester, became paralysed he rigged a system to link her bedroom with his neighbouring workshop and in 1860 held a public demonstration which was reported in New York's Italian-language press.
In between giving shelter to political exiles, Meucci struggled to find financial backing, failed to master English and was severely burned in an accident aboard a steamship.
Forced to make new prototype telephones after Ester sold his machines for $6 to a secondhand shop, his models became more sophisticated. An inductor formed around an iron core in the shape of a cylinder was a technique so sophisticated that it was used decades later for long-distance connections.
Meucci could not afford the $250 needed for a definitive patent for his "talking telegraph" so in 1871 filed a one-year renewable notice of an impending patent. Three years later he could not even afford the $10 to renew it.
He sent a model and technical details to the Western Union telegraph company but failed to win a meeting with executives. When he asked for his materials to be returned, in 1874, he was told they had been lost. Two years later Bell, who shared a laboratory with Meucci, filed a patent for a telephone, became a celebrity and made a lucrative deal with Western Union.
Meucci sued and was nearing victory - the supreme court agreed to hear the case and fraud charges were initiated against Bell - when the Florentine died in 1889. The legal action died with him.
Yesterday the newspaper La Repubblica welcomed the vote to recognise the Tuscan inventor as a belated comeuppance for Bell, a "cunning Scotsman" and "usurper" whose per- fidy built a communications empire.

Friday, June 18, 2010

People just don't learn

This morning I felt a little upset and irritated about something but I didn't know what. Since it was a nice day to walk out to get some breakfast I went with a friend to SS2. On the way back I saw the onslaught of workers trimming off tree branches everywhere. If trees could scream we would hear their death throes this morning. I find it hard to accept the fact that these old trees have been around for so long and are always the first to go to pave way for humans and their possessions.

A whole street of antiqued looking trees have been cut down on SS2/72 to make way for the SSTwo Mall. And to beautify the street again they planted ornamental looking trees instead.

The journey there and back also got me to observe miserable looking animals in a pet shop (which should be banned), stray dogs surviving the street and human cruelty, irresponsible drivers who have no respect for pedestrians and I ask myself - do people really need saving?

An old magnificent tree may be hazardous to passers by, cars and whatever takes shelter underneath it but does it really matter?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And I shall start a Commune

It's a place where we grow our own food. Where our staple diet are fruits and vegetables, perhaps fish and eggs at times. But we don't eat meat. We all share a great aptitude for creativity in everything we do besides being imaginative and innovative.

We are not materialistic because there is nothing that we need to make us happy. We make our own clothes, we cook our own food and we share them like family. We harness our own energy from the sun and the wind and the water.

Although we have no need for a vast majority of electronic and electrical products, we will still use technology to our advantage. Our days will be filled with new creations of literature, art, music, crafts, meditation and inventions that will benefit everyone else.

We will take in stray animals discarded by people who have no sense of responsibility. Compassion and passion are the two words we live by.

We are open to retreats for the broken and displaced.

There is a pond in which ducks and fishes live among other birds, amphibians and creatures. There are trees everywhere we look. Our homes are small and filled only with necessary comfort and are not cluttered with the past.

Every night we come together for storytelling sessions in conversations or movies, in stargazing or music appreciation .

Our mission in life is to make life worth living. To fill every little moment with joy and transcend to the next level of understanding of who we are and what we do.

We are about progress. We don't keep to ourselves and exclude the world. We go about to educate everyone who receives us. We have no need of dispensable habits created by mankind. It is a place of rest. A place of growth.

We are not about hiding from the rest of the world. We are not about having tight security. We are not the chosen ones. We are not going back in time. We are a community of like-minded people who wants to life a simple but fruitful life doing what we do best.

But most of all we are family because we choose to be.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Extreme Unction: Extreme: beyond the norm; Unction: excessive but superficial compliments

I was at a funeral yesterday and the final prayers were held in a Church. Although parts of the scared place of worship were beautiful, most of it was truly ironic and contradictory. The first thing that struck me was the dress code regulations that were conveniently placed at every corner of the vicinity. There were no slippers or flip-flops allowed, cargo pants or shorts, tank tops or tubes, spaghetti straps or halter tops and sleeveless t-shirts or singlets. What happened to the idea of a gentle and loving God who accepts everyone who judges not the clothes they wear? Another thing that hit me right between the eyes was the garish and ostentatious stain glass designs that were splashed everywhere around. And finally it was the priest himself who used phrases and words like - that lifeless body, the dead and a sermon about how great God is rather than being compassionate and understanding to the family's grieve. When he reemphasized on the Greatness of God again, I could envision the Muslims cry out allahu akbar in return.

