Monday, December 27, 2010

What shall I do at 1760m above sea-level?

Genting trip this Wednesday with the band. Last time this year to hang around with most of my form 5 buddies.

Looking forward to it much, yet all the same am hoping it doesn't come too quickly. What shall I do during that time.

I was thinking of spending time with you, maybe the outdoor park? Although not all too suitable, but trust me, my friends will probably try avoiding me and ask me to go with you instead. But I'll see how it all goes first.

But come night time, ha ha ha. We won't sleep, and I'm bringing coffee to keep me awake. Gonna yumcha with my bunch until the break of dawn. And if the restaurant management chase us out, we gonna go and have hotel gathering, muahahaha.

And soon after, it will be National Service. Gonna build up some stamina and perseverance.

I just hope it goes well, somewhat yearning to meet up soon, really dreading your absence more and more.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Passing out 2010 "乐一晚".

Yes, despite not wanting to face the end, my final performance as a member of the Nan Hwa Marching Band came to an end 2 nights past. I came in the band room with nothing, but I left with so much, it would take me a lifetime to impart that amount of experience to others.

My friends, brothers and sisters in heart. The batch I am with is indeed a blessed one. I marched with them through sun and rain, through sweat and blood. Into unfamiliar places facing a common problem, a common hope, a common dream. I had live it through with them.

And passing out was no different, I had one hope that I believe is the same with the rest. Make music, make it good, and make it memorable.

Videos were shown, although I got the feeling only a handful of people enjoyed it. Nevertheless, seeing the many people acknowledging our dedication and contribution to the band, it was all good enough.

Passing out passed as fast as it came. We went McDonald's to have the post-event celebration. Percussion age-outs were then finally given their present. No easy task to unwrap it all, mine had easily 50 layers of wrapping. Hui Ming and Huei Su's ones are worse, they had cello-tape wrapped around several layers compared to mine, which were all papers, Hui Bao was easiest, just 2 layers. Well, when I finally reached the present, it was a friggin' piece of nougat, and a message telling me my real present is in the car... Well? Nevertheless, it was enjoyable.

And we went to Marina Island at 1. Quiet, cool and serene, good time to sleep. And I walked around and stare at the sea. Many things ran-through my mind, many many things.

And I was about to leave, until you said you're coming, and I waited, and came you did.

We talked, not much. It was a lovely evening actually, and I actually enjoyed the company. But it was a bit awkward. But the moon was really round, real darn round. And my hormones were raging. It didn't felt like me talking, yet it was more like I was talking to myself. Still, a warm hand, a cold hand. A warm heart, a cold heart. Maybe we can pull through.

I'll remember this night, 张韵璇.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time of the coming of Grace.

Rejoice, be at peace and run around jolly and frolic. Christmas comes around the corner. Passing out comes in 1 day, and I will graduate from the band. Thinking back of my past self, the clueless little boy in form 1, running around the band room with my trumpet in hand... Time comes and goes so quickly.

And rejoice that the coming of Christ happened 2010 years ago, the coming of Grace and Salvation. And that man will rest in his grasp that all sins may be forgiven.

But not to forget death lingers. The sad passing of my neighbour uncle wasn't exactly timely, but ultimately, he fought hard against cancer, and this may be a good thing instead.

Then we come to pass the time when I will leave, not on the 23rd, but the 22nd. Alas I do not stay here longer, but I will come back soon enough. 2011, many the plans I have ado, but we move on.

The time will come where you will realize a passing desire and passion, will just be a passing. And so I will be a passing passion of the band, passing out, here I come. (Another RM50 photo to take...)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More than a word.

I've been through this feeling much too often in the past. Often I'll dismiss it as passing infatuation. I'll say that it is my inner temptation to flirt and seek attention that is masked by this feeling of innocence. It isn't that simple.

I've been through 3 rejected relations, each subsequent one making me feel more insecure in the sense that I'm not being me. Each subsequent one leaves me wondering whether if any one of it were to be serious, will I actually stay on? I was always choked by my thoughts whenever I tried to put them into words, every I time speak to any of them. I changed because I thought I needed to change, when indeed, it is the former me that I truly enjoy being when around them.

And comes you who surprised me so much with that slap of 3 words. Love is too strong a word for now, it's more than a word. But it is this that shaken me so much in a way, daring, unconfined thoughts into words.

And I feel a bit guilty for feeling the same. And yet, it is also this time I feel it may work out. Just give me time, let me get past my old feelings and thoughts.

But for now, it is Christmas, and passing out is my priority, it has always been my priority for year-end since 2008.

Like, not love... Yet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Justification of curiousity.

It started off with a simple guessing game.

It ended up as a revelation.

How will I tell you what I really feel?

How will this eventually go on?

Frankly it won't last, I know all too well.

Frankly it all is just temporary, it happens every time.

But for love it's worth a try.

But for love many men will die.

Take on me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Backword.

End of SPM, it brings a lot of meaning to it.

It means the end of my secondary education life. The living ways of that life I knew 5 years ago is fading. Remember the times where even 5 minutes out of the class was like haven as much as it was suicide. The times where I actually was so scared of being reprimanded by the teachers. No more.

It means the departure of many of my friends where for no reason I can just call out their name whenever we meet as if we known each other for 10 years, when in reality we barely know each other. It won't be the same, when we meet a year later, either of us will potentially forget even knowing one another.

Gone is the childish atmosphere, the good ol' I don't care about the world attitude. We are moving into a very dark and dangerous reality... The thought of it is frightening, but life goes on.

And we will finally stand against the test of time, the real deal.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Foreword.

2 days before the notorious Malaysian Certificate of Education examinations. Before I go to the exams, I just want to remind myself with a few words in the update.

1) Whatever done is done, only regret in search of improvements, but not in search of excuses.
2) The end of SPM will only mark the beginning of the harsh realities of life, be prepared.
3) The worst of results from the exam will mean nothing if determination beyond the exams persist.
4) Just do the best I can and enjoy myself.

See you soon once I'm done, SPM end on 14th December, which is also my birthday :D, that day will be double joy for me.

Wish me not luck, but wish us candidates all the best. Update resumes on 14th December.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Minimalism.

12 Days to SPM, can't do much, really there is nothing that can be changed, no actions that will justify my past laze, nor any act to save me from this stupor...

LIES!

Final push, and yet I seek a minimalist approach. And we shall see that from the least I hope, the most I can get from it.

We all have something to proof, all we wait for is mere opportunities.

See you soon SPM.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Searching for Sesame Street.



Sunny days sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet, can you tell me how to get~ how to get to Sesame Street.

We all have that place in our mind, everything is ideal, just the way we feel comfortable with, the days are beautiful and sweet, nothing can go wrong, that Sesame Street, a place where it isn't perfect, yet it is everything we wanted to have.

For me, Nan Hwa is that place, and it isn't perfect, neither is it ideal for everyone. But to me, it means the world to me.

Having graduated so soon, I think back how the 5 years went by so quickly. Facing SPM is becoming more and more numb, for I am at the tip of the iceberg of what will come, grim reality.

So when I am out there fighting for dear life to survive, remind that I have a Sesame Street to look forward to.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Daydreams.

I always like to imagine myself as a reputable composer and arranger in music, majoring is percussive arts and always doing percussion clinics around Malaysia, arranging music for Nan Hwa Band, teaching and guiding battery line...

I also dream that I get 6 As in SPM - The 3 Science subjects; Add. Maths and Modern Maths; and English.

I dream that I live in Sitiawan, going to my favorite coffee shop to eat breakfast and chat with my buddies before going to conduct any new clinics and being hired to compose for the local film industry.

I do dream about Nan Hwa Band being sponsored by:
Pearl - 7 carbonply snares, 5 carbonply tenors, 5 carbonply basses, auxiliary percussion.

Adams - 3 Artist series 4 1/3 octave marimbas, 2 Artist series 3 octave vibraphones, 1 Concert series xylophone, 1 Concert series bells, 4 different sized Revolution timpani set, all equipped with field endurance frame.

Yamaha - 8 YBB 202 tubas, 24 Xeno Series trumpet, 6 YMP-204 mellophones, 6 YHR-302 horns, 8 YBH-301 baritones, 4 YEP-202 marching euphonium.

Yeah, just some random big dreams... Daydreams...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Analogy of the common man.

Down the road of the wealthy a peasant walks, scorned and sneered by is he. Had not he a workload bear, need his cup filled with sweat be, nor his food his blood splatters?

And the rich who dines in food of his bounty? Seeing his place in the lushness of Rosemary and Elder, of birds that flock and wealth that abound him, ignoring the starving, the poor, the homeless and the dying.

It takes a fool to wish to be king, and a foolish king to wish for wine and women, eventually the State of he collapses.

And had not the common man be left out in the lust of money, or the agony of poverty? Has he not the decision?

Why peasants stay poor? Why aristocrats remain blind? Why do the every-man lust? It is a foolish world; a mad world, to exist in social classes.

Democracy is dying.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Victim of conditions.

