What’s Kookin’, Kooky?

1.  Event:  Euphonious ’08

Date :  21-28th March 2008

Remember Euphonious?  For those who don’t, or have never heard of it, it’s the largest (and only) band competition in the campus held annually.  This is probably my final year in this favourite event of mine, as I serve the committee as Assistant Project Director.  The event was a huge hit.  It was much bigger than the last, and though we encountered lots of hurdles along the way, it was a sweet victory for everyone.  I’ll leave the photos in black and white, just to have that reminisce effect, you know?

I really admired how this guy handles his guitar.  Awesome skills.  One of the best I’ve seen here.

The specialty of Euphonious is that we encourage bands to include ‘special instruments’, other than the ordinary guitar, bass, drums and keyboard.

One of the guest artist of the night.  Remember her?  This is Farah from Malaysian Idol and One in a Million.  Boy, did she rock the house that night.  Despite receiving crude remarks from some extremist religious party, she was way sporting to give her all that night – see?  Some people know how to differentiate between rationality and pure nonsense.

This girl.  Whoa.  Her voice.  The moment she belted out the jazzy version of “Smooth” by Santana, the whole hall went from pure silence into loud thundering applause.  That powerful.   She won the Overall Best Singer title.

Her band mates, The Capoiz.  The guy in the dark glasses accompanied Miss Best Vocals in “Smooth”.  He had a deep, husky voice, bringing out the essence of Matchbox Twenty’s frontman Rob Thomas.

This guy with the Indian percussion from band Yasha…I almost got up to my feet to do a Bollywood that night.

My favourite band of the night, The Retrodelics.  They did an amazing cover of Queen’s “I Was Born To Love You”, a difficult song to pull.  Even the judges commented that the guitarist was almost as good as Freddie Mercury!  And the drummer!  Wooh!  It’s like what Christon said, “When you see this kind of drummer, he either inspires you to improve or he’ll just make you give up drumming totally.”  I’m still quite surprised why he didn’t get the Best Drummer title.

The Raptors, probably the crowd’s favourite.  The band comprising international students.  I think Chester from Egypt melted the hearts of the females that night when he did a Malay song, “Kenangan Terindah”.

The band and the fans.  The Capoiz grabbed the grand prize of RM1000 that night, for the second consecutive year.  It’s such a sad thing that they’re in their final year now, so we won’t get to see them compete next year.

The Euphonious ’08 crew.  It’s been both pleasure and pain working with them, but this is and will always be the best event I’ve ever worked in.  It’s messy, unorganized and lots of fooling around.  I love it.


2.  Event:  21st Engineering Design Exhibition (EDX21)

Date :  17-18 April 2008

Ah. The next event would be one that I’ve taken part in for the very first time.  I think the name says it all, it’s an exhibition of various engineering projects by the students in the campus, mainly third and final year projects.  It’s very different from Euphonious, because it’s more…formal in a way.  Since it’s the 21st edition already, it’s more organized than running a rock show.  Here are some photos, taken from the cameras of people that I still don’t know, apart from Mel.  It’s just strange how the boundary is so clear in this event, how it’s strictly observed that members must not cross the line of job scopes.  A bit overwhelming, but a fantastic experience nonetheless.

Pep-talk, briefing, on the night before the big event.

Chee Hong and I hanging up the banner at the Undercroft.  I did not design that banner though.  But I like the concept very much.

The opening ceremony at the Undercroft.

This section has robots!  It’s really cool, they can sense and pick items up.

This is one special lady.  The one on the left has a disability, but she won a Gold Medal that day, and also the Best Presenter awards.  She was one of the few that I clapped for.  Her look on her face when she got off the stage as she hugged her fellow team members was priceless.

Another participant introducing his work to the panel of judges and guests.

Doesn’t this closing ceremony wallpaper look uber-cool?  I designed it!  It looked better in a dark room, much much better.

Me and my other creations.  The buntings for the event.  It feels good each time I see my artwork being displayed.  A sense of satisfaction.  A lot of them wanted to take those buntings home after the event!  Haha!


