Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Livi, Bukit Timah, Singapore / March 2007

Listening to: -

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Around the house / August 2006

10 years ago, my playlist was this:
  • Dru Hill - 5 Steps, We're Not Making Love No More, Angel, April Showers, In My Bed, How Deep Is Your Love, These Are The Times, etc
  • Shai - If I Ever Fall In Love Again
  • 112 - Your Letter
  • Allure - All Cried Out
  • Jay-Z - Can I Get A..., I Know What Girls Like, The City Is Mine, You Must Love Me, etc
  • Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop, Ex-Factor, Tell Him, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Nothing Even Matters
  • Third Eye Blind - How's It Going To Be, Motorcycle Driveby, etc
These days, I have:
  • Feist - Mushaboom, So Sorry, 1234, How My Heart Behaves
  • Maroon 5 - Nothing Lasts Forever, Won't Go Home Without You
  • Glen Hansard - Falling Slowly, Lies Lies Lies, Fallen From The Sky, Leave, etc
  • Prince - A Case of You
  • Basia Bulat - Little Waltz
  • Pink Martini - Tea For Two, etc
  • Tori Amos - 1000 Oceans, The Power of Orange Knickers
  • Adele - Daydreams, Chasing Pavements
The list goes on lah but I wanted to show that I've moved on from R&B/Soul to lots of vocals. Listening to them oldies (wanted to download them but couldn't find it on mininova, so listened to them on YouTube) made my heart flutter.

Them good ol' days.

Listening to: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Susanna and the Magic Orchestra

Monday, April 28, 2008

Port Klang, Malaysia / 28 April 2007

For Krishen
1939 - 2005

selamat pagi laut
baringlah aku
di dadamu
supaya kudapat ketenangan
yang tersembunyi di celah
bulu camar-camar

- Tg. Alias Taib

Listening to: -

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sydney / August 2007

Great advice but spot the typo.

Listening to: So Sorry by Feist

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watsons Bay, Sydney / August 2007

Finally finished writing my feature article for the Making Magazine subject. At 1118 words (limit is 1200), it's still very much a rough draft. I had fun writing it but I can't seem to read it without thinking it's messy and all over the place. Dunno. Don't care. Don't want to talk about it.

Listening to: Basia Bulat

Friday, April 25, 2008

Martin's Place, Sydney / August 2007

Today is Anzac Day, a day of remembering the Australian and New Zealand soldiers during WW1, while the rest of us laze around on a public holiday. It's probably Australia's most important national occasion. It's like Hari Pahlawan but bigger and more serious. So no, it's not about collecting donations whenever the day comes around (they had a habit of passing the tabung around at school). It's about waking up early in the morning to pay respects during the Dawn Service. Businesses in Australia are only allowed to operate after the services, in respect of Anzac Day.

Managed to catch the live telecast of the Dawn Service in Gallipoli, Turkey.

(In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman empire and an ally of Germany. They landed in Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for 8 months. At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered severed causalities and endured great hardships. Over 8000 Australian soldiers were killed. It has been a memorial ground ever since. - The Anzac Day Tradition)

Services, across the world, are held at dawn to mark the time of the original landing/the quiet peaceful moments for soldiers/favoured time to attack.

The one in Gallipoli was my favourite because they were at the cove, facing the sea. They laid wreaths, had a period of silence, flags at half mast, etc.
My most favourite moment was when the Turkish, New Zealand and Australian national anthems were sung.

It made me teary (!!!).

Definitely as 'Lest we forget' moment there in Gallipoli.

Listening to: -

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Around the house / January 2007

Keep on moving. Keep on moving. Keep on moving. Don't stop moving. Keep on moving. Keep on moving. Keep on moving. Keep on moving. Don't stop moving. Keep on moving.

Listening to: the dings on gmail chat

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Live Green Festival, Victoria Park, Sydney / August 2007

I'm stupidly swamped with assignments, group work, meetings, research, interviews, etc until the end of next week.

