Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Leaving on a jet plane* - Chantal Kreviazuk

It's funny how i was so excited over this but when the hour draws near, i feel so different.

Yet, I know the moment i step into the plane, the excitement will return.

I'll try not to die in the heat in Romania, nor drown in the floods in the UK! And hopefully, i won't get bitten by Count D. ;-P

For you ppl in M'sia, see ya in 3 weeks time. To me mates in the UK, see ya soon! To anyone in Romania who might be reading this, here i come.

*Love this version which was featured in the movie, Armageddon.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

For better or worse* - Debbie Gibson

Kenny and Fany Cheah's wedding photos are available online! Finally!

View the pics here.

*The first single from her album Think with your heart, her fifth album which consisted of a lot of piano driven ballads.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Anything but ordinary* - Avril Lavigne

3 funerals and a wedding; 2 temp jobs and 5 interviews; 7 kilos and 2 haircuts; 10 seasons of Friends and 1 season of 24; 3 books and 11 movies; 2 jazz concerts and one monologue performance; 6 trips and one new camera; loads of heart-ache, sorrow, pain, joy, laughter, happiness... and sweat!

It's been six months since i arrived back on these shores - these 6 months months have been anything but ordinary. I'm not complaining.

The next 6 promises much too - starting with a mission trip to Eastern Europe, a (hopefully) sweet reunion wif me mates, camps, new job, new mates, new EPL season, first X'mas back home in 3 years...

Bring them on!

*Track #8 from her very successful first album, Let Go.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Congratulations* - Cliff Richard

Those who graduated this week

Wished we were all there together. What a blast we would have had!

*UK's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968, it came in 2nd, losing by only 1 point to the eventual winner.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Torture* - The Jacksons

Definition of "torture" as provided for in the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:-

"...means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...".

(Emphasis added)

It was reported in the local papers recently (see here) that our PM said he "had not heard of people being tortured at religious rehabilitation centres, and brushed off such claims as wild allegations".

I'm surprised at that (altho a lot of me mates will still wonder why i shud still be). Hasn't he heard of Revathi? We had a candlelight vigil for her not too long ago. Her plight was reported in BBC recently too (see here). It reported that a "... Malaysian woman held for months in an Islamic rehabilitation centre says she was subjected to mental torture for insisting her religion is Hinduism".


“Rehabilitative” detention is exactly what is happening to Revathi, an ethnic Indian born to parents who had converted to Islam before her birth, who went to the Syariah court for an order permitting her to leave Islam. Revathi says she is a Hindu. She has married her Hindu husband, Suresh, under Hindu rites. They have one daughter, now aged about 15 months.

Revathi’s marriage cannot be registered, and the child’s birth also remains unregistered, because the State refuses to sanction their union. Revathi does not therefore have the protections of civil marriage laws, whilst the child is subject to the social stigma and the lower degree of protections afforded to an illegitimate child.

Revathi went to the Melaka Syariah High Court in its civil jurisdiction for an order allowing her to leave Islam. Instead of getting that order, it appears that the Islamic court exercised its criminal jurisdiction over her by sending her to a detention camp in a different State for “rehabilitation” for 100 days. That detention period was then extended by another 80 days in her absence. Non Muslims are not allowed to visit her in the detention camp, and her Hindu husband is grudgingly and quietly allowed very limited access. In the meanwhile, her Muslim mother obtained a Syariah Court order granting her custody of the 15 month old baby and together with the police enforced that order on Suresh’s Hindu family. The baby is now with the grandmother, the mother is in detention and the father is heartbroken.

(And to think there were those who were saying that Muslims who want to convert out of Islam can approach the Syariah Courts without fear!!!).

Yet, either our learned PM is totally ignorant or he just couldn't care less. His reply sounded like how one would just brush aside frivolous statements. Revathi exists!!!! If she does not, the government should inform the public. If she does, the government should answer the allegations made on her behalf. The silence only goes to support the credibility of the said reports. And prolong her torture.

*The first song on their 1984 album released for CBS, the only album to feature all 6 members on it!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Were it not for grace* - Larnelle Harris

Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
I know how that would go
The battles I would face
Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace

*Heard this song for the first time last nite, during choir presentation in me church. Brilliant song. Moved me to tears!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Yellow* - Coldplay

So, can a 2D cartoon attract audiences? Well, yes, if your characters are yellow in colour and live in Springfield!!!!!

I'm not a huge fan but i enjoy them nevertheless and the trailers have been hilarious! So i can't wait til it opens!!!!

