... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Dec 21, 2010

Of all things to get obsessed with ...

... it just had to be KANJANI8!!!

*somewhere far, far away, hell freezes over*

I mean, seriously, how the heck did that happen?!

It was not love at first sight, that I can promise you. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike them, but they just simply didn't strike me as anything special.

My first exposure to this musician band of seven Osakan boys - I refuse to call them men; they act nothing like adults which is probably why I was first attracted to them - was when Nao showed me their music feature film, "8UPPERS". I wrote a review about it in which I praised the film, the music and their acting. At that time, I thought, 'These guys ain't bad' and that was pretty much it. The end.

Afterwards, Nao - in her tireless endeavors to convert me into a JE fangirl and pretty much succeeding - gave me a bunch of their musi - I mean, "promotional videos", interviews and variety shows blah blah blah and told me to do my homework aka watch them at home and educate myself on the glittering, rainbow-ed, sequined world of JE idols. (If you just rolled your eyes right now, I totally understand. xD)

So, I had a couple hundred GBs worth of stuff to watch, but I was not in the mood for Kanjani8.
KAT-TUN, the sexy guys? Sure. NEWS, the cool dudes? Definitely (Yamapi and Ryo-chan! ~<3). But Kanjani8, the crazy wackjobs boys? Mehh ...

The only thing that attracted me to K8 was Ryo's presence. I love the guy and figured that if he's one of them, watching their stuff might just be worth it ...

Boy, did I have an eye-opener waiting for me in those sly folders containing the K8 awesomesauce!

It began because I was bored. I saw all the K8 stuff waiting for me and I just went ahead and clicked on them.
I saw their PVs.
I saw them on talk shows.
I saw them on variety programmes.
I saw ... so much.

And then it just happened.

I fell in love. With the whole bunch of them.

It would be normal, I guess, for a girl to become infatuated with a band because they looked all hawt and sexy or something.
(Heck, even K8 shows off that side every once in a while):

Ooh la la~! Pretty boys are pretteh!

But that is the last reason why I fell for them. Hell, it's not even a reason!

No, why I'm head over heels in love with Kanjani8 is because of:

Their K8-patented randomness,

Getting b!tch-slapped never looked so fun :P
Their epic craziness,

Chibified heart breaks + random ang-ray black dood? Tee hee xD
Their contagious hilarity,

I'll be lucky if I don't start dancing and screeching, "WAHAHA!!!" every time I clean my bathroom now -_-
 The sheer joy and energy they exude,

Ooh, sparkl~ey! Ed-weird Cullen would burst into tears if he saw this ;P
Their gay attention-whoring ridiculous costumes and poses,

I could feel my eyeballs sizzling the first time I watched this 0.o
("ridiculous" doesn't even cover it!)

My brain imploded. 'Nuff said.
Their unexpected WTF moments,

Umm ... yeah ... uh huh, right ... ehhhhh ....
Their occasional ... um ... fanservice?

The least crazy, quiet and well-mannered duo, Tacchon and Ryo-chan? ... I died xO
And their total shamelessness/awesomesauce!

Why, hello thar, sexeh ladehs. (Yasu and Tacchon are WIN! xD)

So ...

Yeah. I know.
I AM OUTTA MY MIND!!!

But there we have it. Kanjani8 has shot straight to the very top of my favourite J-idol groups list and I have a feeling they're there to stay for a long time. They're crazy, their songs are hilarious-bordering-on-retarded, and their interactions with each other and KinKi Kids make me ROTFLMAO every single time.
Heh, never thought I'd prefer outrageous humour in a musician band to talent and good songs (not that these guys don't have 'em all; they do, IMO at least).

But the real reason why they're my favourite, I think, is:

"Give us a sparkly idol smile!"
These guys are fully aware that they're a bunch of bat-sh!t insane weirdos. They created a unique image for themselves and they wear it with pride and joy. And I love them for it.

Nov 19, 2010

Poetry: "Crossroads of Life"

The plague that is drugs. 

I've never experimented with any, but I've seen the effects and aftermath of those vile intoxicants up close. I've seen what they can do to a "good" person from a loving family, and how everyone around him is inevitably affected by it. I've seen the incessant tears, the fights, the fear, the helplessness and the hatred that come with it. 

