Saturday, 27 October 2007

Bell bottom blues* - Derek and the Dominoes



I must admit that it was with some reluctance that i dragged meself out of bed and got ready to go for the above annual dinner. After all, being in the Law Programme, i only get to work wif very limited number of staff on campus and in the short span of time being there, i haven't really gotten close to anyone.

And when i arrived and checked out the pre-dinner activities, it appeared like me fears were confirmed. I found the activities to be pretty lame!!!! It was like some "Canteen Day" thingy with games like pin the horn on the cow (or watever animal it was), throwing hoops, magnetic fishing, darts and the best - knocking nails into a wooden chopping board. Still, i must admit that it was kinda fun seeing a bunch of adults behaving like teenagers and just having a good time. After all, tt's wat it's all about isn't it?

I wouldn't know since this was my first experience at an annual dinner of a huge corporation (my previous company's annual dinners will usually take up at most 2 tables!!! If we have one...).

But as the nite went on, i found meself enjoying it a little - yes, i confess!!!! The music played all nite long were the kind i'd listen to growing up - The Beatles, Queen, Phil Collins and all the songs from th disco era! :-)

2 things really made it a nite to remember for me - and no, neither of it is the fact that i won a 32" Phillips flat screen TV during the lucky draw!!! ;-)

The first was the dance competition. I must say it was truly enjoyable. Some tried really hard and you have to give credit to them for their efforts. Others - in particular, the first team were bloody good!!!! Unfortunately, they lost out to another team which really put in the extra effort like having 3 change of costumes during their performance. What really made my nite were the names they gave themselves. Like the winning team was called "The ThunderButt Sisters"!!!! But the one that cracked up - and still is cracking me up now is the team that called themselves "The BOOGERS"!!!!!!!!!

I really think that they thought that those who boogie are called boogers!!!!!! Well, maybe they din think so and the name was all in good fun. NOT!!!!!

The BOOGERS!!!! Rtflol!!!!!

The second event was the presentation for long-term service and excellence awards. As i sat there watching these people take their prizes, i watch wif some level of respect at how some people can stay loyal to one place for so many years. Some had been teaching for 25 years!!!! Will i have such a staying power? Such commitment? And as i clapped for those who received rewards for excellence, i wondered if i'll ever be good enuf to be recognised as such...

But after more thought about it, i decided that the true recognition will come, not with an award of a trophy and 600 quid in front of me peers, but rather, from me students. It has been my prayer from day 1 that somehow, i can make a small difference in their lives for good. As i struggle daily to even prepare my lessons, i must admit there is always the constant fear of letting them down, of not being good enuf, of killing off their interest and enthusiasm if i dun do it right.

There have been really good days and not so good ones. I thank God for one such as yesterday where i thought the class went pretty well. And on top of that, just sitting around wif a couple of me students after class hours, talking and sharing and just connecting with them - well, those are priceless moments for me.

I'm still taking baby steps into this whole new world - but someday, i hope that i will receive some confirmation that i did play a positive part in their lives.

I'll just end off with one of the most brilliant scenes in modern cinema - perhaps a scene which played big role in me ending up where i am today. It never fails to leave me wif dry eyes each time i see it - altho if you din watch the movie, you may be wondering wats it all about!!!!. If any of you wanna watch it, you can come over to me house and we can watch it on me spanking brand new 32" flat screen TV! Muahahahaha!!!!!

video

*Written by Eric Clapton, it featured only him on the guitars. This was a song about a girl he dated but she couldn't speak English so he had to depend on an interpretor. He performed this song again in his Royal Albert Hall concert accompanied by an orchestra! Wonderful!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

One fine day* - Natalie Merchant

What a wonderful day!!! When i woke up, the sun was peeking out thru the clouds, marking the end of a very extremely wet Monday!

Then, as one of me mates love to say in typical Malaysian manner - "Started la"! As i was walking away from me house, i realised i din have me belt on. Go back. Upon reaching office, i discovered to my horror that my pen drive is still stuck in my laptop at home!!!!!!

Had to rush home to go get it as me lecture slides and some video clips (which i stayed up til 5 am preparing) were all in it.

