This blog has now reached it's end. The American Adventure has finished. Will there be a sequel in the near future? One will never know, but for now let's let the credits roll...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chapter 5% - the art of Elevator talk

I'm not one for small talk. In fact I hate small talk. I much prefer 'bullshit' talk where you just get together with friends and talk bullshit.

I guess it's a huge disadvantage to not know how to make small talk. I can never initiate a conversation with strangers. In fact I don't really talk alot unless it's bullshit talk with people who also indulge in bullshit talk.

But here in America we have Elevator talk culture. I guess it's something rare in Malaysia. You don't talk to anyone in the lift no matter how long the journey takes. The only time the silence is broken is when someone yawns, sneezes, coughs, burps or farts. No one talks. And I'm quite happy to be in that situation.

But things here change. I now take the lift everyday several times to get to my 4th floor apartment. And when you do on the occasion meet someone in the great glass elevator (no it's not glass.. I'm just.. nevermind) then Elevator Talk commences.

I literally just met a guy whom I've never seen before in my life and he just started telling me about his week and his work. Amazing how much knowledge you can cram into a 30 second lift ride from the ground floor to the 4th. It all starts with a 'how you doing?' or a 'how's it going?' and then if you're kind enough to answer and ask back, then only God knows where the conversation will end up.

I guess it is a good thing. Elevator Talk culture isn't really all that bad. In fact, the world would be a nicer place if people talked more freely like that.

Whatever it may be, I am learning the art of Elevator Talk.

Watch out.

*Oh and watch this video. Music ppl, it will brighten up your day for sure.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chapter Tree - The beach adventure Take 2

Beach day!
No pics!
Don't care!
Quite cold! Then hot!
In N Out Burger! Yum!
10 foot waves! Very powerful!
They literally push you off your feet!
And suck you towards the ocean!
Bashing! Pain!
Swallowed lots of seawater!
Salt up my nose!
Really really strong waves!
Lifeguards were whistling everywhere!

Ok.. I can't do it. I don't have enough stuff to make a post ala the 268blog. (If you're wondering, go to and check out Louie's post)

But the waves were insane. I've never felt that much power in a wave before. They literally lift you off your feet and trash you all over the place and up becomes down and down becomes up and left becomes cheese and right becomes far and near becomes fish and potatoes become peanuts and life becomes beer and legs become hands and hands become cucumbers... you get the idea.

And the suction is just as crazy. You know when you stand near the edge of the waters and when the waves recede they have a slight drawing sensation towards the ocean? Well, this was the same, except 1000 times more powerful.

So here I am, literally getting pushed and pulled all over the place and having water going in all the places it shouldn't be going and having sand literally in every possible part of my body (EVERY possible part. I am not joking...).


I've never had such insane waves before.

It's NUTS!

Ok.. bai for now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chapter 62.33% - The good the bad and the ugly.. without the bad.. or without the ugly... either one.. but only the good and bad..or the good and ugly

Double happiness !

Today you get treated to a special double edition of my LPW recordings..

I have been more 'rajin' with my recordings this quarter. All for the sake of your entertainment. So be thankful.

But this is an interesting double edition. What you are about to witness are two ends of the extreme... on one side we have a really good LPW with solid performance and sound.. and on the other hand we have a really crappy one with mistakes from almost everyone all over the place (and I must admit... including me.. but in my defense, I only made two small ones and everyone else made millions more and it totally threw off the groove of the whole song).

That was the nightmare one. So many things went wrong. Firstly I apologise for the poor camera positioning. You can glimpse me every couple of seconds when the singer moves away.

Secondly you will realise that everyone makes a ton of mistakes. The bassist didn't know the parts... the pianist sounded terrible on the bends and the guitarist stopped for no reason in the middle and started on the wrong key. And I started shuffling my hi hat (not so noticeable thankfully). And the singers forgot to come in. It almost felt like I was playing alone... *shivers* A nightmare indeed. The suckiest thing was that the band right before me was amazing. They were so awesome it sounded almost like the original.. and then I got stuck in the mud. Thankfully I still managed to scrape a 89 even with all the terribleness going on.

And then we have this.

What a splendid sound that is when everyone sounds good and knows what's happening. Thankfully that happened.



I just realised my videos have been embedding in all sorts of sizes lately.. I don't know why and I'm not really bothered to find out...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chapter alpha charlie 88 niner - The unexpected adventure

It was a dark and stormy night... no wait.. no it wasn't.

It was a long night. I was up late because of unforseen circumstances as you might have deduced if you've been following me on tweet. I expected to sleep myself back into relaxation mode on Sunday afternoon. I was almost nodding off in church that morning.

But along came an unexpected adventure. I was invited into a short road trip up to somewhere (I can't even remember anymore) and somehow, I bizarrely ended up in a place called the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library. Which was fun...

Now I'm not one for museums really... I don't really like walking around in a museum unless it's with some friends who go nuts and laugh at everything. I go to museums to find the funny in the facts, not to learn anything. But what the heck...

The highlight of the adventure was stepping into something monumental.

Points for guessing what that is.

Going once..

Going twice..


