Friday, July 29, 2005

Cut Short

I've been looking like a bag lady when I go to work. My last haircut has left me with uneven lengths of feathery ends that would make sudden bends and twirls if I didn't brush them down properly after a shower.

So I went to the hairdressers to get a trim.

(JUST a trim.)

I was walking towards the salon during lunchtime and I didn't even make it seem obvious that I was going to enter or even show interest, but this guy pops out of nowhere, stops me in my tracks and proclaims a need to re-color my hair. I declined but said I did need a trim.

(JUST a trim.)

So he showed me in, sat me down and started rambling off about what colours would be good for me and where he would place the highlights and everything, and I slowed him down... I said all I wanted was to make my hair a little neater, just balance and tidy up the sides, and at the same time maintain the length because I've been trying to keep my hair long. All I wanted was something that will grow out nicely. It was a long-winded request but I figured it was the best way to make sure that I was going to get a trim.

(JUST a trim.)

He whips out his pair of scissors and starts snipping.

"You want to see the packages we have you can cut and colour and treatment for only RM177..."
"Uh, no thanks, I just want a-"
"It's ok if you don't want then we also have a cut and treatment promotion going on no need to colour..."
"Erm, I wasn't really thinking about get-"
"I feel your hair is very damaged but don't worry I can give you more discount..."
"I'm in a bit of a rush actually, so maybe I could come back and do it anoth-'"
"You know the package is very cheap you don't be able to find this price anywhere else and you just need to add RM20 more to get a sham-"
"DUDE! I have no money nor time to do any package... All I want is a TRIM."
He paused momentarily and blinked.
"It's okay highlight only half an hour treatment only ten minute..."
"...And ATM very near here."

The hairdresser made the classic mistake of being overzealous with his art. He didn't give me a trim. Granted, he stayed true to my word and kept the length, but he cut the rest of my hair close to my head. Which means that I'm now back to square one (refer to profile photo), only worse off. My director is envisioning the character I play next January to have at least shoulder-length locks. And with hair that stubbornly grows an inch every six months, I think I have just made him a very vexed man.

I won't feel sexy when I do my dance anymore; no more bangs to flip away from my face, no more provocative effect from running my fingers through. In a strange form of consolation, I can lessen the contradiction that's stated on the T-shirt I'll be made to wear.

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Can't believe the darn thing is happening in 27 hours. No-one is ready. Graciously accepting all forms of luck donations.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Canned Heat

Three days to go before I get retarded on stage.

I don't have even half of the moves memorized, let alone perfected.

Someone please tell my mommy I love her very much.

The past 2 months of hip hop classes at The Dance Space have been fun, but the other 3 dancers and I have been left in a bit of a limbo by the organizers. My persistent demand for clarification from them led to me being appointed the group leader - not that I needed the extra stress but I appreciated their thoughtfulness.

We were told to organize four separate sessions with our dance instructor primarily to put together an opening act performance for the Rexona Dance Challenge Grand Finals. Trying to arrange a time when the dancers, instructor AND the Space were available at the same time, it's a miracle I still have a full head of hair.

We finally managed to get together over the weekend. Lily, who's earned her Degree in Dance from London, is from Thailand, has a funky wristband watch and a bum that's yum. Her moves are also a b*tch to learn.

She's busy for the rest of the week, and we gotta pay for studio rental if we continue using the Space, so it's up to us find another venue to master the steps and synchronize. It doesn't help that 3 of us don't have a car and one has lost his mobile phone.

There's a lot of expectations heaped up on our dance. We're supposed to warm up the 1000-strong crowd and 'intimidate' the contending finalist groups. We're talking about mutant 10-metre wingspan butterflies here, people.

My friend Bahir says if all else fails on that day, then I should just think of my fave wake-up song, dance... and keep my fingers crossed that I'll look just as cool as Napoleon.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Everything Changes

I did a shoot last month for a TV ad for 8TV; only when I came for an apparel fitting session the day before did I find out it was for a sanitary pad. But hey, Whisper rocks.