So there ya go.  A recap of the craziness I went through in these four months.  But the process of learning never stops.  Each time I join an event I always learn something new.  It’s true, being in university does change a person.  Just the other day I received a text from a friend saying she’s a cheerleader now.  For a person whom I cannot imagine doing skipping ropes, she’s now being tossed and turned in midair.  I smile to myself when I think of the times I thought I had enough.  Come to think of it, there is so much out there to be done.

Bring it on.

We Speak the Same Language

Read more about them here.

No eye has seen no ear has heard
The good that the Lord has prepared
For those who wait on Him
To hear His voice
I am the Potter and you are the clay

No eye has seen no ear has heard
The goodness that I have prepared
For you who wait on Me
To hear My voice I am the Potter
And you are the clay

Jesus take me in Your hand
And make me all that You want me to be
Jesus help me understand my purpose
And what You can do through me
Fulfilling my destiny

Let Me take you in My hands
And make you all that I want you to be
I will help you understand your purpose
And what you will do in Me
Fulfilling your destiny

“No Eye Has Seen”, Roger Hodges

My December (Part Two): Of Work, New Friends and a (sort of) Birthday Surprise

Procrastination has been my best friend lately. Ok, it has always been my best friend.


After my caving and white water rafting trip, I left for KL two days later. My brother (also known as my Boss) asked me to help him out with an event called “Hello Music Land!”. On my first day at work, my brother’s friend/colleague Chris taught me how to use the lighting consoles. The eager geek in me was more than pleased to pick up these new skills. It was a bit ‘susah’ at first – but after a show or two, I got used to it. As a matter of fact, by the end of the day, Chris and I agreed that we could both manage without even looking at the show! We were actually busy hogging my laptop playing FIFA 08 while we would automatically press the right button on the right cue.

Getting to know the crew was absolute fun. There’s Chris, who likes to tease Way Wen with a dancer named Lemon who wears the suit of Vinnie Violin and he would once in a while cheekily flirt with another dancer called Kay Kay who plays Dimmie Drum. Way Wen, on the other hand, controls the walkie talkie’s and other miscellaneous stuff around the hall would normally be found in his love-sick corner, dreaming about his beloved Ms Kuantan. *ahem*

Then there’s Keith and Luke, our Australian clients/friends. Luke plays Mr Quickles in the show, while Keith runs up and down making sure everything is ok and that there’s always food around. You can imagine the countless nuggets, doughnuts and wedges we had throughout the entire production. Oh and free Milo too! On days when we have too much Milo, we all get sugar high. Even Mr Quickles.

I introduced Mr Achmed to them, and throughout the week, everyone was addicted to the phrase “I KILL YOU!!” To find out about Achmed the Dead Terrorist, click HERE.

On the last day of production, everyone was hyped – a mixture of relief and sadness that the show is gonna be over. Keith stole one of the characters of the show called Bow Bow (she’s a violin bow) and started to paste black tape on her face – adding a moustache, and some eyelashes and even a goatee. Introducing, Bow Bow’s father. haha! Mr Quickles did not know what was in store – how surprised he was when he saw Bow Bow’s face! His face was priceless! Oh, Chris, Way Wen and I bought a fart bomb and threw it into one of the dressing rooms. Within seconds, we could hear Kay Kay shouting “Hen Chou Ah!!” (Mandarin: Very smelly ah!!) We wanted to get itching powder for Mr Quickles, but lucky for him, it was all sold out.

The audience of the last show was simply superb. We had a bunch of really enthusiastic kids, before, during and after the show. There’s a scene where Mr Quickles was supposed to be caught off-guard picking his nose in the dark, and here’s how it went:

*lights on*

audience: eeeeeeee…

random kid: eee! dia korek hidung!

our Australian friend, of course was dumbfounded.

Mr Quickles: Wha…? Korek hidung? What’s that? (We were laughing our heads off! Chris was like, “Oh no he doesn’t understand!!)

Crew: (Frantically does gestures) Picking your nose!!!

Kids: Pick nose!!!

Mr Quickles: Huh?? Oh…Oh!!! Picking my nose!!! *laughs*

In the show, Mr Quickles gets a call from his “boss” from time to time asking him to perform certain things. Hence the infamous telephone on the left side of the stage. When the show was over, another random lil girl walked up to the stage and asked Way Wen:

Lil girl: Can I speak to the boss please?

