Thursday, 28 February 2008

Crazy* - K-Ci & JoJo

We were sitting around talking about a certain someone who seemed to be pretty sensitive and emotional lately. They decided to christen her "Emo". I couldn't help meself but say out:-

"Well, if she gets lost, we can make a movie out of it *pauses for effect* - Finding Emo!!!!!".

In the midst of the laughter and groans, someone was heard saying "How does he come out with things like that????". I don't think it was said in an impressed tone, tho...

Yes, it's getting to me - the stress, the madness, the sleep deprivation, the crazy upside down hours (had my breakfast - first meal of the day - at midnite for the past 2 days), the emotions... .

The signs are there - extra lame jokes, emo and mysterious posts on me blog, breaking out into song wif me students... When will all the madness end?

After this weekend? Perhaps...

The bright side, the silver lining to all this craziness mixed with a bagful of emotions is that when this passes on - and it will - then perhaps i would have had seen the worst of the year?

Dun put any money on it, tho. I'm not putting mine!

Anyways... it really isn't that bad - i cant remember having so much fun in misery before!!!! :-)

OK - time to slumber. This is the calm before the storm.

*Their hit in 2001, this was featured on the soundtrack of Save the last dance starring the wonderful Julia Stiles.

No matter what* - Boyzone



*A song written for the ALW's musical, Whistle Down The Wind. It was also featured on the soundtrack for the movie, Notting Hill.

Reality* - Richard Sanderson

“Unpalatable truth can be easier to live with than uncertainty”.
Thorpe LJ

Is it? It hurt really bad... But yeah, i needed to hear it.

*Used to be one of my favs, i just found out it was also featured in a French movie, La Boum.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Top of the world* - Shonen Knife

I'm heading to the top of the world!... again!... well, the top of this part of the world, anyways!

KC - are we going together??? Sori but i had to get the tickets on a pretty short notice. Here's something to tempt you:-

*Their alternative version found in the brilliant compilation album of alternative versions of Carpenter's classics, If I were a Carpenter.

Walk on by* - Dionne Warwick

Sometimes I run
Sometimes I hide
Sometimes I'm scared of you
But all I really want is to hold you tight
Treat you right
Be with you day and night
Jörgen Elofsson

I saw her sitting alone the other day - and I walked away...

*Her single which hit the charts in the early 60s, and later covered by various including Gabrielle, Cyndi Lauper and Seal. In 1998 the song was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame. The RIAA chose it as one of the Songs of the Century. In 2004, it was ranked #70 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Rain rain go away* - Bobby Vinton

There are only two situations when i wish it won't rain:-
  1. When it prevents me from going for a run;
  2. When it is in the early hours of the morning but i can't sleep due to study/work.
I wish i could just go to bed now...

*I still remember listening to this song when i was a kid. This was a hit in the early sixties - and no, i wasn't born in the sixties, tho.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Surrender* - Patti LuPone

"The first thing you must do is 'Trust'. Do you trust God enough?

If you do, the next is to obey."

As of last nite, I have one reason less why i should not go China in the near future.

*Taken from the musical Sunset Boulevard, this song introduces us to Norma Desmond.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Material girl* - Madonna

It was no surprise that our conversation revolved around the elections, traffic jam, Hindraf... and the bloke who spent RM40,000.00 to put up a billboard to propose to his gal on V-Day. Oh, he also spent RM14,000.00 to get a ring for her.

So i've heard enuf from girls who think that he did such a wonderful thing... until last Sat nite.

Girl 1: If I am the girl, i'd ask him why din he use the RM40,000.00 to get me a ring - and use the RM14,000.00 instead to advertise his proposal!!!

Girl 2: No, i'd rather he used the RM54,000.00 to get me a BIGGER ring! Who cares about the billboard?

The other girls echoed their agreement, much to the amusement of us guys listening!

p/s - oh, we were wondering wat kind of person would spend heaps of money to propose to his girl and itemise the spending to all the local newspapers to publish...

*Some consider this as her signature song - so much so that i read she regretted recording it as it became her nickname! ut such a good song from a good artist!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

If you wanna be happy* - Jimmy Soul

In some ways, smells are like music. Just like how you are transported to a moment in time in the past when a certain tune or song is heard, a familiar smell can do the same thing.