It was supposed to be a full day shoot but I had a group presentation at college that day at 3.30pm, so the crew shifted the time up by an hour (5.30am). The ad was to be mainly still image-based, with a few video snippets in between. The theme would be about going through changes in life.

The 'film director' shoot was done first, at M8 Studio in Kepong. This studio was the one CLEO magazine mainly dealt with for its photoshoots. While I was employed there, I was itching for a chance to check it out. I was however always told to stay back in the office to do my work; I was the Anakin of the CLEO Council. My first-time visit therefore provided a sense of closure, if not a hint of self-achievement... even... power.

The day didn't have a very animated start... the hairstylist had to keep propping my head up while he was working on me because I was falling asleep in my chair. But my eyes lit up once I walked onto the set and was given one of those thingamabobbies which film crew clap to signify the next take.

Trying my luck with Electronic Voice Phenomena
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Right back atcha.
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The hairstylist David brought along some wigs he bought specially from China - they felt and even tore like real hair (I grew a little fidgety). The ones that were used to depict my age represented the opposite: for my younger years I looked like Farah Fawcett, and for my mature years, Go Go Yubari.

The marriage scene was shot partially in the studio before we ventured out to FRIM to take outdoor shots. My kept tripping over my dress, and my upper lip, as usual, was giving me a stubborn sweat mustache. But Mark, my groom for the day, helped keep my spirits up. We discussed baby names and honeymoon plans.

If Princess Leia was from mainland China
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I now pronounce you dude & dudette
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The graduation scene was shot at the same location. The gown was HOT.

"I can't feel my hat or my hair falling off and I don't even know your last name, but you know what? That's ok, because you're still my best friend! Let's all laugh together now! Ha ha. Hee hee."
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The lesbian benefits of loose uniform
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We then shot off to the heart of town, at a swanky office space in Pudu. There was a cake bought for the birthday scene (the crew had a tough time trying to find a bakery with the appropriate expertise to write '21' all across the side). I didn't get to have a bite though. So much for celebration of adulthood.

"Cor! Look everybody, CANDLES... And they're GOLD!"
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"Your hair is naff but we still love you!"
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I barely had enough energy for the last scene. I started falling asleep in the hairstyling chair again and my makeup around my eyes was crinkling up. I was also starting to worry about the time. Luckily it wrapped up a bit quicker than the other scenes. They took a final close-up shot of my face looking at an imaginary product floating in the air, smirking, and then having to turn back at the camera to give a full frontal smile. I'm thankful that it was not included in the final edit. The cheese factor would have forced Bega out of business.

Yes, I love managing. Doesn't it show?
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My friend Steph asked me if I was wearing a wig for this scene too.
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The director dropped me off at my college a half-hour late, but luckily my team's turn wasn't up yet. We gave a kickass presentation and almost earned full marks. I was surprised that the day went so well.

Probably because the crap would come much later. A month after the shoot, I was given a call from 8TV again. I was being called back to do a follow-up to the ad, a spin-off mini 'dramedy' about the same character. Seven episodes, same format, 2 minutes each. To be shot over one weekend. That was utter madness. On Saturday, eighteen hours with no breaks except for lunch and dinner. It was a neverending cycle of Shoot!-Wardrobe!-Makeup!-Hair! By the last scene of the day at midnight, everyone was high on fatigue and people were laughing at people laughing. The next day went a bit more smoothly and lasted 10 hours; it was obvious that everyone was thoroughly worn. I was held back after the last shoot to record the narration; I was surprised that for a technical first attempt at voice-overs, apart from tripping over my words, the director didn't find any other reason to do more than one take. I think he just wanted to go home.

One episode will be aired after every few days, on the 8TV Quickie at 11.30pm. I've no idea of what the schedule is like, but I've been told that the series will premiere tomorrow night (Saturday).

My aphrodite makes a cameo appearance as a bitchy roommate, so for anyone who's curious, keep an eye out for her.

In the meantime, enjoy the ad that started it all.

