Why Brothers Bother, Haircuts Take Time, and Cameras Hurt

Well, another day has went by, and my exciting life just seems to go on. Despite the lack of anything actually news-worthy (like the healthcare bill – who cares?), there are a few interesting happenings that have…..err….happened. So, let’s see……

I woke up raring to go – I had to be at Hillsong Brisbane by 10.30, as I’m in the Production Team (I know, cool, right?). So, as previously arranged, I would catch a lift with my brother. Sounds nice? Not really. I was ready to go by 9.50 ( Yes, yes, eager beaver) – But my brother wasn’t. And he was determined to make me wait.

Sluggishly, he took his shower, got dressed, and so on. Then, he made breakfast. Nope, it wasn’t his usual choice (yogurt….or nothing…), but he decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich. And while it simmered and grilled, he drank some juice, just taking in the beauty of the kitchen. While he cooked and ate, I was trying to get him to go, or I would be late. But being the older (and stronger) brother, he took his time and enjoyed the cheese. “We’ll be there on time!” he said, munching on wholemeal.

Was making a grilled cheese sandwich really worth jeopardising my punctuality? Though, that sandwich DOES look good…..

There is one thing about my brother, he’s always right. No matter what the scenario, he always turns out right. Ever since he successfully predicted the way the ball would go from the penalty spot in Xbox Soccer (for the record, he has about 189 straight victories against me), and then predict that Australia would beat Uruguay in the 2006 Wold Cup Qualifier (I lost $4 in a bet because of that), my brother has continued to remain correct in all respects. And when we arrived at Hillsong at 10.30 exactly, he turned out right again. Annoying.

Moving on, I walked into the video team office, only to discover that I was on Camera 3 today. Now, Camera 3 was a roving camera; one that was situated on stage and had to be carried around for shots. When I heard the news, I nearly had a heart attack, for 2 reasons:

  1. I had never done Camera 3 before, and I had no idea what to do.
  2. Did I mention that I had never done Camera 3 before, and had no idea what to do?

Camera 3 required a lot of creativity in shot taking, invisibility in roving, and toughness in carrying the heavy camera around on your shoulder. Now, while I can be inconspicuous, the fact that I was on stage didn’t really help. Neither did my white sneakers – they would show up like a signal flare. Creativity is also another big zero for me, as anyone should know just my reading my blog. And as for toughness, forget it. I could barely carry the weight of my emotions, let alone a camera.

But surprisingly, it didn’t turn out too badly. I was able to pretend that I had some talent and take “oh-so-cool” shots of the keyboard, the electric guitar, and the choir. Keyboard, Guitar, Choir. Whoever said creativity was needed had to be joking – no one noticed that I barely moved from my spot, and got the same three shots over and over again.

Though my shoulder still hurts now. Ouch.

So THAT’S why South Sydney Rabbitohs’ Craig Wing’s shoulder hurt – he carried around a camera all day!

After THAT, I went for a common torture usually devised for little kids – the haircut. Yes, I went willingly to lop off my locks and fringe. While I personally didn’t think that my hair was long, my mum insisted otherwise. I think it was the fact that I started wearing animal skins and carrying a spear decided it for her.

Yep, that’s me. Cool, huh?

Haircuts are like doctor’s appointments. You have to wait for ages in a designated area with weird people and screaming children, and then you have a horrific experience that makes you swear never to go back. In fact, it’s almost exactly the same. Except for the lollipop at the end.

My haircut was slightly different. I had it in Sunnybank, an area where there is a lot of Chinese-speaking people. Thus, the hairdresser was Chinese. Unfortunately, my command of Chinese is about as good as that of my friend’s command of grammar and spelling when on MSN – almost non-existent. Ever tried to ask for a haircut and its style, and then do small talk, in broken Chinese? One word: Awkward.

That was where my brother came in. While his Chinese is only slightly better than mine, his Chinese IS still better than mine. And, he knows fashion. That guy can wake up ready for a fashion shoot. So, I let him tell the hairdresser how short to cut it. And boy, it was short. I was almost afraid people would need a magnifying glass to see it. But after applying hair gel and spray, it looked good.

So, what have we learned today?

