24 June 2013


Every time I miss her, I listen to this and I wonder if I ever truly healed. The heart is callused but the scabs a painful reminder, always. You pick at it, it no longer bleeds but you imagine the pain, only not too long ago, it didn't need much imagination for the searing pain to spread through you and cripple you right there and then. Tonight, I thought about a certain someone. An acquaintance or friend by circumstance whom I have gotten fond of in a short amount of time. He who has been in my thoughts lately, he who is broken, he who is trying to once again make sense of life from the remnants of it,  he whom I would have liked to get to know better and to care for, he who is sensitive and vulnerable to those he chooses to bare to. He who has lost someone, perhaps not to the angel of life but who's to say the pain is not comparable... I dedicate this to him and to anyone out there who's lost a loved one. The lyrics will hit home. 


Go to bed, everything's alright
Don't know the whole world's changing
As you sleep through the night
Wake up slowly and it's a different world

Hear the news and the floods begin
Screams so loud but only felt within
Heart is shattered
The pieces can't be found

I feel your pain
I wrote this song for you, for you
You will make it, you will make it through
I promise you he would want you to

Months go by still living in a daze
Don't know what you've done
With the last seven days
Soul is numb and life is like a dream

Helping hands but you push them away
How could they understand
Don't wanna share your pain
Afraid to heal 'cause that would mean goodbye

I feel your pain
I wrote this song for you, for you
You will make it, you will make it through
I promise you, she would want you to

One day sunlight hits a photograph
And it makes you smile
The memories dance around you now
And they make you smile

You're not alone, you'll never be
Just like the stars they oversee
And they whisper to you you're still, you're still
You're still, you're still alive

I feel your pain
I wrote this song for you, for you
You will make it, you will make it through
I promise you, they would want you to

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow

I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die

23 June 2013

The pursuit of happiness

Sometimes I stray,sometimes I doubt, sometimes the constant dilemma between having a steady income job and following your passion throws me down hard on my knees,sometimes I wonder if I am even cut out for this,if I am even any good..but I always come back,you are my lifelong obsession. Dance, whether its when I am performing or teaching or choreographing or catching a world class dance company performance or even an amateur dance school recital or watching people with two left feet do the funky chicken...it truly makes me happy

20 June 2013

Wear Sunscreen

Heard this on the radio today. Never gets old. Now if only we could heed all its advice.

26 May 2013

I am always mildly amused when people point out to me my quirks and idiosyncrasies, especially those I am unconsciously guilty of. I guess it's still nice to know that people take notice of you even if its just peculiarities of your character and whatnot. My friend Rebecca was the first to point out my slight obsessive compulsive disorder with food a while ago. Apparently, everything on my plate is always neatly divided with no chance of a food crossover. Note the word 'apparently' being used as up till her observation, I was completely unaware of operating on this system all this time.

Yesterday, a cast member from the musical I am currently a part of asked why I brush my hand against the wall every time before I reach for the door knob in our dressing room. I explained it as one of the measurements I take to prevent static shocks. Old habits don't die, instead they become an automated process that bypass your conscious level while carrying it out. I was surprised anyone even noticed.

So, I was mildly amused twice today.

20 May 2013

Broken Bridges

今晚是“断桥”音乐剧的首映。 我在黑暗的后台悄悄地偷望观众席, 看到爸爸坐在台前的第二排, 我忍不住泪流满面了。 我从五六岁起开始习舞登台表演都已二十多年了, 爸爸很遗憾地从没观赏过我的演出。 但这音乐剧对我而言意义重大所以几个月前我已不断要求爸爸别错过这次的演出。 我们艺术界的最渴望的就莫过于观众的赞赏, 尤其家人的支持。凭着满腔的热情和不屈不饶的精神, 我们走这条路经历了多少心酸和坎坷往往不为人知, 真是 “台上一分钟, 台下十年功”, 但这是我们的选择。 演出结束后, 我跑向观众席给了爸爸一个熊抱, 内心感动的实在不想放手。 爸, 谢谢你。 我爱你。

15 May 2013

A kiss a day

In my family, hugs and kisses or even a simple 'I love you' are extremely rare occurrences, to the point of almost non existent. I can literally count with my fingers on the times where such display of affection was ever exchanged. It was just the way we were brought up, a lingering product of a cultural hangover from the older Chinese generations.  Admittedly, it has always left me wanting more, some form of deep unfulfilled desire for affection and intimacy. Compensating this and truly understanding the power of love, I hug and kiss my friends, my sister, niece and even students as much as I can. I am working on telling my old man that I love him every day too but Rome was not built in a day. It remains a fiercely dedicated work in progress however. 

