Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hong Kong City Rockers

Spent 5 days in Hong Kong. This trip was long awaited for two reasons:

1. I've been itching to take off by myself for a long time now, it's been a while and I was getting fidgety.
2. Hong Kong was the location of choice as Gorillaz were touring and this was their only stop in Asia. Gorillaz, besides being an awesome and insane band, are of utmost importance as their lineup includes Damon Albarn (Blur) and Mick Jones and Paul Simonon (The Clash).

Note: The Clash is my favourite band of all time.

The gig was awesome, it's always an amazing experience to watch a band made up of total rock stars, but they're still so humble, so psyched to be there, so immersed into not just their music, but their fans and the atmosphere they bring.

I could go on about the gig, but the highlight of my trip took place the night after. After trying, unsuccessfully, to locate and/or encounter Paul and Mick - my Clash boys -  I'd resigned myself to the fact that they'd left Hong Kong, as that was what I'd heard from management.

Out for dinner and drinks with my new friend Josh, we considered some other joints before settling for a beer-shisha place along some random street in Lan Kwai Fong - that's the party district with countless bars, pubs and clubs.

At some point, I see this familiar hat and shirt on a man who swaggers right by me. No, that can't be, I said. Seconds later a long-coated friend joined him and it was unmistakable. Paul Simonon and Mick Jones were standing metres away from me.

You know when you have waited for something for so long, and it happens, and you realise you haven't planned for it at all? I run up to them, grab both their arms, and say, Paul. Mick. OhMyGod. I'm the biggest fan of The Clash in the whole wide world. I then proceed to burst into tears, right there in front of them.

It's important to note that this really is my favourite band - their entire journey of themselves and their music, their entire discography, the music that came before and after, everything about all of them, this all defines me. Imagine realising that you'll never get to see or meet your favourite band, and suddenly there they are, right there with you.

They were slightly abashed and awfully pleased as I told Paul how I had the same birthday as London Calling except that I wasn't born in 1979, and Paul said his birthday was a day after mine (but I'm guessing not in 1987), I paused only to say, ohmmygodimtalkingtopaulsimonon, and he smiled and said, you are! My trembling hands couldn't hold my camera and they had to join their friends so they told me to come find them later on, and I calmed myself and finished my beer keeping them in view at all times. With encouragement from Josh who threatened to drag me over, and who also snapped these life-changing pictures, I had my moment with The Clash.

I needed them to know, to understand, how much this meant to me, that I wasn't another crazed fan who was starstruck. Paul was on the phone and I told Mick, I need to tell you, that the music you made defines who I am, it's everything to me. He said, that's really wonderful to hear.

Got my picture with Paul, he asked for my name, and he was full of the same boyish charm I've always imagined a 20-year-old Paul to have. He even insisted on trying out different spots for better lighting because "we should get this right". I showed him one of the pictures for his approval and he said, well, YOU look cute! And I tried not to melt.

Both of them signed an autograph for me, Paul wrote that i was love, and asked where I was from, Mick said we could all take a shot together.

I had my pictures, I had them on ink, I had my moment(s) with them, I hugged them both (twice) and I told them exactly how life-changing the Clash had been, currently was, and would always be to me, especially after this.

I thought it was perfect. and complete. And then. Paul Simonon. THE bassist of THE only band that matters, of my favourite band in the WHOLE world, he pulls me aside and says, thank you for being here and all you've said, and do take care of yourself, okay? Okay, Paul, I said, trembling slightly. This is Paul Simonon, after all. And then, he looks me in the eye, says, you're really pretty, yknow? And he kisses me on the cheek, with his badass stubble and all.

Before I had time to register this, he takes my hand and says, I used this last night, I thought you might want this. And in my palm he places a guitar pick, all the little gold letters frictioned away from playing his epic basslines.

I'm not exaggerating. This has been the most euphoric, surreal, amazing moment of my life so far.

