Tribute to the piano

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a terrible cliche, that all Asian kids get put through piano or violin lessons the minute they're aware that the pudgy little stubs on their hands actually have more use in this world than to carelessly wave about and perhaps to occasionally grab that funny shaped poo.

True enough, I grew up taking piano lessons. Ah, I still remember my one and only Winklemann--a little old and rough on the edges but sturdy as it was, it rang those chords out like a good soldier (much to the distaste of my neighbours, I'm sure).

I am thankful for the music, plagued by the lessons and won't pass up the opportunity to bitch about the piano teachers I had to go through.

My first teacher didn't really count because she taught a classroom full of whiny brats who just really wanted to press the shiny organ keys and delighted at the different sounds each of them made. It was a time of cacophonous squeals and ill-timed chords. Needless to say, those were the best moments of my piano lesson years--hell, I even got a shiny star for attending class and placing magnetic notes up correctly on the whiteboard.

Then came graduation... and hell. From the carefree wonders of Junior Music Class (JMC) to the strict Nazi regimen of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).

My "first" piano teacher was a fantastic pianist, I dare say the best around my parents could find... a maestro who had an engorged, crooked thumb possibly from all the scales throughout her many, many glorious years of musical accomplishment. She could turn "Mary Had A Little Lamb" into a majestic, melodious recital fit for kings. That, and she was pretty much batshit mental. Not crazy in the manner where you sympathize and perhaps even might want to hop in along with but crazy in the manner where a pack of vicious dogs riddled with rabies would seem relatively tame and harmless to pet.

Granted I was also a brat back then; who wants to sit at a piano for five hours a day practicing the same bloody song over and over AND OVER again when I could be watching TV? Sure, having your "own" piano was a novelty for the first few months or so.

However, like any other kid... playing the same songs just didn't quite cut it.
Boredom, coupled with a dash of ADD became laziness which eventually turned to contempt for classical music.

What really irked me was that all I'd really be doing was just the exam pieces. Practice, practice, practice until I could play with my eyes closed, memorizing multiplication tables at the same time and possibly in my REM sleep stage.
I was just taking piano lessons so I could sit for the exam.

I rarely got to play the piece I wanted... and being super kiasu and conformist, I wanted Fur Elise. Yes, that heathen piece of music that desecrated the innocence of countless children who ultimately became pricks in their strive to outdo each other. Fur Elise was popular back then; you should've seen the amount of kids who boomed that tune out of practically anything that resembled and functioned like a piano, in-house and out. Oh and did I mention the parents? Yeah, the parents who would gleefully show their kids off to any poor relative who dropped by: "Girl, come play something for your auntie."

I am sure my relatives had better things to gossip about than listen to a seven year old who had legs too short for the pedals and fingers just big enough to wail on piano keys without remorse.

But I digress, back to my first piano teacher. She was borderline psycho-abusive. I can't even begin to count the times I've had my books flung at me from the back of the room when my scales and the metronome beat didn't come to an agreement, more often than less, of course. From the corner of my eye I'd see the book(s) whizz by, missing my head by a scant inch. That, and she was a big fan of wearing down a seven year old's dignity and intelligence by ordering me to slap myself for not learning my pieces and sticking pencils under my wrists to make sure they curled up erect and strong. Hmm, that came out wrong.

And you wonder why I turned out the way I am. No, I wasn't dropped on the head as a kid... I just had piano teacher.

All the abuse paid off, I did extremely well for Grade 1 and Grade 2, yippee! -_- Until today, I'm not sure a distinction was really THAT fucking worth it.

Then came England and sayonara to that witch!

After I got home a year later, coming out of that terrible first-piano-teacher ordeal... I think I pretty much abused my second piano teacher for years and end the only way a kid knows how (i.e. tardiness, refusing to practice pieces unless I *really* wanted to play, skipping out on the theory etc etc). I will say that my second piano teacher was and probably still is an absolute darling (like the fun sub teacher every kid wants) and kudos to her for sticking around so long.

I can't imagine the amount of frustration she had to go through trying to teach two kids from hell how to learn to play the piano when quite frankly, they weren't interested at all. I'm sure she has a voodoo doll of me stashed away some place that she used to stab needles into after every session.

