Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday with J

Some Friday mornings are more interesting than others...nice thing to have Internet connection at home.

this morning on Google Talk...

J: sometimes, when the world treats us unjustly and unfairly...we'll have to pick ourselves up by remembering the things that makes us happy. its easier said than done but its possible

me: you! and food

J: yes!

me: and music

J: yes!

me: i feel rich just to think about all** the music i have..

J: just remember that some of the things we appreciate - others envy as well - and in a way - it makes things more fair...

me: what do you think of when you feel like that?

J: you, bike rides, brains, my limbs, my ability to work - so i can afford the food and lifestyle i like... the simple things. maybe the one who was mean to you doesn't have a life like yours, that's why she is so mean and not nice to others

J: would you rather in her shoes or yours?

me: mine

J: although she is clever and talented but she is not you, the one i love.

me: it's very confusing

J: what is confusing?

me: to think about what is the ultimate in life

J: nothing!!! that's the beauty of it!!!

me: to just embrace love, or to chase after the ultimate glory?

J: no...there's actually nothing!!!! the meaning of life...nothing!!!!

me: but what kind of life is it if one is just to love a person...wouldn't that be too stressful?

J: no don't get it wrong!!! its nothing!!! there's no meaning of life, there's no ultimate thing in life. there's just plain old nothing

J: nothing



just like the dots below


me: that's the fact?

J: nothing

me: but ppl like to believe they have a principle

J: once you've embraced that understanding, you'll be enlightened

me: i think there is's call happiness

me: when a person is happy, nothing can be bad for him, poor or sick, no?

J: remember, you'll have to embrace the idea of 'there's nothing - no objective in life. once you've got it, you'll can be yourself. you can go chase after what you want, you can be a serial murderer, a pianist, or salesman, an engineer or burglar

me: this is the intellectual aspect correct?

J: yes

me: not the part about we are here to procreate, and stay in existence

J:yes, but there's a new kind of procreation -- ideas can now be carried to another generation through teaching and writing - not just through i don't mind not having babies, just need to write books so that these ideas don't die with me

me: but since humans are thinking creatures, what meaning in life is there, it's all different and in variety. what you are saying that there is NO objective in life, is that you mean? - there is NOTHING, and no one telling each n everyone of us what the meaning of life is -- we MAKE our own meaning as we go along as we like, correct?

J: yes

me: we make as many meaning as possible, or we dun do anything, we can just breathe and stay alive, or we can take our own life, right?

J: that's right

me: but what we just discussed, isn't it something so simple n clear?

J: i think its soooo simple that most folks don't get - lots of folks don't get it

me: i think some do, right?

J: some, yes.

me: what you said it's so similar to Buddha's teaching, it's all about the nothingness of life and universe...

Clear with the the nothingness in life, let's make a list this Friday on things that make us happy, and make life fair for us.

**the things that make me feel life is fair

1. my ability to drive
2. my ownership of Sunny
3. my laptop that plays music
4. my air con that works
5. my thick skin
6. my love for animals
7. my love
8. my friends
9. my ability to stay positive at most times
10. my ability to sing

On happiness, some reading to do this weekend
The New Science of Happiness - Time (January 2005)

So what do you have to do to find happiness? - Times Online (October 2005)

The Science of Happiness - BBC News (April 2006)

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Thursday, June 29, 2006


Decided to take a break from stressing my brains out, I come to blog.

Over my acting skills, or the lack of it, now. I spent one hour last night at a private rehearsal with my musical director, going over three lines. Just three lines, for about an hour.

I have a 5pm rehearsal today for a gig this Saturday. At 8pm I will go through the wonderful journey of acting rehearsal, till 11pm. The pattern at the rehearsals with Dama has been one good acting rehearsal, one bad acting rehearsal. Meaning if I had gone thro a nightmarish, `off'-day for my acting rehearsal the day before, today's rehearsal has a chance to be better.

My stage manager seems to understand all my struggles at acting. She understands that once I have switched on my `acting' button I could go over and result in a pretentious-overacting-unnatural symptoms.

Let me get over my temporary state of whining about my shortcoming...for maybe one hour or so, before I need to head straight for working-my-ass-off mode because no, can't afford to dwell on it while I have to face co-actors every other day.

Same for the singing front. No time to pick on my shortcomings. Work work work.

Am told today that I've been a source of positive energy to someone, someone close. How with the wealth of that -- being someone else' sunny Buddha, how can I feel bad about my weaknesses?

I want to celebrate also, the fact that some perceive me of being a persistent worker. Though I think I know that better...that I'm not really that ambitious and I'm not at all as hardworking as some people think I am.

Maybe if they believe hard enough, I will become what they think I am.



Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cuisines & Senses at No Black Tie

My second featured performance at No Black Tie this year, make a date for July 6, Thursday.

Soprano Cindy Yeap and tenor Tan Wei Han will be seranading you while you dine. Music from Puccini, Carlos Guastavino, Donizetti & Fernandez Orbrados. The evening's repertoire will include the famous The Flower Duet from the opera Lakme by Leo Delibes. Yours truly will be singing Mallika and Cindy Yeap as Lakme.

Program for July 6th, Thursday

730pm Dinner
930pm Music

For reservation please call 603 21423737 or email

No Black Tie
17 Jalan Mesui
KL 50200



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ready to Jumble, Rage, June 19

The Star's June 19 Rage, a college pullout featured me on its cover. Nasa Maria came over to my pad the week before to witness the goods on sale and all my secondhand goodies from all the years of secondhand shopping.

pics by Ricky Lai

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Shop with me!

Shopping with Soul Doctor is open for business, your free community portal for all secondhand shopping related events and information.