What happened to consoling words like 'your dearly departed' or 'your loved one who is at peace with God'. Probably by having the dress code regulation the Church has already lost most of its younger congregation and with a priest who is insensitive another half would switch denominations. I wonder if they keep stones under the altar for

I still don't like funerals and weddings which I feel are pretentious and unnecessary. They're just an extension of joy and sorrow which need not to be publicized and performed in the midst of friends and neighbors.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Archie's here, Betty's here, Veronica too ... and Kevin?


The Archie Comics makes a mark by introducing an openly gay character in the upcoming September issue. I would never in a million years expect this family-oriented, children-friendly, goody-two-shoes series to be so bold and embracing of anything out of the hetero-normative domain.

The world is becoming more aware of the egoistical and deviant teachings of authoritarians who lay out laws and governance for their own benefit. This power to rule has no place in a more accepting and inclusive society these days.

But even now, there are still parents who cut off ties with their gay or transsexual children, literally throw them out of their homes and up to a point murdering them. As unthinkable as this may seem people are not blind to the fact that the lgbt community have been around for a long time. Education is in fact bringing more families together but religion and politics are still trying to divide them.

While the rest of the world is advancing towards a world without violence and acceptance, I wonder how long more this country will hold back its policies on discrimination, racism and hate. And the truth is, we all know it's a sinking ship.




http://www.archiecomics.com/blog/news/2010/04/archie-comics-introduces-first-openly-gay-character.html

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rue McClanahan: Thank you for being a friend



21 February 1934 - 3 June 2010
In memory of a wonderful actress of The Golden Girls.

Strays, strays everywhere ... what am I to do?

Last night my friend and I were on the way back when we saw a huge dark shadow in front of us emerging from a corner of some garbage in SS2. It really looked like the Hound of Baskerville or a werewolf which was all ready for a kill. Since it was coming towards our direction and we were going to its our path finally crossed and we could see that it was an old limping German Shepherd with ratty hair. It looked at us as we passed and we realized it was an abandoned stray that some f***ing idiot must have left behind. It was friendly but at the same time frightful to see in the semi lighted street. It knew we were saddened by its state but we didn't know what to do. How do you rescue an animal?

I tried emailing to some animal rescue organizations and am awaiting some hope or reply. Before encountering the German Shepherd we saw another adorable dog outside Old Taste Kopitiam, lying there as though it was home. Again, it breaks my heart to see all these strays being discarded for the sole purpose of irresponsibility. You don't and you never throw away the things that you love.

I am thinking and praying from the universe that someday I will get a farm large enough to home all the stray animals but it will not solve the same old problem of unwanted pets. So the first thing a government or country must do is to eradicate the problem. Close down all pet shops and pet traders. Pets should not be bought or sold but adopted.

If every stray is adopted in the world there will be no more unwanted pets. Perhaps then, human beings can appreciate the wonderful company of an animal because they are invaluable and not be evaluated by a price tag.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tik Tok Earth - My next event


Here comes my next project, launching tonight. And these are what I contributed. 
Tree of Life 1, 2, 3.


And these...
Untamed, Unrestrained

Monday, May 17, 2010

If everyone were to stop working instantaneously 
for corporations and government departments, 
do you think they would listen to the little people for once?

EMP and all that's left to see


I was talking to a friend about designs these days and how they are so easily accessible in more ways than one. When I was an art student, way back then :P, I did a soft drink for my final campaign. I still remember the product was called 'Bluey', a bluish aerated drink with a hint of mint and it's blue. The teachers told me it looked like detergent and my work looked unfinished.

If they are still around today I guess they would flip when they see drinks that come in various colors and tastes. Before the computer was even a plausible idea in the 80s, well at least for us students and locals, we had to photocopy things we wanted, cut and paste with cow gum, use set squares to get the designs in line and buy the expensive letrapress - a kind of press on stencils for fonts - and do everything else by hand. It was tough work but we all managed to do them without the help of technology so to speak.

