Wednesday, March 17, 2004

it's nice to be a stranger. i like being a stranger, anywhere. whether it be in the USA, Singapore or anywhere else on the globe. it's even more wonderful, when you chance upon other strangers wandering around, like spectres ready to depart anytime.

he told me that he liked my eyes. I told him that i liked his nose. i kissed it all the time, as if to protect and to soothe it. everytime i wake up, i saw his eyes, staring into mine. i saw the dreamlikeness and the faraway look behind them, as if while he was gazing at me, he was also thinking about another place, a place.....far from where we were. i read that Yemenis are pretty nomadic in their lifestyle and nature.maybe it has something to do with that? or maybe not.
After dating an Arabic guy, i feel that i was introduced into something unfamiliar, yet totally familiar.he liked to sing arabic poems whenever he felt like it.i always like to surrender myself to his voice, and drown myself in those musical arabic poems and allowing the peace and the tranquility fill my being.and so , for certain moments in our lives, our souls intertwined and nearly.....unite into one. a few months from now, i will certainly miss these arabian nights with an acute sense of nostalgia.

every night, in my dark little blue room in the coops, with the candle light flickering, i hear the sounds of the trains in the distance. everytime i hear it, i get a little excited about going somewhere, about sitting for long hours in the train,
knowing that i will arrive in a new unknown destination, where unpredicable things might happen and surprise me in bitter and sweet ways.

i was just walking along the dark corrider of this place, and i was thinking, how mystical, how intriguing this can be. I mean, the act of walking itself, the chance and random sights one can observe in this short journey, not to forget the thoughts that pass through your mind when you see something, whether it be a banal scene or an object that triggers certain feelings. it just seems that everytime i am in a silent spot alone, or walking along a deserted path, or just staring out of the window with the snow falling happily, there is a certain "thing", that i wish to talk about, or express, but cannot. I wonder what this elusive entity is all about. Maybe i am making a big deal out of something just so tiny, so meaningless. But nevertheless, everytime i feel it, i want to grasp it and articulate what it actually is. In spite of it's elusiveness, there is a certain force of attraction that bids me to pay attention to it. But now, it has flown away yet again, and i will be waiting for the next fateful moment, when i re-aquaint myself with it again.

Monday, March 15, 2004

yesterday evening, i was at the power center to watch the Kronos Quartet performance. It was a 90 minutes show without intermission. the last time i watched them live was in Singapore many many years ago. i really liked the way they explored sounds and images. The various aspects of the performances provided very unexpected moments to the audience, especially the few minutes when they had the enlarged quartet score on a big screen and showed it to the audience while playing it through, with just wierd sounds and pizzicato from their instruments. it's good to listen to a conventional classical music concert, but i think it's certainly refreshing to know that there are equally accomplished musicians out there who are willing to experiment with their instruments in rather unorthodox and innovative ways. this shows the flexibility of music and what one can do with a regular instrument, like the violin or cello.

