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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Closing of Another Chapter

I think most of you knew that my dear sister has finally graduated from her Bacholer of Science in Psychology last Saturday. Here's a short update of our mini celebration.

Besides Lynn, many other who transferred with us graduated too.
The only reason that I am still staying for one more semester is because if the Senior Showcase that I will be performing in New York during March. Since I am still waiting for that, I might as well just take a couple more elective classes and try to absorb as much as I can while I am in school.
Congrats to the above, Wei Jun, Lynn, Buttercup Jeong, and others who are not in the picture, Bobo, Yenni, Yih Wen, Carmen, and etc.
Wish you all well with the next step in life!

Amin, Lynn and I

Dad and Mum came all the way from Bangladesh and Malaysia to attend the graduation and help Lynn move to New Jersey for a new start.

Cheers to the Fresh Grad!
Officially a jobless person!

We took turns giving dedications and of course shots right after.
Dad and mum were awesome sports that night, they practically did everything we did!

It used to be 4 people in 3 locations.
Now that Lynn is in New Jersey, our family of four is officially separated in four different places.
It's great to be together again.

That's us and Lynn's luggages.
Wish you all the best in your job searching and grad school applications, we all have faith in you.
I'll be thinking of you when I get back to Kalamazoo in my big Queen sized bed all alone at night with no body warmth beside me.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Blues

Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to deal certain things that I am forced to deal with right now.
Why can't I live like most people my age, carefree and not have to think about the kind of stress that I am going through right now?

Some are just born lucky. Not that I feel ungrateful with what I am already blessed with, I just wish that some things would be different. Maybe I'm just greedy. Yea, probably so.
Oh how I wish that ..........


Thursday, December 24, 2009

All the way from New Jersey......


Lots of love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cait's Bachelorette Party

I think that I have blogged about how surprised I was when I found out that people actually get married when they are 20 years old. I remember my second day of ballet class, the girl who stood right in front of me flashed her shiny humongous diamond/zircon/whatever that shiny stone or plastic ring at my face telling me that she just got engaged and she was going to get married that year. I thought, maybe she's just an younger looking older girl who is back in school for another degree or something like that. Then only I found out that she was only 20 years old, that was 2 and a half years ago!

I cannot imagine getting married at such an early age, maybe it's culture, or just the way I think, but I can never give my heart to someone, and settle down forever, and for always, until the day I die, not at least until I have a stable job and I am financial independent, probably independent enough for my future fiancee and I to buy our own property.
Too high of a demand? Hmm... I guess I am just realistic.

Anyhow, my dear friend Cait is finally getting married. She is the first friend among my age group (she's only a year older than me) to get married. I think it's cool, her current husband is already working, so it's about time. Cait has been crazy enough to plan and organize a wedding despite our intense senior year curriculum, and we just thought that we could take a little stress away by throwing her a small simple Bacholerette Party in honor of her last days of being single.

Friends, Snacks, Wine, and love.

The Pre Party was hosted by Kayla.

All of us blowing on little penis whistles. ;)

It's awesome that it was not a regular wild party of strippers during the Bacholerette Party. I think what matters most are friends and support *at least for my Bacholerette Party if I ever have one*
Cait, Emily, and I, Cabaret Buddies. We'll be performing next year in March together to raise funds for our New York Senior Showcase.

Sammy, Cait, Billy, and moi *heart*

Congrats Cait Ryan!
You are officially a married woman as I am blogging right now.


Lots of Love

damn... Now I feel like getting married.ugh.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jingle Ma's MULAN

Sometimes living in a Western world really encourages you to go back to your roots. I have been a huge fan of Mulan ever since I've seen Disney's cartoon version and perhaps because it is the only Asian Disney Princess that I will have have the chance to play (if I ever work with Disney *wink*).
I got extremely excited when I heard that this was coming out in the US soon.

Faster, faster!