24th of October, we all knew it was Hong Leong's birthday, and yesterday we the bunch went to his place to celebrate. And happy yes we were, pleasant party and all. Siewei was generous enough to fetch us bunch to go there.

Decent place he has, good food, nice ambiance, a karaoke lounge and most importantly, friends to celebrate with.

And we ate and we sang, and we sang and we drank, and we sang and we ate, and we ate and we drank...

Until it was around 11pm, time to get home and going. All was well, pretty good, joking and laughing ourselves silly...

Then it happened... Cross junction in front of Hui Bao's shop. We turned left only to collide with a motorbike on our left side, which appeared out of no where, and we didn't even noticed!

The rider flew quite a distance, it was a lady, we were all in shock... We quickly went down to inspect and help out the situation. Siewei was definitely shaken, eventually breaking down to tears in slight panic much later. I was also shaken (partly due to concern over Siewei's well being too, seeing her so shaken-up like that), although the accident itself wasn't at all severe. Just minor cuts and scratches on the bike-rider (although she herself was in a deep state of shock as well).

Waited for her parents' arrival to better handle the situation before heading back home... Good thing my house was walking distance from there, although eventually, it was JXun's mum to give a lift, thanks to you Auntie.

So if you're reading Siewei, I'll say stay strong. (Received news this morning that the motorbike was in the wrong.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regrets on ELS,

English Language Society, my apologies to you. I failed to pull off the society this year, a very inactive year.

Receiving the Certificate of Appreciation last week for my duties as President of the society, with that row of words written, "For excellent service & contribution", haunted me for the week past... Nowadays, certificates can tell lies.

But I have to admit, in reality I failed to properly plan out and carry productive activities for the society. Instead, I just played along with the status quo of every year, scrabble and spelling bee, albeit also rather unattractively.

Had I stepped-down earlier, maybe someone better could've taken the job. The decision to let the form 5s continue heading as the leading committee was one mistake, I agreed along all because I had hypocritical intentions, along with a mild lust for power. Maybe the form 4s could do a better job. That decision worked against me, as I find myself more and more occupied toward band activities, SPM pressures and the fact that I don't spend a lot of time thinking about ELS.

But what's done is done, and indeed I am looking to improve on this point on my part. All I hope is for a better ELS next year. Sorry ELS 2010, all the best next year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Death lingers.

My neighbour's old faithful dog of the streets. It has been 3 years since knowing it. Up until now, it is taking its last breaths, shivering, hungry, dying alone at this very moment I write.

I can't do anything, nothing much, for it isn't my dog. My neighbour has been travelling a lot lately, and his house pets are left to the care of his children during his absence. Yeah, it was about 3 weeks ago, things got worse. Neglected this dog was by his children, under-fed, mild sickness took over it.

My family tried to ease its hunger, fed him some bones and meats every now and then. But it will usually refuse, faithfully waiting for the master's return.

That day didn't came, and the dog is now lying down sick, cold and hungry. Salivating non-stop, flies starting to abound it, the sign of death too close to it.

Painful is that sight, pain is in my heart, if only I could do more, if only I could save it, if not save, least be its pain lessened. Sadness filled me, but I do not cry, I can't seem to cry, so I had to write it out.

Well, death is painful, it happens, I only hope it comes quickly, lest the dog's pain end soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Diminished thoughts.

There was this time in my life where everything went pass smoothly, year end, when school ends in the middle of November. Not this year for obvious reasons.

Studying on and off now, thinking to myself occasionally that it is sufficient and yet all the same lacking. Right now, I am so clueless to my wants and needs, all the same I can fill this void with a little cheer, come band to practice, whack up some zombies on screen...

YET, my mum will come into the picture, start lecturing, pushing, pressing me to open the book more often... I know, it's for the greater good, but for so many years past, this time of the year is my relaxation peak, now I am not prepared mentally to take this task.

Damn National Service, without you, many more of my burdens will be lifted.

Random fact: In the past, I always referred my hometown as KL. I will rectify that notion now, for in actuality, my hometown is really Subang Jaya. I just always mentioned KL because I always considered the central region as a whole, and even if I mentioned Subang Jaya, I doubt anyone here will know where exactly is it. But from henceforth, I will refer back to my place as Subang Jaya, since I am going back anyway.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going back to primary times.

I'm shifting back to Subang Jaya next year, and among the first moves, it'd be my sister.

My younger sister is transferring to my old school - Lick Hung, out of the many other schools available, much to my surprise towards the decision by the education department there. Back in Subang Jaya, the school of which I grew up with from standard 1 to 4. I never fail to recall all the darker times back there, my constant sloth, pressure by teachers and constant homework overload, daily canning by my teachers, never-ending competition of the grades between some students...

I don't know how prepared she is to face all that. Well actually, she's facing that already right here right now. But I fear it might be worse.

Then again, the good times back there existed. I do have friends yes, but with much regrets now, indeed I fail to know them fully, and despite recently contacting up with many of my old-time classmates, I fail to remember many of them. Given the opportunity, I will definitely want to try and know them more.

Then comes my sister, as much I know the culture in the mid-zone of Malaysia, it should be quite a huge rat-race, I truly hope she can fit in, and not alienate herself.

Cheers to my sister, she is transferring this Friday, All the best to her.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fingerprints.

Alas! Boredom. Out of it, men made many things that were initially useless, but over the decades, became the greatest inventions and discoveries.

And so, I made this:
Nan Hwa Band @ 2010 Wallpaper

But I don't intend to mean this is anything great, just wanna share.

Then again, it is sort of like the fingerprints we left throughout the whole year of 2010.

Well, band had always been a very big part of my life, so indeed, it is hard to get out of me even at this point.

So, might as well embrace the creativity it brings. :)

Only The Beginning.

In hours of dusk; the golden thread the horizon reveals.

Day of the Child up in the sky; upon a land barren and wasted he stares down.

Life of the Air covering the land; his limbs shredded and leaves shaken.

Shadow of the Earth; mind set unto greed and sin the foundations devoured.

Hath not the Earth's green be, O' ones who proclaim intelligence?

Hath not ye of mind and matter, allow yonder lives perish away?

Hath not ye of compassion an mercy, begotten brethren and forsaken families?

Of twisted abominations and crisis of the World, it all is only the beginning.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's in a day?

Waking up this morning felt different, I finally snapped back into reality. The urge to study has finally overwhelm me, after 10 years in schooling life, this is my 1st time feeling so keen on knowledge.

Going to school, eyes wide open, not falling back to sleep... I suddenly feel prepared for my first and final encounter with SPM, 49 days away from me.

Looking back 10 years past, I see that lazy incompetent me become what I am today, call me vain, but I can't help but feel rather satisfied with where I stand today.

I know flaws still abound me, but life is a polishing process. I seek knowledge, but I too hope in humility.

Sitiawan, my abode for 5 years, and my home for years to come. Learning, growing and living here feels nothing like what I lived before coming to this humble little town. Sadly, I leave for Selangor next year, and I seek to finish off my final days in glory.

Peace be with us, hopes aplenty.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Final days sitting on the fence.

Months of August and September passed with no more than 4 updates from me. My target to write constantly was broken last two months.

Moving forward, while looking back, 5 years. 5 YEARS. Although short considering the human lifespan being around 75-85, yet if you think in this way, 356 days are a heck load of time to get pass. Or so I thought...

Again I cannot help but emphasize on the fact time just is and will always be too fast. 5 Years in secondary school is just too little time in the limelight. The immense experience, friends, joys and tears, in this short of 5 years, now reaching its climax.

I sit on the fence during this few final days, not knowing where I want to stand, that illusive image of having a music career is running away further and further. Should I actually go for performance or technical? It's so puzzling for me now.

Not just that, I'm also in a great state of confusion. A moment I see the glass as half full, then the next I see it as half empty. My want for study is always on a swing, coming back with full force only to go away yet again.

Final days, sitting on this fence looking around me for decisions. We all will face this dilemma eventually, and right after SPM, things will only get worse.

And the day I say goodbye to Nan Hwa will soon come.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Isn't it rich?

Reading JXun's post, I too feel like I wanna write something...

My first step into the band room during form 1, until my final beat of the drum in TIMBC. Words cannot describe that experience. After 3 weeks since TIMBC, the bittersweet feeling still lingers in me.

Remembering the times of sweat and seriousness, we grew up much during our time in band, going through the basic training years, to joining in the competition as a rookie.

Reaching to where I stand now, only immense regret that it is all over can describe what it feels.

Recalling the times spent in 2007, basic marching, playing technique and member disciplines. 2008, my first year in competition, going to KL naive and unprepared, 2009, going to Ipoh to taste failure, and finally to this year, where we made history for Nan Hwa.

Looking back all the criticism my seniors once gave me, the disagreements between my comrades, the things I taught my juniors. Brings down tears in my heart every time.

