Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Models & Music: Playing For The "En Vous" Fashion Show

Even though my 'headless videos' only make a rare appearance on the blog these days, I assure you that my piano playing ways remain intact. Which is why I was glad to be asked to sing at a friend's fashion show in Kandy a couple of weeks ago. She was looking for some acoustic-type live music to be played between sets while the models changed outfits, and I was more than willing to do it for her. So I worked out a few songs with my brother and a friend on guitar, and the results are below.

Thanks to A for recording the videos; unfortunately the sound isn't too great since the camera seems to have been right next to a speaker.

Kings of Leon - Use Somebody

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Switchfoot - Always

As for the show itself, I must say it went really well. It was titled "En Vous", and featured some original designs by my friend for swimwear, casuals, evening and an especially nice linen collection. However it wasn't just the collection that was high class; the venue was extremely well done as well, with the runway being set up on the pool.

I know what you're thinking, and no; none of the models fell into the pool, despite how unsteady it seemed to be to walk on. Though come to think of it, how awesome would it have been having the models 'surface' from the pool itself wearing the swimwear collection? Perhaps a suggestion for another time.

All in all it was a grand success, and I was lucky enough to meet a few people who were interested in our 'services' for future events. I sincerely hope I handled those conversations well, despite not having a smooth enough reply for when people asked me for my card. Luckily Kandy is a small town, and when I mentioned my name, most people simply asked if I was my father's son, and after replying in the affirmative, they said they'd get in touch with him for my details. Perhaps I should make him my manager.

Either way, the Darkside is definitely in the market for more low-key sideshow musical attractions! If nothing else, it'll serve to be a welcome distraction from my mundane work life. Thank you all for the positive and constructive comments made on all my uploads, I probably wouldn't have had the nerve, nor would I have been heard of, to do stuff like this without them.

PS: I managed a sneak peak into the world of modelling at the show. Await a post on that soon..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sleepless Nights, Restless Days

It's a warm night, and I had no trouble getting out of bed to dig out my laptop and type this. My attempts at sleep were futile anyway.

I have lately been filled with a sense of uneasiness and want. Work has not held my interest, and even though I have some big deadlines to meet there is a distinct lack of motivation. I've been here almost 2 years now, and even though I've learned a lot and come a long way in that time, I'm starting to feel extremely cramped.

Working outstation isn't easy, but I used to enjoy it. I had nothing to look forward to in Kandy except unlimited internet and Mom's cooking, yet I could survive without them for 5 days a week without trouble. Besides, I liked the seclusion, and the mystery almost of our workplace and its surroundings. There was never a shortage of entertainment; my co-workers were notorious 'party animals', though more in the 'drinking and singing' sense than the 'loud music and dancing' sense. Despite my perpetual sobriety, I proved to be a worthy companion (at least according to them), and I didn't mind watching my friends make idiots of themselves while repeatedly asking me to sing to them. Also, the constant supply of 'interns' and 'trainees' to our plant meant we always had new characters to show the ropes to, as well as entertain. It was a good time.

And yet now, things no longer hold the same appeal to me. I am constantly bored, uninterested in colleague's endeavors, disillusioned with my field of work and unoptimistic of my chances of progressing in this line. The seclusion I once found refreshing is now almost a suffocating, and the hours spent in the gym no longer seem like an appealing way to spend the evenings. 

I am bored, and strangely lonely. The loneliness is troubling, considering I have good people around me almost every day. I find myself looking for distractions while I'm alone, no longer relishing the freedom of having my time to myself. Waking up in the morning is a horrible process of opening my eyes and willing myself to roll out of bed to make it to work instead of calling in sick.

Dark days, and sleepless nights are upon me. But it's those sleepless nights that have always been the sign for change in my life. Like omens, the tossing and turning into the early hours of morning have always preceded great victories or accomplishments, or drastic change in my life. 

So as I toss and turn and wrestle my wandering mind at night, I pray for change, for victory, and for the next phase.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Every Conversation Begins With A Lie" | Indie Ink Writing Challenge

In the bar by ~onesummerago

"Hi, is this seat taken?"