Monday, November 8, 2010

You Say Party, We Say Harder

As mentioned, I've moved here. But finally, an travel/adventure post that gets to be featured here as  well! =) 


The weekend was spent in KL, Malaysia; our Social Media team (below) went up for the long weekend. Ironically it was this social media team who was deprived from our usual oxygenating outlets (e.g. Tweetdeck and FourSquare) while in KL.

Much fun had, much money spent, many classic lines of the weekend - mostly those 'you had to be there' things, but pointless caves and their awesomeness were involved. The 4 of us shared a nice room and besides the toilet seat being constantly in the wrong position, everything was sweet. Plus, I had 3 bodyguards. Things are so very different from travelling alone.

We also stayed in a fancy hotel, and it's been a long time since that happened. Seemed like a life I'd long left behind. Refreshing.

Another remarkable fact was, there weren't any episodes or issues faced. No missing passports, stolen wallets, hotel booking glitches, heated arguments between roommates. I don't think I've ever been on a holiday/trip where nothing unexpected/unfortunate happened.

Lots of partying, Bar Sonic at Zouk - the Malaysian version - and Neutral which was near our hotel.

I think I prefer KL Zouk to our Zouk, though ours has been named one of the top nightclubs in the wholeee world. KL scene, at least what I saw of it, is not at all (or barely) pretentious. They didn't have any of the reasons why I stopped going to Zouk (SG) in the first place. 

I miss travelling so much it kinda hurts (really) and quick getaway for  helped momentarily subside my wandering needs. As much fun as it is being with the group, I love my sneaky solo time, such as the book+wine+pasta afternoon (right) I enjoyed.

I would've spent a lot more time there soaking in the genius that is Jack Kerouac - and I can't believe he and I were unacquainted for this long - but upon realising I had forgotten to bring my notebook (the paper kind) I panicked and left, feeling a bit naked. Cannot help but need to scribble. Besides, there were boys who needed beer back at the hotel. 

Shopping, parties, sleeping at 6am and waking up for a late lunch, afternoon movies on HBO and (relatively) cheap but slightly fancy restaurants/cafes - really, do we have to go to work tomorrow?


Monday, October 25, 2010

I've moved

move: to change the place or position of

This blog was originally set up as a travel blog to document and share my adventures.

In line with this, I'm keeping this blog for future adventures and have moved previous posts, and space for future ones, here for now.

See you at rettorical.blogspot.com.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

melancholic madness

The colours were red and blue. They reminded her of you.

Your passion, your solitude, your outrageous melancholic madness.

Melancholic. A word so divine now marred by misuse into irreversible pretentiousness.

Just like you.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

cars speeding like snails

Breaking News: I got published in my first serious magazine for grown ups. I wrote an article about Generation Y and how we see the world, what we want from it and how Generation X has affected, and continues to affect, the state the world is in.

I got a 2-page spread! My byline is really nice and prominent too. This is exciting.
You're gonna go far, kid.

Yesterday was the start of Banned Books Week.

I have selected my book. It's unspeakable. Well, it is here, and in India, and as SR's head is very much wanted in most Muslim countries...It's funny because I'm sure most of the haters never read the book. It's just like Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. The whole Catholic church was outraged by the blasphemy, and I know for a fact some of those who spoke out strongly against it never picked up the book.

In the spirit of Banned Books Week, I'm going to write an essay on the difference between Freedom of Speech and Freedom. There are lines - there always have to be - and this opinion was challenged by 2 Americans about a week ago.

I don't think it says much about people when they get great pleasure from feeling some sort of victory by trying to discredit the opinion of someone half their age, especially when said young person is arguing her point against 4 people. But sometimes - often - being the underdog is the best place to be.

It's amusing when people assume I am young therefore don't know anything. About politics, the world, history, music, books, everything. It's usually best to just let them be. You're the bigger person when you don't feel the need to announce your victories. That's victory, y'know? And rather gratifying as well.

On with reading a very challenging (and challenged) book. I have my book and notes ready. You and me, Mr. Rushdie, let's go.