Form 5 @ TIMBC
Form 5 Percussionist

Bless my soul, I'm a lonely soul, cause I won't let go of anything I hold, but all I need is the air I breath and a place to rest. And forward I will move on, time to let go of the things I once hold dear.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Aging out with the Prince of Egypt 2

Continued from part 1~

4th September
Waking up to the day of the semi-finals, I was still a bit blurry from the previous day’s hectic activities. After breakfast, we headed to one of the campus’ field, with our instruments for the day’s practice. The sun in Thailand was rather unforgiving, and at 9am, the sun felt like it was already 11am in Malaysia. Some members couldn’t take the heat and had to pull out from the practice to get some shade. Luckily, we manage to finish 1 run-through along with a brief rehearsal on the march-in and march-out. By late morning, we were done with most of our practices and headed back to the hostel for some well-deserved rest. Members were given free-time from here onwards until 2pm. Some of them took the opportunity to explore the shopping complex right beside our place while the others chose to take a rest. By 2pm, most of the members retired back to their rooms to rest for the coming competition during the late evening.

At 4pm, some of the percussionist were up at the request of our Thai friends to do some tuning and final clean-up of our movements, and by 5pm, most of the members were already in their jumpsuits. Final warm-ups were done and by 6pm, we headed towards the national stadium. Many members were anxious as it was their first time competing in foreign land, I myself was doubtful whether we could live up to expectations from NATCOMP. After marching into the stadium, we did our brief and final warm-up while our staff team (the Thai friends to be exact, big thanks to them) quickly and efficiently set up our yard line marks and numberings. The competition field was in very good condition, and the marks were large and visibly accurate in measurement, so despite being the first time we stepped into the field for competition purposes, we manage to adapt quickly.

10 minutes, just like in NATCOMP, went as quickly as it came. We ended our show with a roaring cheer from the crowd, a sign which left me comforted, despite having nearly no supporters from Malaysia, we still grabbed the Thai audiences’ attention. Being the last team to perform, we marched to back of the stadium to join the other bands that just entered. Next, each band was to play an encore piece, and songs ranging from pop to ballad started coming out from other bands, so without fail we played our favourite march, “Pentland Hills”.

Right after that, Music Judge of the competition Mr John Fox had the honour to announce the results. 4th placing went to Blue Sky Regiment with a score of 70.75, 3rd placing went to Drum Corps Indonesia with a score of 71.88. The following moment left us breathless, we knew we weren’t a match with North-eastern Technology, but nevertheless, the score left us at the edge of our toes. 88.13 was announced, followed by our band’s name. A moment of shock followed by excitement came to me, as I nearly became deaf to the 1st place announcement, which went to North-eastern Technology, scoring 91.50.

Many of us expected nothing more than 85, obviously this was a big morale booster. To top up much of my excitement, while walking back to the hostel, I had the opportunity to meet a local former Cavaliers marimbist, whom performed in 2007. On the way, I found out much to my surprise it was only around 8:30pm because back in Malaysia, most competitions end around near midnight. Packet dinner was quickly served to the members, and given the time left, seniors and alumni held a brief post-mortem of the day with some of the Thai friends. By 10:30pm, most of us retired to bed to prepare for the big finale tomorrow.

5th September
I jumped out of bed the moment the my phone rang. Being the final day of competition, and not to mention a highly motivational score last night, I was definitely pumped-up to do my best today. Practices went on like yesterday, taking up most of our morning. After sectionals and warm-ups, we did a ensemble run-through. Finally by the late part of the morning, we did our last drill run-through, likely the last for this marching season too.

After having lunch, members as usual were requested to rest and charge up for tonight’s finals. Having heard that the judge comments of last night’s show arrived, I quickly seize the opportunity to listen. Many constructive critism were given and I quickly shared it with my fellow percussionist on what minor changes should be done. And indeed, without the judges’ comments, I believe we couldn’t have reached where did later this evening.

At 4pm, members woke up in preparation once again to appear on field. And by 5pm, most members were already in their jumpsuit. While we did some final instrument-tuning, the North-eastern Technology brass line did their visual-basic practices in front of our hostel, which was quite interesting to watch and at the same time an eye opener. Being told a few days ago by our liaison officers that most Thai bands have their practices from dawn till dusk, I can’t help but feel somewhat regrettable, since I actually complained about long practice hours before, but when compared to this guys, our practice times meant nothing to them.

We had one last ensemble run-through before heading out to the National Stadium. While waiting outside for our turn, many well wishers came to give us one pat at the back. And by 6pm, our liaison officers asked to prepare to march in.

Like yesterday, we had our brief warm-up while the Thai friends went on to set up. After that, we stood in place, waiting for further instructions.

‘Nan Hwa Drum & Bugle Corps, you make Malaysia proud. You may take the field for competition.’ Yeah, we were ready to make Malaysia proud, and with the salute of our drum major, we took our place for competition. As our perseverance in our dream through this 9 months poured into that night’s performance, that 10 minutes worth was all it took to seal the Prince of Egypt forever in my mind. Exiting the stadium that night felt so different from any other exits I ever made in the past, it was a bittersweet feeling.

Right after us to perform was the North-eastern Technology Drum & Bugle corps. Catching a glimpse of their show before fully exiting the stadium was already rather breath-taking, I could imagine if I stayed through the whole show live. Waiting outside the stadium was quite a different feeling, a feeling of anxiety and yearning to know our results as soon as possible. Several members succumbed to the pressure and actually passed-out. With all this tension, we entered the stadium nevertheless to await the announcement.

While waiting for the results, we had a very refreshing performance from a university band, so unlike our local performance I dare say, which usually would be a mass group dance performance. 1st song by them was a lovely ballad, followed by a very pumped-up rendition of the famed “Malaguena”, to which most of us enjoyed and got very pumped-up as well.And soon, the grand unveiling. We were literally on our toes when they moved on with the results. Taking 4th placing with a score of 73.19 was the Blue Sky Regiment, while 3rd placing with a score of 75.44 went to Drum Corps Indonesia.

And soon, we had our ears up, anticipating the moment. Coming up with a score of 91.19, Nan Hwa grabbed 2nd place as expected (You just can’t beat people who practice from 8am to 12am). What had us thrilled was how close our score margin was with North-eastern Technology, who scored 92.81, a 1.62 difference.

Among the cheers and shouts, fireworks once again roared across the stadium while the university band soon played “Auld Lang Syne” to follow. The scene had me almost in tears as many members started to break away from the line to shake hands with the neighbouring bands around us. Soon, everyone was running around to meet up with members from other bands. Pictures were taken as the judges too joined in the celebration. Blue Sky Regiment members didn’t even seem to care about their score and quickly run from one end of the stadium to the other just to meet up with members from different bands and to take pictures. Drum Corps Indonesia also didn’t mind much and tried to socialise amidst some communication breakdown. The bands from junior category didn’t shy away from the spotlight too and quickly join in the cheers. So it goes without saying that the champion of the night were already hysterical and at their peak of celebrations. The whole night saw all smiles and tears from laughter, not sadness. Soon after, each and every band exited the stadium in a fanfare of songs, and Nan Hwa once again ditched out their song for all occasions, “Pentland Hills” to march out in jubilee,Accompanied by the clap and cheers of the supporters they earned in Thailand.

Heading back to our hostel, I couldn’t help but feel a drop of tear roll down my cheek. We did it.

6th September
We went for the Pattaya one day trip in the early morning and it was an eye opener trip for us, learnt a lot about Thai cultures.

7th September
The day for us to leave this amazing country has come. After our buffet lunch at 12pm, members went to the train station to prepare their day-long journey back to Malaysia. The train batch left at around 2pm while the remaining from the bus batch left at 4pm.

Comments after all that:
Indeed, as our band director Mr. Tan mentioned, this competition ended with all winners and no losers. To have my journey with the band end in this grand undertaking, I can say I am definitely more than satisfied with the tremendous experience Nan Hwa Band had given me.

On behalf of all the members, I say a big thank-you to the many alumni who sacrifice much of their time just to be with us, to Mr. Tan who never hesitate to lend us his wisdom, to Mr Chang the teacher-advisor for organizing much of the band’s lodgings, to Ah Boon who helped coordinate and teaching much of this year’s show, to Junt and his team for giving us many vital lessons on musicianship, to all my band mates who made this experience all the more worthwhile, and to the organizers of the event for making it a huge success. Thailand, the land of smiles, indeed I left with a smile all the way :).

In conjunction to writing with Justin’s review
this is a report of TIMBC through the eyes of a participant

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Aging-out with the Prince of Egypt 1

How on Earth did I ended up being involved with TIMBC?

Here’s how:

Exiting Stadium Melawati 2 months ago, I felt satisfied about my performance yet unfulfilled in something, there was this yearning to put our show up onto the stage once more. Many members voiced out their desire to have a shot at the MWBC 2010, but our form 3 students were too near the PMR trials, so our instructor did not approve of the trip. I was preparing to call it our final year with the rest of my fellow age-out band mates after our instructor’s decision.

Then came the letter of invitation from the organizers of TIMBC. The dates were perfect, a week after our SPM trials, giving opportunity for practices, and with our own instructor and headmaster’s enthusiasm toward the competition, we were soon planning and preparing for competition. The irony of the situation was that many of us form 5 members did joke about the impossibility of being involved with this competition early this year when we were first informed about it.