He looked up from the menu he had be staring at the last 15 minutes, a little surprised to be shaken out of his daze.

"I'm sorry.. Yes. No, I mean.. I'm just.. it's free, yes."

The girl laughed, a small quick release, as if he had said the wittiest thing she'd heard all night. Given the state of the bar they were in though, and it's patrons, it may have been. The poor lighting made it difficult for him to accurately distinguish her features, but from what he could tell she was about his height, his age, a little over-dressed and definitely over-perfumed. Her dark hair was tied up in what may or may not have been a fashionable way - he never knew anything about these things.

She sat down gently, as if the booth's seat might let go at any minute, and stretched a well-ringed hand towards him.

"Hi, my name is Carla."

He took it, timidly, and replied; "You already said 'hi'."

"What's that?", she said, her face suddenly going blank.

"You.. you said 'hi', twice. I was just.. my name is John."

"Hi! Nice to meet you John!"

She continued smiling, waiting for him to continue the conversation. He declined.

"Where you from, John?", she blurted out, unperturbed.

"Around. Excuse me, but I'd like to be left alone. I'm waiting for my - I'm waiting for my wife.."

She laughed again, an elaborate gesture involving her entire upper body, that was still somehow devoid of real volume. It clashed completely with the stiff, staccato tone that John had just used.

"Oh c'mon, John, you're way too young to be married, surely! Besides, you've been waiting here a while, am-I-right?"

She smiled again. She smiled a lot.

"She's a little late, perhaps..", he offered weakly, glancing at his watch.

"No way, John, you're a bad liar." She suddenly leaned forward and took his hand before he could react. "Besides, no ring!".

She leaned back, looking pleased at her deductive skills. His silence simply confirmed her assumptions, and she smiled. Wider.

He sighed, a deep and tired sigh, and didn't respond.

"It's okay sweety, I understand. Some stranger sits in your booth with you, and you don't know what to think, right?", she said, in a patronizing tone.


She put her hands up and said, "Oh don't be! The world is a crazy place, I don't blame you. " More smiles, more gesticulating. He tried to go back to reading his menu.

"How about we start again? Hi! My name is Carla, I like a good time, and you're name is John, and you like being all blue and.. -"

"My wife died", he said suddenly, numbly.

The transformation was almost instantaneous. Carla suddenly became serious, the rest of her playful ramble snatched out of her lips. First he saw surprise, and then perhaps the flicker of deep sorrow and sympathy flit across her face.

"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry. I didn't know, I mean, I ..."

"It's okay. Car accident. Two months ago today."

This time there was definitely sympathy, as Carla leaned back in her seat without saying a word, her hand involuntarily touching her mouth. She looked around the bar now, for the first time unsure of herself. It was almost empty, with a few stubborn patrons semi-conscious on the counter, staring into space. She looked back at him, attempted to say something, but words failed her.

She reached her hand towards his, and was about to say something when a voice suddenly yelled out from behind the bar; "Lisa!"

A large, burly man had just stepped in from the back entrance and was walking towards their booth.

"Lisa, goddam it, how many times do I have to throw you out of this place??", he bellowed, moving quickly for such a large man.

It was now Carla's turn to look down at her menu, trying to blend in to the furniture, but the large man walked straight up to her, rudely pulling her up by her elbow and pushing her towards the door. She struggled and tried to protest

"Man, I'm just talking to this guy..!"

But he was having nothing of it;

"Oh don't even try, I've heard enough of your stories! Now get out! And tell that pimp of yours I'll take care of him permanently if I see you or any of his other little toys here again!"

And just like that she was gone. The man, presumably the bartender, turned and slowly returned to the booth, looking back at the door as if  to make sure she wouldn't return. He then turned, and looked down at John, whose eyes barely left the menu.

"It's late.", he said gently. John didn't budge.

He rolled his eyes, muttered to himself before reaching down to take the menu out of John's hands.