China 450AD, the dynasty was under constant threat from ruthless Rouran tribe. With such a major security threat at hand, the Chinese army conducted a nation wide draft.

A retired soldier named Hua Hu insisted on enlisting again to serve his country. Mulan (starring Vicki Zhao Wei), his young daughter was intelligent and skilled in martial arts. But as a girl, she couldn’t be enlisted. Unable to bear the thought of her father suffering, Mulan got her father drunk, dressed as a boy and entered the army to take his father’s place.

Through the harsh military training, Mulan proved to be a courageous and unstoppable, and always helped others to fend off the army bully. She gained the attention of Wentai (starring Chen Kun), the battalion’s Vice Commander. They soon developed a mutual admiration.

However, Mulan was in constant danger of revealing her gender. When Wentai ran into her bathing by accident, Mulan was fortunate enough to escape without exposing her identity, but Wentai was determined to uncover the woman hiding among the troops. To make things worse, the army bully had lost a jade pendant and a strip-search was ordered. Terrified to reveal herself and tarnish her father’s reputation, Mulan admitted the theft and was sentenced to death. In prison, she told Wentai the truth and he promised to keep this secret till the end.

When Rourans launched a surprise attack, Wentai released Mulan from jail to let her flee. But Mulan stayed for a battle and decapitated the Rouran General. Her life was spared of this merit and even promoted to be Vice commander. Together, Mulan and Wentai fought through various battles, and their friendship gradually turns into romance.

However, the Rourans were getting stronger as their Prince Mudan murdered his father and seized the throne. Facing an unprecedented scale of attack, Mulan was vastly outnumbered, and both her love and brevity were put to the ultimate test. Would she sacrifice true love for the peace of her nation?

Movie Review:

The thundering of hooves, the clashing of swords, the battle cries of thousands… Ah, the war epic has taken root in Chinese cinema in recent years with films like "The Warlords", "An Empress and the Warriors" and of course, the seminal "Red Cliff". Pardon us if any new additions to this genre is no longer greeted with the same level of anticipation and enthusiasm- the glut of such films has diluted our excitement over any future "Red Cliff"-wannabes.

Jingle Ma’s take on the classic heroine "Mulan" arrives at such an inopportune time- even more so considering how its lead star Vicki Zhao Wei looks like she had just walked off the set of "Red Cliff" and into that of “Mulan”. Yes, there are uncanny similarities in the costume and production design of both films, though Jingle Ma has come forth to say that it is only coincidental. But no matter- while both films have something to say about war, their stories are quite different from each other.

The story of "Mulan" begins with a lesson on filial piety- Hua Mulan, the daughter of a retired soldier, takes her ailing father’s place when he is conscripted to fight in the Wei army following the invasion of the Rouran tribal people. War however turns out to be much more terrifying to Mulan than she thought, and it is through this lens that “Mulan” contemplates on the costs of war, as well as the value of patriotism.

In between, Mulan will fall in love with her battalion’s Vice Commander, General Wentai (Chen Kun) despite her father’s advice that feelings have no place on the battlefield. Of course, anyone who has watched a Jingle Ma film will know that Ma is not a subtle filmmaker- and "Mulan" is no exception. What scenes of romance between the two follow a decidedly consistent approach for emphasis- a firm hug, cue melodramatic music, and then a tear trickling down the cheeks.

Unlike other Jingle Ma films however, "Mulan" is not sunk by his perennial heavy-handed approach. The canvas Ma paints on this time is much broader and that extra breadth affords him to paint a much more complex picture of love. Against the backdrop of war, Mulan’s expression of love for Wentai becomes more than mere sweet-nothings, but sacrifice, the sacrifice of one’s life for someone you love. Love too comes with choice, as Mulan is made to choose between her love for someone, and her love for her country. Indeed, this rich backdrop lends much gravitas to Ma’s portrait of love- no doubt one of the favourite subjects of his films.