And I bloody hate the b@$t@rd$ that deal them, not to mention the @$$#0l3$ that take them, even while knowing perfectly well what they can do to you.

Wrote this poem a long time ago and it shows, I think. But to me, it still speaks true. It's the narrative of a drug abuser who comes to regret the choice he made.



CROSSROADS OF LIFE

I stand still as the world moves around me
Time ticks away, ever changing as the sea
Pushed into this timeless void I’ve been
Perhaps never again to be seen

How I came to this end, I know not
Forever to stay, decay and rot
Never again to see the light of day
Imprisoned in the darkness of night always

What made me take the wrong turn?
At the crossroads of life; I’ll forever mourn
The decision I took, that will never
Relinquish me from this agony ever

A piece of Heaven, yet a slice of Hell
On my foolishness, my mind now dwells
The sweet intoxication that once comforted me
Made me the monster that now you see

I stare at the hand that I had raised
And brought down upon my mother’s face
With sorrow I recall the crystal tears that’d
Filled her eyes; and she’d turned her head

Away from her son, who in a drunken state
Had dared to raise his hand; now it’s too late
I close my eyes, all alone in the cold
Lost I have all that dear to me I hold


Image used is borrowed from loveparadiseforyou

Nov 15, 2010

8Uppers, Monologue and Ryo-chan

Remember the crazy beldam I mentioned in my first ever post? Yeah, Nao, that's the one; the crazy fangirl who introduced me to awesome and diverse addicting Japanese dorama and, in the process, converted me into a crazy fangirl, too. 

And while I'm ranting about this, I might as well add that she is responsible for the corruption of my cousins too, because despite the fact that I'm the one who passed along the J fever to them, it all comes back to Nao. *nods  very seriously*

Anyway, the aforementioned beldam is not satisfied simply with addicting me to the doramas alone, oh no. No, she also experiences the deepest desire to bring me up to be as big a flailboat fangirl as she is. Thus, she takes it upon herself to sit me down in front of her computer and keep my poor, helpless eyes fixed on the screen (let us ignore the fact that I go to her corruption sessions more than willingly) while she fills my brain with doramas, interviews, variety shows and music promotional videos of popular J-pop boy bands, the members of which, amusingly enough, turn out to be the main leading actors starring in 99% of the previously mentioned doramas.

My cousins and I have an inside joke about all the hawt heroes of doramas being in one boy band or the other. (It wouldn't be a lie to say that every leading actress turns out to be a model, too :P)

Now, with that introduction out of the way, let's FINALLY move on to the point of this post. In our latest corruption session, Nao showed me the music feature film, 8Uppers, starring members of the insanely outrageous popular band, Kanjani8. 
(Yokoyama You, Okura Tadayoshi, Nishikido Ryo, Maruyama Ryuhei, Shibutani Subaru, Yasuda Shota and Murakami Shingo)


The movie was about, as DramaCrazy puts it:
Seven men with different tactics for killing are bound together by their brotherhood and similar background, but their way of life is about to take a plunge towards the surreal when a woman abandons her baby near their van, leaving the group with a new kind of job. The quirky musician group Kanjani8 interpret a hardened group of patchers (clean-up hitmen) performing mercenary work focused on assassination as well as, "getting rid of" the most bothersome of top officials and company CEOs whilst now balancing "motherhood." Can a group of hardened killers really take on the weight of raising a baby? A light story examining the cold facets behind life, death, and family fuelled by a Eito-heavy soundtrack.

My view on the movie is that it is certainly worth your time. I was amazed by the beautiful cinematography, wonderful editting, great soundtrack and top-notch direction. The director and producers damn well knew what they wanted to do and how to do it. 

The story itself was pretty good. I was at a slight disadvantage on account of the lack of English subtitles, but Nao and her amazing Japanese-to-English translation skills helped me out there. While the plotline is not the most original story ever conceived, it was entertaining and credible enough to keep me absorbed to the very end. The dialogue was great (if Nao's translations are anything to go by :P), especially considering how the characters were mostly just exaggerated personalities of their real-life counterparts according to Nao ha ha.

