Monday, March 30, 2009


I just bought Raising Sand, a collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. It's the album that won album of the year at the Grammy award. I've always been a fan of Alison Krauss and the first time I heard of the album was when it won the award. I searched the net and found the song Please Read The Letter. The first time I heard that song, I just knew I had to get the album.

Alison has such a haunting sound to her voice, add Robert Plant into it and you have an amazingly haunting album.

Looking back, I don't think I buy many albums. The last one I bought was a Julie London compilation which I listen too once awhile in the apartment when nobody's in on a lazy day. It's really soothing to listen to her sing. My favourite song by her is Cry Me A River. It's a sad song but I just love how she sings it. It's the album I listen too if I want to take a nap on the sofa.

I used to download all the latest hits instead of listening to the radio. I think since two years ago, I stopped doing that. I think I stopped listening to the radio at one point and lost all interest in the new music coming out. It's not that I didn't like the music coming out anymore, its just that I never had the time to listen to the radio anymore so I never knew what were the new music coming out that I might like. When I do listen to the radio when I drive, I listen to stations that have more news content like Radio Bernama or BFM which is a business/talk show station. The music that they do play aren't the latest but its music that I like.

I also listen to audio lectures that I have downloaded in my car. I put it in my thumb drive and play it from my car stereo's USB jack. I have a series of lectures on Buddhism and I only listen to it when no one else is in the car. Most people don't get it, for me I find it quite relaxing to listen to the professor lecturing. For long distance drives, it's perfect.

I tried downloading the latest top 20 hits a few days ago. Most of the songs are nice, but I think I'll still stick to the oldies and more mellow folk and country music. Must be getting old already!

Knowing the future

Spoiler for Knowing and Next below:

I watched Knowing earlier this evening. It's a science fiction film starring Nicholas Cage. It was either this or watching The International. I choose Nicholas Cage because of the 'knowing the future' theme.
In Nicholas Cage's previous movie, Next he can see into the future a few minutes before it happens, hence he can change it just before it happens. Its got a pretty dumb ending. He 'dies' but then wakes up and he's back at the middle of the movie again where he's just lying on his bed playing out all the possibilities before he got out of bed. How dumb is that? The movie ends without even the bad guys getting caught. I felt cheated, like there was supposed to be a sequel but it never happened.

Anyway, I wanted to know what happened at the end of Knowing. From the trailer, I sort of figured it out. Nicholas Cage has a series of numbers that predict the future. In the end, turns out aliens have been sending selected people warnings that the world is about to end. In the finale, the aliens takes his son away but won't let him follow as he wasn't one of the 'chosen one'. Too bad Nicholas, I guess nobody wants you. So he dies in the end when a huge solar flare kills everyone on earth.

Now I feel satisfied that he finally died in the end of a movie. He may have cheated me of a death in Next but he made up for it in Knowning. I did like the theme and the implied message in the end of the movie Knowing. The aliens in the ending are translucent humanoid beings. As they fly up to their spaceship, they have translucent angel wings. They drop the kids of on a strange planet with almost similar earth like atmosphere and ecology, except that it has two moons. In the last scene, the children run towards a large pale white tree in the open of a grassland. This tree is supposed to represent The Tree of Life from the bible.

So in the end, there are a lot of references that aliens are actually God and Angels were aliens interacting with humans. In the end, they came to save selected humans to start over again on another planet. Sort of like conservationists. "oh, look at those poor humans! The solar flare will kill them, lets save some of them. It was such fun watching them on earth".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The village idiot

For the pass few days, I don't know why but I've been thinking about this village idiot that I accidentally interviewed.

When I was in Terengganu shooting our documentary, we have heard of a chinese temple that was build on the banks of a river, the same spot where legends have it that Admiral Cheng Ho stopped to look for fresh water. It was during Cheng Ho's fourth trip that he sailed up the Terengganu river looking for fresh water. He couldn't proceed up river anymore as his path was blocked by a rapid.

We only knew its general location and we had to stop people on the street to ask for directions. After driving of the main road into some village, we came to the banks of a river and found the temple. In front of it was a river with a rapid. It was quiet and serene. The small temple was more like a shrine. It was locked up and no one was around.

