May 31, 2006

may mayhem

from french art to indonesian art

"He put it together and came up with this interesting piece of art that encapsulates how time stood still for the people of Yogyakarta during the calamity."

May 2006 marks the month when yet another major calamity struck our neighbour country, Indonesia. Before this was the tragedy at Acheh, not so long ago. And Mount Merapi awaits its final moment to lash out yet another round of hardship to the Indonesian.

Not so long ago, a few months ago, I received an email from a coursemate of mine. It was a forward mail. God knows how many times it had gone around the world. It was an article about why the sinophobic indonesian does not deserve the help from others, especially the Chinese. There were pics of horrible rape, murder and torture of men and women, especially the Chinese during the Indonesian Riot May 1998, quoting that all the calamity is a payback for their sins. I deleted it immediately. Some of the pics from that mail were vaguely like the ones below.

The past is the past. We must forgive, but never forget. Does Indonesian themselves realized their own grave mistakes?

Somehow, I am truly sadden by the news of the earthquake in Jogyakarta. Skeptical as I am today, I really question whether all this disaster is a payback to the Indonesian.

Perhaps it is true that somehow you reap what you sow. The horror that they did to others sons and daughters will come back to you in a miraculous way.

Nevertheless, it is a sad sad state in Indonesia, and irrespective of race and skin colour, one should help and donate to the people there.

As for Malaysian, hope this time, we can give donation with a sincere . I still remember when items collection was done at a local temple, many people were donating stupid items like rusty badminton rackets, trophies, torn underwear and etc etc.

bonjour & bunga

french art festival continues with the theater titled 'men without shadows'. It's a touching scene, but within my expectation. The story is a bit confusing as it started off with no intro and we had to figure out the whole story along the way.

personally, 'babel' was a better treat for me. Anyway, its script was beautifully written and the actor really work their ass off to make it very very dramatic. At one point, one of the soldier spits on one of the prisoner, right in the face, between the eyes.

and I

sheau wern, kar loon, gab, kah chong

scene 2: the interrogation room

fine talent: actors & actresses

elsewhere, penang floral festival is on now... where else? at botanical garden lor...

May 29, 2006

paint job

back at home, the pathetic main domain for several family of fungi were cleared up (blasted with high jet of water, harshly brushed) for the masterpiece of the century. ahem.
my dad finally gave me the green light to proceed with another of my holiday project.

i started painting the wall white and then another layer of superlight yellow. then, it was back to the drawing board for design to pass my dad grand approval.
he supported this wall project with several comments and critism, even injected a few ideas into my masterpiece. (ahem again)

The title of my wall painting is 'sabbe sankhara aniccati'
It is Pali language meaning all things is impermenant.
It consists of 4 main drawings of the 4 seasons, with a hidden meaning in each of them. Each of them, too is drawn within the letters and chinese character of my surname (L-O-W- 'liu')

that's my dad

summer 'O'

the in betweens

ending winter 'liu' and signature...

the ultimate album

click here the full album

May 26, 2006

babble of babel

french festival blasted off with a great art dance show titled 'Babel' in Penang at the Auditorium P.Ramlee. It really exceeded my expectation. 6 dancers, 4 male, 2 female. great hip hop combined with traditional beautifully choreographed with several theme. it is just so darn good and great. Bravo to Najib Guerfi, the dancer and director of this dance. They danced on the stage and on scaffold. Rather dangerous.

there were not much of parking space at that place and so i went there early with my pal, Gab and his gf. Gab was saying that Babel is a tower stated in the bible, where the united people of certain place wanted to build it to reach somewhere and perhaps have a forum with God. In response, God made the 'united' people speak different languages and therefore, confusing or splitting them.
According to the narrative in Genesis Chapter 11 of the Bible, the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens. Because man had it in his heart to be like God, God stopped this project by confusing their languages so that each spoke a different language. As a result, they could no longer communicate with one another and the work was halted. The builders were then scattered to different parts of Earth. This story is used to explain the existence of many different languages and races.
going for the theater this friday.. hopefully it will be a blast, too..

