Sunday, June 30, 2013

Musical journey (36)

As a person who loves to sing, I really don't do enough KTV-style karaoke. I very much prefer open mic nights as I love an audience and want desperately to share my passion for performing with as many people as possible, which explains the existence of my blog and YouTube channel.

Recently I placed Gumtree and Craigslist ads (my second attempt) asking for busking buddies and I received two encouraging replies—one from a young classical pianist who also plays pop and is willing to be my instrumentalist and another who wants me to front a pop punk rock band (a la Jimmy Eat World), which I gladly accepted (I know this is so not my genre but I think I am versatile enough as a performer to switch—and who would pass off a chance to front a band?!).

Unfortunately I can only start busking when the pianist can afford the keyboard that he wants (around Christmas time when the sales come on). Also one of the guitarists and the keyboardist from the yet-to-be-established band decided to pull out. Sigh. The road of a performer is often fraught with obstacles and this again affirms my decision not to get into music full-time and give up my sort of "lucrative" chemical engineering profession. That does not mean that I will go soft on my endeavour to reduce the damage a job I have zero passion for can do to my well-being. So onwards I plod in my pursuit at becoming a legitimate singer and song-writer.

Back to the topic of karaoke, I mainly go there to sing to an impressionable audience (of less than five people most of the time) and also to try out new songs that I have learnt. Lately I discovered another reason—to record my singing and post it here and so this month's musical journey will feature the first of such videos. This is a cover of a song titled "醉赤壁" by a Singaporean singer called JJ 林俊傑. I hope you will enjoy this rendition (pardon the mid-song interruption when a friend entered the room).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brisbane through Facebook

Now that I have returned from Brisbane and back in the stressful Melbourne office, I am back in this rut cycle of a crazily speedy blur of a week and a slump-on-the-couch vegetative weekend. As a result this lazy post shall simply be a collection of Facebook updates during my three-month stint in Brisbane. However very exciting things are going to happen next month—I will be published in a magazine in Thailand which I will be the cover story (available free in hard copies and online) as well as in an online magazine based in the UK (available free for the uncensored version but you'd have to pay for the full version). I have seen the preview of the former so I know that is in the bag but the latter might still be a maybe so we shall see (pretty certain that it will go ahead though). In any case, I think I am doing quite well as a geeky chemical engineer to be able to get published on an ongoing basis as a "model" who does it only as a hobby (previous articles here, here and here).

So in July watch out for these firsts in my life—being published twice in a month, being a cover model and being full-frontally exhibited in a magazine packed with a whole lot of other really hot guys for the world to see. In the meantime, let these chronological Facebook updates offer you a little insight into my life in Brisbane.

"Brisbane is too hot and these few days are supposed to be unusually cool! Apartment is too big for myself (and has no Internet!). Work is OK so far but my lead is yet another aggressive b****. Already scolded by her a few times and I have not even started for 3 days. Consolation: lots of ogling hot muscled guys. Much more than Melbourne and I daresay even more (and of a better breed) than Sydney."

"And I miss my boo so much..."

 "It's back to work tomorrow and my first actual weights session in Brisbane before that. Should I be there when the gym opens at 5.30am?"

"Just finished my first Body Attack with less than 5 people before the last track. Are Brisbanites not into such things?"

"For a little Brisbane update plus my new musical post, hop on down to my blog now!"

"Back in Melbourne. Clean crisp weather, I missed you so...."

"Happy Mardi Gras to all my Sydney friends!"

"The weather in Brisbane is so sucky right now. Glad I am back in Melbourne this weekend. Too bad that sucky weather will still be there to greet me at the Brisbane airport on Monday night."

"Birthday celebrations for Ision Ensor (aka boo) starting in 30 minutes. A buffet place that I always wanted to try followed by "Journey to the West" movie. Then at midnight it's presents time! Boo is going to like his pressie!!!"

"Tick tick tick... Ision Ensor's birthday drawing close. Birthday present to be given in one minute's time!"

"A Victorian going to work on a business trip-arrangement to Queensland. Does he, a Victorian employee get to have the Victorian Labour Day off on 11 March whilst in the Queensland office? Enlighten me."

 "It is back to an Internet-less apartment in a few hours. I will be back over Easter. Boo... I will miss you so much..."

"Shooting gun man in Brisbane CBD at a location that I frequent. And that area is so heavily patrolled by police even. Scary!!!"

"Left my phone in a cab last night. I am trying to see if I can find it this morning but I will be out of contact in the meantime. Worst case scenario = I will lose all my contacts. Blessing in disguise = I can finally switch to a new phone."