Speaking of which, the acting was definitely note-worthy. The characters were diverse and the actors portrayed them wonderfully. I was amused by the motherhen/womanizer Okura, milk-obsessed/martial artist Maru, dead-fish/gun-wielding Subaru, bespectacled/video-game-geek Yasu, baby-loving/brotherly Hina, level-headed/cool-leader Yoko and chain-smoking/gangsta Ryo. The chemistry and interactions between them meshed together so well that they really brought out the essence of their "brotherhood" and friendship.
Special kudos to the baby, who not only was ADORABLE, but made the other actors look even more adorable than should be allowed. xD

Moving on, the one thing that really stuck with me after watching 8Uppers is Ryo's single for the soundtrack, "Monologue".

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a humongous Ryo fangirl. For one thing, I find him very attractive (no, not on an omg-so-handsome-and-sexy level, but rather a there's-just-some-charismatic-thing-about-him-that-makes-him-extremely-appealing level). It's also noteworthy that he's the only guy I've ever seen that makes smoking and throwing back drinks look downright S-E-X-Y. Like Nao said, with this film, Ryo just shattered decades worth of anti-smoking campaigns LOLZ.

For another thing, I highly admire him as an actor. Not only did this movie prove that point, but 1 Litre of Tears, anyone? In that drama, I practically fell in love with his character. Not many actors can make me do that. 'Nuff said, I think.

But with "Monologue", I've also come to recognise him as a brilliant singer, songwriter and composer. The music simply refuses to leave my mind and the lyrics are deep, sad and meaningful. The song speaks to me like few songs ever had. It's beautiful and haunting.



Nishikido Ryo image borrowed from shinie165
Monologue's English translation stolen from Nao xD


MONOLOGUE

It will all turn into ash someday, cigarettes, me, and that town
Beginnings are always from a single tiny ember
Reflected on the rectangular screen, is a boy lamenting at the sky
If you press the next button, stars falling from the night sky; a kiss scene... kiss scene

Conventional everyday comes and greets me every morning
Trade in polite words with an appropriate attitude
A yearning for someday remains eternally as a yearning
If I write today’s events on paper, it seems it can be settled in around 2 lines

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I crash into the shoulder and spit out

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting
If it’s pain, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the man in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

What are you searching for? A place where you can feel at ease?
What are you seeking? Is it somebody’s approval?
What are the things you’ve achieved? A second of supremacy?
What have you lost? While on your quest for answers

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I grab the hand and steal a kiss

With gentle words, I’m embracing
If it’s power, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the woman in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting

With gentle words, I’m embracing

Nov 1, 2010

Short Story: "Devil's Hands"

This a 600 word story I wrote for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition back in 2009. Sadly though, we found out that my English teacher, who had recommended me to try it, had been mistaken and that I did not meet a certain requirement to participate. Something to do with age, I think. I forget. Anyway, my submitted story was probably disqualified, but I quite like how it turned out.

The title was "Devil's Hands" and the content of the story was left open to our imaginations. I was thinking about the abusive treatment of red-haired women back in the middle ages - ya know, the whole burn-the-witches-at-the-stake drama? - and how some people claim to have Healer's Hands. I decided to write a narrative of a woman who was labelled a witch and driven out of her village by the "normal" people. The idea seemed to tie up quite nicely with the title.

I kept her thoughts vague. I tried to avoid speaking of the matter directly (like writing, "I was exiled by my people because they thought I was a witch yada yada yada") and instead tried to describe it. You could say I was experimenting with my writing style; I wanted to see if people would understand it despite the vagueness.






DEVIL’S HANDS


Eighteenth century England – it was a time and place of superior lifestyle where people had enhanced outlooks on the world; or so we were led to believe. The lamentable truth was that, underneath that deceptively elegant exterior, there lay a hostile world engulfed and torn apart by millennia-old superstitions and beliefs; false notions that were passed down from father to son, and which were wholly accepted by young, innocent minds without question.

These same superstitions were the ones that had brought my life – which had never been of much significance to begin with – crumbling down to its very foundations. The tears that had been repressed by the feeble force of my willpower broke through and rolled down my cheeks, merging with the rain that fell down in torrents from the stormy sky overhead. I hung my head as I dug my nails into the soggy bark of the log on which I had been perched for the past several minutes, finally allowing myself to cry.

