Friday, November 26, 2004
Anyway, as I type this, I'm almost done packing my bags. I'm flyin' off to Bangkok at 0750 hrs in awhile, going for the Saxophone Conference. I'll be there for almost a week, from the 26th Nov to 1st Dec evening. Hopefully I'll have a ball of a time there with everything to do with saxophones, jam sessions, performances... and hopefully can get 'lucky' there also lahh.. ahaha.. wah.. me devil... hmmm...
Hopefully I can even do a couple of runs and especially a 10K on a weekend. Thought of joining Bangkok Marathon 10K, but too late to register la. If I register now also have to pay like USD$40 or 50 or something like that man... cannot afford la. Do my own 10K also cukup.
Anyway, I'm not sure if I'll get to blog the next couple of days. If I do, then ok la, although I doubt it. But anyway, when I get back on the 1st, have to faster book ticket to go Singapore on 3rd Dec, man. Damn kau rush. Also, looks like I'll be going to Singapore alone la.. shit. Parents all not free also. Sigh.
Anyways.. i'm off to finish packing. I'll see y'all in a couple of days...
Singapore Marathon: 10 days and counting...
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Yay, managed to do a long run yesterday evening, Monday. Went to my usual Sg. Kantan route in Kajang, and did two rounds of 6.8k. Felt pretty good too, like the run was fairly comfortable, and I didn't feel like I was exerting myself too much. Clocked 1hr 39mins.
Started at 6pm.. and boy, the sky became dark quite quickly. By the time I went the second round of the 6.8km, it was getting dark, man. And the housing area I pass by got very little street lights, and in fact, one stretch of it doesn't even have any. But I am not scared wan.. hahaha... touch wood.
But I enjoyed my run la... will skip Tuesday, and will train on Wednesday and Thursday.
Can't wait for Bangkok for the Sax Conference...
Can't wait for Singapore Marathon either...
Singapore Marathon: 13 days and counting...
Monday, November 22, 2004
Good points - worked a fair bit last week, playing sub at Senja Restaurant, Hyatt Saujana Subang, and also a very exciting gig at Alexis Bistro, Ampang with Greg Lyons and the Motley Crew during the weekend.
Bad points - I only managed to train once last week... on a Friday, even so, I only ran 6 rounds around KLCC park (that's about 7.8km). Didn't want to run more than that, on that day, because I still had to play at Alexis. Hmm... so much for my training plan. That's me la... cannot follow training plan properly. Either that, I should be a little more realistic with it...hmm...
Anyway, just a little gig report for the Alexis show with Greg Lyons and the Motley Crew:
If you missed it, you definitely missed one of the more stellar jazz line-ups in KL: Greg Lyons on saxophones, Lewis Pragasam on drums, Andy Petersen on bass (!!) ... the high-end pros of kl... (my main piano man) Justin Lim on piano and synths, and Isyam Swardi on guitars.. the high-end up and coming pros of KL. To add some spice, Greg got some extra fellas in his line up to really cook up the music: Myself on alto sax and flute, Low Chee Meng on bass clarinet and baritone sax, Bruce Hern on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Chee Chow Ming on trombones.
Some of the stuff we played are a mix of original compositions from Greg as well as some interesting jazz compositions from John Scofield, Eddie Harris, and then some. Greg's tunes are some of the more challenging ones, as he is fond of writing some really crazy stuff in odd meters. For the non-music initiated, usual meters are the basic 4/4 beat that you hear every day (occasionally a 3/4, or 3-beat like Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz). Odd meters are meters that are none of the above... like a 7/4, or a 5/4 (7-beats and 5-beats respectively). His arrangements of those tunes are really interesting, as some of the tunes change meters in the middle. A bit gila la, you can say. But really kau kau fun, next time, if you have the chance, do not miss Greg's shows, it'll blow your head off! Hahhaa..
Well, I plan to intensify my training this week. Since I had so much rest from last week, I had better step it up a bit this time around. I'll be doing more long runs this week, ranging from 8 - 15 km each run. Not to mention I'll be going to Bangkok this weekend for the Int'l Saxophone Conference, hopefully I'll manage to squeeze in a couple of runs there. Next week will be taper week, so nothing more than 5k a run.
Weather looks nice today...
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Looks like we've got an animation winner on our hands! I just went to watch this movie yesterday (Sunday) at Mid Valley. All I can say is... go watch it... it's probably the best animation movie, or best MOVIE I've seen all year. Whoever wrote this story is just so amazing!