And when the waves of exam trials were over, we sped up to polish our show, and to switch to the yard system which was standard in Thailand. Many things had to be done, passports were one them.

1st of September came very soon, as I recall being on the bus to Hatyai by noon. Playing tenor drums this year, I took the bus for the convenience of my instrument, along with the tubist and other heavy instrument players, unlike most of the other members who were taking the train from Butterworth to Bangkok.

The competition:

2nd September
Arriving at Bangkok the following day at around 9am local time, we transverse through the heavy traffic until we reached the Bangkok's Sports and Tourism University at around 10am, where our hostel was located. The stadium we were to compete in was only 5 minutes walking distance from our hostel, and not to mention there was a shopping mall, also walking distance, to the right side of our hostel. All this were my impression of the perfect location, we even had mini convenience-store at the ground floor of our hostel. So given the mental assurance that I had a good place to stay in, I was definitely prepared physically.

The remaining 2 buses arrived around noon, as we rejoin many of our members and helped them unload. Practices were scarce, we had one right after our arrival, but many members were worn down by the travelling, so it wasn’t such a pleasant practice the 1st day, and it lasted only for 1 hour. Percussionist though had no choice, we stayed back to clean-up our drum battle routines, as it was happening the next day.

3rd September
Drum battle, an event I will surely re-tell my juniors in the future. Many of the younger members did not have a clue what it takes to face drummers from other places (I mean those really good ones). Having heard that we were up against a Thai drumline was enough to confirm my prediction that we were likely to be kicked out the 1st round we performed. And indeed, when we finally faced them, Surasak Montree, I couldn’t help but laugh at our own futile attempt to outclass them, just as they imitate nearly all our best moves, and actually doing it several times better, but I was also very happy to witness such an amazing battery team competing against us.

Following that event, we headed back to the hostel to join the rest of the band in preparation for the street parade. On the way to our starting point of the parade, we got the chance to see many other bands, namely the junior bands, in a multitude of uniforms, even seeing one dressed like the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, which was pretty amusing, seeing how crazy some teams are over the DCI circuit.

Somewhere around 2-3pm, we started off our parade around the heart of Bangkok. Touring around this parts of town was rather enjoyable, given the shade we were under along with the scenes of everyday life on the streets. But the 1.5km journey proved to be a taxing experience to many members, where several of them succumb to fatigue during the end of our parade. We stopped in front of the National Stadium waiting for the official time of the opening ceremony to come, and during that time, many of us took the time to recuperate.

The opening ceremony itself was a rather entertaining one. No pop singers, no big group dancers, it was all about the bands, rather unlike our local competition dare I say? The speeches were given out to which unfortunately many of us out of Thailand fail to understand. Nevertheless, we could tell the enthusiasm of the VIPs towards this event. After the singing of the Thai Anthem, fireworks roared across the stadium, revealing a giant welcome banner. As one of the percussion groups, we were pulled out of the march-pass towards the edge of the stadium as to continue with the event of drum battle demonstration in front of the VIPs. 1 representative from each country came to the back of the stadium to prepare for the show. While waiting, we were pleasantly surprise by the appearance of 2 tubist from our band on the big stadium screen, we apparently had won 2nd runner-up for the street parade! After the awarding ceremony, it was our turn to perform.

At the end of the day, we all worn out and tired, but it was definitely a day to remember. After showering and cleaning up, we prepared for the Welcoming dinner.

To be continued

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Going International.

3 days before we head out for The Land of Smiles. Nan Hwa Marching Band, after 5 years, will finally go beyond Malaysian shores again.

1st TIMBC, apparently won't be as grand as I perceived, a rather poor participation response, total of 4 bands competing in division 1, a bit of a disappointment. YET, the drum battle can attract 14 teams!!!

Anyway, I'm seriously not going to Thailand with any intent on winning it hard like I did in NATCOMP. I will however treat it as one big performance, my definite last to be exact, and in addition, to have a bit more fun in my final years of dependence before heading out to reality.

Progressions so far isn't to my satisfaction, but I can hope more than this.

Hopes to make it memorable? At least a flat butt will remind me of that. 24 hours + on the bus, good luck to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The last stand.

"Well if it ain't hurt, it ain't real"
SPM trials, it hurts badly. Yet why am I still here playing Left4Dead 2? I guess you could say I'm somewhat hook to it. But playing for 2 hours with over 3000+ zombies (infected, undead, what ever you call them) brains flying all over my monitor screen... Well, I guess you can call it guilty pleasure.

I know very well that after Monday, time's gonna sprint his ass off before I could do anything. We all gonna need to meet up with our future somehow, it's just bout' doing the right thing and not regret.

Pardon my sudden southern accent writting style. Been playing too L4D...

And then we move to band, what blog update from me this days doesn't include band? Well, to say the least, drum battle is around 50% done, good thing we've manage to have 3 solid show ideas, now only part 4 is left clueless, and the remaining 3 parts need a clean-up job.

What happen this morning? I became a piano-playing light bulb. Knocked into 2 lovebirds behind the hall. Man they got some serious stamina, staying back for nearly 3 hours after practice time to talk about so and so and so (Cola tin-can??)... Well, my apologies to you love birds, guess I couldn't resist the urge to play the piano, not to mention horribly, truly sorry y'all (Oh my, L4D accent again...)

And so, the last stand is here. I'm just greatly thankful that my mum said this, 'Son, I've known you long enough to tell that you are troubling between band and trials. And I know you can never concentrate when you have to worry about both. Might as well do your best in Thailand son, I know your focusing capacity, so might as well pick your passion since you're going to represent Malaysia, just promise me you'll do better during the real thing (SPM)'...

Love you lot's mum!

Well, like I said, this is our final stand, not too soon, I'll be in tunic 1 again, receiving my merit award for 5 years worth of service to the school band. Sweetness~

And so to conclude: Good faith in you all my brethren, do well in SPM, PMR and finals.

PS. I got inspiration to write this way after reading Rachel's blog, a bit more spontaneous with more reference to real life, well I guess I should give some credit to her.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Unto myself I'll say.

That upon my act of laze and lack of effort, why thus my laziness?

Seriously, I know I am worried, afraid, stressed about form 5, a very critical year, and definitely not the 1st time I mention this.

Why... Why... WHY is it so hard to be determined... I admire my father's willpower. If only I inherited that instead of flatulence...

Music is my goal, but I have too many other commitments... Maybe science stream was a mistake? But then again, if I make it through, a stronger me will move forward...

Gloom, torment, headaches, mood swings... It's not menstrual cycle, it's SPM...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We will make it through.

Right now, there I am. Despite us been so unlucky for the past 2 years, at the same time we are seemingly lucky in certain aspects. The decision to go to Bangkok was that of a surprise, one of the most unexpected things I've ever encountered for some time.

2 weeks worth of unrest, finally settle last Sunday, with a smile on everybody's face, that moment was priceless. Will we finally live up to teamwork? I hope so.

In this coming few days, much to be cheerful indeed. Pressure on the band isn't that much yet although pressure on the exams are peaking.

With much delight, all the same I feel depressed. Feelings always in the mix. Bangkok, here we come.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Personal timetable for 25/7 until 7/9.

Mondays - Chemistry, Biology.

Tuesdays - Add. Maths, General Maths.

Wednesday - Physics.

Thursday - Music.

Friday - Add. Maths.

Saturday and Sunday - Chemistry, Biology, Physics.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If there were a word to describe now.

I feel depressed. No, more than depress. Yet not suicidal...

No mood, no spirit, no nothing!

Wanna go competition in Johor? Easy to say. No spirit!

Haiz...

No mood.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NATCOMP 2010, the story ends.

The Prince of Egypt is really a very significant achievement for me personally. I feel honoured to be part of the planning of this show. So you can understand my feelings when we finally get to show our theme in the NATCOMP 2010, that sense of achievement.

14th of July, we headed to Shah Alam, our final battlefield. Details of our performance? Watch the videos. I'm more keen on sharing the hotel moments, seriously XD.

Going as a form 5 this year, I got a few juniors under me in the room (Except Jenson, who is my senior). No serious alubuh-ing this time, except for one (we all know who is it). After checking in one of the best hotels NHMB has ever stayed before, "Prescott Hotel", we went shopping at Jusco, manage bond with the younger members, such a nice feeling.

Then that night, me, Ben, Edwil, Diwen and Jenson chatted till 3am... But seriously, we talked about band stuff, its future, past, customs, everything. Got to know Diwen a lot better that night. And thinking back about the past, I really can't help but to feel a sense of achievement...
Remember 2 years back I'm still complaining your wrong footsteps with cymbal, now you can play a lot of hard stuffs like double roll or flam in tenor, march in the whole show without even a step wrong, you grown a lot in these 2 years. - Ah Boon

And so, 15th of July, "The Prince of Egypt” was ready to take the floor for competition. After some final words of encouragement from the staffs, we held our head high while marching into the stadium preparing to put up a show worth the blood and sweat we sacrificed for. 3 months of planning, 7 months of training, RM30,000 worth of investment, gone as fast as it came, that spur of 10 minutes worth was gone, but not before being immortalized by us into sweet memories. It was an overwhelming moment of achievement, and the rest that happened after that was history.

