header copy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Dream: Just Living it Awesome

Next Friday, Seven Sweet Surrender, the band I'm in will be playing at the UTP battle of the bands called Euphonious. This year, Seven Sweet Surrender is:

Christon (vocals & rhythm guitar)
Vern (keyboard)
Eddy (drums)
Kuo Chun (violin / percussion)
Javier (rhythm guitar)
Augustine (bass guitar)
Witton (lead guitar)

Now, what on earth has all that got to do with my title's post (Just Living It Awesome)? Let me explain, if you may.

In the year 2008, I was privileged to go for a college/university conference called Passion. Its theme was the realisation of the power and the worth of the youth of a nation and how they will shape up to be the nation's history makers of the future. The one thing that caught me was how awesome it was to see young Malaysians from all over the country who attended that represented one thing: people who would stand up for the most awesome life ever. Just by being there, it spoke of a person that they wanted to be part of something good, and something lasting in life.

What is this 'awesome' life? Is it life with some kind of purpose we run towards? Quite simply, just being awesome requires one thing, to live life for the joy it can bring. Surprisingly although not shocking, most of the things that makes life awesome doesn't really involve us achieving just our own wants and needs. I think events that involve words like 'good' and 'happy' are small, though not insignificant things that sum up something people like. However, I'm not going for just 'good', I'm talking about awesome!

I'll use football to present an analogy. Everyone feels good, when a prolific player scores a goal in a game, perhaps even a match winner. No matter how good that is, there is always a more overwhelming sense of joy when a fan watches his favourite team win the championship. There's a lot more felt, achieving together, rather than alone. I believe anyone who takes time to observe this simple fact, will realise that its quite true.

Now here's where I tie all this up to Seven Sweet Surrender. This year, leading the band, I decided to innovate a song. There's a song called American Dream by Switchfoot, that speaks of living for more than just the money and ourselves, and I thought, hey, why not the Malaysian Dream? Living large isn't just limited to America, but just about every single nation in the world. I just thought that it would be good to make it our own. I haven't just switched the name America with Malaysia. I've also written in some new lyrics that really makes it for my country, Malaysia. In the way I've written it, I hope to encourage people to move forward, not just with a sense of individual desire, but with collective purpose that I believe can help all of us.

I don't know if it sounds cliche, but as a friend mentioned once, nothing is cliche as long as you mean it. Well, I am absolutely certain I do mean it. That will be the reason the band plays that night. It won't necessarily be to please a crowd, although music already entertains in its own way. We'll be playing out of reason, not to be competitive, but simply to send a message across. It encourages me during practice, when the band members sang the chorus I wrote for Malaysian Dream, even though most of them won't be singing during the performance.

I feel that it is very difficult to send a message through just a song, and also with the possibility of doing it just once. I guess the rest has to come with the integrity we have in the way we live. Nonetheless, I believe it is worth a try. I'm not sure how many people believe it is, but I really want to give it a go. I know I'll be giving it everything next Friday.

Doing this isn't just about me though, its about the team, the group of people I'm doing this with. I've spoken to them as a whole band, and a number of them personally about why we're playing in Euphonious. Its good to know they agree and are willing to run this part of the journey with me. All of them I believe, have given what they have, and I'll take my hat off to Eddy and Vern who've joined us for the first time.

Well, if you're around UTP, and want to see and hear what's this 'message' we're belting out, you can come to the main hall, we'll be playing at around 8.30 p.m, the first band up. I'll leave you with what I've written in for Malaysian Dream:

Kucinta Malaysia negaraku, kerana inilah tempat lahirku
Malaysia hanyalah satu, cintalah Malaysia negaramu
Inilah impian Malaysiaku, semua berjuang dengan suara satu
Hiduplah lebih dari dirimu, cintalah Malaysia negaramu

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An update on things...

Well, I suppose I can say I've been busy with tests recently. I had two last week, one yesterday, plus on oral evaluation for my programming assignments on Thursday. Its that time of the semester again where going back to my home for a week sounds like a sweet idea. I have to say though, I was disappointed I didn't know at least one third of my Economics paper, I have a strange feeling my juniors will take the same paper since he didn't allow us to take the question paper back.

One of the first things I want to do when I get home is fix this:
My Taylor 214 CE acoustic guitar
I've honestly been really frustrated with it because the electronics seem to be giving me a problem again. I thought I'd fixed it before I came back to UTP, but it was acting just two weeks into the new semester. Because of that, I've had to burden Vern somewhat, borrowing her guitar for church worship and band practices. It does feel quite sad really, for me at least, that such an expensive instrument is not working the way I need it to.

Other than that, relaxing at home, or perhaps working on my Economics research group assignment and group programming assignment is what I'll be doing. I hope I'll get a lot of 'mind resting' though. For me, so far I feel like I've just lost it. Its like I've messed up again and because of that, the attitude that I carry many a time isn't exactly joyful. Really, sometimes without realising, you do things that can really have an impact on your life when you don't realise it.

