As I am now serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have left this blog under the stewardship of a family member, who may post updates on how I'm doing as he/she sees fit.
Enjoy your stay!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Last week I went down to singapore for 2 days to look for schools. Of course, I didn't find any that would accept me at that time... but I sure was missing someone a lot.
What you do with this is you hold it up in front of her with a big stupid grin on your face =)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
On Monday we had an exchange with a group of Japanese students from Taka High School, Japan (duh). The exact procedure explanation is unneccessary (err.. need a spell check on that) but basically it started off with a welcoming ceremony which I MC'd, followed by some outdoor games (group rope skipping and friendly basketball and volleyball matches) a brief personal exchange session, a tour of the school premises, LUNCH, and finally a musical and cultural exchange.
Lots of nothing happened. Er, well, maybe not. The rope skipping was particularly fun. It was half madness, considering how up to 15 people can be skipping at the same time. During the ball game matches I got to know a few of the Japanese students. I remember spending a long time memorizing their names at first heh. They were 'Doasate' and 'Guziro" or something like that. It was easy to remember them as 'Dua Satay' and 'Crazy Boy' heh. Doasate was a very friendly guy who was the one who dragged me into their little group of japanese students. Guziro was a loud, friendly guy whose slaps on the back are... hard...
Apart from some of the memorable things such as singing a japanese song where the only words everybody sang together were 'best friend' as well as me stumbling over a poorly practiced recital, trying to communicate with the Japanese students itself was the most fun of all.
They can barely speak English.
In fact, some of them even said 'my English is poor' and then asked their teacher if what they said was correct.
Which brings me back to the first sentence: We don't need languages to communicate!
Through trial and error, we've found that it's no use trying to speak English. Instead, we used the most reliable international languages.
A series of grunts
Here's an example of how our conversations went:
Them: Byke. Mottobyke.
Us: (look at each other) What?
Them: ah... (does the riding a bike motion with two hands)
Them: (takes my notepad and draws a bike)
Us: Oh! Motorbike!
Them: Yoo noe er... Armerriken Byke?
Us: American Bike?
Them: Uh. Ah.
Us: Harley Davidson!
Them: Ya! Harrluey Dayvidsone.
See? There's more.
Them: Yoo noe ehnie beeootie... beeootie (mumbles something in japanese) beeootie gurle?
Us: (look at each other) What?
Them: Ah... Beeootie gurle? (points at a group of students)
Us: What? (debating in chinese whether they're asking for 'beautiful girls')
Them: Uh... ah....
Us: (dare not ask if they're referring to beautiful girls, laugh among selves)
Them: (discussing in Japanese)
Us: (draw a stereotypical girl stick figure) Girl?
Them: Ah! Ya ya ya
Us: Beautiful Girl!
Stuff like that. It's a bit like solving riddles. They are able to recognize a few chinese characters, however, considering how japanese has quite a bunch of traditional chinese characters. Most groups during the exchange (or should I say all) had conversations that went on much like ours.
During the school tour we just took them around and pointed at stuff saying things like "Classroom! Staffroom! Senior! Junior! Computer lab! Toilet!" and stuff like that.
It's kind of funny to thing that we didn't actually have any decent conversations, but in the end, everyone had a lot of fun, and I feel lucky that I can speak english....
Sunday, October 29, 2006
A lot of the best works of my comic strip have been given away. To girls.
Examples? Yung Hui received my first booklet-style comic featuring a caricature of herself and a dog (at her request). She also happens to be the first person to receive a home made pop-up card, my first step into "3D" School Blues. Shir Li received a very versatile home made frame featuring Han and Korie (the frame could be hung from either directions, closed like a book, or even stand vertically). Vivian recevied a 3 page booklet style comic featuring a School Blues adaptation of a King Arthur poem I spent months writing. Poh Mi received my biggest project ever, the huge standing pop up card that could very well resemble an open doll house from afar, not to mention an endless collection of my cartooning breakthroughs, notably, colour. Bringing colour into my comic strip was a very uneasy process. I failed with both colour pencils and even the computer. My first venture was during an art class, but it took a while before I dared to attempt such a feat again. I did, and I was so happy with the results that later, she started getting all sorts of comics with colour. Nobody else has that many. Possibly even myself.
So what's the point in all this madness? I don't even know. The other day before an English class I was in the toilet waiting for my turn when Koh Chong (otherwise known as the little kid for obvious physical features) approached me to ask about that big pop up card everyone saw me bring to school a few days after Poh Mi's birthday. He asked me how I made it, and whether I learnt it from somewhere (he intended to try making one too). I told him I did. I had received a small Christmas card in Taiwan last year which became my source of inspiration. I studied the concept of its mechanism and copied it, making a couple of changes to simplify it (and 'complexify' it on certain occasions) and created something about 10 times the size of the original card. He gave up the moment I told him what I went through (I didn't even get to the part where it took a total of 24 hours of non stop labour). That got me thinking:
"So... why did I do it then?"
It's pretty obvious that I did it because I had a crush on her. So does a crush bring out skills and talents that exceed my own expectations? Is my greatest potential achieved by a spark of an undying crush? Are my greatest creative achievements motivated solely by a crush? I hope not. Sometimes being a teen can be such a crazy thing.
I've already known that these sorts of feelings are natural. But they can be so annoying sometimes and you can't seem to lock them away in a drawer or something. There are a lot of other things I should be concentrating on, and crushes are a major distraction. I think I've said that before...