‘Narrow-minded fools,’ I thought bitterly, shivering as the cold downpour soaked into my simple grey dress. My sodden hair, with its vibrant red hue darkened to an unsightly shade of auburn by the dampness, hung before my face dripping water. A corrosive hatred began to rage within the confines of my heart as I glared at the limp, crimson strands with loathing in my eyes. How I abhorred that colour now! How I longed to tear it out with my bare hands.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I began to curse them: the unattractive tint of my hair that had alienated me from this brutal world, my God-given endowment of healing that had eventually lead to my undoing, the Lord who had paved a vindictive road for my life that had now terminated at a cruel destination – I cursed them all with the blackest oaths my mind could conjure. Most of all, I cursed those bigoted villagers that had exiled me from my parish with torches and pitchforks; my “brethren” that would have had me bound to the stake and burnt alive had I not managed to escape them – all that hatred merely because I was different.

The blasphemy gradually subsided, but not my fury. My resentful gaze turned to my calloused hands. “Healer’s Hands,” my late mother had called them, “a wonderful gift from God.” That declaration held truth to the extent that the power of healing was indeed bestowed upon me. However, it was no gift, but the very bane of my existence.

A red-haired woman with seemingly magical healing powers – it was hardly surprising that I had been driven away. Foolish superstitions about sorcery and Dark Magic still ran rampant amongst “civilised” society; their illogical phobia of such “evil” was embedded deep in their minds. It was no wonder that they had feared and despised me, but that did not lessen the pain in my heart. Nor would any amount of healing mend my shattered spirit; some scars could never be healed with time.

“Witch! Spawn of the Devil!” Echoes of their angry voices seemed to ring in my ears. Another sob escaped my lips and the agony within me intensified tenfold. There was no question of ever going back, that I knew, but to where would this merciless life lead me now? There was no hope of a future for myself, no silver lining on the clouds; just an endless void that stretched on forever. Thunder continued to roar and lightening flashed as the heavens wept, and along with them, my heart bled its loneliness and anguish out into an uncaring world.


END

Oct 11, 2010

Guns N Roses - Slash

I've already raved about my memorable trip to Malaysia in one of my deviantART journal entries. Unfortunately, I'm not subscribed to that site, which prevented me from posting some of my "non-art-worthy" photos on my dA journal. That was unfortunate because one of the most awesome things that happened to me in Kuala Lumpur was getting to see Slash, formerly of Guns N Roses, perform live at the Sunway Lagoon during his world tour! I took a ton of pictures! xD Granted, most of them turned out blurred, but some are pretty decent.

Before going to the photos, let me just say that I'm not a huge Slash fan. Being a 90's kid, I was not familiar with most of the 80's classic songs, and the ones that I was exposed to were only the songs that my older siblings loved. As it turned out, none of them seemed to like listening to Guns N Roses much back then. Instead, I grew up listening to icons like Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson, Wham!, Enigma etc. So, I didn't even know who Slash is until very recently.

My cousins are huge fans of Slash and they dragged an unenthusiastic me to see his performance on August 5th. The only thing I was excited about was that it was my first concert - (not many performers come to the Maldives; at least, not ones I'm interested in) - so I was determined to have fun. However, I found out that I didn't have to try. I ended up totally enjoying myself. The songs were good (sung by Myles Kennedy) and the music was awesome.

And, of course, SLASH! He stole the show, hands down. (OK, so it was his show, but still) The guy has so much charisma on stage! Like my cuz, Sabi, said, "More than his skills as a guitarist, it's his profile that is really appealing. He's someone you look at and go, Whoa~! Now that's a rockstar!"

By the time the night was over, I'd become quite a fan. ^^;

Here are some of the miraculously unblurred pictures I took that night:


A shot of Slash and Myles Kennedy (he's an enthusiastic one. And you gotta love his hair ;P)

You can see the drummer clearly here. I forget his name, but he's brilliant! There was this drum solo in one song and ... -sigh- Definitely a highlight of the night :D

The vertical guitar - one of Slash's customary poses during the performance. Once, he even placed it on the back of his shoulders and played, but sadly, he put it down before I could take a snap of it.

A shot of him alone. We were pretty far away from the stage, so I couldn't take a closer shot. Any closer and the image turns out horribly blurred.

Slash's speech, in which he thanked the band and told the audience, and I quote,  
"You guys are f**king awesome!" 
He probably says that at the end of every concert.

Spooky green. The stage lighting was excellent. So excellent that - 

- it ruined what could have been one of the best shots of the night. Slash was on his knees and the other guitarist was beside him in a classic rockstar pose. The white lights behind them just had to go off the moment I took this shot. Bummer.