Managed to get back on time, tho, thanks to Weng Soon (cheers, mate). Needed water and coffee. Couldn't get neither as there was no water in the staffroom. Rushed to the lecture theatre only to discover that the LCD projector decided to give up on me.

Tried to drink from the nearby water-cooler only to find that it wasn't working.

Had to find another lecture theatre which was available. Moved everyone to LT3 only to discover that some engineering students were having some presentations and kept us out for a bit.

When i got in, i realised that LT3 only allows me to use either the LCD screen or the white board, not like LT7. I needed to use both so had to improvise.

Then, i discovered that the sound was not coming out from the speakers - so din get to show the video clip in the end.

As you can imagine, by then, i wasn't at my best to deliver any lectures. Felt like i did a bad job.

It started to rain again and it began to start freezing in me room. I knew it then that i'm falling sick.

I'm sick now - but still have to prepare for tomorrow's lectures. Doctor told me not to be a hero. But there's so much to cover for Criminal Law and as it is, we have lost a few lectures due to holidays and other activities and will lose another full week come Deepavali next month.

On top of all that, still hurting over England's loss last weekend at paris and Hamilton losing by one point at Brazil. At least Alonso din win... And peeved at the fact that a fren tried to set me up wif a psychopathic girl knowingly!!!!!

Oh well... we all have one of them days like these, dun we? Hopefully, i've used up my quota for the year. Or for the decade!!!

Anyways, it could be worse, rite? And i can think of many blessings to be thankful for.

*Taken from the soundtrack of the movie with the same name, starring George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Words get in the way* - Jewel

Like sleeping but not resting,
Like hurting but not crying,
Like eating but not tasting,
Like singing in tune but out of beat,
Like a sunrise with the clouds blocking the sun,
Like a rose without its smell,
Like seeing your photo, but not being able to touch you
Like being happy but not joyful,
Like letting go but not forgetting

Could this be the beginning of the end? For this blog, i mean.

I look back at the past few posts and even i find this blog to be getting a tad bit boring. Ok, maybe more than a tad bit?

All i have done is just linked some news report, or reproduced some cheesy lyrics of some old song, posted up some pics, talked about a book which no one is prolly reading these days and gave some abrupt updates on my less than happening life.

It's not like i dowan to blog. But when i do, i find that i can't. It's not that i have nothing to say. On the contrary... but yet, words fail me.

I could say that my lessons preparation have taken up all my time and energy.

I could blame Facebook.

Maybe it's cuz of the fact that students are reading this blog now. Or maybe i'm afraid more people would take my words and twist it around. Maybe i'm scared i may hurt people i care with my honesty. Maybe this blog should be renamed "Truly Madly..." and i leave all those things deep inside where they are. But i should let them out, shouldn't i? Well, i did start a new blog which up till now is still postless.

Maybe its just a phase...

*Track #7 from her last album, going back to her folk acoustic roots.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Red hot* - Debbie Gibson

Man, what a derby it was!!! It just sparked to life in the second half. And when it did, what an adrenalin rush it was. The drama, the baffling substitutions, the high-flying tackles, the yellow and red cards, the many chances!!!

At the end, all that mattered was how one Dutch man performed when the responsibility fell on him. Only one word can describe Dirk Kuyt - bottle!!!! He's got it. Loads of it!

For someone who has not scored in the Premiership since April, it really took a lot for him to take the penalty kick! In a Merseyside Derby!!! When Liverpool was down by one goal!!!!! I cannot begin to imagine the pressure that could have been upon his shoulders.

But he did it. Twice!!!! The second after a very unsportsmanlike act by Phil Neville who denied Lucas a Premiership debut goal.



It was however a grim reminder that Liverpool has not been winning many games - which made this win - altho on its own, as a merseyside derby, a very sweet win - even more the sweeter. What is sad is that altho this was a win, they dun look convincing enuf to (re)launch their Premiership title challenge.

Maybe once Torres, Agger and Alonso returns, things might get better. And once Gerrard gets shoved back to the right side of midfield (see this article).