Now, I'm 16. I can finally date. Yippee. Yay. Wow. If my friends were restricted from dating and were finally let loose at one point, they'd immediately overload and most likely immediately look for a partner (soemthing I'm not doing). It's not like I'm some sort of anti-girl person like Hao Ran was years ago (heh) Dating is (and should be) fun, especially in groups (which is the only way I should be dating right now), but getting a partner? What's the point? Sometimes I really feel like telling friends off about them getting a girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever, but I prefer to not have a black eye or missing teeth, so I just keep those thoughts to myself and hold neutral opinions on that matter. I recently read The 6 Most Important Choices You'll Ever Make by Sean Covey (birthday present from Mom) and it did include a few tips on intelligent dating. All the stuff I already knew for some reason. Don't date the same person twice, don't go on serious dates, get to know as many girls as you can rather than narrowing down to one etc.
There's a scary world of girls out there, waiting for me to explore. I've always been getting to know different types of girls, just so that I won't be shocked one day when I start looking for a spouse. But somehow, I get this feeling I need to put this away for a while. If only there was an 'off' button for heterosexual attractions in my head somewhere...
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Happy 16th Birthday!
Well, I'm finally 16 at last. I would think a majority of Church members would find this an exciting age because that's the age when we're finally allowed to date... unless, of course, they started dating before they turned 16. Amazingly enough, I wasn't exactly looking forward to that. I was more excited about my BIRTHDAY PARTY!
It was a relatively small group this year, but that didn't mean I didn't enjoy myself. A smaller group meant that I had more time to spend with each guest individually. I invited a lot of friends, that's for sure, but nobody can ever expect everyone to show up, especially since I'm not Mr. Popular. Like if Ralfz had a birthday party, all the girls would show up. This year, the number of girls who showed up was 2, Poh Mi and her classmate who I befriended last year, Yun Zhao. Poh Mi had to leave early since she had a scouting duty (Zi Xian and -1 just chose not to go heh) So in reality, there was only 1 girl during the whole of the party. But that's okay I guess... my highest record since I was 10 is 5 girls. It could prove either or both of the following: When one girl doesn't show up, they all don't show up; or I'm just not popular with the girls haha. The latter is more likely, considering how I don't speak chinese very well (minus points for communication skills in a chinese school), I spit when I speak (even guys cannot tahan this), I have a crappy hairstyle (which I like), and various other annoying things I do/am. So I'll just make do with appreciating those girls who show up better.
Our murder game thing didn't work out this year. We were too busy fooling around the whole time. -1, Hao Ran and Zi Xian came a day early to (supposedly) plan the murder, which we didn't. Instead we had a wild time at TESCO, where many fun things happened that will forever destroy anybody's misconception that Zi Xian is a very serious person.
The next day we didn't do any planning either. Mostly preparing the food and then playing lots and lots of videogames... Chern Hui came with Chee Hou and Jia Cheng around noon... Chee Hou was supposed to bring them at 8am. Overslept. Hah.
One by one the guests came. A lot of those who were supposed to come didn't show up. Ah, oh well.
Poh Mi came with her Mom for the first 1 and a half hours. Her Mom had a nice chat with my Mom while the two of us listened on.
-1's Mom, who had a nice chat with Mom
The first 2 hours of the party (which was officially from 2pm-6pm but eventually extended till about 9 since some people just won't go home heh) involved a lot of mad dashes to the phone. Mostly people calling to say they couldn't come. Or I did a lot of calling and found out a lot of people couldn't come in the end. Bah.
No, I'm NOT flirting on the phone
The number of people who showed up were so "few" that I could even list them all in chronological order haha
Chee Hou (IBM)
Poh Mi's Mom
Yup... that's about it. 17 people. One was a parent. But I had a blast with all of them.
Tiny crowd... relatively
It was kind of a pity that a majority of the guests were all drawn to the Play Station game Digimon Battles for the entire party. Actually, it was kind of a good thing too because otherwise, they'd have nothing to do at all. We did play a few rounds of 'murderer' at the beginning, in which the first round I got caught as the murderer after killing Poh Mi. We didn't play anything besides the piano after that because of the playstation, but it was ok with me.
Another sad case of teens stuck to videogames. The same thing happened during my birthday party 2 years ago.
Such postures are rarely seen at school
Digimon Battles... It drove Bryan crazy considering how it was on for almost 8 hours straight the whole day.
After nearly 2 hours of constant videogaming, we finally did the birthday cake ritual. I vaguely remember forcing my eldest sister to remove the candles with her teeth during her birthday party years ago. Thankfully I don't have any younger brothers as bratty as I was. Phew.
Clap your hands off!
Small group photo
More pictures (and possibly videos) are to come when I get to transfer the files from Dad's camera, but I'll just elaborate on the things we did throughout the party.
King of the Digimon Battles
Like a lot of similar videogames, Digimon Battles was very appropriate to play King. I didn't have a go with it as I've never really bothered playing that game, but I spectated quite a few exciting face-offs. The notable Kings were Wei Jie, Bryan, Jia Cheng and Ernie. The others managed to hold their position for a short while before being kicked out
Face it, we're guys. And teens.