Perhaps being on the giving end rather than the receiving end more often had me momentarily forgotten the wonderful feeling of a simple hug or kiss. Yesterday morning, my housemate had to wake me to attend to a matter in the house as she was in a hurry to get to work. She knew I have been working very hard where my days have turned into nights and nights into days. I was slurring and instead of asking her for the time, I asked what day it was as I had really lost track. She answered Monday then kissed my cheek before letting me stumble back to slumber land. Although I fell back into sleep again almost immediately, my heart was warm and I was smiling. That wonderful feeling lasted the day. What a way to kill the Monday blues. Just thought I'd share :)

05 February 2011

Speechless by the King's Speech

Drawn upon a rich narrative and set amidst the beautiful wintery landscape of England in the pre war years, The King's Speech is poignant, exuberant and unexpected in many ways. It is a biopic about the stammering King George VI (played by Colin Firth) who found himself ascending the throne following his brother's forced abdication overcoming his stammer and ultimately finding his voice to helm the nation to greatness. It is a moving story about an unexpected friendship developed between a king and his unorthodox speech therapist that marked the beginning of a great era in the history of Britain's monarchy.

The film opens with various close shots of a wireless broadcast mic that at once seem looming, large and intimidating. Director Tom Hooper is a master at the art form as throughout the film, it is worth noting the many interesting juxtaposition of camera angles especially during the interplays between the king and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) as well as from the king's point of view behind the mic during his public deliveries.

The magic of The King's Speech lies in the subtle and gradual transformations in the king where we see him slowly overcoming his speech impediment and eventually finding his own style of eloquence. Colin Firth played his regal part resplendently and sublimely as though the role was created for him. This was a transcendental and career stamping moment for him as we did not just watch a performance by an actor. Firth disappeared behind his character and gelled into a singular entity with the stammering and volatile King George VI.

On the other hand, Helena Bonham Carter who plays Queen Elizabeth seemed a tad out of her element and mellow compared to her usual selection of roles but still played her part with elegance while Geoffrey Rush was his usual refined self displaying his competency and buoyancy in his acting prowess. The screenplay written by David Seidler is delicate and intelligent while the hauntingly beautiful score by Alexandre Desplat is reminiscent of the work of Jan A.P. Kaczmarek in Hachiko: A Dog's Story while not in any way, discounting his talents.

The King's Speech is artfully and brilliantly directed and there are moments in the film that will get you laughing out loud. It is engaging, magnificent and leaves one feeling triumphant at the end. Rating 9/10

29 January 2011

127 hours

Nothing is more powerful than the will to live. This is what 127 hours is about. It is a survival tale of a man trapped in an isolated canyon in Utah when a rock fell and crushed his arm against the boulder walls and who ultimately made it out 6 days later with sheer determination. 127 hours marks another remarkable feat by Academy Award Winner director Danny Boyle, best known for his 2008 critically acclaimed heavyweight Slumdog Millionaire.

The film takes off at a dizzying fast pace with random montages of spectators in large sporting events, people hustling and bustling in their lives, leaky faucets, the film's protagonist Aron Ralston (played to pitch perfection by James Franco) packing in a haste and others in a split screen which initially struck out as erratic but are anything but random as they fall into pieces towards the end. The film wastes no time in diving straight to the plot as twenty minutes into the movie, the action begins when paradoxically Aron becomes entrapped.

The next 127 hours (remaining 74 minutes of screen time) chronicles his deteriorating physical conditions and psyche ranging from denial (this is insane), frustration, longing, acceptance and finally the surge of willpower after having a premonition which prompted him to make the hardest decision he's ever made that led to his survival. Like any good piece of cinematic art, the performance of the actors are central to the integrity of the film. And here, James Franco delivers the most riveting performance of his career that solidified him as an immensely talented and serious actor in Hollywood. The film is essentially a one man show with the supporting cast appearing in early parts of the movie and in his flashbacks but we never get bored with Franco. Every facial expression showed his defeat and waning exhaustion with genuine emotions while his resourcefulness and self parodying moments are huge likability factors. However, it is his epiphanies through the life and death situation in which he came to recall what is important in his life that truly made a connection.

The clever uses of Boyle's signature psychedelic flashbacks and hallucinations are brilliantly interwoven into and seamlessly edited in the film which provided an in-depth character development as well as heightened our senses on Aron's desires. The multiple camera angles are explored and utilized in every possible way to fully capture Aron's predicament yet not make the audience feel claustrophobic although shot in a very narrow and contained space. The cinematography is visually stunning as we get landscape and aerial views of the canyons in its full glory. Its amazing how nature can make us feel so miniscule while we enthrall in its beauty. The CGI effects are outstanding at the torrential storm scene but most importantly, the epic score by A.R Rahman stole the show for me. The dark and urgent pounding of tribal beats and the pull of a string instrument when Aron struck a nerve (literally) is most effective but it is the spiritually uplifting music at the end of the movie when Aron is rescued that conveys the gratuitous feelings of being alive in all of us.

