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Wednesday, December 27, 2006







Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back from Sabah!

Unfortunately, I was unable to blog in Sabah as I was too busy working and ENJOYING myself after all that work. I've managed to take lots of photos though. In fact, I'm blogging in Starbucks at The Curve again, the same place I last blogged, haha! Seems to be my favourite spot nowadays. I actually just finished hanging out with Jialin, gonna hang out for a bit now and catch a movie at 7 with my mother. We're both movie goers.


Well, first off, the first few days in Kota Kinabalu was ABSOLU
TELY TIRING. For the first three days, we practically lived at the venue of the musicale's performance. Our venue is this hall that can accommodate about 1000+ people right next to the Menara Tun Mustapha shown below. The hall's shown below too.




There was so much to be done to that hall to make it work for us, carpenters were still working on the set. Some of our crew were setting up a lot of props. Sandy and Jason had already been working tirelessly, setting up all the moving heads (Gobo Lights) on the platforms and so forth. When I arrived there, only about 50% of the prepearation work was done, and we only had one more day to do everything up! Thus, a lot of us stayed around to help out and things like that.

Nonetheless, all the business was justified by two good performances on Thursday afternoon and night. We only had two shows in Kota Kinabalu. We even got a standing ovation from the crowd on the night performance. I have to say though, that performance was exceptional. I think it surpassed all our performances in KL. It was really good and I believe the ministers that watched the show were impressed. In fact, one of them asked us to perform one song for the Gaya Street Christmas celebration on the night of 22rd December which is a huge event for Kota Kinabalu. However, we were unable to do so because most of the musical cast flew back to KL on that morning.

For people like me who stayed back though, we had a really great time, just touring around KotaKinabalu. For the first time, I went to the Philipino Market where I bought a couple of souvenirs for friends. Wei Li and Weng Onn bought two 'bongo
' looking drums each, spending RM 40 on that alone. I tell you, they spent about an hour bargaining for that! If they hadn't bargained, they'd have spent RM 100 on the two drums each!! Wei Li bought this flute too though which he really likes for some reason. It even comes with a manual(shown below)!



I had the privilege of having Felix taking Weng Onn and I around Kota Kinabalu for the first day we were free in Kota Kinabalu. He was the one that took me out for a nice lunch at a noodle shop where we met Wei Li and Shen by accident. Wei Li said he heard about the Philipino market and asked Felix if he knew where it was so we all went there after that and predictably bought a number of things.

Later that night, eight of our guys in the musical production team went for a movie at GSC. Seven of them, excluding myself wanted to watch Eragon and I wanted to watch A Night At The Museum. I really wanted to go watch that myself without the others but people like Wei Li and Weng Onn persuaded me to go for what I would say is the WORST movie I've watched this year! My goodness, it is seriously CORNY! I just argued with Jialin about it and even the way she talks about it already proves it is just a bad show!

Actually, Wei Li already predicted by prejudice that this movie would be one of those funny shows that the directors actually tried to make serious, thus the term corny can be used. His prejudice that all these kind of movies with dragons and mystical whatnot always came out this way. He said the reason he watched it was because is that it's one of those movies to watch on a holiday to get some laughter.


Anyway, the next day, we were privileged enough to be sponsored by the S
utera group to have a fully paid trip to Manukan Island and a really nice meal. We took a 10 minute boat ride from the harbour to the island and were given excellent hospitality by one of the Sutera Group top managers who watched our musical. Incidentally, the Sutera Group is the main sponsor for our performance in Kota Kinabalu. When we reached the island, there were nicely decorated tables laid out for us, snorkeling gear, towels and all. The best thing was lunch! Really nice food (photos below)! A lot of people enjoyed the beach and the water but I didn't get in the water, didn't bring enough clothes.


Well, after all that, Wei Li, Paul, Sarah and myself hired a man to drive his boat around three islands for RM160 for as long as we wanted. What that meant was that we could stop at all of the islands for any amount of time we wanted. I tell you, it was really worth it. Pulau Sapi was the best though because that place had a particular section with loads of funky looking rocks!
We took a lot of photos around that area, Paul had the best shots though with his RM 20 000 dollar camera.

What I really liked about the whole experience though was the oppertunity to take p
hotos of the sunset. It wasn't as nice as we would have liked because there were clouds in the way but we still managed to take nice photos. I'll put some of them here. We also took photos of the Phillipino settlement on Pulau Gaya which has been there for many years now.


It was really nice just to take the photos and hang out with Wei Li, Paul and Sarah. For that whole day, it felt like one nice special group. There's a group photo of us, that I don't have, I've to get it from Paul, I'll upload it as soon as I can, haha! As for having good company in Sabah, I met Veon for the first time, this talented clarinet player who's quite young, 25 years of age and I honestly never thought she was as old as she was. Amazing, I think she'd pass for 20, lol! Other than her, Jason's been a pretty nice guy too, hardworking and friendly I'd say.

There's much more to say really but I think I'll just leave it here. The next post may just be all photos of the 'Sabah Experience'. Stay tuned for more photos! I'll put some island, beach and tour photos on the next post.

Coming Soon: The Starbucks Experience


Monday, December 18, 2006

What happenned yesterday

Right now, I'm at Starbucks, sitting next to my Chocolate Frappucino, blogging twenty minutes before I go in to Cathay Cinaplex to watch Barnyard. Trailer looks good, so I'll give that a shot. I just bumped into John and Amanda as well, only one day after John got back, hahaha! John's back from the USA until January 5th and Amanda's back from Singapore until God knows when, lol. I didn't ask her.

