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!
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.