Friday, February 28, 2003

Taxes and Receipts

Tis the end of February which marks the time to begin gathering all that is required to do your taxes. For the first time since I began working, the Internal Revenue Department finally mailed me my tax returns form; the first year I had an exemption and the years after that I had to go to the office to get it in person. Anyway, I've been searching high and low for all the receipts I have kept for this particular purpose. Tax exemptions. Mainly receipts for books and magazines purchased. Made several purchases over last year. Subscribed to Wired as well, although that's not turning out particularly well.

Now ... I remember placing all these receipt into a nice little envelope so that I have everything in one little packet when I need them; except, I seem to have a) misplaced the envelope, or b) thrown it away during one of my mail/bill clearing sessions. *sigh* There goes a few hundred ringgit that I was hoping to minus off.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Error in template

Seems that there is something wrong with my template. Blogger can't seem to publish my site properly. If I'm not mistaken, it's a 503 error. There is a write-up on a 504 error in the 'How To/Discussion' area but no 503, or is it the other way 'round? Anyway, it most probably is a template error since this temporary template went up without a hitch. I'll try to fix it and put it up again in a few days.

Pyra's sale to Google must have really affected the search results. I received a comment from one of the auditioners from Natra and I can't believe one of them actually got to my blog! Too bad I don't know which one it was. I need to enforce that people at least leave their name when they drop in a comment. So, En. Zulkifli / Mr. Jacobs / En. Johan, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read my whiny entry of my audition experience. Next time put down your name, alright?

It's a good thing I don't often put down my real name on this blog. Otherwise whoever it was could have just gone back to their stack of application to look over who this whiny, insecure person is and blacklist me or something.

Note to self: Modify comment template so that people have to write down their name before posting comments!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Bahasa Malaysia

During a break for the soprano section at choir tonight, I turned around and looked over at what Sheila was reading. Something for her presentation tomorrow. Something in Bahasa. Something I'd probably need to spend quite some time to digest if I were to read it; my A2 in Bahasa is but a distant memory now.

Anyway, I was just kinda peeved that a lot of the words used in it are Malay-ised English words. I see words like 'bajet' (budget) and 'metodologi' (methodology). It is not as if a suitable word in Malay does not exist. Nor is it a scientific name that do normally localised for lack or an equivalent. Why substitue belanjawan with bajet and kaedah with metodologi when the original serves? Whatever happened to being proud of our national language? Why are they infusing and replacing Malay with foreign substitute?

Sheila says that it's because the Prime Minister thinks that the word belanjawan, which can also mean expenditure, sounds too wasteful; we're spending not earning. What a weak reason! It's just one of the meaning of the word; the other means budget so what's wrong about using it.

What about the 'Cintai Bahasa Malaysia' campaign that was run a few years back when the government feel like we should raise the awareness of the people to the importance of having and knowing the national language? I actually even liked the theme song they've composed for the campaign.

People don't even remember the song. Now it's all English this and English that. They're even teaching math and sciences in English at schools. All this the effects of globalisation and the need to compete with the rest of the word.

Yes. All this sounds a little hypocritical coming from someone who refused to attend the local institutions of higher learning due to the Malay being the medium of conduct at such institutions. But that's just me and my preference. My preference due to what my choice of course. Appropriate substitutes for words in my course have not been properly set up therefore I think that that would impede my understanding of the subject. Plus books for IT were all in English, they weren't going to give us a second degree in translation so why bother?

That aside, I do hope that the government and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) do decide as to what the actually want of our national language. They've decided things and changed their minds so often. Is it that difficult to decide on how you want your national language to be spoken? The proper grammer decided? The words to use? I've gone from non-baku to baku and back again cause people at the DBP decided that that's how the language is suppose to be pronounced. I am told that we're back to baku now.

Does anyone know for sure how our national language is suppose to be? Or what the DBP has decided so far? Is there a site that I can refer to?

In the mean time, I'll just stick to English. Not my first language but it seems to be the language that I think in and the one that I'm more comfortable with. Heck! My English vocab sure beats the hell out of my Hokkien any darn day!

Monday, February 17, 2003


*sigh* Failure. I'm an absolute failure. Went for two auditions and didn't even get in any.

