My mum lives on in my guitar… and other strange tales

Before my mother passed away, she was learning how to play the guitar.

We had a couple of old, beat-up guitars at home. I don’t remember where they came from. But I remember my mother shopping for this new guitar, one day, when I was maybe 10 years old.

I played around with the old guitars, occasionally. Not real music, just fooling around. But I never played with the new guitar until after my mother passed away. She left when I was 11.

Continue reading…

God is a Woman — off the set

Filming in KL

For the duration of our stay in KL, Maria and I stayed at Hotel Istana (just across the street from Dean’s apartment) while Kan bunked in with Dean.


View of our hotel from Dean’s rooftop.

Some nights, I would crash over at Dean’s apartment (just for a few hours) ostensibly to hang out with the guys, but in actuality to leech Dean’s Internet access.

On this particular night, while I was busy blogging and Kan was busy downloading the day’s work and preparing for the next day, Dean decided to serenade us.

He sang many songs for us but this is my favourite.

Superman (It’s Not Easy)

Kan helped me film this using my Nokia N82. I have a cameo appearance halfway in the video, looking very stressed because I had two blogs to write and about four billion e-mails and messages to reply.

Dean’s ability to sing and play the guitar in this manner is somewhat hilarious because you’d never expect it of him if you were to meet him. He’s always a clown, making people laugh and doing impromptu weird dances to entertain people.

He even clowns around with strangers, who often don’t get it because they don’t expect a perfect stranger to tease them.

It’s funny for us, though.

Too bad he lives in Malaysia. We’ll miss him!

I hate moving house

A word of advice to those planning to move house soon. Do not attempt to do it without sleeping the night before. (That means no last minute panic and packing.)

I can’t claim that I totally didn’t sleep. I slept 30 minutes from 5:30 am to 6 am on Saturday. That’s definitely not good.

My friends (who helped out with the moving) can all attest to the fact that I looked and acted like a zombie all day. I had to operate on auto pilot: Walk where I was needed, carry what needed carrying, clean what needed cleaning, unpack what needed unpacking, like a mindless robot.

Even taking out my camera to snap a photo was done on auto pilot, which explains why I hardly took any photos. This is one of the few:

[Guitar Rambo]

Kerrendor plays at being Guitar Rambo with all our guitars. We have a Guitar Hero III guitar, a Rock Band guitar and, of course, my faithful old classical guitar.

We actually have another. The Goonfather has an electric guitar from his teenage rock star wannabe days. But we didn’t bring it to our new place because he wants to sell it. Any buyers? It’s really old in terms of age but new in terms of usage.

Our TV didn’t arrive until after 4 pm, after which the Goonfather set it up temporarily in the living room so our friends could play Rock Band while we busied ourselves unpacking.

[Impromptu jamming]

The TV and speakers had to be placed on the floor with cables running all over the place. Feels grungy.

[Impromptu jamming]

I didn’t get to play. I was too busy making my room liveable asap so I could have a nice, comfortable place to have a warm shower and sleep, hopefully some time within this century.

I didn’t have a chance at all to touch Grand Theft Auto IV. Sorry, GTA fans.

Well, we did get a few minutes to try it out this morning so I cammed it. Except my audio cable is now in the car and I can’t edit videos without sound, so my GTA4 review will have to wait a while longer.

But first impression is pretty damn awesome and I can’t wait to play it for real.

By the way, the Goonfather is a goondu.

We were back at our old place today to pack more stuff. I was trying very hard not to collapse from exhaustion when I suddenly heard an exclamation.

“HEY! I FOUND MONEY!!”

Turned out he’d found an old red packet which still had money inside. There was a $50 bill and a $20 bill. That is so archaic!! It’s not the new plastic limited edition $20 note. It’s the old old design paper note from god knows which millennium.

“Hmm…,” he said. “This is the exact same ang pow I found when we moved house two years ago.”

What a nut.

While we were packing two years ago to move house (seems like we move quite a lot), he had found this red packet and was so excited about finding extra money that he proceeded to pack it in together with all the rest of his junk. During the unpacking process, he dumped everything wholesale into drawers and closets.

You can probably tell what happened next. He clean forgot all about the red packet for the whole two years we lived in that house.

I bet this is going to happen again. And again. (This won’t be the last time we’re moving house.)

Because he was making such a commotion, his mother came into our room to investigate. She saw the red packet and said, “Didn’t I give this to you when you went to the USA to study?”

That was donkey years ago lor!!!!! Hahahaha.

Damn goondu lah. Always complaining about being broke but at the same time leaving money lying around in the middle of old documents and junk.

Anyway, a shout out to all my friends of Club Morte (sometimes also known as Hammer Morte). Thanks for all the help!

Oh, gosh. No rest for the wicked. More stuff to upack, loads of editing work to do because I didn’t get a chance to work on them this whole weekend.

Whoever said weekends were for rest?

I formed a rock band!

My calf is aching, my throat is sore and my thumb is screaming.

Such is the result of the evil that is Rock Band.

