Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Baby, it's cold outside* - Rod Steward and Dolly Parton


I know i said in my previous post that i'd go and stand under the window that was previously yours. I'm ashamed to confess that i did not do that in the end.

I tried! I did!!!

I left the computer lab at Square 4, walked down the steps to Square 3, right to Square 2. By then, i'm sure my nose had froze! It was bl**dy cold!!!!!

Yet, i went down the steps to Square 1 and was halfway across it when i turned back. I thought i was gonna faint out of cold!!!! It was absolutely freezing. I could see your flat from there! It was so close but i knew i had to go back to Rayleigh Tower.

It had to be below zero last nite. It sure felt like that!!!

But i did go there in the evening, tho. Mind you, it was still cold.

*This Christmas song will always remind me of me flatmate, Michelle. We had this conversation about this song way back in December 2005.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Where are you now?* - Britney Spears

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong
I know better
Cause you said forever
And ever
Who knew
(Pink, Max Martin and Dr. Luke)

It's less than 3 years and you are long gone. Where are you now?

After this, i'll go out in the cold winter night and stand below your bedroom window... or rather, below what used to be yr bedroom window. And recall the times when u'd look out and down at me.

*Track no. 9 form her second album

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Leaving on a jet plane* - John Denver

Random thoughts at 2 am, while eating Christmas pudding, and listening to X'mas carols...

Why should i bother working so hard when they dun seem to appreciate it?

What was going thru my mind 6 months ago when i bought my plane tickets ensuring that i will not be spending Christmas with my family and church frens?

One day i'm gonna snap and i'll let him have it!!!

Of all the time to fall sick, why NOW??????

I'm feeling so tired...

How can my heart be at peace when so many of m family members are falling so sick?

I'm so not prepared for winter. :-(

People are gonna be so irritated with my coughing and sniffing on the long flight!

I'll be going Camden Town tomorrow! :-)

I'm so sure that i have forgotten to pack some stuffs...

I'm feeling so sleepy...

This Christmas pudding doesn't taste good.

Wonder wat movies they'll have in flight?

Alrite folks! The final post of the year drafted in Malaysia. I'll be flying off in around 8 hours time. I'll see y'all next week. Take care. God bless.

*Written by Denver at an airport when his flight was delayed. I love the cover version by Chantal Kreviazuk.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Do they know it's Christmas?* - Band Aid

I talked about this song twice today, to 2 very different crowd of people.

To the Law School peps, i was talking about it with reference to today as Human Rights Day and also the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To the participants of the Girls' Christian Camp, it was in reference to the Orang Asli in the jungles of our country.

As we celebrate Christmas, let's spare a thought for them - to those who's human rights are being violated and denied, to those who do not know the real reason of why we celebrate Christmas.

It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
(Bob Geldof and Midge Ure)

*Written to raise money for the victims of the famine in Ethiopia in 1984.

Monday, 8 December 2008

I'll be missing you* - Puff Daddy and Faith Evans feat 112

It felt strange. It was almost like an out of body experience!!! You know, how in the movies when one's spirit floats away seeing his body at a distance.

I felt that as i sat in me pew yesterday, listening to the choir giving it's usual preview. It felt so strange cuz i dun think i've ever done that before - sitting in the audience, listening to the choir instead of being up on the stage with them!

Well, i'm not the only one. Many have expressed their surprise that i'm not in the choir. It seems to them that if there is a choir, Mun Onn is on it - among other people! Can't blame them cuz whenever i've been physically around, i've been a part of the choir. Especially for Christmas. Christmas is not Christmas if i'm not in the choir!

Last Christmas - At Bidor

Last Christmas - at our Chapel

I sat there and looked at them, picturing me standing together with the tenors. Or maybe with the basses since they only had 2 of them present yesterday. And i felt a twinge of regret - if only for a passing moment. Regret that 6 months ago, i made the decision to purchase a flight ticket which would take me hopefully to a White Christmas this year, to a place which i still think of as home. Yes, in way, i am going home for Christmas this year...

And i found tears forming in me eyes... no, not of sadness. It's a mixture of many emotions - of nostalgia as i think of the many many Christmases with the choir, of being moved by the refrains of the familiar carols being sung - and perhaps of being touched by the melodious singing and the joyful expressions of the choir members!

Well, done people! Wish i was up there with y'all. I'll be far away when u guys sing and i'll be missing y'all! God bless and have a brilliant blessed X'mas!

*Ranked at no. 84 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time, this song borrows the melody from The Police's "Every Breath You Take", and a well-known American spiritual "I'll Fly Away". It won the Grammy for the Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group in 1998.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Do you hear what I hear* - Vanessa Williams

Alritey folks. Listen to this clip. Sounds familiar? Esp starting from the 50 second mark?

Yes, do you hear what i hear? I hear Coldplay's Viva La Vida!!!! Those blokes copied the legendary Joe Satriani!!!!!!

Look, ok, i know there are many of you Coldplay fans out there who are leaping to their defense - pretty common chord progression, can't help it, etc. But it just sounds too similar to me!

Yes, i have publicly declared before that i'm no Coldplay fan. In fact, i have always failed to see what so good about them. Their songs are nothing spectacular (i'm so gonna get murdered for this) and their rifts are so boring and irritating after a while. So i must admit i wasn't too unhappy when i heard that Joe Satriani is going to sue Coldplay for this song!