Piano-ing and Singing
Too much of the same videogame is boring. That is, for some people. Eventually some of us went upstairs to play the piano. I don't remember why, but it was fun. If I remember correctly, there were myself, Bryan, Ter Yi, -1, Johann and Yun Zhao. We (me, Bryan, -1 and Johann) took turns showing off our piano skills (with Bryan topping everything of course) Eventually me and Bryan even played the Les Miserables Duet -1 and I failed at last year heh. Mom recorded us (as well as Bryan's frumble with a marble hehe) and hopefully I'll be able to post it when I manage to get the files from Dad's camera.
This year's birthday party didn't bring the 'ooh' or 'aah's like the ones before, but it seemed to be greater than all the rest. I guess I realized how much fun it is being with my friends is, and how much I enjoy their company, something I'm going to lose once I move to Singapore.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Okay, I'm not being sexist or anything here, but it turns out that for me, it's the sad truth. I generally am a very distracted person. Example: I started this post, typed the equation Girls=Distraction and then moved on to update my Friendster profile with my latest videos. Now I'm back here, and I feel like going back to work on it a little bit more.
See what I mean?
I've planned my teenage life in such a way that everybody knows who I have a crush on. It eases some pressure on me in a funny way. I can be very open about such things, but really, a crush can be so distracting sometimes I get really frustrated.
Puppy love is pretty common in many teens, and I just so happen to be one of them... unfortunately... So far I've seen this in a lot of my friends and they end up in a relationship (which I keep a somewhat neutral opinion on). Of course, a relationship is something I take very seriously, which is why I've never been involved in one after all these years of watching friends switching partners as if it was a hairstyle - a new one is interesting but it gets boring after a while so you try another. I even know examples of people who used to oppose high school relationships and then ended up in one =) It's not exactly right to say such relationships are wrong. You can learn lots of life's lessons in such relationships I think, but unfortunately it's common for most of my friends who are involved in a relationship to have their grades dropped to a certain extent. There are exceptions which my class teacher talked about of course, like how some people use it as a motivation to study harder, but finding someone like that at my age is like finding an empty pixel on the computer screen.
People talk about being 'in love' and stuff. For me, 'love' is an overstatement. Love is the feeling you get when you are ready to dedicate your entire life to someone, including eternity. (with the exception of brotherly love and love for pets or love for videogames heh) The temporary warm fuzzy feeling that makes you go head over heels when you see someone, however, is a crush.
Anyway, I'm no exception when it comes to puppy love, and it's not exactly the nicest thing to happen considering how there are other better things I should be distracted with... like... Science... haha. If I was reviewing Physics equations in my head all the time, it would have a positive effect on my grades. But if I had Poh Mi in my head all the time, what would that bring? I might walk into walls or get hit by cars as I cross the road maybe.
Maybe I'm just over-reacting (as usual). But maybe if I keep repeating the above equation in my head over and over again, I'll become a hardened bachelor by age 17. That means lots of room in my head to concentrate on my studies right? Wrong. I'll probably be distracted by something else haha.
Of course, having a close friend who's a member of the opposite gender is never wrong. I appreciate friendships with girls. I get to see if all the stuff I read about girls psychology is accurate or not. Just kidding. I am supportive of co-ed schools since they provide chances for people to learn how to deal with members of the opposite gender, much like what I'm facing right now. But then it really does become a distraction. A lot of top schools are single-ed....
Ultimately it's gonna be how I deal with it I guess. Friends will still catch me sitting with her after school every day or staying back until 6pm at school occasionally to teach her math when I could be home napping (or snacking). People will ask me why don't I get a girlfriend, and I'll answer "why should I get a girlfriend?"
That warm fuzzy feeling that makes me go head over heels is nice every now and then, but I've got my priorities and that's eating- uh, I mean schooling.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
That's not exactly a very nice opening considering how my previous posts were all happy-orientated, but some things just have to be said.
Many things have happened this year that will definitely change my life forever. Not only have I realized more and more things about myself, but I've realized things that are so painful I wish I never knew, of course, these aren't things I should be blogging about because it involves someone else's privacy, but I can elaborate more on myself.
For reasons that shouldn't be explained, I will be moving to Singapore next year to hit the reboot button of my life. No, I didn't discover some miracle potion that will turn me back into a baby, or a zygote for bio freaks. If any of my friends are reading this, I have to make it clear that moving to Singapore was my decision. I wasn't forced. I was allowed to choose to stay.
It's been about 2 months since I was somewhat forced to make a decision. It was either to stay here and live a life I don't think would be very good for my spiritual growth, or move to Singapore, where I'll be shedding myself of all luxuries to start a new life. How I wish I could explain the entire situation, but that is something I cannot do.
The choice I was given questioned every single belief or principle I had. It was almost a decision between family or my friends. Me moving to Singapore would be for the better of the family I feel is struggling to hold together. Staying here would have been the most selfish thing I could do. But moving meant giving up everything I have here. Gymnastics and Piano lessons aren't cheap, and neither are all the little other things that add to the comfort of my current life. From the material point of view, I'll be facing a wholly different lifestyle. I'll also be leaving behind childhood friends and the closest friends I've had who have all done their part in affecting who I've become so far. It's not that I'll completely lose them since we can still keep in touch using the internet and it's not that I can't come back to visit every so often, but it's really the thought of living in a different place with different people. I won't be able to graduate with the class I've grown to love. I won't be able to experience the bonding feeling I've only just begun to feel among my classmates. I've only just known most of them for less than a year, but I really want to know each of them better but already it's time I have to leave.
The thought of leaving behind material luxuries and old friendships isn't what's been bothering me the most, however. It's really the fact that everything I thought about my family was thrown away right in my face. In one night, when I was told the truth, my whole idea of my own family crumbled.
