Saturday, August 12, 2006

zedih razania hati di dalam....

akoo rindoo my wonderfool and canggih Mac that haz gone over to itz original deztination... :( and i have a lot to blog abowt too other than good ol' mackey leaving me bat, alaz, thiz ricketi laptop jazt izn't going to allow me the pleazhoore.

ok. zo webzter and oxford dictionari might make one heckava izhoo bat am jazt tri-ing to prove a point....

blogging for now iz a realli difficolt tazk when the letters ehz, wai, and ewe don't work [exclamation mark x 3]


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I've aged since my last post...

while some people have ribbed me for being lazy and not posting plenty nuff, that's the real truth. i have aged since my last post. i just turned 46 on the 10th.

forteeeeefructoseladensiiiix!!!! man, i'm old. sigh. makes me feel ancient. in fact, i even look ancient. don't believe me? check this out.

see what i mean?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


i'm so tired from all the travelling this weekend that i've just turned into a grouchy old hag! am so not impressed with myself today. don't ask.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

my football outing went pfft!

the SO made the announcement before dinner that he was going to indulge in the nationwide craze that has kept many a Malaysian late for work, school or, worse, faking mc's all for the fever that is the world cup! so there i was, actually excited with the notion and volunteered to join him. he said he wanted to catch the 3:00 a.m. brazil match.

and now i'm sitting in front of my puter, hearing the clock tick above me. it now says 2:47. the game will start in 13 minutes and the SO is somewhere deeeeep in slumberland and, it's just a hunch, but i don't think i'm going to see that game. sigh.

and i had plan b in place earlier with some other earnest musos who have been enriching the mamak industry since the world cup started until i had a mini "non" crisis [thank God] with my phone and my pc. long story but suffice to say it's all okay now.

oh well... there's still that gel pack in the fridge waiting for me to brave the freezing temperatures in the bedroom right now. will i or won't i? tune in tomorrow and find out in the continuing saga that is... my life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

what a productive day i had today. got up early enough to go to the wet market then headed home and whipped up a storm in the kitchen. am quite pleased with myself. i made two serani curries [devil curry & timun curry] that'd win me mega brownie points with the SO [significant other - aka David] and a trophy with the MIL [mom-in-law]!

now if i can only eat what i made. i'm soooooo tired that all i wanna do is lay back with about 4 pillows to prop my feet up on and a nice and cool gel pack over my weary face...

Sunday, June 11, 2006


one button. one finger. that's all it takes to scroo up a would've-been-post. and i haven't had so much inspiration in a looong time. so am i crying? yes, you bet i am! maybe i'm being punished for not waking up early enough to go to tsurdz.......

oh well.... until the next flash of inspiration comes then...


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

top ten reasons i haven't blogged:

1. i'm too busy
2. i'm too tired
3. i'm too lame
4. i'm too blind [misplaced my reading glasses and can't see a blooming thing on this 17" screen]
5. i'm too busy
6. i'm too tired
7. i'm too lame
8. i'm too blind [cos too tired to look for reading glasses]
9. i'm too ti-yaaawnnnn-red
10. i'm too *&%#$@&** beeeezeeeeeeeeeee i've become so lame beyond description

i'm sorry i haven't posted anything on this space for like forever... did i mention i've been busy? and tired? and blind? and doesn't this just show you how lame i've become???

if anything, i've been doing y'all a great big favour by saving you from this temporary lameness. gee, i so hope it's temporary :(

Friday, May 12, 2006

Let's Go To The Top, YEAH! Let's Go To The Top...

For the seven readers who actually read my blog... I'll be at The Top Room this weekend together with a nice ol' bunch of guys who call themselves Eye2Eye Jazz Mix. Come on over if you're free. There. Done.

If you wanna know more go here.

Yay! I just figured out how to do that! All by myself... I'm so clever!!!!!!!!

Oh Edwin, you'll be sooooooooo proud of me :-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oh dear...