Still not bought over yet? Still can't hear Coldplay in Joe's song? Well, maybe this will help:-

*Taken from her brilliant Christmas album Star Bright, this was the first track which is sung in a medley with The Little Drummer Boy.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Something about the way you look tonight* - Elton John

SA: Why do you always look so scruffy? Scruffy Doo!

That comment was directed at me when i walked in late to a meeting on Friday night, messy haired and unshaven, with massive eye-bags.

Well, i wasn't insulted. After all, i'm not the first to be described as such!
Quotes from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:-

Princess Leia: "Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder."
Han Solo: "Who's scruffy-looking?"

Looks like i'm in pretty good company, dun u think? ;-P

*I heard this song first when i bought the CD Single for his tribute to Princess Diana and i feel in love with this song!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Somewhere out there* - James Ingram and Linda Ronstad

Prologue: I was just going through my drafts folder and i found this post! I can't really remember why i did not post it up at that time. It is dated on the 4th December 2006! Anyways, better late than never. Just be warned - super spoilers ahead!

One of the benefits of living in London is that i have satelite TV!!!! Woohoo!!!! And altho my host doesn't subscribe to that many channels (no Sky Sports!!!!!!!! boo-hoo), there're still plenty of stuffs to watch.

Being a movie freak, i've been watching so many movies, movies which i've always wanted to watch but never got round to. Like K-PAX. Surely this has to be a brilliant movie - Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges together! And it was brilliant!

Spacey plays Prot, the character who alleges that he's an alien from planet K-PAX, somewhere out there! Bridges plays the psychiatrist who has to treat him.

The shades look familiar? According to IMDB, it's Bono's!!!
Poster obtained from

I was so afraid of the ending - scared that it'd spoil the movie which just gets better and better. It could only end 2 ways - either Prot is a loony or he is an alien. But the thought of either leaves much to be desired. For me, anyways. If it is the former, it'd be such an anti-climax. But if it's the latter, it'd be too much of a fantasy... or would it. And either way, it'd leave many questions unanswered.

At the end of the day, the movie brilliantly resolves the issue. I was wrong - there was a 3rd way of how the movie could end - and how it actually did end. It left it to you to decide. You can conclude whichever way you want and still be able to support your view based on the info given to us in the movie.

Me? The dreamer in me would like to believe that Prot was indeed a space-traveller, and that he took Bess home because to her, she has no home on earth.

But at the end of the day, as a critic said, it doesn't matter if Prot was indeed an alien or not - what mattered more was what he does with his conviction and how he changes the lives of those around him.

I think that to be so true. We may be Malaysian or British or Singaporean or Burmese. We may be Chinese or Indian or Caucasion. We are all different in so many ways but what is truly important is what our conviction is - and what we do about it to change the lives of people around us.

*The theme song from the movie, An American Tail.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

You're still the one* - Shania Twain

I love 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas'!!!! I love the tune - the moody feel accompanied by the optimistic lyrics. And perhaps one of the reasons why i love it so much is because it transports me back to Christmas of 2006! I even blogged about this song back then (see here). Without a shadow of a doubt, it was the best Christmas ever for me (see here)!

In fact, it was during the Christmas of 2005 when i first heard the Pretenders' version of this Christmas song - and i fell in love with it immediately! But it was in December 2006 that the song practically stayed with me everyday! Whenever i listen to it again, i could almost feel the cold winter again, the short days and long nights, living in Michael's room, hanging out with his flatmates, working on campus and then in a Chinese restaurant in town... :-)

Anyways, this time round, i started looking for more versions of the song. There's of course the original version by Judy Garland and the Sinatra's optimistic interpretation of it. I posted up a Katie Melua's version in the link above but unfortunately, it is no longer available on YouTube.

I also found versions by Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera and Coldplay. yet none of them impressed me much. Check out the long long list of those who covered this song here.

Some were quite good tho - and i've added them to the Imeem player in the side panel of this blog. There's the brilliant a capella version by Take 6. Really good stuffs. Diana Krall's uber-cool jazzy version is there too. And finally, LeAnn Rimes uses her wonderful powerful vocals to express the song so well.

Really wonderful efforts - yet, to me, the best is still the Pretenders' version. I love it the most. And it is no wonder that it is the first song on my Imeem player for y'all to enjoy (if you have a good internet connection!).

(Yes, i'm listening to it now as i am blogging this!)

*The song which won the Grammy for the Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1999, and one of my all time fav love songs!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Don't forget to remember me* - Carrie Underwood

"Happily ever after..." He scanned pages.

Rune said, "That's not the way fairy stories end. not all of them." She took the book from him and began thumbing past pages slowly. She stopped. "Here's the story of Diarmuid. He was one of the Fianna, the warrior guards of ancient Ireland. Diarmuid let an ugly hag sleep in his lodge and she turned into a beautiful woman from the Side, that's the other side, capital S - the land of magic."

"That sounds pretty happy to me."

"But that wasn't the end." She turned away and stared past her dim reflection at the city. "He lost her. They both had to be true to their natures - he couldn't live in the Side and she couldn't live on earth. He had to return to the land of mortals. He lost her and never found love again. But he always remembered how much he'd love her. Isn't that a sad story?"