Indeed, as I said, I did my best, we did our best. 5 years of laughing, crying, breaking down and rising up with the band will always remain in my head. There can be miracles, when you believe. Indeed, the miracle happened, not in the results nor in the show, but in the process. The band polished me as a person to shine, and I look forward to the day where I can be one of the polishers to make Nan Hwa Band shine once more.

-Thanks for all the cooperation, you guys did great. Greatest senior batch in my 5 years of teaching! -Ah Boon


Form 5, it was a great journey with you all, and I'm looking forward to life-long friendship with all of you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Egypt Ending.

I remembered 1 year exactly from now. The early stages of Prince of Egypt theme was in the works for us. That faithful night where we caught a glimpse of that powerful song "Deliver Us".

Soon we discovered a masterpiece of a movie score. Prince of Egypt begin to take shape in the course of the next 3 months.

And then it was cruel sun and hot practices for 7 months.

All ended last week... Indeed, it was a journey of faith and fellowship.

I thank Nan Hwa Band for giving me such an opportunity.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

5 things, 5 days 2010.

A continuation from last year's post, at this very moment I too have 5 things I want to achieve in this short span of 5 days, which is before the National Band Competition 2010.

1) I want to be able to mark-time whenever we play standstill without ending up marking on the wrong foot.

2) I want to do the warm-ups as if they were child's play, I do not want to make any mistakes during the warm-up songs by the time of competition.

3) I want to make sure that I will march with proper footwork, not by the competition, but from today onwards.

4) I want to march through the drill without a single mistake, especially static.

5) I want to rock the Stadium Melwati, Shah Alam to its very foundation, but this can only be achieved by teamwork, and so I want to dream that we can achieve it, the full form of ENERGY~SPIRIT~TEAMWORK!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tender dream... Let me be free.

It was a dream, that somehow I can re-live the fondest memory I had back in 2008. I believe all band members from that period are yearning to re-live the memory.

But I dreamed a dream last night. Suddenly, it hit me like a speeding train. No dream will ever repeat itself. I was in denial! I didn't wanted to miss away that sweet memory like that! 2008 was too good.

But now, I hath think thoroughly. I have to accept it, I can never have the chance to experience what I experienced back 2 years ago...

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean I can't make a better and brighter memory for myself this year. Optimism aside, I just wanna post myself a reminder that I shouldn't get caught up in my dreams to a point where I become a slave of my dreams.

Needless to say, so should all the rest of you band members who read my blog about the importance of leaving the past where it ought to be. Look toward the future, and aim for the highest.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things yet to happen.

79.30

Wow... Shocking. But I will just wait and see.

A lot has happen. But of all I am most proud of is our progress. It has been good this few days. I hope we can achieve the peak soon.

But sadly, conflict is still abundant. All I can say is neutral is best.

And finally, always remember: Music for friendship.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Don't give in, don't give up.

Essentials for final week: Concentration. I need to focus, tune in and eradicate any remaining tweaks and incompetence.

Yet, I just can't get rid that small hint of insecurity... Well, let fate decide.

Do your best bandsmen! All is too much left to do, so improve!

Deliver us~ to the promised land~

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last day of June.

It's scary how fast time pass. It was as if yesterday was New Year...

SPM is nearing. I can't help but feel barely ready for the exam.

Deliver us! From this wait alone I am already tormented...

Read somewhere that human will be extinct in 100 years time. There never was a "The end of the World", rather, it always was "End of human beings".

Things to look forward to? The end of all torments, the start for enlightenment.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pre-NATCOMP finals notes.

First, I would like to state my greatest hopes to have the opportunity to perform my last time in the marching band scene in the coming NATCOMP finals.

I've been dreaming many restless nights, with no proof anyone could hear. But I can tell you, I find myself my biggest obstacle, biggest blockade, biggest enemy.

I must remember to set a standard in my own performances. Dynamics is key - Remind myself the difference, impact and release. I also need to control my stick height.

Attitude - Looks that kill. I need to watch my own actions, especially in front of my juniors. I seek to improve them through improving myself.

Target - It's a learning experience. Scores and marks can knock a man down, but why bother? Hakuna matata! No worries. I need only worry about my improvement.

So put simple, it's the journey that counts! I should remember too to inspire my fellow juniors to enjoy themselves. We have gotten way too competitive in the past. Time to bring back the old spirit of showmanship - Our greatest joy and pride is not in the results, but in the people watching, have they accepted us as trying our best to bring them a show to enjoy?

I sit here writting as I listen to my heart... You will when you believe. Our spirit is low, despite this year's show being a high spirited one. Spirit needs cultivation, so mentally, I'll start sowing the seeds to my own spirit.

And thus, I stand at the brink of this post. Let this be the final reminder:
If you aren't having fun, then you ain't doing it right - Scott Johnson
Always remember, it boils down to you really enjoying the experience, savouring the moment. Then only can you call it sweet memories~ No point remembering abuse XD.

Friday, June 25, 2010

NATCOMP prelim.

Nightmare over...

Everyone was scared...

All was tense...

We were all afraid of screwing up...

But we made through...

Now we need to keep on believing.

Aim for the better in finals!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I... Need... CONFIDENCE!

2 days left before the day we compete... But I just don't feel like I did last year... My confidence is wearing away... I just wanna sit in a room and cry all my frustrations...

But then, I can think positively...

Quoted from Wei Yew: The biggest enemy we face is ourselves.

Yes, I am my own problem.

Gonna practice myself till I can perfect most everything.

Energy~Spirit~Teamwork~!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Everlasting, Surreal, Timeless.

Energy, Spirit, Teamwork. This are the 3 things we find essential through years past.

Each word has a meaning behind it, it has a symbolism that characterises an attitude we must have as a member in the band.

Energy represents all the energy as a whole band we can give out and make together to put up a show.

Spirit represents all the member's spirit to thrive in excellence, to perfect themselves in ways of morale and attitude, skills and prowess.

Teamwork represents the want of working together as a team, to enjoy fellowship with members, to help each other. Old and young discovering things and learning, to have experiences as a whole, and to enjoy everything together.

It was never about winning others, but it ha always been giving oneself opportunity to learn, be a better person, be a better performer, better teacher, better musician, nothing more, nothing less.

This will mark my last year, and possibly my last performance on the 25th of June. And I will say, as the tittle says, an everlasting, surreal and timeless journey of mine in this band, with regrets, but also with fruitful learning experiences, and friendships that last, I pray.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coins, it has 2 sides, remember.

You feel betrayed, you can feel betrayed... You feel lied upon, you feel like the you are really willingly right. You feel, that in this world, right is right and so fourth right.

But sadly, you are in a world of betrayals. You are in a world of lies, what can you expect.

Not to mention you live in a world of hate.

This is where, as in all, ignorance is best.

If you can ignore, forgive and thus let love come in, you strive...

I pray for you out of stupor. But all the same, I pray for me to understand more about you as well.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Band Camp form 5.

Yes, end of band camp, much to talk about really. And so when was the last time we had our band camp? 2 years ago.

And it began, the morning, usual practices, and a full run-through with that. And soon, lunch.

Next comes the fun part - telematch... But 1st, let me introduce you to the team I was thrown into: 88888, I'm lovin' it, group 8: Members were:
1) Me
2) Siew Loo
3) Li Ying
4) Jin Chen
5) Choo Siew
6) Yang Sern
7) Jessica
8) Forgot who already...

And so, we head out, and got tortured by all our ex-members as always

And soon it was viewing of Prince of Egypt. I wonder how many people actually watched, enjoyed and understand everything the movie showed...

And so nightfall, it was BBQ, and after all that, the mess... clean up...

And then night patrol. Jia Xun went nuts for 3 hours, circulation the hall non-stop...

And the best part is, a lot of them could actually stay up for the whole night without sleeping... I was already near blackout during 3:30am...

And so, thus, here another band camp over. Here we come competition, no jokes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Always with me.

We're reaching the end of, the intensive training camp we all anticipated. All that has been done, all that has passed, will always be with me in memory.

That can be said to the past memories of my childhood, my teen hood, the band life, school life, family life, I can say, it will all stay with me in memory, always with me.

Such joy in this, that I can keep and treasure all this moments... It has been a long way, a long journey, that I had taken, and as I write this, I am standing at the brink of one chapter of my life, so let me savour every last drop of this sands of time.

And all in all, my greatest wish and joys is for that of my juniors to feel it the same way as I do. Let it be this, the legacy, the memory, the namesake, let it be always with me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Distress, De-stress - Band and beyond.

Yeah, I thought it would be great and all, band practice.

Not, not so much so. As I saw today myself, end of the 1st day...

Stress, burden, conflict, misunderstanding and all... I wished it were all cleared.