When the good impact's there, you feel totally awesome, but when the negative impact comes, there's just so much lost. In such a situation, its hard to get up, because you haven't been knocked down by a punch, but rather you're being pinned down by a boulder. The difference between the two is that, one is a one-off event, the other is a huge thing that is there to stay and waits for you to really deal with it.

Anyhow, I'm really missing Hearts United, especially Jeannie, Wai Nyan, Yee San, Yvonne, Beatrice and co. I'm really  hoping I'll get a reasonably good internship in KL so I can at least meet with them over 6 months or so. Hearts United, what a random thing to talk about.

Another thing, when I go back to KL, I can finally pick this up:

The HP Mini 1000 that I won from the Hitz.FM HP Tongue Twista Challenge. I'm pretty pumped about it. It's the first time I've ever entered a radio contest, and I win this straight away! Talk about awesome. There was a prize giving ceremony at Astro HQ last week on Tuesday, but I can't go for that, neither can any normal person on a working day. What were they thinking? Sigh. Anyhow, the most important thing is I'm getting this baby when I get back to the nation's capital.

There's Euphonious coming up as well, where we'll finally be putting what we practise into action. Seven Sweet Surrender will be opening for Euphonious Preliminary Rounds at 8.30 p.m in the Main Hall of UTP. I think some of my band members were a little nervous to start first, but I think its a pretty good place to be in really. The band's worked well, and I'm really hoping we go in with the right attitude and give a positive impact to the people around.

Another random thing, I seem to be picking up on anime after years of refusing (or rather just not bothering) to watch any. At first, it started with Gundam 00, then Macross Frontier and very recently Full Metal Panic. I've finished watching every episode there is to watch of those series so far.The one common thing, is that they have huge giant robots fighting, which is just awesome. Honestly, when I watch those anime series, I seriously think the content challenges the whole Transformers idealogy quite competitively (meaning I think Anime Robots > Transformers). Somewhat, I'm really craving for a Full Metal Panic Season 3 (Fumoffu doesn't count as a season to me).

Before I sign off though, I thought I'd like to show a short message from Blink 182. I'm looking forward to summer 2009, I'll say.

I've noticed lately, not much substance on my blog, not that I intend it to be necessarily that way. But I think it'd be nice to put something nice and positive, add some nicer colours to the picture than the ones already here. Perhaps I'll do that on the next post, probably when I'm back home too. Until the next time then, laters.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

First Times

The following post is a recollection of first times that have happened to me quite recently within the past month or so.

I had no idea, but wow. This is the first time I got to see, feel and touch an actual Gundam figurine from the latest Gundam series now showing. I went to visit Farhan's room for the first time, and I was like, woah! You have that!?!??! I just thought it looked so beautiful that I even began to regret my decision to collect Star Wars figurines instead of these uber cool Gundam models.

 It really is a looker. It may not look so great here because of the camera picture quality, but really if you have the will, just buy one, it is totally awesome!

Also, just yesterday, I also for the first time ever took the KTM train down from Ipoh to KL, where I am staying for the weekend. The KTM station in Ipoh looks pretty clasic, as the photo will show you.

This is what it looks like once you're on the platform. The train was also just like this one here in the picture. I went down to KL with Eddy, we took the second class cab called the X1 which has comfortable and nice looking seats, plus a Samsung lcd tv at the front and back end of the cab to keep us entertained.

Right, another first happened while I was blogging. I stopped typing for about two hours in the middle of this post to watch Manchester United against Fulham in the FA Cup, and its the first time I have ever seen Park Ji Sung score by actually shooting with his feet (tap ins not included). He's had tonnes of shots saved this season! I'm really glad he got on the score sheet that way tonight.

He really played well. I can say that right now, he is my favourite player because he really works so hard. He's really so different from the winger dribblers, and he really packs a punch. I don't think people enjoy playing against him.

The last 'first time' event I want to write about is my first gig ever! Unfortunately, I don't have photos of that. I consider myself quite fortunate really. Hamizah gave my number to someone who was part of the team organising a dinner for students who graduated from foundation studies in UTP. She called me up and asked if we could play some songs, and so we did just that. It's nice to be asked to play for a change, and to be compensated for it too (we got paid), haha!

It was rather interesting being quite inexperienced in this area. I thought our band played all right, although I admit the next two bands outclassed us. As Eddy told Vern, it was bad simply because the two bands were a whole lot better. Nonetheless, for a first time performance, I think all of us can still hold our heads up high. Practice for Euphonious has been going on reasonably well, it'll be another first time in April where I'll be headlining the vocals for Seven Sweet Surrender during Euphonious.