Saturday, March 25, 2006

Thoughts in the night

I'm wide awake. And I wonder what am I doing here. It's the time when solitude governs and activities cease. It's time when beings come to a halt and recharge. But I'm awake.

It's too quiet for me to scream my lungs out. But the deafening silence is something I can't ignore. My heart is restless. I need a relaxant, or someone give me an anti-depressant. My soul wants to be heard, but is misunderstood.

It's a good time to have a good overdose of booze to dull the pain. But, even alcohol, my body now rejects. Why has it come to this? When I long for an escape and it eludes me.

Why do I take all this shit......

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Caught at point blank

Here's what's going to happen.

If we make it to Battle Of The Bands Melaka, Joshua will pierce.
So, here's proof of the conversation.
It's not just any piercing...it's the Prince Albert.
Jester aka Joshua.

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If Joshua sees this, I'm dead.

Career Fair Live Concert Part 2

Thursday, Amplify and friend minus the bassist made an appearance on campus. It was Career Fair Live Concert part 2. Since the last gig (the one we got cut-off half way), we were invited to perform once again as a make-up for the mishap. This time, we had to cut the volume and play something softer since the stage would be smacked right in the middle of all lecture activites. And we didn't have Jeffrey, our bassist anyway. So we decided to play the songs we auditioned for U-Nite : Be With You by Mr Big and Love Thing by Joe Satriani. Me and Chee Meng would switch between guitars and bass while Nicky would sing. On Wednesday night...or rather, Thursday 'early' morning, we had a brush-up practice and had this crazy idea to just play The Scientist by Coldplay. It was a last minute decision with no full practice. But we took the plunge. A night to learn the chords and lyrics.

Thursday came and found us up on stage. All of us too lepak di. I don't know why we didn't feel the same tension and anxiety like we did during the Career Fair Live Concert night. All in all, we played 4 songs, coz we were requested to play Mr Big's song twice. Popular demand, or lousy mike setup....i dunno.

Anyway, here are some pics, courtesy of Audrey. Thank you. (the previous pics were also courtesy of Audrey as well)

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As for now, it would be alot more practices to gear ourselves for U-Nite!
And for those who came to support and watch us, thank you SO MUCH!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ta da!

We made it past the audition for U-Nite!

It's a surprise since the only other band that auditioned sounded rather intimidating. They had a really talented guitarist that looks and play like he's high on drugs. Really good stuff. And their drummer plays for Dragon Red. And they really played well. I wasn't sure if we would make it. All I felt was relieved that at least, we manage to make it for the audition. Then I let things be.

With the news this morning, I'm rather excited. This is another stepping stone for Amplify and friends to climb up another level. Well, it also means more homework....practices...training...and the works. But no pain, no gain.

*can't wait*

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Amplify @ Career Fair Live Concert 2006

The day started well. The night before, we practised one last time. Just to make sure everyone was in sync with each other. We simulated the whole night and anticipated what we needed to perform. It was a great and much needed practice.

At 3pm, we went for sound check. It was a blistering hot day and the sound people came late. They took their sweet time, as always. By the time we actually got to sound checking, it was almost 5. The gig was held in the car park near the chiller plant. It's a really nice place to hold outdoor concerts. I think it could fit in about 2000 people easily.

At 8.30, it started to rain. Typical of such an extremely hot day to end with heavy rain. But I prayed. I asked God to let it rain, but let it stop at 9pm, just in time for the concert to begin. I couldn't bear the thought of having the rain spoil the whole night's event. Imagine the number of people who would have been so disappointed. While waiting for time to pass, I did my devotion. And at 9pm, the rain stopped! It was a prayer answered. Better later than never.