Since then I've never quite been able to pay attention in class. Socially I haven't really changed much. I'm still the same to all my friends, but personally, I'm deeply troubled. My homework has been going downhill. I just can't concentrate anymore. I went to seek counselling from my teacher earlier during the year when Mom was away most of the time fighting her cancer. I was told that I need to stop thinking too much, but I don't think I've really been able to change that.
I can be happily paying attention during a Physics class when I suddenly just lose interest and my mind starts to wonder off about my future - I don't know what I want anymore. Eventually I'll start worrying about things that have been troubling me at home. Before I know it the teacher is mumbling in some sort of alien language while my thoughts are far enough to be considered alien as well.
The past few months have been the darkest corners of my life so far. I know good will come out of things if I face it with the right attitude, but it's just so painful to bear I wish it never happend.
Somebody else's decision has completely destroyed what I thought I had in life. I hope I will never walk down that same path, but I think I've already taken the first few steps.
How I wish I could put all these things away and concentrate on my exams which are only 2 days away, but it's so troubling I think it's going to take a serious toll on my grades. I hope I can forgive myself.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
The Young Men and Young Women are putting together a musical presentation for the KL Branch Talent Show. They are currently auditioning for soloists.
Script: Johann, Han, JJ, Stephan as well as input from everyone
Music: The Sound Of Music
Lyrics twisted by: Han, Johann, JJ
Actors: Director: Stephan
Male Soloists: Johann, JJ, Han
Female Soloists: Venna, Cheryl, Camilia
Director's Henchman: Ray
It starts off like this
Director: Okay everyone, let's get started. Girls first.
The girls sing The Sound Of Music. Han and Johann become the background, raising their hands clumsily and swaying to and fro like the hills, as well as humming off key and occassionaly jumping in front of the girls to repeat one of their lines.
Halfway through, JJ interrupts dressed like a rapper, snatches their lyrics and starts rapping the rest of the song. Gervann does those sound effects you hear during rap, Han starts break dancing and Johann... err... i forgot he did heh
* here's where a disaster occurred... When I was breakdancing one of the kids walked up and her face got smacked right in the face by my foot. >.< I apologised to her mom after that *
They finish, and the Director looks disgusted
Director: The girls, were wonderful. The guys. That was absolutely horrible.
Guys: Awwww man..............
Come on.... etc
Director: I'll give you guys one more chance. Now who wants to go first
Johann: THE HILLS ARE ALIVE! FOR THE SAKE OF MUSIC....
Johann: But... but...
Ray: The director said next
Johann (mockingly) Right... the director said next
Ray grabs his arm, twists it and leads Johann out of the room
Johann: ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow
Director: Who's next?
JJ (squeky voice) Me! Me! Oh uh.. ok ladies and gentlemen. Today I'm going to present you a song called Eidelweiss
JJ (sings with a deep melodious voice)
Han (snores loudly throughout, basically looking extremely bored with JJ's otherwise wonderful singing voice)
JJ (back to squeky voice) Thank you! Thank you!
Director: Hmm.. actually I preferred the squeky voice. NEXT!
JJ takes a seat, dissappointed
Director: Okay, who's next
Han (exaggerated rude manglish accent) ME! (turns to JJ) You argh... put me to sleep with your song only. I show you how it's done! Haiyoh! (turns to Director) Eh.. I dunno the song la. Gimme the lyrics. (turns to audience) You all listen argh!
Han (sings Eidelweiss with an average singing voice, coughs halfway and starts mixing up the r's with the l's and spits a lot)
Director (disgusted and constantly spat on throughout)
Han finishes his song. Ray brings a bucket and hands the Director a handkerchief. He wipes his face with it and hands it to Ray, who wrings it dry.
Director: Say it, don't Spray it
Han: Yes? Yes? Did I make it?
Director hands him a card
Han: English lessons?
Director: Mm hmm. NEXT!
Han: but.. but.. but
Ray prods him on the stomach and Han starts coughing violently
Han: (cough) okay okay! (cough) I'll take (cough) those stupid (cough) english lessons (cough)
Director: Alright, who's next?
JJ steps up with a fake moustache drawn with a marker (disguise)
JJ (Russian accent) I'm next. Good evening ladies and gentlemen I'm from the Russian
Republic. I'm going to sing You Are Sixteen Going On Seventeen
Director: Alright. Get him a female Soloist
Venna sits on a chair
JJ (starts singing with a deep melodious voice in a Russian accent)
* at one point he storkes Venna on the chin and she pushes him away looking disgusted, and also at one point he sings the line "I am 17 going on 18" and pauses to say "actually I'm 21 going on 22 but it's just for the song you know" *
After JJ finishes Venna starts singing the girl's part, and when she finishes Johann puts on a cap and sunglasses as his disguise, rushes JJ and bashes him off the stage. JJ squels in his squeky voice
Johann: My turn! I'm going to sing You are 15 going on 16
(written by Han, Johann and JJ)
Han appears behind the stage with a bandana like a terrorist as his disguise and does background music effects acapella style.
Cheryl becomes the female soloist
You are 15 going on 16
Baby now you can date
Young Men from Church or your friends from school, now
Baby decide your fate.