Anyway, yesterday painted a whole different picture altogether for the Drunk Before Dawn musical. It was definitely very different for us compared to the previous day where we also held two shows on the same day, one at 3 p.m and another at 8 p.m. The afternoon performance was the smoothest that we had among the previous performances and it seemed to pass by really fast for me. I think that shows, we're really getting used to putting the show on. I felt Act 1 pass by SO FAST, I was wondering if the actors were actually rushing the show. I asked Weng Onn, and he didn't seem to feel that way so I guess had a little 'whatever' mood for the afternoon. I hardly noticed anything at all. I did however notice one major mistake on my part. Right before the finale when the lights were off, and the dark lighting for the finale came on, I accidentally TURNED ON MY FOLLOW SPOTLIGHT!!! I was adjusting it into position and my idiot brain told instinctively told my hand to move the cover that blocks the light from going on the stage!!!

Well, that was that and nothing else could have been done about that. The night show was a very different story for us though. Sandy and Jason, who both work with plenty of arts people, especially because they work at KLPAC noticed a lot of Malaysian arts people were present that night, for the last show we would perform in KL. They noticed one person who is a figurehead for the philharmonic orchestra. Even more pressure to do well, although the cast may not have know at all.

Here's the crazy thing that happnenned. Just five minutes before the show, some YOUNG KID burst into the MEDIA ROOM and started pressing all sorts of buttons on the control panel and almost pressed a crucial button but I SERIOUSLY THANK GOD that Jon Ng managed to grab him just before he could do that. The media room door was unlocked because people had to go in and out. Incidentally, the media room of SIB KL is just about the most valuable room in the entire church. Well, thankfully, nothing got screwed up then and we managed to get that crazy kid to his mother. So, the show started and I was really pleased that I got NOTHING WRONG AT ALL.

Then this happenned, during intermission THE SAME KID RAN ON THE STAGE!!! Oh my goodness, the second incident with him that night, thankfully, church people managed to rush and get him out of there. The show went on better, no fault with the lights at all. It was by far my best performance out of all the previous performances. But, when it came to turn on the smoke machine for the fire scene inside the longhouse, the haze machine TEN METRES AWAY from the long house turned on! We found out later it was the kid that ran on stage that messed with the smoke machine in the longhouse, changing the settings that caused that error. My goodness, thank God the lights were off when the haze machine went on so Sandee could recover by just shine the lights depicting the fire.

Nonetheless, God is good, the show went on fine, everything else was absolutely perfect and all of us are very happy with it. Well, that's all for now, will try to blog when I'm in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah tomorrow!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Purrrrfecttt? Maybe, just minus 10% off if 100% equals perfect

After two shows that have been hit by SOME KIND of error, we finally have had one WITHOUT ANY MAJOR screw ups. I think it also came very timely, especially with Idris Jala present tonight for the musical. I had a chance to look at him up close, interesting to see the head of MAS in the flesh, after reading a fair bit about his positive influence on MAS that has virtually turned it around from loss to profit. MAS shares have gone up since he's come in.

Well, enough about him, the show was really great this time. I only wish Jialin, Ngai Yoong and Li Ting were around to watch this one. If only if I could have salvaged some night tickets, sigh. Nonetheless, what's done is done and it's great that what's just been done is the best of what we hoped for today. This time, lights and sounds went fine, technically very clean. I have to hand it to the cast who have mantained their excellent form which has allowed the technical support to finally compliment them as much as we should have

Sandee's pretty satisfied with what I did tonight with the exception of one of my lights coming off a little early so that's good. Curtain call wasn't messed up this time either, haha!

Once again, that's all for now, more to come soon.

- three down, four to go

Show number 2

Well!! First off, today's the first time I've seen Jialin in um.... going out stuff, haha! She looked great, lol! It's very different seeing her in KL, compared to UTP, maybe it's just that I haven't gone out with her to Ipoh or something before. Good to see her..... like that, wahahhahaha! It eliminates the whole, 'old' look.

OKAYYY, enough about her, back to the title of my post! Well, in light of the first paragraph, I invited Jialin and scrambled to get two tickets for Ngai Yoong and Li Ting as well last night and thank God there were tickets. I have no idea what they think about the musical, I hope they like it though.

Thankfully, there were no audio hiccups today. Sound was excellent, the orchestra, the cast, the choir sounded very good. Something to be happy about. A lot of preparation was done this morning to ensure that last night's mishaps did not occur so it made a difference.

One thing though was that, lighting has LOADS of MISHAPS. Oh my goodness, wires tripped for certain lights so Jason and myself had to quickly turn on our follow spotlights and try to rescue whatever we could. But some scenes, especially the begining, we just couldn't save it, we needed lights that could wash the stage for those. And I made a MAJOR mistake when it came to the curtain call. Last night I was already frustrated enough with my movements last night and this afternoon, it was just horrible for me. I don't know what are Sandee's thoughts on my screw ups today but I'm thankful that overall, the show was good, and I believe as impactful as it should be.

Well, just one hour before the next show, looking forward to it, eliminating all errors and getting everything right. Most of all, looking forward for God to show up. =)

- two down, five to go

Let The Show Begin!