The concert was suppsoed ot begin by 9pm, but the rain set everything back by more than half an hour. So by the time the guest band and first band came on, it was 10pm already. The whole show was supposed to close by 12am. With 2 hours and 9 bands to go....I foresaw it would be a little messy at the end. But I tried my best not to worry. The rain was good in that it made the night weather more cooling and refreshing. More and more people started coming in as the bands continued to display their songs. It was a Malay majority crowd. I think it was only 5% non-malays in the audience. And out of 10 bands, we were the only Chinese band. Later on, we were labelled as 'band Cina' by the emcees. Whatever makes them happy :P

To be honest, the sound system was a wee bit whacked. Didn't sound too nice, but there was nothing we could do about it. Amplify was excited and we were anticipating the countdown to our turn to get up on stage. Most of the bands were ok. But some plain boring. Some had great musicians, some had lousy vocals. It was....well, okok only-lar. On schedule, Amplify was supposed to be number 9 on the list. By the time band number 3 was on, most of our friends that wanted to support us came. Still a long way to go before our turn came. They endured it all. I was thankful that there was no metal-screaming bands, and grateful that our friends were willling to sit in the whole time as they waited for us to come on.

By the time band number 6 was on, Amplify was already tuning our instruments backstage. We were that excited. We ran through the whole run of our performance one by one. We motivated each other. We got enthusiastic. We prayed, though not all of us. We tried to calm ourselves down. Adrenaline was already pumping so bad, that no matter how much I drank, I felt thirsty.

The time soon came. And we found ourselves walking up the stage to rock the show. Finally, the time had come. Unfortunately, due to time constraint, we were asked to only play one song. A sudden feeling of unfairness crept it. Why us? What about the earlier bands? But, we set up our stuff and got ready to give a great performance. I knew I was going to sing, but more important, I had prayed that my main audience would be God. Since he gave me the courage to sing, I would sing for Him first before anyone else, even if it wasn't a Christian thingy.

There were some glitches. Time wasn't on our side, so were the organisers. They kept asking us to hurry up. We tried our best to set our equipment right and make sure everything was fine before blasting off, but before we could set everything the way we wanted it, the show had to start for us. Time had run out.

Our plan was to start with a warm up song. But I really felt we couln't afford the time for that song and told the rest to get into the main stuff:) So, away we went! Guitars screaming and drums rolling, we took off with such energy. It was a sudden change in atmosphere. The whole band was feeling the music and radiating its energy. Everyone on stage was grooving with the beat, one way or another.

This is our first ever performance as a band! It's a milestone. And I don't get to play the guitars. Instead, I just have to sing. Being a guitar-person, I felt naked without a guitar but what could I do? I mean, like what am I going to do in between songs and solos? Since I don't have an instrument to play. I saw the singers of the earlier bands standing like sticks and stones while the rest of the band members 'rocked' on with their solos. I didn't want to be like that. So, I did what many others have not seen me done before. I danced to the music, or grooved or whatever you want to call it. I was jumping to the beat. It was a part of me I never knew I could do and a part of me no one has seen before. It was something birthed of desperation, of not wanting to be a stick among the 'rock-ers'. It felt odd behaving a bit like a primate, but looking at my bandmates feeling the music and grooving with it spurred me on.

I can say that we really gave our best. All out! I felt the energy as we played. I felt the flow of each musician with the other. We played as one and it really felt good. The first song we played was Someone Else's Arms by Mae. When we ended, we were just about to move on to the next song, which is a song I wrote called Life is for Living when we were told to stop playing by the authorities. I already positioned myself to launch into the next song. I already dedicated the song to Nicholas Chan and his family. I just wanted to sing. We were all ready t go. But we had to stop. It was a heartache. After all that practice and not even a chance to play it. I knew some of my friends even came all the way to support us and also to hear the song I wrote, for the first time. But it was not to be. Part of me wanted to rebel. Part wanted to spur the crowd on and just play on and ignore the authorities. But the other part knew what was the right thing to do.

So, we reluctantly disconnected eveything and got ready to get down. I felt so uncontented. I felt unfairness. I was feeling disappointed to have been turned down from singing our second song due to time running out. It had apparently ran out for us, and for the night as well. When I got off the stage, I was feeling angry and disappointed. After such an energetic performance for the 1st song, it was a terrible blow to have to stop. So close yet so far!