You are 15 going on 16
Devils will fall in line
Trying to tempt you – better be careful
Then things will turn out fine
Totally unprepared are you
To face the world’s Young Men
Nervous and shy and scared are you
To pick one out of ten
- Cheryl turns around to see 2-3 Young Men posing
Cheryl: That's not 10
You have someone older and wiser (Johann refers to himself)
-Han suddenly kicks in -
He is your Heavnly Father
He has given us the wholesome Truth:
For The Strength of YOUTH!
(Han takes out a For The Strength Of Youth booklet, holds it in the air and holds the last note with gusto, there is a brief hustle throughout as Han fights off Johann and JJ who are upset)
Han: I WANT A SOLO
JJ: NO I WANT A SOLO
Johann: NO *I* WANT A SOLO!
Han (turns to JJ) Okay, why do you deserve a solo?
JJ (intimidatingly) Because I'm Russian. (voice turns small) and also because I'm feeding a family of 2
Han: So? I feed a family of 6
JJ: Oh. Okay, I have a family of 7 then
Han: Oh ok. (turns to Johann) I WANT ANOTHER SOLO
Johann: I WANT ANOTHER SOLO
Director: STOP! STOP! STOP! You guys all look very familiar... can't you 3 work together then?
The 3 (look at each other) err.. ok. yeah. sure. no problem
Director (hands them The Lord's Favorite Things, a parody of My Favorite Things)
(Written by Han and Johann)
Tithing, endowments and eternal marriage
Baptism when we are of the right age
Prayer and fasting and singing the hymns
These are a few of the Lord’s favorite things
Keep God’s commandments and His words of wisdom
We have the scriptures so we better read ‘em
Seving our missions or priesthood callings
These are a few of the Lord’s favorite things
Sacrament, reverence and serving our neighbour
Home teaching, schooling and loving each other
Showing respect to our fellow beings
These are a few of the Lord’s favorite things
If we do His
We know we’ll be blessed
We’ll keep His commandments and we’ll earn His trust
So do all these things
We must! (last note held in extreme gusto)
*This was the biggest song, the audience clapped as if it was the grand finale of the show*
Director: Bravo! Bravo! That was wonderful! (the 3 turn to him and their disguises fall of) But... but.. it's YOU! AND YOU! AND YOU! (turns to Ray) AND YOU STOPS MAKING FACES!
JJ (squeky voice, stammers) Wait a minute.. you didn't see anything!
Han (british accent) But.. but.. I took those English Lessons! I don't SPIT -splutters on the
Director's face - any..more.....
Han leaves, dissappointed at himself
Johann: Okay, fine!
Director: Hmm.. it looks like I don't have any male soloists for my show.... oh well. (sings the
Goodbye songs, but only sings 2, parodic lines and just ends with Goodbye!)
Friday, September 15, 2006
Poh Mi's birthday was on Monday, 11th September
The Birthday Girl
A week before I already had a comic for her halfway in the making. It was supposed to be my first, fully coloured comic. I already drew out the whole thing in pencil, and all was left was probably a few more hours spent painting the entire picture, and this time, every single corner of it (I've cheated previously by either pasting coloured characters onto a photo or having white empty space as the general background). That's the general idea I had for her present on Sunday, until sometime in the morning, I began to feel that it's just not grand enough heh heh.
By the time I got back from Church, I had a whole different present in mind: The Ultimate Creation. A double A2 sized pop-up card. Of course, my own limitations later reduced the size to double A3, but oh well. I got straight to work after lunch.
---How to make The Ultimate Creation DIY---
First, you'll need the right things.
- Lots of time to work with
- An endless supply of A2 and A3 sized cartridge paper
- Lots and lots of multi-purpose glue
- Poster Colour
- Lots of tape
- Pencils and sharpener
- Pilot Black G3
- A decent pair of scissors and a *sharp* blade
- A Mom who took design at college and can give advice!
- A bright idea or at least, a source of inspiration
- Lots of music CDs to listen to over and over and over again to keep you awake while working into the dead hours of the night...
Sunday, 10 September 2006
So I finally got to work after making sure I had the right things. Before jumping into anything, Mom advised me to create a test model first, something that I would refer to when I actually worked on the model. I based it on a Christmas card a couple of Clarinetists bought for me during our band trip to Taiwan last year. It was a lot more complex, and a lot smaller too. But I used its basic design to create something bigger...
I started at around 3pm and worked on till 3am. I thought I would be able to finish if I just stayed up a little longer.........
I was so wrong, and I finally had to stop. Mom told me to go to sleep too.
This was all I could complete within that 12-hour period. Note: This is the first time I've ever drawn both the front and back of every single character. It's something I've never been really good at drawing the characters from the back, but this time, with the help of the fact that a cut out shape will retain its shape, It was easier to draw the back of the characters without distorting their usual image.
All 8 characters
Shuan took photos of each character individually
The mess wasn't only on this foldable table I frequently use for cartooning. I spread to the top of the laser printer next to my computer, 2 couches near the staircase, the floor, and even the dining table
Monday, 11 September 2006
Today was the day I gave away the lamest birthday present I've ever given to a girl. I hadn't finished her grand present yet so I only gave her her favorite biscuit and wished her happy birthday.
As soon as I had a bath after I got home I went straight back to work.
My worktable that stayed messy (and it's still messy now since Mom took over to do her work)
That day I spent most of my time building the first half of the popup. Naturally, since this was the first time I've ever attempted something like this, mistakes were unavoidable.
Photos taken courtesy of Shuan and Ernie
This intricate piece of work can only be done by an experienced veteran who- D'oh! Not another mistake!