Finally done something about my passion in shopping & selling secondhand fashion. I hope to share with all my experience in this great alternative shopping and hope to promote more flea markets & jumble sale for folks in KL and all over.

Feel free to send me your comment on the portal, you will see that it's very new and I'm still uploading more information as I post this. Don't stinge on your suggestions, ideas and comments, all are welcome.

You can share your shopping experience, send me pictures of your great find at flea markets local and abroad, etc.

You can send me details of a sale coming up, by either yourself or others -- so that I can help to promote it on the portal.

If you are thinking of getting rid of some goods, fashion, books, music, etc -- send me an email if you like some advise, assistance, etc.

The possibilities are endless.....

Enjoy...!! Tell a friend today about the benefit of secondhand shopping :



Thursday, June 15, 2006

La vita e bella

While dusting off my dressing table earlier I picked after some photos that have fallen off their sticky tape from my wall mirror. When I first moved in here I did what I usually when I move into a new room, I paste photograghs of people I love in my new room. I looked at these shots and gasped at how wonderful they are. I quickly scanned them in and put them all back on my wall mirror. This corner is where all my guests stop and get attracted to all the wonderful shots of my friends....I put some of them here.

Plenty of memories...

I can't remember what year was this but SeeMing and I used to hang out at Music Exchange in Bukit Bintang, the ultra cool secondhand CD shop is behind Lot 10 and it had a tiny cafe that sold cheese sandwich and iced teas. We were showing off the secondhand stuff we bought that day, my book and her CD. The brown suede bag next to me is from Amcorp Mall, SeeMing is using it now, after six years we bought it together from the flea market.

With fellow volunteers the beach of Rantau Abang, I went as a volunteer for Malaysian Nature Society's beach cleaning project.

The singing girls and conductor celebrated 2005 new year at Du Viet in Bangsar Village. That morning Callie (furthest left) helped me cut my hair, checked my spanking new bangs then. The bangs stayed for a year before I decided to leave the look...from left: Callie, Bebe, myself, Nicole, Cheryl and Cheng May.

Can you see the original dust mark on this scanned shot? Anita (middle), mezzo soprano and Evelyn Toh (soprano) and I posed outside the competition hall while waiting for results in 2004. It was a competition held to select the four Malaysian representatives to compete in the Singapore-Malaysia singing championship. Among the three of us only Evelyn got chosen to compete and guess what, she won the title :)

This is my favourite picture of all I have taken from singing competitions and the like. From left: Evelyn Toh, Tan Sin Sim, myself, Kho Mei Ling & Anita. In this picture we had just finished auditioning for the 2004 production of Bizet's Carmen, the Frasquita and Mercedes (Carmen's girl buddies) hopefuls. Though I was complimented by the director for being the only singer who dressed in character for the audition, the panel found Mei Ling's voice most suitable to sing alongside Jessica Chen (Carmen) as Mercedes (mezzo) and later they found the other Carmen buddy in the form of Sharmila who hailed from New York but born in Penang. Tan Sin Sim later won the Singapore Art Songs Festival in 2005. Evelyn Toh won the 2006 Cammeronian Awards for best group music performance in voice with baritone Long Chai Hunt for their rendition of` Lippen Schweigen” by Lehar, in Evelyn Toh Solo Recital, presented by KL Music Society

Laughing wild after a recital outside Summit College Hall with Bebe, Zalina and Cheryl. Can't say that we go to watch recitals that often nowadays....



Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mid career crisis

It's better to know the ugly truth rather than living in self-denial.

I have a lot on my plate nowadays, a lot not in terms of jobs, rather, a lot that I need to accomplish by...soon, hopefully.

There are some things you can't rush, like growing musically and artistically.

You can never stop working on it, but you could be working blindly if you haven't got suitable mentors and coaches to work with.

Watched Drum Slices last night. If I were never fond of Chinese before, now I appreciate all Chinese factors in the performing arts - discipline, precision and focus. The drum work and the choreography you see on stage, they move you...really, WATCH it, last show on Sunday.

Had a hard rehearsal on Wednesday, another reminder of my struggle at acting. I knew I had to make tonight's rehearsal better so that I can have peace of mind this weekend. It went better for me, director gave me individual session an hour before rehearsal started. The attention was good, with Kai Loon's instruction, I went from vague to knowing every twitch I made and how to fine tune every facial expression.

I remember learning my first song at my singing class. I can almost see how I will be doing these scenes again and again till my body memorizes each breathe I take at each line, and each raise of eye brow and every step at any direction.

On the singing front, meeting and singing for the Hii of the No Black Tie has been my musical highlight in June. A reminder for me to acknowledge the absence of a pianist coach is detrimental to my singing education. I have a brand new and an absolute beauty duet to learn. I have a brand new singing agenda for this year...a simple, basic agenda for any singer, but it's been missing from singing routine -- enjoy my music and the voice.

Without having enough gigs to sustain my expenses, my calendar is already looking rather packed with activities and appointments, enough to fill the next few months. To work on one song alone, the time needed is enormous -- research, reading, technique check, singing, singing, singing, listening to myself, among other activities in between. Who says I haven't a full time job? This business is more demanding than a FULL-TIME job. This is the real Full-Time.

These are tasks that go beyond your lunch break, Mondays to Fridays...

Work on existing repertoire
Work on Performing of songs
Practise on keyboard
Practise on acting and line delivery with action
Learning songs from musical
Listening to recordings
Reading research material
Work on enunciation and pronunciation of lyrics

It's so difficult but it's so...fulfilling. Sometimes it's so frustrating but it's so inviting. It's so expensive but how do I say no?