Monday, September 6, 2010

MCM 21 = The Educated Glamorous

Went for Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Mass Communication 21st Party. It was AWESOME.

So cool to catch up with people I haven't seen in years. The theme was Black & White and I wore a black dress and some insane earrings that were about as long as me. The were a huge hit, and many new friendships began with the line," hey, where are you earrings from?"

I love earrings.

We even met Wayne, who taught us Photojournalism. He used to call Fi, Charm and I the 3 Stooges. I'm not sure which one I was, though.

The whole event made me really glad to b a part of NP MCM. If I had a list of good decisions I've made in my life, going to MCM is definitely among the top of the list. My degree's got nothing on those precious 3 years.

Other news: it's been a month at work. I've even gotten paid.

Freelance news: I have so much money owed to me, it's almost not funny. Also, I should probably stop writing for free, but I only do it for album reviews. Because that's hardly work at all, it's just telling people what I think and getting published. It's all part of the long-term plan. Which includes certain music publications. It does not, however, include a house or a car.

Don't need those.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fever when you turn out the lights

I'm not sure why this suddenly came about, but yesterday I suddenly had a fever so high you could fry an egg on my forehead. Not good. Fortunately it's the weekend.

Week 3 at work has been interesting. I'm still very confused about many things, mainly about the way things work (and how some people manage to get jobs), but I'm speaking up about it more now.

Creatives get to be touchy about their work, especially when it's tampered with by suits (Account Servicing people). Rule No. 1 - Thou shalt not touch my copy. If there's anything to be changed, I'll change it, if the change is justified.

Yesterday I almost had a panic attack watching my copy being vetted by 2 suits. "No one changes anything!" I cried in distress.

I think (I hope) I'm imparting the practice of me going through the copy if there's even the slightest change. Bad things happen if you don't.

You could just break the paragraph up and a word or letter accidentally gets deleted or lost. It's happened before, will happen again.

I could rant more, but instead I'll bring these issues up more. And the client told 'em all that the copy was really good.

Treacherous but hopeful times ahead.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a scheduled schedule

Week 2 at the new job.
Sometimes it's good, sometimes I'm confused, sometimes I'm uncertain about the way things work.
I'm filling 2 roles, copywriter and Socia Media person (my colleague gets to be a Social Media Ninja so maybe I will be a Social Media Fairy Princess.) I'm a bit confused why I'm not considered a creative if I'm their copywriter, though? Ah well, stranger things have happened.

It's a bit crazy trying to manage my time between this job and freelance work. So far it's fine but once my youth begins to fail me and I can no longer be a super chipper on just 4 hours of sleep... oh how I dread that day!

What I like about this job is that it's fast, and sometimes exciting. Big fan of Social Media and seeing something you're working on instantly available - as opposed to a few days later in the papers or on TV - is refreshing. We'll see, we'll see.


Friday, August 13, 2010

work work work

So I've started my new job. Which is why I haven't had time to update the blog.

The people I work with are fun, work's fine, I'm getting used to sleeping before 3am and waking up before the sun is high in the sky. This is strange. Today, I even woke up early enough to have breakfast. I haven't had breakfast in years!(I exaggerate. Months, not years.)

Today I learnt, the hard way, the dangers of social media. Lesson 1 - do not post bad things about anything or anyone affiliated to your client when you are handling/managing the platform you have just complained about them on.

I didn't mean to, really. I didn't even realise. Twitter = bad.

Although I also realise, maybe it isn't me, I was just saying what I honestly felt.
So I've come to this conclusion:

What I (try to) live by is "Rather than money, than love, than fame, give me truth."
What I often feel like, courtesy of MGMT, is: "Fated to pretend."

Today, I had to censor myself.

Give me truth: 0
Fated to pretend: 1

Brighter days ahead, I tell myself.
Brighter days ahead.

Met the wifey after work and we both complained about our jobs/life.
I love my wife.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Explore/ Dream/Discover

Tomorrow is Singfest and I will witness the wonders of Ian Brown, Smashing Pumpkins, The Vines and some other bands I don't care too much about. I'm SO glad I managed to get 4 people together to buy the group package. It caused much stress but saving $50 unnecessary dollars was worth it, for all of us. 2 are strangers but they've paid me a deposit.