I can’t wait to torture my body again!

I was really excited about Rock Band when news of its impending release came. We camped our regular gaming store and waited miserably for it to arrive in Singapore.

It took forever. By the time it did, all the excitement had died. I got busy with other stuff and lost all interest in the game.

So when the Goonfather bought the game unannouced on Tuesday night, I was, like, “Dude! That’s $389!!”

(I don’t actually call him Dude in real life. It just seemed right to type that.)

The game box is really huge. It filled up the entire car boot.

[Rock Band sitting in our car]

We took it home.

[Rock Band sitting on our floor]

The Goonfather took photos of the unwrapping, so I have to publish them because this is like the first time he voluntarily took photos for me.

(Every time I ask him to take a photo of me, he makes a face and grumpily takes a hasty, blur shot. Which is why I had to master the art of self-camwhoring.)

Okay, back to the box!

[Opening Rock Band]

A scary looking bright pink warning slip!

It looks scary but when you read it, you’ll go, “Duh.”

[Warning slip]

Duh.

[Rock Band software and drumsticks]

Ooh. The software and drumsticks!

Strangely, that makes me feel hungry. I’m thinking of chicken now.

[Rock Band microphone]

Ahh, the microphone! It looks rather small and retarded if you ask me. Very not glam. Hmm… in the first place, do rock stars use this kind of microphones? I thought they use headset mics. I can’t remember cos I don’t watch MTVs or concerts all that much.

This looks more fit for karaoke. Hahaha.

Ok, next.

[Rock Band unpacked]

Everything out of the box!

There’s a drum set, a wireless guitar and a microphone to form a three-man rock band.

Rock Band allows up to four players for a jamming session (drums, vocals, lead guitar, bass guitar) but the box only comes with one guitar, which is so inconvenient!!

The company doesn’t sell individual guitars. If you want an extra guitar to form a full band, you need to buy another Rock Band set.

Of course we’re not going to do that. You think we print money is it?

Anyway, since we have two people at home only, the Goonfather decided to get a mic stand so one person can play the guitar while singing and the other person can play the drums.

It was too late to rush out to buy a mic stand, so the Goonfather made his own. (How much does a mic stand cost, anyway?)

[Making a mic stand]

He has a bunch of toilet pipes lying around at home from a previous, abandoned project, so he dragged them out and drilled some holes and played lego with the toilet pipes to form this:

[Toilet pipe mic stand]

Wahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s so terribly unglam lah!!!!!!!!

I think we should call our rock band Toilet Pipes.

Close up:

[Close up of toilet pipe mic stand]

The drilling was to make a lobang for the wire to stick out of:

[Close up of toilet pipe mic stand 2]

I don’t know why they can’t give us a wireless microphone if they can give us a wireless guitar. It’s so stupid.

Last night, we invited Morte over to jam with us.

[First jamming session]

They are both still in their work clothes!!! Hahahahaha! I could just die laughing.

Here’s a back view picture of me on the drums.

[Back view]

There’s no front view because Morte didn’t photograph any.

We were too busy to take photos, anyway. Most of the night, we took turns swapping instruments and trying them all out. It was so addictive that Morte stayed till 10:30 pm, even though he had to be at SIM at 10:30 pm to pick his wife up from school. Hahahahaha. (It’s about a 30-minute drive from my place to SIM.)

I wonder if Wang Wang (Morte’s wife) gave him hell for it. I would if I were her. Hahahahaha!

As you can tell, I am highly amused by the entire incident.

Okay, that was a preliminary jamming session and like everyone was in their work clothes, so I didn’t take too many photos.

I’ll take better photos when we organise a proper session on a weekend with all my friends!

It is damn fun!! And damn funny!!! Especially when your friends are crap at a particular instrument and you can scold them for making you die. Hahahahaha.

Okay, of course dying is not funny. But you know what I mean.

I love playing the drums. Playing guitar is more glamorous but I’m kind of sick of it because it’s like Guitar Hero.

The drums is cool! But its hell on your right calf because you’re using your calf muscles to step on the foot pedal. I found out last night that I have really weak calf muscles. It’s a muscle I didn’t even know existed until last night! *lol* It started feeling irritated and trembly when I played too many songs requiring a lot of fast, nifty footwork. (Or maybe our chair was too low.)

The vocals part is fun only if you know the song. They do give you lyrics to sing to and a pitch indicator to tell you whether you’re singing the right note or not, but it’s better if you already know the song.

And it is DAMN COOL playing the guitar and singing at the same time… like a real rock star! Hehehehe!

But I’m not going to videotape myself doing that cos I sound horrible singing rock songs, like a frog croaking. Luckily, the game doesn’t judge you on voice quality. It only judges pitch. You don’t even have to sing the right words. You can la la la through the whole song and still score top marks if you hit all the right notes. Hahaha.

We made a band last night to play in career mode and called it Buns N’ Hoses. (Morte’s idea.) Hahahahahaha!!!!

I better stop blogging now before I kill myself laughing.

More pictures next time!!