Well well, the first show is over!! Finally, we’re off on our 5 show marathon in 3 days in Kuala Lumpur and two shows in one day at Kota Kinabalu. The show went very well, a few technical glitches occurred but nothing that can’t be fixed before the next show. Other than those few tiny errors, the show was excellent. The cast was great, they performed very well and although a microphone problem occurred, the crew and cast knew how to act to recover from it and that really made a difference for last night. To be honest, the superb acting and quality of the show simply overshadowed the error and straight after the show, many have been giving very positive feedback and it’s good to know this going into six more shows, inclusive of the two performances in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Incidentally, all tickets in Sabah are sold out too and they still want more!!

One thing about last night was that everyone’s attitude, character and spirit towards the whole show was good and I think it made quite an impact on the atmosphere in that auditorium. I really felt that the whole musical and Ps. Chew’s short time on stage was very impactful. That’s what the musical’s all about really. The most effective outcome from the result of any stage presentation is people’s hearts are touched and emotionally stirred. That’s what everyone’s work is centered on. The music, lighting and acting are all aimed at exposing something and reaching to a person to gain a realisation of something. Sometimes, when we tell people things, they just don’t seem to catch it, they don’t understand it and they don’t catch the spirit of it. That is why so much effort is put into the musical, to make people understand what it is all about and not just another stage act to see. Coming from the executive producer of the show, she was very happy with the way things went. I thought she might have been quite unhappy with the error that occurred but surprisingly, she was very pleased and that’s good for us.


On a personal note, I felt unsatisfied with the way I held my follow spotlight, I believe I was quite shaky at times which does spoil the atmosphere when most of the lights are dimmed or turned off and people see a vibrating or shaking circle of light. Nonetheless, the executive producer was happy with lights tonight so that’s good news for me. Sandee and Jason were also satisfied with my performance which signals that I didn’t do too badly either. Well, there’s still a lot of shows left and room for improvement. Hopefully, tomorrow’s matinee and night shows will be just as great and that everyone will enjoy themselves.


Oh, and I think Idris Jala of MAS is coming on Saturday night if I’m not mistaken, haha! I think it’ll be interesting for him, especially because he is a native Sarawakian himself. That’s all for now, one show down, six to go. We’re all up for making each and every show as great as possible. Everyone’s up for it and I know we’ll all be giving it our best shot. It’s going to be hard but I know we can do it.

Until next time, ChRisE


P.S - Oh, someone owes me their mailing address so I can send something over for Christmas! You know who you are, so send it quick! I need it before I go to Sabah on the 18th yeah!


See you later Jialin, Li Ting and Ngai Yoong!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

All About Photos













Incidentally, all about Drunk Before Dawn

Today's the Day

Hello, hello!! In just six hours time, it’ll be show time!!! After many months of preparation even before I was involved, the time has finally come and all of us here are in anticipation of what’ll happen tonight. Just last night, we had a full rehearsal and I just realized, it was our FIRST REAL REHEARSAL!!! I only noticed last night that the rehearsal we had was the first one where everyone who was involved was where they were supposed to be, especially the orchestra musicians led by none other than Isac Cheah.

Well, from the previous post, I did say I wanted to tell you a bit about lighting, and give some better pictures than the ones I have recently about Drunk Before Dawn. Last night was the first time that I executed all my cues for the follow spotlight for the musical and I tell you, you can feel the tension and pressure on you to turn the light on at the right time and follow whichever actor or actress I’m supposed to follow for the correct amount of time. It felt good though, to have an actual feel of what I will do tonight. There are two people handling follow spotlights, myself and Jason, Sandee’s assistant. Sandee is a lighting’s expert who works and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPAC), not Koala Lumps Protecting Andy Center. I don’t have many cues, which is good but they’re not that easy to execute either so I’m going to have to be very accurate with my aiming tonight, haha! Well, I have five shows to get used to my cues before performing in Sabah.

I just want to give a lot of credit to Sandee because she’s worked tirelessly at programming the lights from about 11 a.m to 10 p.m on average everyday for the past 5 days! She is paid to do what she does but the commitment she gives to her work is unquestionable. The lighting layout and effects for each scene have improved a lot from the original ideas put out and so we should have a good show on our hands.

Well, without further delay, here are the pics!



The followspot light I'm using



Some of the lighting effect



Another part of the set.

I've got more to put but I'm actually busy very soon so I'll do it another time I guess. See ya!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Drunk Before Dawn - An Explanation

Welll, I just realised how much I've been blogging about the musical Drunk Before Dawn that I'm involved in but have never explained what it's all about. Just last night, I was talking to Jialin who I'm giving the ticket to and she was quite skeptical about coming simply because she had no idea what would be happening. That's when I realised that I never gave her a proper explanation, haha!

Well, I'll make an attempt at writing a summary of the whole plot of Drunk Before Dawn.

The year is 1937, the Japanese have invaded Peninsula Malaya and the time when they will eventually reach Borneo is near. In the midst of Borneo, there is a tribe, the Lumbawang who live in drunkenness and fear of the spirits of the forest. Rice wine is made in excess and the men and women of the Lumbawang tribe are engulfed in drunkenness. The fear of the spirits and omens prevent them even from harvesting the fields. Poor hygiene is slowly causing deaths in their village.