  1. My brother is always right. Always. It’s really annoying, I know. But sometimes, the combination of three years more experience, intelligence, and “oh-so-suave” style can actually be quite helpful, and it can bring a fresh outlook on the world. Though when he says that he has a bridge to sell me in Sydney……
  2. Doing Roving Cameras on stage is very, very difficult. I have much more respect to those who did it at Toowoomba’s Australian Gospel Music Festival (AGMF; now Easterfest). And little cable-pullers that run away – watch out for them!
  3. Haircuts are awkward, especially if you can’t speak Chinese. The forced laughs, the confused looks…..man, I don’t want to go through that experience again. At least, until my hair grows out again. Hopefully, that won’t be for a long time.

So, all in all, not a bad Sunday. I might go for a grilled cheese sandwich now…..though, as my shoulder hurts so much, I might grill the camera instead…..

How did you spend YOUR day? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Shopping for an Exit – When You’re Trapped in a Shopping Complex

Prison changes a man. They say, the stuff that goes on inside alters your personality. Even when people are trapped in mine-shafts are caved-in tunnels suffer post-traumatic stress. Well, what happens when you it’s a shopping centre you’re trapped in?

It was Easter Saturday, a pretty nice holiday in a set of four. Usually families would chose to spend it watching TV, eating chocolate, or going shopping. My family decided to do the latter. Now, it wasn’t anything special, just a bit of groceries. But we decided to venture into one of Brisbane’s few attractions, Queen Street Mall.

(A view of Queen Street Mall. Note the people.)

For those who don’t know, Queen Street Mall is a huge street lined with shops, booths, departmental stores, and so on. Street buskers roam wild throughout. Roadside stalls are scattered, hawking their wares (all legal, of course) to unwary tourists. And a Krispy Kreme shop, there to redeem the whole mess.

So, when we arrived, we split up to shop and see the sights (a street busker had MY attention). My dad and brother finally emerged from a far-away music shop lugging a keyboard, and decided to head back to the car to secure their booty. By this time, it was about 5 (closing time); thus I was tasked with locating my mum at a COLES supermarket after being told by my dad that “She’s in the COLES in that shopping complex, mate.” And trustingly, I entered.

The first thing that struck me was that there was no COLES on the ground and upper floors. Alright, I said. It must be in the basement. Looking over the railing to the basement, I could make out a section that was hidden from view. It must be in there, I decided.

The second thing was that the escalators all went UP from the basement to the ground floor, none from the ground floor down to the basement. This I confirmed after walking around the ground floor twice. I was surprised. Really? One-Way escalators? A real-life game Snakes and Ladders, I presume.

So, like any good, sane, person, I strode over to the nearby lifts and hit the down button. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Now, I was floored. What kind of shopping complex had an inaccessible basement? What was in there that we couldn’t see? A illegal gambling place? Animal fights? The COLES must have some really, REALLY good “groceries”.

Walking back, I encountered a few people huddled around a security guard, and overheard that the centre shut down the lifts because they were closing for the day. I assumed the one-way escalators were a by-product of the closing as well. That made sense. If thieves wanted to to rob the place, they could get everything else, but not the basement! Heh heh.

But, I still had my mum to find, and like Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers, I couldn’t leave until every last member of my family was home. She didn’t pick up any of my calls, and neither did my dad. So, I snuck into a “Employees Only” service elevator (Hey, don’t look at me like that! Other people were doing it too!) and went downstairs. Apparently, they used the same elevator to take down their rubbish, so, you can imagine how much it stank. Almost as much as my cooking.

However, I finally made it downstairs……..only to find that there was NO COLES supermarket. Nothing. Only plenty of closed shops and stacked chairs. The fact that my parents didn’t pick up the phone took on a different interpretation – It’s a trap! They sent me here to be imprisoned within a shopping complex forever!

(Yes, just like SAW. It was an insidious, cruel trap from which there was no escape.)

Before I could start rushing around like a crazy lunatic or a rugby player, my dad finally called and said that my mum was waiting outside the music shop. Oh alright. Must have been a mistake. Even the fact that the shop was about a kilometre away mustn’t have been a factor.

So, I turned towards the escalators and was about to use them when, without warning, it stopped. Just like that. But, I gamely clambered up to the top, only to find that there was a huge plastic door thing over the exit. NOW, I was trapped. It wasn’t my parents who trapped me, it was the shopping complex who had me imprisoned! They wouldn’t let me go! Or maybe, it was a conspiracy with BOTH my parents and the shopping centre employees involved.

Happily, though, a security guard came along and kindly showed the kid that was freaking out (me) a small door, which I could enter the free world. I was relieved. I wanted to hug him to show my gratitude, but I noticed he had a Taser.

Was I free as a bird? Indeed. Though birds wouldn’t have been stumped by the one-way escalators. I skipped home merrily, secure in the knowledge that I escaped the jaws of death.