The first one was a long shot anyway. An opera. I'm not classically trained so I'm not surprised. Just went for the heck of it. Ended up having the auditioner giving me an impromptu lesson on breathing. Hee hee.

But the second one. The second one I was hoping I could at least get into the ensemble. I know I sang pretty okay but I couldn't feel the piece and didn't manage to act it out. So, that's bad. The monologue was absolutely horrible. We can conclude now that acting wise, I'm absolutely useless. I knew right away that I'm definitely not getting a callback cause those who do are told to arrange their callback time at the front desk. All I got was a "thanks, we have your number".

I'm discouraged. I should just sing in choirs. Never to try for another musical any longer. :( I'm an absolute nervous wreck when it comes to auditions.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Chinese New Year and auditions

Two more days left of the 15 days celebration of the Chinese New Year. I'm not feeling the festive-ness of the celebration. Have not been in a very festive mood for several months now. Must be tired.

Anyway, this week is a week of auditions. There's a sudden deluge of productions especially musical productions this year and they're all recruiting this week.

On Monday, the was suppose to be an audition for a production of 'The Merry Widow'. Suppose cause when the auditioner came in and said some sentimental mush about how he doesn't have to heart to reject anyone (we were having our regular choir rehearsal). So, the entire choir's in the chorus.

There's an audition for Tosca tonight and tomorrow. Not sure if I'm going to audition cause I don't know any arias but I'll be going there to meet some friends and if I can gather enough courage while I'm there, might audition with 'I Could Have Danced All Night'. A pseudo-classical-ish piece would fare better for this audition than if I were to sing 'On My Own' wouldn't it?

Then on Saturday and Sunday, there's the audition for 'Natra - The Musical'. Might do my default audition song for this - 'Surrender' from Sunset Boulevard. I am freaking out on the monologue part though. Never acted before. Don't know the first thing about how to do it. However, I am only going to audition for the ensemble. Hopefully for ensembles they won't put that much emphasis on the monologue.

Hope I'll get in at least one of those auditions though. The Natra one will be my preferred choice cause I've always wanted to be in a musical. Tosca, not so keen, as I'm not trained in classical and won't be surprised if I don't make it for the opera.

At least I'm definitely in The Merry Widow. :)

Saturday, February 08, 2003

One Day by Sissel

Here I am, on my own again
All alone but not afraid
Here I stand, nowhere near the end
Time to go a different way

Cause another day will come to those who dare
Believe in something new

When you follow your shining star
Leave all your fears behind
You will find love no matter where you are
And all your heart will say – one day

When you’re down, and you haven’t found
Where you think you want to go
Do you search for higher ground
Deep inside you really know

Cause another day will come to those who dare
Believe in something new

When you follow your shining star
Leave all your fears behind
You will find love no matter where you are
And all your heart will say – one day

I know it’s hard to leave
The future seems so far away and,
Believe that all you need will come to you – one day

Follow your shining star
Leave all your fears behind
You will find love no matter where you are
And all your heart will say
You will find love no matter where you are
And all your heart will say – one day

A mass mail told me about this singer Sissel. I'd never heard of her but I was curious and followed the provided link and dutifully downloaded the sample songs that were available there. She's sounds quite nice actually. I have yet to see her albums anywhere in the local stores but then I haven't been really looking. Anyway, I really like one of her song called One Day. One fine day, I'm going to burn all my findings onto a CD so that I can listen to them over and over again in my car, at home, in the shower, ... etc.

So, mass mail can be a good thing sometimes ... but they're usually rubbish most of the time. One in a while, you find a gem.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

The Pianist

Unbelieveable! I can't believe I just spent almost 2 hours on the piano. I've never practised so hard when I was learning to play that block of wood and ivories!

All this due to Nocturne No.19 which I heard on the site for Roman Polanski's new film 'The Pianist'. Heard that piece and I wanted to play it. Downloaded it from the net and brought it home to try playing it. Try!

For all that time I've put in, I only managed to play the first 6 bars with a semblance of what it should sound like. Gosh! Will probably be able to finish the whole piece in oh ... maybe six months? if I spend the same amount of time practising every single day. :) Would be cool if I could play it. :)


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