Chronicles of The Juggler

Thursday, February 23, 2006

M! The Opera takes official flight

This opera was finally launched on Monday 20th Feb. At the JW Marriot Hotel, KL. Smack in the middle of hell. We had to get there by 1pm latest. It's like the witching hour, except in the day. But the jam wasn't thaaat bad lah.

The gals and.. umm, our very own male geisha Zedeck got our hair done at Grace Salon at BSC. We had to be there by 11am to be done by 12pm. I think most of us made it. The salon girls just wanted to get rid of us as soon as possible. At least those were the vibes I got. What to do.. services for free maaah.

So we got there, walked around, checked out the ballroom, some of us packed and ate Kenny Rogers Roasters for lunch outside the ballroom, coz God knows most of us can't afford to dine in this very upmarket pretentious place.

Then we put on our red and black costume combos, had our blocking and staging done by Jo and then we ran through the line up with Saidah. By then it was nearing 4pm when the press conference was supposed to start. And once again a rush make-up job was called for. All my training after years of getting dressed in hotel rooms/hallways/washrooms/public toilets/make shift changing rooms, and making-up in 20 minutes tops in the same places came into effect again. It's called nerve-wrecking fun.

The pc began. We had speech after speech. Then we were on. I think the sound sucked big time. But all of us performed to the best of our ability, or at least, I hope so. Then we had to take pictures, mingle with the press and whathaveyou. The smart ones headed straight for the food. Haha.

Some of us were interviewed by different media/press people. Some well known bloggers were present too. Justin and I spoke to this guy from an online magazine called Must go check it out.

Hope the press were impressed.

After more mingling and posing for photos (including posing with a new Mercedes car model) we headed back to Bangsar for rehearsals. Of course I got stuck in a jam coz I was on the road during the OTHER witching hour in KL... i.e. 6pm onwards. Helltime again. Got to B'sar in time for a quick stop at Starbucks with the guys before getting to the warehouse.

It was a good day. Glad it's finally out there for the world to buy tickets to come and watch. Now to make sure they have a damn good reason to do so...


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

They say misfortunes/strange occurences come in three's. Or at least, you hear this from friends and the like. This will not be the first for me.

My story today will intend to summon up and hopefully, end the taboo of three crime-related encounters my family and friends had. The degrees of shock value vary in all incidences.

Mom-in-law gets mugged OUTSIDE OUR FRONT GATE.
This happened on Sunday night. Around 10.30pm. I was at PGL. She had just reached home and had gotten out of the car when she noticed this blue Kancil pass her by, then come to a stop and reverse back to where she was. There were four men inside. Her female intuition was kicking in and she was already getting suspicious. Then this guy opened the car door and asked "Mana SS2?" She answered from where she was that it is not this side of town and ran towards the gate. Then she heard footsteps behind her. Before she knew it, the bastard hit her on the head with a baton, while his accomplice tried pulling her bag from her. She fell to the ground aggravating an old injury which shattered her left arm years before, where the screws that were holding it together actually moved out of its sockets and caused a tear in her elbow area. She was holding some work related stuff as well. They all fell to the hard cement ground with her, while those disgusting, lazy, pathetic pieces of shit drove off with her bag and all its contents. She was bleeding profusely from the head. Luckily that night Kenneth was at home. He heard his mom call out for help. He and Satish (his bro) rushed her to the Damansara Specialist Hospital which is like a one minute walk from the house.

The security guard at the hospital heard the shouts and screams my mom-in-law was giving and then he noticed a Kancil drive off very fast. He jotted down the number of the Kancil, just in case. When Kenneth arrived at the entrance he found out that the guard had the number and gave it to the police later. Unfortunately they said they couldn't use it because according to them, these bastards have been on the wanted list for a while. They just go roaming around Damansara, SS3, SS2, Kelana Jaya and Kota Damansara and commit crimes of opportunity. And they keep changing the number plate. In fact, when Kenneth was at the station making the report, he tried his mom's handphone. It rang. And one of the bloody bastards answered it. Kenneth passed the phone to the officer. He then heard the conversation on the officer's side sound something like "Kenapa you buat macam ni ha? Kalau aku tangkap kau mampus kau orang. You kat mana ni sekarang? Ah jaga-jaga. Saya kenal kereta kamu tu. Kau jangan pandu kereta tu tau, nanti aku tangkap kau. Nama saya Detektif Amir. Jaga kamu." Surreal. I wonder what the idiot was saying on the other side.

Dear ol' mom-in-law got three stitches on her head. She was discharged after being kept for one night because her blood pressure was high. Her head is aching, she can't lift her left arm higher than her eye level and her shoulder is bruised.

But she is alive. She went back to work yesterday.