So kids, what have we learnt?

  1. Always, ALWAYS make sure that what you’re trying to find is in the unknown location first. Acting on bad intel (thanks, Dad), I went into hostile territory and barely escaped with my life. You might not be so lucky. So, always be certain before you enter. Look before you leap. Or you’ll be trapped in a shopping centre.
  2. If you can’t get into a place, it’s probably better you don’t. An inaccessible basement made me try all manners of entryways to get there. Unfortunately, my grappling hook was at home, forcing me to take the service elevators. And when I got there, there was a huge load of nothing. Kinda like when I watched the pilot of HEROES. What a waste.
  3. Shopping Centres will do anything to keep you there. Stopped escalators? Inoperable lifts? Locked barriers to the exits? I mean, usually they use free samples and pushy salespeople to get you to stay, but they really pulled out all the stops on this one.
  4. And finally: Service Elevators stink. Literally. I mean, James Bond never gets the one with the stench of rubbish. Neither did all the other action heroes – they even had the time to get changed and armed inside. Why did I have to get the short straw – or rather, the smelly elevator? Could be worse, though – I could have had to climb through the sewer pipes, like Johnny English.

And after all of that, I still didn’t get to have a Krispy Kreme donut. It wasn’t worth breaking out of the shopping complex for, anyway.

Do YOU have a bad shopping experience? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

New Twilight Book to be Released!!

That’s right, folks. Stephenie Meyer, author of the bestselling Twilight series, has announced today that she has finished writing her next book, unnamed as of the moment. In a short press release, she stated that:

The books [The other Twilight novels] end happily for most – but what about the fate of the other characters?….Leah Clearwater, the rest of the wolves, Renesmee….. This book gives them an ending as well….

Stephenie Meyer also said that she didn’t want to release this too widely as of yet, due to her concerns of leaks, as that was what had occurred with her unfinished novel, Midnight Sun. If we all recall, a draft of the novel was leaked before completion, causing her to cease working on it altogether. Hence, the short press release without giving away anymore details.

Other than the short excerpt above, Stephenie Meyer was tight-lipped about the date of release, the title, the plot, or any other relevant information. She refused further comment until closer to the release date.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited! Wonder if the Volturi will appear?

For more information, see this page.

[UPDATE]: For a limited time only, you can now pre-order the new book online! The link to the site can be found here. Get it while you can!

A new Twilight book? What’s going to happen? Remember to leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!

[UPDATE]: Yes, this was just an April Fools Day Prank. No, Stephenie Meyer ISN’T going to release a new novel for the Twilight series anytime soon. Sorry, and hope you had a happy April Fools Day!

My Thoughts on a Blonde Movie

NOTE: This is NOT a review, partly because I have not seen the full movie, and partly because I’m too lazy. This will, however, give my thoughts and impressions on the first part of Legally Blonde.

Legally Blonde certainly is a movie that has taken the world by storm, involving the ditzy Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) who, after getting dumped by her boyfriend for being too…err…ditzy, she joins Harvard Law School to prove him wrong. She goes through many ups, downs, and sideways motions, making new friends and enemies, and also finds the time to get an innocent defendant freed. In the end, she rejects her ex-boyfriend, watches him crash and burn out of law school, and gets engaged to some other guy. (Alright, the ending isn’t EXACTLY like that, but hey, give me some creative licence).

Now, I only got to watch the first half hour or so, until the part where she got her manicurist her dog back through legal jargon. I watched this today, in my Law Lecture, so that we all got to laugh at the legal inconsistencies. No, not really, we were supposed to critically analyse it (a la Grade 12 English), but there were some funny bits inside.

My thoughts?

  1. Elle said at one point, “He’s [the ex-boyfriend] the one. I love him.”. And then in the end, she marries some other guy friend. Come on. I know lawyers aren’t supposed to be people of their word, but it’s too obvious; the whole “I-love-him-oh-no-wait-he’s-a-jerk” thing is kinda predictable now. Like I said, relationships never work. Too much commitment.
  2. The lecturers can be really mean! Elle got kicked out from the lecture room for not preparing her reading for that week, and she gets interrogated for answers in other sessions (They call it the Socratic Method). I wonder what horrible teaching institution still utilises that today? (Hint: It starts with “The”, and ends with “Singapore Schooling System”….
  3. Manicures are good stress relievers. Oh, come on. When Elle got flustered, she dashed to a manicurist, and she was all better. Really? Really? Manicures make the world better? Quick, get to the UN immediately! We’ve got a solution for World Peace! Either she really IS that shallow, or the manicurist must have put a little extra….something….in that nail polish. But then again, who knows with girls these days?
  4. Who puts first year law students as defence counsel in a murder case? Would YOU trust some nervous, inexperienced, first year student as your barrister? Though it would be a hoot to see them, after the trial, walk up to the judge and ask them to grade their closing arguments…..