But these days, an art student without a computer is completely handicapped. Such are the times. I've always wondered what if the world is hit by an electromagnetic pulse where everything electronic and electrical gets fried. What would the world be like then? No more emails, Facebook, chats, Skype, surfs, refrigerators, radios, handphones, TV, microwave ovens, washing machines, planes, trains, automobiles - would we have to go back to the stone age again?

But I guess for people who are used to cycling, working on farms, painting, writing in longhand, reading, exercising, cooking with charcoal or firewood, dreamers, vagabonds, homeless, musicians and children who still play outdoor games will find it easier to survive. As for the rest of the world ... I don't know. What about you? Can you survive an EMP if it were to hit us anytime soon?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sex, Money, Scandal - The Pandemic Frolic


Of all the characters Jo Kukathas played, I love Ribena Berry the best. She is hilarious to the hilt. Maybe Jo was a chameleon in her past life to be able to take on so many roles at the snap of a finger. She can be a comic, a drama queen, a political figure and she is in fact her entire cast of schizophrenic selves. It is just a charm to see her in all the different shoes, literally.

Edwin Sumun brings in the musical angle of the play with his boyish and mischievous actions in between scenes. And of course, Shelah made a cameo appearance that was only too brief.

The play was quite heavily laden with political and breaking news references and jokes. Some of us, who are not very news savvy got some but didn't get all of them. But I guess if you do, you would have a laughing fit like the guy who sat somewhere behind me guffawing in solitaire while we were still trying to figure out what it was all about.

I would have liked to see a grander finale, I don't know, maybe I have seen too many shows and movies to expect that all the time. Something that reaches the pinnacle of hilarity or inspiration that will burst into a ball of fiery pandemonium that will make us go insane or stampede out of the auditorium. Wait a minute, maybe I'm talking about a horror movie or musical play ... but anyway, it was one night well spent even with the really uncomfortable chairs, the long hot wait and the kiasu search for a good seat without the 'reserved' signs plastered on them.

I am sooo looking forward to Edwin, Shelah, Jo and Ribena Berry to reappear again some time soon because I won't stop believing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Gives?

In this life there are only two ways to live. You take now and pay later or you give now and collect later. It's up to you to choose, no one can force you to do anything. So don't go around blaming your parents, or cursing the system, the ass-wad government, your friends or your surroundings. You should know better. You smoke, you know the sting; you gamble, you know the deal; you fuck around, you have every health concern to fuck with. That's life. That's what you pay for what you take. Or you could live like a saint or a martyr. But you ain't either one are you?

One day at a meeting...

I attended a meeting on Sunday with a group of the most innovative, passionate, artistic, creative, imaginative and loving people I have ever known. The group was made up of artists, singer-songwriters, performers, activists, lawyers, writers, teachers, filmmakers and a whole lot of people from all levels and duties. One would think that probably this group would most likely be drawn together by religion or the concept of God or by a political scheme but it's not.

Everyone in that room had an agenda to set things right. To make things easier for others. To come together to share an idea of change and progress. To simply, celebrate life. When I looked around and listened to what some of them has to share, how some of them raise issues up for discussion and how some lighten the entire meeting with witty remarks, I couldn't help myself but imagine the power of this undefined gathering of people.

It makes me want to stand up and cheer when I realize these are the people who move the world with their unseen contribution, no matter how large or small. They are the ones who reach out to a person in need of assistance whether it is legal or emotional. They are the ones who add spice and festivity to this mundane world of agonizing status devoured by politics and economy. These are the people who believe in the joyous moments of life than questioning its form or make.

The amount of energy gathered on that day was incredible. I felt like we could move mountains. We could take on the world if we wanted to. Maybe I'm a dreamer but recalling the great minds and hearts who have come together I could actually imagine a world with no countries, no gods, no hell and only the sky above.

Some People

I met some people who talk about rights and finding their place in the world.
I met some people who complain about their lives every way they know how.
I met some people who are contented with what money can buy.
And I met some people who talk about nothing else but themselves.

I met some people who keep shaking their heads sideways about the world's condition.
I met some people who are all out there to make the world a better place for everyone else.
I met some people who can't get out of the system.
I met some people who don't want to get out of the system.