Way Wen: Huh? Oh. Ah. Here. (Hands her the telephone)

Lil girl: Hello? Hello? (Looks to Way Wen) Where’s the boss?

Way Wen: Huh? Uh.. Boss went home already.

Relentless, the girl went to the console area and my brother was there at that time.

Lil girl: Hello. Are you the boss?

Bro: Yes yes I am.

Lil girl: Can I have your autograph please???

(Bro gives her his signature)

Me: (shouting from stage – was clearing up) Hey! I’m the REAL BOSS!

(The girl quickly ran down to the stage again and asked for MY signature)


Anyway, the 22nd was my 19th birthday. My brother made reservations at The Apartment and ordered a Baskin Robbins birthday cake. It was meant to be a surprise, but little things such as Luke’s sudden “Surprise! Surprise!” thinking he came in late gave it away. As a birthday present/salary, my brother got me a new Yamaha spruce solid, acoustic guitar with pick up. Yes, this means that I can connect my guitar to my speakers and give my parents and neighbours a headache.

Too bad the dancers couldn’t make it that night. I made it up to them by giving them a treat at Baskin Robbins the next day. I tried the Fusion drink and boy, was it good!

I shall now leave you with the photos, as I believe they will illustrate the entire picture clearer. Takes a while to load though, please be patient.

And as I’ve mentioned, I headed for a camp after that, and celebrated New Year’s Eve quietly at home with my brother.

Time well spent? You bet! =)

Welcoming The New Year

5….4….3….2….1!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Every local TV channel is showing some sort of countdown and I can see confetti and fireworks.  I can hear live fireworks outside of my brother’s apartment too.  It’s nice, to just be relaxing at the couch, watching TV and lazing around with my brother.  I don’t like extremely crowded places, and to go to KL at this time of year is pure madness.

Well, just a little Kooky greeting to wish all of you a Happy New Year and may all of you be blessed with good health, good wealth and lots of fun ahead!  Keep filling up the Kooky Jar!  =)

My December (Part One): Of Caving, Water Rafting and 100% Fun

I’ve been meaning to do an entry to wrap up 2007, but how can I when there’s still so much going on?  I must say, December this year has been (surprisingly) filled with various events!  See?  I even have to do a Part One and Part Two for this happening month.

On the 14th of this month my friends and I planned a one-day trip of caving and water-rafting to Gopeng, Perak.  Yeah, the last thing that I thought I’d do is to go anywhere near my campus during my holidays.

But I am so glad I did.

Six of us (Suan Mei, Suan Hui, Christon, Yoke Mun, Phillip and myself) met up at the entrance of Gua Tempurung around 9.00 a.m.  Each and everyone of us are first timers in REAL caving and water rafting.  No, if you don’t get wet, or bruised, or practically crawl on your hands and knees when you enter a cave, that’s NOT caving.  We took a package from RiverBug and chose the most difficult trail.  It was a whopping 4-hour period of crawling, climbing, sliding, falling on our butts, and avoiding poisonous insects (scorpions and some weird looking spiders) in darkness.  There was a part where we reached a water-fall like area, and there was light!  And trees too! I couldn’t contain mysef and exclaimed “Yay! We found civilization!” much to everyone’s amusement.  A Singaporean family joined us in this trail and they brought a 20-month old baby with them!  Whoa!  While we were grumbling and whining along the way, that baby was soooooo quiet!  *salutes baby*

After our caving adventure our guide brought us for lunch.  It was a typical Malay meal, but the lady’s fingers were really hard though. Haha!  Other than that we were so hungry we licked our plates clean.  We dared not eat too much, because we still have one more hardcore activity to do — white water rafting!

They brought us to the Kampar River, where we donned our life-jackets, paddles and helmets, looking like pros (or a little bunch of retarded soldiers going for war).  After our safety briefing, we were already on our rafts, screaming our lungs out each time we experience a drop.  Each drop gets harder and harder, which means more adrenaline rushing to our brains!   After our first drop, we were told to deliberately capsize our raft!  It was panicking but really fun!  Then we were asked to  do some “body-rafting”.  Which means that we actually let the current sweep us away!  We were taught how to maneuver our direction but there was this one little part where no matter how much of a pro swimmer you are, you will not be able to avoid from swallowing gulps and gulps of water!  The guides laughed at us as we tried to swim for our dear lives before throwing us a line and pulled us to safety.  I didn’t fare well in this one and my body experienced some ‘natural’ massage as it hit one boulder after another before I was ‘rescued’.  Haha!