Certain places have their own distinct smell. Some just cannot be described - like the smell of the corridors along the faculties in UoE. And especially the smell near the Computer Lab B, where i spent the most time there doing me dissertation... and chatting on MSN. When i visited UoE again last summer, i walked along that corridor again and those memories flooded back again - especially when a mate told me something via MSN and i was jumping for joy - literally cuz i was alone (later i realised the presence of a CCTV camera).

Food smells are another kind. The smell of waxed meat will always be associated with London's Chinatown. I smiled when i visited Chinatown during the autumn of 2005 as i was pleasantly surprised that it still smelt the same after all these time!

At UoE, when Michelle was baking in the kitchen, the smell of cookies in the oven reminded me of the pre-CNY days back home when me sis will be baking and filling the entire house with the fragrance of the freashly baked goodies.

Then of course there's the smell of perfume. Different people have different perfumes to remind me of them - either cuz they always wear it or cuz they gave it to me.

So i was pleasantly surprised when i found a stall at the flea market this morning to be selling Clinique Happy at a very cheap price!!!

Happy will always be associated with a dear fren of mine - is it coincidence that i just saw her on Friday nite after almost a year? She was like a sister to me and we had loads of wonderful memories together before she left to overseas to pursue her studies. She bought Happy for me before she left - and that perfume has always brought back memories of those times, so long ago.

I was a lil' skeptical, tho. It was selling for less than 6 quid!!!! I tried it out and it did smell authentic. The lady explained that it was "old stock". Oh, wat the heck! Only RM30 - even if it was not original, it smelt close to it and it's still worth it. As i took out me wallet, something happened which almost made me regret buying it - she volunteered to take off RM5 from the price!!!!! Huh?? What the...? I din even try to bargain! Did she feel bad for me? if she was willing to take off RM5 voluntarily, how much was it really worth?

But hey, it's Happy!!!! So i really din mind!

On a separate note, i'm happy that i finally got me new study table this weekend!!! :-)

The old one was the same one that i had been using since my secondary school days!!!! It was still ok - but i'm really particular bout me study table. It has to be BIG. HUGE would be better!!! It has to be big enuf for me to put all me books and spread out all me notes. And still have space for me coffee!

There were times during both me undergraduate and post-graduate days that i'd hijack the dining room table and use it to study - it was big enuf.

Anyways, after looking for so long, i decided to just get the best that i've seen - even tho it was grey in colour and did not go well with the "wooden" feel of the furniture in me room. But as i was chatting wif the lady at the second hand shop, she told me bout this drawer-less wooden table - which was bigger and cheaper than the brnd new grey one i was gonna get. So i got it. And am pretty happy about it!

Retail therapy can be truly therapeutic! LOL!

Me table at Rayleigh Tower - it was big enuf

Me tiny old one - books usually ended up all over the floor

Me new one! Soooo much space! :-)

*A no. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963, it has been used in 2 brilliant movies, and MermaidsMy Best Friend's Wedding.

Kau ilhamku* - Man Bai

Mungkin hanya Tuhan
Yang tahu segalanya
Apa yang kuinginkan
Di saat-saat ini

Kau takkan percaya
Kau selalu di hati
Haruskah ku menangis
'Tuk mengatakan yang sesungguhnya

(Dari lagu Kaulah Segalanya, cipataan Tito Sumarsono)

*One of my fav local songs - simply meaning "You're my inspiration" - i remembered how the song was used in an ad regarding our local badminton players.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

You don't bring me flowers* - Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand

What is wrong with the police force???? Is it because they are called the police "force", they must act with force????

A group of people wanted to peacefully hand over a bunch of roses. Another wanted to give a press conference. The police react with water canons, tear gas, arrests, assault and battery. They say that these people are gathering illegally.

Let's look at the law regarding illegal gatherings - what is the purpose of it? Are so caught up with the letter of the law that we administer it blindly? Why should the law prevent a group of people trying to give roses to the PM? Why should the law prevent people from giving a press conference in public?