A missionary, Frank has given his life to try and help the Lumbawang tribe. He is relentless in his efforts to save this tribe from drunkenness. One day, a letter arrives from Raja Brooke telling Frank that the Japanese are coming, that the British are withdrawing all protection, urging him to leave Borneo and that after reviewing Frank's reports that the Lumbawang tribe will be extinct, in just 50 years. So here lies a dangerous and troublesome situation where Frank now has no idea what will happen, no idea what to do, and no idea of what is his purpose with the Lumbawang anymore.

Well, that's all I want to say about the story so that I won't spoil it for anyone. The plot for this year's Drunk Before Dawn musical is the same as the one performed two years ago but there are certain changes here and there which give the story more depth than before and promises something good to come on the 15th, 16th and 17th of December at SIB KL, Bangunan Lim Chai Yin, Kuala Lumpur and on the 21st of December in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. All scripts and songs have been composed and written by the young people of SIB KL, including a Sabahan, my very dear friend, Felicia Cheong. I'm saying this because some people think we stole the script from England or something (how do you get that?).


Incidentally, this entire musical is based on a true story. The Lumbawang tribe really were facing extinction, and the incidents in the musical are true with the exception of certain things added here and there but essentially, it brings out the truth of a historical event many years back concerning my home country, Malaysia.



Here's part of the longhouse in the Drunk Before Dawn Set


More and better photos to come in the next few posts. I've got something to say about my work on lights as well in the next post so watch out for that.

Oh, wait a minute, tomorrow is our first show!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Myself and Drums





Today, I won't post about anything about what's happening because it seems to be repeating and repeating everyday, haha! Instead, I'll enlighten people with a little about myself, or one of my interests rather.

It was only about four years ago when I joined the music team in the youth group at church. I joined as a backup vocalist. Singing was something I liked, and something I still like to do today. It was a good experience and every now and then I might find myself leading for one or a few songs at youth. After some time though, I'd be looking at the drummer, just checking out his rythms, watching how he plays and so on. It was from there that I'd developed the interest to play drums.

At this point I'd already been listening to more band music. I'd started off with Blink 182 and developed tastes for other bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack and The Academy Is. Blink 182's drummer, Travis Barker plays very very well, fast and accurate and that was what really got me wanting to learn how to play drums. So as and when I could, I'd head over to church early before practice and just hit the drums, simply copying or trying to copy whatever I heard on a song. I was and still am a self-taught drummer. I only had one lesson from James Chew, and he only taught me how to hold my sticks properly, haha! Other than that, I've only learnt by watching people play and copying what they do. There's a great deal of satisfaction that you feel when you get it right. I guess that goes for anything that you have to try many times to get it right.

After a few months of practicing on my own, two of the drummers who played for youth recognised that I was a growing drummer at the time and asked me to play for the youth service. Initially I was quite skeptical because it's very different playing an instrument on your own rather than playing in a band. They told me that even though I may not have played in a band that I'd have to start somewhere, meaning that I'd have to start playing in a band first before improving further. So I went on to play for youth service for the first time and it was half bad. It wasn't very good and I wasn't quite satisfied. As I said though, it was half bad, which means it was also half good! From my playing I knew that I had enough skill to play for the youth team but had much room for improvement.

The experience was good and I actually started to listen to a more diverse array of music, listening to this funk band, Tower of Power which I think helped me to improve my timing which was great. Listening to general rock, punk or emo music can help with basic drumming but listening to other genres lets you know more things that you can do with a drum set. As time passed, I got more experience and have become what I would say to be a good enough drummer, haha! I won't say I'm good because I'm not but I've definitely improved a lot over the last two years. Friends such as Chris and Jon have told me that and it's encouraging to know that you're good or getting better at something. Currently, my drumming level is stagnant, I haven't improved but I don't think it's worsened either.

Well, having come back to KL, I've had the oppertunity to have some good sessions on the main church drums and to play one time for NSt which was a good experience. It's enlightened me on my strengths and weaknesses as a drummer and I hope to improve on that. I'm bugging Rudy, one of the very good rythmic drummers in church to teach me feel and groove. That's something I SERIOUSLY LACK. I've listened to too much pop punk and pop rock music until I don't know how to have a feel for more moderately paced songs! Rudy better teach me before I leave!








Until the next time,

ChRisE

Lights, Sheraton and The Curve

I tell you, it was a real long night last night for me. We only finished checking the lighting system at 3 a.m this morning! It took such a long time just to see which sockets worked out for the lights and which ones didn’t. By the time I reached home today, it was about 4 a.m in the morning. It’s a good thing I didn’t need to come in early today so I got enough rest.

After I eventually woke up, my mum and I headed over to Section 17 for lunch and then to The Curve just to walk around a little bit. I got a pleasant surprise, bumped into Wei Li when we just arrived and Chris Wee, Sam Wee, Kay, Jon Ng and Gavin met us at Starbucks. They’d all just been at Red Box and bought some stuff from G2000 that was having a good sale before they went off. Fifty percent of G2000 man, that doesn’t happen very often.

After going to The Curve, my mum and I headed over to Subang Sheraton to meet up with my father that I haven’t seen in months. He’s down in KL for a conference and will be heading back to Kerteh, Terengganu on Wednesday. Nonetheless, he’ll be taking leave on Friday for two weeks so I’ll see him more then. After dinner with my mum and dad, I headed over to church to help out in practice for the musical. With all the lighting set up now, it’s really looking like a good set.