127 hours is extremely emotional, captivating, spectacular, stylistic and story telling at its best. It is a not to be missed movie of the year that stands out above the rest and is in a class of its own. Rating 10/10

"You know, I've been thinking. Everything is... just comes together. It's me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock... this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It's entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It's been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I've been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I've taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface" 

23 January 2011

The Tourist

Not bad but not great either

Being a die hard fan of Johnny Depp, I could barely contain my excitement when I walked into the theater to catch The Tourist despite knowing the film was thrashed by critics. The appeal of the first time screen collaboration of two of the world's biggest A-list stars (their combined mega wattage could light an entire city) was too hard to pass on.

The Tourist is classified as action, drama, thriller, comedy and romance. Many movies have found success with the fusion of genres but in this case, it seems like an unnecessary hodgepodge that rendered the underdevelopment of the movie itself. Although not a major downfall, but it left me feeling there is more to be desired. The plot of the movie is straightforward although there are many loopholes that could have crippled the movie in itself but are often overlooked in the beautiful scenery (excellent cinematography) and in the face of its stars. In fact, the supposedly clever twist at the end is cliched and makes no sense in the play out of the story. At 103 minutes, it is not a long movie. It moves at a pace that is neither too fast nor too slow and is a good ride into the journey.

Angelina Jolie is certainly ravishing (or ravenous :p) but there are just way too many scenes of her walking into a room in slow motion where all heads turned to look at her as though she was in a perfume commercial. The nauseating, eye-rolling inducing overemphasis on her ethereal beauty made her surreal and hence difficult to relate to, not to mention did nothing to building her character. I suspect director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck created those scenes in hopes that the audience would be so spellbound by her beauty and not notice the contrived acting and dialogue.

Johnny Depp is without doubt, one of the most sought after and versatile actors in Hollywood known for his quirky roles but in The Tourist, he looked dull (how is this even possible) and somewhat downplayed, despite being one of the two leads. His character injected most of the much needed comic relief in the movie and maybe it was just me, but there were traces of Captain Jack Sparrow in the funny scenes. I have to admit, I was surprised he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the movie because although charming and absolutely lovable as he always is, it was not an award worthy performance.

The biggest problem of the movie is perhaps these two megastars cannot share the limelight together. Putting Jolie and Depp in a movie together sounded like a genius plan hatched but instead of turning the movie into a golden goose, the film suffered at its own advertising of their stars. Both Jolie and Depp are extremely strong characters that can carry a movie on their own but together, it was a train wreck. It felt awkward watching them kiss. It almost felt incestuous. There is more chemistry between two rocks than between Jolie and Depp. One friend commented that Jolie never had chemistry with her co-stars but I pointed out her excellent chemistry with Brad Pitt in Mr and Mrs. Smith and my friend reminded me of what came out of the movie (poor Jen, I am still on her team) but I digress.

The Tourist does not attempt to set itself apart from mainstream movies nor claim to be an intelligent movie. It does however, boast two of the world's biggest stars (you would not want to miss it if you are fans of Jolie and/or Depp), great supporting cast, breathtaking scenery (European tourism is set to boost after this) and simple, mindless fun. It is not as bad as people say, there were plenty of laughs in the cinema. Go watch with no expectations and you might be rewarded. Besides, there are far worse things to do on Saturday night. Rating 6/10

22 February 2009

Two funerals and (0) weddings

I woke in the dark, disoriented and let the darkness momentarily blind and engulf me. It was dinner time and I could hear dishes clanging and chairs pulling downstairs but I lay still. I allowed the realization to set in and contemplated the overwhelming hollowness and the intertwined new and old pain searing in my heart. I miss her. I miss my mum. I miss her violently.

Grandma's funeral was grand. Many came to pay their last respects and as with all funerals, it was heart wrenching. I was prepared to let Grandma go, I had dealt with the blow of mortality in its full force few years ago but what I was not prepared for was how much it brought me back to her.

I felt the all too familiar stab in my heart when I saw mum's name in bracket on the obituary notice which denotes the person as deceased. I was mum's representative to last pull the drape over grandma's body before the closing of the casket and my tears poured. There is nothing more beautiful than the mother-daughter bond in this world. I love my mum and she loved her mum and Grandma loved me and we are all daughters of love in this fleeting circle of life.

I closed my eyes and saw them. Mum and grandma. I saw every wrinkle and twinkle and I heard their interacting voices, every dent of intonation, every nuance of expression and I imagined their voices fading away like an echo. I clawed, I thrashed wildly and I screamed inside but its futile like cupping water with your hand, you hold on to it for as long as you can before it inevitably seeps through the lines and crevices of your grasp. I could not hold it in anymore. Will I ever stop missing them?