If you were caught in the horrible jam today in the Klang Valley, blame the police. If the country gets bad press regarding this, blame the police. They would want to pass the blame on the demonstrators. But none of it would happen if the demonstration was allowed to proceed peacefully and within limits.

We are in a democratic country! Let us have our say publicly, as long as we dun endanger anybody. Who do you think is more dangerous - a man armed with a rose or with a tear-gas gun?

I was in London when the muslim community staged a demonstration over the Danish Cartoons. It was well-organised and went peacefully. Traffic was disrupted but notices were given way ahead and at most, it just inconvenienced some people. Bobbies were around but they just observed quietly - no rude outbursts, no threats, no disproportionate show of force - in fact, there wasn't any show of force!

Why can't we have the same liberty here?

Some of my conspiracy theorists frens conclude that the government wants the police to act in that way - to incite the demonstrators, to get bad press and then blame the opposition.

I dun know how true is that - but i know who i'm not gonna vote for next month.

p/s - pics of KL above taken from BBC News Online.

*Both Neil and Barbra released the song as a solo piece before coming together and producing this no. 1 duet in 1978. One of the songs that reminds me of me childhood.

What's simple is true* - Jewel

It was late in the day on the 13th February as i drove home, thinking of the family law lecture i had to deliver the next morning, when i saw the billboard which made the headlines in the papers yesterday. Yeah, it is the £7,000.00 public marriage proposal.

I'm sure that was the only thing me students remembered of the lecture the next day, as i described it to them (and the only time when they were most awake - oh well, it is a rather dry topic!!).

Yesterday, i met up wif an old fren - our annual meeting when she returns home for the Spring Festival celebrations. She was happily telling me about her wedding plans - and unhappily complaining about how stressful it is planning for it. Should she spend £500 on a wedding dress - that she'd only wear for a couple of hours in her whole life? And wat style shud she go for? I couldn't give any advice...

In the course of the conversation, she was telling me about a fren - who traveled to New York where her future husband bought her a diamond ring from Tiffany & Co. And then she had to fly back there again to get a wedding dress - a Vera Wang dress!!!! Oooo.... O_o

I've been thinking about these rich guys - and i'm sure what they did will be on a lot of girls' fantasies list. But wat about poor joes like moi? There's no way we can top that - can we? So are we disadvantaged? And do all girls really want this kinda flashy (wif all due respect to guys who do that and girls who wants guys to do that!) expressions of affection?

Well, i'm glad to read a student's blog where she said this regarding her ideal V-day:-
i wanna stay at home with my 'him'
enjoy a romantic dinner..
watching a dvd together..
tht's all..
i think tht'll be super fine for me..
it doesnt need to be grand or watsoever..

I smiled when i read that - that's how i feel. To be honest, tt's how i felt - the best V-day memory i had was doing just that, except we din have DVD player at that time. It was just a TV - and i can't remember wat was on. It really din matter. A home-cooked meal spread onto a folding table, a used candle, grape juice, normal conversation, laughter, the 2 of us.

This does not mean i'm against flashy displays and spontaneous (and expensive) demonstration of love. If i could, i'll do a song and dance ala Patrick Verona (see vid clip here) - altho me students alleged that it turned cloudy when i burst out into song during class the other day - or take a leave (or a flower) from Ed Bloom's book (from Big Fish) and do this:-

But it wouldn't be a major disaster if i dun do that - would it?

No need to hear the music play,
You eyes say all there is to say
The stars can fade and they can shine
'Long as your face is next to mine

I don't need a crowded ball room everything I need is here
If your with me next year will be
The perfect year
(Don Black and Christopher Hampton)

*One of my fav song of hers, taken from my fav album of hers, Spirit. This song is also featured on the soundtrack of the movie Run With The Devil where Jewel starred in it too.

Friday, 15 February 2008

All by myself* - Céline Dion

So here i am, into the wee hours of the morning, all alone - with me law books, internet connection, music in background, coffee and pineapple tarts.

I'm contented. :-)

Happy V-day to y'all!