May 18, 2006

boy, grown-up, old man

back in penang now. unemployed and broke. packing up my stuff and making a hell of a project book out of my photos from australia, reading up few great books that I had from the garage sale in aus. looking forward to the dance performance 'babel' coming monday in conjunction with french art festival.

have to do various stuff for my house too. scrap off the old paint of the long wall and paint something really neat there. shall be busy looking for ideas from books in MPH.

had an eventful mothers' day.

found the following very touching...

"Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the little old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
"I do that too," laughed the old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded. "So do I."
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
"I know what you mean," said the little old man."

boy, grown-up and little old man. the past, present and future.

little old man was once a grown-up. did he realize the existence of the "boy" and "little old man" during his time?

boy is soon going to be a grown-up. will he turn out to be yet another typical "grown-up"?

an early "happy fathers' day" to all great dad in the world...

why such an early greeting? I am sexist mar. chooi mer (cantonese) =P

May 15, 2006

untapped market

I grew up in a very thrifty environment. Maybe I am being very harsh on myself, using the word thrifty instead of the polite word ‘economical’. It was nothing that I was proud of till recently. My dad is a collector. No, he doesn’t own the most beautiful collection of stamps or coins, neither does he own the weird collection of some of the items featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not (read toilet bowl cover). Actually, in actual sense, he is not really a collector. Things just really piled up throughout the years, perhaps. My father is a true believer in recycling, but not because of the environment, but because of the cost of it. He is an industry metal engraver (not the artistic type), working in the workshop attached to the rear of my home. Somehow, the whole workshop seems like a different world from other part of the house.

Okay, back to the collector part. Here’s a list of the items which is actually non-exhaustive in actual sense. One, glass bottles from drinks and herbal medicine (usually chicken essence) will be used later as storage for various chemicals or paint. Secondly, boxes in various sizes from various objects kept to be used later on to store other stuff. Thirdly, newspapers for were used mostly as cover for the top of rack or some furniture, and to be changed once it got dusty. Therefore, one doesn’t have to stretch your long arms to wipe them. Not to mention, newspapers for my dad seems to be something so versatile that reading the news on it just the tip of the iceberg for its usage. The few items stated above were something that he will reuse for the second time, and then be thrown away eventually. What was saved was the money to buy a new container and the troublesome process of cleaning it. In addition, there were various raw material ie woods, metal, paint, and etc that were kept to be used later.

As a great influence to me, I was once a collector, too. Feeling a great resistance whenever I wanted to throw away something which I knew it could be used for something else one fine day. I slowly felt that I was really worth it as I don’t have to dig out any extra bucks when I can use that stuff. One example was the little "Christmas in a can" gift for my girlfriend was from the sardine can. I was meaningful in a sense that those meant-for-sandwich sardines were bought for me, after I told her about the ‘boring’ food prepared in my college. One thing perhaps that I was different from my dad was that I do kept lots of my stuff because of their sentimental value. I still keep some of my used primary school exercise books. I kept the stage decoration of ‘the leaf from the red bean’ which I painstakingly made using electrical saw which was used in Malam Suai Kenal, UM Buddhist Society, back in my second year. I still keep a note that was stuck to my reading booth of Guthrie Study Room which read ‘Robert Richard’ from this mamat, during our thrilling first semester exam of first year. The resistance in throwing any of this stuff is really great, making my every effort most of the time seems very futile. As time goes by, I think I had cook up enough courage to threw away some of them, but I took a photo of them before their disposals, of course. And some were kept for other purposes.

I think it is fair that my dad would be considered a second-hand item collectors, or in a much proper way, domestic second-hand item collectors. Come to think of it. If those items were not kept, they would end up as another mountain of garbage. I think my dad had done a good job, but still, I will want to make a point. All those second-hand items can be kept but their storage method must fulfill this 2 points:

1 It must be kept orderly so that finding them for future use would be more convenient than the effort of buying them off the rack in local grocery story. (or else, we're just piling up a mountain of rubbish at home)

2 It must use up as little space possible and not cause appalling influence on the general outlook of the home.

Second-hand items can be big business, which was proven successful with books. I believed it would be successful, too for various items which one uses for only a short brief period of time. Today, as I drove past by local kindergartens, I watched with a heavy heart, a motorcycle with a mom and 3 kids on them. All the 3 kids were without any helmet, although the government had made a big effort to urge people to keep the helmet on for the little ones. I believe, the parents don’t really bother to buy a helmet as they knew when their head grew bigger, they will eventually have to throw those helmets away (and perhaps buy another slightly bigger size kiddy helmet). Therefore, unknown to them, they are risking the lives of their children. As the tv ad from channel 5 once said ‘ you can get around the rules, but you can’t get around death’. Anyway, if there are means for parents to buy those second-hand helmets (in good condition), then resell them back later. I will perhaps works.