Well, here's hoping that this is the start of a good sports weekend - with the Rugby finals later and the Brazilian GP tomorrow.

p/s - one thing which struck me about the game were the pre-match scenes around the stadium b4 the game. The Merseyside derbies are such special events as the city of Liverpool is suddenly divided into the blues and the reds. Husbands and wives could find themselves in different colours. Work mates and neighbours will be rooting for opposition teams. Yet, in spite of it all, there is nothing personal in it. This was reflected by a shot on 5 blokes in the stands - 3 in Liverpool colours while the other 2 in blue - how they were fooling around with each other, obviously being best of mates, so unlike international games or even other EPL matches when supporters in different colours will be separated. Thruout the game, the camera kept on going back to the 5, and those in blue and those in red were taking turns smiling and sulking - but they were together thru the whole game. Nice.

*Track #5 from her debut album, Out of the blue.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Don't be cruel* - Cheap Trick

Cruel. Inhumane. Despicable.

These are the words used to describe the former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, a police officer and the Government of Malaysia.

Despicable. Shameful. Disgrace. An extremely bad example. That's what the said former IGP is, according to the High Court of Malaysia.

The government of Malaysia has been found to have unlawfully detained an innocent man, and subjected him to "a vile assault, unspeakable humiliation, prolonged physical and mental ill-treatment". There has been a gross abuse of power.

Read the news report here.

I just wonder how long will it be before the senior Judges in the Court of Appeal or Federal Court overrules this decision and criticise the High Court Judge.

But let us just enjoy the fact that justice is done. For now.

*Their remake of Elvis' classic which went on to hit #4 in the US way back in 1988.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

A smile like yours* - Natalie Cole

Thought I'd seen everything there was to see in this world
Now I'm not so sure I've really seen anything at all
I thought life could show me no surprises
And then you came and showed me I was wrong

I thought I'd been everywhere
I've climbed a mountain so high, sailed the sea, crossed the sky
And still I was nowhere at all, until that day, oh, you came to my senses
And your smile, it made sense out of it all,

I have seen the bluest skies,
Rainbows that would make you cry,
I have seen miracles that moved my soul,
Days that changed my life,
I have seen the brightest stars shine like diamonds in the dark
Seen all the wonders of the world,
But I've never seen a smile as beautiful as yours


Diane Warren

*Taken from the movie of the same name.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

This time next year* - cast of Sunset Boulevard

October the 17th. What can i say? Life has been interesting for me.

This time in 2003, i was a partner in a law firm in Selangor, Malaysia.

This time in 2004, i was unemployed, just bumming around.

This time in 2005, i was just settling in to life as a post-grad student at UoE.

This time in 2006, i was in London, looking for a job.

Today, i'm a lecturer in a private University here in Subang Jaya.

This time next year? Chances are, i'll still be a lecturer... but i won't put any money on that!

*The last song before the intermission, the cast were celebrating New Year's Eve. Love this musical!

The nicest kids in town* - James Marsden & cast of Hairspray

It's 2 am. M'sian time.

I just read mails from mates in China and India, got a growing gift on Facebook from a Korean fren and heard from another mate (who is in Sudan now!!!). Someone else was pretty pissed off at something which i blogged about - it was just an observation i made and now, i'm the horrible judgmental person.

Wat-e-va...

You know what i love about my job? It feels like i'm back in Uni again!!! I eat close to midnite and then i work until the wee hours of the morning, reading law books, cases and articles. Dun think i'll get much sleep b4 rushing off to class later. So as i sit here in the dark, lit only by the table lamp and the screen of me laptop, i am reminded of life back in UoE - so many nites like now. The only difference is that i dun have drunk Brits making noise outside!!!! And no mates whom i can disturb by going over to their room.

But the best thing about me new job are me students. Have been spending some time wif them, both in and out of class. It's prolly unfair to the other people in the world but to me, they are the nicest bunch of students ever! I really enjoyed those times, chatting away wif them. I'm thankful to God for them and this only makes me even more motivated to make a difference in their lives.

I really hope i can do that.

*Yup, who thought that Cyclops can sing? The theme song of the Corny Colin's show in the musical, Hairspray.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Too much* - Spice Girls

I definitely ate too much last weekend!!!! 2 buffets in the space of less than 24 hours! Looks like i no longer can be called "Obi-Mun" - instead, i should be called "Obese-Mun"!!!