Today was the first time I actually played around with the follow spotlight. I’ve been practicing with it today, hopefully I’ll have enough practice before the main rehearsals and the shows themselves starting this Friday. One thing I’m happy about is this year’s follow spotlight is much lighter and easier to use. However, it is HOT! My eyes can feel the heat being sucked out of the follow spotlight as I’m aiming the device.

Well, that’s about everything for today, still at church in the midst of practice, I can’t actually post this now so this post will be about one day late.

Oh, here are some photos I forgot to put on the previous post (NSt, Announcements, Wagner & Drums) about me playing for the last NSt service, this was during the practice I had with the NSt team.















Andy (Lead Guitar)




















Daniel Tan Jr. (Rythm Guitar)
















Myself (Drums)















Sharon (Keyboard), Nicole (Vocals), Wesley (Hidden - Keyboard)















Josh Wong (Bass)




















Josh and I




















Chris Wee (first time not playing a guitar, haha!)







Ok, here's one Chris didn't notice.





















Whoo!!! Almost qualifies for a *Humz Moment, hahahaha!

Thanks for all the shots Shammie! Will send the rest to you soon.

Monday, December 11, 2006

NSt

Well, I did mention that I would talk about SIB KL and NSt, but since this will be long, I’ll just mention what I want to share about NSt.

Just to let you know, I go to this church, SIB KL and it’s youth section was something I was very much a part of until now. NSt or NarrowStreet as they call it used to be known simply as Newsong, a name developed quite a long time ago, even before I came into SIB KL. I’ve been involved a lot there, let it be in leading group discussions, singing, playing drums or even organizing conferences. It’s been a big part of my teenage life, many influences and friends of my life have come from there. I’ve been away from SIB KL and NSt for a while now simply because I’ve been studying in Perak for half a year and even when I was in Taylors, business just kept me from going for NSt.

As I’m back in church during my in between semester break, it’s been really wonderful to meet back with a lot of friends and to see how they’ve grown as people, seeing the wonderful attitude they have, the enthusiasm that they show in doing what they do. It is really great and I’m thankful that they’re in church and not somewhere else doing something pointless because from the eye, you can see young people with huge potential to do great things. For NSt people who may read this, just take into account the song that Kim sang that day, incidentally, SHE WROTE IT! I believe that’s just a little of what God can do with young people, especially those in high school.

You know, when I see people like Wesley, Ivan, Sharon, Shammie, Nicole and Sasha just being involved and just having a great attitude, it touches my heart. As for myself, I just sense that people like Shammie and Sharon just have a heart for people and are simply genuine in their intent which is just awesome and from the way I see things, they seem to have matured more in character which is great. As people such as myself, Yap and a few others slowly move away from NSt it’s good to see young people coming up and own NSt.

I really believe that NSt has a lot of potential to grow, in numbers but especially more in character. I believe in the young people that are here. I don’t know what it is, but I just feel good when I’m around NSt people these days. There’s a good vibe about them, no idea what it is but it’s definitely something good. I just hope they’ll keep on doing whatever they do which makes them tick and to keep on growing to become history makers.



An Andy Provocation

Continuing on my last post, just want to share something I heard or rather listened to recently. You’d remember I mentioned on the previous post that I attended the last NSt service for the year and Andy was sharing with NSt for that day because Daniel Tan was sick. Among loads of things that he shared that I really want to put here but I won’t because of word and time constraints, I’m just going to highlight something he said from the bible. In the bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I believe the paragraph above accurately describes what love is, not the wishful and washy perceptions we have about love, saying its all about the emotion, the feeling and that’s it. For every reader right now, I want you to replace all the red words in that paragraph with your name and read it again. That’s right, replace all those red words with your name and read it again. After you read it again with your name, go on to the next paragraph.

You know when you read it with your name there, it sounds ridiculous because you yourself know it isn’t true. You definitely cannot meet all of those criteria. Now, I want you to do something else. Instead of replacing the red words with your name, replace those words with the name Jesus or maybe God if you like and read it again. Just do it and move on to the next paragraph.

You see, when you put Jesus’ name there, there’s so much more confidence in the statement that you read, it’s definitely much more believable than when you put your own name there. Why? Simply because it is true. There is a God out there and he has all these things, hence the phrase that goes God is love. Many people scoff at the thought but when you read this part of the bible, you understand why people make that statement.

You know, I’ve had a conversation with a few people regarding relationships and their view of what love is between couples is simply the emotional feeling, hence the saying, ‘I just lost my love for this person’ I tell you, the person who says that never loved his or her partner but only had an infatuation and emotional attachment. Love isn’t that, it’s about the commitment that you put in to any relationship, let it be your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, friend, parents and so forth. Do you want to know if you have love? Just check yourself using all the criteria I mentioned in the second paragraph. It’s not my criteria, but God’s criteria. If you want to know if you actually do love someone, girlfriend or boyfriend especially, see if you portray these characteristics and you will know if you have love.

