November 10, 2012

London was Funny

Not even going to talk much into the overall trip, but here are shows that I went to, because if you don’t already know, I LOVE COMEDY and I travel for comedy shows! The main reason for the trip was definitely to go see comedy shows. Conclusion: NO REGRETS.

  • ACMS was obviously going to be good, but the show itself had a mix array of good, decent and okay. Tom Bell is really good at comedy, okay?! Like really fucking good that I cried at the end of his set from laughing. And Thom Tuck supposedly compered the whole night sober, and it was quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen him do (comparing to his stuff I’ve seen online where he is VERY OBVIOUSLY DRUNK) mostly because he was a lot more focused and he didn’t stumble with his words. Nadia Kamil was awesome, and the conclusion to the show (Matthew Kelly!) was a lot of fun. 
  • The Horne Section is a delightful piece of comedy work that I missed during Melbourne International Comedy Festival by a few days after I left Australia. Some stuff were ad lib by Alex because some bits got the band laughing in stitches. Andy Zaltzman was one of the guest—ANDY FREAKING ZALTZMAN. Fun, fun, fun show. GO BEARDS!
  • Matilda is so fun and awesome and the kids are great and I’m 25 and have not achieved half the level of ‘AMAZING’ the kids have already pioneer in. Shame on me!
  • By impulse and boredom, I went to see Max and Ivan Roffle Club without really knowing who the guests were. Okay, guys, brace for it: David Reed, making it a tally  of two Penny Dreadfuls members I’ve seen live. Luck?! LUCK! David’s bit was so funny and heartwarming. I particularly enjoyed The Three Englishmen who were just so silly and delightful. Headlining was Abandoman. Not a lot need to be said if you already know how great he/they are at improv!
  • Rich Fulcher’s election night was boring and I should have gone to Simon Amstell’s show instead, and I’m still upset that I went to this shit (that had tantamount of sexism and racism in it, ugh!)
  • Lastly, I can tell you I’ve seen Josie Long, who was excitable and does the funniest impression of Ed Miliband.
  • Tim Key haunts me as I leave the Soho Theatre for the last time as a flyerer from The Invisible Dot awaits people outside, handing out a flyer for Masterslut. This is the second time I miss Tim’s show by LESS THAN A WEEK (last time was Melbourne.)

Other than that, I enjoyed traveling alone. If I had someone with me the whole time, I would have been immensely annoyed. London is a great city and I can see myself living there.

I’m also stoked for Edinburgh next year now! Whoever wants to join me (Tumblr invitation extended) do tell! Let’s be comedy friends!

April 6, 2012

On another instalment of Shit Teah’s Done, I met Mark Watson last week (click on the photos!)

Last year, I pimped the hell out of his book, Eleven, because it formed an emotional connection with me that I have never experienced with a book. It inspired me to be a better writer because the simple yet beautifully crafted prose captured me intensely.

Thus, the book stuck with me even until now. Even when I’ve read it several times, even when I flip open a random page, even when it winks at me whenever I glance at my shelf.

Eleven is my Special Book.

When I got the invitation by Watson to meet him via Tweets (I went to see him perform on Thursday night, which was what my initial Tweet was about), a part of my brain had a difficult time registering the occurrence. “Is this really happening? How is this even possible?” I would spontaneously laugh at how strange the invitation is; other times, my stomach threatened to vomit out its content.

This made me reflect on my life as a person who lives in a remote country of Brunei, and the things I’ve done to meet the people who inspire me. But I’ve never gotten an invitation similar to what happened between Watson and I. Therefore, a part of me couldn’t register the strange probability, not only because I cannot understand probability calculations but because I WILL BE MEETING THE MAN WHO WROTE MY SPECIAL BOOK.

This was what Hazel Grace Lancaster felt when she was about to meet Peter Van Houten!

I waited an hour outdoors after David O’Doherty’s show (which was awesome, by the way) before I was scheduled to meet Watson. The Melbourne weather took a harsh turn as the temperature dropped to 6 degrees, and my clothes refused to keep me warm as it blanketed my body.

When I finally met Watson, the nerves went away.

And there I was, a normal conversation with the guy who wrote my Special Book, and nothing else mattered.

December 4, 2011

TEDxWomen Singapore

I had a lot of expectations about TEDxWomen in Singapore, mostly because female empowerment is an area that I am very passionate about.

If you don’t want to read a bad review, do not read this entry.

Read More

July 22, 2011

Piception: LeakyCon Edition is up.