Some of the pieces to create half of the popup section. Those tiny tabs were a horrible mistake. It took a painstaking amount of improvising to save the present heh
The larger tab sticking out is an example of improvisation... it turned out those tiny tabs can't support the weight of the comic characters at all. Working past midnight clouds my thinking heh heh
A bit of elaboration on the previous photo, the tiny tabs sticking out were originally intended to support entire comic characters. Alas, the laws of physics had other ideas. Mom foresaw this grave mistake, and funnily enough, I didn't. Luckily I've always been the type who improvises everything to cover up mistakes XP
I cut a larger hole and inserted a much larger tab which would do a better job at supporting the weight of the comic characters. A price had to be paid however, apart from time wasted, it looked a bit junky... =P
Another slightly less serious but bugging mistake was the table. Although not very noticable in the photo above, it was horrible crooked because I hadn't placed its base on a proper postition. the whole thing could close properly, but when opened the table stood crooked. Have you ever seen a table like that?
In the end, it turned out I couldn't finish it either. After 6 hours of work, it was time to sleep. I glumly cleared up a bit of the mess at 1am and went to work. I only managed to complete half of the pop-up section. Was it really that hard to make or is my working speed questionable? Who can answer this aching question?
Tuesday, 12 September 2006
I reluctantly told Poh Mi in the morning that I hadn't finished the present yet. She said I should just take my time. It's a actually a humiliating situation on my part since I've never been late with birthday presents I create (as in comics), starting from Chern Hui (2004), Yung Hui, (2004, she received her present late since it was the holidays, but I had already finished it way before her birthday), Poh Mi (2005), Vivian (2005, I worked on it slowly for months ahead of time, and it still remains an example of my classic work) and -1 (2005), and finally Zhe Ying (2006, she's our class monitor and I thought she'd deserve at least something. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make another for our other class monitor because his birthday happened to be during a point where I was extremely busy) Of course, there's the exception of *ahem* Zi Xian, who received his a year late on 2005, but that's a different story heh heh.
It's finally come down to Poh Mi's birthday this year, and the present was finished 2 days late >.<
Anyway, that day was the the last day. I finally finished it. I completed the other half (with one mistake which was saved just in time) and finally joined the two halves together, where some problems came up (read the caption on the last photo). Thankfully, I was saved thanks to Mom.
Along the way a few new ideas popped into my head and I felt that I had enough time to throw in, such as a "Happy Birthday" text which, according to Mom, I cut out beautifully. She then told me I could even spray paint it silver, which I did, mixing two types of silver spray.
I even created a pull-out note to write corny stuff on heh heh heh.
Once again the master of perfection skillfully constructs a- Whoops
At last... after 24 hours of labour (not to mention 24 hours of listening to the same music CDs over and over again)
This half was completed on the day of her birthday. A total of 2 mistakes were made. both skillfully improvised to save the day... okay, so maybe the table will never stand straight...
This half was completed on the day after her birthday. A total of 1 mistake was made, plus another overall mistake I realized when I tried to piece the two halves together. It ended with Mom going down to the store to buy extra materials. Thanks Mom!!!
At last, I finished at 1am, having taken a total of 24 hours of work on this latest classic piece of work. It will certainly be a while before I ever attempt something like this again.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006
Just a little aftermath for those who are nosy enough to be interested.
I brought the present to school that day and enjoyed quite a lot of attention in class heh heh. Shan joked as usual, saying I've finally grown up. Zhe Ying got "jealous" because I gave her a much simpler comic for her birthday earlier this year, and the others told me Yi Fei's birthday was in a few days... maybe it wasn't such a good idea to let them see the present haha
During lunchtime I went over to Poh Mi's class to present The Ultimate Creation. That look on her face. Priceless.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
It was during my last band comittee meeting (I'm not a comittee member anymore... got "fired" heh heh) When Shao Yu announced the help she needed with the band website. Seeing how this problem has been dragging on since last year, I raised my hand and said I'll help do it.
Little did I realize then how much trouble it would be now.
Now, I've brought back a staggering amount of data I need to sort out and put on the site. It's driving me nuts just thinking about starting to work on it. Yes, I haven't started yet =)
Note to self: Never offer to do work.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I wrote several entries per day in my diary, and translating them into English here would be kind of weird (yes, my diary is in chinese).
Anyway, I could basically sum up that the national gymnastics competition (Gimnastik dan Gimrama MSSM) in Kelantan this year is one of the most memorable things I've ever done. It's a lot more fun than band camp, but of course, Youth Conference still outshines everything else.
One of the more interesting things was how everybody there were gymnasts, and because we all have a common interest, there's a special connectivity between all of us, no matter how many times a lot of us got upset at each other (especially me heh heh) all is well in the end and everyone becomes friends again. After all, we were the KL Team.
Being gymnasts, there were a lot of inside jokes for us that other people just wouldn't understand. Like joking about A, B, C, D, E or the latest F skills. Then there were times when we're hanging out and the guys started daring each other to do back saltos on the spot. And some guys did it. It's just something I can't do with any other group of friends.
The competition itself was fine. The boys team for KL isn't really much compared to the other states. For example, some of our competitors have appeared in newspapers before, and one of them even plans to take part in the olympics heh heh
The girls team, on the other hand, did a little better, at least they brought back some medals. The competition for the U18 girls group wasn't even near the scariness of my U18 boys group.
The interesting news? Now both my feet are in bandages heh heh. I pulled a muscle in my right foot after a bad landing doing a simple sideariel in my routine >.<>.< like Sze Mun, a veteran from the U18 girls group.
