Monthly Archives: August 2006

Double Vision

So I watched The Two Of Us, a double-bill play consisting of two stories, Black and Silver and Chinamen. The former featured Ari Ratos in his usual bumbling routine (which could be funny for some, but his delivery is only 99% there) as a father on holiday with his wife and baby. Humor for the parents.

The latter featured Rashid Salleh and Joanna Bessey as a young couple inviting guests over for dinner. Problem was, the host invited a husband… and the hostess invited his wife and her new boyfriend. Chaos ensues as they try to keep the situation under wraps ala Frasier. The moment I saw the same actors playing the guests, I knew I was in for a fun ride, as Rashid effortlessly switches from inebriated estranged husband to forgetful host, and Joanna the worrying hostess and rapper! You’d know that two characters played by the same actor would never appear at the same time, so it was fun to see how they handled it, walking in and out doors.

It was also then that I realized how great these two were at comedy, especially timing. Joanna’s expression turns to worry naturally, unlike a lot of plays I’ve seen recently where it seems like they just flipped a switch to contort facial muscles. Rashid, like any other comedic actor, has his signature expressions that get people laughing, but he manages to pull more comedic weight in dialogue subtly.

Catch the last show this Sunday the 20th of August 2006, 3pm. Worth watching for the second story (if you’re not married with kids you probably can’t relate to the first story.)

Details here.

And now, for a double-bill of different sorts; two pictures to one category.

Flashing the steam.

This was at Bar-B-Q Sunway Pyramid. I always laughed at the cartoon dragon statue that stood outside the branch at 1 Utama’s Rainforest, whenever I used the escalator.

Underexposed skies; note what appears to be a little worker!

Somewhat macro.

Chopped sticks.


Suria KLCC rooftop.

Elevator shaft.

Fishes at the Sentul Koi Centre, Sentul Park.

Reach near and the koi will take you in.

Cat’s tails at Sentul Park.

Leaves at the exit.

I spotted this at the Bangsar LRT station.

Tracks! What could’ve dug up so much mud?

Satay in Kg. Baru.

Much respect for the dude, who is seen picking charcoal with his bare hands.

Motion blur is achieved with a slow shutter speed.

Pan around the object to make it look like it’s moving. Yes, the eagle statue was not moving!

Yes 2 Kapitalism!

It has been a while since I’d been to Paul’s New Place; since the screening of Ciplak, Khai‘s independent movie. I was there for the Y2KPizza Salsa” album launch.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
Left to right, top to bottom: The crowd; FYI Entertainment expresses how they finally got around to producing Y2K’s album; Rina Omar was the host and one-time Y2K drummer; a projection screen shows hilarious short clips of The Making Of the album (parodying Nacho Libre, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster documentary, Karate Kid, Star Wars, and many others that Khai gets inspiration from); the sound-engineer’s corner; Triple6Poser performing.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
Left: Eddy Lim, tattooed frontman and long-haired harmonica player; top-right: Khai rocks out; bottom-right: Jay on bass and Henry on guitar complete this hard-rocking bluesy classic rock/heavy metal band.

Stonebay was the next opening act, with grunge-tinged vocals.

Check out his guitar, yo.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
The last act before Y2K breaks onto stage is Dragon Red. Adam croons and shouts; Amil makes orgasmic faces while playing nu-metal riffs, while Natalie keeps it low on bass.

Interestingly, Adam found a hammer on stage, but I did not get to take a picture of it. Him holding a hammer in one hand and a mike in the other reminded me of Anchorman:

Ron Burgundy: Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?
Brick Tamland: I don’t know.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
Finally, Y2K makes their way on stage, masks and all; Monsieur Poubelle was a rapper who lost his face and now plays bass.

Hermano Grande is the lucha wrestler on a Flying V guitar.

The Naq, fear-striking space creature, is not seen in the background. After a series of Spinal Tap-like drummers (from Asai the original cute Japanese drummer who drummed punk rock beats and sang at the same time, to Rina Omar, and some others, they were finally graced by The Naq.)

Nazneen joined on stage when they needed female vocals.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
Look ma, no flash.

(Picture can be clicked for enlarged version.)
They then swap positions! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as just swapping instruments; Monsieur Poubelle was left-handed!

Ahmad of The Blumps joins them for a crazy angry bridge! Check out the punk rock rage, yo.

(A second-curtain flash would help in this slow-shutter-speed-flash picture, so his trails would be behind him.)