It's Air Force One. The real thing. Not some replica. It's the real damn plane that flew 7 different Presidents around the world. And it was decommissioned in (insert wikipedia fact here) and moved to this museum. Sadly I don't think I was allowed pictures of the inside. But it wasn't as spectacular as you think it was. It's still a plane after all. I've seen 'movie jets' that look far better on the inside. Still.. it's monumental to think of it. I also got to see the Presidential bullet and bomb proof limousine - which I didn't take pictures of... and this.

That's the Presidential helicopter thingie..

And some other pics from around the museum.

The replica Oval office..
And an attempt to show the oval-ness of it by taking a picture of the roof.. Clearly I failed

A copy of the Declaration of Independence (I think.. hey I did say I was sleepy)

Ronald Reagan's ridiculous belt buckle collection (I want a collection like this too...)

A scaled version of the Garden thing in the white house

And the prompt warning that came together with the garden.

And lastly the Reagan Memorial.

There was also a bit of the Berlin Wall... and I totally didn't realise what it was until it was time to go so I couldn't get a picture of it. Sleepy me.

So indirectly, I've seen the White House.. which is nice.

An unexpected adventure indeed.

Stay tuned for a new LPW coming up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chapter 888.888

No this is not the early Chinese New Year special.

I was just having some thoughts.

And once again I've been thinking in point form.

- The world of music is far larger than anyone can ever imagine.
- There are musicians that exist in every corner of the world that are far superior to those that we see today.
- The ones that we hold in such high regard can easily be outclassed by someone completely unknown from a tiny corner in the universe.
- I know this for I have witnessed within these school walls, musicians who can literally take over the world.
- Who do we idolize in our own country? Who do we know? What do we truly know?
- How can we claim someone is the best 'undiscovered' musician when, in truth, there are millions more 'undiscovered' ones who are even more capable?

Why these thoughts you might ask?

To illustrate my conclusion, here is more powerpoints.

- I have improved more in my level of consciousness rather than skill. That is not to say that my skill has not improved. In fact it has greatly.
- (on a side note, my skill level has increased by leaps and bounds that I can boldly claim that I can hold my own against Malaysia's 'top' drummers. They are nothing to me now.
- That's because my realisation that there are far superior people where I am now has altered both my approach to my playing and my mindset.

Hear now the words of a music student.

The first step to becoming great is understanding that no matter how great you are, there is always someone greater.

The second step to becoming great is finding that greater person and aspiring to be greater than him.

These two steps form a vicious cycle - in a good way. And with realisation comes motivation, and with motivation comes dedication, and with dedication comes awesomeness.

I'm starting to feel some awesomeness.

Part of me is itching to come back home and show off - human nature is such that pride is ever present. But denying it would be far worse I suppose. Indeed, I cannot way to show off some of my new skills. I cannot wait to go up to some of the drummers I've imagined were greater than me and go 'IN YO FACE!' - well... maybe not that violently.

All these are thoughts from my latest practice session, where I've had an amazing revelation on how much I've actually improved and why.

If you do quote my great quote, do give me the credit. Here it is again.

'The first step to becoming great is understanding that no matter how great you are, there is always someone greater.
The second step to becoming great is finding that greater person and aspiring to be greater than him.'

KJ the wise has spoken.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chapter 90

Today's episode is brought to you by the letters E, W and F.

Yeap, it's a new LPW recording!

Go find out what it is. If you don't know, don't talk to me. Ever.

Just kidding - don't talk to me for a week.

Now apologies first. And some other things in neat point form.
- I didn't have anyone to record this thing for me. So the camera had no place to be. Hence it's zoomed right at my face.
- The sound is very off balance also due to the camera position.
- Note my awesome 'constipation' face and the head bobbing


Once again, today's episode is brought to you by the letters






Saturday, July 11, 2009

Intermission - - - -

Ok this wasn't what I wanted to post originally.. but I've been having the jazz radio station on lately and I came across this.

Sooooo... my dreams of a 'Jazz church' aren't that ridiculous after all!

I wonder what'll happen if we sing this in church...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Holiday Adventure Pt 5 - the Big Finale!

I have to wrap up the great holiday adventure now - partly because the holiday is long over and partly because I have something special coming up.

And what a way to end the Holidays with an awesome 4th of July celebration at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with a bunch of people from church. It's a great American adventure to experience a true and traditional 4th of July celebration. I have a load of pics from the event.

I think Malaysian Merdeka celebrations ought to be like this. What happens is everyone goes out to a nice public park or venue and just chill the whole day. They bring baseball gloves and footballs and frisbees and volleyball nets and badminton portables and all sorts of stuff to entertain themselves. Then there's the inevitable Barbeque grill set up almost everywhere and the great smell of hotdogs and burgers wafting in the air. People bring their own little blankets to lay on the grass and umbrellas and coolers to keep the afternoon heat at bay. Except for me of course - being the Malaysian I am, I happily walked around in the baking sun (with protection of course) while in my jeans - to which most of the people there gave me nothing but bug eyed or dropped jaw expressions.