Like the other day when everyone was frantically trying to charge their phones, Cikgu Zambri reprimanded everyone saying, “Guys, there’s more to life than just handphones. Like, Nasi Lemak..........”
I pretty much agree with him. And that’s basically the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from this trip. There’s more to life than just getting girls. The experience in Kelantan is so different than back here in KL. I spent most of my time sketching (or just enjoying) the beautiful scenery I might never get here in KL. There’s not much time to go impress girls when I’m busy like that eh?
Sunday, August 13, 2006
My poor left foot
It was during a training session in the gymnasium at MPT (Maktab Penguruan Teknikal). I was screwing up my front salto on the floor. For some reason, I can't do it straight whenever I train there. I'm guessing it's because the floor is a lot springier ther than at Scope, so whenever I hurdle and jump I go so high up I'm just not used to it anymore. So even when I'm trying to do a simple front salto, I end up doing a half twist for some weird reason. My half twist back at scope is a lot better, because I'm used to it there. But then I still haven't quite mastered the twisting action. The whole twist should start from the hip, but I keep starting from the shoulder which is quite natural to do when you're standing, but then it makes the salto out of alignment.
Anyway, that was the problem I was facing the whole time, having bad landings. Then I decided to just switch back to my basic work and do a diveroll just to get a feeling. In the end, I didn't roll properly after my hands and head touched the ground. I didn't roll my legs properly and in a split second my left foot bashed against the ground. It was painful at that time but I took no notice of it, thinking it would clear up after a few minutes like most times back at Scope. It kind of cleared up, but looking back, I think it was only the body's natural painkiller.
When I ran through my routine after that I did a half twist for my salto, and landed nicely. Then after that I switched to vault, then finally parallel bars. I went back to school after that, and then the pain came back. Before I knew it, I was limping. Mom took me the Chinese Sen Sei after school, and now my foot's all wrapped up.
Hopefully it'll recover very soon. I'll miss training on Tuesday to go for another check up. I'm hoping really hard that he'll take it off and I can go back to training on Thursday and Friday. It's already feeling a lot better, and even if I'm not able to compete, maybe I could just go to Kelantan with the KL team and let the substitute compete... Azlan did that 2 years ago when I was supposed to be the substitute but got kicked out because a space was reserved for him. Hmmm.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
It just so happened the day I decided to get a haircut was the day the usual indian barber I go to was closed.
Mom drove us to the area where the Chinese Sen Sei we usually see works. There was another indian barber there which we entered. They displayed all sorts of pictures of sample haircuts. There were "classic style" and "millenium style". Mom wondered whether those indian barbers (who usually only do classic style) know how to cut like the millenium.
Shuan went first, and he ket asking the barber to cut the hair on the back of his head shorter and shorter.
Then it was my turn. I sat down and told him what I wanted. No sideburns, a straight line for the hair on the back of my head.
So he started shaving. He shaved the back of my head, and I took a look through the mirrors.
"Pendekkan" I said
*shave shave shave*
Mom was already on the edge of her seat, asking me if I knew what I was doing. I grinned.
When it came to the front, the barber left it kind of long. I told him to cut it. Shorter. And shorter. And short.
Now... I have an.... interesting.... hairdo. Some people think I'm crazy, some people think it looks nice. Either way, the look on their faces when they first saw me with my new haircut is.... amusing =)
Notice the sideburns hehehe. What sideburns, you ask?
Monday, July 31, 2006
I had decided to play the piano and sing at the same time. Obviously because it turned out to be a good gimmick. Plus, it kind of hides the fact that I'm not the best at singing in the first place. When I was asked why I chose to do that, I used the excuse that it would save me the trouble of having to practice with a pianist, which is kind of the truth. But the truth is, it was a gimmick. Yes, a gimmick.
Anyway, after school on Saturday I was freakingly nervous. It was so bad that I didn't have an appetite to eat lunch, eventhough I clearly knew I was hungry. Poh Mi had to tell me to calm down the whole time.
Speaking of Poh Mi... she got permission from her mom to skip her tuition that day to watch me. Her mom agreed because I'm a "good boy". Poh Mi had to hold back a laugh when her mom said that heh heh.
After lunch, or more like buying lunch for Poh Mi, we went to the hall where I told her I had to go to the bathroom to wash my face.
I washed my face about 10 times before my performance that day.
I watched the Juniors compete first. I'm not sure if it was just me, but it was freaking cold in the hall. Poh Mi agreed it was cold, but she seemed to be able to stand it a lot better than I did. I eventually went out to get my sweater from my bag. I guess she didn't really feel it because... ahem... I've learnt in Biology class that girls generally have more lipids than guys.... heheheh
When the Junior Soloists finished it was the Junior Groups, which was when I had to go to the waiting room to prepare for my performance.
I was the first of the Senior Soloists.
I think I did well enough. I didn't sing with any feeling of course. Hey come on, my singing is still a work in progress. It's interesting how my anxiety builds up to a boiling point whenever I have a performance or an exam, right until I get out there then POOF it's all gone and I'm almost fully relaxed and I end up having tons of fun. It's the same whether it's the exam, a gymnastics competition, a speech, an act, whatever. And I'd do it all over again for the "adrenalin rush" hahaha.
After my performance I washed my face one final time and joined the audience to watch the rest of the performances. Below are some of the photos. Please excuse the bad quality. Dark lighting meant slower shutter speed and that means the camera needs to be held very very very still....