Could my fellow M! The Opera cast member encounter the same assholes above two days later?
Doreen called me yesterday while I was at the office. She spoke fast and firmly. There was a hint of panic and disbelief in her tone. She had just pumped petrol at a station in SS3 and had her wallet with her. She was about to get in when this guy came up to her and asked "MANA SS2"!!!.... Now, I had related my mom-in-law's incident to her the day before. I had told her how they approached and the question they asked. The moment she heard his question, shivers went down her spine. She immediately raised her voice and said no she doesn't know and started getting attention from the other people around her. The minute she did that, this guy fled. He just disappeared. He did not have a car nearby. She did not wait to find out if he had one. He just disappeared around the corner. She called me right after that.

I gave her the name and number of the investigative officer that Kenneth dealt with for his mom's case. I told her to call him and explain what happened, so that they will be aware of the whereabouts of these fellas, IF they are the same ones. She did. But the officer said without a car number plate, it was of no use, but thanks anyway for the information. I think he was probably lazy. And he did jot down her details. She did not need to make a report.

I hope I see her later to find out more details.

And the icing on this crime infested cake...

The emergence of The M Team
The M! The Opera cast had a good rehearsal yesterday. We finished around 11.15pm and as usual, since most of us didn't have time to eat earlier, proceeded to our faithful mamak-around-the-corner, Mahbub, in Bangsar. I arrived there first and got two tables for the 7 of us. As I sat down I noticed some policemen getting on their bikes, probably to continue their neighbourhood rounds after a cup-a-teh-tarik. Then the rest i.e. Janet, Peter, Trudy, Soon Yoon, Usama, Shobha and Justin arrived, in that order. We ordered our food and began our usual banter on M, started cracking some jokes, calling each other names, you know, the usual... usual. Then, this image came round our table, lodged his hand towards Janet's lap and grabbed her bag and began to run. I swore I saw him turn back and look at us from out of his helmet (he still had it on) before he really started off.

At this point, Justin leaped to his feet and started chasing this moron. Peter and Usama did the same, but Justin got a good head start because he was facing the outside and did not have tables and chairs to fight through. Then a few other men from other tables gave chase with Justin as well, while Usama and Peter closed in on him from the left side. By now, this germ had jumped onto the pavement where the bus stop is, in front of B'sar Village. His accomplice was waiting for him on a bike on the main road, and was riding slow enough for his friend to hop on and scoot off. By then, another car saw the chase and closed in on the accomplice, making it hard for him to slow down near enough. Believe it or not, Justin managed to catch up with this bastard and grab the bag back from him. At that same point, this other helpful samaritan managed to grab the thief causing him to lose his footing. But he still got up and ran again. Justin walked back to us with the bag. Janet was further behind from me with Shobha. I ran closer, but watched from a far when I saw all the men run after him. Then I saw Justin walk back with this black thing in his hand. I exclaimmed to Janet that he got her bag back. She was in total disbelief. She had said goodbye to it the moment the thief snatched it. As Justin walked back, the crowd cheered him on with claps and shouts of woooo and yeaaaay. You loved it didn't you, Fai?

Janet checked her contents. Everything valuable was in there, including her MP3 player, but her phone was missing. Justin ran back to the spot and there it was... on the pavement. Janet was just totally elated!

Peter, Usama and a few other kind souls continued to pursue this thief, who was by now probably slapping his forehead while panting and wondering why he picked this mamak spot today. They chased him up the hill and past this school, I don't know the name, but it is in the Lucky Garden area of Bangsar. They both split up to cover more ground. Peter was beginning to strategise, "If I was a thief trying to hide, I would... go for the drains. He checked the nearby drains, nothing. Then he thought "What about under the cars." Sure enough, Mr. Idiot was under the second car Peter looked under. Peter grabbed him by the back of his neck and pulled him out. There was another Malay guy helping Peter here as well. As soon as he knew he was fucked, the thief started begging to not hurt him. Peter shouted out to Usama to get the police. Now by this time, all the commotion had aroused a lot of other people's curiosity. One particular person's attention it got was this big ass Indian guy, who came out of his car with this huge baton-like stick. He really wanted to whack the lights out of the bugger. In fact, he even threatened Peter and the other guy that if they did not allow him to whack the fella, he would whack them too... Peter was like... ok, here .. take him. By then Usama managed to direct the police who were already circulating the area as I mentioned before, and therefore were not that far off. They were already summoned by the other bystanders, and were making their rounds around the same area Peter and Usama were. This big Indian guy in the mean time, whacked Mr. Thief on his shin. OUCH! That definitely hurt I am sure.

The rest of us were waiting anxiously, calling Peter on the handphone to find out where they were and if they needed help. Then Janet't last call to Peter was the one
where he exclaimmed ammidst panting heavily, that the police are here and Thiefman is in cuffs! DOUBLE YEAY!

While waiting for the other two heroes to return, we decided to finish our food. Of course the topic of discussion was the unfurling events of that night. Then they came back... all sweaty and tired. We cheered them on as well. They ate like they deserved it. Their food half cold. Justin could not finish his food though. Neither could Janet. Mine was long gone.