The finale.

Oh, but that’s not all; check out their album case!

RM19.90 for 19 songs of good, clean punk rock production, with hilarious lyrics and a few not-so-punk-genre songs. I’m not sure where you can get this uniquely packaged CD, but you can check Y2K‘s official site.

Furry Fun

Yes that’s right boys and girls, I got to play with Jasiminne‘s pussy.

Every time you masturbate… God kills a kitten.

Fisting the pussy.

Thank goodness its nails were trimmed.

My owner is mean, she tries to pass me off as a giant ginger-colored hamster to impress friends.

What, me, mean to pussies?

Shaving Nick

And now, for a post in quite… a different style.

Remember the freebies I got at the free Starlight Cinema? Well, one of them was a 2-in-1 facial wash and shaving cream.

I tried it on, just for the heck of it. It was free after all.

Wow, what a refreshing feeling!

I have to admit that I do not wash my face the way girls do; I use tap water.

Nope, I don’t use soap.

…I’m so fair that it’s not fair.

And then, I took a blade to my skin.

Wow, what smoothness! It was just gliding.

(Yes, I’ve never used shaving cream; sure didn’t feel like I needed it.)

It was then that I noticed the red spot. Well, at least it didn’t sting.

I dried my hair, and then I noticed this in the mirror and… camwhored.

And now, for a quiz in quite… a different style.

Notice anything wrong with my teeth?

As usual, the winner gets a pimping post.

Brokeback Chair

Amongst all the chaos that is ensuing between my two computers, alternating between states of On and Working and Off and Blue-Screen-Of-Death-ing, there is one little thing that can bring me happiness.

A new chair.

My old trusty Brokeback Chair. I don’t know how it loosened itself to the point that I’d have to break out a pair of nutcracker pliers to turn the nuts back in place. After a while it would lean back again.

My new stiff-back chair.

As you can tell, it’s not exactly new. The offices upstairs were getting new chairs, and old chairs were going at RM20 a piece! I grabbed one.

You may also notice the mess around; I’d only clean it up once both computers are working. That means less pictures for all of you. 🙁

Mark Chicks

Over the past few days, I have been asked this question many times again:

How come you’re always surrounded by hot chicks?

It’s not just guys who ask. Girls who set up PLU blogs do, too. Straight girls too… I think.

So what is it about Albert, who is not as tall as a basketball player, does not have a car, does not have any publicly-visible tattoos, does not smoke, does not have a credit card, has long unruly hair, that lets Albert know these hot chicks?

I don’t know, I could be good-looking or something.

But I’ll tell you what I think works.

A guy should have technical understanding over something that is otherwise magic to young impressionable girls, namely fashion, gossip, rollies (for girls who smoke), contacts to free flow of alcohol, magic tricks with a deck of cards, lomography cameras, a camera with a swivel screen (to ease camwhoring) and maybe even a do-it-yourself infrared camera, like this:

An infrared camera picks up infrared light as well as normal light, so it works better in the dark. Grace has conspired to steal my camera.

I don’t know why she calls herself thiathia, when her real name is Cindy. Nama glamour lari nak mampus. (Kel Li pronounces thiathia so obscenely!)

It would be good, too, to be metrosexual in knowledge. Identify mascara, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc. Don’t just say that she has nice eyes. My long hair has helped me relate somewhat to the struggles of keeping long hair (as opposed to keeping in touch with my feminine side.) I can geek out about why Loreal smells better.

Who cares if you can solve the Rubik’s Cube in under one minute? Who cares if you can play Yngwie Malmsteen stuff on guitar? It’s all about the visceral effect. You gotta learn your pop songs so she can sing along.

…and yes, I’m reminding all of you here yet again, yes I do play guitar and I look sexy doing it.

I also take pictures, and that looks sexy to some people too.

Who cares if you’re into philosophy? Don’t try to impress her with intelligence, because she wouldn’t be able to relate to the topics you talk about. 😛 (Whether that means pretty girls think of less complicated things, or that you think of more complicated things, is up to your own interpretation.)

Learn a skill that girls usually try to pick up, and then drop out of, e.g. how to tune a guitar and change its strings. You could also learn how to set up MMS/Bluetooth on any fashionista’s phone (familiarize yourself with obscure phone brands for this!)