Four ways of consoling myself:
  • will never have to do assignments or attend classes ever again
  • flight home - two months away!
  • miserable weather - at least I won't be kicking myself for staying in when there's pissing rain and cold wind outside
  • daily musings from the Mundane Email Group (Karen, MDC, Edwin and Wyn)
On another note, Zahim was conferred Datuk-ship last Saturday by the Sultan of Perak. With this new title, Karen, Mdc and I thought it would be really funny (and good too) to change Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7 (where Dramalab and Five Arts Centre is) to Lorong Dato' Datin Zahim D'Cruz 7.

Heehaw. Heehaw.

It's the best shit I've heard this week.

Listening to: Release Me by Oh Laura

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jalan Masjid India / February 2008

The love/hate relationship I have with Facebook is taking an odd turn.

I've been a member since July 2007. With hardly a year of being there, I've 'collected' 316 friends. Not all of them are friends lah. Well, they are but more of acquaintances... because I definitely don't remember seeing/hanging out with 316 friends before/after I left for Sydney!

Childhood friends, ex school friends, college friends, university mates, cousins, 'celebrities', in-laws, former bosses, divas, jet-setters, mums, family friends, a 12 year-old, activists, musicians, creepy friend's friend, friends' significant other are all on my list.

It was not until a month ago that a different category popped up: aunts and uncles.

Yes, 2 of my aunts are on Facebook.

Then yesterday I saw an uncle's profile under the 'People You May Know' tab. Funnily, I held my breath so that he wouldn't find me and add me on Facebook. Bodoh betul, si Myra ni.

Anyway, finding my uncle on Facebook was the highlight of my mundane Sunday. It was a good (nervous) laugh until I asked his son about it.

"Is you dad tech savvy now?" I asked.

"Yeah but he's only on Facebook so that he can look at his grand children's photos," he replies.

[insert 'fuzzy warm feeling' here]

Listening to: Too Long by Yael Naim

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang / December 2006

Kesedaran adalah matahari
Kesabaran adalah bumi
Keberanian adalah cakrawala dan
Perjuangan adalah perlaksanaan kata-kata.


Listening to: No One by Alicia Keys

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kuala Lumpur / November 2006

Stomach ache and feature article for magazine pulled me out of bed today.

I'm 8 days away from submitting my first feature article and I'm moving as extremely slow as a sloth. I wanted to write on vintage-inspired clothing and accessories with a focus on this cute Betty Bop-esque shop in Newtown called Pretty in Pink. The designer did agree to an interview but that was a week ago. I've been suggesting dates but she's superbly busy. So busy that I'm not going to write about her anymore.

So in my most busuk manner, I've spent 2 hours on thinking of a different angle for my feature article. Why not write on vintage shops instead of vintage-inspired shops? There are a lot of vintage shops around here and despite smelling bad, they might be easier and friendlier to talk to. My expertise in Googling pointed me to Pigeon Ground Records and Clothing - a super tiny vintage shop for ol' skool junkies. It looks like a really cool shop. They sell vinyl, clothes, accessories, books, etc. Their space, for whatever small space that they have to sell stuff, is also used for small gatherings, mini exhibitions, product launch, etc.

So yeah. That.

I hope they'll reply my email soon because I've got my knickers in knots over this feature article.

Now wait, brush teeth, wash face, put on contact lens and have breakfast.

Listening to: -

Friday, April 18, 2008

Around the house / 28 February 2008

Advertising and ethics of journalism

Coke wants to advertise in your magazine but they have had enough of display page or double page spread. They want product placement instead, which leaves you (the writer) to write a short article, say, on '10 Best Summer Drinks' and mention Coke 3 times. The article won't even carry your name. Would you do it?

Position of Magazine lecturer:
Won't do it. It's unethical.

Position of classmates:
Won't do it. It's unethical. Some said, "oh no, that's wrong!" "it's unfair to the readers"

Position of Myra:
Meh... I'll do it.

While everybody has the interest of upholding the ethics of journalism, I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem if you had to become a ghost writer for Coke. They are the clients and clients are important to the survival of a magazine. Yes, ideally, we don't succumb to the needs of advertisers who want their product to be mentioned 400 times in an issue. Yes, we don't write an article about Coke right next to the article about diabetes.