As we were discussing and animating every single thing that happened, about 20 minutes later, two policemen arrived asking the main players, especially Janet, to follow them to the Brickfields station to make a report. We all hop'd into two cars
and drove off in a jiffy. One of the policemen got into Justin's Myvi, with me and Janet, while the other one rode ahead on the bike. Soon Yoon's car was behind us, with Peter, Usama and Trudy. Shobha had to leave. As we waited at the Jln Bangsar traffic lights into Brickfields, entertaining the officer with what we do i.e theatre, M, come watch, etc... as the light turned green, Justin remarks "What a crazy night" and turns. Only problem is, he turns into the wrong side of the road, think America... and oncoming traffic...!! I was like "Justin, we have a police officer in the car" The officer, named Surin, was nice enough to laugh and say "I will pretend I didn't know la, hahaha..." Psychotic.

We ended up at the station at about 12.30am, with Janet going in and out of rooms. We stayed outside, singing and harmonising, at one point too loud, until an officer came up to us with a rifle in his hand, asking us nicely to quieten down. Of course we obliged immediately. Duh. We carried on serenading ourselves under the moonlight. About 3pm we went upstairs to where Janet was. They needed a statement from Peter too, since he was the one who found the culprit. Then Janet asked us to go home as her boyfriend, Justin Tan was on the way there. We waited for him and then we left.

I managed to catch a glimpse of the robber's face. He was seated on the floor of the room where Peter was recording his statement. He is 25 years of age. All that ran through my mind were questions like "Was it worth it? What do you do now? Was your reason to snatch justifiable, now that you may be facing a sentence, and probably more beating? Is life that shitty for you that you take it out on others? Why? I hope your reason is a good one."

God always sends us angels. No matter how small a part they play. We may not know who they are until things like this happen to us. The security guard at the hospital; some at the station that day where Doreen was; Justin, Peter and Usama, plus the other patrons who ran in pursue of the bad guy. All angels, at the right place at the right time. We must be thankful. There is a higher force at work here.

And as usual, I just want to sleep. I hope today's mamak session is a little less eventful. We will be at the same place, I'm sure.

Read Janet's account of this drama here.


Ze Biatch

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

M! The Opera... make way make way for George from the Concrete Kiasu Jungle!! Heheh. Been enjoying his staging/choreography directions so far, while Judi is in India. Can't wait for her to get back and add on her brand of dance and movement to the whole picture. Something like the icing on the cake if I may say so. But what a talented and useful Kerabat we have. So lucky.

Fai dear, you asked me to mention you in here. Wait. I have to mention Kenneth first la... how la? Not yet mention my wonderful understanding husband yet maaa... who had to have dinner alone yesterday (V day).

So, Kenneth... don't worry. I know you exist. And thank you for leaving me alone to do what I want. You are a gem.

As for Justin aka Fai above, he is one of the cast members in M. A musician and actor. Quite talented. Helped him out a month or so back with his body allignment and focus. A Mommy's Boy in denial. A vain pot. The lost 6th member of the Back Street Boys. And a ladies man WHEN he wants to be. Enough for now otherwise he might get too big headed.

Will be heading home to walk the dogs and then to rehearsals. Later ya'all!

Sup B

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ok.. so this is the first posting of my first blog on this blogging site. Previously jotting down nonsense on Multiply, I decided whathefak... why not? And did this. Umm, just a warning though, some of you might not like or even agree with what you read here. And so be it. Can't please everyone. Having said that, I can be a nice person when I feel like it.....

The other reason I decided on this was because I will FINALLY be getting a computer at home. That would give me a chance to blog more often, as some of you can testify to the fact that I am one helluva lazy blogger... sometimes disappearing for months on end. Well, besides the fact that I can only access emails and the net at the office, I AM juggling a lot of other things at the same time, hence the title above. I promise I will be a better blogger, really. Ok Zal? Janet?

So, for starters, am rehearsing for M The Opera. Vigorously rehearsing. The whole cast is in trepidation, counting down to 23rd March when we open, with a preview on the 22nd. YIKES! All you People of The World (ok, of Kuala Lumpur) must come and watch!!

And umm.. what else. Ok so yesterday was a tiring Sunday, as is every other Sunday for me. Went for Ensemble training at 10am, and that was to set the pace for the whole day, and as usual, today (Monday) feels like Tuesday to me. Thought I could catch some shut eye about 4pm. I did. For literally 5 minutes. Sigh. Then Mommy came over, then Hazlin came over, then Tori and Skeeter demanded some more attention, and then I had to go out. So there.

Today is back to the warehouse. Have to be there by 6.30pm for the 2nd Atelier scene. Also have to collect the pics from Shegar's place. Wonder when that is going to happen.

Till the next time, I hope it's soon...

Ze Biatch