Jeffery Deaver Manhattan is My Beat

*Her only country single which did not make it to no. 1 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs. I'm always reminded of me dad when i listen to this song.

I have a dream* - Amanda Seyfried

I have always dreamed of having a white Christmas. It has never happened. But I came so close!!!

My first Christmas in the UK, it was forecasted to be below 6 degrees on Christmas Eve night. It did not snow.

My second Christmas in the UK, i made sure the chances of a white Christmas were higher - i spent Christmas in Scotland. It did not snow. The irony was that while in (snow-less) Scotland, it snowed way down south east at my campus!!!

So i'm very excited when i read the news report about the cold snaps in the UK this weekend (you can read it here).

Snow in Scotland - pic taken from BBC News

The best part of course is the penultimate paragraph which reads as follows:-
Bookmakers William Hill have slashed the odds on snow falling on Christmas Day in London from 8/1 to 6/1 and in Glasgow the odds are 7/2.

Those are pretty good odds, aren't they?

Perhaps this is the year when my dream comes true?

My first ever experience with snow!

*This is the version found in the soundtrack of the movie Mamma Mia. Love this version!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Bridge over troubled water* - Simon and Garfunkel

It has been 1 week since the run. The bloodstains have been washed off, the wounds are dried, the blisters have healed, the aches are gone. I even did 5 km today without any problem.

But i think i better blog about it now or i'll never do it. It is something which is worth recording down, to be remembered. It was my first 25 km run. It was my first run which went over 10 km!!!

Yes, i'm talking about the Half-Marathon which i took part during the Penang Bridge International Marathon.

The bridge - across... and back!

It was a little crazy. I drove all the way up to Penang the day before, not having a place to sleep. Not that it mattered as i have to be at the flag-off place before 2 am if i were to drive there. But let me just get right to the run itself.

Before the race - lack of sleep but excited!

It was like a football match - a game of 2 halves! We had to run from the starting point to the bridge, over the bridge to the mainland, turn around and backtrack to the starting point. I had a really good half and a really bad one. Unfortunately for me, the good half was the first half!

For the first half, i felt that i kept up a good pace, non-stop. And i felt really good. Other than the annoying runners who were walking on the right side of the lane (they prolly drive the same - hogging the fast lanes on the roads while chugging along at a snail's pace - typical M'sian drivers), it was enjoyable. We were running in the dark but under the stars and a bright moon. Once we got onto the bridge, the excitement of actually running on the bridge took over. It felt great - and the sea breeze cooled me down a lot! I was so confident of finishing the race within the time set.

When i reached the mainland, i stopped running. I decided to walk a bit, not to push myself too much as there was another 12.5 km to go! It was then that Murphy's Law kicked in. I dun really wanna go thru the gory (and bloody) details - it would appear that i'm trying to hard to justify my poor showing in the run! But yeah, all the things which i had been concerned about actually happened!

We had the sunrise behind us as we ran back to the island

It was so bad that it came to a point that my spirit broke. I just gave up. No i did not quit the run. I just gave up trying to finish it within the time set. While i ran all the way none stop for the 1st half, i practically walked almost all the way back for the 2nd half.

I was just glad in some ways that i would have ran thru the pain - but for something which made it impossible for me to run without... making a real mess. Ok. Enuf said.

So i walked back and completed it at a really bad time. I was like the S'porean team in the Amazing Race Asia 3 - i just ambled my way pass the finishing line while others who had also been walking made sure they ended the race in some style and pride.

It was a painful end to the race - literally as well as to my pride. And later, it hurt when a "fren" was making jokes about my pain. But it was still a wonderful experience!

The experience of being on the bridge - the only time in the year the bridge is closed to vehicles and the only time in the year where one can run/walk the length of the bridge legally! And take photos too! :-)

Love this pic!

There were a lot of interesting people along the way too! There was this old man with a amputated hand - i was wanting to run next to him and give him encouragement but decided not to as i would prolly finish it slower than him! There were these 2 guys who ran with Santa hats - very festive! One guy was farting as he ran!!!! There had to be the lovey dovey couple who ran holding hands!!! The clothing was interesting - one wore jeans!!!! Another was in cargo shorts with belt and all! Others were running with basketball high cut shoes! A few were running with backpacks! There were a couple of clowns - literally! I myself wanted to run with the Madagascar head band - but did not as i bought it for me niece. And there were many who decided to use a 'short-cut' when turning back at the mainland!

Oh, special thanks to the dude who shared his counterpain with me on the bridge.

I found out later that there was some drama at the end of the full marathon where the Kenyan who finished first was disqualified as he shoved a fellow Kenyan on the way to the finishing line. Both fell over the advertising boards.

So that was my race. The water under the bridge was calm. The troubled waters in my race were the things happening to me during the 2nd half of the race. But the bridge over that troubled waters was the determination to complete the race no matter what happens, no matter how long. I was glad i did. And i know that i can only improve on the time i set.

*The song which won the Grammy for the Record of the Year and the Song of the Year in 1971, it was also the song which many felt led to the break-up of the singing pair.

Friday, 21 November 2008

The sound of silence* - Simon and Garfunkel

This just left me speechless! Pun not intended.