That little exercise was to give us some water confidence.  After we were ready, we continued our little expedition.  There was this particular drop where it was so steep that when the guide shouted “Boom Boom” we had to stop paddling and jump into our rafts!  Our rafts were immediately filled with water as we experience bumpy zero-gravity for a few really exhilarating seconds!   When we reached our finishing point,  We were hoping for it to rain as our guide told us that the current of the river will be stronger and will be able to carry us for another 3 kilometers!   At the finishing point we left our rafts and started to climb one of the trees and jumped into the water!  It was really hard, I tell you.  The tree branch was quite skinny and very slippery – but the guides made it look so easy!  I was wearing my sandals at that time which had absolutely NO grip (yes, I survived the cave with the same pair) so I slipped halfway and fell into the water!  Luckily the current wasn’t so strong there and I knew how to swim.  Philip put it in a matter-of-fact, funny way “Orang bandar panjat pokok”.  Haha!

We were all drained of physical energy by then and we were absolutely starving.  Yoke Mun and Philip played their role as proud Perakians and brought us to ‘makan’.  It was a great time to share and bond – oh, did I mention that Suan Mei and Suan Hui did not know Yoke Mun, Philip and Christon initially?  But by the end of the day we were all talking and laughing like old friends.

Speaking of meeting new friends, there’s more to come in Part Two.  We didn’t get many good photos because this had been one bumpy, muddy, wet trip.  But it was fun.  Purely 100% fun.  I wouldn’t mind doing it again!

To all my fellow readers out there, have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Hello Music Land!

No, this is not a trick post.

I’m in KL now, helping out in this one-of-a-kind kids’ show called Hello Music Land!  They brought it all the way from Australia, and it’s a combination of cinema and stage performance – they call it 5D.   I thought it was rather corny at first, but now I that I’ve seen the show 3 times, it’s quite a treat for kids actually.  Even adults enjoyed themselves.  The crew members, however (including me) had to entertain ourselves as this is shown 3 times a day.  It’s held at the Cathay Cineplex, so yes, the KookyMonsta will be stuck there from morning til night.  The show times are daily, 11am, 3pm and 7pm.

Sadly, not many people are aware that it involves LIVE stage performances so most people wouldn’t bring their kids to the cinema to watch a kiddy “movie”.   I admit that very few people turn up for each show, but I can guarantee that 100% of those who came REALLY enjoyed themselves.  There was a family who came TWICE because their kid loved the show so much!  It’s educational, colorful, nicely choreographed and most importantly, fun!  So those of you in KL, bring your small kids along to see this show!  Okay, leave your teenage son/daughter out of this unless they’ve done something wrong.  Haha!  The songs are quite addictive too, today’s my second day of work and I can remember almost every song already!

“….Hello Good Morning!  Hello Good Morning!  How is everyone today? Cha cha cha!…”


What We Don’t Have

Hello all. Yup, I’m home and it’s been great so far. Speedy internet connection, mom’s cooking and television 24-7. What else could I ask for?

Anyway, I wrote this piece a few days ago, and this is twice as long as the previous post. You can read half of it, go get some coffee and continue after that or something. That’s if you can still down that cup of coffee. I know it’s the Hari Raya season, best not to read this post with any rendang, lemang, ketupat or any food.

Here goes nothing:


Take a moment and imagine this scenario:

You’re all alone in your room. Suddenly, the things in your room begin to disappear; your magazines, computer, stereo set – everything. Then, the furniture vanish as well. All that’s left is your mattress. Within a few seconds, your comfortable, bouncy mattress becomes a flat, hard one covered in PVC – those you’d see in a gymnasium. The walls of your room begin to compress until there’s only enough room for that single-sized mattress. You’re sitting on your mattress now, with the door only 3 feet away from you. Now, imagine the door turning into a stainless steel gate. And, it’s locked.

You’re in need of the toilet. Yet, you can’t go out of your room, well, more like a cell now. You can’t stand it any longer. You let it go there as you see yellow liquid flowing onto the mattress, releasing a pungent smell. Oops. You cry out for assistance but the words just won’t come out right. Instead, those passing by keep telling you to shut it, while others just run away – as though you’re crazy or something.