Even girls, girls like pretty girls. Girls don’t go out alone. Girls don’t go to the toilet alone. They gotta have friends to go shopping, and they gotta have hot friends. They want to feel happening too. They stalk hot blogs. So associate yourself with famous people, and lure them with the idea that they might get to meet them. Sorry Joyce, I abuse our acquaintance-ship. 😛 Here’s your infrared picture from ages ago:

What, you’ve been going around telling girls that you know me and thus they get to say hi to me and think you’re such a happening guy and therefore want to get in your pants?

If you see a hot chick, she is more often than not with a bunch of hot chicks.

When was the last time you saw a bunch of hot guys? In a gay bar?

Guys generally do not hang out with hot guys. They’re competition. Girls hang out with hot girls. They fail to see the logic, but who’s to complain?

So, associate with one, and the rest will come rolling. Easier said than done, but once started, you’d wonder how it all began.

Oh and a final random piece of advice: When buying a drink for a lady sitting over there, make sure the waitress gives your message written on a tissue and identifies you. The waitress passed the drink and message, but didn’t identify the guy! This infrared picture shows that infrared photography makes written ink invisible. :O For the benefit of those unable to read embossed letters, it said, “CANT TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU“.

Channel Tree

It has been a while since I played with Photoshop.

I chose the Red Channel, mucked with its levels, and pasted the monochrome picture in a new image. Same for the Green, whitening out the skies in favor of leaf detail. I then mucked with the Blue channel to bring out the contrast in skies, darkening the tree to a silhoutte. I then combined them with Multiply and Lighten; can’t remember the order. I then pasted the original picture on top, with a Blending Mode of Color. Finally, I bumped up the saturation.

The original file. Have fun go mad!

I won’t be updating much with pictures (or the promised videos) as my main computer’s main hard disk’s main partition, namely C:, is broke. S.M.A.R.T. reports that its status is bad but I can’t access it to backup stuff. The good news is, C: is only 5 GB on purpose; the bad news is, my recent works are on my Desktop and My Documents, including my To Do list! ARGH.

DAMN YOU WESTERN DIGITAL. You were bad to Fazri. You were bad to JFK.

I bought 10 8x DVD+Rs and 10 16x DVD+Rs, but only backed up 4 DVDs so far. (And none is of the C: drive.) Damn my lazy self.

What’s worse is the feeling of helplessness; I used to be so close to my computer. I used to fix it all and fix it good. Now there are random problems of unpredictable nature popping up.

Perhaps I should stop going out almost every day and stay home and clean up the house, clean up the mess, find the driver CDs and get in touch with my geek self again. I’m afraid I’d lose my touch – I used to be an expert VCR programmer, music video/Transformers/Mr. Bean archivist and a walking talking TV guide. Now I don’t even know what’s on TV.

An Ode To Cosmic Funk Express, Part 2

A glaring omission to my previous Cosmic Funk Express post would be, of course, super double-tapping guitar-shredding clean-sweeping orgasm-face-making Korean boy, Zack Kim!

His (new) Ibanez Paul Gilbert Model is set up with low action and a fixed bridge instead of the default double-locking Floyd Rose bridge to do plenty of right-hand tapping…

…as well as left-hand tapping. Alda often jokes that he wanted to be a piano player.

So what happened to his previous guitar? Why, he mounted it and placed a hairband (to mute open strings).

The previous guitar, also an Ibanez Paul Gilbert Model, had its Floyd Rose cavities filled up, and the back springs completely removed!

Broken Scar looks like he is shooing Zack off stage.

It’s sad to hear that he will have to go back to Korea. The next he comes back he better be doing his world tour. And I better be getting in backstage to see his groupies flash him.

And now, for a technical note on taking pictures at more formal-like concerts like these; don’t use flash (spotlights give nice color), use a fast shutter speed and higher ISO, underexpose by setting the EV to -1 or -2. The camera, be it point-and-shoot digicam or digital SLR, will still try to expose the background so it is brighter. Screw the background! Let it be underexposed so it does not distract from the performer. It’s better that you lose detail in shadows while getting dramatic lighting. In this picture, it is not underexposed, but the problem with this picture is that there is no detail in highlights; on the right, the same picture was put through Photoshop, Image – Adjustments – Levels, Input Levels – 0, 0.10, 255. As you can see the frets are barely there. In case you’re wondering, the left settings were: 1/160s, F4, ISO 200, EV 0. It should’ve been 1/640s, F4, ISO 200, EV -2.