But, all in all, it was a hilarious movie. As English teachers constantly drill into our impressionable young minds, every piece of media has things to teach us. So kids, here’s some things to remember:

  1. Procrastinate all term, and just be overly cheerful in cramming in the last week. When Elle had her final exam to get into Harvard, she studied really hard and became even more perky, reaching levels that would have shamed the excitable Sesame Street puppets. So, all you have to do is procrastinate, then study and be almost-insanely excitable. You’ll ace it for sure.
  2. Harvard has very lax admission screening procedures. If the previous step fails, then don’t worry. All you have to do is make a video essay of yourself in a swimsuit, talking absolute crap, and the Harvard Board will let you in. That’s what Elle did. Though this will probably work better if you’re a girl than a guy.
  3. And finally, my favourite: No matter how ditzy and air-headed you are, you will still manage to become a great lawyer. Believe in that, all you platinum blondes! -.-

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie. It does have some good points about it, which is more than I can say for its sequel, which belongs solely in the trash. And you know which movie is joining it…..

What did YOU think of  “Legally Blonde”? Leave a comment and give us your view!

The Random Musings of an Attention-Seeking Author – 08/03/2010 to 14/03/10

I do apologise for not writing much…but unfortunately, there IS nothing to write about. Life has been unbelievably routine, and amidst the rush of lectures and homework, the dullness left is pure drudgery. However, there HAS been some interesting bits and pieces of random events that have provided some relief:

  1. I have been slightly sick the past few days. Actually, more than slightly – I’m starting to think I could be one of the patients in an episode of HOUSE M.D. Now, you guys might think that being sick is all doom and gloom – I can’t get much rest, I cough my lungs out, and I’m behind on my schoolwork. (The latter is also partly due to procrastination, but let’s not dwell on stuff that is actually my fault). However, being sick has ONE silver lining: I don’t have to exercise. Small price to pay, hmm?
  2. I met a guy at church today who resembles the actor Joshua Jackson, who plays Peter Bishop in FRINGE. Not kidding. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of him, but here’s a picture of Joshua Jackson:

    Now, imagine him a little fatter, and with more hair…..he could be an alternate version of Joshua Jackson / Peter Bishop! Which kinda ties in well with FRINGE’s whole “alternate universe” theory……

  3. As part of my Critical Legal Thinking course, I had to learn about “faulty arguments”. One of them was the argument of Correlation and Causation, where two statements appear to correlate, but may not actually do so. The example I read was hilarious:
      • An overall decrease in the number of pirates over the last century corresponds with an increase in global warming over the same time period.
      • Therefore, global warming is caused by a lack of pirates.

    Huh? Huh? You can’t make this stuff up. And people say lawyers have no sense of humour…

  4. Now, if you have read the previous article about the Brisbane Bus Service, you would have noticed that I said that I wore shorts to uni. That was a truly rare occasion, as I prefer jeans….and I look waaaay better in them. However, a few days ago, a school bus from a girl’s school rolled up to uni. The one day I dressed down, a busload of schoolgirls came trucking into the campus. I just can’t win.

Alright guys, that’s it from me. I have to try to get some work done tonight….or just procrastinate again. I mean, at least that’s better than seeing me in shorts, right?

Do YOU have a fashion disaster you would like to share? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Oh, Where is the Bus Driver? Or Even the Bus?

Alright, let me kick things off by saying that yes, it is an extremely hot day here in Brisbane. Very, very hot. It was so hot, I wore shorts instead of my usual jeans. Yes, it was THAT hot. But I digress.

If people were to describe me in one word, they would probably say stuff like antisocial, weird, outcast, loner…….you get the idea. But one word that probably would also come to mind would be afraid to try new things. Well, that’s not one word, but work with me here. I feel most comfortable at home, and dislike coming out of my comfort zone. Just ask my friends the lengths they went to to get me to go to a RAVE party. They practically had to pry my hands off the doorframe. But that’s another story.

(Blindingly bright strobe lights, ear-shatteringly loud music, rowdy teenagers – I mean, who WOULDN’T want to go to a RAVE?)