Here's a new character who just moved into Springfield - Min An!!!!

OK, OK - i know he doesnt look like me - but i tried me best!!!! No centre-parting hair style. You try it - go here! And enjoy. (Cheers to Jon for the link on his blog).

*Their first Top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart, most of us in TLC will remember Sam singing it out of tune (on purpose, of course) during his monologue years ago!!! This song has been used on cable TV to advertise the Simpsons cartoon too.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

I run away* - Britney Spears

She lowered her head and began to tremble, crying. And so she did the only thing she could do - what she'd done earlier: closing her eyes, lowering her head, she went away. The place she'd escaped into... earlier today. Her secret place, her music room.

Taken from A Maiden's Grave by Jeffrey Deaver

I met up wif Ken and LP the other day - they came back from Melbourne for a visit. As we chatted, LP asked, "So how have you been - settled back here well?"

There was an apparent moment of silence before said "Yes". Then, i said "Yes" again - this time, firmer and wif more conviction, as if trying to convince meself.

Truth be told, i was surprised at the hesitation in my reply. I have settled back into life here. There's no doubt about it! I dun go about dreaming about life back in the UK - nor do i long for it and cry meself to sleep over it!!! i've got me mates here wif whom i go out wif all the time.


If that is really true, then why is it when things are bad, i automatically run back to Rayleigh Tower, or to Food-on-3 - my music rooms? Why is it i take refuge in KeKe's room wif the rest, or watch something on Michael's laptop in his room wif him? Why do i long to see Kathy's eyes light up, or hear Sachin and Michelle squabble in the kitchen? Why do i miss Barry's funny voices and singing, or Judy's Woody Woodpecker's laugh? Why do i end up dancing on the benches wif me flat mates or break out into song wif me workmates while moping the floors of Food-on-3?

Home is where the heart is - they say. But if i'm home, then why does my heart run off somewhere else when things dun seem to be going right?

*A bonus track in the non-US edition of her 3rd album, Britney.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

I'll be there* - Mariah Carey

...again. Soon!

Summer of 06 at UoE

*Her wonderful remake of the Jacksons 5 classic, unplugged and all! She almost sounds (eerily) like a young Michael at some parts!!!

Monday, 9 July 2007

One, two, three* - Len Barry

It was a weekend of numbers - and no, i'm not talking about 07.07.07. I'm talking about the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Finals!

34 - the surprisingly high number of unforced errors Federer made
24 - the number of aces Federer had in the game
11 - the number of Grand Slams that Federer have won now
6 - the number of years that had passed by when a Wimbledon Finals was stretched to 5 games
5 - the number of consecutive years Federer had won Wimbledon

4 - the number of break points Federer saved in the 5th set
3 - the number of hours they played. To be exact, it was 3 hours and 45 mins
2 - the number of consecutive years that Federer played Nadal in a Wimbledon Finals
1 - there is only one Roger Federer. And he is No. 1!!!!!

Pic obtained from Wimbledom Official website

And so, the curtains come down on Wimbledon 2007 - the year when the British realise that their palyers are not doing enough, the year when we were intorduced to Marion Bartoli, the year when Djokovic entertained us, the year that many will remember for the rain delays - but that's part and parcel of Wimbledon - to be subject to the weather and to remain mentally and physically prepared at all times.

It was also the year when we have to face up to the fact that Federer's dominance of the men's game on grass is slowly coming to an end. But for now, let him enjoy and savour his moment.

*The song that was featured in the movie, Mr. Holland's Opus, and one of the songs found on John Lennon's jukebox!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Who am I?* - Colm Wilkinson

OK. Wimbledon was getting a lil boring for me. Hingis and Sugiyama are out. So is Hantuchova. And Morigami missed out on upsetting Venus. Li Na din even come to Wimbledon this year. Sharapova's screams were getting annoying (so i'm glad she's out too) and no surprise that Henman is out. Men's game is getting a tad predictable it's raining off and on every day (except Sunday when there were no matches scheduled!).

So thankfully, we had some pretty good matches yesterday - unfortunately, i had to follow most of them via online updates (no thanks to Astro Wah Lai Toi). I managed to catch the first game of the day on tele - Venus v. Svetlana. It was pretty good but Venus was in top form. Svetlana tried her best but her opponent was just too good. What a pity. It was nice to see Svetlana actually applauding one of Venus' brilliant shot at one point. That's something u dun see often, if at all!

