Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Whitenight Highlights

The mission to dress up in an all-white outfit (and avoid looking squarely like some Political Party from a land not far away) was carried pretty well yesternight. That’s just me, and for some reason, not for some. The mission to see a buddy of two years getting settled and got wasted for the entire night is another story altogether. And before I knew it (but of course I knew it before anyone knows) that same old question of “When is your turn to get married?” came gushing out from the mouths of fellow workmates. This is not as embarrassing as I thought and I took the opportunity to purposefully distract myself from answering the inquiries by checking out the waitress (standing ever so lonely) in the Eastern corner of the sushi table. Such a belle. The highlight of the night is obviously not the taste of the cheesecake that took me by surprise, but that of the person who cleared the plate afterwards. The aftertaste could not be better.

This sets me thinking. The mission to stir myself from the slumbers and bring my attention to the matter in hand is still a mission unaccomplished. The dateline that I set was dead and the line that I should not cross have faded. Some missions are easier said than done. But some missions are easier done than undone. And that, my friend, could be dangerous.

Perhaps the mission to set myself falling in love again is a relatively challenging task. That feeling of wanting and not wanting and wanting again is truly the trait of a Gemini baby. Turning 27 in less than 48 hours from now, I am all set to make little but effective changes from time to time. The only thing that makes this mission even harder is finding an appropriate point to start. Meanwhile, I can sense that “the same old question” is creeping into my heart like some busy ants not knowing if the sugar they detected is indeed sugar. At this instance of writing I am already in the mood to drown myself in romantic ballads, yet again, I do not want the harmonies to refurbish the forgotten bittersweet memories in my mind. Worst of all, if one significant song gets stuck in my head for more than an hour, I will be an instant insomniac, and I am not planning for that to happen this time of night.

Should I set more missions or should I let the hands of fate decide? From what I’ve ascertained, to plan missions with some faith in mind would be the beau ideal of a man's strategy, but let's not dwell into that any further. I wish that some certainties in the future will cover the incertitude, while some thoughts that run amok will go pass and not return. It’s hard not to notice that I have grown from a big boy who was merely toying with certain ideas, to a man who is really deciding what the basis of the ideas are. And what a great time it is to do some thinking before time catches on you.

At the wedding buffet (The Scarlet Hotel, I must say, is a model of cosiness), as I sat down for an engaging conversation and observing multiple chains of events, scrutinizing people with awkward fashion tastes and peculiar ways of greeting, I realized three things, and these I mentally noted in my cerebral jotter book:

1. Multiple glasses of wine + A joker = A wonker (with uncalculated risk).
2. Marriage + Secrets of the past = The distinctive sounds of oohhs and ahhhs.
3. Cheesecake is my new preferred dessert.

Amidst all that, what I could scent was the trail of her perfume.
And that was enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


As I wondered into space and made a space to wonder about how wonderful life on a wondrous space would be, I could feel that time, for a momentary moment, had stopped ticking and the only sensation of vibrating motion that my ears could afford to hear was the metronome of my heart, pounding like a 22 inch bass drum being pounded by a 220 pound bass-drummer. The pounding was made worst by the thought of what would happen if I were to imagine the absurd possibilities of me drowning in the vast Amazon River. But those lasting thoughts didn’t last as long as I thought it would last. The next filler was filled with something more filling for reality. I need space to sort out the irrelevancy of life and sort spaces in life for things which are relevant. One has to wander no more and to be wondering more than once. And as I got lost in that very moment of wonders, I verily took a moment to wonder on Lost:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let The Thunder Speaks

I was asking myself whether I was dreaming. Time was spinning and whirling with the tunes of existence, caressing through the morning sickness, engulfing oneself with delicate touch. Yet it burnt, almost mutedly in a bewildering manner. I woke up with little memories of yesterday, but awake I was to the sound emerging from a non-specific place. The air (this winsome air which is free for all) swept me up in one sweeping move. Time to be up and going I said, for today is another day - a day to exceed yesterday.

But something's telling me that I was still dreaming.

I refused to believe such nonchalant conception and struggled to free that thought away, for there were things I saw which were real to the touch and dimensional in perspectives. I saw words stacked up, one on the other, flashed on a pitch-black wall; the words whispering half-heartedly but audibly nonetheless.

Words on the wall, they glowed. They shone in neon. As if asking a question (not in the most direct of ways), it kept grabbing you even when the white-on-green EXIT sign was just a step away. It said that we all need a family. Even fonts have a family. We all need music to escape from reality. Dance to the sound of love, it said. We all need something to hold on to. Hold on to your dreams and hold on to your wishes, it said. This is the part of life where you pretend to understand that nothing is what it seems.