It's just so much fun. And it's a whole day thing. Not just some midnight count down - and there's no midnight fireworks by the way... I just thought about it and realised how much sense it made. Why the heck do Malaysians have fireworks on midnight of the 30th/31st? When I asked why the Americans didn't have fireworks on midnight they just replied simply 'the fireworks are on the 4th of July' and it just makes sense. Instead of a bunch of people going to a crowded public location to catch midnight fireworks, and then treading through the traffic until the wee hours of the morning, and getting home only at 3am, people here just have the darn fireworks on the day itself as soon as the sun goes down. Then everyone packs up and leave and we're all home before midnight. That makes so much more sense to me.

So if you're an event organiser for Merdeka day, take my advice and just shoot the darn fireworks at 8pm on the 31st... There's nothing wrong with that. Scrap the stupid parade and let everyone relax in a humongous public park and drink beer. That's more of a celebration. Rather than seeing a bunch of people walk down a road with multi coloured uniforms, singing a dumb song every year that sounds exactly the same as the previous year. (They seriously need to hire some better composers for each Merdeka song every year)

Anyway, without further ado, here are the pictures from my final BIG adventure during the holidays.

So here we are at the Rose Bowl!

And here are some random pics of the surroundings - the crowds of people gathered around the big inflatables, mobile stations of games and bungee thingies and lots and lots of food! And the people with their tents all set up for a day of relaxation and fun!

And here's our spot in the golf course outside the Bowl.
The spot kinda grew larger over the course of the evening as more people came in.

Our view of the Bowl.

So what on earth did we do for the whole afternoon? (we got there at like 4 o'clock, and the fireworks only started and like 9:15) Well, we played volleyball and threw some football around... and ULTIMATE FRISBEE!

Nothing can truly prepare you for the madness that is Ultimate Frisbee. The whole world needs to play this.

Ultimate Frisbee - a sport like no other.

The 'Spot' as it started to get dark.
As you can see, it grew quite a bit.

And now for a bunch of unnecessary pictures of fireworks!

It is of course a stupid and futile attempt to capture fireworks on still pictures.. which is why I have ...


I do apologise for the tilting in the first video.. I totally forgot what it would turn out like when I tilted the camera.. tilt your heads and enjoy.

Since my camera isn't geared for high quality video, the sound is equally crappy and the colour isn't really defined. But imagine the reds and blues and greens 10 times more vivid... an awesome fireworks show.

And here's the aftermath
That's what the sky looked like once it was finished.

And that, my dear friends, is how you end with a BANG!


*roll credits*

-Stay tuned for a real treat in the next update! Cheers!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The holiday Adventure Pt 4 - the DODGER ADVENTURE

This is the update I've been waiting for! I seriously have to catch up on my updates. Because I thought I had the most amazing update ever, but then today was July the 4th and I have ANOTHER awesome update waiting. So I better get these out of the way.


I am by no means a sports nut. I don't watch any sports back home and I don't read any of the sports columns in the newspaper. I don't play any sports very well and I sure don't support any teams of anything. But being in LA, and being the season for some sports (NBA finals just finished quite recently and summer is baseball season) and the Lakers being in the NBA final and the Dodgers having one of their best seasons ever, I was inevitably sucked into the vortex that is sports.

I watched the NBA finals live on TV and the other day I went to the Dodger Stadium to watch my first ever baseball game.

BASEBALL IS LE AWESOME! It's such a cool sport. It's relatively slow and it lasts forever but it's got such great moments in the game that just make it an awesome experience. You don't have that sense of supreme competitiveness or excitement that you get from a fast paced game or sport like badminton doubles or boxing or 100m sprinting but it's a game that's just awesome because it's wrapped in so much tradition.

Take for example, the singing of the ULTIMATE baseball song 'take me out to the ball game'. Yeap, everyone in the stadium paused halfway during the game to sing that song. It's tradition. And you've got that old lady playing the organ in the background and people clapping in unison and all sorts of interesting traditions. You have the traditional hotdogs, pizza, cotton candy and popcorn sellers walking up and down the isles all day long. And then there's something called the 7th inning stretch - you get up after the 7th inning and stretch because you've been sitting down for so long. It's just so much fun! It's not just the game that's fun... if the game was without all this tradition, it would most certainly be quite boring. But because it is wrapped in so much tradition, it's just awesome. And nothing can truly beat a stadium atmosphere.

So, without further ado...


So this is the inside of Dodger stadium, home of the LA Dodgers. It's not particularly full yet, but it did fill up quite a bit that night - full enough to do a pretty good mexican wave.

The oh so famous advertising board.

That's the pitch being set up
And the pitcher's mound...
And the guys wetting the sand... for reasons unknown to mankind.

Obligatory pictures of me at the stadium...
And my roomie Daniel and David from church..

Here's the pitch....
And the swing!
And the game played well into the night... it's a 3 hour game baseball is. But it's really fun.

And that was my Baseball adventure. First baseball game ever and it was awesome. I might go again sometime. There's 162 games in a season.. which is why you can get tickets for 9 dollars.


Bonus Chapter - You're never too far from home Pt 2

No points for guessing what that is.



The Holidays go out with a BANG! with the amazing JULY 4TH ADVENTURE!


*insert ending credits music*