My aunt spoke of how their hearts were bleeding at mum's funeral. She was wrong about mine. My heart was hemorrhaging.  Every breath I took shred my lungs like paper and a big part of me died that day when they closed mum's casket. The sealing of the casket is a most traumatizing experience for those left behind. Every nail knocked in, with each sound louder than life sealing into it a sense of finality, of separation beyond what we can not even begin to comprehend. We mortals will never be spared from the merciless swings of the ax of life.

Mum, I miss you miss you miss you. I wish you knew how much I love you. I never brought myself to say those three words to you and when I finally did, you have drifted halfway. I was too late or was I? I really need you to know that I love you and that being your daughter is the biggest and proudest achievement of my life. Rest in peace, mum. Rest in peace, popo.

From your forever loving daughter and granddaughter.

21 February 2009

R.I.P, Grandma

How ironic is that my previous post is about the celebration of the joys of birth and life while this post will be about my grandma's departure from life.

Grandma left us at 3:30pm on the 19th February 2009 at the age of 91. We had prepared ourselves for the inevitable as her health had been drastically deteriorating in the past few years and have been bedridden for a while. She had suffered from multiple stroke attacks and her organs collapsed and lost their functions one after another. Grandma fought a long hard battle and letting her go was love and mercy on the part of those who loved her and are proud of her.

I am anguished at how little I know of grandma. All I know about her is that she was born during the first world war in 1918 in dapu county, guangdong province, China and was sold to my grandpa's family at the age of 13 as a child bride. She married grandpa at the age of 16 and had 5 remarkable children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

After losing her husband, my grandpa at the age of 76, she went to live with her children and traveled to many countries with them. She went to Perth with us in 1994 and I remember her going in the adventure park too, which of course she couldn't go on any rides. But she did go on one of those slow, crawling monorails kenyit

Grandma had all the traits of a Hakka woman. Fierce, independent and strong. From my mother's childhood stories, I learned that Grandma was a strict parent, almost authoritarian and was relentless and fiercely protective in the upbringing of her children, wanting the best for them. She did however, raise her children well despite the lack of formal education herself. All her children turned out successful in life and came to love and respect her and took great care of her until the last moment. She couldn't have hoped for better children.

Grandma cooked the best authentic Hakka cuisine which we all looked forward to every Chinese New Year. From my childhood memories, Grandma visited us frequently as we lived a walking distance away. And she would always come to our place after squabbling with grandpa and she never once failed to bring me and my siblings a pack of Ligo's raisins. Until today, we would think of Grandma whenever we see ligo's raisins on the supermarket shelf.

Grandma and mum conversed in Hakka and somehow, I understood the dialect without ever picking it up. And I would smile to myself whenever Grandma asked mum if we had been good and of course we were angel. Mum, being the ever filial daughter would insist on giving grandma her monthly allowance and grandma would insist on not taking it. So, the war would begin and me and sis would look at the ang pow being forcefully shoved from one to another. Most often, sis and I would just sit back, amused and watch them do their mother-daughter thing. Of course, it would always end up mum winning and the ang pow would end up in the unhappy hands of grandma.

Grandma would accept the ang pow very reluctantly but she had her ways of putting it back into the 'economy'. You see, besides good old Ligo's raisins, Grandma would give us ang pows whenever she came to stay with us. So, it wasn't hard to imagine how delighted we were to have her stay over (yes, we were greedy greedy children) Compared to mum, sis and I were a lot less subtle, we would say 'aiya, no need la, no need la you keep for yourself la' while already pocketing it duit

Then we moved to our new place in Klang and saw less of Grandma. But, she would come stay with us for a period of time once in a while. Sis and I would take turns giving up our beds for grandma and sleep on the mattress on the floor. And how often we laughed when grandma break wind during her sleep (it became our inside joke after a while). Our other inside joke was that we would both stand by each side of grandma and hoist her up from the underarms so that we could walk faster and not have to wait for grandma with her slow footsteps gelakguling (we NEVER did that, don't worry). More often, me and sis would mock grandma's long winded tendencies. She would repeat the same thing not once, not twice, but up to five times (which we likened to a broken record playing over and over again) and we would end up laughing hysterically as we finished her sentences for her since we already knew what she was about to say.

Whenever grandma called on the phone for mum, her first words were always her trademark LOUD 'EH, WHO ARE YOU?' and we would have to spend the next ten minutes explaining who we were and our relation to our mum and sometimes we were so naughty that we would mess with her. Although we often amused ourselves with grandma's antics, we actually enjoyed having her around and always invited her to come stay again. We would always be by her side holding her hands while crossing the roads or walking down the stairs even though her jelly like wrinkled hand felt very geli in mine jelir

Admittedly, we spent less time with her as we grew older, with more of life demanding commitments from us. (Grandma was also the one who funded my tertiary education which I could never fully express the depth of my gratitude in my lifetime). I was especially reluctant to see her after mum's passing as we kept it from her (Grandma got really upset and had a stroke after learning her other daughter, my aunt had a stroke and we decided it was for the best to keep the tragic news from her). Often, she would ask about my mum and it would pain me to see how much she missed her daughter and how she longed to see her again.