Nope, not my lame joke. Got it from online:-


Pic taken from www.cartoonstock.com

Well, the food was really nothing to shout about, honestly. I had Hartz Chicken buffet on Sat nite and then Jap food for lunch on Sunday. What was really brilliant was that at the buffet at Jogoya, there was free-flow Häagen-Dazs® Strawberry Ice Cream!!!!!!!! :-P :-P

Pic taken from www.gohappy.com.tw

Yup, it's worth it if you just go and eat scoops and scoops of ice-cream!!! But for other food stuffs, me recommendations would be the salmon sashimi, the tempura and teppenyaki prawns, the soft-shelled crabs and the refreshing coconut water which comes in little coconut shells.

OK - since this is a part Star Wars post, here's something i just added to my dream-list - a TIE Fighter PC table!!!!!! MUST GET!!!!




*Their second single from their second album, it was their 6th consecutive #1 single in the UK. (Can't find anymore food related songs which have not been used).

Saturday, 13 October 2007

End of the road* - Boyz II Men

OK - i've procrastinated finishing this post long enuf (sitting as a "draft" in my Edit Posts pasge for quite some time oredi). Was thinking, who would be interested to read a post on harry Potter's last book now??? But i'll still blog it for the memories.



In a poll of 45,000 fans conducted by MSN Entertainment, guess which Harry Potter book was named as the fans' favourite? The Deathly Hallows!!!! (see here).

Here are the results:-

1. The Deathly Hallows
2. The Prisoner Of Azkaban
3. The Goblet Of Fire
4. The Philosopher's Stone
5. The Order Of The Phoenix
6. The Half-Blood Prince
7. The Chamber Of Secret

So what say you? I dun agree wif it. The worst has to be either Order of the Phoenix or Half-Blood Prince - can't remember which is worse - both were so bad that i've erased their memory away from me mind!!!!! To me, the best is still Azkaban. But it'll be followed by either Goblet of Fire or Deathly Hallows.

Yes, i enjoyed the Deathly Hallows. And yes, i'm gonna talk about it now - so be forewarned, there'll be MAJOR spoilers herein - but if u dun know the spoilers by now, you prolly won't care, rite?

I knew i had to read it sooner or later. I was planning later rather than sooner. The pain of the disappointment of books 5 and 6 still lingers. But while i was lingering in Colchester some months back, bookless, i decided to get it from Tesco - where it was selling for 10 quid. I've always enjoyed sitting in the kitchen at Rayleigh Tower, enjoying the wonderful view and reading. And there'll always be people who would come into the kitchen to chat. Really miss that.

I enjoyed it very much, actually. prolly it had to do with my very low expectations. But it din feel draggy like the previous 2 (most of the time in those books, it was like "come on, let's move on"). Harry wasn't so irritating anymore. There were some interesting twists and revelations - like Dumbledore's past.

Yes, and Snape turned out to be the biggest hero!!! Woohoo! I always liked Snape. Poor fella. Misunderstood and mistreated, unappreciated and wrongly accused. Yet, he kept to his mission faithfully.

So while in the end, it a tad predictable, it was still nice.

But to me, it was those times when i sat in the kitchen at Rayleigh 12 reading it, or in the kitchen me mate's apartment in London, enjoying my coffee and the welcomed interruption of people coming in and chatting. I guess it was fitting that i finished the last few chapters while waiting for me flight at Gatwick, the last couple of pages while seated in the plane, waiting for it to take off. As i said goodbye to the Harry Potter series, i said goodbye to London too. And just like my life in the UK, there were really brilliant moments and there were times which made me feel really down, moments which still raise a smile or cause some tears to fall when i think about them, twists and unpredictable events sandwiched between mundane stuffs.

And so, as i end the series, i also end a huge chapter in me life that was characterised wif many moments of pure magic.

*Brilliant song, taken from the soundtrack of Boomerang.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Let me entertain you* - Robbie Williams

Reading the news never fails to entertain me. Altho there are more bad news than good these days (good new dun sell as well as bad ones), here are some gems i found in recent weeks:-

Firefighters wearing protective breathing apparatus were called to D'Arblay Street, Soho, after reports of noxious smoke filling the air. Police closed off three roads and evacuated homes following the alert. Specialist crews broke down the door to the Thai Cottage restaurant at 1900 BST on Monday where they discovered the source - a 9lb pot of chillies. The restaurant had been preparing Nam Prik Pao, a red-hot Thai dip which uses extra-hot chillies which are deliberately burnt.
Read the story here.