Monday, March 08, 2004

today in the video class, we were shown the 3-5 minutes productions of every team in the class. our work was titled " the stranger". now that i thought about it, i feel that we should have changed the name because it seemed that we were trying to copy " the Stranger " by Albert Camus. It might have come across as being too pretentious you know, especially if our storyline did not match up to the title. It gave the audience excessive expectation, especially if they had read Camus' work.After watching it on screen, I thought that the story line may have been a little too weak and gave the audience an unnecessary amount of confusion. However, i really liked some of the shots we made, especially in an interesting and eerie- looking alleyway next to the American Spoon along Liberty Street Ann Arbor. The shots made the portagonist appeared to be truly estranged from the society. The beautiful grafitti on the walls of the alleyway produced some really cool effects to the video. We didn't spend too much time on the video but i think the alleyway certainly compensated for the lack of time and effort we put into the project( which i am truly ashamed to admit.) Some other projects are coming up and i am looking forward to it. I really like the video making process. It's a great way to express your inner perceptions of the outside world, and challenges the way you make use of external elements ( sometimes beyond your control) to convey your feelings. I wish I am a good artist and can paint very well what i see. But I am certainly not. So, i see video production as an alternative way to paint the world and our perceptions of it by using and modifying elements that are already in existence. I think it's also great fun to find the right kind of music for any specific scene or story.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I was supposed to do some editing in the film lab today in school but the latter was closed. So, my friend drove me all the way here, only to know that our meeting was cancelled. It's frustrating when things like that happen. I could have done better things with the time lost. Last night was fun though. After a long tedious day of work, I went out with two other friends , Mack and Sirui ( a really fun loving girl) from the coops to the bar- Touchdown cafe. It was my first time there even though i used to live opposite that bar. Well, I truly enjoyed the drinking moments with them, but i feel that I would very much prefer the atmospheres in some other clubs and bars than Touchdown, like say Delrio, Blind Pig , Conner O' Neils or Millenium Club...yah, even Club Divine in Yipsilanti. I think it's because of the kind of crowd that makes me feel this way. Hey, but i still think nothing could be compared to what we have in Singapore, ZOUK!!Well, i am "notorious" for my drinking habits, in that one bottle of beer would just drive me way beyond my limits. So yesterday, i went a little crazy, with just one bottle of Heineken. I haven't been doing this that much ever since a good korean friend of mine, Lisa went back to Seoul. Hey Lisa, if you are reading this, i wanna let you know how much i miss those drinking times with you, including the evening when we went crazy with Ryan in the streets and in the sweetwater cafe. Thanks for trying to train me to hold my alcohol better, but you know, my tolerance for beer remains miserably low up till today. Nevertheless, I believe that Mack and Sirui were pretty entertained when i became this way, not drunk, but .......buzzed. I become many times funnier than my normal self.Sirui thought i should imagine that i am drinking all the time so that this self could emerge every moment of my life...haha! After the touchdown cafe visit, we went to Pizza House and ordered three plates of Fish and Chips. That meal tasted so heavenly.....after the drink and the hunger that gripped me later that night. I had a great night, and on looking back now, even after only a few hours, everything seemed so dreamlike and surreal. Hey Lisa, i wish you were here with us! It also reminded me when i was in Conner O Neils with Jeff and Eric. After we became a little buzzed, we decided to compose one long poem, with each of us writing a line alternatingly. It was really bizarre how the poem turned out with a man ending up trying to fight an eerie looking woman in the alleyway. Sigh, now that i am working and taking classes, i can no longer do this that much and i certainly feel nostalgic about the post graduation days when i was just hanging out and having so much insane fun with people! Too much sanity drives me nuts!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Hello there, there were some idle moments in eastern accent today, so I wrote a poem on a piece
of receipt paper. it's unpolished because it's the first draft, but i thought i would share it with anyone who
would want to read it anyway. give me your criticizms if you want.
And here it goes,

Staring into the darkness of the night,
I felt the friendliness of the stars
touching and caressing my heart,
as if they were understanding
the secrets , hidden within me.
When I was about to depart
from the quiet hill,
a lone star caught my attention.
It appeared more nervous
than the rest of them,
as if it was longing to descend from the sky.
I blew her a kiss,
as if to let her know that
she was remembered and that
there would be a way
for a hopeful star. "

Monday, March 01, 2004

last week, i felt my body and soul being sold the work at eastern accent, in spite of occassional hanging out with people and times of relaxation. It felt that i was caught in a different world, where i was longing and aching to return to the current realm i am in right now, where my mind is allowed more breathing space, to entertain other thoughts and ideas. you know, it was so tiring, that all i wanted to do after work, was to rest in Mack's arms and basically, DO NOTHING. i have also been working on the second movement from Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata, the melancholic yet hopeful melody i fell in love with after watching the" Man who wasn't there." The coops was so quiet during the spring break, that the piano room in the corner of the hallway offered me some good companionship with music. While playing Bach gave me certain tranquility and placidity, the aching melody of beethoven's Pathetique aroused certain emotions that had otherwise being repressed for quite a while.It constantly makes me realize that me , as a human being, is constanly yearning for something elusive. This yearning, is part of what makes this existence so worthwhile eventually. What is life, without these desires and longings in our heart? And certainly, music is a great way, to gain access to these emotions that are otherwise sometimes inexplicable by words or images, or essentially, suppressed.
Yesterday, i got to watch the Passion of the Christ. I have pretty mixed emotions about it. Certain scenes kept replaying in my mind after the show. There's a certain degree of grief and sadness within me today, but also an inexplicable sense of hope and triumph in my heart. That was how Mel Gibson portrayed and interpreted my beloved on screen and i certainly thank the director, for his intensity, vision, creativity and courage. Oh goodness, how do i expect myself to view crucifixion the same same way that i used to?