I Ramble: 29 November 2017

 

I wanna sing like them too. Live singing > studio singing.

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I Ramble: 27 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

I finally got around to listening to a new track by Evanescence. Apparently, Lindsey Stirling collaborated on this so I’m wondering why she was not credited like Evanescence featuring Lindsey Stirling.

Anyway, the lyrics…to me, at least the way I relate to it, speak of someone from the past. Someone whom you’ve crossed paths and you’ve crossed before. And there is that slight regret of how things turned out the way they did.

“I don’t know your heart.”

 

I don’t know your heart
I don’t know where to begin
But I could feel you erasing the rivers I’d drawn in
The more I stood still
The faster you were running
You don’t know how it feels crawling under your skin
So far, so far away
Don’t you know we could be

High or Low
You never fell beneath me
And I gave up on you, but I never forgot you

I can’t be your friend
Hold your hand while you bleed

There’s nothing left to give you
Nothing more I need
Time to let it sleep
Oh, the damage was real
But nothing cut me so deep I could not heal

Don’t you know we could be
High or Low
You never fell beneath me
And I gave up on you, but I never forgot you

High or Low
You never fell beneath me
And I gave up on you
But I never forgot

I Ramble: 18 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

Oh, my God. I HAVE BEEN SICK FOR FOUR WEEKS NOW!

First week: diarrhea. Second week: Flu after midnight shift. Third week: Diarrhea after midnight shift. Fourth week: Flu.

Wah kao.

Illness plus consecutive weeks of midnight shifts plus conseutive weeks of friends’ weddings plus my own wedding preparations have kept me away from my business. Wtf.

Supposed to get the website done by tomorrow….but nope. Suddenly, my childhood friend is getting married tomorrow too.

Why.

So I decided to tank both friend’s wedding and discussing my wedding plans at the same time tomorrow. Le papa and la mama are going so I decided to bring le fiancé along we four can confirm some details.

Like the monetary gift that Malays usually like to have at wedding aka the duit hantaran. Going to have some serious negotiation with la mama. I really don’t want it but since she insisted, I’mma do it my way.

*rubs hands in glee*

I really don’t see the point of framing thousands of dollars when I can use that money to book a world tour.

More worthwhile!

So it is either she settle for the mandatory amount of monetary gift aka the mahar, or I’m setting it at $111. Just because. My proposition is that we create a money tree out of the $111. So 11 one-dollar coins would look like the fruits and the green five-dollar notes and red ten-dollar notes would look like the leaves. The idea is that we continue to grow our money tree throughout our marriage by adding on $1 coins, $5 notes, and $10 notes. The money tree shouldn’t be touched unless in cases of emergency. I think that would definitely be more symbolic and meaningful. La mama insisted on duit hantaran as she claimed that it is to kickstart our marriage life. Well, isn’t the money tree a kickstart and an actual sustainable idea?

We all win!

So I hope that plan works tomorrow but don’t you worry. Sometimes, it is good to heed advices but sometimes, you have to heed your own advices because in the end, you’re the one living your own life. Not others. What may suit others, may not suit you. You can’t put a cookie-cutter template on the way of life. Basic moulds, maybe, but not the exact preset ones.

However things turn out, la mama and I love each other and want the best for each other. So I’m not too worried about it. At the very least should she want it set above $500, I’ll just opt for el cheapo ring.

Between a ring and honeymoon, come on, mate, you know I will definitely choose honeymoon. You can always buy rings anytime but for a honeymoon experience while you’re still fit and healthy? Damn son, better get in right away!

Can’t wait for the next 12 hours to whiz by because I’ll get to see Beedin!

And Allah is the best. – MM

I Ramble: 14 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

I crawled to work. Struck by severe diarrhea. Crawled back home and thankfully, my company is part of some medical health alliance group that allows me free consultation and medicine capped at $50 at participating clincs. Thankfully, the clinic closest to my home is one of them. So I didn’t have to come up with a single penny just now.