Although, she gets a +5 sexiness to charisma for letting me NOT play classical pieces. I wonder if she still teaches O.o

Despite not being very fond of my piano teachers, I love music... listening, playing and every satisfaction that comes with it.

Just wish I had the balls to pee in my first piano teacher's shampoo bottle or her precious fish pond before I left.

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posted at 11/28/2006 09:58:00 AM by nekomatta · 0 comments

Spanish 101

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I can now count from one to ten without killing someone and say "the cheese is yellow" in Spanish. It's amazing.

It's been awhile since I had any but instant noodles in the middle of the night are heavenly. I'm not saying they're healthy but since I'm starving and wall plaster would undoubtedly taste extremely good if I wanted to ruin my teeth, the noodles sure as hell taste wonderful.

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posted at 11/21/2006 07:06:00 AM by nekomatta · 3 comments

Dirty pop

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's a boring, cool rainy Wednesday and I've got nothing to do (I know, I'm a jobless bum) but to watch Astro. Yes, Astro still works only if it drizzles but don't even think about watching anything when it's actually raining lest you want your TV to blow up in static.

Seriously, Astro is borderline USELESS for when you really NEED it since I can't cuddle in front of the TV with a hot cup of tea when it's pouring outside. What else do you expect me to do when it's raining (option one is not available due to the lack of the "other" bodily presence)? Go outside and play in the acid rain? Thanks.

ANYWAY, I'm flipping through the channels and I end up on Channel V's Double Shot program... what do I see? *gasp* Ant and Dec's video from a few civilization ago (Byker Grove anyone? lol). Immediately, I'm flooded with memories of England and the whole glorious era of boyband fame. To be honest, I associate boy bands with Take That more than any other group... because, yeah well, the dirty secret is out: I was a Take That fangirl :P Not cult obsessive but... yeah *cough*. Together with that, I'm going to admit to having their CDs, getting all teenage postal when they were on BBCKids as well as Ant and Dec's album on cassette tape (yes, cassette) somewhere.

I'm going to pop hell, aren't I?

But any other boyband that came after them can suck it--much to the approval of my then best mate who used to be the biggest Take That fan together with her altar and candles in tribute to Gary Barlow (hi2u Mien :)). It was also through her, I grew out of Take That and smack into Oasis, Blur and Garbage.

And what do you know, the next clip on Channel V was Take That's "Pray".

Pray is the epitome of softcore gay erotica in the early 90s. The amount of abdominal baring, self touching, skin-tight boxers and half naked beach/water scenes that would put both Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to shame made me blush and cringe in pain. Although, I'm sure the video was meant to be fantasy material for the whole female population back then which would inevitably cause them to have hysteric fits, swoon and collapse into a puddle of drool. Then again, I dare say it probably became fantasy (or fap lol) material for some men too.

I wonder if they look back at their videos and ask themselves, "What were we thinking?!"

Though, it was fun while it lasted.

I heard Take That's making a comeback the end of this month (minus Robbie Williams that is) >.>

All I do each time is pray...

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posted at 11/15/2006 11:52:00 PM by nekomatta · 0 comments

Toffee banana

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's a race against time as I'm writing this in the dark and counting the minutes before my lappie runs out of batteries and decides to croak. I'm assuming the hamster powering our electricity generators died (or got hit by lightning from the morning storm) and has ultimately caused my whole street to be plunged into cloudy darkness accompanied only by the still, eerie silence of a technology relapse.

I could bust out my guitar, sit by the gates of my house and start hollering away as a sign of protest for the piss poor service we get or before I go crazy from the silence. Unfortunately, I might get pelted by rotten vegetable by my neighbours who probably aren't as receptive (or tolerant) as my parents to my *cough* sexy strumming skills.

The day didn't start of gloomy, it actually started off to a majestic tune of royal triumph and golden light streaming from a crack in the heavens that opened up above my head. What? The reason for the dramatic effect of a heavenly morning: I had a slice of toffee banana cake:

Toffee banana goodness
Toffee banana goodness.

