Category Archives: Inspiration

1001 Balloons

Ideas are balloons which gives form to life.

Keeping one afloat,

like 1001 helium balloons in your hands.


Defying buoyancy, defying gravity,

Every new experience, new friend made,

balloons are added into life.


Every minute spent listening to others,

Watching what others do,

More balloons are added into life.


The little ones, the large ones,

they all make you float higher.


Sometimes the biggest and brightest balloons come with

glass shards,

piercing needles,

or a flock of crows.


You let go




to get that big, bright balloon,



only to miss it.


Or blow it up.



You fall, as gravity takes over. . .




Only to collect more balloons on your way up again.


Ealing Studios

“Quiet on set! Getting a take. . . camera rolling?”


“. . aaaaand ACTION!”

I love the summer holidays when I get to indulge in non-academic, non-engineering activities guilt-free. I had the opportunity to help out my budding film director friend with his short film shooting at Ealing Studios last weekend. The experience was exhilarating.

I saw how the make-up artist applied sweat, bruises and blood on the actors. I was impressed by the actor’s (who played the protagonist) ability to express his character during rehearsal (when the actor(s) act without the camera rolling) even without his acting partner. Ok. Maybe that is the standard for students from acting schools, but I was still amazed anyway. Later in the day we got a glimpse of Colin Firth as the shooting for Gambit happened in the studio right next to where we were.

Hollywood, Bollywood may sound and appear glamorous but the work that goes on on set requires all your attention and energy. The shooting for my friend’s short film began around 9am and I only left the studio after 6.30pm, after helping out with the cleaning up. I slept throughout the whole tube ride back to central London (where I crashed at a friend’s) and may had members of the public assuming I was a little tipsy. I was still half-asleep when exiting the tube station and temporarily lost the ability to walk straight. I recovered slightly after a restorative of salmon ramen and takoyaki for dinner.

While introducing myself to one of the crews on set, I told him I studied Chemical Engineering and I wanted to work in a chocolate factory. Being somebody who is very detached from the engineering world, he couldn’t see the relationship between the two, until I explained that chemical engineers are the ones responsible to oversee/organise/design the processes that happens to make your toothpaste, shaving cream, canned food, shower gel etc. He told me that, “Everyone wants to be a film director, a whatever, so-and-so, but this is the first time I’ve heard of somebody who wants to work and own a chocolate factory.” At that point in time I wanted to go HELL YEAHHHH!!!!! but I just smiled and laughed instead.

He himself started out with producing home-made films by getting himself a camera and having fun with his friends. Another guy I spoke to on set actually did a PhD in Physics before enrolling into a drama school in London. Now that’s monumental. I thought he was a model at first impression. One very important thing that all these people reminded me was, dare to follow your dreams. As a Malay proverb goes – kalau hendak seribu daya, kalau tak hendak seribu dalih.

Direct English translation – If you wanted something badly enough, you would put all your efforts in it, but if it was something you really do not want to do, you’ll come up with thousands of excuses for it.

Strictly Hits Bath!

There were some hot acts on the dance floor tonight as Strictly Hits Bath! Reps of sports teams – hockey, rugby, football, kickboxing, to name a few – were paired up with ‘professional’ dancers from the Latin and Ballroom ala the original Strictly and were given three weeks to prepare a given piece from a selection of Cha Cha, Quickstep, Tango, Rumba, and Jive.

Here are some measly photos of the night’s show taken with my humble point-and-shoot Nikon. It is events like these which makes me desire for a one of those bad ass super-zoom-lens-high-res-high-shutterspeed digital SLRs.

The event was organised by the Sports Eds as a charity fundraiser. There was a really good turn out – largely attended by members of the various sporting teams. For £3 it was definitely a worthwhile entertainment and it was brilliant to see how much dedication they gave into putting the show together. Great job guys!

Watching all the participants giving their best feet forward sparks a little something in me to put on my dancing shoes again. Boy, it has been a while. It’s time to trim those thighs and crack the abs, babeyh!

Look out people. Somebody might just hit the dancefloor in due time.