Then, there was the "pretty girls" quarter-finals - Vaidisova v Ivanovic! Too bad they had to play wif each other cuz that meant one will have to go out. But it also guaranteed that at least one will be in the semis. In the end, it was the sweet Ivanovic.

Finally, the Hewitt v Djokovic. Djokovic sent Leyton-COME-ON-Hewitt back to Adelaide! Yes! And thankfully, the game finished before the rain started.

But to keep us entertained while we wait for the rain to clear and for the anticipated Federer-Nadal clash - we have the man himself, Djokovic!

This guy is an entertainer - and he is one who wants to have fun, and has it! I like this guy!

Here're a couple of clips of him imitating other players' serve. Hilarious!!!!! Try guessing who he is supposed to be!

Here's another clip - but of older players, no longer in the circuit. Only oldies like me would recognise the serves!

And finally... this left me laughing out loud! Warning: topless images in this clip!

Hahaha! Nice one! I like this guy! Djokovic's a real Djok-er!!!! ;-)

Let's see if it's still raining...

*This was the version performed by the actor from the Original London Cast. He reprised his role in Les Miserables in Concert, recorded live from the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the musical.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Eat it* - Weird Al Yankovic

Yes, i love eating. And i would like to think that i am pretty adventurous when it comes to food! I love the Scottish Haggis, i eat raw Jap food (not alive, tho), i enjoy the internal organs of the pig (bah kut teh and pork noodles must come wif pork stomach and intestines) and the weirdest stuff i've eaten so far are deep fried locusts and - i think - maggots (it looked like maggots and we din understand the Thai lady who was selling it)!!!

When i visit me mates in the jungles, we get some pretty interesting stuffs. We usually get really good and fresh river fishes (patin) and wild boar. I have to confess tho, that there was one time, we were treated to river terrapin - and subesequently, i discovered it was endangered. *hangs head in shame* But it was good also! ;-P

The last time we went a couple of weeks ago, we saw this roadkill along the way - it was a monitor lizard (see pic below of a monitor lizard KC and i encountered at Pedu Lake yars ago - fierce fella). We joked about turning back to collect it and eat it - but we din.

So imagine to our surprise when it was time for dinner, our host informed us that we were in for a treat - they caught and cooked a monitor lizard!!!!! So we were gonna have lizard after all!!!!

The verdict? The meat was tough - but it tasted like pork. And the way our host cooked it was pretty delicious!!! Still, i think we enjoyed the thought of eating it more that the act itself!!!!

JL happily eating the lizard - gotta give her credit for doin so cuz she was initially a lil scared.

*His famous spoof of Michael Jackson's Beat It. I still can remember the video which was simply hilarious!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Goodbye* - Spice Girls

In my view, the main difference between Liverpool FC's Champions League campaign this year and the year when they won it at Istanbul was the absence of the little Spanish player who wears the no.10 jersey.

Sure, he gives away the ball too often and gets to the ground a lot due to his small stature and the rough nature of the English game. But he gets the goals! And he adds something extra to the team.

So it is wif a heavy heart that i bid him farewell and wish him all the best.

And for now, let us dwell in the past again and savour the wonderful volley he took against arguably the best goalie in the world at that time. Enjoy.

And wif every goodbye, there is a "hello". The record breaking signing of Torres. I've not seen him play much and the little i have seen did not impress me. I would have rather we signed Tevez. Oh well... Anyways, good not to get me hopes up high like when Morientes came the last time.

p/s - pic obtained from BBC Sports site

*The group's first single without Geri (Ginger Spice). And yes, they are reuniting again - following the success of Take That.

Freedom* - Wham!

After almost 4 months in captivity and treated inhumanely (eg. strapped wif bombs and threatened to be killed), Alan has been released. It's his independance day today.

Pic obtained from BBC News Online

Read about it here.

Another top news story - the Blades lose their appeal and West Ham stays in the Premier League for the next season. More about this in another post.

*Their second #1 single, it was their lowest selling #1 singles in the UK

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Under pressure* - Queen & David Bowie

Word has gone round that since i got meself a spanking new toy, i must be very rich. Well, no!

I actually din have the money to pay for it. So why buy it now, you may ask. Well, the camera shop was offering to let me pay for the camera in 12 monthly instalments interest free! But the main reason is cuz of Kenny & Fany's wedding this weekend.

You see, I've been toying with the idea of doing some part-time free lance photography!!! And i figured if i can get around 4 gigs, that would more than cover the cost of the camera.