So there I stood in the shade of a tree looking at the rapids. There was a jetty where villagers took water taxis to the main town down stream. I stood there watching passengers getting on and of while enjoying the peace of the surroundings. I had come a long way from KL all the way to this small tiny village called Kampung Jeram. It felt surreal.

I looked around to see if there was anyone we could interview about this temple, and just as I looked down the small street we were standing on, I saw a man riding a bicycle. It was actually a kid's chopper. It looked like it was one size too small for the guy ridding it. He was wearing a ragged t-shirt and he had a shaved head. He stopped and asked us what we were doing. We told him we were filming a documentary and wanted to interview someone who could tell us the history of the temple.

He offered himself saying that knew the history of the place. So we sat him down by the rocks of the rapid and he started to talk. While I was doing the interview, I could see that by then a few other villagers have gathered around. After the interview was done, He when of to get something. The other crew came back from talking to the other villagers. They said the guy we interviewed wasn't 'right'.

At that point, I realized we had interviewed the village idiot and he gave us the version of his history of the village. No wonder the guy was going around in a chopper. He did mention he used to work in KL but couldn't stand the stress and moved back to his village and was now jobless. Damn it. I should have seen the sign.

The other villagers mentioned that the best person to talk too was the former village chief. Just then, the village idiot came back on his bicycle. We asked him to take us to the former village chief. So we followed him from our van while he rode in front of us.

The ex-village chief was quite gracious enough to talk to us. The story he told us was slightly different from what the village idiot told us. There was a lot more 'additional' stuff that the village idiot had told us which I began to doubt about it's authencity.

In the end, when I finally reached the office and started editing. I didn't use any of the interviews with the village idiot. I still have his phone number. He didn't have a hand phone, only a home phone.

In fact, I think this was the second village idiot we talked too in Terengganu. While we were looking for another place, we stopped to ask for directions. There was a small warong selling drinks and a few customers sitting in it. My producer walked up to the first customer to ask for directions. The guy just mumbled and we couldn't understand a word he was saying. Finally the shop owner came forward and took the guy by the shoulders and moved him aside. He said that the person we were just talking too "wasn't right". Damn of all the customers in the shop, we picked the one who wasn't right.


Man, looks like Khairy won by a slim majority. It was a good fight Muhkriz. Looks like in the end UMNO youth wants Khairy, for all the bad publicity that he got, he could still win then over.

Fine. If that's what they want.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rafidah is out!

Rafidah is out! Wohoo!

Just watched it live on TV the announcement of Sharizat winning the ketua wanita UMNO post. I always knew Sharizat had it in her to lead. Way to go lady!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Broken TV

Good Bye old TV. You served me well. Sorry you to see you go in such an awful way. I was hoping you would last longer but alas, it was just wishful thinking.

A few days ago, I was moving my TV around on the old TV cart. It had a high centre of gravity and the cart was really light. The TV must have been about 50KG. The floor tiles wasn't even and eventually it hit a bump and the TV fell face down onto the floor. For a split second, I thought of stopping it with my knee as I was standing in front of it. However, I decided it was either a broken knee or a broken TV so I let it fall to the floor.

I could hear the glass shatter into many small pieces. As I stood there looking down at the back of the TV, I could still hear the glass shattering and cracking, the small pieces slowly being pulled by gravity to the bottom. I dreaded putting it back up right, afraid to see what had happened to the front.

After about 30 seconds, I finally lifted it up right and found that the front screen had cracked. The inside tube must have shattered into many small pieces by now. I lifted it up and put it on another lower trolley and pushed it into the store room, waiting for the right time to trow it away. There, it sit in the morgue awaiting its funeral.

The day finally came when I had a colleague over at the apartment. We both pushed it down to the refuse chamber and hoisted it to the side. I remember there was a slight drizzle and the sky was dark. In the rain, I said good bye to this dear old TV of mine. At least it was shaded.

All that remains is the two remote control I have from the TV. Only momentos left of a memory.

Well, at least I already have a new TV I bought just before the death of the old one!

Buddha says all component things will not last. How right he is. Don't hold on to things, let go and you will suffer less.