Sunday, December 27, 2009

I just watched AVATAR


 
Here's a video blog on what I thought of Avatar...quite a parallel for me coz I JUST returned from shooting in the Borneo rainforest and documenting their way of life! 

video

This cat belongs to the Dusun tribe family we lived with in the rainforest. She is about 24 years old! Can you imagine? She has been around since before their daughter was born (who is already 22 now). Maybe it's the unpolluted air and organic food she lives on, wow! I couldn't believe how old she was. 


Monday, December 21, 2009

My Borneo adventure


I totally disconnected from the city last week when my film crew and I trekked deep into the heart of the Borneo Jungle. I was filming a pilot for an international travel series. It was strange leaving my phone and wallet behind in the hotel at KK coz there was no need for money or a phone line. Not where we were going anyway.
Being in the 4 x 4 was an adventure in itself. We had to cross rivers with it. It was one helluva ride on muddy, undulating terrain. The trucks could only take us so far coz where we were going had no access by road. We had to make the rest of the journey on foot. We were warned that we would be hiking for hours, sometimes uphill and sometimes across rapids with no other way over to the other side.

It was raining cats and dogs when we got to that point so we had to trek in the pouring rain and some slopes were so slippery, I had to hold onto the guides in case I slid off. I was told that we would be walking thru leech country and that they came out in full force when it was wet. OkaaaY....great! That's just great! *grimace*

The weather was unpredicatable. Sometimes, the sun would come out before the rain started again in another area. I was struck by how beautiful it was. Borneo has one of the most bio diverse rainforests in the world. The sprawling padi fields were a sight to behold and the mist settling over the faraway hills made me stop in my tracks just to admire it. 
 
I lived with the Dusun tribe's family. Their home was spotlessly clean and bare. To be honest, after walking for hours and hours to get there, the thought of getting out of my wet clothes and being warm and dry felt like a luxury. 

Their home was a wonderful sight lit by oil lamps and candles. They eat a lot of rice and vegetables. I once went to pick ferns with them for dinner and the head of the village taught me how to cast a fishing net. I was totally crap at it. Goodness, it was so heavy! When I first arrived, one of the local boys was playing a guitar. It made me smile listening to him. How peaceful and simple was this life.  

He smiled politely when I arrived until I screamed when I checked my legs (they were really bloody from all the leech bites) He wasn't shocked about that. That's just a normal sight to them. It was my reaction that took him aback. The family must've thought to themselves "goodness, it's like she's never seen a leech in her life. What a city person" haha ;) 


It's going to be a lot of work going through the footage and editing the trip but I can't wait to see it come together as a story. I am truly thankful to have been given the privilege of working and staying amongst the Dusun people in Kampung Buayan and Kampung Terian. For a city dweller, this was a really radical departure from my every day life.


Every once in a while, it's good to step out of our comfort zones. Thank you Borneo Colours for inviting our film crew to cover this coz this was one gorgeous part of the world I never knew existed n thanks for taking all these behind the scenes photos for us Lence. L
iving in the Borneo rainforest is something I will never forget nor the warm hospitality of its people. It
was an incredible experience for me! (even if I suffered cramps and leech bites getting there! ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I love Jamming!



 
When you enter a jam session, you never know what you're gonna come up with. I love the process. It's like a creative brainstorm. 
 
Anything goes really and every musician can latch on to the common denominator of the bass beat. You can stray off, add layers but always come back to the bass. Since I'm a rhythm tapper, the audio element is far more important than the visual because you are essentially a drummer or musical instrument with your feet.
 
I've shed quite a few calories just jamming this last couple of weeks. It's incredible how tiring it is, like running on the spot but I love it coz you're making music :) The speed Kong Eu and I can get up to is as high energy as running flat out on a treadmill. 
 
Especially if you do pick-ups, toe stands or pull backs, as we call them. Super tiring but if you catch every sound at a rapid rate, it sounds like a drum which is why tap and percussion make such a great fusion.
 
I always look so crap in tap shots because it's hard to catch a sharp shot. The one below is one of many which are all blur coz I'm moving too fast.
 