“Dancing; the vertical expression of a horizontal desire legalized by music” George Bernard Shaw

Bryony Kimmings

If you are young, innocent, naïve, yet to have your first kiss and the territory of the land below un-ventured – the following review is to be read at your own peril. If you feel brave enough to discover what lies beyond these lines – fuck on.

Bryony Kimming’s Sex Idiot was a brilliant mind blowjob.  Full-on honesty and highly uncensored, she bares it all as she retraced her sexual encounters to find the contractor of her STD.  Little did I know what to expect when I redeemed the free tickets to her performance. I came out of the theatre feeling as if I had just lost my virginity.

She admitted to her problems with alcohol – drinking irresponsibly, ditching the contraception, partner after partner after partner and hello STD!

There were bird headdresses. There were bright red heels. She changed into a matador costume. And then a white lace dress. And then she took out her underwear. There was a contemporary dance called ‘Sex’. She demonstrated the expansive ability of a condom. She stretched it right over her head as you would wear a swimming cap. “If the guy tells you his dick is too big for it (the condom) it means that it is bigger than my head!”

Then, she started handing out scissors to the audience. Contributions of hair from you-know-where were asked for. When the cutting tool was passed around the guy next to me took it, slipped it into his pants and snipped off a little of whatever it was (I buried my face into my hands and was half-sobbing into my friend’s shoulder on the other side of me) and passed the thing right across me into a teacup which was used to collect all the donations. Another guy sitting diagonally across in the row before me did the same.

Oh the shock, the horror, the trauma! Right then, a bottle of Jack Daniels was also being passed around. I should have done with a large gulp of it to swallow the next to come.

Apparently the scissors have not been washed since her tour show in Edinburgh. She took a clear tape, stuck the donated hair onto it before putting it across the top of her lips to resemble a moustache. It was her way to telling us BE CAREFUL of doing what other people tell us to do. The ‘moustache’ was on her lips for almost five minutes while she sang a song of a douchebag of an ex-lover.

I would recommend every impatient, sexed up, pre-pubescent boys and girls to watch this show. It is not cool to be fucked and fuck up your future in the process. Best ever education on sex I’ve ever had. Vivid. Live. Sexy. Burnt into memory. Damn woman. You’re brilliant!

Now, I would like to take a shower, cleanse myself and pray.

Dear God.

Please grant me a safe fucking life.



I am guilty of doing very little revision today, but check out these music videos I found while going through last year’s Eurovision.

Perfect pick-me-up to boost your mood. And I love the way she wore her sneakers with the dress. “This Is My Life” Anna Bergendahl – Sweden.

I think I have a crush on this guy. “Me and My Guitar” Tom Dice – Belgium.

I spent half the afternoon grooving to this beat, with the blinds open! HAHA. The neighbours would’ve confirmed their suspicions I’m a mad engineer. I don’t get a single word of the lyrics apart from the chorus, but quoting the emcee at the end of the video, “Oh, go on admit it. You enjoyed that!”

“Allez Ola Ole” Jessy Matador – France.

Her. Voice. Made. My. Hair. Stand. Up. On. Its. End.

“Sweet People” Alyosha – Ukraine.


The Case of the Broken Can Opener

Just at the point of wailing over brain’s incompetence to perform integrals and differentiation and lacklustre report writing, I broke my can opener over a can of tuna. The five minutes staring at the scattered little pieces of screws and nuts was filled with evil thoughts that I would turn out an epic fail engineer.

I abandoned the dysfunctional thing on the corner of the chopping board while I mutilated a couple of Bird’s Eyes chillies and tore a handful of leaves off the lettuce head in vengeance. I managed to open the can about three-quarter way through before the above mentioned tool gave up on me, so all it took was a little push and the can prised open, revealing a modest portion of wholesome protein goodness.

Halfway through mixing my tuna salad, I stopped and went back to look at the half-broken tool. I glanced at another can opener lying around (not mine) and somehow got the epiphany to fix it together again.

Hallelujah! The fixing worked!

Maybe my being an engineer wouldn’t turn out so bad after all.

Chop! Chop!