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Update: The 8TV Quickie Dramedy "...A Better Change" is on every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday night.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Her luscious tresses were pinned up into a haphazard bun. Her white denim jacket revealed just a hint of curves, her tightly rounded hips subtly peeping from underneath. Her heavy-lidded eyes twinkled through half-rimmed oblong spectacles. Her naked bee-stung pout was sensuously unassuming. She was an untouchable image of the sexy librarian fantasy... And then she shook my hand.

Her name was Sarah, and I was enamored.

She was an intern at 8TV, and a vital figure during a shoot I did over the weekend. She developed the storyline and wrote the script, and coordinated the wardrobe too. I didn’t know what to think when I first laid eyes on her: whether to desire to be her, or to just desire her.

Lusting after women is not new territory to me, but my heterosexual status has reached an all-new threat level with this particular specimen. She was next to perfect: she was good-natured and intelligent, professional yet warm, assertive yet fun. She had a great laugh. And her Canadian intonation made my toes tingle.

It would probably be the first and last time that I’ll see her, since she’s leaving back to Vancouver at the end of the month...

In a desperate frenzy this morning I Googled her name, and found her own website. Turns out she’s worked as an extra for a few big Hollywood films and has established herself as a model and thespian. Unfortunately for me (and probably her boyfriend too), I find accomplishment to be a huge turn-on.

Work has taken a back seat today, I’m dedicating it instead to a drool fest in conjunction with her picture page containing hundreds of succulent thumbnails.

I’ve been such a bad girl, and there’s only one person who can spank me. Oh the shame.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tying up loose ends

I hate ending friendships. You wake up in the morning feeling so perturbed. It's like having enemies without the vengeance. So I'm thankful that this year so far has seen two reconciliations. Both were with guys whose lives I screwed up at some point in time because of the grass stuffed between my ears. I've learnt my lessons, and would like to think that I have grown out of my poor-little-confused-girl phase.


I just had lunch with a guy I haven't seen in 2 years.

Z and I used to hang out a lot due to a similar taste, or rather distaste, in humour. Tearing down the bomb shelter hallways of our underground college (as in running, not vandalising) and causing a general ruckus wherever we went, people avoided us completely for their own welfare. We made plans to take over the world with our own radio show and tabasco french fry franchise. And we both shared a soft spot for assam laksa.

The addiction to our harmonizing fun lead to us questioning the platonic nature of our relationship, and the potential of something more began to mushroom. Z was aware that another guy on the opposite side of the personality spectrum was pursuing me, whom I was also giving signs of a serious pair-up. S was possessive and insecure but I felt I understood him and wanted to take care of him. I didn't dare tell him about my dilemma for fear of him going ballistic.

He did eventually find out by himself. He went ballistic.

I was forced to make a decision. After a lot of deliberation, I chose S over Z. S was intent on "f***ing killing" Z if he ever saw his face in college. Me, feeling that I understood him and wanting to take care of him, couldn't do much about it. As much as I still wanted to keep things neutral between Z and I, I was also fearful for what my new boyfriend would have done to me, or more importantly, Z, had he seen us exchanging casual words at the college stairs. My friendship with Z, and whatever grew from it, came to an abrupt end. From then on we never talked; he then went to Oz to finish his degree.

My relationship with S had its ups and downs, and all the while I was feeling horrible for abandoning Z without ever knowing how he coped with it. A few months after the break-up, I picked up the courage to send Z a profusely apologetic message on Friendster, that I missed how things were between us. He responded quite nonchalantly, that he gave up trying to figure things out a long time ago. But he was looking forward to my proposal of catching up over our favorite meal when he got back to Malaysia.

Yesterday I got an MSN messenger contact request. I had no idea who it was until I took a closer look at Z's ambiguous display picture. He told me that he had already graduated and been back in town since January. I couldn't wait to see him again.

So we met up. He said I haven't changed much at all, and thankfully, he hasn't either. We bitched about how old we were getting, revived our dreams of taking over a frequency on the airwaves and laughed like the nutcases we are... all over steaming, satisfying bowls of assam laksa.