When the second-hand items shop businesses for various items really expands, I guess people would start cherishing everything and take great care of them, as to capture a higher resale value when the item not needed anymore. And all in all, the amount of rubbish may actually goes down, and Mother earth would look us in the eye and smile. As the old saying goes, yes, old, very old, every thousand steps journey begins with a foot carried forward steadily in front of another foot. yes, a single step.

P/S we actually already have e-bay and, but a big percentage of Msian not so tech-savvy yet, because it is not year 2020 yet.

May 12, 2006

scam or scheme

happy wesak day to all. pretty free this few days. woke up early, went to a 'seminar' together with qi and her grandma. yes, seminar... not temple. temple later.

a brief intro about this seminar

main target audience were the uncles and aunties in the neighbourhood. four seminars a day, being 8am, 1am, 2pm and 7pm session. it is being held in a relatively empty airconditioned shop house without any furniture except for plenty of plastic chairs for the audience. entry fee per person RM1 and each receive a card which is able to change with some free gifts. today the free gifts are 2 dark black kicap per person (yesterday was 3 bottles of ketchup sauce). the company is happy YG house (chinese name being yuan qi yang shen guan which is literally translated as yuan qi health centre) with the logo being the lovely cartoon of an old elderly auntie and uncle. the whole seminar was about a middle age guy talking on a lousy mic that goes off intermittently trying to introduce several products, with their main product being the longan nectar, of which they introduced it to auntie and uncle as royal jelly. Each 1kg bottle is RM 50, and every 3 bottles free 1 small bottle. They also introduce big lousy thermal cooker RM 200 each. Each purchase also earned points and stand a chance for a lucky draw for a 'mystery' gift.

basically, i see this as a very carefully planned marketing scheme to target the housewives, uncles and aunties to buy a product directly from them. sometimes, one would buy because others in the neighbourhood were buying them and were brainwashed to think that the product is relatively cheap, just like some toy craze started among the children from time to time.

the longan nectar

this seems to be a cheap item as it had great creative packaging that makes it look very elegant. but on further investigation on this item, there's lots of fishy points about it.

it does not have any date due.
the manufacturing company 'carasinar sdn bhd' had a bad record.
it did not have any meditag
on a different note about traditional medication, here's something from an archive of MMR blog.

"My fear of herbal advocates is that people may not seek proper medical care until things are too late thinking something like Pegaga juice may miraculously cure their dengue.
Please note too that in dengue, herbs or "supplements" which affect platelet function or promote "circulation" may actually increase the tendency to bleed which is already high in dengue patients. They MUST NOT be given to patients with dengue.
These include:
Ginseng products
Ling Zhi
Large doses of garlic

I don't know how people can conclude that Pegaga "cures" dengue. Anything given during the tail end of an illness may seem to miraculously cure it. So if I give some mysterious concoction to a dengue patient around the 6th day of illness and the next day the fever subsides, is it correct for me to say I have "cured" the patient of dengue? Come on people. I am sure you have more sense than that...." posted by Palmdoc @ 6:39 AM on Sunday, January 23, 2005

May 8, 2006

blue monday

1 month old henry

return to tanahairku yesterday night. long flight. tired but happy.
today a gloomy day. there he lies lifeless in the car. despite all effort, he did not make it. it was henry. earlier he was lethargic and weak, but today he was breathing heavily, pale and seems dehydrated. me and qi travelled 1 hour just to get to the animal doctor Koh, just to find the clinic closed. The clinic will reopened 5pm, but the graceful canine passed away peacefully 4.51pm.

he will always be in our memory. a tribute to henry, qi's dearest companion and friend.

henry (30 may 1998 - 8 may 2006)