Ms. Almost Seven just pointed out that I'm in an incestuous relationship with her father. Gasp!

She asked, "Mom, Uncle Kenneth is you brother right?"

To which I replied, not wanting to confuse her with the "in-law" tag, "Yyyyeeaah... sorta. Why?"

"Then how come you and Papa are married? Shouldn't Papa be your brother???" came the shocked reply!

I didn't have the heart to confuse her any more. After all, my Dad married my Mom, my grandpa married my grandma and my uncle married my auntie!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Of 5 hour bus rides, weddings & too many really late nights!

Ok. I know I've neglected my blog again but I've been really, really, really busy! And really, really, really TIRED! Here's why...

I left KL at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, arrived in Singapore 5 hours later at 11:30 p.m.

Went to the jazz club then went for supper and didn't reach the apartment till 5 a.m., Friday.

Got up at 3 p.m. the same day, went to the gig at 9:00 p.m.

Reached the apartment at 5 a.m., Saturday, just in time to pack bags for the 5 hr ride back to KL.

Caught the bus at 7:30 a.m. and reached Bangsar at 12:45.

Rushed home to get kids ready for a wedding.

Out of the house again by 2:30 p.m. to go to church cos Aaron's suit was with someone from the bridal entourage! David's niece, the bride, got it for him from the bridal house and, though I had told her a month ago to get it early, she got it only the same day I was leaving for Singapore so had to make alternative arrangements!

Anyway, no sooner have the i do's been said and David & I were out the church doors and zooming across town to KL Convention Center where sound check for an Instant Cafe show was awaiting us!

Made it just a little after 5 p.m. Finished by 6 something then off to the hotel across the street for a quick meal [the first for the day!] and an even quicker change in time for backstage call at 7:40 [which we missed by 10 mins!].

The show was over by 10 p.m., half an hour shaved off from the schedule [yay!] and then we were off to our last stop, The Top Room.

At last, a chance to sit down and finally feel the muscles in my entire body relaxing. A nice and icey shot of White & Mackay... a satisfying and unhurried drag of some carcinogenic material... some really happening swing flowing out from stage and then the doors open and, lo & behold, my 3 kids are at the doorway! At midnight! My brother-in-law dropped them off at the club from the wedding reception and the sight of them sent my muscles back to its rigid state as they were when I first got there.

So there was Ms. Fifteen, Mr. Fourteen & Ms. Almost Seven all refusing my attempts at taking them all back home in a cab. Teens were saying, "We wanna stay! We won't fall asleep! We wanna listen to the music!" Half an hour later Mr. Fourteen was antsy & Ms. Fifteen was bored so went downstairs to read books and comics. But Ms. Almost Seven was in a party mood to match her party frock and was, true to her serani blood, dancing menyancing on the Top Room floor!

Needless to say, the next few hours left me even more tired than anything. Flower girl finally started falling asleep on dancing partner's lap. So I sat her on mine, not realizing that her hefty weight would double once she did fall asleep!!! So some arm muscle spasms and leg pins and needles later and Edwin [the dancing partner] took pity on me and put her back on his lap. Thanks ERS!

We finally headed for home around 3 something [the earliest in the last month] and I ambled along the 3 flights of stairs to my bedroom. Serves me right for the bright idea to convert the third floor into our own little sanctuary :(

Anyways, here are some uber-nice kodak moments from the longest day of my life.


My sweet-faced angel

Papa giving last minute "page-boy" instructions

Aaron taking his role seriously [oversized jacket and all!]

I so think my daughter has the makings of a model!

Besides, she already knows to party like one!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Beaches brew!

Sorry Mon-mon, I couldn't wait till you gave me access to that site where dogs can howl to their hearts' content. This "beach" needs to see the light of day! I need to vent out something that's been weighing heavily on my Jazzmammary glands!

It's been some four weekends now since the launch of The Top Room and, for the most part, everyone who's been there [operative words being 'been there'] has gone away more than satisfied and content in the knowledge that good, live jazz music is alive and well in Kuala Lumpur!