In short, it starts off with the protagonist Mr. Incredible and soon-to-be wife Elastigirl getting married (but not before doing some super-hero duties), and next thing you know, he gets sued for the damages (as a result of his pre-marriage-ceremony super hero duties). The town authorities orders the entire super hero community to stop doing what they do best, and they all ended up living among regular folk, as their secret identities. 15 years later, Mr. Incredible springs back into action as a result of a secret mission, from a very unsuspecting employer. For more details, go watch that movie! I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Anyone going to see it, if you need company, let me know.. cos I don't mind watching it a second time! AHahhaa...
Anyway, I went for my 20k long run from Bukit Aman - Sri Hartamas yesterday morning, as part of my training plan. This will be my longest run in preparation for the Singapore Marathon. Subsequent weeks' long run will be 15k and 10k. I clocked 2 hrs 21 minutes for this long run. Some logs for this run:
1. The last time I did a 20k long training run (one week before Desaru), I couldn't finish my run. My legs and body felt like bricks 3/4 way back to Bkt Aman. But this time around, I could finish my run. Although I didn't run ALL the way (I took several one minute walk breaks, and of course, the pit stop at the Petronas station Sri Hartamas), but I did not experience the "brick legs". I think I can give credit for this to Chi Running, for sure. One of the focuses of doing Chi Running is that your lower leg (from the knee all the way down) must be totally relaxed, and loose. In fact, the main focus is that you do not use the lower leg muscles at all! So most of the muscle used are from the larger muscle groups. How to do that? You pick up your feet when you run (just imagine that you've got imaginary rods on the ankles of your feet, and you'd have to pick up your feet to avoid tripping on the rods). So when you pick up your feet, the larger muscle group used is coming more from your abdominals and quads (read: thighs). So after the run, the only muscle soreness from exercise are mostly centered around my quads.
2. Chocolate milk is awesome for muscle recovery. I got this off a triathlon website recently. Here's the deal: When you exercise, your body is using up glycogen (from carbo) as a source of energy, and of course, protein. But it is also constantly resynthesizes them. So immediately after a workout, you have to refuel your body with carbs and protein. But what food would have both a good balance of carbs and protein for a post-workout recovery: CHOCOLATE MILK! Probably cheaper than a Protein Bar, actually. And it tastes great! Carbs are from the chocolate, and protein from the milk.
Well, 19 days to Singapore Marathon and counting....
Thursday, November 11, 2004
.. or at least just come earlier in the day lah.
When I headed out of my house yesterday around 5-something in the evening, it was just nice and sunny! My scheduled training run (as in really, running ah, please!), would've gone just nice. By the time I reached KL area, I saw it... gloomy skies!!! "Argh.. no!" I told myself. At first I was just angry that the town was jammed. But then, the moment I parked at KLCC... IT RAINED! HEAVILY TOO!! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! FAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKK!!!! And it definitely looked that it won't stop for another couple of hours... darn celaka la... just my bad luck.
Having said that, I decided to head to the Fitness First gym at Maxis. All I can say is, when you're an outdoor road runner, the gym just ain't gonna work for you la. Not for me at least. I did the first 20 minutes on it, and I already cannot tahan. Although I actually enjoyed seeing myself run from the glass reflection ("..you're so vain" ala Carly Simon), but the feeling of motional-motionless (something I just came up with.. if you get what it means), just ain't cuttin' it for me. Then, like nothing to do, I just went to them body-workout machines and did some pulls and pushes there la. Boring. After a while, I decided to hop back to the treadmill, hoping that I can get some running groove back. This time really teruk.. lepas 5 minute also I boring already. I just gave up. ARGGGHHHHHH.. why must rain so late??!??!?!?!?!
I hate to run in the gym.
Oh yeah, got the latest issue of Runner's World and JazzTimes (with Branford Marsalis, killa sax playa on the cover).
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Francesco Cafiso.. check this kid out!
Man, check out this kid from Italy, Francesco Cafiso. This kid is just about 10 years younger than me.. and he plays like a monster, man! Sax players, you might want to just... put your horn down and get another job!! I'M SERIOUS!
Check out some of his clips and stuff.. amazing. So much musical maturity for someone so young!
Thursday, November 04, 2004
KLCC Park - 8 laps (total time - 1:21:59)
Average pace - 7:48 minute/km
Lap 1 - 9:59 (bad mistake, start too fast)
Lap 2 - 9:45 (yay, negative split)
Lap 3 - 10:30 (see what i mean.. start too fast, now pay la)
Lap 4 - 10:14 (hmm.. at least still got some neg split)
Lap 5 - 10:20
Lap 6 - 10:22 (that's it la..going downhill from here)
Lap 7 - 10:24
Lap 8 - 10:21 (wah, another neg split!)