Take a bow.



Admittedly, there are more pictures from that concert, but there's no point in uploading the out-of-focus / unmemorable ones, right?

Another highlight of the night: at the end of one song, Slash played this long guitar solo halfway through which he began the first notes of the Guns N Roses classic, Sweet Child O' Mine. That single moment in which he switched songs was the most EPIC moment of the night. The audience went wild!

I recorded it, but that's for another post. I'll see if I can upload it later :)

Till then, ja! Hope you enjoyed :)

Oct 10, 2010

Poetry: "Walking Away"

Ah, when it comes to writing, the two things I feel that I'm genuinely good at are stories and poetry.

The first poem I'm posting here is in reality the last poem I've written up until now. And, truth be told, I must admit that it is also the one I'm most proud of satisfied with. I wrote it in less than an hour during a poetry-writing competition held by the English Literary Association of my school last year (2009). It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to and, with Allah's blessing, went on to win first place.

It's generally acknowledged by everyone that has ever read a poem of mine that practically no one can understand the full meaning of the phrases and/or get the whole picture unless I explain it all. I wonder isn't that the whole point of poetry whether that is a shortcoming on my part; I do tend to be rather vague and mysterious when I write poems. 
And this one is no different:


WALKING AWAY

With a sigh, I turn away
Your pleading eyes beg me to stay
But you know that I must go
For over me, my heart holds sway

The golden sun vanishes from sight
A lone star twinkles, oh so bright
And the soft whispers of the wind
Accompany the approach of twilight

The time has come, the tide is high
With a hopeful heart, I look to the sky
Oh, how I've wished for this moment
So, for me, dear one, do not cry

For too long have I been repressed
Unable to command my life; so helpless
But no more; now, I stand tall
My life is my own; no one else's

The strong fires of my soul will burn
And I walk away with a pounding heart
Away from a life that was naught but a lie
But to you, little one, I promise to return


The image I had in my head while I wrote this was that of a rich boy (maybe the son of a nobleman or a prince?) who had spent all his life being told what to do. People had such high expectations of him that his family strove to make him grow up to be what everyone wanted him to be. His decisions were made for him and no one asked what it was that he wanted. He was forced to live a style of life that he never desired, but no one ever gave him a choice. The outside world was forbidden to him and he knew no play or joy, only the suffocating rules and laws enforced by his parents.

Finally, when he comes of age, he sets out to put a stop to it. He has had enough of being a puppet and living a shallow lie. Now, he is his own man and nothing can stop him from chasing his dreams. So he sets off one night after the sun sets, leaving his homeland behind. He goes to live his own life, walking away from the nightmares of his severe childhood. This is what makes up the main body of this poem.

The other person mentioned here as "dear one" and "little one" is someone I imagine to have been the rich youth's only friend during his lonely childhood. Someone younger than him; perhaps the daughter of a steward or servant. She is the only one who listened to his sorrows and understood him, and brought him smiles and laughter at the end of particularly hard days. When he leaves at the end, he has to leave her behind as well; hence the "Your pleading eyes beg me to stay". But he promises his young friend that one day, he will surely come back to her. That part can almost be perceived as a pre-romance.

This is the imagery I had in my mind when I wrote this. And the song I was humming to myself at the time was the one Liv Tyler sang in the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the deleted scene Eowyn's Healing. It was, you could say, my inspiration for this poem. :)

Image used is copyright of www.shutterstock.com

Oct 7, 2010

The Unthinkable


Wow, it's happened ...

Once upon a time, a thirteen-year-old me said to my brother in response to his suggestion of my starting a blog,
"Me? Blog? Pfft, no way! I got nothing to write and it's a total waste of time. Not happening, nuh uh."


And now look where I stand. Looks like I'll be eating my words for lunch today.

In my defense, though, I blame all this on Nao. Not only has she successfully corrupted my mind with j - dorama and the interactions of j - idols, but she also got me to join blogger. It's the only way I can read her private blog, which is full of things I want to read ...

CURSE YOU, NAO!

-sigh- And since I'm here now, I figured I might as well as do this thing properly. Seems like a good place to publish my poetry, ramblings, thoughts and general nonsense xD

Hmm ... I'll start with poetry ...