That’s not to say that "Mulan" is without its missteps- in fact, it takes the almost 2-hour long movie about an hour to find its footing. Mulan’s act of piety for her father is at a mere ten minutes of screen time too quickly glossed over, leaving Jingle Ma to focus its first half on Mulan’s gang of friends in the army- among them Fei Xiaohu played by Jaycee Chan. Unfortunately, his attempt to inject some form of humour into the story at this point falls flat, and gets tiresome after a while. But perhaps the most baffling choice he has made is to cast Russian singer Vitas as the rival army’s servant boy- the blond-haired boy completely out-of-place in the film.

Thankfully, Ma doesn’t make a wrong casting choice for his lead actress. "Mulan" is anchored by a strong performance by Vicki Zhao Wei, the wide-eyed expressive star vividly portraying her character’s sorrow, anguish, fear and terror. One can’t say the same about her physicality though, judging from the number of cutaway shots in the film during the battle scenes. This too is not director Jingle Ma’s forte, and audiences who have seen "Red Cliff" will likely be unimpressed. But one would do well to remember that Ma’s breakout film was the tearjerker "Fly Me to Polaris"- and his perpetual subject of love in his films since finds a more than comfortable home in the story of "Mulan".

Credits to: http://www.moviexclusive.com/review/mulan/mulan.html

Trailer One.

Trailer Two.

Now do you feel like watching it?

Christmas Break!

I am finally done with the semester!
Well, actually I have been done since Monday but I still worked 8 hours a day till today.
And I'm done!


Now for the random little things:

Room mates' beagle puppy, Atlas because it's spots are like little islands on the map.
He loves socks and underwear; famous for climbing into our laundry basket and pulling out our bras and dragging them all over the house.

My dear sister's graduation is this Saturday.
It just struck me that we'll be apart for the first time of our lives.
I love you jie!!!!

sho excited ;)

From a hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) to only ten. Gosh, I hope they don't freeze to death.

photo credits to Ven*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Asian Sensation

Found this video.

Lady GaGa Medley, put together by Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo.

And this Michael Jackson Medley Acapella video is amazing. Sam Tsui has so much talent!!!! *drools*

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

I love how we had the longest autumn since I've been here. For two years in a row, we would have to drive in a snow storm out of town during the Thanksgiving break. Thank goodness for this year, snow came later. It wasn't until beginning of this week till it snowed.

This year for Thanksgiving, after having a luxurious all home made fine dining styled dinner prepared by none other than Jonathan Chong, we bundled up in Amin's Honda and drove to Michigan City's Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets to join the Black Friday Shopping Craze. This time, we all took turns standing in line for Coach, and can you believe it? We stood in line for 3 freaking hours in the cold, and I'm not even exaggerating. And guess what, I didn't even buy anything from Coach because I couldn't find any medium size purses that I liked. Bah*
We shopped from 11pm straight on to about 4 something in the morning and retired at a nearby inn.

3 hours later...

We drove about an hour and a half to downtown Chicago and continued our Black Friday shopping. H&M, Forever21, Victoria Secret, Aldo, Charlotte Russe... owh so sinful.

That night, we dressed up to the nines, and went clubbing at Vision, and we had no idea that it was an Asian dance club. It was an eye opener seeing 'skankily' dressed Asian American girls going crazy on the dance floor, baring their G-strings and Thongs under their skin-tight leggings and short dresses. Ugh.
An eye sore.

Dance Kaki Cheryl, Darlynn, and moi with my new 5 inch Aldo heels.

Cheryl and I had our own little podium, spotlights and fan because we were awesome like that :)

Lynn and I sipping on our Dirty Girl Scout which is an awesome mix of vodka, Kahlua coffee liqueur, Bailey's Irish Cream, and white Creme de Menthe that give a little minty taste.
Thanks Amin for the drink!

us girls

Cheryl and I walking back after clubbing and yumcha

What should we name ourselves? The Chicago Clubbing Kakis? hah! lame.
From left, moi, Yasir, Darlynn, Amin, and SimpleCheryl

Next day, we continued to explore Chicago.