"Go home, your wife must be worried about you. You know how she gets, and she's just going to call this place any minute now. As usual."

John's shoulders dropped a little, but remained seated.

"Dammit, you have a kid on the way, you shouldn't be out here drinking like this every night. Go home, okay?"

Still nothing, not a word. The disgruntled bartender finally says firmly, "Jacob! Go home! NOW!"

The man stirs, finally, and slowly gets out of the booth. He looks up at the stern expression on the bartenders face, but finding no sympathy there, he slowly makes his way to the door, one unsteady step at a time, and leaves.

This week's Indie Ink Challenge came from Jamelah, who gave me this prompt: A conversation beings with a lie -- Adrienne Rich "Cartographies of Silence". I challenged Andrea with the prompt : A lot of movies these days have an extra scene after the credits roll; a little twist to leave the viewers with - write a scene that would occur after the final chapter of a popular fairy tale or children's story.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Is Not A Steve Jobs Tribute Post

By now I'm pretty sure you are aware of the passing of Steve Jobs. I'm also pretty sure you found out of his passing via some Facebook post mourning his death. The adulation that Jobs has received in the last 24 hours has been unmatched in recent past, and is perhaps eclipsed only by the death of Michael Jackson.

The tributes have been moving, emotional, personal and somewhat unanimous in their message: "Steve Jobs changed my life, and he was the most inspirational and motivational person I knew".

I too was sad at the news; the man was iconic, and his views on design and technology were unique. Either way, it's always sad to hear of the death of a person well before his or her time. I had no idea his cancer was at such a terminal stage; in fact, I'm sure most people did not, which just added to the shock of the news.

While people continue to debate his contribution to the world, I spent time on another line of thought. I admire Steve Jobs' vision and his technological advancements, yet I cannot claim that he was someone who inspired or motivated me personally. I have been influenced by many people, and I continue to be influenced today by the amazing and unique people in my life, yet the only people I would elevate to such a status would be my parents.

Yes, perhaps it's cliche to say that, but be that as it may, it is also very true. My father and mother have been through a lot, raising me, because I wasn't an easy kid to raise. I have often rebelled, thought of leaving home and running away (ah that familiar teenage fantasy), yet somehow I have arrived where I am today - hanging up the phone after talking to my Mom, laughing and joking and just messing around.

My father and I do not share such a vocal relationship, yet our bond has been tested by fire over the years, through trying and gut-wrenching experiences. While I once used to ignore his opinions and advice, now I won't do anything if it meets with even the faintest whisper of disapproval from him.

(now the hard part)

When the day comes when they pass away, I know that I will have reached that point solely because of the values they instilled in me, and the expectations they had of me. My family is by no means a regular, 'normal' family. We don't hug things out or sit down and discuss life lessons with each other when we're going through tough times. Yet somehow, these two people have spent half their lives raising and nurturing me, the best way they could.

As I watch the moving images of people paying tribute to Steve Jobs, candles, testimonials, tweets, FB updates and all, I have to say that I cannot identify with the emotions. "Inspirational"? "Motivational"? I can't think of any celebrity, let alone Steve Jobs, that I would feel that way about. For me, at least, that place is reserved for my family only.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I miss running a fastbreak.

I miss that instant when you switch from defense to offense; that sudden burst of power that rushes through your body when you know the opponent has missed and you break for the opposite basket.

I miss that adrenaline rush when you realise that you have numbers, when it's a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2. Like sharks reacting to blood in the water.

I miss that feeling of cold calculation as you decide how to break down the defense; whether to pass to the open man, or to take it strong to the hoop. I miss watching the defenders frantically scamper to even the odds, but to no avail.

I miss the sound of the net, whipping the ball as it falls through.

I miss back-pedalling to defense, staring into the eyes of the opponents and saying, "You're turn".

Man I miss basketball. And I'm not just talking about watching it (damn you David Stern, end the lockout!); I miss experiencing it.

