Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cheap Prom...

Hmmm… so who said going to a prom cost a fortune?

I unfortunately, did not have the privilege to go for my high school prom night because it was right after church youth camp, and I was dead tired during that time, so okay, skip that one.

During the 1st half of college life, Suan Aik was kind enough to let me in his band to be a bassist (which consist of Darren, an incredible drummer; Eong Xien, I must say he’s a really really good guitarist; and Ben, his vocal totally rox; and not to forget Suan Aik, another talented guitarist… no idea how they do it, they say they don’t take lessons), and somehow we manage to get a spot to perform during ICPU’s prom night, yeah, I know I am a SAM student, but a job’s a job man.

Things seem to go on fine till this fat dude appeared, he’s some ICPU big guy I guess, and he just have some anti-thingy with bands. So, when he sees us he told us that if we wanted to perform we had to buy tickets, since we are all ICPU students and it would only be fair that way. Then Suan Aik said: “No sir, I am the only ICPU student, the rest aren’t…” Then the fatty goes saying about how it’s a PRIVILEDGE to perform for the ICPU prom blah blah blah… Goodness, we pay to perform? Not like is a contest or something right?

Basically, the whole band already knows that the fatty wants us to buy tickets because he did not meet his quota of people who needs to be at the prom and he’s losing money. But even with the obvious fact, he still goes blabbering about the fact that if we don’t buy the tickets the people working in Sheraton will count more heads, which would end up they having to fork out their own money and stuff, or somehow illegal immigrants would enter because we can enter. Then he asked some cool Indian dude who was their emcee last year and also this year: "Did we let you in free last year?" (I guess he’s hoping to hear a ‘no’) But to his horror the emcee said: “Sir, you paid us 300 ringgit to be your emcees” Buahaha, really kena him man that time, then he kind of switch topics about how emcees being more important and stuff like that… I mean, the point is, if someone performs for you, you’re suppose to pay them brother, not the other way round. It was super hard just to convince him that we are not there for the food, but just to perform and get some experience performing for a crowd. We could perform and leave, but noOO, he keeps changing the topic. As if we had some evil motives behind. Bah~

Somehow we manage to settle the problem and manage to get one table for free, yay! Well, there was this other Indian band that shared the table with us, since they were performing too, but weirdly during the fatty’s interrogation we were the one that got the most out of him though. Nevertheless, we were glad that we manage to get a free table.

Just when we thought that the fatty has a kind side, we were shocked to find out that he did not prepare any music equipment for us on the prom day itself. Aiyoh, just because we did not pay for the prom don’t need lah have your revenge like that. Because of that, all of us got to use our own equipment which was suppose to be our monitor amp when we perform to become the main speakers. Imagine using 15-25 watt amplifiers to allow a whole ballroom to hear what you are playing… we thought it was impossible, but after testing out, thank God that it was sufficient, don’t need to pack our bags and leave that means ha-ha.

So, off we performed that day! Not bad for few tiny amps and my 65 watt bass amp which was put on full blast till I think it kind of spoilt because of that. Our first two songs (or was it three?) had some good reception, could see people feeling the beat to our music. But our later two songs didn’t have much feedback from the crowd, mainly because most of the people went out to take photos of their beautiful selves in Cinderella dresses and cool suits, I guess, during the later part of the prom. And who in the world would want to sit down and listen to a band during prom anyways. So yeah, we were really disappointed during the second half, but then I realize, as a band we should enjoy ‘playing’ the music, and not enjoying the woo’s and ah’s from the crowd—the attention from the people. Reminds me that when we are serving God in church as musicians, song leaders or backup singers, we should always remember we are playing the music and singing to please our Lord, not to please the people and hope they award you with some medal for being so ‘geng’ in what you do. Glorify God, not men, something I must always try to remember.

Here’s a picture from Eong Xien during that night:

Yeah, I know… I know, why all not wearing suit one! Aiyoh, I have difficulties just playing my instrument standing up, if I was wearing a suit and play, the sound that comes out would be noise not music anymore. And it would be freaking weird if all of us wear suits to play, or cool if you’re errr weird I guess. Anyway, all in all, first prom didn’t cost me anything, but it did cost lots of energy (and some money for the jam sessions) preparing for the performance and convincing the fatty to allow us to perform, for free…

My second prom didn’t cost me much either… paid 80 bucks for the SAM prom ticket, and that was all.