I am sad about grandma's departure but also relieved that her sufferings had come to an end. I believe she is in a better place now and reunited with grandpa and mum. I feel there is nothing to be too sad about because she had a good, long 91 years on earth and had great children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She had great stories, had traveled the world and had loved and been loved. She was a remarkable woman, she was tepuktangan

Rest in peace, grandma. You will be remembered forever.

17 February 2009

The gene of goodness

It is a known fact among my friends that I have never had much maternal instincts. I was even infamously quoted saying "I prefer puppies over babies anytime any day" and "I'd sterilize my future husband before marriage" hah Now, before you psycho people start analyzing my relationship with my mother, let me tell you that I had the world's greatest relationship with the world's greatest mum (she is no longer with us and there's not a single day in my life that I don't miss her). And it is neither that I have bad experiences with babies, its just that I don't think I have in me the capacity and patience to care for and love a crying/pooping machine baby. And, I was so often put off by the rush of female affection and attention whenever a baby is in presence. I would cringe when all the other females fuss and coo over something which I clearly couldn't see what the fuss was about. To me, they were just crying/pooping/milk vomiting/screaming miniature humans who couldn't understand a word I was saying and to communicate with them, I would have to condescend myself to ooh ooh ah ah in my nauseating baby voice. And the females with their overflowing estrogen were just a silly act to me gile, seeing them pull out every trick they've got just to see the baby smile.

But of late, I found myself talking about my baby niece to anyone who would care to listen, even imposing in some manners banyakckp. I found myself looking at her pictures all the time and smiling to myself at the thought of her baby antics.

My baby niece, Qian Qian is almost 5 months old now (she was born on the 23rd September 2008, a Libran just like me). And is the cutest little thing in the world. She gets her big eyes and round cheeks from her father and has the pudgiest little arms and legs. She has this constant quizzical look and makes the cutest, unintelligible sounds that brings a smile to my face every time. She is moody as she'd look at me and give me her toothless smile (sometimes she even scoffs with a loud HA! before turning away to hide her face) and the next minute, she'd frown and threaten to cry, then its back to smiling again.

See the quizzical look?

She is often restless and kicks her legs so strongly and we'd tease that another dancer has been born in the family. You wait, baby Qian Qian, Aunt Viv shall personally train you to be the world's best dancer/gymnast when you are older. When she's lying on her back, my sis in law would say turn and she would somehow understand and start rolling from side to side (she's quite fast now). Last week, we even put her in the baby pool (which I use for sunbathing in my backyardmalu) which she enjoyed so much and was giggling and kicking her legs in the water. So, I am getting her one.

And when I look at people fussing and cooing over her, I feel only a swell of pride that people love and adore her. Sis in law and even dad would put on their baby voices to play with her and in a bizarre way, watching them do so makes me love them even more. I suppose having a baby in the family does change and bring people together.

Handsome Daddy

Beautiful Mommy

Cutesy Pie Qian Qian

People often say I look like my brother

And since Qian Qian looks like her daddy...

Does that mean she looks like me?

Yes, mock all you want but I LOVE my baby niece love . Guess the baby hater is taking a break although as of now, I still don't want to have my own babies but who knows? I have just taken a big step from hating babies to loving my baby niece unconditionally.

Welcome to the family, baby Qian and I am going to be the most kick ass aunt ever!menari

25 January 2009

I am de-cluttering you

Living in modern times like this, you would know that de-cluttering is an essential urban living practice. Face it, while all the females (and some males) out there dream of having their custom made shoe cupboard or walk-in wardrobe space, our tiny apartments simply are not built to contain our clutters.

De-cluttering simply means throwing out stuff that you have no use for anymore. You might argue that at some point in later life, you are gonna need the soap bars you made at a holiday workshop when you were 10 or the first tutu you ever wore at your dance recital. Trust me, honey. You DON'T. Besides, de-cluttering is miraculously therapeutic. You are gonna be so happy with the amount of space that resurfaced after all the de-cluttering that you'll spin yourself giddy in the middle of the room.

I know it is painful to part with items of sentimental value. But the trick is, be ruthless and do it fast, like ripping off a wax strip from your leg. That's the age old saying. No pain, no gain (no pun intended). So far, I have talked about de-cluttering on the premise of throwing out old stuff. But, what about 'friends'? What about people with flesh and blood and soul and feelings that you might hurt?