I only can say this to you Jia Xun, if you're reading. I said it once, I'll say it again. In what you are in now, your hatred towards "him" is so great, it's affecting your thinking. You're letting too much of your EQ overcome you. I know it's hard, but life isn't simple, everything is complicated. What has happened is not solely because of one or two individuals, but a myriad of reasons, so all I can say is, sit down, clear your thoughts, really think about all the factors and about yourself. Throwing yourself in to such influx for the sake of "him"? You sure it's worth it? I don't know, you be the judge.

The things I have to face? I hope it will be improvement that I face. But today? There is improvement no doubt, but there were also mistakes that weren't meant to happen. My steps are deteriorating... I wish to overcome that as soon as I can.

So what can I hope tomorrow? More improvement.

Friday, June 4, 2010

End of mid-year exams 2010.

And with much to celebrate the holidays, I will say, it is time for much needed relaxation. And relaxation to me lies in band.

It's nearly time for me to do what I had promised myself to do, the Carol of the Bells is ringing...

Nevertheless, gearing up for band, that's what's on my mind right now. It's all about the competition that is to come. Bad choice? I gonna give my all this year, and have since made a choice, up until the competition ends, I will give my best every time.

People will be talking about "Hey, it's holidays, lighten up!@#". No man, no lightening up man, it's no more I.D.I.O.T. , Let it be known henceforth: Increased Marching Band Effective Concentration Intensity Lifting Exercise, "I.M.B.E.C.I.L.E." in hopes to increase the concept of a perfect marching band, of that of "One band, One sound".

We will go on and improve, and it is my hopes that before I leave this band, I will be part of the redemption.

And so, it begins, I.M.B.E.C.I.L.E. begins...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Flipping through my mind's recordings: Journey to the past - part 3.

The closing chapter of the trilogy in my past. Basically it's just two years back, not too hard to recall.

And so I entered morning session. Waking up at 6:20am due excitement to get back to school. Year 2008 would mark much of my change in attitude, thinking and appearance. I daresay I learnt a lot of valuable lessons back then.

Friendships endure through trials and triumphs, let that statement be true in the future. I had the blessing of strengthening bonds with my pals, along with getting to know a lot more people. School life was blissful. It was PMR that year, yet we felt no pressure. I miss that.

Band life was at its peak. It was my 1st year I competed, a year after Nan Hwa Band remained silent and inactive. I was naive then, thinking that band was a bed of roses, which I will come to realise soon that it is not. Nevertheless, I was in a lucky year. Despite all the form 5's fears that year, along with many of those ex-members, we manage to grab back the title of Perak champion and go on to the national level. Even beyond national level, we went on to international level. What a year, all those experience.

All those smiles and laughter, sweat and tears, even blood. I remembered the time where we form 3 boys went out together for a hair-cut, and soon we were all botak, all that sacrifice in the name of band.

And in school we had an equal amount of crazy things to talk about. I remembered the few weeks before PMR, while those few kiasu people skipped school, we relaxing kakis always came up with crazy games to play since the teachers weren't teaching.

The it came, the end of PMR, where it also mark the departure of our dear friend Jien Win to leave to Australia... Not forgetting he manage to have his passing out... And soon 2009.

Which goes on with the immense pressure of form 4, although it gave me hell academically, it also gave me a haven in friends. Going on with 4SA, I was blessed with 5 classmates from 2008 to be with, that is Jia Xun, Hong Leong, Lianne, Shin Yun and Teck Hooi. Haha, the time of the life we had in form 4, especially Lianne and Shin Yun, always doing crazy stuff.

And band life goes without saying, the start of which is a year I learnt a lot about defeat and failure, and how to cope with it. But let's not forget the wonderful Valentines Day concert, which we can all think back, smile and give a pat behind our back.

And then competition. We got 3rd placing. So what? I ask myself nowadays. But it wasn't like that back then. I was hot and quick to judge, and said a few things I shouldn't have said, but what's done is done, so no point looking back. I learnt the importance of self victory as the real victory that year. And I can say, I was as happy as I can be that night eventually when I realised, we defeated ourselves. And it is true to the saying, arrogance is a man's downfall. Let it be the lesson not just for us, but also for all. And not all is lost, last year's passing out was really a highlight.

And thus, time flies... Right now, I write this post as a form 5 already in the middle of the year. SPM is near, many things are near. Alas, all I can do is pray.

Thus marks the end of my 3 part flashback. And so, I hope you aren't bored to death yet, but I find this post more personal than public, so if you don't understand, it's normal.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flipping through my mind's recordings: Journey to the past - part 2.

Part 2 of this trilogy to begin with, is actually a very crucial part of my life.

Upper primary. I usually won't be so detailed in that part of my life, but here's the story: My father retired from his company of which he worked a good 30 years because of old-age. Thankfully, he got a job offer from a relative to work in Kangar, Perlis, the very tip of the northern region.

It was a bittersweet move. I was happy I can finally detach from Urban lifestyle. I was going back to nature. Truly the journey to Kangar was one where I gained back my confidence. There, I got good grades (The standard there is low no doubt), had many friends, learned many important things in life. The air was fresh, the waters clean, the mountains so green, it really was like the serene island of Robinson Crusoe.

I will not forget the day where during music lesson, our teacher taught us the song "I have a dream". Truly, after I sang my heart's content, I finally had a dream. I suddenly felt firm grip in my life, a feeling of content and target. It was there I discovered me as who I am.

Then it came to the part where we had to leave again, because of my father's job. It was Ayer Tawar this time. There, I learned basically all about street-wise skills. The neighbourhood isn't exactly friendly, but you'd learn to come by.

There was the time where I had female tendencies. Back there, all the boys were the tough type (or at least in the class I was in). I was again in some way an outcast sometimes. What to do? Mix with the girls. Well, still it's a lesson there I learned

And then comes Nan Hwa, form 1, moved to Sitiawan due to convenience. It was here I met friends, friends that I hope will stay until I die. The 1st day I entered that class, I can frank at this, but I straight away fell for Shin Yun (pardon me, I just had to write this...). And so? Still with my girl-mixing tendencies, we chatted, payed a bit of paper games, bla bla...

And soon, I came to meet Jien Win, our dear friend who now is in Australia. Through him I finally got rid of my "niang" tendencies and mixed with the boys (Finally...). During that time, I also befriended Hong Leong, then timid and soft-spoken, unlike now, boasting a strong confidence and never failing to smile. Jia Xun? We still were aliens to each other. Teck Hooi, good friend too. Lianne? Who's that monkey there at the corner? XD So many others...

We had laughs, joys and everything. I still remember the time we painted the front wall of our classroom. I painted the Saxophone XD, yeah, it was band class. Speaking of which, in band, I too got to know Hai Teng, David, Hing Hock and Swee Kai. Trumpet rulez~ Until I switched to percussion T_T...

Form 2? Had the same amount of fun. Got the opportunity to know more of them classmates. By then I got to know more of the girls which I sort of shy away eventually during the 1st year. And there was Basil and Leon, we 3 the English speaking musketeers in class (Wait, there's still Jien Win...). Yup, those were the days... No pressure, only fun. Got to know Jia Xun a bit by then, and also a lot of other band mates.

That was the crucial part of my life, and it will continue with my maturing in the final instalment of this journey to my past trilogy: Morning secondary up till the recent past.

Disclaimer: Sources come solely from my mind and thoughts, so accuracy is not at the very least reliable. But still, it's a recount.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flipping through my mind's recordings: Journey to the past - part 1.

It was a blissful morning that came, my 1st day in primary school. It was there, I learn: Nothing... 1st day of school also want to study ah? Goodness me! But education will become the one thing I'll dread from that day onward...

It wasn't a pleasant school life for me during the first 4 years in primary. Think of the life in depression and books, nothing much to look forward to, dead. After school, mum will usually take me to lunch, then back home? Homework, piles of them. Don't do em'? Get canned by teacher. But I somehow always get canned anyway. Then there are the weekends, where mum will bring me to do the weekly shopping in one of the local malls. Yeah. that's KL lifestyle.

Out-of-school activities? I joined Self-defense at one point. Art classes too. Why I didn't pick music? Didn't had the spark for it that time maybe. I remember going to Sunday school regularly at one point. Those were the good days in my spiritual realization.

In the past, I seem to care very little about exam. Thank goodness I do! If not, I'd be insane now, all that pressure. I miss my ignorance and innocence.

And there is that thinking that everyday is bright and joyful... I still yearn that feeling, longing to live in the past. But then I could not ignore that wise saying, Men who live in the past, will be lost in the future.

Will I forget the gluttony and stupidity I had then? No, I too have to acknowledge that I was once a man full of flaw, and still I am. But nevertheless, being awaken from that stupor is a blessing indeed. Not forgetting that I am somewhat an outcast in my own thinking?

That was primary, quite a blur part of my past. The trilogy to be continued: upper primary and lower secondary part of my life.

Disclaimer: Sources come solely from my mind and thoughts, so accuracy is not at the very least reliable. But still, it's a recount.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vanity, all is vanity.

I remember the time where I said to myself, 'Zongxu, you know all too well looks mean nothing to you, go out, be ugly and be proud of it!' Those were the days where my outer appearance mean nothing but dust to me.