Suddenly, you smell something really horrible. Something worse than the smell of your urine. Oh no, you’ve really made a big mess now. Feeling disgusted, you vomit at the sight of your own disposal. Now, you’re practically swimming in a combination of the three most disgusting things that people would prefer to flush away through the toilet bowl.

You scream and scream, somehow hoping you’d get out of this nightmare.

Your parent/spouse/sibling/friend wakes you up. You breathe a huge sigh of relief as you wipe away the cold sweat.

What we call a ‘nightmare’ is actually a reality for some. The scenario is how spastic children live EVERYDAY.

I’m sorry to have led you to a scene that may have spoiled your appetite, but my recent visit to the Spastic Home has left a deep impact within me. What was supposed to be a Moral Project turned out to be an important lesson in life. And I’m here to share it with you.

All 10 of us volunteered to visit the Spastic Home as a project assignment, while the others in the class chose the Salvation Army, etc. I’ve dealt with kids from the orphanage before, but I’ve never encountered those from the spastic center.

I mean, what was I thinking? I’ve never really been good when it comes to dealing with kids, what do I expect from kids who can’t even think properly nor comprehend a word I say? I don’t know about the others, but I took up this task because I felt God wanted me to. I’m not kidding. He knows that I am ready to take on certain tasks, and there was a part of the world that He wanted me to see.

We drove up a few days earlier just to see how it would be like. When we reached the place, what struck me was that it was placed directly opposite a Christian cemetery. And next to it was a church. Is this God’s way of looking after them from birth til death?

Our lecturer told us that since this was our first time, we need not deal with those confined in a special room – those … intimidating ones. We entered the room just to have a look, and we were welcomed by a really strong odor of drool, urine, shit and vomit. The inmates were locked up in those cells as described above, with their mattresses drenched and some of them even chewing on their own diapers. They made loads of noise, loud moans and screaming – if they were ‘talking’ to one another, obviously we did not speak the same language.

Basically, our senses just went numb in a couple of minutes. As we left the place dumbstruck, we were thinking of the same thing: We had to clean that place up.

Even if it was the grossest thing we’ve ever seen, heard or smelled.

We returned on a Sunday. And there was something big going on at the church next door. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and they had lots of singing and food. As selfish as I would say this, for a moment, they felt like a bunch of hypocrites to me. But then again, who am I to judge?

We rolled up our pants and sleeves, filled up buckets of soap and water as ammos and armed ourselves with mops and scrubs. We were ready for war. The inmates have been released outside to enjoy some fresh air while each of us tackled their cells – scrubbing the mattresses, walls and the floor away. The residue was stuck onto every surface that we can see. Using rags (and hands), we scrubbed away the brown, stinking substance off the wall.

What scared me most was that I got used to the stench after half an hour of being in that room.

I can only imagine how it feels like to be in there for a lifetime.


Let’s go to the brighter part of the visit. One of us brought a guitar along and we began to sing and dance with them. They could not do either, but they did occasionally clap along. They made loud sounds again, but this time, we were not intimidated by them. Somehow, we knew they were happy sounds. We could tell it from their smiles.

After that was the drawing session. We bought paper and colored pencils (toxic-free) and let them sketch as they pleased. One of them could even do simple arithmetic! She could solve simple addition problems and even though I am doing advanced Mathematics in university now, I felt so much more inferior to her. Another began to trace a picture from her coloring book. Tracing! That is a really smart act! These are smart kids! They just…they just live in a world that ordinary people like us cannot understand. A world where there’s no judgment, nor discrimination.


When it was time to say goodbye, both sides were reluctant to part. We have done our part for the day, but was it enough?

I remember that halfway through the cleaning process our lecturer said to us,

“You guys are doing a great job, you know that?”

I don’t know if we did, but I’m sure those kids have done a marvelous job in opening our hearts and letting us realize that we’re a bunch of lucky brats. Throughout the years of whining and complaining about the material things that we lack, we did not realize that what we do not have is actually the sense of gratitude and humility.

Of all my years in learning Moral Education, this is probably the one and only assignment that meant something.


And that’s how it should be.