Because playing basketball was more than just a game, it was an experience.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Captain America: The Worst Avenger

Last weekend was movie night, and the choice was between "Cowboys & Aliens From the Makers of Iron Man" (or something) and "Captain America: The First Avenger But The Last Avenger To Get A Movie". We had heard identical reviews regarding both movies, so we decided to let IMDB.com decide for us. Lo and behold, Cap' got a very respectable 7.2 while Cowboys & Aliens had a 6.5.

I had seen the trailers for the movie, and while I wasn't exactly fluent with the 'Captain America' storyline, I knew enough to get by. Basically this was going to be the last big blockbuster movie before they made the 'Avengers' movie which is scheduled for next year, and I was eager for what I was told would be a slightly 'different' superhero movie, since this would be set back in the late 1930's. Plus, Captain America is supposed to be the big daddy-O of the Avengers, the Superman of the Marvel Universe.

That being said, I haven't seen a good Superman movie since - well I've never seen a good Superman movie. I guess that in itself should have been warning enough.

Let's just say the first quarter of the movie was spent marveling at the technology we have at hand these days, technology that is able to make Chris Evans look like a scrawny 5'0" do-gooder that is thoroughly deserving of being beaten up by bullies. Set during WWII, the movie starts of with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) being a total badass in some Polish church, in order to retrieve some mythical and magical cube that seems completely out of place in the year 1930. Cut to Steve Rogers, a diminutive little dwarf that is frustrated that he can't seem to clear any medical exam that will allow him to enlist in the army. Such is his desire to get killed for his country that he attracts the attention of Stanly Tucci, who plays Dr. Abraham Erskine (quite easily the most memorable character in the movie). Stanley Tucci plays his part to perfection, as always, and I was sad that he didn't have a larger role in the movie.

It's every nerd's dream!

Moving swiftly along (and without giving too much away), Steve Rogers is miraculously turned into Captain America (i.e., Chris Evans in all his chiseled glory) and is promptly hit upon by Hayley Atwell, who plays Peggy Carter - a rather stern and serious looking agent for the secret army wing responsible for the Captain America project. Cue the awkward romance, the whole "I'm not used to being a Greek god so I don't know how to behave around women" charade, followed by the "Oh I'm not interested in your bulging biceps and pulsing pectorals, I'm drawn to the only remnants of your crippled former self, i.e. your heart, which just so happens to be invisible to the human eye and therefore tolerable". Needless to say, it was terribly awkward, and seemed more suited for some high school chick flick rather than (supposedly) the mother of all Marvel superhero movies.

"Why, Captain.. what a big - err - heart you have!"

I don't want to give too much away of the story, but I will say this - it was not very good. While there were some humorous moments, and some very nice action sequences, the rest of the movie seemed completely at odds with each other. The level of technology that the Germans secretly possessed was just totally out of sync with the setting, and even if this was the original story based in the comics, I feel that it's one thing to read about it in a comic book and something totally different to see it on the big screen.

To conclude, the latter part of the movie was spent predicting how the cliched story lines would end, down to the dialogues (T is my witness - I called it out flawlessly) and the ending. The final fight sequence was terrible, but the ending showed promise. However, the dialogue towards the grand finale was so pathetically stale that it robbed whatever plus points the ending would have given the movie.

As usual, there was a short scene at the end relating to the 'Avengers' movie, with Samuel L. Jackson making yet another 2 minute appearance in a movie (when is he going to get to act in an actual full length movie again?).

"I KNOW you didn't call me all the way here to wear this eye patch AGAIN for ANOTHER TWO MINUTE SHOOT..!"

I was so disappointed with this movie, even more than I was with Green Lantern (which I shall review later), and I'm baffled as to how it garnered a 7.2 rating on IMDB.com. Honestly, this should have been in the 5-5.9 range, and nothing more. Chris Evans does his best, but perhaps the Captain America mythology doesn't  give the writers or the actors much to work with in terms of making it 'cool' and relatable.

Let's just say I'll be rooting for Thor next year when 'Avengers' comes out. Him and Scarlett Johanssen of course.

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