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

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

"How are you" means "I care for you"

I love conversations.  Private conversations, the kind for two people, the cyber kind.  Because I think and `speak' a lot better when I write.

I realised I don't do very well expressing my thoughts in a cohesive a face to face conversation.  Maybe this is the side effect of all the talking to myself inside my head.

Was talking to WN (over g-talk) about replying to a simple question "How are you?"  This question takes on a different tone and color for those of us who are going through, or having gone through a critical time in our lives.

"When everyone ask me 'how are you', sometimes I don't know how to answer - because the truth is, I don't know."

I don't remember talking much with anyone else about this dilemma. I was in the her same shoe not too long ago so I could totally relate to this.  And I just had a thought while we were at the topic.

I think most of the times when our friends ask us "How are you?", especially during our difficult times, they really just mean to tell us - "Hey I care for you, and I want you to know that and I hope you are doing ok."

But the popular and the conventional way to say this is to ask "How are you?" - yes?

So am thinking, maybe instead of asking someone "How are you?", knowing that someone just lost someone close, or just went through hell with someone, a relationship, or some big shit in life...we could perhaps show our care in a non-questioning style?

Maybe skip the "How are you?" completely" and show our

"Am here for you mate",
"I care for you, I want you to feel better soon",

some other verbal way or even non-verbal ways?  A hug, squeeze shoulder, a back-pat, a loving look, etc.

Because to answer a question like "How are you?" after I started picking my life back together back in 2010 was no easy task.

To answer "Am ok, fine, thank you." was not really a truthful answer, that's more like lying.

To say "Am really upset and devastated." would be uncomfortable for our friends, we don't want to make them uneasy, it's bad enough they have to deal with our losses.

To answer, "Actually to tell you the truth - I don't really know, am trying to cope, am coping, I am doing what I can now to live...but am not sure, it's all very new to me, am just staying alive.  Am hoping I'd feel better soon ok?   I don't know when that would be, maybe next week, or next month, next year, maybe never but don't worry, I know you mean well and I appreciate you for that..." would be closer to reality.

Too long and complicated to answer to a `simple' question like "How are you?".

We know that non-verbal language is more powerful than the one with words.  Sometimes a look, a hug, an offer of a cake beat asking that question.

That's why I prefer to talk to friends over cyber chats, where both of us could go about our things while we chat, exchange thoughts, and have a longer, more intimate, rid of noise, more elaborate and more well-considered conversation.    

Emails are also very nice.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

un bon week-end en Juillet (a good weekend in July)

Not caring to be eloquent, so I just let the words come out.  It's just a diary of what I did over the weekend and I want to remember them.  I had a swell time, I did.

Saturday July 6th -

Yoga now starts at 930am instead of 9am.  Class finished by 11am, I head home straight instead of wondering at Plaza Damas for a nice alfresco brunch and read a book.  I need to stay on a string budget for this interesting two month period.  So I came home, made porridge, cooked a nice batch of stir fry long cabbage with fried eggs, opened a can of pickle.  Really really nice lunch.  The portion I cooked were enough for that lunch, dinner and the next day breakfast.

After lunch I did some music theory homework.  Rhythm tapping, a real mess but I managed to make myself do it.  Also writing down the whole seven major scales with sharps - G, D, A, E, B, F# and C#.

Saturday FB status:
Active idling in session, hanging with Jobim and Lisa Ono. music meditation starts here.

Yea, I dust off the old CD player I kept for years and put a CD on, it worked!  So I sat listening to Lisa Ono singing Jobim songs.  First time in years that I listened to a CD playing in my dining hall.

I had some hours before going to the Selangor Phil concert at night.  I spent the good part of afternoon going through my storage clothes in the guest room, hung some of them up, the vintage collection is super.  I cleared out two bags of clothes to rid of, freed up one big plastic storage bag, folded it and kept it away.  More space in the guest room.  The mission is to slowly store away things in that room so it looks less like a store room.  Big bag of paper shopping bags that I've kept for years, sigh, they should have be gone ages ago.

I like the achievement so far.  Invited people on FB to come and pick whatever clothes they want off the pile I cleared out.  I think I took a short nap before I finally start to get ready for the concert.  I left the carpark at 830pm!  Stepped into the auditorium during the first song.

Absolutely moved by the unmistakably genuine joy of performing by the amateurs on stage, I sat grinning mostly from beginning of the show till the end - extremely satisfied and inspired by the Selangor Phil choir members.  I drove over to Alexis Ampang and caught two sets of high energy music with the Ee Jeng gang and the young powerhouse Irma Saliman.  Boston music graduate, too young and too talented, attractive and friendly.  Meeting young and exciting musicians always serve its purpose, am both motivated and slightly intimidated, by their style, the sheer youth and potential.

Sunday July 7th -

Cassie came over to get some clothes.  Taller and very lean, she makes my clothes look more chic on her figure.  It was some quality chats before I packed the clothes for her and showed her where Tommy Lee shop is.

Did some singing before heading out to the Moon Bar Sunset Jazz jam.   Stopped over to see Mama first, and had some curry and fried I could waltzed into the jam session a bit later than 5pm.  Many players turned up.  Mia Palencia family included!  Of course Junji managed to get Mia to jam two songs, such a treat for the folks.  She did swing Lullaby Of Birdland with the house band (David Gomes piano, Anthony bass, Jordan Rivers guitar and Steve on drums) and funky Funny Valentine.

I sat there listening and not allowing the nerves consume me too much.  But it was clear that the environment was friendly and Junji just wanted everybody to have a go with music.  Crazy Cheryl sang Straight Up No Chaser with lyrics she just learned hours before, what I can say.  I will not rush myself, I will take my repertoire slow and easy, hopefully steady.

My first number was Night And Day, the line-up I got with me was: Melvin on piano, Meng on guitar, Anthony on bass (house band member that day), Bob on drums, on saxes - Julian Chan (alto) and Jeff (tenor).  Junji let the singers have two songs each so I picked C'est si bon next.  Anthony took the lead and set the song to bossa.

It felt like a mini festival there.  Non stop jazz music and booze, food and people to talk to and exchange ideas and for me, to absorb as much useful vibes and input.
I have to go back to the session every chance I have.  Need the training.

Learning some new standards:

I'll Be Seeing You (for a wedding gig in September, client's request)

Frim Fram Sauce, for my own pleasure
Darling je vois aime beaucoup

Other songs already on the learn list since a while back:

The Good Life
My Favourite Things
Illusion (Gregory Porter)

Right on.  It's been the most surreal and satisfying weekend.  Funnily ironic that I have been home not by choice but because I haven't got any booking these weeks - since June 29th, and home I've been, and very satisfying...the cooking, listening to recordings, reading, homework, quiet things and such. But when am out I get myself tipsy with beer or wine.

I could get used to this lovely assortment of sleeping in, napping in the afternoon, reading, cooking and eating alone, see friends at home, going to classes and coming home with homework, writing.  But something gotta bring in the cash for the upkeep of everything.

Am looking forward to the theatre work starting middle of next month.  I forget that the involuntary break is not quite two-month long - Butterfly Lovers rehearsal start possibly from August 19th.

After I pay the bills there's not much left for too much spending, especially with my bulk savings that took a steep dip after Peru and London.  Now's the time to say this over and over, thanks to Horng Yih's reminder:

We want a lot more, though we need a lot less.

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