Well, that’s all for now. Will write again soon and in line with the preview I gave on the previous post.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

NSt, Announcements, Wagner & Drums

It's been a few days since I've blogged but it's been really great. I went for the last youth service of SIB KL for the year, the youth group's callled NSt (NarrowStreet). It's really great to see young people, especially those younger than myself being in church. I even got the privilege of playing with their worship team because their drummer didn't turn up, God given blessing, hahahahaha! It was good to see Sharon playing for the first time too, ahaha! It was good to see people like Shammie, Nicole, Ivan, Josh, Chris Wee, Daniel Tan and Andy and playing with them again! The spirit of NSt people's just awesome and to see them enjoying themselves just makes you happy. What was even more amazing though was when I heard that Kim, a girl of 14 years of age wrote a song!! Incidentally, song writing is hard, I've had my hand at it and I have not finished a single song without Khye Shin's help. I just think what Kim managed to do is really cool and I hope she keeps on being inspired to write more songs, great stuff. Apparently, Kim is leaving for Melbourne next year and she's also in the Drunk Before Dawn musical choir. I guess it's a fitting goodbye, to be involved in something just before she leaves, I think it'll be a memorable experience for her.

Oh, and regarding the musical, Drunk Before Dawn, the lucky person to get a ticket is TOH JIA LIN!!!! Whoo hoo!! So dearest, you're the lucky winner and you'll be watching the Drunk Before Dawn musical on the 16th of December!! Well, in other news relating to this musical, i had a short conversation with Wagner, the drummer for Drunk Before Dawn and I found out he's been playing for FIFTEEN YEARS! No wonder he's such a great drummer! I also found out that he's JOHN THOMAS'S CLASSMATE!! For your information, John Thomas is one of the best drummers in the country and he goes on tour overseas playing with a funk band if I'm not mistaken. He's really very good, I go to the Jazz Festival in KL every year just to see him play.

On a drummer's note, I managed to record myself practicing on the main church's drumset which felt REALLY GOOD!!! I won't put it here but for those who might want to watch an average drummer in action, you can always ask me for the video, ahahaha! I've also got some videos of Wagner too. I hope to get more Wagner action on video today. I'm using my Olympus C 750 to record it, which is actually just a digital camera.

I have more to write but I'll update later so this post won't be so long, hahahaha! I'll be uploading more pictures soon. Here's a preview of what's to come:


LOVE - What Andy has to say about it
SIB KL - Why I miss it
NSt - Why I still have a connection there
FOOD!!! - My eating experience at One Utama
PICTURES!!! - NSt and Drunk Before Dawn

Friday, December 08, 2006

Getting On

It’s been a busy few days for me, being in church for the musical rehearsals and all. Starting this Saturday I’ll be focusing on my main role, handling the follow spotlights. Follow spotlights are those big manned lights that people can swing around to focus light on a particular area, usually a circle of a maximum radius of four meters. It’s fun to use but freaking hard. Why?? It’s hard to get it to move smoothly not to mention that it’s also very heavy. In my university, I saw two people handling one. In my case, I’ll be the only one!

Well, besides the Drunk Before Dawn musical that I’m involved in, it’s been good to meet up with a number of people I haven’t seen in a while. I got to talk a little bit to people like Shammie, Melissa Wong, Chris Wee and his brother Sam Wee (winner of the HSBC Young Entrepreneurs Award – from Taylors College and formerly SMK Damansara Jaya). Good to see them around church, otherwise I’d never see them.

There’s a couple of other people I want to meet though, especially Jialin!!! Dudette! We have got to go to Settler’s Café one of these days! For those who are in the dark, Settlers Café is this really cool place in Damansara Jaya, right next to Atria where you can go eat and play the most funky board and card games you’ve ever seen! It’s not like they play Monopoly or UNO (traditional modern board and card games), but games with names you have never heard of in your life! If you do have the time, do head down over there with a bunch of friends. They’ve got games for groups of all sizes.

Oh yeah, one lucky friend of mine will be getting ONE TICKET for the Drunk Before Dawn musical. I’ll tell you why it’s so valuable. You see, this musical is not only going to be in KL, it’s also being performed once in Sabah. In Sabah, this musical is being promoted by the Sabah Tourism Board. Not only that, in Kuala Lumpur itself, Idris Jala, the man currently in charge of Malaysian Airlines is coming to watch. It’s something really big, something not to miss. Check this blog for updates!! The lucky person’s name will be announced in the next few posts!

Oh, here are a few photos for you guys.



The fantastic Botswana woman I'm working for - Michelle Proctor


A 3-D model of the church stage for Drunk Before Dawn (Scale - 1:25)


This is the village house you seen on the right on the 3-D Model

Simply yours,

ChRisE

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Back in KL!

Hey everyone, I just got back from Perak about a day ago. It’s been a few months since I’ve been back in KL, and it feels good to be back. Imagine how all those people who go back to their hometowns only once a year or once every few years feel. My first semester is finally over; my second and final semester of foundation studies will begin on 21 January. I’m quite free before then.

Even as my holidays have just started, I already feel a little busy. This year, I am helping in my church (SIB KL) musical as crew, runner and follow spot light holder. The name of this musical’s Drunk Before Dawn, it was performed by my church two years earlier and they are doing it again this year with various changes that focuses on another perspective of the original script written. About 90% of the actors who were involved in the previous Drunk Before Dawn musical are not involved this time around, and so many new actors have come in to play their roles. There’s a fresh and younger feel about this new group of people as those who are involved this time around are generally younger than the previous group of people so a lot has changed from the previous musical. It’s interesting to see the changes made, especially for a person like myself who have been behind the scenes for the previous Drunk Before Dawn musical. A lot of my time will be taken out from it for the next two weeks, very much so until the 24th of December.