I learnt a difficult lesson today.

I also learnt that I have neglected both my soul and my body…all in trying to get confirmation from my workplace.

So I had to let go.

Suddenly, work is no longer important to me right now.

I just want to repair my relationship with Allah before it is too late.

There is a lot of lightning but no thunder right now.

Sometimes, when we have heard enough, we probably just need to see.

And I see it clearly now, I have to be kind to Nurul Huda.

And Allah is Al-Hakim, the Wise. – MM

I Ramble: 13 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

I miss my Quran. A lot. Decided to do a random look up based on today’s date, 13/11. So I looked up Chapter 13 Verse 11 on quran.com:

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ – 13:11

ABDUL HALEEM
each person has guardian angels before him and behind, watching over him by God’s command. God does not change the condition of a people [for the worse] unless they change what is in themselves, but if He wills harm on a people, no one can ward it off–– apart from Him, they have no protector.

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah . Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.

I find this very apt to describe this point of my life where I’m at and it is even more befitting that the name of the chapter, Ar-Ra’d, means ‘The Thunder’, when there is thunder and rain here in Tampines at about 3am now. I enabled more than one translation of the verse so that the meaning can be clearer for those of us, especially myself, who struggle to understand ye olde English.

I can’t exactly pen into words how I relate so much to this verse right now but let’s just say, whenever I’m looking for answers, I’ve been Spoken to. When He answers, I really need to take the time to reflect.

Actually, I feel the entire chapter is relatable right now. Feel free to have a read if you’re bored at https://quran.com/13. Especially the accompanying verses to verse 11. Like 10, 12, and 13. I really like how the chapter started off with tapping on your faith (“most of the people do not believe”) before tapping onto your intellect (“for people who reflect”), your sound judgement (“for people who reason”) and then your ability to make sense of things (“only those with understanding will take it to heart)”.

That shows, very importantly, that Muslims should not believe blindly but they should reaffirm their faith through reflecting and comprehending the signs of God’s presence.

But I think the best one is verse 24, especially after being patient with life struggles for so long. That one is just, wow, like struggling in life is actually worthwhile.

So here’s to struggling a bit more. Just a little bit more patience needed.

And Allah is Al-Wasi’, the Vast, the All-Encompassing. – MM

 

I Ramble: 11 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

I was mindlessly surfing YouTube while reeling from the exhaustion of midnight shift last night when I discovered this:

Some of the replies were really mean. Some were really sweet. It made me remember the times when I confessed or asked a dude out by text hahaha! And yes, I often received rejections or vagueness. I really can’t understand why guys would be so mean to girls asking them out. It took a lot of courage for the girls to do so and for guys to just be mean in their responses is just so selfish. Some guys would love to be asked out yet those with the privilege of receiving them just take it for granted. At least those girls know the truth about their crushes. Yeah, it hurts to find out that way but at least they can stop wasting their time pining after guys who are not interested in them.

And I know all about spending too much time wondering if a guy likes them back. I know now that I’m someone who invests 100% emotionally into someone I’m ‘in love with’. I put that in quotation because it is subjected to perspectives. To me, I was in love but to others I was only infatuated so using quotations seem more apt to balance both perspectives out. So congratulations to le fiance for scoring himself a girl who loves him forever. MUAHAHAHAHA!

Also, I miss jamming with le fiance. Huhu.

I’ve been down with flu and cough for two weeks now since my first midnight shift ended last last Tuesday. I miss singing so much. Huhu.

Oh, oh! Le fiance bought me a mini-microphone so I can record my voice on PC hehehehe! It’s so cute!

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It only costs $6! Hehehe! We saw it at Challenger and I was like, “CAN I HAVE THIS PLEASE, BEE?” and he bought it for me. I’m so happy, wheeee~

Just tested it and it works! Yay! Hehehehe!

