Monthly Archives: February 2006

Gimme Some Money

I was walking from Pasar Seni to Masjid Jamek, downtown KL, when two Malay guys and one Malay girl were walking in my opposite direction. We would not walk into each other’s path, but suddenly one of the guys veered towards my direction, with his hands up like a bear’s, and a comical expression, and he said gruffly:


He then grabbed me moderately. I mean, like a bear would, but lighter. But not sissified either.

The way he played the joke, it was almost as if he knew me. Except he didn’t.

I stayed cool, somehow expecting it, and guessing that his friends dared him, so I turned to look at his friends, as they looked at him weirdly. He then smiled and I patted him off dismissively.

What was strange wasn’t just that he did that to a total stranger, but also that the total stranger totally understood what he intended to transpire, and played along. I have crazy friends who would do that! (To me, not to total strangers, of course.)

I then checked my pockets, and nothing was lost. A few hairs did stand up, but I was otherwise cool.

Lie And Dance

Here, again, is proof that Albert procrastinates the wrong things. He breaks program schedule to show you this cool trick, brought to you with the power of two polarizers in front of a digital camera. In order – a linear polarizer (must be linear), circular polarizer, digital camera. Yep, my circular-linear-wannabe-neutral-density filter.

The setting? A traditionally scorching bright sunny day, with the absolute EVs scorching at around 15. Perfect, they say, for outdoor action photography, as every shot will be scorchingly lit with shutter speeds of about 1/250 seconds at most. The subject? A lion dance performance.

Of course, I wanted a different effect than to see the lions being immobilized in mid air. I wanted to convey motion, something you would not be able to do even at F8.0. Cue the crossed polarizers!

Settings? ISO 50, aperture priority (anywhere between F2.6 to F8.0) and EV -1. Pardon the composition of the pictures, I was focusing on getting motion in cool ways.

But first, a peek into the mind of a lion:

This is a regular shot, no movement, no filters:

I then attach the filters, and turn the linear polarizer (the outer ring) to reduce the light coming to the lens, letting the camera to choose a slower shutter speed:

Motion looks better in wide shots.

By chance, I got this; one still, the other two moving.

So that’s how it’s done!

Big drums and heavy beats. How could you not headbang to this?

Nod your head yo.

Another way to make use of shutter speed is to pan with the subject, like so: (Note the Queen T-shirt!)

A faster-moving panned subject.

Show’s over, boys.

Happy Chinese New Year to all of you! (Yes, this is still valid till the day oranges are thrown into rivers.)

Young And Smokin’

The legal age to purchase cigarettes in Malaysia is 18 years of age, but did you know that the legal age to sell cigarettes is 21?

Knowing this, you could annoy your young friends. Ask if you could have a cigarette. Then, ask for another.

“Eh. Not free you know. Cigarette prices keep increasing, you know?”

That’s when you bust his entrepreneuring ass.

Of course, if you have a friend who would give you a cigarette for free, you might wanna keep him/her.

This also explains why there are cigarette-branded girls who walk around, collecting your information but not selling cigarettes.

Edit: Missed the not there. LOL!

P.S. Albert does not smoke cigarettes and does not suggest that you smoke as a social skill. I’ve seen enough newbies tipping ash over girls’ skirts, puffing awkwardly and coughing frantically after that. Please don’t do it because you wanna look cool. Albert however is a proponent of freeloading, so he won’t be hypocritical and tell you not to mooch off your friends. 🙂

Diet Coax

11 PM, Friday, February 3rd 2006, location: KL Sentral

For the first time ever, KL Sentral’s concourse area was clear.

Earlier, at 7pm, I was there at McDonalds ordering. They didn’t have chicken porridge or Diet Coke/Coke Light!

How could they not have Diet Coke? How could they run out? Does everybody order Diet Coke? I thought all you McDonalds junkies order Coke, the real thing, not the weak artificial imitation. I thought you all order burgers too, so how could they run out of porridge? (I normally don’t order porridge but I was feeling sick.)

This is why I drink Diet Coke.

Cabbie With Soul

So I hopped in a cab. This post will be partially translated from Malay to English as and when I feel like; cabbie will speak in italics while I will not. Conversation may not be completely, accurately transcribed, and may be shortened by accident.

So… kau dari mana?
I dari Bangsar Shopping Complex.
Oh… kerja ke?
Nolah, I baru tengok show. Itu Harith Iskander kat Actors Studio.
Wahhh itu Harith Iskander ya? Dia boleh buat wang buat show. English market.
Er.. yeah.
Kau tau, dulu I sekolah I buat persembahan. Banyak pementasan. Cikgu pun supportive. Tapi… I keluar, I buat security guard.
Huh kenapa you tak masuk? Kalau you tau, you bagus, you boleh buat.
Oh adalah… I ada cuba jugak. Masa tu ada interview RTM. Buat newscaster. Saya ada pergi. Tapi diorang macam nak… tak nak… nak ke tak nak? So I masa tu baru tujuh belas, I tak tahu apa-apa lagi, tak tau nak pergi mana, tinggal mana, I baru datang KL 1985.

He then goes on to say how he learnt scriptwriting, and knew how to and did everything on the set.

He went on about how Kisah Benar stories lack quality, and how anyone could watch a drama and complain about how it could’ve been so much better. About how Rosyam Nor is just doing it for the money, without the soul. And that he was actually sponsored by an Indian company, using his name to approach big companies.

You tau sekarang punya drama? Bila dia ada scene kenduri. Dulu kan, dia buat atmosphere dia tau. Ada budak lari sini-sana. Ada budak mau kencing. Sekarang kan, dia terus pergi dialog.

I threw in my own tangent:

Look at the colors in Jefri Zain movies! I was watching ASTRO RIA and saw bright vivid nicely post-processed technicolor in Gerak Kilat. Nowadays you see baaad, bad color and horrid, dark brown skin tones. What happened to good post-processing on film? Is digital film making our local productions look horrible?

He was actually quite photogenic. He had the look, even at his age. How old?

Anak saya pun ada kata, “Abah buatlah filem…”

I told him to go and do it, the next time his friends in the scene ask him to. Because he needs to represent. Because he needs to fix what is wrong with local drama.

You’ve got soul, go do it.

You got a chance, go chase it. (A cabbie was once a double-pedalling drummer whose band was about to get its big break.)

He then ended by asking if I had stock options in ASTRO. Yeah, I said. Keep it, he said. He then went on about stocks and went all stock-geek on me.

Sadly, I fear that he was just being lazy about it, like a lot of us. Why aren’t we getting up and doing what is right? Is Afdlin Shauki the only champion in local movies? (Okay, and Yasmin Ahmad too.)

I may not be a pious person; I believe in soul as the passion to do what is right.