Moving Mountains

So tomorrow we are moving in to our new place in Vancouver,and a week after we will both be moving out to different locations for work. DH heading south to San Francisco for his usual Mac convention, and me to the Banff mountains.

I have heard so much about Banff World TV Fest, I am beginning to feel I am about to attend someone’s wedding. You know the Malay kind. You get ready for hours, rush to the wedding just so that you arrive at the best time (that’s usually 1-1.30pm when the groom and bride are together on the dais) and then only to eat for 20 minutes, smile, nod and then leave. Errr…hardly a celebration yes? I have always wondered the rationale behind such weddings and why bother to invite the whole world who couldn’t care less about you tying the knot. Having said that, holding conferences in resort towns are equally baffling. The paradox is unequivocal.

You see, everyone in the film and TV industry will tell you they are a busy bunch. Yet the biggest festivals are held at faraway places like Banff, Berlin and Cannes. To get there, you need to fly to the main city, change flights, take a shuttle, ride a boat – you get the picture.

Take Banff. To get there, I need to fly for 1.5 hours, wait 1 hour and then take a 2 hour shuttle before arriving at the hotel. Funny eh. I thought we are all busy. So why on earth are meeting in the mountains?

Anyway, the good people in marketing will tell you it is the crisp mountain air, the shiny morning sun, the melting snow yada yada yada that will help all of us funny TV people to mesh our brains and work out the finances to produce yet another TV show. We also hope to move mountains. Right. Even so, I thought everyone is busy? Can’t we have a conference in a city where the airport is 20 mins away?

I don’t know. I was in another conference in Washington DC and it was so jam-packed with meetings I only get to go out of the hotel for 5 freaking hours in that entire 4 days. I look at my schedule and I see a repeat. So what crisp air are we talking about here?
I’ll probably be inhaling smoke from the patio.

A reminder

O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

This was posted by an American student in Atlanta, Faraz.He is into filmaking, but I am not sure if he authored this. It is one of the best 1-minuter I have seen. Very aesthetic, but very powerful in delivering the message.

You can check him out here.

Digital Hollywood

Anyone who has been to Hollywood will tell you it is over-rated. It is nothing like the Desperate Housewives set you crave to see, the Beverly Hills 90210 streets you desire or the action-packed streets of 24 where cars get blown up every hour while Jack Bauer jumps from helicopter to cars, like a kid playing hopscotch. Hollywood, is like any other North American cities. Its people are just like you, me and Dupree. Druggies, rich families, artists, wannabes, homeless, illegal immigrants, professionals…everyone makes Hollywood home.

But Hollywood is also a celluloid factory. It churns ideal images of the perfect life, the perfect look within their perfect shows. Even if it is a tragedy, the show it produces has a closure, very unlike life where we have to wait. After all, a story has to close within the hour, the episode or the series. It has to have a story arc, a conflict, a resolution, at least 2 cliffhangers before commercials, and a sub-plot to keep the main story compelling. It is very unreal, it burns hundreds of brain cells in finance negotiations, hours of scripting and filming, tonnes of caffeine, nicotine to sustain the long hours of postproduction and yes – that’s not inclusive of the campaign pre-release.

I have a theory about blogs. It is – the new digital Hollywood. A few years ago (or was it last year?) a gf shared with me that she had coyly asked a blogger (who is well known in the c to write very sunny, my life is perfect stories in her blog) why she writes the way she does. Her answer was simple – “Because I want people to think my life is perfect!”. I can be up in arms in a second with that kind of shallow response, but I respect the girl for her honesty.

My SIL has made it very clear to me why she does not blog (but she lurks! Ahah! 😉 , and that’s because she does not like the idea of an open diary. I agree with her. A diary to me is about heart-to-pen (excuse the pen, you can also read it as ‘hard’ to pen). I don’t like the idea of writing your ENTIRE life for everyone to read, but I don’t like sunny-side up types of writing either. Writers who are like that make me question more – like, hmmm...I wonder what your life is REALLY like. Are you hiding something?