The wall is now transmuting into a gigantic biodegradable paper, very much larger than life. Tell your story, the words said. Act your part, it said. Play your game. Fabricate your fiction. Live your fantasy. Cast your dreams, it said. Express your beliefs. Engineer your routes. Sing your song. Keep your faith. Face your music, it said. Mark your words. Account your avenues. Write your history. Plot your strategies. Live your fable. Uphold your values. Free your ideas, it said.

And more words now, flashes of statements, sentences, paragraphs (a visual galore!) - each one of them with no concrete meaning, nothing to connect them all together. Was I in a real dream? No, not quite. There were things I saw, vivid to the eyes.

And then it said, much like a Phrase-Enginerator (Version 1.2) gone awry: I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Is this a dagger which I see before you? The course of true love never did run smooth. It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness, it said. A riddle wrapped up in an enigmatic tension is coming your way. Standing on the shoulders of giants, you shall win, and win big you shall. To boldly go where no man has gone before - that’s the mantra of the day. The face that launched a thousand ships will face the ruthless of life. Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety, so step up and make the first move. Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, so get down and compose. Remember that nothing is certain but death and taxes. The triumph of hope over experience is in a ratio of 3 is to 1– so start dreaming for the one thing that matters most. Cold is enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey (what's this, I don’t quite understand?). A countenance more in sorrow than in anger (just smile and be content?). Though this be madness, yet there is method in it (isn't that Shakespeare's?). Excuse my French, it said. Thanks for listening, it said. End of Part One, it said.

As sudden as a sneeze, the paper turned blank - a liquid-paper white. Nothingness is pureness. Clean is the new dirty.

I said, “I am dreaming. I am dreaming now. I am still dreaming.” Thrice in a single breathe. And at those words, the image of the image of the image of the paper was gone. I woke up instantly to the sound of non-existence. Factuality suddenly sunk in. I was back and one with Mother Earth.


There were music. Sweet incidental music. As soon as I opened my eyes with a typical yawn, a loud thunder (in what could have sounded like an E minor on a bass clef) started to roar. It is best suited for darker days I reckoned, but here it was today, blasting with such profound gusto, giving me reasons to speculate that today would be a special day. On the ledge of the window, two blackbirds chirped, looking very suicidal. They have no idea where to go. Neither do I.

At that brief moment of thoughts, (when I assumed it would be raining but it didn't seem to be, so the question that needed answering is: what’s the thunder for?), the song I felt like bursting into was Kimi Wa Sougen Ni Nekoronde by Misia. Loosely translated into English, it means: On the Grasslands You'll Lay.

And just like magic, I found myself lying on a patch of green grasslands. There were souls, lights and rays of hope. There were desires, thirst, a place for yearnings. But that song in my head just refused to leave this consciousness. It played in loops. Firstly rewound and then rephrased. It then reversed with strange reverbs. Finally it remixed with loud noises - and I swear it was techno (glorifying at its worst!). It was then that I was aware that I was unaware. I was awake, in a real dream. I was dreaming about me dreaming about a dream!


Five minutes later, I woke up to the sensible resonances of reality. I was swept by the smell of Sunday. I was delighted by the sight of two romantic blackbirds sitting on the ledge of the window.

The birds were chirping, with no idea where to go.
Not yet, I said. Let the thunder speaks.

Dreamt and illustrated by Madally Wurlpiz, 2008.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Natural Curls

The hair
That crown of a man
Was not to be, at least for me,
The headgear one desires.

They rise from the scalp
Free and easy
Turning sideways into
A highway and swirling about
A merry-go-round
Straight down to the underground
Of non-places.

Occasional U-turns led them

They could be,
As they curled frantically
Forming a random structure of hive
Like the Rasta’s image to
Symbolize peace, or
When dry they are not,
The metaphorical pixels of fragile
Noodles in a lukewarm sea.

The hair,
Held by the follicles out
From the epidermis and
The shaft rooted by
The dermal papilla,
With the generous aid of
The oil glands,
Grows out into this world,
As chaotic,
As the population of Tokyo.

And the isthmus of
Shortest ~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~ Hair,
Is no more than just a
Split //


Most conditioners do not
Improve the condition.

The hair,
When first identified,
A Medusa look-alike and,
When interrogated,
A complete mess.

At least
The dark pigmentation of which portrays
The pride of an Asian man,
Glisten in black.

But not a second,
Can I ever bring myself
To ask if
Hair numbered 1981,
The one lonely hair that bends
Towards the patch of my sideburns,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hearts And Minds

I am making some creative efforts to produce content or fill the gaps more than once per week. This is so to escape the pre-mundane/post-stressful (delete as appropriate) time I am spending in between work and rest (and by rest I mean less that 7 hours of sleep, which is unmistakably not enough for a person who spends most of his weekdays churning ads and arts that sometimes get shot down even before they can see the light of day). Wednesday and Sunday would be ideal for some epiloging; at least if an acceptable idea for an episode came cannonballing down the sky like some manna from wherever during the weekends, I am prepared to put them in visuals or texts. Having said that, I have no wish to extend this epiloging business into a platform for daily journal of thoughts. That would not be possible at the first place, seeing that time spent on official works are just too much to account for. Re-evaluating this whole activity of expressing thoughts/ideas/emotions online, I can say that thus far it has been worthwhile, even exceeding the contentment of fictional blogging in the past sessions. Who is to say what works today and what’s not tomorrow? Who is to know what would be in this season and out the next? Like fashion, it changes. Like mood, it swings. And like me, I am fickle, but that is not necessarily bad for a true Geminist (yes, I made up that word) like me. So Weds and Suns it will be, before I changed my freaking mind again.