Well, besides this great big musical that I’m involved in, there are a few things that I’ll be doing or will try to do, which is to meet up with a lot of people. I just found out, I can’t meet Khye Shin until next week because he’s going down to Penang tomorrow and coming back on Sunday. Then there’s Lyn Ee that I’m trying to meet at LEAST ONCE, hahahahaha! I haven’t seen her since my last tution class before the SPM examinations, then there’s Praveena and Wen from Taylors. Then there’s Wei Yang as well. What I would really like to do though would be to jam with Khye Shin at ANY STUDIO. At this point, I really want to get on a good microphone or drum set and start playing. One thing I also want to try this holiday is to write a song, I’ve written a few songs which have been left hanging and it’s pretty hard to finish one up so I might be working on that. Khye Shin and myself have written two songs together, but I LOST BOTH song lyrics and chords! I think the best thing to do is to record myself using a tape recorder while I’m playing with stuff, that way I don’t think I’ll forget or lost my stuff.

To be honest, there’re loads more to write but this post’s pretty long already so I’ll stop here for today. Until the next time,

ChRisE

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another *Humz moment

Just one day after the first *humz moment I've posted about, I have a second one to write about! One thing about this though is that it's definitely more meaningful, hahahaha!

The day it happenned was on Saturday, the day I finished my last important exam, Business Management. Three people, Vern, Eddy and myself went to practice for the follwing day's praise and worship for cell at a house nearby campus that was rented by the church I go to. We held the cell group on Sunday because a lot of the church members had already gone for a church camp so there were only a few of us left. This house is usually used for cell groups and Sunday services, right now the size of the church is small, about 20 people in total (a classic example of SIB KL's roots, haha!). They also rent another building in Ipoh that we use for services on alternate weeks.

One thing that I forgot to do, or rather what all three of us forgot to do was to open the whole time of practice with a word of prayer. We went through the whole practice fine, we didn't have much problems with any of the songs we practiced, it was actually quite easy for us. We ended up just hanging around the house for a while, chilling, watching videos and stuff before we left, haha! However, just as we left the house, my hear felt uneasy, something was stirred in my spirit and I sensed that something was not quite right and I really felt it had something to do that we didn't pray at any time during our practice or having a real focus on God in that time. Practice was just for the sake of practice, getting the songs right on the next day.

The first thing that happenned that night was Eddy realised that his student I.D card was missing on the way back. The fine for losing your student I.D is RM50 and the security guards make quite a fuss and can punish you for not producing your I.D when you drive into campus, especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Eddy thought he may have forgotten to bring it out and was most probably in his room. Fortunately, the security guards didn't stop our car to check for student I.D so Eddy was saved from being harassed by the guards. By the time we left and reached our hostel, it was 1.27 a.m on Sunday. Just as we arrived our hostels, Eddy asked if anyone would want to accompany him to go refuel the car. Vern went back but I decided to stay with Eddy. Just before we left for the Petronas station, Eddy went up to his room to check if his student I.D was there. He came back down and told me it was NOT in his room. He thought he may have brought it out but left it in the house where we'd practiced.

Eddy and myself went to refuel the Kancil and headed straight to the house. Eddy looked around the house while I stayed in the car. He did not find his student I.D. Eddy locked the doors and we were about to leave the house when he suddenly realised that he locked the house with the KEYS INSIDE!! You see, there are three sets of keys for that house, and he just happenned to leave the wrong set of keys inside the house, the one with they key that opens the main door. Don't ask me why there are three sets of keys. We only had two other sets of keys that did not have one key that could open the front door. What that meant was that we would NOT be able to enter the very venue for our cell meeting!! Obviously. Eddy and I were very concerned. Just at that moment, I said a short prayer in my heart and then continued to help Eddy find a way to get back into the house and retrieve the keys for the front door. Then, I suddenly came up with this idea. I asked, "Is there any way to get into the house through the back?"

Eddy then remembered that there was a door at the back of the house which was the kitchen door. We rushed to the back of the house, armed with two sets of keys that we hoped would be the magical solution to our disaster. We found hope when Eddy managed to unlock the grill of the back door of the house and we were on our way to being very relieved. Then, this happenned, none of the keys we had could unlock the back door itself. I tell you, God really knows man, He really knows. We were extremely fortunate because there was a window right next to the door and this window is the kind that you see in government schools, windows with movable panes. Eddy managed to push them wide open and put his long arms through the window to turn the doorknob to get it open. It did not open. Eddy figured that a latch might be locking it in and he starting feeling above the door knob, he didn't find it, he then tried feeling under the door knob and HE FOUND IT!!!! I tell you it was just amazing, there was such a sense of relief and I really thanked God for it. We were so glad that it was the end of that incident and we were on our way home but we did not find the I.D.

On the way back, Eddy suddenly remembered that he took his I.D out in the car when we had dinner earlier on. He asked if I'd mind going back to that place to check if his I.D was there. I agreed, and so we turned around and went to the restaurant that we went for dinner, thank God that it wasn't very far away. Now, Eddy is not a dangerous driver, but he certainly is a FAST one at times. He just happenned to drive fast at the wrong time. He was speeding as we approached A POLICE ROAD BLOCK!!!! In my mind, I was like, "NO!!!" Both of us had not spotted the police road block beforehand. Eddy slowed down but he was still a bit too fast and we could see the policeman's face was not a happy one. Eddy stopped a short distance after the road block and the police got him out of the car and started questioning him. The conclusion was the policeman who talked to Eddy told him that he wanted to fine him. The policeman argued the fact that Eddy should have seen the roadblock from a far away distance and shouldn't have been driving at the speed he was driving. Not only that, he was talking to Eddy about disrespecting police authority. I really have to thank God because the policeman suddenly had a change of heart and let Eddy off the hook, he said, "Tak apa lah, pergi makan." It is really God's favour man, really.