Like I said before, and I will say it again.
It will come for you.
It will come to your doorstep and knock on your door.
That day will come for you and you will ask,
'Why me?"
But until then,
You can be one of those 'some people' whom you know too well
Doing what you do because you think it's good enough to get by.

I met some people who dwell on their own needs.
I met some people who live a life of make believe.
I met some people who cluster in holy places.
I met some people who leave behind agonizing traces.

Some people are born.
Some people are made.
Some people do not conform
to colors, sizes and shapes.

Animal Talk

 (photo by LM Fea: http://mingfea.multiply.com)

Why do some people spend so much money to buy a pet and then raise it like an animal?


Do you think animals in the circuses, zoos and other entertainment shows enjoy their living conditions?


Why can't you see that you are prone to hurting an animal only when you have a very low self esteem?


If you think you can treat an animal any way you want because you have a higher intelligence, don't you think aliens with an even more sophisticated technology should treat us the same way?


You talk about God as if he never created anything else but you.


Of course you don't smuggle in animals for your pleasure. Of course you don't rip up animals for their skin and fur. Of course you don't kill them and chop them up for your appetite. But are you still an accessory on all counts?


Man is nothing more than an animal who managed to make god in his image to justify his existence.


If you are so stupid as to not know what is animal brutality and still want to be ignorant to it, don't come around and complain to anyone when you face some kind of brutality of your own. Mind you, you are an animal too.



***

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.  ~William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?  ~Pierre Troubetzkoy

Cockfighting was illegal in Oklahoma until 1963, when a judge ruled that chickens are not animals and therefore unprotected by anticruelty laws.  ~U.S. News & World Report, 6 December 1999

Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits.  Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility.  ~S. Parkes Cadman

I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls.  They always say because it's such a beautiful animal.  There you go.  I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.  ~Ellen DeGeneres 

When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal.  When he destroys one of the works of god we call him a sportsman.  ~Joseph Wood Krutch

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.  ~Alice Walker

It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.  ~Mark Twain

Get a feel for fur:  Slam your fingers in a car door.  ~Anonymous, on the use of steel traps to capture fur-bearing animals, cited in Audubon, November 1990

     

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Can't Get to Sleep Tonight

I can't get to sleep tonight,
I hear a man's shout,
I hear a woman's scream.
In the midst of all that
I hear a baby's cry
And a dog's yelp,
And I am thinking,
I am wondering
Is something or someone
Going to die tonight?
I can't get to sleep tonight,
I can't explain why,
I can't reason it without a sigh.
The policemen are on a shooting spree,
The business dealers are pilfering and plundering,
The angry people are lashing out
On the innocent and the weaklings.
I can't get to sleep tonight,
I wonder why I can't.
When I hear the whales crying in the ocean,
When I hear the bleeding of the tress,
How can I close my eyes
And wish it all away
To let me get a good night's sleep?
How can I not shed my tears?
When all the human species wants
Is greed and greed and greed?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where has all the love gone?

I was at the park yesterday evening and I saw a maid playing badminton with a girl who was about six or seven. The little girl couldn't hit a straight shuttle but the maid's patience and encouragement kept her going for a while. When the little girl got tired of the game they went to the swing and the maid carried the little one up on her lap and they swung delightfully.

There were also two other maids who took the dogs for their evening walk. One was walking a brown mongrel while the other was walking a small three-legged dog. There was a third maid who met up with them to chat while she held a very tall boy who was mentally unstable in her arms. There were other maids who came out to get the children from their buses and vans who just came back from school as well.

When I was younger I always had my dad fetching me to school before I started taking the school bus. And mom was always home no matter what time of the day when we came back home. Evenings were usually with friends, if not neighbors, and the whole routine from wake to sleep was watched over by my mom and everything was prepared by her.

Dad used to fetch all four of us on his motorbike (can't remember which model) at night just for rides around the neighborhood. Our treat those days was a movie in the reserved seats, or a magnolia ice cream from the supplier or a box of chocolates.

As I watch the kids these days coming back to an empty home, eating alone at fast food joints, being taken care of by maids, spending more and more time attached to the internet and games, it makes me wonder where all the love has gone.

Doesn't it Say?

If we follow the seasons of the earth
to celebrate festivities,
doesn't it say something about the way we feel?

If we follow the phase of the moon
to worship and pray to the gods,
doesn't it say something about the way we think?