Be Right Here

He and I were theatre acquaintances who ended up being college classmates. We hung out regularly despite our separate cliques, and out of respect grew admiration. But there was always this boldness about him that made me feel inferior. And the people he hung out with were relatively eloquent and opinionated. To make up for it, I unwittingly created this new, too-cool-to-care ego around him, whenever we were with college friends. He noticed the difference and told me that it hurt him a lot. He didn't understand it and neither did I. Every time I went home beating myself up for it and making a note to treat him better, the fake pride would inevitably surface again the next day.

Nine months later, out of mental fatigue and frustration, he decided to cut all ties with me. I realized my mistake, but it was too late for reconciliation. He ousted me out of his life and my attempts to talk to him bounced off a cold shoulder. I cried to a few friends, whom all told me that he only did what was the most rational thing to do.

Another two years passed, and after a chance encounter at a shopping mall, we scheduled a day to catch up, during which the topic of our relationship briefly surfaced. We agreed that the odds were always against us, and that we were never meant to be together. By this time, considering the guilt trip that had been plaguing me since college days, I suspected that my cockiness had dissolved. I was gravely wrong; when I saw him in a club a few months later, I froze, whizzed around and deprived myself of the opportunity to greet him. I longingly watched him exit the club with his friends as the night came to an official close. I gave him a text confessing to him that I saw him that night and didn't do anything about it. That familiar feeling of exasperation led him to resume his shroud of apathy.

For years, I had been wondering how and why I had gone wrong. There was really no excuse to act this way. After discussing with a friend about my issue, he helped me realize an obvious denial: that I really loved this guy. Something so straightforward was to me a mindblowing epiphany. The transformation of regret to remorse killed me for a few weeks. Why only now did this dawn on me? And long after things have happened and people have moved on, should I still tell him? Would it matter? Would he care? After much fretting and determination to make it known, I gradually melted into this mellow stage of letting things pass. I gave up all hope of starting our friendship anew... But after acquiring this new piece of knowledge and subscribing to a new perspective, I now kept in mind that if I ever bump into him again, I will give him a seriously big hug. No more hiding. Only now did self-inflicted emotional damage sound like a pretty retarded concept.

Months creeped into another year and being your average soul haunted by lack of closure, I continued pouring out the energy through my pen. Only this time, the words flowed out a lot more easily. I was on a roll. At the same time, I kept myself happy by meeting new people and catching up with old friends.

One fateful Friday night a few months ago, my buds and I decided to venture out of our clubbing comfort zone, migrating down the road to another popular bar. It was disco anthems galore and I was having a ball. As the second last song, the summer grooves of "Right Here" sweetened the thick air. On the dancefloor, my eyes were keeping a look-out for a friend whom had gone to the restroom when I saw the back of someone else's head bobbing out towards the exit.

My heart made an audible pop.

It was him.

Without the aid of cognitive activity I excused myself from my friends and waded through the sea of party-goers, trying to catch a glimpse of him again. I squeezed myself out between the last people sandwich in front of me and I saw his back facing me on the right. I grabbed his shoulder. He spun around and gave me a look of befuddlement for two extremely long seconds. I was waiting for the obligatory "Oh, Hi. What's up?" But he instead sprung back, gave a hard blink, shook his face into the widest grin and shouted a deafening "HI!"

Whatever defenses I would have usually built in front of him was completely nonexistent. He asked me how I was and instead of replying, I rushed into his arms and held him tight. He did the same. And the song ringing in our ears stepped up to an entirely new level of significance.

He was saying everything I thought he had buried ages ago. He also seemed to notice the demise of my guarded exterior. For the first time ever, my words effortlessly oozed with mutual warmth. In that unassuming corner of the bar, a moment was thoroughly devoured. It felt very surreal - compliments to the cigarette smoke providing that ethereal effect - and most of the time I was just guffawing in disbelief.