Having said that, there exists the notion that the 2-drink minimum rule that applies to all who set foot in it is a tad steep and that it has been taken to mean that the RM50++ charged is a cover. A cover charge, from my understanding, is when you get charged a fee just to get in regardless. What this is is you have to consume at least two-drinks while you sit there and ENJOY the music. Period. You order two drinks also it'll come to around the same price mah! And it can be any drink of your choice from the drinks menu. Except, of course, the premium brands lah.

Okay. There are some who will argue that they only take non-alcoholic beverages. Well, if we wanted to sustain a business by selling soft drinks and entertainment, we should've opened a cinema. This IS a jazz club. And we still have overhead costs to pay. And, like it or not, part of the overhead cost is the music itself. So we feel it's only right that we levy a minimum amount for people to enjoy that. Especially when we're not compromising on the quality of the music.

Let's do some basic mathematics. Let's just say a glass of wine costs 20 bucks. If you have two of those you've already chalked up 40 bucks leaving 10 from 50. Now, kira the cost of the band, the staff's salaries, electricity, water, not to mention rental costs and the bar's stock, etc. You don't need rocket science to figure out that the margin of profit is actually very little given the whole package that's on offer!

We thought long & hard about this before we set everything in motion figuring that that was a comfortable price that, even we, wouldn't hesitate to pay for to get good, high-quality jazz in these here parts.

Of course there are those of us who are more discerning in our choices. Otherwise one can always go to other entertainment venues and not be obligated to pay for two drinks. But then you can also walk out halfway because you find that 1. the sound sucks [sometimes the band itself sucks too] and 2. the crowd is too damn loud cos they don't give a rat's ass about what's going on in the bandstand [which in the case of the bad sound/bad band might be a blessing in disguise]. But that's exactly why we impose the two drink rule - so we don't have to have the wannabes who don't really know how to appreciate good music but just want to be there to be seen. The ones that sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU... right at the top of their lungs in 8 different keys, all at the same time, and this is the best part, right smack in the middle of the band's heated, oftentimes played from the heart, solos.

It's quite sad because we find a lot of people don't seem to see the value of what they have here. It's a perennial problem anyway. We've been singing the same ol' song - just in a different key now. Musicians who've been in the business as long as some of us have been feel that its a losing battle. Especially when you're up against a mindset that adulates and celebrates mediocrity. Just look at Mawi. I mean, the dude can't sing to save his life! And yet, in Malaysia, he's the greatest discovery since keropok lekor! Definitely fishy, if you ask me.

Anyway, begging your pardon. I digressed. The point I'm trying to make and, I take liberty in saying this, The Top Room management has passionately upheld since its inception is this... it's high time that somebody took a stand for quality. It's high time that somebody took an effort to create a culture for something good. It's high time to say goodbye to mediocrity and hello to excellence. It's high time to stop apologising for the fact that we have got something good to offer. Something that's taken us years of hard work and passion to build, whether you choose to believe it or not.

It's so easy to sit back and watch performers on stage and judge them and say, "They are just musicians because they couldn't amount to anything else in life". Well, we'd like to get you on stage and we'll watch and see if you make the grade. And we're not talking Idol standards either. Sorry but compromise is not something that comes into our radar. All we want, to borrow that well-known phrase from Aretha, is a li'l R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And that's across the board really. It's not endemic to just musicians or any art form. It's a basic human need.

But I've gone off on another tangent altogether. Guess I've got more than one gripe tonight. Had some golden gripe water earlier but that didn't help. If anything, it magnified everything else.