If we follow the laws of the universe
and rules of the solar system to exist,
doesn't it say something about the way we function?

If we follow the theories of human kind
to gauge our lifetime,
doesn't it say something about ours fears?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The uncool teasing of unappealing sites

I can't stand websites that teach you to do something; cook, DIY, or a tutorial to experiment on something, and then leave you on the lurch after a few steps because they want you to register, pay or buy. These websites should be banned for life!

If anyone who is willing to teach, then teach all the way. Otherwise just tell the world that you teach only when you are paid! Gossakes! Some people think we have all the time in the world to want to be teased that way! But as far as I'm concerned I will make it a point to never visit sites like these again. Don't people realize times have changed?

Of Glamor & Glitz at the last Cameronian Awards


The awards night began like a Broadway musical with Shannon Shah and Fahmi Fadzil breaking out in song in the opening act. And then it was the award goes to...

A host of talents, renowned artistes, veterans and newbies presented the awards and of course Shelah stole the show for a moment with her fabulousness. Though much of the ceremony was the typical awards night, there were laughs from some of the more comic presenters.

Congratulations to Pang for the Cross Cultural Champion Award and The Temple of Fine Arts for the Lifetime Achievement Award, both very deserving winners.

The highlight of the night was of course the closing performance by Hands on Percussion who resembled Gothic puck rockers waiting to free their musical spirits. (http://www.hands.com.my)

And to complete the festivity, we headed to the Sultan Lounge for free beers and nuts and danced till the gods turned green.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rhythm in Bronze, Rhyming in Gold

I was at the MPO Happy Hour yesterday to catch Rhythm in Bronze and it was quite a amazing to see their performance. Since I missed their 'Hari Jadi' at PJ Arts at Jaya One, it was good to see the very brief on-hour introductory musical feast of what Gamelan music is all about.

Though I felt the setting at the MPO hall didn't do justice to their peculiar yet familiar, sometimes-muffled, sometimes-piercing, metallic sounds, they were quite unique in their own characters. I can imagine it to be better if this form of music is taken to heights never before seen or experienced otherwise it will just remain at a jarring level that can only be enjoyed once for it to be pleasurable.

The presentation of each piece of instrument is preceded with humor and  little history before a variation is played. After all the aptly named musical tools have been acquainted with the audience the final song culminated to the grand finale where all of us wished for more. But all we heard was the thunderous applaud and whistling as they resonated with the sounds of the Gamelan lingering in our ears.


http://rhythminbronze.art.officelive.com/aboutus.aspx

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Fantabulous Night at the Ra Ra Ra-ah-ah




Hahhahhah! Ahhhaahhaha! Who dat gurl? She-lah!

It was an uproarious night of risible ridiculousness plus some great performances by a list of unforgettable stars. We laughed till our cheeks hurt whenever Shelah is on stage. Just one look at her and you can really go gaga and gagging for air.

Wong Siew Jye was a hilarious guitarist who sang 2 cheeky songs, one of Malaysia and another of ghosts. Yudi brought us back to an era of Chinese oldies in her stylized Oriental moves, especially one when she try to strangle my son with her scarf. That handsome dude, Will Quah, whom I thought was only a TV host proved to be more than that. He actually gave us a rib tickling time with his stand up comic and a sweet witty song. Aaron Khaled, another young stud, did a Bob Dylan to all the girls' (and guys') excitement with his beautiful melodic voice. And then there were the Vodka Vulvas, Alex Koh and Izlyn Ramli to contribute to this uh-so fabulous night. Oh yes, there was also that guy from Brooklyn who tore one of the volunteers to pieces with his love song.

And we all sat at the longest table to sup at Mahbub.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

King's Ginger Pickle ... Hmm Emm

I gotta let y'all know about this ginger pickle I got from the sundry shop below my apartment. It is simply heavenly and will 100% spice up anything in your food. I couldn't find the manufacturer online so I took a low-res picture of what the bottle looks like.

It's spicy, it's hot, it's tongue tingling and it's a definite treat. I use it for my tempei mix, for my dhal curry side dish and also a straight out of the bottle with rice serving.