Wait, I am about to change my mind again.

But does it matter?

Beat it! Let’s put all of these convoluted vacillations away and let's talk about now. Let's talk about today - a day for Mothers. The key word of the day is LOVE and love is all we could ever afford to give as gifts or present as presents.

Love and appreciation are what Mum needs and I try as much as I could to supply her just that, every single day. To kiss her in the morning before heading to work is inspirational enough to motivate myself to work hard and repay her in any ways possible. There's only so much this son could do to recognize and value the worth of a mother who have gone miles to raise up seven children (ten to be precise, the eldest twin brothers and a sister died of some complication post-pregnancy).

Strong, tough and vigilant, she’s the real army.

And all the food out there (cliché as it may sounds) pales in comparison to her cooking. The epitome of extraordinaire.

Originally reinterpreted and illustrated by Madally Wurlpiz, 2008.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Wouldn’t it be quite an egomaniacal achievement if you can write a musical about yourself? Not that the plot or subplots would be of any interest to anyone, but perchance, it will be a favourable opening for someone who wants to know more about you. Despite the notable declines I’ve faced in life which variably haunts me at some point in time, there are also a legion of prominent bliss worth celebrating for, albeit with songs and dances. Imagine a line of melody sung aloud to bring meaning to metaphors, lyrics almost insurmountable, the musical phrases dancing along, expressing thoughts and actions. Wouldn’t it be great to just acknowledge the power of Arts? What else could prove better than seeing your pseudo-persona on stage, your life reeling before you, harmoniously chronicled through prose and poetry? Life imitates the imitable life.

Verily, there were many instances where famous people were made known through a stage act. Many infamous individuals have been written about and staged (speaking of which, I'll be attending the upcoming P. Ramlee - The Musical at The Esplanade). What attracts me are not the glamourous lives of celebrities or historical figures, but more of the unknowns, such as Mr. Edward Kleban (1939-1987), the not-so-well-known lyricist of A Chorus Line – The Musical. He had never thought about his life as an exploration for a musical, but it was his company of good buddies that notify him as a special person – a person who could be exposed to many great things if he was a little bit more open about himself. It was after his death that friends began to answer his wishes – to play his songs in a large building, in a central part of town, as part of a play, with a lot of people listening, who have all paid a great deal to get in. Visualizing his life almost as a musical by itself, friends began to question the possibility of producing a biographical tribute through songs. Using Mr. Kleban’s creations (a truckload of songs that were never produced) as keys to plotting his 'factional' life story, A Class Act emerged, playing on and off broadway for a few good sessions. It didn't last long, but it was enough.

At one point, Mr Kleban declared that there were three certainties in life:

(1) Actresses leave you.
(2) Culture abhors a resort.
(3) The rich die in their private planes.


Such aptness.

Here, I shall express my heartfelt admiration to his lyrical writings. I can humbly say that the two most basic formulas for all good musical lyrics are the use of honest verbalism and the excellent play of words. You can beg to differ and I shall not take it against you. Bright and sincere writings were all that Mr. Kleban tried to achieve for. Take the lyrics to Better for example, as he chose his words cleverly and lightheartedly:

I’ve been fat / I’ve been thin / Thin is better
I’ve been out / I’ve been in / In is better

I have lost and I have won / Losing isn’t any fun /
Rain is fine but when its done / Sun is better

I’ve been poor / I’ve been rich / Rich is better
Fancy or / Not a stitch / Which is better?

I’ve been healthy and in pain / Pain is reason to complain /
Ask someone who’s been insane / Sane is better

Life is short / What is today is better
Don’t be long / Run the whole way is better

Punishment ain’t good as crime / Late is boring try on time /
Free verse lacks a certain chime / Rhyme is better

‘You and I’ is better / Morning, night and noon
Better soon than late / Better now than soon

It’s a cinch / People in pairs is better
In a pinch / Someone who cares is better

Please return to better / It’s her fond request /
When you’ve convalesced / Here’s what I’d suggest /
Bring it all on home / And settle for the best!

Indeed, after months of constant downcast, I am regaining my strength to manage a more desirable workflow (be it at work or at home). I am now determine to valuate myself as a better person.

This is all with prayers and Mr Kleban’s words, indefinitely.