So, it was a pretty big thing for me to be taking….wait for it….Australian Public Transport. Yes, that’s right – after hours of endless wheedling and threatening by my family, I finally agreed (albeit reluctantly) to take the bus to Uni this morning. Oh joy of joys. And boy, did I do my homework. Google search, route planning…..etc, etc. I was ready.

I woke up at 8.30am this morning (and surprisingly, did NOT feel like P Diddy) as I had a tutorial at 10am. I had planned it down to the wire – the bus was to come at 9.27, and arrive at uni 9.50. Perfect.

With the confidence of a seasoned veteran, I strode off to the bus stop to wait for the bus with my dad. With the naivety of a child, I deliberately arrived early, at 9.10am.I was perfectly content to wait for my bus (no. 432) for the seventeen minutes. And that’s what I did. I waited.

(“Perhaps if I wait here a little while longer, the bus will come!”)

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited. And waited. And waited……

You get the idea. By the time 9.30 rolled around, my bus still hadn’t arrived. 9.35, and I was annoyed. Since it takes around 20 minutes to get to uni, and about 15 minutes to find my classroom (hey, I’m new!), I was worried. It didn’t help that plenty of buses drove by in quick succession, all NOT the bus I wanted. 412, 444, 433….it was almost like the bus drivers wanted to make me annoyed.

Thankfully, my dad was still there, and together with my mum, they drove me to uni, and I arrived with 5 minutes to spare. Cars: 1, Buses: 0.

So kids, what have we learnt today?

  1. Taking the bus in Australia is like taking the Underground in London, and it’s also like taking any form of transport in Malaysia. Don’t.
  2. When the bus timetable says “…account for buses arriving slightly late…”, add about 14 years to the late side.
  3. Bus services have it out for students who are running late. The right bus won’t come, and other, incorrect buses will pass by just to make him get his hopes up.
  4. Parents are extremely important for driving you around, especially if you don’t have your  license. Mum, Dad, I love you guys.

The last point is really true. Without them, I would have had to run all the way to uni. And you know how horrible I look when I run in shorts….

[UPDATE]: I tried to take the bus the next day – and this time, it came so early, I nearly missed it. And the ride was so bumpy, I nearly got sick. Plus, it took forever.

But then again, that’s nothing compared to how bad the Malaysian bus service is….

Do YOU have a scary bus story? Tell us right here by leaving a comment!

Double Cross – An Avatar: The Last Airbender Fan Fiction (Chapter 1: Part 1)

Welcome to Chapter 1 of my Avatar: The Last Airbender Fan Fiction! If you want to read the previous chapters, you can find them here and here.

***DOUBLE CROSS – CHAPTER 1 (PART 1)***

Location: Team Avatar’s Campsite
Time: 0800 hours (7 hours later)

“Nnnnoooooooo!!!!!!!”

The shout woke the two kids, which had until now been sleeping peacefully. Toph and Katara sat up and glanced around, trying to rub the sleepiness out of their eyes, straining their ears for……………

“Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!”

The scream echoed around again, sounding like the cry of the inhuman.

Then Sokka stormed into the campsite, eyes blazing, with anger on his face.

“Alright, where is it? Somebody stole my only bag of salted meats! It was you, wasn’t it Toph?” Sokka ranted in fury.

“Me? Yeah right. Like I would steal the meat from a selfish, insulting jerk that woke me up………… Actually, come to think of it, yeah, I probably would steal it.” Toph replied, a smirk on her face.

“What!? Why, you……” Sokka spluttered.

Leaving them bickering like children, Katara smiled and strolled away to get a drink. Then she frowned. Something was missing.

“Guys!” Katara shouted. “Do you feel like there’s something missing?”

Sokka wheeled around in surprise. “Duh! My salted meats? I’ve been yelling at Toph for the past 5 minutes!”

“For the last time, I DID NOT TAKE THEM!!!!!!” Toph retorted. “It’s only meat anyway.”

“Only meat? I’ve been saving those meats for days! And it’s gone!” Sokka groaned. He knelt on the ground, holding his head in his hands. “Oh, my meat, my beautiful meat…..”

Katara grinned. The she glanced around again, taking stock of her surroundings.

Ok, she thought. What’s missing from Team Avatar? Me, Appa, Sokka, Toph…….. Everything seems to be here except for……

The Avatar.

“Toph! Sokka! Aang’s gone!”

***END OF CHAPTER 1 (PART 1)***

Remember to leave a comment!