Considering that one slice itself has more carbs and calories than everything I've eaten in the past week put together, I don't think I've ever been happier eating carbs and getting all dizzy shoving forkfuls of it in my mouth.
It's SO GOOD.

Plus, the last time I've had it was... five years?

OMG, it's HEAVENLY.

Did I already mention? Toffee banana is awesome. Oh, so sweet delicious sin. And yes, it has ultimately turned me into a moronic blabbering idiot. I would say the toffee banana is not so much the brownie affair material, but rather the no-holds-barred scandalously wanton escapade you dive into without thinking twice.

I'm sure the guilt will set in later... in the words of Dono: a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

Before the guilt comes, I will be flying through a magical trippy land of toffee banana slices ala the sweet bun scene from Full Metal Panic: Fumouffu.

Get your own toffee banana slice of delectable delirium at your local La Manilla today! ^^;

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posted at 11/12/2006 07:27:00 PM by nekomatta · 1 comments

Rub one... uh.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Massages are heavenly and quite possibly the second closest natural way to send you soaring into a euphoric bliss followed by the oh-so-gentle, stolen comfort of slipping away into warm, fuzzy, sleepy satisfaction. If you've never had one, you are missing out.

Of course I'm talking about the wimpy aromatherapy sort... and maybe the foreplay ;) However, the only thing a traditional massage gives me is the extremely realistic sensation of a few broken ribs while it's going on. And then, there's also the complete agonizing, full body experience of getting hit by a Mack truck one limb at a time the next morning as you attempt to get out of bed.

Although, I realize a massage is generally supposed to be relaxing (with all that professional caressing and molesting going on against your back, mmmhmm) but there is a moment when I'm gripped with unexplainably ridiculous ice, cold fear... and that is when my masseuse works her way to the lower bottom of my back, to dangerously close proximity of my ass crack. It is then when the thought of "OhmyGod, does it smell" hits me like a perfectly thrown javelin.

Don't ask me why I get such an absurd notion considering I'm a huge fan of hour long showers and even longer baths (especially before I go out).

I suppose I'm prone to sharing strange and morbidly disgusting "stuff" at random periods of time much to the chagrin of my friends :P Well, that and pee smells funny after a massage session.

In other news, dimples are amazingly cute.

I wish I had them! But since I don't, I had to improvise:

Wannabe dimples
Wannabe dimples.

Ninja edit: people on WoW are stupid quacks. I'm helping a friend grind AV rep and I get an idiotic tell from a 56 NE Priest that goes, "hey, can you me make a crap load of lvl 55 water for a tip?"

I'm busy, do I look like I'm going to waste my time summoning a "crap load" of water for your cheap, unknown, stingy ass? Go tip the vendors and I'm sure they'll give you a "crap load" of water. Instead of ignoring I should've replied, "Only if you reroll dwarf, you terrible NE."

Yeah, I am (or was) a mage and that's the biggest pet peeve ever. Talk about in-game harassment. Die in a roaring fire you filthy water sucking scums.

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posted at 11/09/2006 09:27:00 PM by nekomatta · 2 comments

The deal with the Ferris Wheel

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Disclaimer: This post is a feel good, picture whoring post that is two days late.

I say goodbye to my old camera:

Broken
Broken :(

And say hello to the new IXUS 800 IS! :)
Happy early birthday to June Leng...

Birthday girl
Birthday girl.

and Tzern!

Birthday boy
Birthday boy.

We celebrated at Just Thai... and there is no way we're going back because the food portions are the exact nano sized replica of the images they have of it on the menu, prices are obnoxiously unreasonable and a roach skittered across our table just as we finished dinner. Long live third world countries.

Ahem. We have more people!

Those who were on time
Those who came on time.

Those who came fasionably late
Those who came fashionably late.

Cina eventually joined us
Cina eventually joined us.

Terry
And so did Terry.

June Leng got an eye for her birthday. Yes, an eye. It's green too.

THE eye
THE eye.

And this is what the gents did with it:

Tzern, Terry and the eye
Tzern, Terry and the eye. Terry is going to kill me.

Of course, which dinner is complete without a group picture!