And even when the shot is not blur, there's always some issue with it. My eyes aren't even open in the shot below. Look, I'm being honest. Could've just told you I tap with my eyes closed coz I don't need them open! Don't play play haha 

 
No, but seriously, I don't memorise steps. Not when I'm jamming. It's free style so I just go with the flow ;) This is Jothi on left and Paul from Tugu Drum Circle. So awesome having 2 different African drums in da house!! I think there's something quite hypnotic about tribal drums!

 
Very recently, I've started jamming with the Ramanados band (see below). These guys are up and coming and really talented! I'll be doing a tap act with them accompanied by LIVE percussion for Hannah Tan's Xmas Charity concert on the 20th Dec, 4 to 7 pm at Mid Valley Gardens. 
Whole string of artists are performing for free. Even non singers are singing. I heard Hans Isaac and Harith will sing a song. Daphne Iking's also performing. I was asked to sing as well, like everyone else but I said I can only sing with my feet so tap dancing it is for me! :) This should be fun! 
Tickets are free but you mustn't come empty handed. If you wanted to watch the concert, bring a Xmas gift for an underprivileged child as your ticket. They will distribute these Xmas gifts to various homes after the concert. Hope to see you there! I'll be in my tap shoes :)
 



Monday, December 7, 2009

How fast can you say this tongue twister?

video

Tongue twisters remind me of my childhood. It's the simplest of memories and the silliest of things we would do that could make kids crack up over nothing. Almost any game, no matter how simple had the ability to be fun :) I used to remember crawling under tables in a classroom, playing police and thieves in the neighbourhood and games we just kinda made up on the spot. 

video

Years later, I realise that anything that makes you laugh or puts a smile on your face is worth doing at any age (just think of how many adults play computer games, read children's books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or watch movies adapted from comic books like Batman, Spiderman etc and still love going to Disneyland). 
Well, I couldn't do the tongue twister in this video. I was laughing too much and it was in Malay. My editing friend sounded like a machine gun! haha. Please give it a shot, excuse the pun ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where the heck am I now???


When you are in work mode, running late on a tight schedule battling through manic KL traffic to get to an important appointment, you simply can't afford to make a wrong turn which is when it always happens to me! *groan* It's partly due to my crap sense of direction (ok, I admit, I'm never gonna be a navigator. I've even gotten lost in my own "kawasan" near my house) but the road signs don't seem to be consistent either which REALLY doesn't help.


For instance, I was following signs to PJ, turning here, turning there, and always driving toward PJ (or so I thought) but after a while I realised, there was no more mention of Petaling Jaya! WTF? Sometimes, there are trees blocking signboards and when there is nothing blocking a sign, I'm sometimes not able to turn when I'm meant to because I'm on the far right of the highway and I suddenly realise I need to ramp off. The sign just "appears" and you say sh*t! gotta get to the other side.


You can imagine my relief when I got a GPS! That's what people like myself need because that GPS voice tells you exactly where to go and even warns you AHEAD of time "stay right....in 600 metres...etc etc". My first GPS was a Garmin. It's excellent. It has saved me so many times from being hopelessly lost.


I know some people collect watches but I can see myself collecting GPS devices because I simply can't do without. This is my brand new ultra sleek GPS called the "Way Way" which I can also use in Singapore which is really handy when I drive down there for my weekend trips.

When you're already used to a GPS device, you don't act amazed at how it could possibly know your precise location. you get used to how it actually follows the movement of your car on bends. You see, you've probably taken its intelligence for granted. The technology behind it is mind boggling considering sattellite signal has come all the way from outer space. Think back to the moment you ever saw it work so perfectly...didn't you gasp and think it was just amazing. I was like "wow" driving along and then another "wow" because it was spot on!

It makes you wonder about all sorts of things like Aliens and whether we're being watched? *alien sound effects* hehe ok, my mind was trailing off there but on a more practical level, if you are technology freak, I recommend you go to the PIKOM PC Fair happening at KLCC Convention Centre 4th to 6th of December. Should I get another GPS unit? Hmmm....but I need another car first! ;)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

My very fun and disastrous round of GOLF!

I haven't golfed in absolutely ages so I forgot I even had golf clubs! When I decided to golf at Awana with friends, I had to call my ex flatmates to check if they had my golf bag. Lucky they still had it though it was collecting dust in their store room. So here I was at the Awana hoping no onlookers would be around on the first tee coz it would have been embarrassing if I couldn't get past the first ditch! haha ;) Well, I got past it but now the trouble was getting to the hole in a straight line on this very challenging course.