There's no business like My business

My friend and I have always wanted to start our own company but our main priority wasn't profit. So when we met up with businessmen and accountants to ask for advice it was always the same. They would come up with various ways of asking 'How can you not want to make profit? No investor will even look into your business, much less back you up.' So, for all these years we have been going round in circles looking for an answer and trying to sell our souls to the ways of the world. But being the idealists that we are we kept to our decisions and still no way out of the hard and fast rules of the game.

Recently, we had another encounter with an accountant and the story goes back and forth with the same age old question. Money. We're at the age where sufficient is enough although the law of attraction says we can have all that we want. The thing is, why does a person want so much money? How many mansions, condominiums, luxurious cars, designer clothes, monthly vacations can a person want? And what are they for when their lives are still filled with emptiness and loneliness? Well, silly me, I'm the impractical one. I'm a believer who can do without unnecessary paper work and forms, red tapes, protocols and bureaucratic procedures. I only want to use art as a therapeutic form of education for children and for adults, using my so-called 5E Guide.

Anyway, after that meeting, I told my friend may be we are looking more towards starting and NGO instead. But I find it disheartening whenever I hear my NGO friends telling them there is always never enough funds and that they have to come out with all kinds of fund raising to keep the organization going. Year after year, it's always the same and that is not what I want either. What Ryan Libre says is so true especially -  
Becoming obsolete should be the fundamental goal of all NGOs.

If you try to maintain control, dependencies will develop, and once dependencies start they are hard to stop.
Dependency can leave NGO volunteers feeling trapped and sometimes even leave negative impacts on the people you are trying so hard to help.
I have had seen and experienced instances where passion goes right to the head and become an obsession. So

After some googling I found something new, something call Social Entrepreneur and I thought, that is it. Something that is self sustaining and yet pursuing to resolve an issue that needs attention. Some of the things people are doing today are commendable and it's getting closer and closer to the common goal of wanting to make things better for everyone and not hogging profits for our short and expendable life. While ruthless authoritarians are still at their power struggling game, they know their days are numbered. They know they can't fool the nation anymore than they can hide their dirty laundry.

But first, our hearts have to be the first to open.


http://matadorchange.com/how-to-start-a-successful-ngo-in-10-steps/
http://managementhelp.org/soc_entr/soc_entr.htm
http://www.se-alliance.org/

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Defying Gravity

My recent keyword in life is Defying Gravity - which comes from a canceled TV series of the same name and the song from Wicked, which is also featured in Glee. It keeps playing in my head and the lyrics, as you can see are beautiful and inspirational. So go and and defy gravity because you know you can.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I am defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Fate of Things to come

I have been bogged down with all kinds of things lately. A few days before Joe's passing I was feeling a little down and the song Old Man River kept haunting my mind in the mornings when I woke. There was also scripts to rush where I had to read up all kinds of science facts and one of them was about electricity. The more I read about Thomas Edison the more I despise him as a human being. Obviously he had no compassion whatsoever for animals when he electrocuted them just to prove that Nikola Tesla's alternating current (AC) was not as good as his direct current (DC). I wonder if he should still pay for his cruelty towards animals. My son also posted a video on animal abuse, killing and murder just to get their pelts for all kinds of fashion accessories. I find this utterly despicable and horrifying that people actually can do that sort of thing just to make a fast buck. And to read about Nestle's dreadful past, I am joining the rest of the world who are boycotting their products.

Also, the corruption of authorities and powerful people are being exposed everywhere in the world. I keep asking that question: don't they have any conscience? Using the dirty money to send their kids to colleges, feed their family's insatiable appetite and accumulating possessions that they don't need? And secret information about things to come and countries that will fall and the chaos that the big guns are planing. At the same time I saw 'We give a damn' campaign' started by Cyndi Lauper.

On my personal front I have been reinvented, so to speak, as I am more and more of a vegetarian than I  thought I would ever be. It first started a few years back, may be 2 or 3, when I cut down on a lot of meat. Now I am so used to not having meat I can survive literally on any kinds of vegetable. My friend and I have adopted such a simple lifestyle we are good without a TV, unnecessary clutter, needless possessions and eating only what our bodies require.

How times have changed so drastically and how I am now able to see the tragic side of life together with the hopeful is bewildering. And while I am still present here in this world, although cynicism has a way to creep up at times, I still want to be one of the aspirers for a better place where I can wake up in the mornings and smell the roses. Hope you'll be there as well.