But after awhile, I came to my senses. It's not the organisers fault. They wanted the show to go on. It was the security and the FMD department that was pushing for the show to end abruptly since the time was up. On the part of the organising committee, they were apologizing profusely for having to ask us to stop. And couldn't stay upset. It's not their error. After thinking it through, I felt even worse for the last and final band, who didn't even get to perform a single thing. They were totally turned down because there just wasn't enough time. And I really felt terrible for them. After all their practices and anticipation to put up a great show, they had to go home deprived. I took comfort at the fact that at least we manage to play one song.

Maybe it just wasn't time for my own song to be let out just yet. Maybe another suitable time would come by. Maybe God had other plans for us to perform elsewhere at another time. I really don't know. But I am thankful that I was given the strength and boldness to do what I did. And thankful that Amplify managed to give out a great show, no matter how short it lasted.

Thank you people for coming all the way and enduring everything just to watch us and give support. I really appreciate it. You guys are just awesome! Without you, we would have been making noise for no one. For Amplify, you guys really rocked so hard and I'm proud to be playing alongside all of you. Keep it up. Bright future:)

Here are some pics of the night.
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Anger Management

Anger births from all kinds of sources. Be it injustice, ignorance...the list goes on. Sometimes, it's just plain pride being bruised. And the lousy thing about anger....is you are supposed to control it. Like any other emotion, anger has its funny characteristics.

You can't react to anger....at least that's what I've noticed. Anger feeds itself with revenge and contempt. And being full blown, messes you up. It's just not fair. Maybe that's because life isn't always fair. When you react to anger, it doesn't make you any happier afterwards. It doesn't give you joy when you finally get revenge. It only makes you bitter. And .... more sour.

The irony of dealing with anger is to let it go. Like...what the...? Maybe anger and pride are closely linked. You won't get angry unless your pride gets knocked on. And in order to defend your pride, angers kicks in automatically. 2 options. Let it go... Or cling on and plot for vengeance.

To plot for vengeace is more natural. Without saying, it's in-built in everyone. 'Revenge is sweet' , or so 'they' say. But all I taste is the root of bitterness and unaccomplishment. Planning to 'get back' at the people who wronged you.....takes up more time and energy. Unconsciously, as I hold on, I begin to plot and scheme the most unthinkable things. And when I look back....if my momma knew I was thinking such stuff....she would probably think it wasn't very nice. And might have me apologize to the person. Hold on to you anger too long....you turn into a bitter individual. And taking revenge only feeds that dying process. When you're at the end of your life...you probably wouldn't have accomplished much.

But I believe God came to make things 'crooked' in the right way for man. He said to let it go. Vengeance is His. Let's not focus on God's vengeance just yet, but more of the let go. To let go of the anger is to deny your pride from going overboard with thinking you area always right. Maybe you are right, but shit happens...and bearing in mind that life is not always fair. The process of us denying our pride from getting what it wants changes our character. In order to achieve that, we learn patience and forgiveness along the way. It's a whole package. All this while, we are supposed to let God deal with the injustice. He will avenge in His time. But that's not something we are to be looking out for. As God changes our heart when we deal with anger, He changes our heart to forgive. By the time we get over the whole issue, we wouldn't be so bothered with who was right or wrong. But that we are a different being than before....a better one....hopefully.

God, help me.....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

One man came....

We made it!

Something to really thank God for.

In retrospect. 3/3/06 will be a day of remembrance for me.
The day I had a close brush with death.
The day where I could have lost 3 of my friends.
The day when a lorry could have collided with a car.
The day when metal could have gone against metal.
The day when there could have been many regrets.

But God has spared me and my friends.
It's not my time to go, yet.
My life has meaning and purpose.
I better make each day count, each moment worth it.
A second chance for me to wake up, in His arms again.