After a bad shot, I found it hard NOT to swear even if only the crickets heard me (and my friends depending on how far away they were standing!). you know things like, "what the f**!" OMG, not again!!! FML, WTF? I'm in the Xmas trees again? Sh*t!" hahahahaa

My score was like 9 on the first hole and then I stopped counting my strokes part way through the game. Not worth it, I figured. It was so crap! lol

Hannah decided to be the official photographer so that her friend Chris from England would have a memory of the trip. She said she would not be playing since she's not a golfer (fair enough but neither were we! haha) I'm no expert obviously but Chris was asking if you should keep your left hand straight on the swing and I was trying to explain it best I could (in video below). Michael (red shirt) who directed Project Alpha had difficulty directing his own shots that day, excuse the pun haha. We lost so many balls that day, I tell you. Hope we didn't kill any unsuspecting fish in the lake!

video

It started raining like mad after the 4th hole so we found a deserted rest stop which luckily had a table and a few chairs so we were chatting there for a couple of hours. It was cold (well for me at least but not the rest of them coz Michael, Hannah and Chris are ALL from England!) but it was really nice being out of the city for a change. It doesn't feel like KL up there especially on the scenic course. The lakes and sprawling greens made it very peaceful and I was telling Hannah how odd it was to see real pine trees in Malaysia!


We got Hannah to try to hit a few balls for fun. Not bad really...she managed to get the ball off the ground and was quite excited about it. Sorry we have no footage of this but she thinks she should just stick to kick boxing ;)

video

I may wanna golf again not so much for golf in itself (coz I'm pretty bad at it) but for the experience of just spending the day out with friends in the outdoors. It was really fun and it helped me to disconnect from work and the city just for those few hours :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Poem about the Sea...

As I was looking out to sea from Uluwatu temple in Bali, I was struck by how beautiful it was up there. It took my breath away just peering over the edge. I started thinking about this poem I wrote about the ocean...there's something wild and mysterious about the sea. You know I almost drowned once when I was caught in a rip current in a remote region in Australia. Every attempt I made to swim back to the shore seemed to be sending me even further out. It was really frightening. If it wasn't for the fact a surfer swam out to get me, I'm not sure whether I would be here today. Naturally, I have a mixture of respect and awe for the sea. Water can be as harmless and still as a lake or the powerful force that carved out the Grand Canyon. Here's the poem I wrote...

A vision to behold
solely in my mind
Let me take you deep in slumber
lost in sleep

Ocean dreams
on wings of fancy
Journey through my eyes...

Moonlit figures
holding hands

with footsteps light,
lapping waves beckoning

like liquid crystal I'd never seen
Virgin waters
emerald green

hug the coast
rippling sight
like possessive fingers
foamy white

in endless circles
timeless patterns

How beautiful you are...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My twin sister?

video

Twins are fascinating. I interviewed a pair of twins once on Pillow Talk some time back and there was this one incident which stuck out in my memory. One of them had food poisoning in one country and called up her Mum to say she had fallen sick. Simultaneously, the other twin who was modelling in another country had pizza with a group of friends. Everyone SHARED the same pizza and everyone was fine but the twin fell sick, just like her sister (even though they were in different parts of the world)

I was just thinking how handy it would be to send my twin off to appear at functions I'm too lazy to go to hehe :) I've heard that some Hollywood actors have doubles to deflect the paparazzi. If you resemble a star who's liked, you'll probably be ok. For eg, there was a guy who owned a cafe and looked like Leonardo Di Caprio to a point people would ask for his autograph on the street. Well, straight after the Titanic was voted best film, his restaurant business boomed. Now, imagine if you looked like a world leader or WANTED person. It would be a hazard to your safety. You would have to keep your head down! ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Express yourself!