Reminds me of the time when me chinese flatmate made some spicy stuff in the kitchen and the Europeans were horrified with the smell!!!

And here is the list of the 2007 Ig Nobel prize winners (my favourite is the linguistics one):-


2007 Ig Nobel Winners

Medicine
- Brain Witcombe, of Gloucestershire Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer for their probing work on the health consequences of swallowing a sword.


Physics
- A US-Chile team who ironed out the problem of how sheets become wrinkled.


Biology
- Dr Johanna van Bronswijk of the Netherlands for carrying out a creepy crawly census of all of the mites, insects, spiders, ferns and fungi that share our beds.


Chemistry
- Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for developing a method to extract vanilla fragrance and flavouring from cow dung.


Linguistics
- A University of Barcelona team for showing that rats are unable to tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.


Literature - Glenda Browne of Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study of the word "the", and how it can flummox those trying to put things into alphabetical order.

Peace - The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among enemy troops.

Nutrition
- Brian Wansink of Cornell University for investigating the limits of human appetite by feeding volunteers a self-refilling, "bottomless" bowl of soup.


Economics
- Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan for patenting a device that can catch bank robbers by dropping a net over them.


Aviation
- A National University of Quilmes, Argentina, team for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters to recover from jet lag.
Source: taken from here.

And thank goodness for politicians who in their zeal to try to appear knowledgeable and take every opportunity to get themselves air time in the papers, but end up most of the time with their foot in their mouths!!! Here's my favourite last week:-

A new identity or even new look can be arranged for the person or persons who took the controversial video of a prominent lawyer allegedly brokering the appointment of judges, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz.

He said such measures were defined under the Witness Protection Act to ensure the person's identity was protected.

“Under the Act, they will not only be protected but can also undergo (plastic) surgery to change their look,” he told reporters after handing out duit raya and goodies to old folks in Lubuk Merbau here yesterday.

“My assurance is that we have an Act to protect them (the witnesses) ... if we don’t believe in the Government, who would we trust?"
Taken from here.

A couple of days later - after everyone were scratching their heads over this apparently phantom Witness Protection Act - this appeared:-

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz will push for the Witness Protection Bill to be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible and for it to be made retrospective.

Taken from here.

So, back to Nazri's question on whether can we believe in the Government - in the light of the above, can we? At least we know now who we can't trust.

*Peaked in #3 in the UK, this was used in most of his concerts at that time as the opening number.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Everybody's changing* - Keane

Everybody's changing. If there is any certainty in life, it is that nothing remains the same. Paradox.

I used to read her blog to be spiritually encouraged. She'd talk about her love for God, her work among his people, her struggles in life. There's this honesty in her writings coupled with the optimism that all will be well because of her faith in God.

These days, all she blogs about are about material things, the places she goes to to hang out and shop, and her appearance. There's nothing wrong about that - and her honesty is still evident. Maybe this is the real her after all. Now that she's in the secular world, she's finally discovered who she really is?

One thing is for sure - i dun think i know her as well as i used to. Or perhaps, i never knew her at all?

On the same topic but in a different vein, i met up wif me Uni mates a couple of weeks ago - i mean, the Uni mates from me undergraduate days. It was brilliant. I've not seen some of them for more than 2 years. Yes, i'm reminded that everybody's changing - some have changed their jobs, some have lost their hair, one is expecting a child, another is moving into a new house (or shall i say, mansion?), everyone is driving different cars.

Yet for all the changes in our lives, it was so good to know that our frenship remains the same. Just like wif me mates at Essex a couple of months ago (see here), we just picked up from where we left off - and the time and distance that were in between us just faded away.


Edinburgh, winter of 1994

*One of my favourite songs. I really liked how TM used the tune for their commercial a few years back.

Monday, 8 October 2007

I can hear the bells* - Nikki Blonsky

Just got off a 3 hour meeting with some people from Reading. At one point of time, this lecturer from Reading was asking us, "Can you hear the bells ringing????"

Yes, MM. Loud and clear!