We then went pass the road block to the restaurant where we ate, with more hope than expectation of getting the I.D back. It was already early in the morning, all the shops were closed and no one was around. We were both hoping someone did not take it from that place, if he really did lose it there in the first place. Low and behold, as we were arriving at the restaurant, the ID WAS ON THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!!! It was right at the edge of the place where he parked, he most probably dropped it as he got out of the car when we went for dinner. I tell you, it was in a position that it would be quite noticable and someone may have taken it but nobody did and that was just amazing! Eddy rushed out of the car and was on HIS KNEES as he picked up his student I.D. I was in the car, just laughing! I just could not believe what happenned, three incidents in one night, and it was all because of one student I.D.

I havet to say, it was really an amazing experience, so many things happenned within an hour and to see how each and every incident ended up with the result being in our favour. I really believe that it was all God's favour upon us and I really thank God for just being with us the whole way. I mean, so many factors were favouring us. Firstly, Eddy still had the set of two keys where one set of keys could unlock the back door grill, secondly, Eddy's hand was long enough to reach the latch! When we went into the house to see the latch locking the back door, we noticed that it was really low down. I tell you, GOD MADE EDDY'S HANDS LONG JUST TO REACH THAT LATCH. I doubt that I would have been able to do it. And then the POLICEMAN CHANGING HIS MIND!!! How many policeman have a sudden change of heart after approaching you with an angry, sour face??? And NO ONE PICKED UP EDDY'S I.D!! I tell you, all those factors are just outstanding proof of how gread God is and how he really stands by those who believe and trust in Him.

You know all this is a reminder to me of how you really need just to focus on God in your life, in anything that you do, what more during a praise and worship practice. The reason is that as much as everything seems perfect, easy and as much as man can do to make things right, everything can just fall apart at any time. It was really God reminding me that hey, how can you possibly think of not putting Me at the centre of your worship practice and believe that you've done right? I thank God though, for the ABUNDANT grace he poured out that night and it just astounded me. I've never experienced God this way and it was truly wonderful to experience it this way. I really thank God for standing by Eddy and myself and the lesson that i've learnt which is especially useful given my involvement with the Drunk Before Dawn team in two weeks time. Do focus on God, and God will just do the rest.

Something that relates a little bit, maybe not so much but it does relate a little to my story is this.A saying of how God works would go something like:

God will bless you with gifts, as long as you do not focus on the gifts, but focus on the Giver.

One more thing,
As long as you *humz, the *Humzter will give you *humz as long as you do not focus on the *humz, but focus on the ultimate *Humzter.

Thank you God, very very much!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A *Humz Moment

Exams are overrrr!!!!!!!! Whoo hoo!! Well actually, it's not really over, but there's only one paper left, Modern Music, which is just an extra curricular activity test so I do not have to be too worried about that. All I have to do is just sit for it and I'll be pretty much safe! As anyone would, I feel pretty relieved now, although I am kind of bored because I don't know where all my friends are or what they're doing so I decided to blog. Just got off the phone with Khye Shin actually, looking forward to jamming with him At Akakarya Studios at Uptown Damansara. Looking forward to meet up with friends, hope Drunk Before Dawn doesn't take too much of my time, really want to hang out with loads of people!!

Well, actually, what I really want to blog about, is the title of my post for today. This is what I like to call a *humz moment and I hope that I'll have many more to come to share with all of you. Just yesterday evening, at 5 p.m, I was in my university library studying and the lights suddenly went off, they were closing! It was a little annoying as it was still exam week, and by right, the library should be open until 12 a.m. I guess the staff got lazy since it was the weekend right before every foundation student would head back to their hometown. The undergraduate students had already finished before us, hence left for their respective hometowns even before my exams started. So, I headed off from the library with a couple of my coursemates who were all studying for our final important paper, Business Management. We hopped into a friend's car as it was reaning and we headed for the cafeteria near our hostel.

We were in luck as the guy who makes some really nice 'roti canai', 'roti telur', 'roti planta' and all that was still around and I got around to ordering two pieces of 'roti telur bawang'. My coursemates also ordered some 'roti' and we all sat together to have a short tea break before resuming our studies for Business Management exam. Then, for the first time, I noticed that my coursemate, Thian Mei Fang from Sarawak was holding her spoon in her left hand and obviously, the fork in her right.

Christon:
Hey! You're left handed!

Mei Fang:
Yeah, I am.

Christon:
Oh, I never noticed that.

Mei Fang:
Oh do you know, they say about left handed people? (pauses a moment) They say left handed people are clever and beautiful(obviously referring to herself).

Christon:
Oh, I see. Do you know what they say about right handed people?

Mei Fang:
What?

Christon:
They say right handers are smart and sexy.

Mei Fang:
Oh, I see..

Christon:
Just to let you know................ I'm a right hander.


HAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! SUPER *HUMZZZZZZZZZZzzzzz

This *humz moment has been brought to you by *Humz Inc.

With *humz,

Your dear *humzter