*Her hit single from her Falling Into You album, a remake of Eric Carmen's classic which borrowed heavily from Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

You're the one that I want* - John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John


*From the soundtrack of Grease.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Fire* - Babyface and Des'ree

MSN chat today:-

Yes, it was on fire.It was a huge fire. Check out these pics i got from BBC News Online:-

You can read about it here (and check out some videos too) and see more pics here.

*Sniff* As me mate correctly pointed out, it was one of me favourite place to hang out in London. So many memories... Now it's all up in flames. :-(

*Their duet in 1998 recorded for the soundtrack of the the movie, Hav Plenty. It's actually a remake of Bruce Springsteen's song.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Think with your heart* - Deborah Gibson

NOTE: This post is done in a light-hearted manner. No offense meant to anyone of any religious beliefs... and anyone who poses in any manner for photos!!!

Me mates and i can't seem to understand why certain people have to pose for photos with their fingers close to their face indicating some numbers!!! We've even heard of some people posting up photos on their Frienster showing poses from nos. 1 - 10!!!

Well, maybe they think they look cute. If my 5 year old niece does that, that'll be cute. If a grown up does that, ...

Well, i thought it was a recent phenomenon but when i was in S'pore recently, i found out that it was practiced for a long, long time!!!! Check this out!!!

Well, it's supposed to be a "pensive" pose - deep in thought!

So the "one finger" pose is the pensive pose - deep in thought. 2 fingers??? I'm pensive TOO?? 3? 4? 5? Deep in thoughts???

*The title song from the album of the same name released in 1995. Brings back memories of CLP days for me!

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft* - The Carpenters

After so many years, he's back! Woohoo!!!! Stephen Chow returns.

So was the wait worth it? Well, we were prolly asking the same question when we marched into the cinema hall just barely a few minutes into the year of the rat.

In a nutshell - i liked it. It's not classic Stephen Chow but it works for me. But one would be disappointed if one was expecting loads of his mo-lei-tau kind of humour. It has it's nonsensical moments, tho. But no rolling on the floor kind of laughter. Not from me, tho.

I kinda expected it. After all, the star of the show is not really Stephen Chow, but rather, these are the stars:-

To me, the real star is the boy. Girl, rather. It's not hard to be won over by her and her performance.

So, go and watch it! It's a wonderful family fare for this year's Spring Festival. There are laughs, there are pretty good special effects, there are moments which will move you to tears - in sadness and in joy. There are nice camera angles.

Oh - for the guys, there's this new star too:-

*A surprising trivia about this song that i just discovered is that this version is actually a cover version. The original was done by this group called Klaatu!!! This version was done with 160 musicians and was a bigger hit.

With or without you* - U2

I was doing one of them quiz thingies a while ago when i got stuck at one question - if your wife/husband was cheating on you, would you rather live the rest of your life wif him/her in happy ignorance or would you rather find out and live wif the pain?

I struggled for a while on that. I can only imagine the pain of finding out - so why not live the rest of my life in bliss? For after death, it won't matter any more, will it?

I chose to find out.

That was a while ago. i just thought of it as i was thinking of someone...

I was happy the way my life was going - and you came and showed me wat was missing. Yet, i rather live like this - knowing that something's missing than to go on living in happy oblivion...

*One of the band's most popular songs, it was also their first no. 1 hit in the US. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed it at number 131 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Sweet temptation* - Jewel

Our doughnuts seem to be going thru a mini revival recently. These hole-in-one deserts have been around for a long long time - but now they are back with a vengeance! A total make-over. And of course, much, much, much more pricey. But this does not deter us consumers. People are queuing up for hours - i exaggerate not - just to get them!

A couple of me wonderful students took the trouble to get some J. Co doughnuts for me b'day last year. Unfortunately, we had a pretty heavy lunch - had to take-away the remains which became me dinner. So i only managed to eat them the next day - and they werent fresh then. Din think too much of it - must give it another try, tho.

When i was down in S'pore, i was informed by me mate that there's a new donut joint in town. I wasn't impressed - until he told me that in his view, it was better than Krispy Kreme!!!!! What??? No way! Get out of town!!!!

He recommended 2 - the Spicy Cheese and the peanut butter one (can't remember the name, tho). Well, he got me there. Cheese? Peanut butter? How can i say no?