"Finally have proper undisturbed Internet access to be on Facebook and also make my newest blog post! Check out my newest musical offering about a doomed relationship that one refuses to end because of how great the sex is."

"(Shared link) I have decided on my next phone. Even though the tablet doesn't have its own engine and is powered only by the phone, I am still going to get this when it is released, hopefully soon."

"Gold Coast day trip tomorrow. Uber hot beach boys here I come!"

"Freakish stormy weather in the city right now. Well, so much for good weather in Brisbane."
Melbourne, I am coming home for Easter."

"Thank goodness booboo is off work today. We really need some together-time today!!!"

"Is Australian a Christian country? Why are Christian messages allowed on national TV on Easter? Is this just a case of 'majority wins' in this state-and-church segregated nation?"

"It is so sickening not to be able to share pictures on the go without a smart phone!!!"

"Saw a Mesarati car ad selling the fact that its top speed is 289km/h. For goodness sake, where on earth on normal traffic roads is one allowed to travel at that speed?"

"You know the preview pic I posted earlier from my first-ever Brisbane shoot? It seems that the series is going to get published in July! YAY! Which means that I cannot post any more from that series till then. By the way, I am in the process of putting another shoot together in Brissy before my work wraps up there. Watch this space!"

"Getting re-acquainted with Xbox-gaming with 'The Witcher 2' right now. Gotta finish this before the 3rd installment comes out."

"As the debate on gay equality heats up again, here is an excerpt of how I felt about this back in 2004. Looks like nothing much has changed."

"Tick tock tick tock... A little more than hour more before I say goodbye to my boo..."

"(Shared picture) My Melbourne photo shoot on the day before my Brisbane assignment. This is one of the few G-rated previews that I can post on Facebook without any censorship. Haha. That shoot was hot!!!"

"Fortitude Valley is the place to be in Brisbane. Out of this suburb, this city is dead at night. Absolutely dead."

"(Shared link) When I saw a huge jump in blog hits, I realised it was from this website. It had a little blurb about me: 'I’m not sure if I’m in favor of an articulate male model. Articulated physically, sure. Having a brain, not so much. Chemical Engineer, Singer/Song-Writer, Model, and Blogger [he] manages to straddle the line with equal doses of his thoughts, his tales of moving from Singapore to Australia, and photos of his buffed body'. Aw.... how nice."  

"Looks like an extension in Brisbane is imminent..."

"Wondering which photo shoot series I am going to post on my blog tomorrow..."

"Here's a new series before I depart for Brisbane yet again. A rare all-smiling series by Rod Sydney. Check it out!"

"Can someone tell me if a joining fee for an airline's frequent flyer program is a standard thing? This is the first time I have heard of such a thing (for Qantas) as all the programs I have joined previously are free. Such a rip-off if you need to pay to join!"

"Goodbye Melbourne. Tempted to say 'Goodbye Melbourne one last time' but I have a feeling that might not be true. I will miss you boo...."

"Brisbane extension to 17 May finally confirmed. Looks like I might be able to squeeze in one more photo shoot! We shall see."

"One more Anzac Day news report and I am going to flip...."

"Heading to the driving range now. I am going to cause a club to hit a ball so that it lands in a distance for the first time."

"Back in Melbourne for the weekend. My last short trip back before another 3 weeks in Brisbane after which my stint in Queensland officially ends. Iron Man 3 with boo tonight and Indonesian Street Festival at Queen Victoria Market tomorrow."

"(Shared MTV) A new song from my favourite singer Faye Wong. Her voice is still as enchanting as ever."

"Anyone knows when Padfone Infinity is going to be released in Asia outside of Taiwan? Or Australia for that matter?"

"Another departure... but this will be the last one, at least for some time. Before I go, here's this month's musical journey. If you like theme songs of corporate events, you are in for a treat."

"I recently heard from someone that it is very likely that Julia Gillard is lesbian and her relationship with the hairdresser is a cover-up. Has anyone heard of this theory before? This does make sense seeing what internalised homophobia can do to a person."

"Perfect weather forecast for this weekend! What shall I do with it? Thursday is my favourite day of the week because it is when anticipation for the weekend peaks."

"Boo, I feel so close to you right now even though we are so far away. Can't live without you very much longer. Happy 6th anniversary Ision Ensor! Here's to many many many more."

"Can someone tell me the release dates in various countries for the Padfone Infinity? And anyone has a picture of it in Champagne Gold?"

"Last full weekend in Brisbane. Must make the best out of it!"

"Last full working day in Brisbane. Come tomorrow, it will only be hand-over, desk-cleanup and project-demobilisation and then I will be out the door and on the plane back to my boo."

"....'cos I am leaving on a jet plane... don't know if I'll be back again..."