Tried to do the usual High School Musical Jump...Lynn's famous *walking into the light* shot

Fantabulous Five.

Since this semester was nothing but a ride on the Struggle Bus, it was one of the happiest breaks days of this semester. We all really needed to get out of school for a while.
That excludes the fact that I spent so much that weekend, and now I'm taking extra shifts and working my butt off at the cafeteria.
Totally worth it!


Then, it snowed.
First, pretty flakes that lasted over night.
Then, a snow storm.
Before we knew it, a Blizzard!!!!!
And school was closed for a day because it was too dangerous for students and staff to drive to campus.

I love snow. Wait, let me correct myself, I love the look of it, and maybe when I see snowflakes, other than that, I hate the cold wind that stings my face, and the slush on the ground on roads, and black ice!!!!!!!!! Grrr.
So far, I've not fallen yet. Let's keep it that way.

Marshmallow cars

The bridge that I crossed every morning to get to campus.

Streets covered with snow.
Looks pretty, but NOT easy to drive in.
I just had my first snow driving experience 3 hours ago, and because of the snow and black ice, I got my room mate's car stuck on a slope for about 30 minutes. Thank goodness a guy came by and poured salt on our tires to melt the snow, and after a long time of pushing, and rocking the car, my roommate and I managed to push the car up the hill.

Not a fun experience, especially when the car tires get you all wet with icy cold watery mudd and slush!

Till Then.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It Came To An End

Finally, after all those crazy shows, rehearsal, class, and work schedule combined, the semester has finally slowed down. Last week of school!!! And I'm pooped.
Today is the first day of no rehearsals, but I am still obliged to return to campus for a supervisor meeting at work. Still happy though. At least I have this little spare time to blog, and fall asleep on the bus.

This semester has been extremely insane for me. I felt that I have grown so much as a performer. I love the stage, I really do. And all I hope is to be given the chance to be able to do roles that are not expected of me. I have been terribly disappointed with the circumstances given, but I will stay strong and look at the bright side. So what if I was given a small role, or typecast? I'll rock it, and make those who think of me differently regret.


Emily Sweet Pie drew this for the girls in our dressing room.
I'm sure you can tell which one is the Asian girl

Broadway Star Julia Murney, the most amazing person and performer that I have met.
Extremely genuine, and kind at heart.
I love her.

Seniors 2010!

Emily Sweetie Pie.

Open those eyes!

Us girls.

*photo credits to Emily Iaquinta

Parents are arriving in less than two weeks!!! whee*

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Choose Enjoyment

It snowed.
I have been dreading the awful cold weather since I somehow felt that I have not had enough of Summer. Then again, I think I have forgotten how beautiful snowflakes falling can be.
I love it.
It reminds me of Christmas.
I love Christmas and I am even more excited about it this year because my parents are coming to town :)

Late Night Broadway has been a blast. I have never experienced so much support from my classmates till the past week and it made me realize that I need these people in my life because they will be the ones that I have to run to when I don't have anyone else when I get to New York.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from Julia Murney was to choose enjoyment when performing. I guess most performers will agree with me when I say that we are the hardest judge on ourselves because we never fail to criticize our little mistakes and so called failures. That's true.
I judge myself insane, and many times I see things that people don't even realize.
I have made a point to rehearse as much as I can, and remind myself of things that I have to keep in mind right before performing, and while the show is on, I choose enjoyment.
Trust, and have fun.

Thanks Mama Murney!

Mlive Theatre Review

Students, Broadway star connect with audience in "Late Night"

By Gordon Bolar | Special to the Kalamazoo ...