Oh, and all the shots were photographed with my Canon Powershot A520, or a friend’s Panasonic DMC FZ20, both on ISO 200, and mostly in Shutter Priority mode, 1/60 to 1/100 seconds exposure, EV -1. You have no idea how frustrated I was when my frustrated Nikon D70s owning-friends were going “so blur lah have to use flash!” and I told them off for using ISO 200 on this dSLR. I also went, “Underexpose! Underexpose!” which may audibly make its way to the bootleg videos I will post up.

Yes I sound elitist, but I strongly believe that one should learn up the science of exposure before getting a dSLR.

And now, for less technical things.

After their performance, I bumped into Alda.
Me: After all your calling and promoting the very single Zack, is Zack a virgin?
Alda: Uh gee, I don’t know… is he?
Me: Well, if he is, as band leader you have failed! Failed to give Zack the rock star dream!

Okay, so the conversation was exaggerated, on my part. But hey girls-who-fall-for-guys-in-rock-bands, Zack is as hot as they get, because he’s Korean (aren’t you girls crazy over Koreans now?) and he’s good with his hands. Very good with his hands. You can even bring him over and get him to teach you guitar! He also becomes immensely funnier (and red) with a few beers. Uh. A few beers. Very few, last I remember.

An Ode To Cosmic Funk Express, Part 1

Alda: We regret to inform you that this will be Cosmic Funk Express‘s last gig.

In times like these, they must put on their hats and carry on.

Their last performance was at the Sunrise Jazz & Rhythm Fest, August 4th, 2006. (They also performed last year and the year before.)

Howdy cowboy.

Alda has always been an entertaining bassist with stage presence.

This picture is so wrong. (Alda has a knack for standing on things.)

Alex Ang on drums.

This guy is a technical beat math whiz.

Izwin joins for the covers, including the very funky Incubus – Summer Romance. Yes, Cosmic Funk Express is otherwise an out-of-worldly instrumental funk/jazz rock band.

Savy is the often forgotten keyboardist, who joined for the covers. I did not notice if she played for all the songs.

I’ve been following Cosmic Funk Express since their first drummer, Elliot. I’m not sure if the first time I’d seen them play was at Shelley Leong‘s album launch. I mourn the loss of an amazing Malaysian band, who’d play Eric Johnson – Cliffs Of Dover when I shout for it. A band that would win a Battle Of The Bands. The first time I touched a Canon EOS 350D, I took pictures of them.

Please click on the links in this post, so you can see what my pictures used to look like. If you haven’t done it, scroll up!

Yeah, maybe you noticed that I introduced the band in alphabetical order – Alda, Alex, Izwin, Savy, and… and… Z… ZZZ. I gotta sleep man. Next update: The superstar of Cosmic Funk Express, and videos, when I figure out how to reencode them.

Sing A Song In KL

And now, for pictures from the 15th of July 2006 KL Sing Song performance!

Jasiminne sneaking up to Ariff Akhir of The Sofa Sessions, with Nicole of Rhapsody looking over.

Performers perform their songs in round-robin fashion, meaning they take turns to play one song each.

Ariff, with Lagu Malas.

…but really, he’s funny.

Gotta love the lights and smoke.

These colored lamps gave me a comfortable 1/13 to 1/40 seconds of exposure at ISO 200.

Broken Scar.

This time, the modern rocker performs alone.

Watch the orange explode…

Ywenna observes.

It is then Rhapsody’s turn to play, with beautiful jazz/soul/R&B melodies.

No nonono no no no nooo!” is one of her most memorable lyrics.

A candid moment as they remind the audience what their website addresses are.

The next three performers get on stage, including…

Meor the bare-footed busker, singing the gritty blues.

These feet were well-travelled.

Another well-travelled face was Pete Teo, acoustic singer-songwriter extraordinaire.

Once upon a time, he was a heavy metal shredder, but found acoustic guitars more challenging.

Check out his boots, yo.

Mei Chern had some songs of activist nature.

In the meantime, while waiting for their turn, they look pensive.

Pete playing a game of chess in his head.

This is how tall the stage was; long exposure, no flash.

The unspoken rule is that flash photography is not allowed when you have such bright lights on the performers, but one annoying n00b kept flashing, such that they made it a spoken rule during the intermission. Guess which one was the n00b!

Backstage, flash photography was allowed.

Joy Lee sook fun behind the video camera!

Original pictures are at Broken Scar‘s (so you can see what Photoshop can save from a noisy ISO 200 picture), with more shots at Jasiminne‘s. Also, a review for Xfresh.