No, they are not wedding bells. Nor are they bells to signal meal time! Those are alarm bells! There is so much work to do - and expectations placed upon us are so high. Don't be envious of my 9 hours of classes a week timetable.

As it is, just last week, i had to give up things which i never thought i would - like my sleep time. Or my Wednesday movie time!!!! *Gasp* I go to sleep thinking about work and i wake up very much the same way. For the first time in me life, i broke a rule which i kept for all my working life (save for those odd one or two occasions) - i brought work back home to do. I brought work back home every day last week.

It's a good thing i enjoy my job! :-)

*Taken from the movie version of the musical Hairspray and sung by what could be one of the find of the year! She's brilliant! And the song is cute!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

I believe* - Blessid Union of Souls

There's something very sobering about taking a walk in a cemetery or a columbarium. In a non-morbid way, i kinda like doing that once in a while.

One gets a grim reminder of the frailty of life. Death does not discriminate - not by sex, not by age, not by race. It was heart-wrenching to see a space containing the urns of triplets, whose date of birth was the same as the day they passed on, which was not too long ago. One wonders how long did their parents get to be with them - hours? Minutes? Seconds?

One gets to be thankful and start to appreciate more the people who are still around. And the life that we still have. Life is a gift - and i like how some people in my church use the phrase "the lease of life".

And one - who is a Christian - never fails to have their hearts touched when reading the messages on the tombstones (or the stone tablets covering the little place housing the urns of the remains). The verses quoted are all filled with hope - hope that those who have passed on are in God's presence, that their sins are forgiven, that they are safe in the arms of Jesus, that all pain and suffering is over, that they have fought the good fight.

And this hope is not just wishful thinking - it is the assurance and confidence that we have because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross so many years ago - he died so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

And with this hope, we have the great anticipation of being reunited again with those who have gone on. That day will indeed be sweet.

Happy birthday, pa.

p/s - photo taken at the PJ Columbarium. I like the contrast - the background are the flats where people are living while the foreground houses the remains of the dead. Or perhaps, a more accurate description is the one Jesus himself used - those who are sleeping.

*One of their big hits, taken from their debut album.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

The great pretender* - The Platters


Actually, he's not a great pretender - the stupidest, perhaps? Did he think he was gonna get away with it, with all the TV cameras and instant replays these days???


What kind of a role model is he for our young footballers??? I have no more respect for him
(Pic from a link in Google images)

*A classic, reaching #1 in 1956, and appearing also on the soundtrack of American Graffiti.

Doin' fine* - Jewel

E-mail from a colleague yesterday:-



Me reply:-



p/s - "Stage 1" is when you get all excited over meeting your students for the first time. "Stage 2" is when the honeymoon's over! ;-P

*Track #7 from her 4th album, 0304, her highest debuting album in her career.

My heart will go on* - Celine Dion

It was with great joy when i read yesterday that Hui Yi (pic on the right) finally got a heart to replace the mechanical one.

I also read that on the same day, another heart was available and the parents of the donor wanted Hui Yi to have it. But when they heard that she oredi received one, they left it for someone else.

So it was wif some mild surprise when i picked up this morning's newspapers and read again about Hui Yi and her heart transplant. Making the head lines on 2 days in a row? Did they not have anything else better to put on the front page.

It was when i read the article when i found that that Hui Yi's body had started to reject the first heart and the doctors had to do another heart transplant on her, using the the second heart that was miraculously available. It took a year before a heart was available to her - and when the heart came, there were 2 of it!!!! Just like London buses, eh? ;-P

Doctors said that “Hui Yi would not have made it if she had not received the second heart”. Read the article here.

Let's continue to pray her, that she'll make it this time round. And for the 2 set of parents who lost a loved one, let's pray for comfort - and that they'll indeed take heart (pun not intended) that the self-less action of their child has touched many people.

I blogged about being an organ donor previous (see here).

Many more like Hui Yi are waiting for an organ in order to resume life as normal as possible. To some, it is a matter of life and death, literally.

As i said previously - be an organ donor!!!! I can guarantee that you won't live to regret it.