So here I am in my office on a so-so day, with the radio playing "Right Here" Human Nature remix by SWV. Being reminded of what a sucker I am for praising the notion of good things happening when you least expect them to. Reminding myself of how all my poems now sound like Care Bear rhymes.

Liberation is a cool feeling indeed.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I thought I knew but I had no idea

Disco-very 1:
The Wella Trend Vision 2005 hair shoot came out recently, in a separate booklet packed together with Sisters magazine, Issue #795. I wouldn't have been able to explain the definition of 'bad angle' any better.
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Disco-very 2: I scored as a wha-?
You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative 88%
Idealist 69%
Fundamentalist 56%
Postmodernist 56%
Romanticist 56%
Existentialist 38%
Modernist 19%
Materialist 0%

What is Your World View? (updated)
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Disco-very 3:
I sound a bit like Dido when I'm sick (WAV file)

Disco-very 4:
I sound a bit like R2D2 when I'm giddy, this freaked the hell outta me. (WMV file courtesy of Alex, shot with Shaz during small Xfresh reunion)
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Friday, July 08, 2005

Doggone dengue

It starts off like a flu. Then that flu gets squared, and squared again, and the process carries on until you're a mess of twisted flesh left begging for mercy or at least a good swig of sake. The night before I got admitted into the hospital, I gave up trying to sleep after seven silent hours of tossing around in bed, my mind making drunken roadtrips across the highway separating Lalaland from Nightmare Central.

Having dengue fever, in a nutshell, sucks.

A healthy blood platelet count is 150 or so. My first blood test revealed mine was around 60-ish. The next day it dropped to 44. The doc said that once it hits 20 then I would need a transfusion. There's no cure nor medication for dengue, so all we had to do was wait for my body to start fighting back.

I learnt in a rather unfavorable way that the worst part of the disease was not the symptoms. Being "under close observation" initially sounds irresistably sweet - you get nurses coming in every few hours to ask what you've eaten, how many times you've gone to take a piss, the whole shebang. Sounds like my mom actually. But yeah, on some visits they come in with these horrible little grey containers carrying gauze, plasters and alcohol swabs. And these nurses, as cherubic-faced as can be, seem intent on promoting the propogation of needlephobia. They poke and prod you as though it's some twisted round of Pin The Donkey. The nurse who plugged the intravenous drip into my wrist seemed oblivious to my worm-like writhing. "See, no pain!" she chirped, and upon noticing blood oozing from the puncture wound, quickly hid it with surgical tape.

One of the nurses just gazes at the needle she so casually shoved up my arm. "Oh, your vein has run away!" she tells me. My freakin' arse it's run away, you apathetic cow. Then she yanks the syringe out and starts observing the green-blue lines protruding through my knuckles. "I'm going to try here, it's going to hurt a little bit, ok?" A LITTLE BIT, yeah lady? I'm sure it does only smart a negligible amount, considering the fact that my last two fingers remained numb for 3 days.

Surely there must have been other less painful ways of drawing blood, like maybe digging my nose real hard or taking advantage of my incidental time-of-the-month...

But I digress.

My stay at the hospital was blissfully unconstructive. My basic activities for the day consisted of sitting up to eat and flopping backwards to sleep. I watched CNN, HBO and my first episode of 'Kim Possible' on the Disney Channel. Can't say that the food was stereotypical. And the icing on the cake? Well, notice that I'm wearing the same clothes in all the pictures... go figure.

Video of a sissy retard's first blood test

Hi-ho, hi-ho, blood pressure very low
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The dreaded grey container
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The lazy man's way of drinking isotonic soda
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For the hospital fees I paid, I wouldn't expect anything less
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A sad attempt to earn pity from Christian buds
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2am, bored & bedridden
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No more, p-p-please...
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Giving home-cooked meals a run for their money
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Finally off the drip and wandering around
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Damansara Specialist Hospital's mark of excellence
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Da Bomb

It's been a while since I've played this. A relief to know I haven't lost it.

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