Now back to the main issue before I get any more waylaid. What I'd like to say is, before you make any judgements about The Top Room, you gotta come at least once. Then you can tell me [and i'll listen to you when you say it because you'd have, at the very least, been there and seen and heard, first-hand, what we've got to offer] that 50++ is too much to fork out for two drinks and good music, good sound, good ambience and good company!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


read an ad from an entertainment venue today saying "...these are some of the more musical musicians you'll find around town".

hmm... i guess that makes my circle of friends "artistic artists".

oh, and i know a few "poetic poets" too.

and when i'm sick i take some "medical medicines".

and not forgetting, i'm also a "maternal mother".


it's late. i'm going to sleep. 'tis a "nocturnal night".

Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm still the same person...

The face is still the same... I just got bored with the name.

My Easter Wish

Hang on. Somebody tell me... Where has all the time gone???
It seems like it was only yesterday [sounds like a song...]
when we were singing carols and then auld lang syne
and now it's easter?? Man!

I remember easters from my youth. Coming from a huge family
[my dad had 11 brothers and sisters! there were originally
14 altogether but the twins died.] we used to spend
all holidays at my maternal grandmother's house. I remember
the lead up to easter. Mom would boil lotsa eggs and then
we would sit around the table painting them before they
kept by the adults for us small kids to find.

There'd be loads of food. Uncles would be drinking from lunch
all the way to dinner sometimes. Ok. I lied. Everytime. There
was a lot of singing and laughing! I have really, really
wonderful memories of those days and, somehow, I feel that
my kids have missed out in life because they have not
experienced such things. For starters, other than our highly
fertile reproductive systems, the rest of David's relations
have very few or no children at all. His sister lives in Brisbane
with her husband & two kids. I on the other hand have about 5,001
relatives but they are either in the Philippines, in the US,
Canada, Bahrain or God knows where. Secondly, because of our
busy schedules, the cousins hardly ever get to hook up, save
for the occassional wedding or funeral that they attend. Sigh...
I really should make more of an effort to get them to meet up. Ok.
That's my Easter resolution. New Year's resolutions never work for me
I'll try this one out and see if I have better luck.

Anyway, Have a Happy Easter!!!

Oh, someone sent me this via email and I thought it beautiful enough
to post for all to see... God bless you all!

It is amazing how two people can look at the same
thing and have very differing perceptions.

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son
on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of
showing his son how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of
what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his
son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yes," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked
the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they
had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our
garden and they have a river that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have
the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the
whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have
fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they
have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how
poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder
what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything
we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially
your family & friends!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kids gone goofy

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Get me to the church on time, mama!

Today is Sunday... the first day in weeks that I didn't have to do anything at all but take my sweeeeet time getting out of bed. Very much unlike the frenzy of the last six weeks leading up to the opening of the club.

For over a month my days didn't usually end till 6 a.m. then 3 hours later I'd be up and out the door either taking measurements or choosing paint colour or checking out sound equipment or scanning pictures or something or other! No wonder I'm sooooooo tired. So this morning when my daughter, Judith, came up to ask if we were going to church, all I remember saying to her was, "[yawning] hhhokay, have your bath and get ready". I opened my eyes 3 hours later, just about the same time the Pastor must've been ending his sermon.

On the upside, someone remarked last night that I had lost weight. I was quite the unbeliever as I still have this annoying post-maternity paunch, three years on since giving birth to Aaron. However, last night at TTR@TH, I was wearing this li'l blue number that I hadn't worn in a while and, lo and behold, it kept threatening to perform a wardrobe malfunction! It was loose. So, yes Anita, I have lost weight. Yay!

And speaking of last night, we had a marvelous time at the club. We had a great crowd that turned up. Some old friends came by in response to mass emails and smses announcing the existence of a new [true] jazz venue. They came expecting to hear it and that's exactly what they got. And, boy, they sure showed their appreciation. It gives me hope for jazz in this town.

However, being the jaded jazz musicians that we've become in this country, lurking in the back of our minds is the million dollar question... how long can we sustain this before we have to kow tow to the deep-rooted Malaysian notion that jazz is anything but... God-forbid, Malaysia, prove us wrong! It would just kill me to have to bring in R & B into the place. Throughout our careers we've been forced to compromise our repertoires on many occasions just because of what the public, [sometimes even the venue], thinks jazz is or should be.