So off i went to Raffles' City, looking for the Donut Factory, wif another mate in tow. I really wanted to try the glazed one but they were selling the assorted ones in 6s. Cant mix. So i got 6 to share wif me mate.

So what's wif donut boxes aand orange colour???

Free plug for them - check out their website

The spicy cheese - it's different! Savory doughnut? But it's nice!

Mint-chocolate topping

Me mate got a coffee almond one. The peanut butter one din look too good to be photographed!

The verdict? Well, i'm biased. And prolly pretty old-fashioned. I like me doughnuts simple - just the dough and sugar on it. All the extra stuffs just seem to kill the taste of the dough. So of course i'll stick to the excellent and brilliant Krispy Kreme!!!

Check out my Krispy Kreme experience here.

*Track 10 from her 0304 album.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Nobody's child* - Karen Young

A conversation i had today...

You not going home?

Me: I am home!!! I'm local.
M: Oh, i see.
Me: What about you? Not going anywhere?
M: I have no where to go to.
Me: Oh...
M: I'll just stay in KL.
Me: Er... ok. Have a happy Chinese New Year then.

I walked away wondering if i could have done or said anything more. Invite her over to me place for dinner? I just conversed with her for the first time in me life!!!

Hard to imagine a Chinese person not having anywhere to go to during CNY. Probably unmarried, parents perhaps are no longer around and she's an only child? Worse still, she has parents, husband and children, and siblings but she's not welcomed by them?

I am blessed - and altho there's one less person to share the celebrations with this year, me family and i still have each other.

This reminded me of the latest ad from Petronas - check it out:-

*I remember listening to this song when i was really really young. And a fren told me he'd cry each time he listen to it.

To sir, with love* - Lulu

I spent a lot of time watching cable TV while i was down in S'pore. No, it wasn't much different from our cable here in M'sia. But unlike back home, i din have to compete with anyone to watch!!!!

Some might think that it was waste of time. Well, maybe - but i've no regrets cuz i managed to catch a surprisingly good movie. It's entitle "The Triumph" - or "The Ron Clark Story" (it's on the Hallmark Channel).

It was a sure winner for me. Why? It was a story of a teacher! And it starred Matthew Perry. And the teacher used music to teach his students! Rap music, to be exact!

In fact, as i was channel surfing, the first scene of the movie i caught was the one when Matthew Perry used a rap to teach the kids about the Presidents of the USA (see it here). It got me hooked. Hey, who doesn't like Matthew "Chandler Bing" Perry?

It's about this teacher who goes to New York from North Carolina to teach disadvantaged students and inspire them. To read more about Ron Clark, go here.

In some ways, it's a pretty clichéd storyline. Teacher comes, students makes life difficult for him, teacher perseveres, wins them over, inspires them and then helps them prepare for major exam. At the same time, he gets involved personally in their lives too.

But it's a winning formulae for me!!! I've always been a sucker for these kinda of inspiring-teachers movies. From the classics like "To Sir, with love" and "Stand and deliver" to more recent gems like "Dead Poet's Society", i have no doubt that these movies played a huge role in me ending up doing wat i'm doing now.

I'm always reminded of the brilliant lecturers i have had - and most of all, Mrs. Yong, my Form 6 teacher. Till today, she remains my role model as i try to follow in her footsteps and attempt to impact the lives of those i'm teaching.

So far, the journey has been challenging. There are times when i leave the class feeling like i wanna jump for joy and punch me fists in the air at wat i thought to be a brilliant session. Other times, i wished the ground would just open up and swallow me for the miserable effort that i made.

Anyways, i'm still a baby in this area and i guess i can only improve, can't i? Already, there has been many moments which just makes it all worthwhile, makes the staying up til 6 am in tears not seem a futile effort. There are little things - like how the students makes mention or reference in their blogs and facebook profiles to things thought or mentioned by me in class. There are the few occasions when i received personal messages from them about how they enjoyed a particular class. I still smile when students remind me of the things i told them in me very first class.

Many have asked me why i gave up practice for this. If i could, i would just point out to all me students - they are the reason!

Anyways, i'll end off with this clip made by someone regarding "The Ron Clark Story". I hope i can watch the movie in full some day.