Call me bias but I find my pugs so amusing. They have such expressive faces. All those wrinkles they're born with make them look super concerned all the time :)

Pickle (on left) turns over onto her back when I'm leaving the house because she knows it's time to be put back into the garden. She also makes her body very limp so it's hard to pick her up and carry her out. I'm not supposed to tolerate this behaviour as a dog owner but it's just sooo funny how she plays dead n tries to look all innocent *chuckle* and then I get these "poor thing" looks once they're outside waiting to be let back in *eyes rolling* Like naughty kids!
Live The Moment
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Friday, November 13, 2009

The "other" pair of eyes


Do you ever feel like someone's watching you? For eg, you get that "feeling" someone's eyes are on you and when you turn around, the person quickly looks away? You know there were science experiments conducted on this to prove that humans can "see" "know" and "sense" things without physical sight which defies logical explanation (when u think about it).

The experiments failed to prove we have eyes at the back of our heads coz it was really challenging to have proper controls. For instance, if you knew you were part of the experiment, your heart rate might be higher because you're waiting in anticipation etc so the results weren't accurate.

So in conclusion, science can't prove we know people are staring at us when they do but soooo many of us have experienced it so I say we have a sixth sense. Well, if I stare at YOUR back from across the room at a party and you turn around, I'll be thinking of this blog post! And I'll have one of those ah-ha! moments :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Create "me" time


When you're constantly surrounded by people whether it's your colleagues at work, your own family members or strangers you're passing on a busy street, it's important to set some "me" time aside. It could be anything from a good book to a self indulgent massage. Or the basic luxury of sleeping in on the weekend. Hmmm....glorious ;) If you've been working too hard every night, go see that movie you've been meaning to watch coz you may return to your work desk in a better space. 

Sounds like common sense but how many of us listen to our bodies? If you're tired, get more rest. If you're dehydrated and weak all the time, drink more water coz it will give you more energy. Just think about one thing you wanted to do this week but never got round to doing it? For myself, it was exercise and I'm not going to make excuses that I didn't have enough time coz I know it's an excuse. I've gotta make the time! The only exercise I got all week were my fingers typing out emails ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My pugs on shoot! :)


The Making of the SPCA Calendar


I received a call from Amber asking if I would be interested to do a shoot with my pugs to raise funds for the SPCA and MNAWF. She was collaborating with the publisher of Pets Lover Magazine on this project. Well, anything to do with animals interests me as a pet owner and treating them with respect and care so of course, I was delighted to be a part of this calendar! 

It brought a smile to my face just thinking of the mayhem they would cause in a studio. Incredibly, I managed to get them to sit still on each step for the first shot. I was amazed they didn't jump off. The photographer commented on what good models they were *ahem...dog Mummy glowing with pride*


Harley is a bit afraid of heights (just look at his face) so he remained on the steps even when I walked away from him hehe. I had to carry him off.


It was so cool to be in a make up chair and have my dogs running around. They've never been in a studio before. They were so curious about everything. I was enjoying having them around while I worked :)


True to their nature, this is how attentive they are around a biscuit, no matter how small. They are so greedy, I tell you! ;)

The moment I laid down on the sofa "prop", I think they assumed I was watching TV. They all jumped on to me and got into position looking straight ahead. Perrrrfect!


The single chair was much tougher. Their eyeline was all over the place. Shooting with any dog, let alone 3 is really challenging coz you need to them look straight, not run off all of a sudden and you don't wanna be looking like a mess yourself during the shots. There were so many blur ones but we managed to get them to look straight when my maid stood behind the cameraman and called them.


At the press conference for the calendar launch



I was quite embarrassed that Pickle barked her small head off when she saw Angel Wong's dog (about 4 times her size). What terrible manners!


It was another first for me attending a press con with my pugs!  Amber really liked Harley. She kept saying "Oh my God. He's so fat! He's so fat!" Before I could defend poor Harley, she chirps "I like fat dogs. Ooooh, I wanna bring him home"


Harley looked interested in the idea when she was holding his head (you traitor Harley! He's like that round biscuits and pretty girls, gets all starry eyed) but then he eventually made his way back to his Mummy, especially when he saw me enthusiastically patting Amber's golden retriever! haha *wink* 


Dogs are like little people. They have feelings and they can get jealous too. If you have a dog at home, love them with all your heart because that's what they do with you. You are their world! 

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    I find blogging quite therapeutic. It gives me a chance to express my thoughts. I'm currently a TV host living in KL and the mother of 3 confused looking pugs! ;) If u have the time, my modelling shots, tap dancing clips, full biography and TV trailers are all on www.jojostruys.com :-)

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