*Originally titled 'The sounds of silence', it was retitled this way in later albums. The lyrics has both the singular and plural version of 'sound'!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

If I were a boy* - Beyoncé

Well, if she was a boy, then she'd realise how wrong she is now!

i won't apologise for the fact that the titled song for this post gets under my skin each time i hear it - which is pretty often these days on the local radio. Some of you will prolly ask me to chill - and perhaps, rightly so. It's just a song. It's not to be taken seriously. She's just messing around with the heads of ppl like me - and it's working!

Still, i can't help but be angered at the generalisation that is made regarding all men - or all boys! It is so unfair! If it is not bad enuf to make generalised criticisms of all of the male gender, she had the gall to praise all those of the female gender, saying that while men sleep around with other women, the woman will stay faithful and wait for him at home. I can name so many occasions of female infidelity.

It bothered me so much that during a class on gender equality/discrimination, i actually asked me students to look at the lyrics of this song. The lesson for that day was "Ignorance encourages prejudice and makes discrimination possible". It is this kind of ignorance illustrated in this song that encourages the kind of prejudice leading to discrimination.

Let's not make these kinds of generalisation. It is unfair. It is untrue. One rotten apple does not make the whole basket bad.

The irony in some ways is that the song is written by 2 men!!!! One of them is Toby Gad who also wrote the drivel, Big Girls Don't Cry.

Sigh... maybe i shud just learn not to take it so seriously!

Ok. I won't. In fact, here is a joke (i.e. not to be taken seriously) sent to me by 2 female students which i dedicate to Beyonce:-

Last month, scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption. The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contain Phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women. To test the theory, 100 men drank 8 pints of beer each within a 1 hour session...

It was then observed that ALL of the test subjects :

1) Argued over nothing.
2) Refused to apologize when obviously wrong.
3) Gained weight.
4) Talked excessively without making sense.
5) Became overly emotional.
6) Couldn't drive.
7) Failed to think rationally.
8) Had to sit down while urinating.

No further testing was considered necessary.

*The lead single for her 3rd solo album

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Touch my body* - Mariah Carey

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

Luke 24:36-40

The Bible makes it clear. Jesus was resurrected. He rose again from the dead. No, not like a zombie but he became alive again. It wasn't just his spirit which showed itself. He appeared in bodily form. He asked his (skeptical) disciples to touch him, to realise that he was indeed flesh and bones. He even ate with them.

Many today still deny his resurrection. Perhaps it is just due to a simple refusal to accept anything which is supernatural.

But as we studied the passages on the resurrection recently in BSF, i am reminded of how strong the evidence is in support of it. It is not out of blind faith that we believe. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of what we do not see.

You too can have the same faith!

*Her 18th no. 1 single.

Hero* - The X-Factor Finalists 2008

*This cover version of Mariah Carey's song was released recently for the Help for Heroes and The British Legion charities. It went up to no. 1 early this month and is the fastest selling single for 2008.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Stay the same* - Joe McIntyre

So everyone was talking about 'change' since Obama became the new President-elect of the USA. That is a good thing. Change can be good - if it is to change from something bad.

It is almost a paradox but one can say that the only constant in life these days is change! And if it's for the better, then we should be pleased with it.

Last Sunday, i was reminded of one thing however that doesn't change. One thing that remains the same - yesterday, today and forever! The only thing that doens't need to change - how can you improve on perfection?

Yes, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).And that is so good to know! In this world of uncertainty, having witnessed recession, broken relationships, natural tragedies as well as those man-made, it is reassuring to be reminded that God's love will always remain the same - as strong and as powerful as ever. The well of his goodness will never run dry. The river of peace that he brings will always flow strongly. His love for us will always be like new every morning.

*The lead single from his debut solo album of the same title

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Bridge* - Elton John

Pic taken from www.asiaexplorers.com

I've seen the bridge and the bridge is long
And they built it high and they built it strong
Strong enough to hold the weight of time
Long enough to leave some of us behind

And every one of us has to face that day
Do you cross the bridge or do you fade away
And every one of us that ever came to play
Has to cross the bridge or fade away

And the bridge it shines
Oh cold hard iron
Saying come and risk it all
Or die trying
(John, Taupin)

So the time draws closer. Too soon, actually. Never really started a proper training programme. In fact, when i start running on Sunday morn, it'll be the first time i have run since last Thursday!!!!

It is daunting! I feel so unfit. So much fatter than when i ran my first 10 km run months ago. This run is 2 and a half times longer! 25 kilometers! Yes, i am taking part in the Penang Bridge International Marathon!

Why am i doing this? Someone please, please remind me?

Yet in some perverse way - almost masochistic even - i'm looking forward to it! Have driven over the bridge (or been driven over) many times. Now i get to run across it! And back!

Do i cross the bridge? Or do i fade away? I will risk it all (or die trying?).

Altogether now, "Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can..."

*The 1st single from his 2006 album, a nice stripped down song, focusing on his vocals and piano.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Strawberry fields forever* - The Beatles

So i finally watched it. I slept thru most of it, tho. No, no, it wasn't that bad!!! i was just too wasted. All those long nights took its toll. Even in the action packed scenes, i found meself nodding off!

So for watever little that i managed to catch - i was kinda relief when it ended, a little surprised, tho but found out later that this is the shortest Bond movie ever - i din think it is as bad as some people made it out to be. I din think it was good either! Yes, i'm talking of course about The Quantum of Solace.

I din really enjoy Casino Royale - despite the rave reviews and all. So i went into this not expecting very much either. And it din disappoint, i guess!

The jury is still out on Daniel Craig for me. I must admit that he is not too bad of an actor. He does the action scenes pretty well too. But is he a Bond? Please be reminded that i grew up watching Roger Moore as Bond. So that sorts of sets the standards of Bond for me. Roger Moore is Bond. He is cool, stylish, has a weakness for women and he is witty!

Daniel manages to pull off the cool and stylish parts at times - but he just does not have the looks for it! Compare him with Pierce Brosman. One of the most memorable scenes with Pierce for me was when he was on his 'Bond boat' speeding along the canals in London, his boat went underwater and as he did so, he was shown to be straightening his tie! Cool and stylish.

And wat happened to all all the wit in Bond movies? Even the villians are getting boring! Who can forget the classic lines in Goldfinger when Bond asks "Do you expect me to talk?" when threatened with a laser cutter, and the reply was "No, Bond. I expect you to die!" What about all the one-liners from Bond? Craig is just too serious - but tt's his character in these movies, isn't it? The darker side of Bond. I agree with a critic when he said he's getting a little tired of movies exploring the 'darker' sides of the characters. Where has all fun gone to? Batman was so boring in The Dark Knight.

The action was good, tho. Well, those parts that i managed to keep awake, anyways. The opening gambit was exhilarating. The running chase over the rooftops was pretty cool too.

Another saving grace for me is M. Judi Dench does a really good job at it, i must say. The hard as nails boss but - as Bond himself says - considers herself like a mother to him.

But tt's it. Even the villian is not as they used to be. Yawn!

Still, there was one thing which kept me awake in the QoS. To me, she lights up the screen whenever she appeared - which unfortunately wasn't very often.

The photo just doesn't do any justice to her screen presence - for me. There's this innocence in her character, her bright disposition, her no nonsense business like attitude that makes her so likeable to me. And her name! I love strawberries and i love Beatles. Enuf said!

I dun think it's any major spoiler to say that she will sadly not be appearing in the next Bond movie. Not as Agent Fields, anyways. What a pity!

I think it's her English accent that does it for me! ;-)

*The song which was named after a Salvation Army in Liverpool where Lennon played as a child.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Voulez-Vous* - ABBA

M: Do you want to buy the char siew pau for me?
Moi: Huh? Why would i want to buy for you???

For that simple innocent reply, the rest got on my case!!!! I was like why? What did i do wrong? Why did she suddenly ask me if i want to buy for her? Why did she think that i may want to buy for her???

Well, apparently - as i was enlightened by the rest - she was asking me if i could do her a favour by buying it for her as she had to go off!!!!

So i was accused for being mean, for being unhelpful, for not being able to understand the hint!

But if she wanted to ask me to buy for her, why can't she just ask 'Can you buy for me as i have to go off?' instead of 'Do you want to buy for me?'

Maybe i'm too dumb to think there is a difference in that!

*Basically means 'Do you want' in French is one of their hits from their album of the same name.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Drink with me* - Cast of Les Misérables

Drink with me to days gone by
Sing with me the songs we knew

Here's to pretty girls who went to our heads.
Here's to witty girls who went to out beds.
Here's to them and here's to you!

Drink with me to days gone by
To the life that used to be
At the shrine of friendship, never say die
Let the wine of friendship never run dry

Here's to you and here's to me

(Herbert Kretzmer)

Last nite was fun. Good food, chor tai ti, booze, laughter all around. Reminds me of the good old days at Rayleigh 11, the times spent with me flatmates over a drink - it can be a serious time of chatting and sharing, or just joking around and teasing, or dancing on the kitchen benches (the ceiling was too low for us to dance on the tables!).

Here's my tribute to those days.

*Taken from the musical Les Misérables, this was the revolutionaries' mellow song in Act II as night falls and they await their enemy's retaliation.

Anything is possible* - Debbie Gibson

It has been said that everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when unforgettable events in the world took place. I still remember clearly where i was and what i was doing when i learned that Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, when i trembled with fear as i watched planes fly into the twin towers, when i celebrated quietly at home at the sight of Liverpool winning the Champions League for the 5th time.

So i will also remember the day when i was in my Criminal Law class and the students were watching a clip from Star Wars seeing Luke, Han and Leia trying to escape from the thrash compacter. It was then that i received a text message from Shariza informing me of the historical news which took place across the Pacific.

Later in the week, I felt compelled to take 5 minutes from my lectures this week to talk about it - the only thing that everyone is talking about. No, not that Chelsea were thrashed at Roma. And no, not about High School Musical 3, nor about how the F1 season came to a thrilling end with the rightful winner installed despite efforts thruout the year to stifle his progress (one wonders if the 'F' in 'F1' stands for Ferari?).

It was about this man.

Having been on this terrestrial ball for almost 2 scores of years, witnessing this event is something which is so special and heart-warming. And at the same time, it wasn't something unexpected. The result was more of a relief that Americans can choose with their heads and not just their hearts.

Obama grew up in a segregated world - literally from the cradle to the grave with separate hospitals to separate schools and almost separate everything ending in separate cemeteries.
But in his acceptance speech, he reminds his supporters that all things are possible in the USA.

And i echo the sentiments and apply it to everyone all over. All things are possible. It may take a long time to achieve. It will take a lot of sacrifices. Much effort will be needed. But nothing is really impossible.
This should spur us on - my students, myself, everyone - to strive for greater things, to persevere when people pour cold water on our goals, to hope and dream when realists and cynics scoff at us, to be steadfast when faced with great opposition.

As Edward Everett Hale once wrote:-

I am only one,

but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;

and because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do something that I can do

*The title track of her 3 album which still remains as my favourite album of hers.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Home* - Michael Bublé

Another summer day is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by a million people
I still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

Another aeroplane, another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come and gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by a million people
I still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It'll all be alright
(Bublé, Chang, Foster-Gillies)

Home is where the heart is. I wish I could go home now...

*Taken from his no. 1 album, It's Time, this song has been well received and covered by many other artists.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The best of me* - Phil Perry

So are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? (See here)

Different people react differently when faced with adversity. The past week have been a difficult one for a lot of us - the organising committee, the mooters, the coaches. It was interesting to see how some handle the pressure.

I believe that one's true colours will be revealed under difficult situations. When things are going well, it is easy for one to hold on to their masks, maintain their facade - be on their best behaviour, hypocritical as it can be. When the going gets tough, Dr. Jeckyl may turn to Hyde!

Someone whom we thought would be a good and responsible worker turns out otherwise, leaving the rest of the committee members having to cover up for her.

Someone who is supposed to be a polite goodie person ends up using language that would make a foul-mouthed gangster proud!

Someone who is supposed to be one of the top mooters end up making schoolboy mistakes.

Having said that, many others showed themselves to be a coffee bean - that when things are at their worst, they get better and change the situation around them. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest they elevate to another level.

Most of the student committee members showed that. The finalists showed their ability when pushed to the edge - only for them to not only stand firm but push back! These individuals did us all proud and displayed their best.

Well done!

The only regret is that i realised i'm not a coffee bean.

*This is the jazz remake of David Foster's pop song.

Uninvited* - Alanis Morrisette

Some people can have really thick skins!!!

When i entered the room for the debriefing session for all mooters and coaches, i was mildly surprised to see an unfamiliar face - and one that was all too familiar!

I found out later that the former was the boyfriend of one of the mooters!!!! What in the world was he doing in there? He even had the cheek to take a sit around the table leaving some of the actual mooters and coach having to stand.

This was a debriefing session for all mooters and coaches. We were supposed to share our views and be brutally honest so that the organisers can learn from whatever shortcomings there were, if any.

It wasn't the place for anyone to bring in their other half to listen to all the juicy stuffs. Did he not feel a little shameful, sitting there, listening in, taking the seat of actual mooters and coach? He had no business being there!

That was the 'unfamiliar' face. The 'familiar face' was just like the former - he was not a mooter nor was he a coach. He was basically a loser from the national rounds - that's how he was 'familiar'. Still, he was eliminated in the national rounds so he had no business being present at the debriefing session for the international rounds.

As if his presence wasn't bad enuf, he actually had to have a say in the proceedings!!!! What the..??? He had no locus standi to even be in the room. But he was thick-skinned enuf not only to be there but to participate!!!!

No, we kept quiet. No point raising it up at that point of time - no harm realy done anyways. And who knows - maybe the 2 were specially invited to join? I doubt so, tho...

*Taken from the movie City of Angels.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

2 become 1* - Spice Girls

I'm back - with so much to blog about. But for now...

For the first time in Rafa Benitez's career at Liverpool, Liverpool has defeated Chelsea at Stanford Bridge in the Premier League.

For the first time in 4 years and 8 months, Chelsea is defeated at Stanford Bridge.

For the first time in 87 games played at their home stadium, a visiting team (LIVERPOOL FC) wins!

For the first time this season, Liverpool sits at the top of the table.

And after all these weeks of sitting in the second spot, they have taken over the top spot. 2 has become 1!

The last time a mate blogged like this regarding her EPL team, her team went on to lose games and now sits at no. 4 of the table. I'll prolly face something similar - cuz we are so powerful that what we blog will have a bearing on the results of future EPL games! ;-P

*Their 3rd single from their debut album, it ws their 3rd no. 1 hit in the UK too.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Waiting for that day* - George Michael


I'm a small kid and we were still living in our old house at Section 14, PJ. It's late in the evening and i'm outside the gate of me house with me sis. From our house, we could look out to the main road nearby. We were keeping an eye for our dad's Ford Cortina.

When we finally see it on the main road, we know it'd be a matter of a couple of minutes before he turns into the lane leading up to our house. We quickly opened the gate wide anticipating his arrival. when he does, we'd both be like guards, one standing at the end of each side of the gate.

Me dad would smile at us - his toothy grin - as he drives into the compound of our house.

I don't know why but this is one of the few memories which i have kept all these years. After typing it out above, i realise how ordinary it is. How 'un-special'. Well, to everyone but me.

So what prompted this recent flashback?

It took place during a Bible Study recently. Our facilitator was reading this portion from the notes:-

The Christian is like a servant who expects the master's return at any minute. One does not waste time running to the door but diligently pursues one's work so that it is completed to the master's approval at his coming. We are commanded both to work and watch, eagerly expecting that our Lord Jesus may return even today.

One of the obvious question asked during the Bible study was how ready are we for the return of the King - the return of Jesus? Are we looking forward to it? Are we prepared? Or will we be caught with our pants down - some literally!!!

And that was when i had that flashback - and i imagined how it would be if i am eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus just like how i had eagerly waited for my dad's return. I was looking out for him. I was prepared when he arrived. I was so happy - not ashamed. And he was happy to see me.

If only Jesus would flash that similar smile to me when he returns to take me...

*His 3rd US single from his brilliant 'Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1' album - co-writing credits were given to Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and keith Richards as the line 'You can't always get what you want' is included at the end of the song.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Thank U* - Alanis Morissette

H: Mun Onn?
Moi: Yup?
H: Thank you.
Moi: Huh???
H: Thank you for deciding to go for the (YAF) camp.
Moi: Oh... erm... yeah. Sure. *Smiles*

Wow, that was strange! Why thank me? I'm not doing it for you!!!!

Maybe he was just glad that i was going.

It's funny also cuz i was just watching an old episode of Friends where Ross told Emily that he loved her - and she replied, 'Thank you'!!! That was hilarious!

Not as hilarious as 'The Rural Juror'!!!! man, that really cracks me up!!! How do they think of lines like that?

*A Grammy nominated song which was the first single from her album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.

All the small things* - Blink 182

I felt it not too long after the race started. It was prolly a tiny little pebble. It was in my left shoe. Or sock. I ignored it. I wasn't about to stop, sit down and get it out - and lose my position as well as break my momentum.

It was after all, only a tiny pebble.

Was it? Somehow, as the race went on, as the kilometers increase, the size of the pebble seemed to increase too!!! Soon, it was a real thorn in my flesh - almost literally. With every step i take, it seem to burrow a little bit more into me feet. The pain increased - slowly but surely.

In the end, i just gritted me teeth and put up with the pain for the rest of the excruciating 10 km. I took off me Nikes only after the race - and even then, i did not get the pleasure of holding that pebble in me fingers and flinging it away in anger!!! Oh well...

But it did get me thinking - some things seem to start off small but if left unattended, the small thing can grow to something really big. And the effect it has on our lives could be big too. It could be a small careless word said which if not dealt with could linger on and grow in hurt. Or a stupid little bad habit that one indulges in - which could turn into an obsession or an addiction.

I am reminded how it was the tiny rivets which eventually caused the Titanic to sink - small things which were not dealt with at an early stage.

I had to check my life - and deal with some matters.

*Their first no. 1 single and their biggest hit so far. They have since only had another 1 other no. 1 single.

Forgiven, not forgotten* - The Corrs

It is easy to remember the negatives and forget the positives, isn't it? Ask Scott Carson - everyone remembers his mistake when he played his first international game as England's goalkeeper. What about his good saves in the course of the other 89 minutes of the game?

But it really gets me down when after all the good that is done, people will only think of the mistakes.

I'm not judging - i must confess that i have found it difficult to forget certain things. And have struggled with the issue of forgiveness. Struggled as i believe that true forgiveness comes with a real case of amnesia! When God forgave my sins, he forgot about it - and now he looks at me as if i have not sinned. Perhaps that is why the saying goes that 'to forgive is divine'.

I pray for the strength to forget - and for others not to bury any good that i have done together with my bones after i'm long gone.

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones...
William Shakeapeare - Julius Ceaser Act 3, Scene 2

*The title track of their debut album

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The sound of white* - Missy Higgins

Student: Sir! You should wear white more.
Moi: No lah. I look fatter when i wear white.
Student: You look more pro...
Moi: More professional? *laughs*

Well, i decided for the more conservative plain white shirt today as we were meeting the auditor for our Uni. After the meeting, a colleague from UoR was teasing me for getting all decked up just for the meeting! I tried to protest but to no avail! But... but... i'm always in a shirt and tie! And i even wear my jacket in class, depending on the strength of the aircond!

Oh well...

Conversation during lunch the other day - inevitably it veered towards politics, local, UK and then to the States.

MM: So you think Obama has a chance?
Moi: Yeah. I think so! (And i really hope so)
MM: *Gives a look of disbelief*
Moi: Why? Don't you think that that's possible?
MM: There is a reason why it is called the WHITE house!

Pic stolen from Chérie's photos on FB!

*The 4th single and title track of her debut album.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

When the going gets tough* - Boyzone

I've been following The Amazing Race Asia season 3 quite closely. Well, if you can't fly, you can at least watch the birds!

To be honest, i dun think the teams are as entertaining as they used to be. But then again, i'm thinking of last year's M'sian finalists, Vanessa and Pam! It was a real joy watching them. They were so... Malaysian! So... us! I dun think they were a strong team as in ability wise. But they made it up with sheer determination and grit. Kinda like the underdogs. They never fail to make us laugh!

But i must admit that this season has been really tough. Before the show started, they were saying about how this was gonna be "the toughest race ever". I dismissed it as just an advertising ploy.

But man, it's really tough!!!! Imagine a 25 hour bus ride! I'd just die! And my heart just went to Ida as she tried to down the HUGE bowl of stinky tofu with tears of agony streaming down her bloodshot eyes.

Still, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And our racers have proved that they can be tough! Well, most of them!

Anyways, after 5 episodes, only 5 teams remain. Here's me take on them (in the order of how they came in in Episode 5):-

Vince and Sam

They were first time winners. In my opinion, i dun rate them very high. They are also neither entertaining nor interesting. Strange as Vince is supposedly a comedian! Boring team.

And they only won the round due to pure luck! The teams had to go thru thousands of blu-ray discs to look for the clue. No skill involved. They were just lucky to come across the right disc, and they went to do the fast forward - meaning they did not have to do the rest of the grueling tasks. All they had to do then was just go and get a tattoo.

Further, Sam lost some respect - from me anyways. He said as a matter of principle and religion, he disagrees with having a tattoo. But for TARA, he would do it. He would compromise his principles and religion!

Still, luck favours the brave and they have not been pushovers.

Henry and Bernie

They were my team from the beginning! they are M'sians and they're around my age! Well, older. They're older. They gave me the impression they will be a strong team. And they lived up to expectations.

They have won 2 rounds. In the last round, they came in second as the Hong Kong boys did the fast forward. In the first episode, it was down to bad luck that they did not win.

They have been impressive. In spite of bad luck - like when their jeep was the only one that has problems so they had to jump start it each time - they pushed on doggedly.

But i'm losing interest in them. Other that the aforesaid, they are not that interesting to watch now. It is a little amusing at times when Henry shows his frustration at Bernie - but not to her knowledge! Like how i would at me sis! But tt's it.

AD and Fuzzie

This team has won my respect - one of the 2. The second is mentioned below. I shamefully admit that i looked down on them and expected them to be out quickly. They have proved me wrong and i stand corrected.

Their strength? Their frenship! While other things may get to them, they are always united. No squabbles, no blaming, no tantrums. They have this understanding of each other and a good teamwork going on for them.

Geoff and Tisha

Well, every race needs a couple like Geoff and Tisha. The baddies. Actually, it's just the baddie.

It's quite sad tho - Geoff is such a stereotyped baddie. Rude, uncouth, determine to win at all costs. At one point of time, he just stood in public and starting blowing his whistle to get attention and help from anyone.

Unfortunately, people like him do get far in these kinda races. We'll see. So far, it's Geoff doing everything and Tisha is even less than a sidekick - more of a damsel in distress. Something which she doesn't like and to be fair, she always insists on putting in her fair share.

Ida and Tania

The 2nd Malaysian team! And i'm proud of them. They are slowly forcing their way to be my favourite team. Not yet, tho...

Again, i have to admit that at the beginning, i din think much of them. i thought they won't get far. They appeared to be rich, pampered and spoilt. No way they are gonna get thru the tough race. But they have, so far, even winning the 4th leg! Good job!

Don't be like me and look down on them. They may be rich and have lived sheltered lives(?) but when the going gets tough, they get going! No pushovers. Catching chickens, washing buses, digging coal etc. As mentioned earlier, the sight of Ida in tears but going on determinedly was really impressive.

And they are entertaining! Slowly becoming the Vanessa and Pamela for me. They are used to the comfortable life! So while others were trying to navigate a sampan across the river, they took a break and were buying cold drinks from another boat! While others rushed off to the next task after getting the right blu-ray disc, they went to buy food. Hehe. They would make jokes and even laugh at themselves! It is clear that while they take the race seriously, they are also there to enjoy themselves!

And the relationship too - they have something strong there. I like their attitude. Very positive. When things are not going their way, they do not turn negative and spew out expletives like some others. they just go on. they would encourage each other. You can tell how Tania's heart must have gone out to Ida as she watched Ida suffer with the tofu. She sat with her encouraging her all the way. And when Tania was looking for the coin in the coal, Ida reciprocated the encouragement. And it was good teamwork which saw them carry the pail of water up the hill.

And they are always polite and frenly to all! Well done!

Mai and Oliver

Ah, the team which i was glad was finally eliminated. I'm not going to hide my disgust at Mai - prolly the worst and weakest racer i've seen. in the first episode, Oliver had to carry her bag all the time! Poor guy.

In the second episode, Oliver had to catch all the chickens by his own while she just stood by and cried!!!! She din even help by keeping count of how chickens were caught.

And she's not very bright, is she? She was so confident that Ho Chi Minh City was in China! That was a hoot! A pity they din end up in the wrong country! In the last episode, she was quoted saying that they were like Dumb and Dumber. I could not agree more! I will miss their stupidity, tho.

What really turned me against them was in episode 4 when they found the clue but pretended they did not and went away quietly. If i am not mistaken, there was an agreement earlier with other teams that whichever team finds the clue, they would share it. They din.

Natalie and Pailin

OK. Special mention for this team. Yes, they were hot to look at. But they weren't pushovers either.

They were a classic example that TARA is a team race. It takes two. It was no surprise when they were eliminated - altho i was hoping it was going to be a non-elimination round. It was the round when Pailin just lost it. She basically gave up - in spirit. She was complaining and whining and saying that she did not sign up for this.

Perhaps the editors were nice to Natalie - she portrayed to be entirely patient with Pailin. She just went on. When Pailin just complained that changing the jeep tyres were too difficult and walked away, Natalie went on, struggling on her own.

We miss you, Natalie. You deserved a better partner!

Anyone wanna partner for The Amazing Race season 4? ;-)

*Their remake of Billy Ocean's classic