Now? I miss that attitude much. Vanity, it floods me sometimes, as I try hard to control myself. The urge to be vain, to look outstanding among all others, normally appears in our teenage years.

I miss not being vain, such innocence gone. Now I look at myself and say, 'You know you ought to look presentable later...' only to shoot back to myself, 'Disgusting vanity, who cares how you look nowadays? Anyway, the people are more interested on how they themselves look, why matter?'

Alas, I miss being un-vain...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monochromatic Silence.

Balck and white silence, deafness, blindness...

I feel helpless, moodless, energyless, targetless.

Please... Let the examination period end!!!

ARRGHHH!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Maybe may.

Maybe I'll study, study still I get flying scores.

Maybe I'll do more revisions on music, prepare myself for the greater future.

Maybe I'll concentrate in band trainings, competition's just around the corner.

Maybe I'll focus on relationships, focus more on friends and family.

Whatever it is, all is affect by the addiction of computer, so here I pray, please give me the strength this month to fight all temptation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Post morterm so far.

We have hit the peak ladies and gentlemen.

This is Nan Hwa percussion's update:
Playing wise, tempo is still our drawback. Dynamics are still unpleasant, unclear.
Single stroke and double stroke is not pleasing.
Member attitude so far is improving.
Basic marching is our greatest weakness, need to work on that.
Steps must be clear.

So far that's all to say.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Notes for May.

Life:
  • Go and be nice,
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Accept all praises and consider all criticism
  • Don't be a pain in the neck
  • Be a good friend
Studies:
  • Study everyday a bit from now onwards
  • Listen as much in class
  • Get the right study attitude
Band:
  • Practice to perfection
  • Guide the younger ones
  • Achieve the right target
  • Learn as much as possible

Monday, April 26, 2010

How deep is your Love?

Oh my, I'm listening to that song again - "How deep is your Love" by the Bee Gees... I'm in love? Infatuation maybe?

How deep is your love,
I really mean to learn,
cause we're living in a world of fools,
breaking us down,
when they all should let us be,
we belong to you and me
Something in this lyrics that reflect me.

And happy days are here again, great things are happening? Qin Wei's getting married! Yay for him.

Not just that, "Someone" got the boot, for good. Whether it's for the better or for the worse, all I can hope for is as long as peace and balance is achieved, then it's for the greater good.

Hmmm... What else I got to say? Carol of Bells is a nice song.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Through the Eye of the Tiger.

A cool wind swept pass her whiskers as dawn broke. Standing at a healthy one metre, she ruled her turf with a mysterious aura. For many years, her image was a symbol of bravery and courage in countless of cultures, and until now, she bears the pride of any tiger, fearsome and unpredictable.

Her life was never a walk in the park though. Everyday is another hunt for her, and food never comes easy. But today, she can smell easy prey, the smell of blood lingering in the air, a sign of a wounded animal. She could not count on sight, sunlight barely cut through the thick growth of the forest; moreover it was still the break of dawn, so instinct guided her through the wines and groves.

‘The smell’s becoming more intense,’ she thought to herself, as she navigates her way toward her target. And as soon as she felt her prey was within her reach, she slowed her pace and lowered her body. Crawling and breathing heavily, she prepared to pounce on her unsuspecting prey, a mouse deer she thought, or maybe a primate that fell from the trees above.

As she drew closer to inspect, she saw a lifeless body of a boar lying among some leaves, scattered all over the forest floor. The carcass was still fresh, blood oozing out from punctures on its body. ‘Strange, what predator leaves their food unattended?’ She thought to herself. And indeed it is strange; the puncture wounds appeared around the creature’s abdomen, an awkward place for any predator to attack.

Instincts told her that something was amiss, but hunger over-ruled that warning. Her last meal was already two days ago and all she had was a young mouse deer. She moved toward the carcass, opening her incisors ready to tear away its flesh.

SNAP! A snare had bitten into one of her limbs. She let out a cry of agony that had the birds on the trees above flying away in confusion. As she struggled to pry of her limb away from the menacing trap, blood started flowing out of her wound. She had never saw such a strong jaw in the jungle before, as even during fights for habitat, no other tiger had ever manage to bite through her hide.

Minutes pass, and her hopes of escaping diminishes. After each struggle, she could feel the snare bite through her bone, slowly fracturing her limb bit by bit. Pain from the wound triggered something she never felt before. Small droplets of water flowed out of her eyes, tears of pain and fear, something she never thought she would experience.

Suddenly, out of the bushes came a rustling sound. The tigress could hear footsteps heading toward her, so she readied herself to defend against anything or anyone who tries to take advantage of her. Then, out of the bushes sprung two men, both wielding strange silver pipes about a metre long. At that moment she remembered what her mother used to tell her, ‘beware the creature who bares a pipe in hand, he kills all that stand in his way without touching it, all but with a point of his pipe.’

These men were poachers, greedy for the exotic and rare. One of them said, ‘this cat’s a big one, what say you we might be able to sell it for about 10,000 to 20,000 dollars maybe?’ ‘That’s if we get away with it! But the trucks aren’t here yet, we caught it too early,’ replied the other.
‘Well, split her into parts and hide it till they come then!’

She knew not a word they say, but she had a bad feeling. The two men drew closer, and she exclaimed to herself, ‘fools, do they know not what my claw can smite?’ But as she raised her claw to strike, a loud “bang” pierced through the thick growth of the forest. She had been shot at her paw. Another limb wounded, and she continued to cry in agony. She could feel her paw bone shattered into pieces. She was immobilized, and she knew her end was near, but still she was persistent to fight until the end of it all.

One of the men tried to grab her unwounded limb, but with a strong push, she sent the man falling. As she did that, the other man gave her neck a hard blow. With that she was left paralyzed and half unconscious. She then thought to herself, let the pain end, and just kill me. But no, these men were heartless; they wanted her fresh but immobilized, so they did not kill her. One of them then took out a knife, and he slowly drove the sharp edge toward the tigress’ neck and made a deep cut around the neck skin, leaving her screaming in her heart with sheer pain. He then drove his fingers deep into the cut and gave a hard tug, peeling off her hide downward. He was trying to skin the creature alive!

It was torture, inhumane, cold-blooded, even a snake could not stomach this sight. The tigress’ skin being pulled out of her as her trapped limb was pulled at an unbearable pressure. Her body was motionless, but her heart was stressed to a point where any living being would yield and break. As the last bits of her skin came off, all her muscles were bleeding and exposed to the dirt and soil of the ground. The two men then released her from the snare. Soon they both took out parang knives and severed her four limbs. By now, she was near lifeless, but the pain still tormented her.

The two men continued their heartless deed by hooking her up a butcher claw and dragging her skinless body across the rough and muddy jungle floor into their hiding place.

What happens beyond there is unimaginable pain and agony. Soon, the two men removed the organs from the once magnificent creature and hided them around different loading spots around the forest. They even hired some natives to help traffic the parts and pieces of the tigress.

Such horrific things happen on a creature that had to struggle everyday to live. Why should man need such a thing to happen on not just tigers, but many other endangered animals in the wild? We invade their habitat, take their food source, and now we take their lives. Is the pain worth the products that “improve” our already easy life? When the buying stops, the killing can too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Emotional Quotient.

My emotion's are dominating my decisions again, overly dependent on feeling my heart rather than thinking rationally.

Yet rationality sometimes is futile... Why my somewhat self-induced misery? Love isn't a game, it's a life commitment! SO no hazardous decisions, I will just remain inactive as I was, I'll let pure fate to take its place without MY intervention.

And then comes worries of studies, time never gives in... But I will do my studies eventually, mark my words yes!

So be such, I will try to do it, give it my best in all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cropping down tis' old crown of memory.

Cropping my hair down to near nothing, more than mere aesthetics, more that a ritual, it is a symbol of taking off all the things that hath pass, year 2009.

And in that I too crop down one significant part of me. Do not hate me now, for I had once been so engaged in you. I find that going on was just going into another wall. But if you need be, I'd say sorry.

And so leaves me this other, one that maybe of me in half incarnation?

Yes, mistakes are made, but unless I stop trying, I will eventually find the one that's right.

So embrace I pray, please be it.

It may be so.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lane: 2008 Memory.

Every once in a while, we just need to de-stress a bit, and one good way is to walk down the bright lane of memories.

2008, fond memories indeed. School life was blissful, band life was so rewarding, friendships were fruitful, and we were still immature, a blessing indeed.

KLWMBC and band national comepetition, a phase which just cannot be told or written in words, you will only understand how awesome it is when you get to experience:
  • eating maggi noodles everyday
  • walk around the hotel half-naked
  • singing in the aisle loudly
  • screwing up your band uniform
  • practicing in a short 15 minutes designated to your band at 12 noon
  • march on stupid white floor tiles you just love but hate
  • seeing other bands perform live
  • warming up in a field with 10 other bands
  • hear the seniors and ex-members shout E~S~T
  • getting high after each round of competing
  • having Sultanah Asma blast at you loudly in the afternoon when you have your nap
  • go shopping in one of the free days at berjaya times square and mid-valley
  • take pictures non-stop all the way
  • making friends with other bands
  • re-affirming old friendships
  • listen to current seniors share experiences with you

Ahhh... I can cry already, sweet memories.