Well, at first I really wanted to put up a show and all by buying my own tux and perhaps go for some killer hair-do and stuff like that, you know all the hype before the prom thingy when suddenly I realize that I don’t have a date (yeah, like as if I ever had one in my life) and there’s nothing to look forward to that day, accept perhaps the food. That in a way made me decide to maybe skip the prom night, since it may end up being super boring, but being the stingy me, the 80 bucks made me think otherwise.

And because of that, I lost the urge to go out and spend big bucks preparing all the gears for prom. It was only on the evening of the prom night which I decided that I should go, because well, it could be the last day where I could meet my college mates then. Then the problem came, what in the world am I suppose to where over there, I mean, I did not go shopping man. So the scavenger hunt began…

In the end, this was what I came up with (don’t ask me what brand is it, I have no idea) [Wei Qi, me and Wai Soon in the picture]:

Coat: Borrowed from dad
White long sleeved shirt: Borrowed from elder brother
Pants: Borrowed from elder brother
Leather Belt: Borrowed from dad
Socks: Borrowed from dad
Shoes: Borrowed from dad

Basically I borrowed everything from my dad and brother, yeah, call me cheap, but I think this is cost saving ha-ha. And anyway, most people wear their prom attire once and never use it again, having the fear that people would criticize them for wearing the same thing twice, bah, peer pressure. And yeah, really thank God that I manage to whip up a hair style correctly for once that day in 10 minutes, that was the first and hopefully not the last time I could do something like that (well, you know, no hair now ha-ha). My hair was always a natural disaster, I could never get it to the way I want it… but I think the main reason would be because I am super lazy to prepare it right, prefer sleeping through it.

There you have it, how to reduce cost for your prom night so you can afford tickets for your date that day! Well, actually I almost managed to escape paying 80 bucks for the ticket if our band managed to enter to perform during my SAM prom night, but the principle only allowed one band to perform which unfortunately weren’t us. NOT because we were terrible, but because the principle thought that each band would need its own set of equipments, which would cost a fortune for them. Only later did we realize the misunderstanding but it was too late. So, the band which had a violinist manage to get the band spot, and they did a really good job that day, problem was people were taking photos during that time, and yeah, you know what happens next… no one listens and everyone leaves the ballroom to take pictures of their pretty selves. Yeah, me and my whole class were guilty of that, too, ha-ha. Didn’t regret going for the SAM prom night, it really was the last day to meet some of my college friends, and yeah, talked a lot of crap that day. One thing though, never eat with a class that consists of engineering students. Because most of the students in the pre-engineering class were guys, the food kind of finish off way too fast. We didn’t realize how fast we were eating till we saw that our food were different from that of the other tables, one order faster than all the others beside us, goodness.

So, yeah, who said going to prom cost a fortune?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Of shingles, gastric, dreamz, and fever

Woah, last week was terrible…

Well, I had rashes at my back for quite sometime, since the last chemotherapy treatment (which is last last Tuesday), doctor said it was because of the prednisolone pills which I take daily plus the fact that my immune system has drop to an all time low. The rashes looks really terrible, but since it doesn’t itch nor hurt, I didn’t bother to visit a skin specialist or do any treatment on it, and yeah, last time I had it too, and it did go away, so why shouldn’t it this time… that’s what I thought.

So, last week something weird happen, the rashes at the back seem to have come to the front and I was starting to have a slight fever. WOahhhkay, that shouldn’t happened I thought to myself, but still did not worry too much about it. Visited the doctor again the next day of the discovery, and the doctor was advising me to go and check up with a skin specialist, just in case anything happens. Problem is, the skin doctor he recommended isn’t in the hospital during that time as he has another clinic, being the super lazy me, I decided to ‘ponteng’ the check up, since I thought the skin wasn’t much of a problem.

Then Friday came, was still having a fever and mother was getting worried, off to the hospital again we go. Well, before the doctor said anything he decided to check my rashes again, and too his and our horror, he said I had herpes (Okay, honestly speaking, I did not worry yet, mainly because I have no idea what that was, only when he said admitted I when ‘gulp’). (Chinese people call it the ‘snake’ because it actually coils around your body, and if it actually completes one circle I am dead, or so they say, urban legends?) And I had to be admitted to the hospital. Goodness, not staying in the hospital again, I dread that place, but I guess that’s a punishment for being so ignorant of checking up with a skin specialist…

*For those who want to check what herpes is on the internet, type “shingles” instead, as if you type “herpes” you will most probably get results that say it’s a sexually transmitted disease, NOOOO I did not had that. That’s because shingles are also called ‘herpes zoster’. For those who are just too lazy to check what it is, basically it’s the reactivation of chicken pox. And no, even if u had chicken pox if I want to pass it to you I can buahahaha, but if you did not had chicken pox before, then you will get chicken pox only though.