It is a known fact that we humans are creatures of comfort and highly social beings. Without the companionship of others like ourselves, we wither away in loneliness and probably end up suffering from a variety of communication anxieties. But, what about toxic friends, frenemies, people who claim to be your friend but make you feel like you are the biggest loser that walk the earth?

Everyone one needs friends. Good friends make the days seem brighter and hardships in life a tad more sufferable. Good friends make you feel good about yourself and bring out qualities in you that you didn't know you have. Good friends are there for you through thick and thin, who wholly accept and love you for who you are. But, what about so called friends who make you pretend to be someone you are not, who bring out ugly sides of you, who make you want to scream inside, who make you doubt yourself, who make you feel like you are not worthy of living?

Seeing this is the new year and how certain people's friendship to me is more detrimental than constructive, I am now de-cluttering some people from my life. If that someone who inspired me to blog this is reading, please stop imposing your ideals and lifestyle on me. I am sick of you and your narcissistic streaks and imposing manners. Please bring it elsewhere, Mr. I-Love-Myself-Too-Much. I am sorry that not everyone sees life the way you do and it certainly doesn't work when you try too hard to impose it on people. I am sorry you got the axe. Actually, on second thoughts, I am not. Cheers to friendship!

Did I just seem bitchy? Oh, whatever.

20 August 2008

The Lost Dog Notice

Spotty was born on the 4th September 1999 and went missing on the 16th November 2006 (yea, I am pretty good at memorizing dates). He was born to Yoyo and Tutu (his late mother) and was the youngest of 4 puppies. Spotty was the least likable of all his siblings. He was dark and skinny with his ribs jutting out whereas his siblings had full soft white fur and were healthy and playful (they could easily have been featured as puppies playing with a cotton ball or clean white towels in a Softlan commercial :P) Spotty was sickly looking and was constantly overshadowed by his siblings. So, it was no surprise when the other puppies were snatched up for adoption while Spotty remained (which we teased him that no one wanted him) and THANK GOD FOR THAT. (He did grow up healthy though, sturdy even)

Spotty or more amicably known as Chai Chai (means Son or Boy Boy in Cantonese) or Fei Zai (Fat Kid) or Wat Tat Lou (Awkard, gross man. Nickname courtesy of my sis) and Ah Pek, was an unconventional pet by any means. He was awkward looking, hence the nickname, with a little head with too much black fur on it that was too small to match his body. We often laughed when he lost balance and rolled down the stairs like a ball as his bum was much bigger than its head, causing him the imbalance. I can tell you, there was NOT a single day in his life where he was not affectionately jeered by my sister and I. We would call him stupid, ugly, fat, disgusting, useless and all sorts of supposedly derogatory names but in the most yuckingly sweet tone (I know, we probably have issues showing affection, LOL)

See what I meant about his big bum

Spotty was incredibly clingy and manja. He could tail you day and night and not get tired of it. Yet, he was fickle as well. He could be tailing me and if he suddenly saw mum or sis, he would run over and tail them and completely forget about me. He, being the royal spoilt dog in the family, slept in mum's bedroom and after mum's passing, in my room and sis's room. Spotty was always an early sleeper and riser. He would sleep by midnight and wake at dawn and he would jump onto your bed and start sniffing you to wake you up so you could let him out. And often,we would wake up laughing while playfully pushing him away. In fact, this is exactly why we loved him. He made us laugh everyday.

Spotty in my room

He was a good dog by many definition. He would bark incessantly whenever a stranger rings the door bell much to the annoyance of our neighbors, he never ran out of the house though he had many opportunities to do so. On the contrary, whenever the other dogs ran out and returned, Spotty would be waiting at the gate and ferociously barked at them, apprehending them and giving them a piece of his mind for running out in the first place. Dad and bro who were not too big fans of dogs, couldn't help but loved him as well. Even my Indonesian maid adored him and called him her 'sayang'(dear, darling) and Spotty would understand her when she said 'makan' (eat), or 'kencing' (go pee) and tidur (go sleep).

Spotty loved life and was full of it. If he didn't sleep in our rooms the night before, we would have to tiptoe down the stairs the next morning in case we'd set him off into a crazed frenzy. We would spot him from the corner of the stairs staring at us intently, not moving, like a wild beast eying its prey before moving in for the kill. Then we would freeze and stare back at him while trying very hard not to laugh at his intensity. Moments later, we'd break the freeze and run and of course he would go berserk. He would run and yelp and be shaking all over in excitement. And of course we were more than happy to entertain him. Sometimes we even played rough. Poor Spotty had been 'rugbied' by me where I pounced on him and tackled him to the ground and poked/tickled him. And of course, he was always at the losing end (Yea, I know I should pick on someone my own size :p). Sometimes, he would try to scare me by 'biting' me and I always let him by putting my hand in his mouth but he never bit me though. Then I would suddenly turn around and forced his paw into his mouth and clamped it shut so he could have a taste of his own medicine (Guys, do NOT imitate this at home. This is not a dog training manual. This is just one of the many crazy, unconventional things we do with a crazy, unconventional dog). There were times where I would hug him and not let go and Spotty would be struggling to break free (futile attempts, of course) until he wailed. Then I'd let go and walk off and he would come tailing after me, wanting more. This is why we always said he 'asked for it'.