Reblog, spread it like wildfire. I want everyone involved to see this!

Thanks to everyone who participated, are enthusiastic about me taking a picture of their face, and generally for being very, very nice to me about this. My love for your kindness knows no boundaries.

(Source: teeaah)

July 21, 2011
I bumped into Alex when we were going for Open at the Close. Five minutes into the walk, Alex whispered to me that the Starkid gang were walking behind us, promptly making us to walk slower (I swear I’m not a stalker and not that creepy, but I went on a whim to entertain Alex’s excitement.) Eventually, we were walking beside them. And then she and I started taking pictures. This picture came out and it looks creepier than it should, which reflects what creepers we were. But I love this photo and I adore Alex.
The Starkid were nice people when I got the chance to talk to them later that night. Also, we can all agree that Nick Lang impregnated every girl in the ballroom when he cried, right? For the record, the DeGeorge brothers impregnated me every time I see them because they were such huge nerdy dorks and I adore them and I cry from laughing thinking about Snitchwiches every single time.

I bumped into Alex when we were going for Open at the Close. Five minutes into the walk, Alex whispered to me that the Starkid gang were walking behind us, promptly making us to walk slower (I swear I’m not a stalker and not that creepy, but I went on a whim to entertain Alex’s excitement.) Eventually, we were walking beside them. And then she and I started taking pictures. This picture came out and it looks creepier than it should, which reflects what creepers we were. But I love this photo and I adore Alex.

The Starkid were nice people when I got the chance to talk to them later that night. Also, we can all agree that Nick Lang impregnated every girl in the ballroom when he cried, right? For the record, the DeGeorge brothers impregnated me every time I see them because they were such huge nerdy dorks and I adore them and I cry from laughing thinking about Snitchwiches every single time.

July 19, 2011
Hey, LeakyCon people! These are instant photographs I took during the con. If you remember a girl lunging around a squirty looking camera and pointing it to your face, that was me!! I’ll get the pictures scanned and up by the end of the week. I love you all!!

Hey, LeakyCon people! These are instant photographs I took during the con. If you remember a girl lunging around a squirty looking camera and pointing it to your face, that was me!! I’ll get the pictures scanned and up by the end of the week. I love you all!!

August 22, 2009

Graduating NUS

After a stream of events from the past month, the many occurrences has got me thinking. I’m not sure who I am writing this for. Maybe it’s for Bruneians who has played it safe all their lives, or people who are about go head to university. But I hope you find this useful, as a tip or as a reconsideration.

Three years ago I applied to six universities in the UK. One rejected me, four are complete crap and one was a mediocre uni. Out of spite, I applied to National University of Singapore for fun, knowing that I won’t get into a top global university.

Sometime in April of ‘06, I received a heavy package in the mail, on the side etched the emblem of NUS. Popsicle (my awesome father) was in China that time. I made a long distance call to ask him for tip on whether or not I should accept the entrance, especially with only three days left to accept/reject the offer. He said I should do it. He said I will thank him in the future. I contemplated United Kingdom and Singaland.

In the end, I ended up going to NUS due to distance from Brunei, cost of living during a coming recession (I KNOW, PRACTICAL!), and especially the fact that it’s a top university. I knew nothing of the school and less so about the course I would be taking. There were few Brunei students who I could go to when I first arrived there, only meeting one nearly two months after I arrived. In my second year, I regretted going there. I was angry with Popsicle, and angry at the amount of work I was getting. I loved my classes, don’t get me wrong, but if a B grade is considered as bad? Yeah, that is not fun.

My life in Singapore was spent studying a lot. I had to find ways to balance school and social life. It was difficult. I was studious during A Levels, rejecting my social life 90% of the time. I wasn’t the top student; I was up there but not the top. My teachers loved the fact that I always send in essays on time, and still managed to do extra load of work on my personal account. NUS was a lot worse than the extra load I did in A Levels. First week of school were immediately dedicated to getting your mindset back to studying and catching up with lectures. I was angry with how NUS treats international students who never studied in Singapore. We were crippled, having to compete with local students’ work ethics. As a studious and nerdy student, I don’t think I could catch up with how the locals mind works. I only managed it in my last year of uni.