Got admitted and waited like forever again for the skin doctor to see me. Thank God that Reverend Chuah and Teacher Derek were there to keep me company awhile, and yeah, mom, too, ha-ha. Around 5 something in the evening the skin specialist came, had a look, confirmed it as shingles, prescribe antibiotic pills and how to treat the infected area with cream and bandages. I was starting to wonder why in the world must I get admitted to the hospital if it was just ‘pills’. So I asked him:

“Doctor, does that mean I can go home now?”

Doctor: “Yeah, if you want to.”

Me thinking in my head: “So what am I doing on a hospital bed =.=…”

Later the nurse told me that if it was another skin specialist that check up on me, he would definitely put me on antibiotic drips, that’s why Doctor Rudy, my hematologist doctor, asked me to be admitted. I was about to jump with joy with the fact that I don’t need to stay overnight in the hospital when Doctor Rudy told me that I better stay for one day, in case of any side effects or stuff like that and it would be a good time for mom to learn how to apply the cream and the bandages. Okay, better be safe than sorry. And as I was lying on the bed, I was like, okay, I should have just asked the nurse to prick me and get my blood instead of putting one whole chemo-pod thingy on me. Bah~ wasted…

But that night sleeping was terrible…

Not only was my shingles starting to hurt like crap, my gastric was also hurting, and I had fever, another 3 hit combo like last time (which was fever, some infection which opens a wound that couldn’t heal for some days, and ulcers in the tongue). Couldn’t sleep for the whole night, sigh. And even if I did manage to sleep, I woke up one hour later, although it seems like I had already slept for 5-6 hours. Well, guess when you’re suffering time somehow purposely slows down, and when you’re having fun, time goes super fast. Hope it could be reverse though, that way I could “seem” to get much sleep during college life even though the sleeping time was darn short.

And that’s not the worst part, when you’re having a fever, dreams tend to appear in loops (yeah, not again). (Well, I didn’t dream during the night I was in hospital with shingles though, that’s because, I couldn’t actually sleep that night) So, to those who are having fever my advice to you would be: please don’t go and watch action-packed movies or movies that you would die if you did not go and watch in the cinemas (unless the movies you are dying to watch is something that goes so slow and boring, than yeah, by all means go ahead). Watch something like “Seabiscuit”, not to say is a bad movie, it really is good, but it doesn’t have any super fast paced movements, unless erm the horses just move too fast for you. I remembered the first time I suffered a fever because of chemotherapy, I had just watched “Alien vs Predator” and “Species 2”, yeah, imagine the horror. Dreaming of being some lorry driver that has to send alien eggs to some unknown place that I can’t and never reach, having 3 annoying ‘sidekicks’ in the lorry which I have no idea come out from which movie, and even as I was thinking why the heck must I work as a lorry driver that will be soon under attack by aliens I can’t seem to get out of the dream. Okay, this time around I watched “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”, it wasn’t so bad, just watching cars zoom by. Problem is, the same cars zooms by for the whole night I was sleeping, and I could only see trails of lights of the cars, can’t even see the model of the car or anything else for that matter. Talking about dying of boredom, but at least I don’t need to work or anything, just need to strain my eyes trying to know what model the car was…

Thank God the light of dawn eventually came…

Manage to able to have some sweet rest eventually when I got home, somehow the gastric pain went away, the shingles didn’t hurt so bad, and the fever could always be suppressed by panadols. Ah, but I missed all the good events that Saturday and Sunday: the worship workshop in the morning, Li woon’s gathering, Suan Aik’s farewell and a band gig on Sunday night.

Then again, being able to rest at home sweetly… after suffering so many sleepless night and pain, is more than I can ask for.

Sometimes things like these tend to make you ask God why? Why must I go through all these things? Why can’t I just be like some normal dude who goes to college or university? And before I want to ask some more whys… I remembered who can compare with God’s wisdom? He knows what’s best, maybe I wouldn’t turn away from my old ways if I didn’t have this sickness? Perhaps I would still be spiritually too weak and filled with doubts? And even if I want to start complaining about all my sufferings to God, I’ll be reminded then… how about Jesus? He suffered and died a horrible death and rose again on the third day to set us all free from sin.

And that is more than enough to thank God for everything that has happened to me.