Being a student is great

This is what happens when you’re on the final stages of recovery after being sick for weeks. You go on a shopping spree:

Oiishi okashi!

I went for my first singing lesson last Friday. Had to postpone a week because of laryngitis. By Friday, I had most of my voice back but it was still a little off.

My teacher said, “You shouldn’t be singing when you have laryngitis! You must take care of your throat because it’s your tool as a singer.”

So, on my first lesson, we merely talked. I told her my singing background and goals while she explained all the basic things that singers should take note of, like posture, breathing and enunciation.

Singing

I’ve wanted to sing professionally most of my life. When I was 16, I picked a singing school at random and signed up for classes.

At my first lesson, I arrived to discover that the lessons were conducted with a karaoke machine. We picked a song for me to sing and the teacher supposedly corrected my mistakes.

He said I shouldn’t do falsetto and that I should strain my throat to reach the high notes even if it kills me. Do enough of this and your voice will improve, he said.

So, in my first lesson, I screamed my throat raw and he said “well done”.

I never went back again.

Singing

After that, I never signed up for anymore lessons for fear of encountering another crook teacher. Until now, that is.

I mean, I’ve been tempted all these years. I know crook teachers are probably the minority. But it’s always either the lack of funds to pay for lessons or the fear of finding out that I have no talent or skill and therefore can never reach level I want.

But now, since I’m on a roll signing up for classes, I thought I might as well give singing a go, finally.

Singing

I decided to go with Lily Anna Nuris at The Music Lab where I was learning drums. (I’ve quit learning drums for now because I found I couldn’t progress without being able to own my own drumset.)

I like The Music Lab, and Lily teaches Olivia Ong (the singer who sang the theme song for The Little Nonya and who enjoyed an illustrious singing career in Japan become returning to Singapore last year).

Lily is a very respected artiste in Singapore with a resume a mile long so hopefully she can fix me. Haha. She will be performing a solo concert this Friday at Esplanade, performing songs by Alanis Morissette.

All I Really Want by Lily Nuris

I think I might go check it out, even if the timing is kinda late, at 9:30pm. She sang several lines for me on Friday to demonstrate her lessons and I think her voice is really sweet.

And my drums teacher Alvin Tan will be part of the band! =D

Besides singing, there are the two dance classes (Hip Hop and Jazz) I’ve already started on. I’m working on my childhood dream of acting in musicals. I think I’ve left it kinda late to start developing skills but that can’t be helped; lessons are expensive.

Anyway, one can still be an actor-performer when one is old and grey right? Surely there are old characters in musicals!

Japanese classes start this Thursday. Erm, this is to indulge in my love of the Japanese language, acquired through reading manga and watching anime.

Anime

I totally love my classes! It’s such a good life being a student and spending all your time learning things you like.

Oh, OH. I watched The Karate Kid last night. It’s freaking amazing. Jaden Smith is freaking amazing. He’s a heartthrob even at the age of 12.

Jaden Smith

(He is Will Smith’s son, in case any of you don’t know. Wang Wang didn’t know until the end of the movie. Duh.)

Of course, it’s making me want to get a jump on signing up for wushu classes now. I’ve been holding back because I thought I had signed up for too many classes already as it is and wanted to see how I deal with the current curriculum first.)

(Also because, a couple of weeks ago, I paid a visit to the school I wanted to learn at, all ready to sign up, and it was closed for the night. -_-)

Oops. It’s almost time to prepare for Jazz dance class.

I’ll just need to go hide all the snacks I laid out to take that photo earlier. I’m not allowing myself to eat any until I’m totally cured.

Yeah, like real.

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 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!!