The list could go on and on. There will never be enough words to convey the relationship Spotty had with all of us. He has been missing for 21 months now (He wandered out of the new house the first day we moved in and never returned) and I still have not given up hope. I miss him every single day of my life. He made me laugh and he STILL makes me laugh now whenever I reminisce at the joys he brought us.

Spotty, whether you are still alive somewhere out there or perhaps you are now by Mum's side in heaven being her ever faithful companion, I hope that in your canine understanding of the world and people, you know that we love you. You are family and you are the best dog we've ever had. Thanks for bringing so much joy into the family and you taught us compassion, love, patience and responsibility. You shall never be forgotten. You are one hell of an amazing dog, Spotty Chan Chai Chai.

18 August 2008

Terrors of The Night

It was the 25th July 2008, somewhere around 1600-1900 hrs. I was napping at the apartment after a long day of rehearsals for the finale of So You Think You Can Dance and I experienced it - Sleep Paralysis.

It was dark in the room as the curtains were drawn. I had a restless sleep and was still exhausted after the nap. I woke and to my horror, I realized I was paralyzed all over. I mustered every ounce of strength in my body to utter a word, to wiggle a pinky but was vain in attempt. I saw my roommate sleeping next to me and I attempted to call out to her. I was screaming for her attention, yet not a sound came out (I later asked if she heard me mumble in my sleep or noticed something unusual and she said no)

Amidst the confusion and petrified with cold fear, I realized I was having an episode of sleep paralysis. I vaguely remembered mum describing her experience to me many years ago and I have heard of the Chinese term '鬼壓身/鬼压身" (pinyin: guǐ yā shēn) or "鬼壓床/鬼压床" (pinyin: guǐ yā chuáng), which literally translate into "body pressured by a ghost" or "bed pressured by a ghost." However, my brain also triggered the memory of having read somewhere that it had something to do with bad sleep posture where your airway is constricted and your body starts to 'shut down' with the lack of oxygen pumping into your blood.

Despite knowing what it really was and being able to attach a scientific explanation to it, the fear persisted. Panic enveloped me and the darkness engulfed all of me. I felt I was strapped down by invisible bounds and that my vocal chord was cut off. Seconds or minutes later, though it felt like eternity, I finally broke free of it, relieved but still drowsy with sleep. So, I turned to the other side and went back to sleep, only to have it happen all over again, twice. I had experienced sleep paralysis 3 times in one nap.

When it happened, I sensed a presence in the room. I did not see, hear or smell it, but I felt a malevolent being. I checked out of the apartment after my elimination on the show and only returned 6 weeks later to prepare for the grand finale. And in that 6 weeks, my remaining housemates have reported on several occasion of supernatural encounters. My housemates CC, Sarah and Zef had claimed to experience unexplainable stuff that they do not talk about anymore. From what I was told, the occurrences got really rampant to the extent that 8TV was alerted of it and at some point, none of the girls were brave enough to be in the apartment alone and they started sleeping together in the same room.

And in the crystal clear state of mind I was in, this piece of information was not particularly helpful in calming myself. I silently prayed and asked 'it' to not harm me and that I acknowledge and respect 'it' making its presence known and I promised 'it'll have its peace back soon.

As sudden as it happened, the fear lifted and instead of sensing the malevolent being, I sensed my mum (My mum had returned to God's hands 6 years back). Again, I did not see, hear or smell her. I sensed her. You know the feeling when you are asleep and your mum quietly comes in and puts down a glass of water on your bedside table or pulls up your blanket? That's how it felt.

Then I woke up and everything seemed normal, only that I could barely explained what just happened. It was until weeks later that I researched on it and realized it was called Sleep Paralysis. Apparently, it is a very common occurrence that people all around the world have reported of and is scientifically explainable. However, in many cultures, it is tied to supernatural, psychological and religious angles.


Personally, I actually believe in the latter. I believe there are other beings coexisting with us (I mean surely we humans cant be so full of ourselves to believe we are the masters and only existence in the universe), on a different plane or parallel worlds. But sometimes, the universe screws up and parallels intersect. I believe 'they' mean no harm and and is merely trying to make its presence known. Actually, I don't know what to think anymore yet somehow I feel there's a forced explanation in the scientific department for it. So, do share with me if you have experienced sleep paralysis or just to share your thoughts on it.