I happen to think (and some have agreed too) that i do come out wif some pretty nice shots using me good old compact - and i love taking pics. I dun know if i'll be able to do it as a means of a side income - but i'll never know unless i try, won't i? I've checked out a lot of pro's port-folios online and to be honest, i'm not too impressed with them. And i've seen how switching from a compact to a DSLR made a huge difference in some people's photos too!

With the wedding coming up - and being good mates wif both the bride and groom - i offered to be one of his photographers, and to do it for free! The condition of course is that i'll use the pics to come out wif a port-folio that potential clients can view.

So there you go. I've had me new toy now for more than a week to get accustomed to - and man, it's a whole different kettle of fish altogether!!! There is so much to learn!!!! I mean, as i was telling one of me mates, i din invest in a DSLR just to take photos in the "auto" mode!!!

The results so far have not been too encouraging - or maybe my expectations are too high. I have managed some pretty brilliant shots effortlessly. But some others have been either average shots or bad ones. There's so much to learn - fiddling with the shutter speed, the ISO settings, the white-light compensation, the apperture number, etc. That's the problem of growing up only using auto cameras all me life!!!! And having to use the viewfinder takes getting used to also. Suffice to say, my level of confidence has gone down. :-(

So i felt the pressure mounting when i was approached by the groom-to-be last Sunday and he broke the news to me - i will be the only photographer not taking photos in "raw" format. As such, they will need to use my photos on that day itself!!!!

Lemme explain - the day will start with the "receiving of the bride" and the "tea ceremony" in the morning. The wedding will take place in the evening and the wedding dinner at night. So what will happen then is that my photos of the tea ceremony will be on display before the wedding ceremony in the evening. And my photos of the tea ceremony and wedding ceremony will be on display during the wedding dinner!!!!!

"Sure", i said to Kenny, smiling. "Anything for you, man!". I almost convinced meself wif my air of confidence! Almost...

I had initially thought that if i messed up all me photos, it'd be alrite. I'll just keep them for me records and laugh over them in the future. Now, everyone will see me photos!!!!! In their unedited format!!!!!

Under pressure.... *sweats*

*This was Queen's first released collaboration with another recording artist. It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart. The distinct bassline was sampled in 1990 by Vanilla Ice.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Hands* - Jewel

Here's something i saw on Jon's blog:-

Song credits: Who am i? (Casting Crowns)

*Her first single from her 2nd album - which i've mentioned time and again is my fav album of hers.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Will you remember?* - The Cranberries

I just can't remember where i heard it from!!! It's prolly something i read online, or perhaps heard over Light n Easy on radio, or caught it from a TV programme (most prolly House MD). But i remember coming across this idea that sleeping helps you remember things.

Apparently - if i remember correctly (hhmm... must sleep more) - when one sleeps, the brain sorts of like do some "housekeeping" and clears up the thoughts therein. When awake, one may have so many things on one's mind and so many other things around to distract, but when one is sleeping, the brain gets to collect all the thoughts - some lost in the recesses of the mind - and sorts of file them up properly.

I believe that to be true. Many times in the past, i would awaken wif a start in the middle of the nite, recalling some important thing that needs to be done. It's as if the brain was filing away the thoughts when it came across something urgent and woke me up to it.

Just this week, it happened again. Somehow, i knew that there was something very significant about the 1st of July - but yet, i couldn't put me finger on it!!!

It's W's birthday, it's Ipoh Marathon Day, it's the Concert for Diana day, it's the day Bernard & Chrys goes over to Reading, it's the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong becoming the SAR of China, it's when the British 10k London Run takes place where Markus will be running in...

But those are not it. What? What? What is it about 1st of July - especially the 1st of July 2007???

Then i i woke wif a start on Thursday morning and the first thought to greet me was "Your driving license expires on the 1st of July 2007!!!" I had forgotten all about it. After all, the last time i renewed it was 5 years ago. And i had a truly bad experienced once when i was pulled over by a traffic cop and i produced an expired driving license!!!! Since then, i had always try to keep in mind the expiry date of me driving license.

So now, it's right up til 1st July 2012 - when hopefully, i'll be in London enjoying the Olympics!!! :-)

Therefore, if you need another excuse to sleep, just say that you need to remember some stuffs!!! Not that i need another excuse to slumber! ;-)

p/s - before i forget, Blessed b'day, W!

*Track 12 from their 3rd album, not as popular as their 1st two but i still like it. Wiki observed that this was a darker album - prolly that's why it appeals to me! Unfortunately, it was their last good album - in my view, anyways.