Can't really say I blame them too. I mean, big corporate backed "jazz festivals" have been seriously flawed with commercial artistes getting top-billing. And may I add, these people are the first to tell you they're NOT jazz artistes. Companies pump big bucks into these exercises and all they want at the end of the day, like any profit-driven outfit, is to generate revenue which is all fine by me because that's why we all engage in business ventures. We all need to make a living. But I take offense in the fact that they usurp the good name of jazz for their selfish gains. Go ahead and organise your festivals but it's time to call a spade a spade. Just call it an R & B festival or Rock fest or Pop fest or grunge or alternative or underground, overground, indie or undie... whatever! But just don't label it jazz anymore and expect to get away with it.

They [the organizers/backers] maintain that its the public who dictates what goes up on stage. So, give them what they want. But you better find out exactly what that is before putting up your big banners in the name of jazz.

The question I need an answer to is: Why are people so enamoured with this four letter word that spells jazz? What's the draw? Somebody please enlighten me.

But the best question I've heard so far is from the big kahuna at The Top Room. To David, he says: Do they [referring to musicians] know they have to play jazz here ah?

'Nuff said.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

High on Jazz

what a fantastic response we had to the first weekend run at The Top Room! we had a roomful of jazz lovers hungry for good music. and good music they got. along with a distracting rowdiness from one group celebrating a birthday. but thank god they decided to move on elsewhere before the second set took off.

mike veerapen turned up just in time and , along with julian chan, let off some M steam for much of the second set. well-known vocalist francissca peter also came to check out the new room and graciously took to the mic for two tunes with david gomes & his trio. it was a fab set with these cats turning up to jam!

if this first night is anything to go by, me thinks The Top Room has a bright future ahead. sure, there were hitches along the way, like orders taking forever to be served, etc., but these are just teething problems that are easily rectified. the most important factors are well in place... warm & cozy [read: unpretentious] ambience, uncontrived music played from the heart and passionate people running the operation. plus, its got its own carpark right within its grounds. what more can we ask for?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jazz is Tops!

Well, well, well... The Top Room @ Top Hat is here and if you guys are serious about jazz then this is the place to be.

Launched on Monday, the 20th of March The Top Room is all set to swing the socks off o' any jazz kaki!

We had a fabulous night complete with a 6-piece band led by my main squeeze, David Gomes, and a couple of great talents who popped by to lend their support. Thanks once again Steve, John & Joe for making time that rainy Monday night. The rest of the musos sent their best wishes... Mike V {busy with M}, Farid Ali {rehearsing for Tuesday's concert}, Greg Lyons {who left on the same day for the UK leg of his tour}, Zahid {who was shooting something somewhere}. etc... etc...

It was also nice to see friends, both old and new, coming to wish the place well and giving us their blessings. I haven't got time to say much right now... so I'll let the photos do the talking. Can you people tell me where you find the time to post?!]

Hang on... before I go... do come this Friday & Saturday when we kick off with the first round of weekend performances. I'm doing both nights with The David Gomes Jazz Trio. A bit of inside information... a good number of musos have indicated that they will come by for a jam so, if I were you, I wouldn't miss that one!

Oh, and check out the video clip taken during the launch set when that wonderful young saxophonist, Julian Chan, saboe'd me on How High The Moon. Most definitely one for the archives! Log on to

It's okay Jules, I've forgiven and forgotten [but only cause I suffer from short-term memory loss, remember?]

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Top & tale

Please note that the jazz venue I was talking about is not launching on the 12th as I mentioned earlier. It's happening on the 20th of March! The name of the place is The Top Room @ Top Hat.

We checked it out yesterday and the walls had been painted, the carpet was laid and everything's looking really good. I'm so excited. It'll be a good thing. I hope you people reading this blog [yes, all 5 of you!] would come and support us!!!