December 04, 2009, 2:29PM
View full sizeBroadway guest star Julia Murney for WMU Theatre's Late Night Broadway.
KALAMAZOO — Director Jay Berkow and 11 student performers in Western Michigan University’s “Late Night Broadway” have wisely selected numbers that focus on characters and relationships, instead of choosing well-known show tunes that one might whistle on the way out of the theater.

The selections allowed each performer to connect with a specific moment or situation in the intimate cabaret style setting of the Williams Theatre, on opening night on Thursday.

Samuel Ramirez got the evening off the ground with a gritty and physical rendition of “Big News” and later shared a joyous energetic duet, “Two People in Love” with Caitlin Ryan.

Tiffany Dissette and Ahren Rehmel’s duet also achieved lift off with the sexually charged “Two People in Love” from the musical “Baby.” Sex within another kind of relationship is humorously dissected in “Friends” performed by Emily Iaquinta and William Casey.

Sue-Yenn Ng broke sex down from a solo viewpoint with “The Best I’ve Ever Had.”

“Late Night Broadway” — Graduating seniors of WMU’s music theater performance program perform show tunes with Broadway star Julia Murney (“Wicked,” “The Wild Party”)

9 p.m. Dec. 3-5, Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex. $20, $15 seniors, $5 students. (269) 387-6222,www.wmutheatre.com.

Act II featured guest artist, Julia Murney with songs she performed on Broadway and a few non-show tunes. Murney was never without a strong connection to and healthy respect for the songwriter, whether it be John Kander in “Colored Lights” from “The Rink” or the earthy strains of Tom Waits in “Rainbow Sleeves.”

Two songs by Susan Warner early in the set were standouts. “Misery and Happiness” chronicles healthy and unhealthy love relationships. With the plaintive “Much At a All,” Murney presented a woman coming to terms with the loss of a recent love interest.

Murney’s strength lies in her vocal and character range. She played the comedienne in wacky take-off on the seasonal favorite, “12 Days of Xmas.” She drew her audience in with barely audible thrown away lines, quietly announcing her relationship exit strategy in “So Anyway.”

Finally, Murney managed to “Raise the Roof” with her raucous signature number from “The Wild Party.”

The only item missing from this entertaining evening of musical theater was a program with the correct order of songs, their respective show of origin and the name of the talented pianist accompanying these performers.

That aside, heres my little solo performance recorded by Lynn.

Yes, it is what you're thinking about. I am singing about masturbation.
Its funny how people these days write songs about everything, anything, under the sun.
Hi mom and dad... thank goodness you're not watching me do this live. Lolx.

So, my goal every night is to make people feel as uncomfortable as possible and I guess I have
succeeded today because I have a bunch of older people sitting right in front on me while I was
performing. I felt so bad.
Most of the time they we looking at each other awkwardly, trying to not look uncomfortable.
I guess I did my job.
I guess I felt better when after the show I was complaining to my director and he said this one
sentence that made perfect sense.

Director: Have older people do have sex too. It is natural.

Yes, I'll keep that in mind tomorrow night.

One more show to go.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Late Night Broadway

This is how I feel, and the only song that I can relate the most to right now is.....

I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night
Tonight’s the night night
Let’s live it up
I got my money
Let’s spend it up
Go out and smash it
Like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa
Let’s get get OFF

Gosh, I am so excited. It finally hit me. I am finally a senior. Less than 6 months to graduate. Where do I go from here?
We'll be performing our Senior Showcase tonight, the same Showcase that we'll be performing in Spring in front of Casting Directors, Agents, and other important people in the industry.
OHMYGAWD I am overwhelmed right now. This is it.

We have been working with Broadway Star Julia Murney for the past few days since coming back from Thanksgiving Break and it is the most amazing educational experience that I have ever had in my entire theatre life! No I'm not exaggerating.
She's just brilliant. So specific, she's like a walking book of acting choices and ideas.
Despite being big a** Broadway star, she is incredibly down to earth and it just inspires me even more.
Love her.

Here's her short clip in Sex and the City.


Till then.
Wish my legs broken!