*Released in 1967 as the theme song to the movie of the same name, it went on to be the no. 1 song of the year in the US!

Music makes my day* - Olivia Newton-John

Someone commented that me blog is like a "typical emo blog".


Me? Typical????

Ok. So the past few posts have been sprinkled generously wif journeys of my emotional rollercoaster (as generous as the amount of parmesan cheese i sprinkle on me pizza at Pizza Hut). The next few posts should be emo-free... or at least, S-free, since it's all about me trip to S'pore!

Yeah, music played its part in me holiday. It was Les Mis and Miss Saigon which kept me company in me lonely and extremely cold bus journey down. And while i was there, i spent a lot of time at HMV. I couldn't bring meself to spend that kind of money for CDs so i just hung around and enjoyed the music there.

But if i had the money, these are the CDs which i would get:-

If you haven't herd of these artistes before, here are some clips for you to enjoy their brilliant work:-

Taiwanese American Vienna Teng singing "Homecoming"

Aussie Missy Higgins singing "The Sound of White"

(Sorry but this is the clip with the best sound i could find - a bit shaky tho)

American band with lead singer Hayley singing "Here we go again"

*Taken from her 1973 album of the same.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

You got a nerve* - Chyi

I'm back... with the batteries in me MP3 player almost drained, new stamps in me passport (the first of many this year, i hope), RM0.17 worth of credit left in me mobile, and loads of photos.

So much to talk about - expect a flurry of Singapore related posts in the next few days!!!

But the sad thing is that when i got back, i was greeted by this news story -

Bibles confiscated by Customs Dept.

On Jan 28, missionary Juliana Nicholas returned from a trip to the Philippines carrying with her two boxes containing 32 bibles meant for her church group.

Upon arrival at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Kuala Lumpur, she was told to declare and open the contents of the boxes.

Having done so - and despite showing them a letter from her parish priest stating the texts were for use by the church - Nicholas was shocked to be hear subsequently that the bibles would be “referred" to the Internal Security Ministry’s Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Division.

Go read it here.

Since then, the Internal Security has denied any involvement in the matter and has stated clearly that the "... Customs officer has no authority to do so" (See report here).

He has got some nerve!!!!

But think about it - why would he be so daring to do such a thing? Perhaps it's the message that the government is giving out, impliedly or otherwise, intentionally or not.

Welcome home, Min An!

*This is her remake of Rod Stewart's old song.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Longer* - Dan Fogelberg

Phone conversation earlier in the week:-

Me: Hey, i need to talk to you. Come see me tomorrow?
Why ah, sir? Am i in trouble? *gulp*

*LOL* Why? Are you? Suddenly filled with guilty conscience???

Fast forward to end of the week - another phone conversation:-

Programme Directer: Please come and see me tomorrow.
Erm... yeah, sure. Er... may i know what is it about?

Programme Director:
I'll let you know when i see you personally.

*Suddenly filled with guilty conscience - and makes mental note not to laugh at aforementioned student again*

Well, it din turn out to be too bad in the end. On the contrary, it was good. Really good. It's an offer that i can't refuse! Well, i can but i dun think i will.

It took some time for it to sink in, tho - no doubt partly due to the fact that i slept at 5 sumting in the morn that day and had a packed day of classes.
I've been asked to teach a subject which is closest to me heart (and no, it's not consti). No, i can't reveal it since i know many students now read me blog (go read yr cases if you are so free. yes, i am talking to you! ;-P). And nothing's confirmed yet - altho the ball is very much in my court now.

I am excited, yes. But at the same time... this means i have to give up on one subject that i'm doing now. After all the hard work of preparation and doing up slides, it feel kinda waste to just do it for a year. It would also mean that come next year, I'll still be busy preparing new slides and all instead of just re-using this year's slides.

But perhaps more significantly, this could mean i'm in this for the long haul!!! Am i ready for that? Do i want it? Can i keep my desire and need to wander and roam caged up? Should i postpone my dreams any longer?

I'm like a bird... in a cage???

*It hit the charts way back in 1980 and apparently, it was one of the most used songs during weddings at that time.