All I know is, I really wouldn't want to experience it ever again.

04 August 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

So You Think You Can Dance Malaysia Season 2 has finally wrapped up on the 1st August 2008 after months of auditions and live shows. A new star is born (congrats to CC who happens to be my housemate :)and the season ended with a bang. I feel very honored to have been part of the top 20 contestants of the show this year but in many ways, I am also relieved that its over and it is now time to move on and search for new directions and priorities in life.

My appearance on the show was brief as I was most unfortunately, the first female contestant eliminated. Luck truly was not on my side when my partner pulled Tango out of the hat for our genre for the first week. My forte is in Ballet/Contemporary/Jazz/Lyrical/Gymnastics and I have also been trained in Salsa/Street Latin/Street Jazz and Hip Hop. Anything from the ballroom genre would have been my kryptonite and it so happened that I picked Tango when my partner and I had not even established a close connection. The differences in our physique probably even made the whole performance agonizing to watch. I accept my defeat as the performance was severely passionless, void and clumsy even.

I was devastated when I left the show. I thought I'd never be happy again. For the past two years, the only thing that kept me going in life was the hope of making it to the top 20 and I did, but it ended even before it had really sunk in. I was crushed and sad at first to leave the show and the rest then I was disappointed that I did not get to work with any of the choreographers I had been hoping to work with and that I did not get to show Malaysia what I am capable of. And after feelings of sadness and disappointment subsided, I started feeling angry at myself for screwing the best thing that has ever happened to me then I started feeling angry at everything (the music, the choreography, the audiences, the judges, the producers, the costume etc), then I started feeling guilty for being angry. And after all the emotional roller coaster which all took place within two weeks, I woke up one day and it was like poof, I went back to being normal and happy again, as if none of these has ever happened.

It has been an experience for sure. There have been ups and downs. I can't articulate the whole of my experience on the show in a blogpost. I would not say it was the most amazing experience ever nor was it a bad experience, but it was an experience and I am just grateful to have had this chapter in my life.

18 March 2008

Second Chance

I tried to sleep but failed miserably and so thought I should update this just so you all know that it is still alive. I doubt I will be getting any sleep tonight and tonight's the night when I desperately need that good rest. The audition for So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 is tomorrow. It begins in 9 hours time. Articulating how I feel exactly has become a task impossible but I will try. The days of butterflies in my stomach have long gone. Replaced is a thousand stampeding raging killer bulls in me, or a tsunami crashing to the shore. I hyperventilate and I feel dizzy. Wave after wave of panic attacks are becoming more frequent.

This is my second chance at proving my worth, at proving how wrong some people were about me, at telling my story, at letting people see for themselves what I am capable of, at conveying just how passionate I am as a dancer. This means everything to me. There is no way I can possibly tell you just how much this means to me.

I will probably be devastated in less than 24 hours and I am not prepared for it. No, I am not ready for another rejection. But, I believe it is better to have tried and failed (even more than once) than not try at all.

18 September 2007

I count my blessings, do you?

I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I look at my legs. There are scars, bruises (I get fresh ones every few days from the way I dance, the latest was from having pirouetted into the wall due to space confinement ), stubs (for I havent bothered with the shaving and waxing lately) and what nots. My calves are humongous  My legs are ugly and I have never been and never will be a leggy lass.

But I love them with all my might although they are not aesthetically pleasing. I love them because I am able to walk and God bless, dance. I can dance, dance and dance all night because of them. If writing was Marquis De Sade's constant erection, as proclaimed by his honorable self, then dancing is my perpetual mind orgasm in life.

I love the scars and bruises on my legs because a story lies behind each and every one of it. I love them because they are testimony to a fiery and nonperishable passion. I love my body simply because it materializes my piteous existence into perspective albeit a dust in the vast cosmos. I love my body simply because. And, this is not another narcissistic indulgence.

17 September 2007

The Breakthrough

I think I just experienced my first major breakthrough in dance. I performed a solo contemporary dance two nights ago (a very Mia Michaels inspired routine) choreographed to Imogen Heap's The Moment I Said It. There I was dancing and all of a sudden, I felt a surge of internal energy and focus I never knew I had in me and I imploded. I was on fire and I was dance, dance was me. I was a tiny speck of dust in a sandstorm, I was free falling, I was spiraling out of control yet I was at the eye of a cyclone. I think I even had an out of body experience.

I could hear the eerie music but it seemed distant. I knew people were clapping but I felt I was on a different plane. I felt I was dancing for nothing but for dance itself. I felt I was dancing on a whole new level and on that level, nothing matters.

I wish I could die like this. I wish I could die on stage after my ultimate breakthrough someday. And so I shall die peacefully and I shall be remembered for a long long time.

Just some photos of me and Sis being silly after our performance