I understand all of that but let's be practical and realistic. Clients make it work for magazines. Cover sales and subscription (if you manage to get any) will not cover the cost of production and administration. Paper is expensive, staff needs to be paid, contributors are expecting the cheques you owe them from 3 months ago, etc.

I'm not saying you should ditch the ethics of journalism. I'm saying don't be precious about it. Don't think of yourself. Think of the other people at the office, the readers, the magazine, the marketing, the breakfast after Monday editorial meeting, the runner-boy, etc.

Clients. make. it. work. Ok?

Be good to your clients. Being good will not only foster a healthy, long relationship with the clients, but it will also ensure the flow of pretty food baskets during the festive season. While you're happily munching on fruit cakes, your readers are happily paying $7 for your magazine (without ads? it could easily cost $21 per issue). Clients might also jump in as sponsors if your magazine wants to have a festival/competition/exhibition/etc. So it works out ok. No one dies during the process. Well, maybe the marketing executive and project manager will lah but I'll explain that in 'Handling Clients 101' later.


This write up was made possible with the use of Plowman's Issue/Problem/Position/Interest theory and Grunig's two-way symmetrical public relations model.

I might have worn my producer's hat while writing this. That might explain why I was so passionate about production more than creativity. Tee hee~!

Listening to: Daydreams by Adele

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keanu Reeves, Street Kings' Movie Premier, Sydney / 15 April 2008

A standard paparazzi shot... no where close to a nice shot with someone's hand (and mobile phone) in the same frame.

I was at the movie premier of Street Kings last night. Keanu was on Rove's show on Sunday night and he was saying something about going to Sydney on Monday. Little googling pointed me to Greater Union Cinema for the red carpet on Tuesday. So I went with Sab, camera in hand, to the city. We didn't expect to see that many people waiting at the red carpet. Well, to be fair, the place is small. The cinema is on the main street and they couldn't seal off George Street during rush hour.

Anyway, I barely got to the front but when push came to shove, I was right in front of Keanu. His five-o'clock shadow was just like the one he had in Feeling Minnesota (filmed in 1996!). He hasn't aged lah.

No autograph or handshake for me but he did say, "Hello".


Listening to: -

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pulau Indah, Klang / 28 April 2007

Today is a cloudy 17'c kinda weather.

Today is my 20% quiz for Public Relations Management & Conflict Resolution subject.

Today is also Keanu Day. That's when I head out to the city to get as close as I can to the red carpet for his movie premier. I might be able to see Rove too.

Now, tomorrow...

Tomorrow is half priced mussels day for everybody at the Belgian Beer Cafe on Harrington Street. I barely managed to book 5 of us a table but I did. Dinner is at 6 pm sharp.

Listening to: -

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pesta Pulau Pinang / December 2007

Listening to: -

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Butterworth, Penang / December 2006

And then the rain came. In buckets full.

Walking in heavy boots today.

Listening to: -

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chiang Mai, Thailand / January 2007

Azlan posted a photo of him with a turtle in Bali. It was him standing at the edge of the water, surrounded by bamboo fence. I guess it's a fun petting zoo for tourist but a cruel cage for the turtle... unless it's a rehabilitation centre. That's highly unlikely though. Turtle meat, not eggs like in Terengganu and Kelantan, is a delicacy there.

Someone commented, "is this giant turtle still alive? lol"

(you think?? dumbass)

Azlan replies, "about 60+ years old fyi!"

It wasn't just any giant turtle. It was a Green turtle.


Chelonia Mydas, or Green turtle in English and penyu agar in Bahasa Melayu, lives in coasts and islands in the tropics i.e. Pulau Redang.

In the few years I was in Terengganu, I've gotten acquainted with them. I've stayed up all night, slept on the beach, recorded data, tagged them, marked nests, dug up nests for relocation (those damn red ants and lizards), watched them swim in the bay just before dusk and released hatchlings back to the sea.

I've also taken care of one at the university. Mary, a fairly young turtle, was in captivity because they wanted to put a tracking device on her body. My job was to feed her, scrub her and make sure she had enough water in her pool.

Her favorite thing was getting her shell scrubbed. It made her dance.


I still know these things after so many years. I've not been back at Chagar Hutang since I was 17. I've missed being around Man, Mahadi and a quiet beach.