I popped by Boots to get some echinacea tablets when I stumbled upon a pair of quality Tresemmé hair cutting kit. At £16.33 it was almost double the price of a similar one from Boots but I bought it anyway as my tresses was in dire need of a trim.

FYI: Echinacea is said to help prevent or shorten the duration of a cold/flu infection. It works by increasing your white blood cell count (i.e : the good guys who fight the baddies in your body). I’m hoping it would see me through my exams with minimum glitch, as right now there is a bout of infection around campus.

It took me nearly two hours to finish. Given no training and this is the first time cutting own hair, I managed to pull off the layers rather nicely. Doing the back of the head was tricky business, but I found a way to sort of pull back sections of hair, raise it above the head where you can see your hand holding it in the mirror, and chop it off. The edges were kept from looking blunt by layering the ends at the end of the process.

I tore the seams of two bin liners and used it to line the floor of my room prior to my DIY project. That’s the pile of hair which got lopped off.

My head feels so light! I saved my pounds, bounce is restored to my curls, and I pulled off the feat of brushing my hair WOO-HOO! Even the sun came out today after several hours of rain.

I shall now happily resume revision.


The title is a portmanteau I made up from the terms Otak which means brain in Malay, Cuckoo – a type of bird, also a term used for going crazy, and Otaku, a Japanese term for die-hard anime lovers.

My affinity for reading manga and watching anime increases exponentially the moment I start working (very hard) towards exams. The last time this was observed was during my A-levels, when I essentially read chapters after chapters of manga and episodes after episodes of anime at a ratio of two hours of study for every half hour of anime time.

There’s notes posted on my wall, piles of scribbled paper on my desk, socks everywhere, my older Fujitsu propped up on top of a folded cardboard box on top of my pail and my foot up on my printer. Pop musics and OSTs (original soundtracks) in languages apart from English is constantly being played while I wreck my head in divine inspiration of practising on problem solving sheets.

I have been keeping it steady at a limit of two mugs of coffee per day and reducing sugary food intake. The head is throbbing from long hours in front of the computer screen, and the rainy weather isn’t very encouraging for taking a breather outside.

Exams start on the 18th January and I’m hoping to be able to complete my revision by then. Wish me luck!


The past couple of days have been very Biology intensive revision session, and bits of it finally made its way inside my head. Somehow, I miss my AS Biology lessons back in Mantin, with all my classmates in it. Hitchman and his evolution theory. The weekly “humiliation” sessions where all our “notes” were checked. Here’s a confession. I can’t get over Bio. Scroll down for pictures from my dear Biology teacher’s farewell party.

(Amended from David Guetta & Chris Willis ft. Fergie and LMFAO – Getting Over You)

If all the things I learn right now,

If I remember like back then,

There’s no getting over, no getting over,

No getting over bio.

Wish I could spin my world into reverse,

And have Hitchman back again,

No getting over, no getting over,

No getting over you!

It’s back!

Hey hey I can’t forget you Bio

I think about cells everyday

I tried to masquerade the pain

That’s why I’m sitting on the desk

St-st-st study to the night

There is no, there is no getting over you

To study to the mid-midnight

The osmosis between notes and I, retreat to the morning light.

We like to study like class,

Debate Darwin in the class,

But there is no, there is no getting over you

I’m a study, and study, and study and sta and sta

and study, and study, and study and sta and sta

People in the place,

If you’ve done Bio,

Then you know what I’m talking about

There is no getting over


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Best Shots of 2010

Another year has passed, and I must say, it had been a very good one. Year 2010 had been one of the most stressful, most fun, and most defining moment of my life to date and I say, Alhamdulillah, for being able to cherish nearly every single moment of it. To sum up the past year, I have compiled some of  my favourite photos I took in 2010.

1. Best Mugshot : My Name is Sieau.

2. Best Camwhore : 1920s Shanghai.

3. Best Group Photo : Raya 2010

4. Best Editorial : The Little Iban and the Mountain (original cover), Alia House page for KTJ Annual Magazine

5. Best Scenery/Location : Bath Skyline in the snow, Oxford – Hollywell Manor.



Happy New Year to All!