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! ;)


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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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