Memoirs 2008 Album
Memoirs 2008 Video

Monday, April 12, 2010

Further progress.

Is gloomy, uneventful, uninteresting and uneasy feeling, that time of the year, April...

Is it SPM's awe-inducing aura? It keeps pressing me...

I suddenly have no mood, no target...

Study? I'm getting sick of it...

Band at least becomes a place where I can do myself a bit pulling back, get out of reality...

So, hopefully, really hopefully all will turn out good...

Progression, it is unavoidable, so might as well progress to the better.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thorn among the roses.

Phaik Sim and Pei Pei's birthday dinner (Happy Birthday again if either of you are reading!) at Sunlight Cafe, what a night, haha. Well, as the title says, I was the thorn among the roses, all girls except me, the only guy. Jia Xun, too bad you didn't come...

What did they do? Well, being a "girls night out", it is subjected to multiple subjects of interest that they chatted, most of which I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND! T_T

And after the food: It's pictures, photos, cameras and hand phones! Well, as the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so what did I do? Self-portrait? Nah, not for me. Just took a few photos here and there.

So I'll be waiting for those pictures to appear on facebook soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tasks and objectives

Minutes away from all those works...

Wish I had more time.

Yet I know more time is never possible.

Yes, we all have work.

But it is hard to keep with this tasks, this objectives.

Alas, only time will tell.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

You can't joke, not everything.

No man can ever say he lived his life without regret. And so goes without saying, I too.

We've been told countless times, don't act before thinking. But also, man's tendencies is to act before thinking. I have learnt that, but yet, it always will return, impulsiveness...

You can't joke, not everything, not love. So said someone to I, so I will remember, love isn't a joke, not at all.

I shall remember that, thank-you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ashirra l adonai ki gaoh gaoh

I will sing, sing in glory and might,
I will praise and dance with all my heart,
For all glory, all pride.

I will march on in name of his glory,
I will do my best and give my all,
For all glory, all pride.

Miracles happen, when you believe.

Another month's gone, let us put our best foot forward.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When you believe.

Only when you thrust in your goal, believe that it is all possible, only when you are ready to put all your hopes, dreams and life into it, will it happen, miracles.

Soul of the band, the spirit of making music. Where is it? Diminished?

And yet, only a few yearn to truly seek it. Hopefully this would improve...

And at long last, we are just that close to be at our target.

So be it, Brass, Wind, Percussion, Colour Guard. We move on then.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Want not insanity?

In the mind of the mindless and insane, what is the one emotion that can exist? Happiness.

Is it because of their ignorance that they can be pure of heart? And by being pure of heart can they be happy? I dare say yes. But want not I, insanity? Maybe, but at a price.

Looking towards deeper insights of our thinking makes us realise that even fools are better off that way than us ourselves, as we proclaim, knowledgeable and alert. But is it really so?

We are fools in reality if we are compared to what it really takes to be truly knowledgeable. We are merely but jesters and clowns in this world, yet we still raise our head high as if we were great and mighty, which is truly an act of foolishness.

So succumb to the truth, be humble, and just accept that to have a clear mind makes you responsible to learn more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good day.

It is indeed a good day today. Many things happened in my favour.

So to begin with, I may say that Sivik test wasn't that blissful as I thought. But once that was done, Chemistry test papers were back!@# Soon, so soon, it got into my nerves. I received my paper, and the rest was a black hole.... I GOT 26 over 30!!! Broke my record. YES!!! But I don't mean to brag, so I just guess I'll say I am grateful.

And barely enough time for me to take down that information, then comes this: I was asked to help out in photo-taking. What? School photo-sessions are today? I get to ponteng with a pass? Of course I'm willing to come!

And after that, it's Physics paper... But first, let me tell you the story of my Physics: It began last year during the 1st monthly test of Physics, where I got 22/30. So I told myself, work hard, get an A for the next monthly test. I did, my homework, tried hard not to sleep in class, did revisions, so on... During 2nd monthly test, I got 22/30! A bit disappointed you may say I am... But I told myself the same thing, that next round, I'll get a higher score. Guess what? I got 22 Physics again! Oh well, at least I didn't drop standard XD.

So I suppose tomorrow's gonna be another tale, so good day I say!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The best time for relaxation? Before exam.

Exam, often associated with torment, stress, pain, anguish, pressure, sickness, and sometimes even death.

Flip that coin around! Best time for relaxation? Before exam! Let's enjoy that citric-sour moment. It's that enjoyable.

Ok, seriously now, down to earth thinking? Well, Did a brief look-through Bio chapter 2 just now, and some Add. Maths revision... So I aim to do much more tomorrow.

And so, let's study into relaxation my brethren.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Their work is done, our work's just begun

End of the 5 days of gruelling practices, the Thai team gave their best, so are we going to give our best?

Intensive Drum Informative Observation & Training (IDIOT), the term I coined since 2009 whenever the Thai team came over to train us. Why the name? Simple, because the training sessions are INTENSE!

So 5 days have passed, and the Thai group of 5 did their job, finished it. Now it's our turn work it out, our job's just begun. They've sown the seeds of the flowers, so we gotta water it, weed it, fertilise it, and make it blossom.

Energy~Spirit~Teamwork~!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

That imperfect picture.

2nd I.D.I.O.T. of 2010 season starts, and my 1st blog about the traning session without mentioning of it in the title. Many things became clear during this week, the decision to go with a full thematic show being the most uplifting.

But all this comes with a price. There's that imperfect picture. Why? We just can't seem be as complete as we want to be because our skills do not permit. But well? Time will tell.

As for the show, in my opinion, it's pretty solid already. But, seriously, just lacking one element to make it complete, you know, that cherry on the top thing.

As for my physical health? "I'M DYING!!!". No, just joking, but my body definitely feels pain, pain to the bone.

Academic studies? What the heck! I usually don't include this aspect in any of my band blog updates... But what choice do I have? It's SPM year man. All I can say is, not enough time for everything.

And so, my wish is this, simple and true: We go back to the field this year with our uniform of white, red and black, and show that we can achieve a solid status with a full thematic show. And more importantly after that is done, is to live long enough to remember this and tell my grandchildren (Not too sure whether I'll have any XD).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last time this time.

I'm tired, I'm used, I'm that much. This is all, this is all, nothing more or less. But I seek this thing of the pass, of story which I will tell:

Things can happen just like that. They come so briefly in your life, but you can remember it for ages. This was what I felt in 2008. Need I say more? I think no. Most people will know.

But not mere experiances that we took with us, it was the bond that follow. Enemies were made brothers, the lion at peace with the lamb.

And we sought to re-create it last year. Yes, last year we still pushed forward nevertheless. And for me, it was a personal achievement, and I don't care if some tell it was a loss.

But since this year, it has been a non-stop turbulance ever since. I want not this! If I want my full effort to work, I need a full target in view. If not, just let there be rest, and Ican concentrate in further undertakings.

If so ends this story yet written? I will definitely want to conclude my destination into one worth a greater thing to remember. Be it epic, be it tragic, we will watch.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fighting a losing battle.

I'm battling an obstacle everyone faces, but this obstacle takes in the incarnation. Lest I have it too.

Too me now, the biggest challenge is to keep focus in the right things. My focus now is totally out of tune. I'm concentrating too much in band aspects. My studies? Neglected.

I wish not be it this way, I am going to change my lifestyle!

From now own, I will keep by this routine: Tuesday and Thursday strictly is reserved for intense studying, no computers.

I keep my focus in all the sciences, pay extra attention to detail for Malay. I will not stick my proud head away from Sejarah this year. The only subject I intend to ignore is Moral. No one needs it.

I will go forth! And go forth with Valour.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scaborough Fair.

Scarborough Fair, is a song that tells the tale of a young man, who tells the listener to ask his former lover to perform for him a series of impossible tasks, such as making him a shirt without a seam and then washing it in a dry well, adding that if she completes these tasks he will take her back. Often the song is sung as a duet, with the woman then giving her lover a series of equally impossible tasks, promising to give him his seamless shirt once he has finished.



A song of unfortunate and impossible love between two people. Surely the theme and layers of the song are depressing and somewhat sad. But the reassuring tone on the overall is what keeps it uplifting.

The lyrics however, is anything but simple. It is but symbolic and with layers, its meaning different in many people's opinion.

The lyrics, brackets is the duet part:
Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt (On the side of a hill in the deep forest green).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground).
Without no seams nor needlework (Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain).
Then she'll be a true love of mine (Sleeps unaware of the clarion call).

Tell her to find me an acre of land (On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Washes the grave with silvery tears).
Between salt water and the sea strands (A soldier cleans and polishes a gun).
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather (War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Generals order their soldiers to kill).
And gather it all in a bunch of heather (And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten).
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine.