Sunday, 25 November 2007

Endless Summer Nights* - Richard Marx

This is such big news - in the footie world - that i just have to blog about it, even tho it may be old news by now.

Yup, we all know who are the people who are gonna get endless summer nites next year - kept wide awake wondering how in the world they are not playing in the Euro Championship 2008, feeling the pain and the shame. So much so that the millions they have in their bank accounts and the expensive cars parked in their huge garages are not enough to ease the pain. Why, they are David Beckham and his teammates.

I'm just so so surprised at how many people - whom i assumed to be England fans - were rejoicing at the fact tt England will not be in the Euro Championship 2008!!!! I'm one of them too. Of course me Brit mates are all in mourning - but i'm sure most of them, when viewing it objectively will have to agree that this is prolly a good thing to have happened to English football now.

So England is out. But why are so many people happy about it?

Well, i think it has a lot to do with frustration. For far too long, England has promised much but delivered little. Looking at the team, one can see names of big... no, huge stars of the EPL who week in and out produced scintillating footie for all to watch. But when they come on to the international stage, they appear like a deer caught in the headlights, running around like headless chickens and appearing more lost than Sawyer et al.

It has been like this for too long. It was to no one's surprise that they failed at the World Cup in 2006. It was no surprise that they had to struggle to make it into the pass few World Cups! It was like the script is written and they go thru it like zombies.

So i think the patience we have had has worn out. Enough is enough. They deserved not to be in the competition come next year. They are paid millions of pounds but yet continue to disappoint us. Is it any wonder why we are all so glad?

No, we are not fair-weathered fans. If they had performed well and given their best and still lost, would we not all stand by them proudly? Compare the situation with Northern Ireland and Scotland - they are out also but they do so with their pride intact and their heads held high - and their fans firmly behind them.

If they had managed to scrap thru to the Euro finals competition nx year, all their under-performing would be forgotten. The problems will be swept conveniently under the rug for another 2 years or so. So as a true fan, i am glad this happened - they need a wake up call. They need to hurt so that they'd buck up. I can only see good coming out from this defeat. The shame and the pain is not gonna be easily forgotten or shrugged off. It'll stay for a while. It'l return with a vengeance come next summer when the competition starts. It'll be a source of motivation to do better.

As it is, the good is already taking place. The coach is finally sacked. Perhaps now they'll get a real coach (no pun intended - me not a capello fan). A coach who has actually tasted success in the international scene (not one who hasn't even been close in the domestic one!) and knows what to do when the chips are against them. A coach who does not fear nor recognise egos but picks his team based on what is needed to win.

It remains to be seen. When the previous coach left, it was just a case of out of the frying pan but into the fire. Now that they've languished in the fire for a while, where will they end up? Can it get any worse?

I shudder to think.

p/s - pic taken from BBC News Online

*His 3rd single from his debut album released sometime in the late 80s.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Mood swings* - Debbie Gibson

It was one of the better days.

I thought the class went pretty alrite. One of the rare moments when i was satisfied wif me own "performance".

Thereafter, i was running on pure adrenalin (and on some pretty darn good pineapple tarts!). It was one thing after another, culminating in me taking the place of another lecturer to judge a moot.

We had fun, we were stressed, we threatened to kill each other at least once - well, i threatened at least once! We laughed a lot, and cringed even more. When it was finally over, i felt this sense of overwhelming pride - at those who worked with super(wo)men strength, at those who showed their brilliance, at those who lived up to their abilities, at everyone who showed that they can stand up and be counted. There was the relief that it was finally over - and the usual feeling of emptiness that follows it.

Oh, and i oso got to take some pics! :-)

But the day was not over. The memorial service in the evening brought soberness and perspective to everything. It brought tears. It brought smiles. It brought a reminder of the hope and joy that awaits us all. It brought warmth in my heart as i think if Jit, in his usual friendly and warm way, with that trademark disarming grin on his face, meeting dad in heaven, sharing notes on how simply it is to be freed from the pains of this human shell and be in God's presence forever.

It also gave me a chance to catch up with people whom i normally won't meet - except when someone dies.

The day ended with a brilliant supper among close frens and a much longed-for hot shower when i finally crept into me house after midnite.

And despite just having less than 3 hours of sleep before a full long day, i did not feel tired. Maybe it was just passed my bedtime.

Yet, when the excitement had all died down, when the laughter and tears had subsided, when the mellowness of the wee hours of the morning starts creeping in, there is this strange feeling of dissatisfaction. Strange, since it was one of the better days. Strange, since i couldn't have asked for more. But after all that has been said and done, i still long... yearn for something else. To be somewhere else. To be with someone else - or more precisely, some other people. Strange, since i'm in my house but i dun feel like i'm home...

*One of my fav songs of hers, taken from her
Anything is Possible album

Monday, 12 November 2007

Let's run away* - Debbie Gibson

Anyone wanna come along?

*The last track from her Think with your heart album.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Star* - Bryan Adams

I can't really say why i love this movie. I doubt if it'll ever come near to the all time fav movies of mine. It was entertaining for sure. The cast was good - from Bob De Niro to Michelle Pfeiffer, to the hilarious Ricky Gervais, Mark Strong, relatively new Charlie Cox and a delightful Rupert Everett. Good special effects too.

But what made it stand out from the rest these days can surely be attributed to 2 factors. The first was the surprisingly brilliant performance by Claire Danes.

Yes, there was something about the way how she glowed - no, not the special effects but how she really literally glowed! Even without the special effects, one could see it in her expression, from a frustrated and scared fallen star to a girl in love.

And her lines - really love them. Here are some:-

There are shop boys, and there are boys that just happened to work in a shop for the time being.

Hmm... Murdered by pirates, a heart torn out and eaten, meet Victoria... Can't quite decide which sounds more fun...

You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate... It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves... You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and... What I'm trying to say, Tristan is... I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I'd know it for myself. My heart... It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it's trying to escape because it doesn't belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I'd wish for nothing in exchange - no fits. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.

I read that Sarah Michelle Gellar was asked first to take the role of Yvaine. But in spite of how big a Buffy fan i am, i can say that i'm quite glad Claire Danes got the role.

The other thing about the movie is the fantasy fairy tale nature of it. New worlds, beautiful sights, plurality of characters, endless adventures. A tale of being in a place but knowing that you really belong somewhere else.

Maybe that's how i feel now - and altho i haven't found my "happily ever after" ending, i could live vicariously off the characters on screen... at least for those few sweet minutes in a darkened cinema.

*A song used in the movie Jack, starring Robin Williams.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

We didn't start the fire* - Billy Joel

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes day! I forgot!!!! Can't believe it passed me by without me realising it. Was reminded of it when i took time today to read some of me mates' blogs.

It'll always bring back memories...

...memories of wondering why the kids are walking around the streets carrying a dummy - an effigy of someone...

...memories of a life time ago when a group of us walked home late at nite from the carnival, kicking the dry leaves strewn all over the ground, enjoying the cold of autumn and the fireworks spectacle in the skies...

...memories of gazing out of me 11th floor window all nite, seeing the brilliant colours of the fireworks, near and far, lighting up the skies...

...memories of an EasyJet flight back to London from Paris, where a heavy and worrisome heart was lifted by the sight of fireworks going off below us, above London...

...memories of sitting all alone in the Paris airport - where there was this guy - ears plugged wif headphones from his MP3 player - had tears streaming down his face. A grown man, openly crying in a public place. Yet, there was this strange look on his tears-streaked face - a mixture of pain and joy. It was like he was leaving Paris, and leaving something - or someone extremely special. The thought of that someone brought joy, but the thought of leaving brought pain... Or did i just imagine it all?

*A number 1 song (in the US) which makes reference to historical events during his lifetime.

Waiting for Wednesday* - Lisa Loeb and the 9 Stories

Wednesdays are my movie days!!! With discounted price, i make it a point to catch a movie a week. It's something i used to do b4 i went over to the UK, and now i'm back, i've resumed the said practice!

However, wif the amount of work i have these days, it's a shocker (to me close mates) that i've not watched a movie in the local cinemas since... Resident Evil: Extinction!!!

So it was wif some relish when we broke for a couple or more days break recently - and i decided to catch some movies wif a vengeance!!!! i watched 3 show back to back - that's the same number of movies i watched while i was living in Colchester!!!!

I decided on a mixed bag of shows, so i chose 1408 (a last minute decision, taking the place of 30 Days of Nights which i guess will still be playing longer than 1408), Stardust and Shoot Em Up! I have everything - horror, fantasy, action, love, comedy, great actors and actresses. Yup, it was satisfying indeed - and for the first time in a long while, i stopped thinking about Criminal Law/Family Law for a few hours!!!!

Just a quickie review - 1408 wasn't as good a i thought it'd be. It was entertaining but not scary enuf. Still, it had John Cusack!!! Shoot Em Up was exactly wat i expected - and i still laugh at those local-movie-reviewers-political journalist wannabe/rejects who not only berate the movie but insult those (like moi! :-)) who enjoyed it!!! It's so sad that they are so stuffed-up that they just failed to see that the movie is not to be taken seriously. It would take an absolute fool to take it so and complain about the reality and the lack of a plausible plot. This over-the-top at its highest!!!!

Stardust? Brilliant! Good enuf to warrant a separate post by itself!

The main disappointment was the lack of trailers. In fact, i din get to see any trailers at all!!!! Maybe it's cuz i was running from one cinema hall to another and i missed it all. But i did catch some pretty good commercials.

The first is a really old Carlsberg ad - but new to me. How i know its old? It's got Cisse on it!!!!!! Check it out:-

And my fav ad at this point of time - you've prolly seen it numerous times too. I really like it:-

*Taken from her album, Tails, it is the highest charting song in the Billboard Top 100 chart with the word "Wednesday" in its title!!!! Now, that's trivia! ;-P

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Cry for help* - Rick Astley

Channel 10 newsreader Charmaine Dragun was successful, intelligent, talented and popular.

The 29-year-old seemed to have it all - a loving family, a long-term relationship and a stellar career as a prime-time news anchor.

Yet on Friday the "beautiful and bubbly" Dragun jumped to her death at The Gap - a notorious suicide spot in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

(read the whole report here)

When i read about her suicide a couple of days ago (from the report
here), i felt rather troubled. There were 2 things which disturbed me.

The first was the thought of how many people are like Charmaine Dragun - and how many of those will follow the unfortunate path that she chose.

It just goes to show how some people can be so good at putting up a facade, having a mask on all the time, when behind it tears flow and pain reside. Success and popularity can never bring contentment and satisfaction.

More often than not, we see the swan gliding effortlessly and gracefully along the surface of the water - we never see how it is kicking furiously and at times, frantically below the surface just to keep afloat and keep moving.

It is so sad that whatever was getting her down was so great that it literally pushed her over the edge.

How much do we need a reason to live, a purpose in our lives.

The second which disturbed me was the report of her "friends" who have now all come forward to speak well of her. They talk now of her brave battle with depression. My question is where were they when she finally caved in? If they knew of her serious depression, why did they not do something more? Get hep for her? Make sure she doesn't wander off to suicide areas on her own? Don't we all owe it to our friends to be there for them, esp in time of need? Isn't it too late now to talk about how she was "determined not to let (the depression) to control her" when it clear now that it did?

One of her colleagues (not one of those "friends") was quoted saying "No one had any idea how sad she must have been. People are now wondering if we should have taken more interest in what was going on in her life."

Is there anyone that we need to take more interest in their lives today? It's scary to think of what may happen if we failed to make that effort and time just to find out how someone is doing. I've gotta keep reminding meself of that - and maybe if we spend more time and interest in other people, we may just be able to hear their cry for help before its too late.

*His last major hit, it featured a gospel choir arranged by Andraé Crouch.