I think it's about time I go again.

Listening to: -

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chiang Dao, Thailand / January 2007

Naked, you are simple as one of your hands,
smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round:
you have moon-lines, apple-pathways:
naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.
Naked, you are blue as a night in Cuba;
you have vines and stars in your hair;
naked you are spacious and yellow
as summer in a golden church.
Naked, you are tiny as one of your nails -
curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
and you withdraw to the underground world,

as if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores:
your clear light dims, gets dressed - drops its leaves -
and becomes a naked hand again.

(Morning XXVII by Pablo Neruda)

Listening to: Razor by Foo Fighters

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lulu / July 2006

Via SMS last night

Hey, just got done with mtg. Had dinner with your family earlier, was ok.

Makan kat mana?

Your house. I think kamal bought food. Mmm, sedap!

:) hope lulu was hospitable

(this was referring to a time when Fahmi had accidentally forgotten to pick her up from the pet shop - she spent an extra night there - Lulu's capable of doing some crazy things if she's unhappy with you)

She was gallivanting! Only saw her as I was about to leave. But she looked cheeky :D


Listening to: La Llorona by Chavela Vergas

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Campos, Newtown / March 2008

Pitch News Story Idea (10%)
  • Find one community based news story. This could be, for example, a public event, a book launch, a film premier, etc. Attend it and write and prepare a verbal (5 min max) and written story pitch (100 words max)
  • Consider news values
  • Find 3-5 people you plan to interview. State their full name and title
  • State where your article is going to be published. You must follow their house-style
  • Start your pitch with "This is a story about..."
(After spending days looking for an issue, I finally picked to write on the disruption to work, lives and businesses in Sydney CBD during World Youth Day in July)


Holy pilgrimage to keep Sydneysiders out of CBD


This story is about the World Youth Day in July this year and its effects on the work, lives and businesses in CBD. The six-day event is expected to be bigger than the Olympics and APEC as it will not only attract 600,000 attendees from around the world, but also 300 road closures during the holy event. This article will look at how professionals, residents and businesses are responding to the disruptions, particularly to the suggestion made by NSW’s Deputy Premier John Watkins for them to work from home and keep out of the city from July 15 to 18.

List of Interviewees:
  • The Transport Management Centre, Roads and Traffic Authority
  • Leanne Lincoln, Media Officer, City of Sydney
  • Stephen M. Taylor, President, City Partnership Inc.
  • Jill Yates, The City of Sydney Combined Resident Action Groups (CityRAGs)
  • Najib S., accountant, Ferrier Hodgson
  • Nik A., waiter, Cafe Kasturi
  • Sabrina H., resident on George Street
  • Jennt Tan, resident on Goulburn Street
  • some random shop owner
Published in:

The Sydney Morning Herald.


I have a feeling everybody's going to write about it.


Listening to: -

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Port Stephens / March 2008

From (almost) sunny weather to the nagging rain. From shorts and dresses to jeans, hoodie and Chuck's. From getting dark at 7.30 pm a week ago to darkness at 5.50 pm these days.

It's getting colder and colder.

I have a feeling it's going to be a strange week.

I've already run out of Nadine's place and my place in bedroom slippers twice this week. Then I managed to bullshit my way to get my feature article pitch approved by the lecturer, despite fumbling and mumbling all the way. I also managed to burn a mini bag of microwave popcorn today.

Hooray for the loser!

Listening to: -

Friday, April 4, 2008

Reflection of Sydney Tower / March 2008

Listening to: -

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Port Stephens, NSW / March 2008

Fara's in town.



(Yesterday's surprise was the most random thing to have ever happened to me. Only Fara, Junad and 10 other people could pull if off)

Listening to: -

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Coagee Beach, Sydney / March 2008

I think of Craig Thompson's Good-bye, Chunky Rice whenever I look at this photo. It's when Dandel, Chunky's mouse best friend, looks out to the open sea and thinks:

Just today you are leaving, and already the places we shared have grown with beauty and significance. How could you ever want to leave this behind?

On second thought, rather than gaining significance, my environment is suddenly drained of it.

What does a breathtaking view of the ocean mean without you?


Listening to: So Sorry by Feist