1) Chi Running technique is pretty cool. Makes you run faster. But still gotta train to get the body used to it.
2) Halfway, I seemed to lose focus on relaxing my body during the run. Must focus more.
3) I seem to find KLCC park a tad difficult. Somehow it sorta "kills" a bit. Anyone think so?
4) I need a massage. Anyone knows where I can get a good (sports) massage? Message me?
5) I need a nice hot tub soak... but I don't have.. boo hoooo...
Monday, November 01, 2004
If there's anything to say, it's this: I need a gig.. I'll say it loud and bold: I NEED A GIG!!!!!!!!!!
Really, man! I haven't had a decent good gig for weeks, now... ever since the Sean Ghazi gig. Well, other than the Backyard Pub gig with Greg's Biophonics, really. Even so, that gig is a "for fun" gig, really.. not much money, but really fun, and it's always enjoyable playing in Greg's ensembles! Ning's gig was probably okay too.. not bad, the pay.. but pretty straightforward la.. like an average day at work kinda thing.
I need a gig!
Well, all I've been really doing the past couple of weeks (other than the holiday trips) is pretty much practicing in my room (yeah, been spending most of my time in the practice room), and also training. However, I couldn't really keep up with the training plan:
1. Rain... bad scheduling.
2. Trying out the Chi Running technique, I can't do speedwork until I've got the technique together. And ease up on the distance, as well. This is due to my body getting used to the different effort. When I first starting trying it out, my heart rate spiked up a lot, about over 5% than my usual. Apparently it's normal, cos the body's just getting used to it.
I need a gig!
Anyhow, practicing in my room just involves me practicing my 3 saxophones, flute, and also some piano (I'm teaching myself to play some piano, with the help of some books). Learning solos, practicing scales.. blah blah blah...
Other than that, I also went to a club called Poppy Garden (located next to Wisma TA at Jln P. Ramlee), where some friends of mine were playing there every night 'cept Sundays. The purpose of going there was to jam with them... out of despair of not being able to have a gig and play as much as I wanted to! But jamming with these guys were pretty fun actually. Check out this up-and-coming guitarist, by the name of Isyam Swardy... killer jazz guitarists.. and also a rocker, too!
I need a gig!
Anyway, today I played with my band again, after a long 2 over months hiatus. It just seems that almost everyone is pretty busy with some other work, and the fact that the band didn't have a gig, meant that we didn't play together. We played at Subang Parade today, and this time around, we played jazzed-up Malay pop tunes and some Raya tunes. Best part: I didn't rehearse the shit at all, and I only got the charts when I arrived there, whereas the rest of the fellas have been playing the charts for the past week or so (they're playing there the last several weeks but with different soloists). So they brief-ed me on the arrangements before we started playing, so I have an idea of the song forms. The rest of it, I had to sight-read them, AND sight-TRANSPOSE them too (to non-music readers, this means the charts are written in concert or piano key, and I have to transpose them on the spot to my saxophone key). Anyway, I think we winged it pretty well, for no rehearsals! One of the best parts of the gig, I think my ideas during my improvisation segments came out pretty okay too, at least 80% of it. It also helped that I was playing with the group of guys I'm so used to playing with, and we sorta understand each other a lot, in terms of how we relate musically when we're playing! Yeah.. it was fun...
I need a gig!
Also, last night I went over to Alexis Bistro, Ampang to meet up with Alonso, and also to see his Latin Quartet play. As it turned out, I ended up playing 3/4's of the second set with him. You see, it was a very small group, with just Alonso on percussions, Eric Li on piano, Wan on bass, and the very HOT singer, Marcela Pinilla! So, for a latin group, it's a very, very small setup, for the latino's liking. So when I got to Alexis, drum extraordinaire John Thomas also came, and Alonso got both of us to jam with him for the second set! The sound of the band became much bigger with just the two of us added in! The songs were pretty okay, and I pretty much winged the whole thing, without rehearsals, too! You see, I actually had my horn with me 'cos I wanted to go to Poppy Garden at Jln P. Ramlee to jam with some friends who were playing there. In the end, I ended up playing the rest of the night with Alonso... which was equally as fun! We played some nice salsa, and latin grooves.. and even Guantanamera as an encore! Man, the joy of playing again.. WITH a real band... not some jazz play-alongs on CD!
I need a gig!
Anyway, HAPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYY HALLLOOWWEEEEEEEEEAAHAHAHAHAMUAHAHAHAHAHAH (evil laugh) HAHAAEEENNNNNN!!!!
I need a gig!