Smile!
Smile!

After our rather disappointing dinner, we decided to head to...

Fun park
Fun park.

a fun park that was just right next door. It's actually called the "Euro Fun Park"... but I really don't see anything "euro" about it. We also decided to take a tourist-y picture with the bling entrance sign that actually looks like it might just explode any minute now.

Fun park entrance
Fun park entrance. We're tourists.

We hopped on our first ride, the Sky Rider:

Sky Rider
Sky Rider.

Strapped in
Strapped in, legs ahoy!

It was so much fun! Except, I thought my legs were going to collide with the sign board as I spun round and round, flying through the flashy lights :)
After that was done with, we meandered over to the game booths. Attractive prizes include bootleg Nemo plushies, Shin Chan plushies and uh, well... other bootleg/plushie stuff.

Chris and Nemo
Chris and Nemo.

Duckie game
Some catch-the-duckie game. I am not sticking my hand in that water.

I was very fascinated with one of the prizes:

Froggie
Oh-so-cute bootleg froggie plushies!

WTB boyfriend to win a froggie for me ;)

Joo, Mei and Sean
Joo, Mei and Sean.

Not finding anything we really wanted to try, our next (and last ride) was the Euro Wheel. Whoever came up with that name has to be shot in the foot a couple of times.

Euro Wheel
Euro Wheel.

It cost 3 tokens for the ride (priced at RM2/token). Not too bad for a couple of rounds, eh? We parked our asses in the carts:

Tzern, June Leng
Tzern and June Leng.

Sean, Cina
Sean and Cina.

Chris, Mei, Joo
Chris, Mei and Joo.

Chris was scared shitless... of course, it didn't help matters the ride was stopped momentarily as their cart was suspended at the pinnacle of the wheel. Here's another shot of the three of them, with us (especially Cina) taunting Chris to stand up:

Chris, Mei, Joo
Chris, Mei and Joo represent!

Here's a sexy view from the top:

Flying high
Flying high.

For a Ferris wheel, it was actually turning pretty fast (borderline dizzy) and we thought the ride would last at most 6 rounds. It turns out, the ride is 15, yes FIFTEEN, rounds long. If you think you've got your money's worth (cheaper by the round, el oh el), think again. We got pissed bored thinking the ride operator fell asleep:

Round, uhm?
Getting looney after round, uh... 10?

Well, best RM6 we ever spent :P

And with that, we called it a night and said bye to Euro Fun Park.

Fun park, bye
Bye bye fun park!

On a side note, Portuguese egg tarts are so good :)

Portuguese egg tart
Portuguese egg tart.

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posted at 11/07/2006 12:27:00 AM by nekomatta · 2 comments

It finally had to happen

Thursday, November 02, 2006

#1
My trusty camera, which has outlived a computer, a PS2 and an iPod Mini (i.e. very bloody old) has finally decided to keel over, make funny whirring noises upon starting up and collapse :( Spare me the ugly jokes... it's been said, done and beaten into a bloody pulp ;)

I suppose technology has a rather blunt way of telling me I'm morbidly out of date and should probably get to replacing the old hunk of metal with a brand new spanking, shiny one with enough functions to possibly boot up Photoshop on my machine from a remote location.

I had memorable moments with that camera; the fun, the kink and then some ;)

I might just have to arrange a proper burial for my digicam.

And then there's the issue of getting a new one, sigh.

#2
Goodbye WoW Beta key. That is all.

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posted at 11/02/2006 11:43:00 PM by nekomatta · 1 comments
[ soon-to-be useful ]

nekomatta is...

This is Sean when she's emo. Sean Sean Tan;

sarcastic wordsmith, dirty in oh-so-many ways, fun-loving IE-hating CSS worshiping markup "engineer", anime-styled arm flailing expressive communicator, proudly self-initiated member of the cult of milk and caffeine, snotty pink crayon lover, tree hugging hippy organic designer, pole dancer wannabe, swing-a-ling lindy hopper, rabid arcane mage/bitchin' disc priest/annoying resto druid--sometimes spazzy, often giggly, always loud.
20% sugar, 80% kink.