Suzanne from the Junior Soloists. She won second place with the song "Because of You". She was "mad" at me because I showed her some of the Disney songs (my sisters left behind) 2 days before the competition, and after singing some of the songs, she lost interest in her own... At least she sang with feeling... I didn't =P
Lloyd. He was last year's Junior Tsun Jin Idol.
Wei Quan and Yi Von.
Weng Sam, Keat Eng and erm.... big guy... I haven't quite caught his name yet.
The group from S1S2! The four from the left are in my English class, IA. Jokers all of them. But then again, I don't think I've met anyone in my English class who's not a joker.
The girls from S1S3. The leftiest is Keng How(foul-mouthed and rude mathematical genius who brings a smile to my face when I think of him)'s latest love interest. She was also my fellow MC during the Aussie Exchange.
A guest performance by an English teacher. She was one of the audition judges. She played the Simon Cowell part hehehe
After watching all the performances, including a few guests performances by the school Choir, the teacher picture above as well as a student, it was prize giving time.
Nobody from Senior One won anything. Oh well. At least we enjoyed ourselves. I'd do it all over again next year for that "adrenalin rush" hehehe. I must be some sort of drug addict now. Woohoo.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
The briefing before our field trip to FRIM Park
An experiment with shutter speed. Learnt it from Hao Ran
See that little bee hive? The little round things are the bees.
Our tour guide from FRIM is the one in white and red and black on the left, while the one in green is a teacher who doesn't work in our school but was hired by the school to lead us on this trip. He's an outdoorsy person
See ~0.0~'s expression on the right?
Some of our classmates on the other side of the pond trying to catch a glimpse of the Arapaimas Gigas.
The Arapaimas Gigas. Quite aggresive. I mean very. I've already been able to get a good look at it on my visit last year.
Tongkak Ali compared to my index finger.
Fungi compared to my index finger
The Elephant tree. See the trunk, tusk and eye? I think I took this picture last year too.
Again, the view that was once on the cover of an issue of National Geographic
Yes, it's the toilet tree again. Last year that little plant on the left was a lot smaller than it is now.... the land must be pretty fertile.........
Some of my classmates. They tried to block Zhe Ying's face with that plastic bag
When it came to the Canopy Walk part, our guide asked for someone to help him. I offered. I was to hike up the hill ahead of everyone to unlock the Canopy Walk. Jun Liang joined me. Our guide handed us the keys and we climbed the hill. On the way we stopped to see...
A nice little caterpillar. When Jun Liang and I got out our standard-issue magnifying glasses, it didn't look so nice anymore...
Me unlocking the door to the Canopy Walk.
In total I got to travel on the Canopy Walk 4 times because of my offer to help. The first trip was opening the entrance and then the exit, then coming back, then going to the exit after everyone else to lock it (it has to be locked from the inside), then going back to the entrance to lock it from the outside. The guide was waiting for me there and then we took the jungle trail to meet up with the others. Below are the pictures of the Canopy Walk.
A little bit crowded waiting for their turns on the canopy walk
The Canopy Walk
Yu Jing, Shan and Kai Wen
Bio Teacher with a funny face on
Zhe Ying crossing the bridge
A view of the Canopy Walk
The strait and narrow path.... walking anywhere else requires the ability to walk on air...
Wai Ming, Wei Wern and Teacher
Me and Teacher
A hazy view
Wai Ming climbing down the third platform of the Canopy Walk
Looking down at "Little Boy" and "Little Ming"
The mind-boggling structure of the canopy walk. It makes you worry how long will the trees be able to hold all of this together.
Teacher walking down the steps of the third platform.
Now where does this dark staircase lead to?
A video. Notice Wei Wern's facial expression that split second after the camera shows ~0.0~ crossing the bridge.
After the Canopy Walk we came down to a "waterfall". Not a very convincing waterfall... more like a "downhill stream of water". We were coming down from uphill and while the rest of us took the track down to the bottom of the "waterfall", Sie Yi was at the top of it...
IBM decided to climb down the "waterfall", and ended up half stuck. Our friend Turtle started hurling stones into the water around IBM, attempting to mantain a constant splash to get him nice and wet. Before long more and more of the guys from our class were enjoying this new sport.
Back down on flat ground.... aahhh...
We had our pre-packed potluck lunch, as well as lots of ice cream thanks to the presence of an ice-cream man :)
Me on the tree I climbed. We heard from our guide that if you don't know how to climb a tree, you suddenly will when you're being chased by wild animals in the jungle.
We had a brief photo session at a huge rock afer lunch.
The first few who scrambled up the rock. It got a lot more crowded after I put down the camera to join them.
Turtle and Sie Yie on the rock
After a wild shuffle to pack 30 students onto the rock for a photo, everyone swarmed off... except Turtle... and Sie Yie...
Finally we were back on the bus and heading back to school... for a Bio test. NOOOOO!!!
Jun Liang and Chern Hui exhausted
The bus ride back. On the way to FRIM Park everyone was jumping and walking around having fun. On the way back to school everyone was sleeping
Everyone was hoping that there would be rain and a big traffic jam to slow down our trip back to school, so that we could miss the last 3 periods which included Math, Sejarah and Bio. It did rain, but without much traffic jam... Teacher was nice enough to let us dilly dally until we skipped our Math Class hehehe
Back in the classroom... exhausted
Well that was fun. The only problem is that we're expected to hand in a report... aaargh...