Well, I can't bear the thought of going to the next life before my parents. It's just not right for the parents to bury their kids. But if anything does happen, whoever is reading this, please tell my mum and dad and my 2 sisters that I love them very much.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Catching up with me

It's already becoming week 5 of my last academic trimester...that is if all goes well. A few more weeks, and I'm out of MMU.

I've managed to emerge from a bout I had with some mild depression. It's been some time since I could look at myself and smile. Things are a little better now. At least, I can shrug some negative thoughts without having to wage mental war. It is true that the mind is like a monster. It is capable of thinking the most intricate of designs and coming up with 'out-of-this-world' inventions. It can crush a spirit, break a man. It can lift the soul, build a man. A battle is already lost if the mind says so. I've seen many talented people with so much to offer, but are crippled just because they cannot see themselves breaking free of their detrimental mindset. I've fallen there once. But if only the mind can see that glimpse of hope, it is capable of breaking free and start soaring again.

Initially, thoughts about getting a job in the future put me down. My results are not all that great...not even close to calling average. I have nothing to show. I feel that my life in university, education wise, is a total joke. I don't remember what I study after the exams. It's all a blur. How am I going to be an engineer? Is it possible for me to find a place in a Multi-national Company? I really do not know. But I'm giving my best shot this final trimester. I'm a man with nothing to lose, so I've been applying for alot of jobs right now. Going for interviews and sending in resumes. It was scary at first, but after a while, I just let them grill me. Bring it on! I might not place myself an engineering job, but I might still land in a MNC somehow. But through it all, I believe that if God has brought me this far, He won't leave me stranded and jobless without a reason. So, my future has been chartered out way before I even thought of it.

On other thoughts, this world has too many negative people. Being rational and practical need not necessarily mean to be negative. It's frustrating talking to people who feel like the world is out to get them and we have to strive to make it in life. Maybe it's true. But there is such things as grace, favour and providence. If we all can have a little bit of hope, it goes a long way. The papers and telivision are already bombarding us with bad news in today's society. We don't need an extra 'messenger of doom' to go around putting down our spirits. What this world needs is more smiles and encouragement. I beg to differ if you do not feel the same.

During the mild depression period, I wondered where were my friends? More precise, who were my friends? People who said they would be there....just disapeared. It was a lonely and painful period. So much of things breaking inside, but no place to turn to. I couldn't say much, lest I be branded 'emo'. Catching up was so hard. Drifting was more painful. My close friends were becoming nominal ones. Maybe everybody had their own issues to face....or caught up with their own agenda. I really don't know. I cared till the point it hurt. I felt being taken for granted. If I was there, then good. I could be of some help. If not, it makes no difference. Suddenly, I felt side-lined. I was only approached when something was required of me. If not, I was left on the shelf. Maybe I was just losing it. Losing out. Maybe I wasn't such a great friend to them anymore. Maybe they've found better ones. Other things/people seem to be more important. My appointments were secondary most of the time. I make appointments, and last minute, they get turned down. My invitations, in their KIV files. If nothing else, then maybe they will let me come into their life. Just because I'm seen almost everyday doesn't mean everything about me is known. This whole episode made me wonder if it's just me...detached...or the people around me are changing. What really hurts, is that these are the people closest to me. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just my acquaintances. It just felt like raw wound when you're not counted in anymore. Maybe I tried too hard.

On a happier note, Amplify is back and running again. Since this trimester, I have only 2 subjects, I've been more involved in the progress of the band. I've written a new song and they've managed to arrange something beautiful out of it. We have been having practices and seem to be getting along pretty well after 3 months of separation. We're taking every opportunity that comes our way. Our initial motive to compete in Audiowardare 2005 ( which failed miserably ) , soon drove us to try for the Melaka Battle of the Bands ( which till now, we're not sure if this competition is going to take place ). But in the meantime, we're trying for 2 auditions. One is for Career Fair's Gig Night and one is for U-Nite. This morning, we went for the Career Fair's Gig Night audition and I think we did really well. We'll know the results soon enough. Tomorrow, is the U-Nite audition. All the best to us.