Despite anger and regret, I found myself enjoying my second half of my second year up until the last year of uni. My professors and classes in NUS fuelled my need to understand the world, fuelled my love towards analysis and allowed me to do time management between work and play. My Political Science classmates—all douches—challenged my brain. My Southeast Asian Studies peers encouraged one another’s passion for discussions and answering regional issues. I loved a majority of my classes, except my statistics and science ones (I DID ENGINEERING!) I LOVED doing research and writing papers, and did them with complete zeal. The people I surrounded myself with in NUS was like a circle of family: conflict and love. I had a decent social life and managed good grades throughout my last year and a half.

I have a Bachelor in Arts in Political Science with a minor in Southeast Asian Studies. I didn’t write a thesis. I don’t have honours because the school wouldn’t let me. That’s how bad I did. I figured I would graduate handicapped. This means I will have less pay in offering my services for my scholarship bond. I thought it meant that I will be looked down on when I get to do my interview. I hated myself two months ago, thinking I made a big mistake in my life. Shit! I didn’t even get to travel as much as my friends in the UK. Fuck you!

After three weeks of interview process for a job with the government, I found it slightly surprising that I managed to finish my work with over half a day to spare, while everyone finished it a few hours before the presentation. Three years of feeling stupid in NUS, when in actuality I was just not one of the best in the uni and in my departments. But NUS did shaped me to be critical enough, analytical enough, and form a love towards working, political analysis and the world. My professors provided me tools and tips on how to be a great scholar. It also shaped me to appreciate people I meet, douches or not. NUS shaped me to have a wonderful balance of work and social life. It taught me to hate, but it taught me that hatred can shift to a weird kind of love. I don’t love NUS, but I love how it has made me who I am now.

I’ve heard stories of Bruneians giving up NUS after less than a year, and some even hated their majors until they graduate, ergo finding them completely useless. I loved mine, and I still love it now. And if I get that fucking job, it won’t be worse than what I went through the past 3 years. I took up a challenge, completed it, and only felt the success when people are currently fighting to get me now. And I continue to ask people for challenges.

For that, I thank you Popsicle for making me to go through the stupid school.

August 2, 2009

Complimentary THAT TRIP ONE WEEK AGO post

I have finally settled down (almost. I’m mighty jet-lag) and have finally decided to reflect on Geek Tour, especially since I was talking to my brother about it (I’m back in Brunei too!) I am still battling this jet-lag that I can’t seem to shake off, so I think bullet points would be sufficient. These are my highlights.

San Francisco, California

  • A beautiful city. I loved it. Know that quote by Mark Twain “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”? That’s an accurate depiction.
  • Azkatraz was surreal. These are the kind of people I’ve interacted with since I was 14. What’s awesome about this convention was that everybody was nice, and constantly excited of one thing or another. There were no status of who has the power and who doesn’t. I mean, Chris Rankin run my back over with a door and was still like a normal human being. I didn’t get tongue tied when I met anyone at all.
  • People are wonderful, it’s ridiculous. I never met an asshole during the whole time I was in SF. I even hugged a homeless person. How many Bruneian tourist can say that?
  • I went to so many W-rock shows!
  • Meeting my charity hero, Andrew Slack, who I had hilarious discussions with. How can you be funny and so benevolent is beyond me! He gave me tips about certain things that I simply cannot wait to start on for a project I will be running soon.

10 hour drive passing and battling Los Angeles traffic, we arrived in wonderful San Diego.

San Diego, California

  • Just a tad bit warmer, by a lot. No fogs in sight, unlike SF where you can see fogs rolling down. The weather was perfect when I was there. I can legit tell you that I didn’t sweat at all during the whole trip.
  • Remember when I said I love San Francisco? Well, I love San Diego more by a mile and a half. The beach was cold, but really tolerable. I wanted to freeze my ass off when we got lost at a beach in San Francisco.
  • I think I have enough geek to last me ten years.
  • I had hilarious conversations with a lot of people there. For instance, I bumped into the guy who wrote the Robot Chicken: Star Wars, and had an intense discussion about fluorescent green pants and leather pants.
  • LOST panel. We woke up at 4, got in line until 1015. I think that’s sufficient dedication on Lana and my parts. (Also, San Diego Convention Center, I would like to tip my metaphorical hat to you for having such comfortable grass for me to sleep on!)

I obviously have many more, but I especially would like to celebrate my companions, who tolerated my constant sleeping and intense jet-lag, and who could spend two hours reading Kate Beaton comic strips. Importantly, I am really glad that I didn’t do any touristy things other than go to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. These places are heavily targeted to tourists, and I don’t want to understand a culture by going to places that the tourism board specifically build upon. I am glad of the interactions I did with locals.

PS: Did not do any shopping.