November 2008

:: Hangin’ Tough

Last night I saw The New Kids On The Block a.k.a NKOTB in concert at GM Place (where the Vancouver Canucks games are held). Lady Gaga and Natasha Beddingfield opened the show for the first hour. I enjoyed Natasha’s performance because she was cool but personally I thought Lady Gaga was abysmal.


I remember when I was 9/10 yrs old, OBSESSION is probably an under estimated description of the stage I went through with NKOTB… (seriously). I also remembered when NKOTB toured to Indonesia back in 1990, I wanted to go sooo badly but obviously that was out of the question because they were in a different city, even if I was in Jakarta my parents would never let me see them. I remember wanting to cycle my bicycle with some church friends just to get to the concert even thought it was actually a 1.5 hour flight from my home town to Jakarta…


18 years later, I couldn’t believe my eyes when they came on stage and I saw all of them there. I couldn’t stop giggling for some reason, and what a great show they put on. They sang all their hit 80’s and 90’s singles such as “My favourite girl”, “If you go away”, “The right stuff”, “I’ll be loving you forever”, and of course “Step by Step”. The lyrics are cheesy but who cares?! We wanted to hear and see the cheesiness of their dance moves. I love them still. They look so good, some seem to age quicker than others but overall they’re still hangin’ tough and DEFINITELY are doin’ The Right Stuff.


I’ve never been in a large concert before so being surrounded by 20,000 people and it was surreal. I looked around and thought to myself, boy these guys are famous! They have the power to control the noise, the cheering, and the build up of anticipation. I can only imagine the energy they feed off the audience, it’s crazy! There were sooo many women and a few men(who were there mostly because of their girlfriends or spouses), and clearly they were having a jolly good time and couldn’t contain their excitement judging from the photo below:


I sat on the outside aisle and the highlight of the show for me was I got to shake their hands! Yes, not 1 or 2 of them, but ALL of them. I remembered Joe Mac actually grabbed my hand and smiled. The 10 year old child in me wanted to scream uncontrollably but at the same time I was overwhelmed and so I was frozen instead. They started walking down the aisle to get to the centre stage to sing “Tonight” half way through the show, and that’s when they reached out their hands to the crowd. The stage was round, it had a piano in the middle where Jordan played and it rotated, so we could see everybody. We had the best view because everything was so clear and close.


There were 2 big screens on both sides of the arena and people could text message to appear on the screen to be in the draw of meeting them after the concert. Some people wrote funny stuff but the best one was “I still sleep with NKOTB dolls.”

I admit that I was one of the many victims that fell into buying their merchandise. I bought a shirt and their HUGE book program. After the show, the shop was attacked by thousands of horny women and a few men who would grab a hold of anything and everything that has either a picture or writing with NKOTB on it. Within minutes, all the shirts was sold out (luckily I bought them prior to the show) and even the program was sold out! People were flinging their dollars up in the air and bought anything that was left on the floor and the shelves. I saw a plastic NKOTB keychain that would only be worth 20c if that, and they were selling it for 10 bucks! People were fighting for it because that was all that’s left. These guys are money making machine. It’s a mad house! I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Who would have thought this girl from Surabaya finally had a chance to see NKOTB live almost 20 years later, not only seeing them but touching them too. Eeek:-) Sad but true!

Natashia’s Birthday Party @ The Domus

:: Farewell Ambrosia

This weekend I did a photo shoot on the set of a short film that was written by Schoolcreative students, directed by Stellina Rusich and produced by Olesia Shewchuk. They wanted to get some behind the scene shots and also needed some graphic design work done for the movie poster. The movie was titled “Farewell Ambrosia” and was set over a period of time ranging from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. I had to come up with a design for the poster and had plenty of inspiration from the on set location Jupiter Lounge. The lounge had plenty of periodic style furniture with black and white checkered floor tiles, dark walls with heavy red velvet curtains draped and a large semi circle bar made of polished antique style wood. The hard part about this shoot was that I had to work around the filming in order not to interfere with them and also had a limited time schedule. In addition to that, most of the actors were in and out of costume during the days and some had left before I was able to get photos of them so thanks to a little Photoshop magic I was able to add them in.



This was the first time I had been on the set of a movie and it was really interesting seeing how everything is put together. There’s plenty of work and preparation prior to actual shooting making sure that the set design is perfect and that there’s no inconsistency’s with the set. The last thing you want is to have a modern telephone or coke can that was accidentally left on a table in a scene which is meant to be set in the 1920’s! It was also really interesting to see the documentation process for each take of a scene and how the filming of each sequence was done. Most people don’t realise that a movie is never filmed from start to finish. They usually will film scenes according to the location and set requirements so they might do scenes 1, 5, 8 and 9 in one day. This makes their job even harder because there has to be plenty of attention to detail to maintain consistency throughout the movie. You can’t have an actor film one days worth of scene wearing a red tie and then have him wearing a blue one when in the movie that scene is only five minutes later in the same location.




It was amazing to see the entire crew and actors pull off this mammoth task of filming such a variety of scenes over such a tight schedule during the three days and have it executed flawlessly! I’m looking forward to seeing the first screening and don’t forget to check out the photos in the gallery… until then…

Farewell Ambrosia…

Happy Birthday Tash!

Today was Tash’s Birthday so I took her out to a very stylish restaurant called Sanafir located in downtown Vancouver on Granville Street. The venue is very trendy with extreme high vaulted ceilings, modern decor, plush leather cubicles, colourful Moroccan fabrics and candle lit for that ambient mood.

Sanafir is a small town on the Sinai Peninsula known for its traveled silk route and the restaurant has a fusion of Asian, Arabian and Indian dishes on their menu. The dishes are tapas style and each trio served is based on a different region’s exotic flavour and spices. We tried the Calamari trio which included a deep fried salted pepper, curry and salad mixture. We also tried the Chicken trio which had Indonesia Satay, Chicken Tandoori and a Moroccan style curry as well. Since it was a Tapas style meal we ordred the Dungeness Crab Risotto as the base side dish. The food was nice and a very unique dining experience for the both of us and we enjoyed the night out together.

Being away from family again returns us back to our “normal” life since its just the two of us again, but of course that being said, even though we are halfway across the world Tash was bombarded with SMS’s, emails, Facebook posts and Skype calls from family and friends wishing her on her special day.

Happy Bithday Tash!

Love Saj, Jamal and Candace Maximus…!

Happy Halloween

This was the first year that we have got to spend Halloween in Vancouver. It’s not really celebrated much in Australia so we really didn’t think much about it other than being bombarded with the usual retail propaganda. Our apartment is two blocks away from the major pub and nightclub strip in the downtown area so there was plenty of action going on with almost every venue having Halloween themed parties. Halloween is quite a big deal in North America and everyone gets into the spirit of things and dress up in very elaborate costumes. You’ve got the usual vampires, werewolves, superheroes and witches, whereas others chose to be a bit more witty with their costumes. Some of the flesh wounds that people had created were a little TOO realistic… I saw one guy walking down the street wearing a dinosaur head and he had leather pants with the butt cheeks cut out. He called himself “Mega-sore-ass”…

Last year we went to a party in Seattle and it was definitely a case of dejavu this year… This year we decided to got to a party out in Kitsilano with some of Tash’s friends and it turned out to be quite a good night. It ended up being an open house party complete with DJ, spooky nights, token smoke machine and off course plenty of alcohol. Everyone had a pretty good time and we made friends with some pretty cool people.

This festivity is starting to grow on me… Don’t forget to check out the photo gallery for all the pics!