So the blogsphere to me is a digital Hollywood because it can create the celluloid ideal. (Technically that word ‘celluloid’ cannot be used here lah). People read, get excited over ‘perfection’ written by thousands of writers and then fantasise. Isn’t that what Hollywood does to us? Hands up those who hate watching a BBC documentary because it is all grim facts sans the music. See.

Having said that, there are tonnes of money in digital Hollywood. Which is why I cannot wait to hear what the pundits say in this conference.

Do you think The Jetsons had French heritage?

I am on the hunt again.

This time, I think age equates to experimental and what-the-heck attitude (read: more confusion!) and so I am about to embark in one of my most never-thought-of decorating theme I have ever done. Ever.

Now that I have done a Mexican theme with my Tampines flat and Japanese Zen for the KL studio apt, I was pretty bewildered on picking up a theme for our new suite in Vancouver. This suite is not big (but so isn’t the KL studio! ) – but it is very close to where we work, near the beach and more importantly – near downtown where our addiction to book stores and good films will be satiated. I can also afford to have late-night brainstorm sessions with writers and directors at Calhouns.

I was tempted to pick a very Western warm, mountain-cabin theme or a very Asian wood-inspired look. But alas, true to every single time I am on a decorating hunt – I choose to do the crazy and the risky. Sigh.

I wanted to honour DH with his supergeek tag, and my own love for colours. I don’t seem to be able to shake off my love for bold coloured walls ( Tampines flat had Ashley Blue and Sunshine Yellow walls, along with a Turqoise TV room with Dark British Green ceilings, and Green carpet). The one time I tried to move away from colours was when I was doing the KL studio, and because it is Zen-ny, the theme has to be in natural wood colours. Arghh! What pain I had to endure! I was so tempted to splash one wall fire-engine red – they do have red on the Japanese flag, kan? Cannot eh?

Anyway, back to DH. So we went furniture shopping yesterday and was soon bored with the same looking furniture store after store. Until…DH spotted this super retro sofa that flips back and forth, and mind you, in fire-engine red! I so love the colour, and he so love the Jetson’s look of the sofa. The price was reasonable too. And so we bought the red piece, and that’s about decide it for us on what the look of the lounge area will be.

As if the stars were aligning itself, we went to another store and saw a most gadgety looking coffee glass table. It swivels and expands to double it size – and I swear to you it can fit perfectly on the set of Stargate Atlantis. Its pricey for a glass coffee table, but I saw DH’s eyes sparkle, and caught myself salivating too. Gosh, that thing is soo beautiful. Along with a metal floor lamp that arcs 3 metres across a room, we are so sold into the whole Jetson’s futuristic look. And we bought those too.

So now, I am caught with my pants down on how to manage the space-age items with good, homely sense. I spent a good part of last night researching, imagining and watching HGTV. I finally came up with the combination theme of Jetson-French Venetian marriage and oh it is so dangerous to do I will pee in my pants. Seriously. The only thing this Jetson-French V theme will have in common are mirrors.
If I screw this, our suite will the be the next set of the HGTV show How Not To Decorate.

Let’s see where this will go. And I promise, I will post pictures if it is ever done. I should listen to Mak with her now universal advice – “Jangan buat lagi, Uja. Bahaya.”

Why Ice Hockey Is Worst Than A Break-Up

I don’t know the answer. Truly.

All I know is that I cry EVERYTIME the 18,000 fans at GM Place sang the Canadian anthem, I shout (almost) bad accented Malay insults to the attackers when they could not shoot the puck straight into the net (never mind the fact that they do NOT understand Malay, obviously) and I get so very moody when the Vancouver Canucks lose.

When the crowd boo the Canuck’s goalie, Roberto Luongo – I get all mother-henny. “Dont you boo my Luongo Duongo!!” – I will scream at the TV.

Sigh. I don’t even remember being THIS emotional during past break-ups.

I just told DH if we have a son (or another cat), I want to name him Hanafi Naslund Abdullah, after Markus Naslund, Canuck’s centre. Bad sign there.

But Hanafi Naslund sounds better than Hanafi Luongo, no?