Also, breaking news: I'm starting a new job. Yes, I will soon have a real job! I will work with people other than the ones who reside in my head and I will have actual people to share ideas with and I will have a stable income and I will have to wake up in the morning and I can't read a book the whole day if i feel like it. Pros and cons, eh?

Nah, I'm excited.
Long weekend ahead, goodnight =)

soon-to-be fully employed

Sunday, August 1, 2010

exciting times ahead

Today was interesting, went for the 2nd Chance for Vui Kong event at Speakers' Corner, almost 200 people turned up. Would've been more if not for the rain. Alan Shadrake, author of Once a Jolly Hangman, was there. Had a chat with him too, he was brave and quite lovely.

M Ravi (Yong's lawyer) told us about how the poor boy spent 20 minutes examining every one of our faces when he was shown the picture we took at the 1st rally (see below). The prison wouldn't let him keep it, but he couldn't stop looking at it. Every one of us matters, and that is a humbling and inspiring fact.

Tomorrow I get a job counter-counter-offer and have a meeting with an editor who has an interest in my freelancing ways. Both are mucho exciting adventures.

Get angry. Shed tears. Create discomfort. Embrace disorder. Hold hands. Be independent. Keep fighting. Seek peace. Do something. Make change.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Decisions, decisions

So I have a meeting on Friday to discuss a full time job that I am keen to at least try for 3 months. More details on job scope and their offer makes the final call.

In the meantime I've got another meeting next week with a magazine I want to write for. Sent them my CV and some articles and they replied within a day saying "We’re always on the lookout for new, talented writers to cover various sections of the magazine. Based on what I’ve seen, it seems like you could be a good fit."

And then there's another coffee table book project, they got my details through a friend.

This is all quite exciting but I'm unsure how I'll manage it all. There's still SgKopitiam to write for (3 articles due now, more soon) and some reviews for Junk (I think). And still there's more.

The best part is, I'm FINALLY getting paid today. I've waited for months! Woke up this morning to a text asking if I could come down to the office to pick up my long-awaited cheque. It's finally ready.

The only downside is that all this delays my travel plans a little. That, however, is probably for the best. I think I should stay put for a bit while things are sorted out. I'll still be in India soon.

2 more days of free things at Stereolounge, and after that I'll have money so it won't matter! Hooray.


p.s. my cousin's cat dug her claw into me and now I have a hole in my leg!

Monday, July 26, 2010

responsibility - whatever that means

Responsibility: noun ( DUTY ) /rɪˌspɒnt .sɪˈbɪl.ɪ.ti//-ˌspɑːnt .səˈbɪl.ə.t ̬i
something that it is your job or duty to deal with

The word itself sends shivers down my spine. I remember when I was in Primary 4 and my teacher wrote in my report card that I was responsible. I thought she was quite mad. I am not, nor have I ever been, responsible.

A while later I realised I had misread 'responsible', she had actually written that I was 'responsive'. That made a lot more sense. I was relieved.

I've gotten a job offer and am going to hear their $ offer soon.

Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

generally functional

Generally functional, but not entirely.
Depends what time of the day it is.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

heart heart heart

The 50s party was a resounding success. All the surprises were successful and a good time was had by all. I also made an awesome playlist that has been requested on cd several times. MY research into the 50s paid off well!

Last night was a good night, Josh and I went to Stereolounge where we are trying to make the most of free beer for July. The bartender was nice for once, I'm not sure if it's because I was with a white boy because when he was mean to me, I had been alone.

Much of the night was spent talking about important things. The effect of the internet on our/the new generation, the dangers of older men with computers to young girls with computers, the difference between accents and punctuation, books and eyebrows. A very good night indeed.

Since I'm happy because of this, and because I'm watching Inception with Noelle & Craig in a couple of hours, we get a nice heart today.