I'll be updating this blog every now & then as to the progress we're making up there!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm a Dory, what are you?

If you were to pick a cartoon character that you most identify with, who would it be? I can so relate with... [or is it to?] oh, never mind! Mine's the unforgettably forgetful Dory from Finding Nemo. She's absolutely, adorably hilarious! I feel her so much. Prob'ly cause, like her, I ... what was I saying again??? Dory? Dory who?? You know my mom's name is Dory? And I'm my mom's Jr, which makes me Dory, Jr! And that's how my dad justified calling me Junji, a Japanese man's name, [for those of you who haven't read my first post]. It's my nickname for Jr. Now you know.

See? I even sound like Dory! That wasn't intentional by the way. Sometimes I'd get into arguments with my kids about things they claim they told me which I have no recollection of, or I could be talking to someone on the phone and then suddenly I'd go, "what was I saying again?!" And I won't even try to repeat some of the conversations I've had with my husband. Between us two, we've forgotten to fetch our daughter, Joelle, from primary one at least twice!!! Better still, we go through the names of all five kids before we hit the right name!

I think, like Dory, I suffer from short term memory loss. The ram in my brain's just maxed out and it needs an upgrade! Either that or I need to defrag my brain. I can remember stuff from long time ago though. I find nowadays that certain names & faces from my past just pop into my head as if it were yesterday. I find it really strange. Of course the other logical explanation is age. Too much of it. Sigh.

Anyway, I haven't watched Dory in a while. Nemo was one of Aaron's favourites and he must've seen it, at least, 80 times! Which is also why it probably won't work anymore. It was a really sad day for both of us when the dvd finally gave up :(

And, if truth be told, I think Aaron got over it faster than I did!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Hey, hey, hey! Been having a really fabulous time getting acquainted with this mean machine. I feel like Eve when she first bit into that apple. Suddenly her eyes were open and she could see! All those years of suffering with a pc. Till today, I only ever know the basics. I never went beyond word, excel & powerpoint. Oh, and solitaire, hearts and mahjong.

I was thrilled to bits when i discovered that there was a sudoku freeware on mac widgets. Habis aku! I'll have a hard time now finishing my work on the computer. I can just hear that tiny li'l japanese voice going... "pray with me, come, pray with me." i know, i know. sudoku was invented by an american. i couldn't resist. anyway, work i must. and all for a worthy reason...

next weekend, on the 12th of March, a new jazz venue will be unfolding in the golden triangle. it's in the lovely colonial enclave of the Top Hat Restaurant along Jalan Kia Peng. It's a project that has taken 2 years to materialise and it's finally happening! And fast too. While it took the owners about a year plus just to secure an entertainment license, the renovations are taking about the same time it took for Jesus to create the world. 6 days. On the 7th day we parteeeee!!! Okay. Please do not take this the wrong way like those people took the Danish flers to task. Is a figure of speech. I love Jesus and the actual length of time he did take to create the entire universe is debatable to many but I just love Him for creating everything that He did.

Back on track. Jazz has found a new home and I hope you guys will come and check it out. And check it out again. And again. And again. Just like those flers in that place where everybody knows your name.

I'm Back!

Many people wonder what became of Jazzmamma. Well, maybe I should've mentioned from the start that moi is the doyen of multi-tasking [read: sucker for punishment]. Hence, I have been kept away from my beautiful Bspot by a myriad tasks [mammoth, some of them] but also, perhaps more importantly, the lack of a chance to sneak into my son's room to use the pc :-( ...

Well, people, lemme tell y'all, I'm comin' at ya straight from me very own bedroom using a spanking brand new imac G5, complete with a newly-installed [thanks edwin sumun] state-of-the-art wifi router. Then again, anything I don't really understand is state-of-the-art to me. But who cares? I've got a mac and I'm never turning back! I know edwin, I know. "Limited edition" only. Nermine. I shall enjoy it for as long as I can.

But really... all I want to say for now is... IT'S GOOD TO BE BAAACK!