*The (in)famous song from Titanic. Loved it til the radio killed it by playing it too much!!!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Freedom* - Robbie Williams



*His remake of George Michael's brilliant song, this version was his first single since leaving Take That and was never featured in any album.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Gone* N'Sync

But amid the noise and bustle of everyday life, there is one notable absence.

This city is normally full of monks, going in and out of temples, shopping on the street stalls, and even stopping for a chat in the teashops.

This morning though we hardly saw any. That is because for the last few days the military has been busy rounding them up.

Thousands of monks have been arrested since the weekend and many of them are now locked up in the government technical college on the outskirts of the city - a windowless hall which has three military vehicles stationed outside.

You can read the entire report here.

Article 9 of the ICCPR

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

Article 10 of the
ICCPR

1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

Article 7 of the
ICCPR

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

*One of their hits released in 2001

Monday, 1 October 2007

Hard habit to break* - Chicago

Here i am, close to midnite, just finished my dinner and watching an episode of a TV series, getting ready to burn the midnite oil. Books around me, notes all over, coffee beside the laptop - it's gonna be a long nite. But i have to prepare for the 9 am class later.

And instead of starting work, i am blogging.

Some things never change! Old habits die hard. Everything is left to the last minute. This scenario is exactly like every other nite in Essex before an early morning class.

The only difference is that during class later, i'll be the one up front!!!

*One of their well known classics wif the distinct vocals of Peter Cetera.

Start of something new* - Zac Efron, Andrew Seeley, and Vanessa Anne Hudgens

Finally, i step into class for the first time shortly after i publish this post. The journey of over 40 thousand kilometers has taken many years. But now, i have arrived. The door of the lecture hall marks the end of a most wonderful journey - and as i step over the threshold, a new one begins.

My prayer and hope is that in years to come, i can echo what Associate Prof Azmi Sharom said in his column recently regarding the lawyers who took part in the march for justice recently:-
...standing there in Putrajaya, first in the scorching sun and then the chilling rain, I could not have been prouder. Amongst the crowd were ex-students who came up and said hello.

To think that my colleagues and I had played a small role in the development of these men and women, who are willing to make their stand, means we must have done something right.

To look around and feel part of a larger group of people who work in the legal field and who appreciate justice; well it was a good time to be a law teacher.

(Azmi Sharom shares his views on the Judiciary and the March For Justice here)

In the classic words of Norma Desmond, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up".

*The opening song of High School Musical. Yes, it was a duet but Zac couldn't reach the high parts so he "Milli Vanilli"ed it!!!

I'll stand by you* - The Pretenders

Dear friends,

Burma's generals have brought their brutal iron hand down on peaceful monks and protesters -- but in response, a massive global outcry is gathering pace. The roar of global public opinion is being heard in hundreds of protests outside Chinese and Burmese embassies, people round the world wearing the monks' color red, and on the internet-- where our petition has exploded to over 200,000 signers in just 72 hours.

People power can win this. Burma's powerful sponsor China can halt the crackdown, if it believes that its international reputation and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing depend on it. To convince the Chinese government and other key countries, Avaaz is launching a major global and Asian ad campaign on Wednesday, including full page ads in the Financial Times and other newspapers, that will deliver our message and the number of signers. We need 1 million voices to be the global roar that will get China's attention. If every one of us forwards this email to just 20 friends, we'll reach our target in the next 72 hours. Please sign the petition at the link below -if you haven't already- and forward this email to everyone you care about:

To sign petition, go here.

The pressure is working - already, there are signs of splits in the Burmese Army, as some soldiers refuse to attack their own people. The brutal top General, Than Shwe, has reportedly moved his family out of the country – he must fear his rule may crumble.

The Burmese people are showing incredible courage in the face of horror. We're broadcasting updates on our effort over the radio into Burma itself – telling the people that growing numbers of us stand with them. Let's do everything we can to help them – we have hours, not days, to do it. Please sign the petition and forward this email to at least 20 friends right now. Scroll down our petition page for details of times and events to join in the massive wave of demonstrations happening around the world at Burmese and Chinese embassies.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul,
Pascal, Graziela, Galit, Ben, Milena and the whole Avaaz Team

Pic taken from Burmese blogger's site here.

*Their last significant hit, it was on the charts in 1994, one of the many songs which kept me company while i was in London!