Speaking of singing, I’ve been thinking about my sound as a singer. I guess, I was really so heavily influenced by bands like Evanescence and Nightwish and Epica and Kamelot that I tend to use, or at least attempt to use, that mezzo-soprano sound in songs I write or cover. But really, I do envy female singers who have that rock edge in their voice. Especially Lzzy Hale’s. I’m still trying to sing Shatter Me and I’m still struggling. The verses are comfortable for me but the chorus is killing me. What she does is scream-sing the “shatter me” stanzas. Which is awesome. Which I can’t do. Hahahaha! So now I need to find a way to sing it my way. Doing covers may seem like an easy thing but it’s actually difficult. You either cover it 100% completely or you cover it in your own style but you risk overdoing it. I think once I can carry Shatter Me and Let It Go (yes, that Frozen song) without struggling, I’ll know for sure my singing has improved. Le fiance said I’ve become better but personally, after not singing for so long, I feel like I’ve regressed. While the guys I did covers with (featured in the above jamming videos) don’t dig my symphonic metal influences, le fiance has been supportive instead. He heard me karaoke to Nightwish’s Wishmaster and he liked it; both my singing and the song hahaha! (The misheard lyrics are super funny hahaha!) The song is not easy but I’ve somehow managed to find a way to sing the high notes of the bridges through my mezzo-soprano sound and then sing the verses using what I feel is my speech-level singing. Have a listen to the original.

Le fiance enjoys playing the guitar solo of the song. He really likes playing challenging stuff. I think essentially all musicians enjoy making progress in the craft. Not for recognition but for increasing the sense of appreciation for music. You won’t really appreciate a piece of music or the musician playing it until you understand the technicalities of it or attempt to play it. I guess it’s good that I enjoy challenges? The more difficult something is, the more I have a go at it.

Let It Go may seem like a simple kids’ song but I find myself getting easily breathless when singing it, especially the bridge to the final two chorus. Oh, my God. That’s just. Hard. I need to work on my air capacity. And that means… exercise. Hais. I’ve been hibernating for months now. I really need to get back to exercising. Gyabon.

Hais. I have the rocker look but I just need the rocker sound to match it. Hahahaha!

And yep, no, I’m not over how even better Lzzy sounds live. Hahaha! I actually wanted the guys to cover this with electric guitars instead because well, none of us can play a violin, but their influences are more to the old school metal like Metallica and Iron Maiden. It’s okay though. Maybe by the time I can finally carry the song, I can sing it with le fiance on guitar and we’ll just get sessionists to back us up. Even without sessionists I can imagine both of us together on stage playing to a backing track. But I would enjoy a stripped down acoustic set as well. Hehe. Like this:

And we can smile at each other like that too while performing. The two of us are resolved to try and perform for free at Esplanade, even if it is just at the concourse. I think that would be a great milestone for us as Rubber Bandits.

But yes, we don’t want to just sing covers but we want to sing our original songs. Both of us are songwriters, which is definitely great because that makes things much easier for us to come up with originals. And it also helps that we both have very different musical influences so that makes the songwriting process interesting.

Yes, Huda is not all rock. Maybe Beedin and I should write a song involving rap like Bed Peace. Hehe. That video made me fantasise about how it’ll be like if Rubber Bandits should ever be popular. I’ll probably be the one doing most of the talking in interviews like the video but I know le fiance will cover for me on those days when I feel all-peopled-out. He is more talkative than I am. I’m really more of a listener.

Yeah, I reposted a lot of videos that I have posted so many times when I blog hahaha but they’re so good! :p

And Allah is Al-Mujib, the Responsive, the Answerer. – MM

I Ramble: 5 November 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

I swear I’m turning into a minah at this rate. 😂

Look at the pic collage I made of me and le fiancé!

We really need to take more photos as a couple together.

Can’t believe it, we’re coming close to a year. Just last year today, we were at my old workplace setting up for the play.

Sighs.

He is soooo dreamy. Lubdub lubdub!

And Allah is Ar-Rahman, the All-Compassionate.