Monday, 30 June 2008

We are the champions* - Queen

Finally, after 44 years, Spain won their first major title for football. And they did it with class and brilliance!

Euro 2008 has been one of the best footie competitions i've ever witnessed - and no one can deny that Spain was the best team! It has been a long time since a winning team so deserved it, playing with such positivity and flair.

And it was by far, one of the most exciting finals i've seen - it was truly a nail-biting experience as the Germans did not give up right till the end. But the Spanish played with such confidence and fluency - and the goal by Torres was sheer class. The pace and strength and grace!!! He rightly won the Man-of-the-match award for the finals!!!

The losers? Henry, Ronaldo, Ballack, the England team - but hey, who's keeping score?

Spain are the winners! The Champions of Europe!

The only sad thing about the finals is that there'll be a footie drought for the next couple of months before EPL resumes again.

And i can now go to sleep in me Spanish jersey and a smile on me face... and prepare for a zombie-fied day at work later!!!

p/s - footie pics taken from the euro2008 official site and the International Herald Tribune site.

*One of their classics, seems to be always used for a footie finals these days!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Anything is possible* - Debbie Gibson

Malaysia boleh!!!

Literally translated, it means 'Malaysia can!' It was a catch phrase coined many years ago to celebrate our abilities (usually for some inconsequential matter like the biggest mooncake, the largest dodol, the longest sate etc). People chant this when cheering our sportsmen. It is used to acknowledge local achievements. Unfortunately, the phrase has evolved to have a negative connotation in recent times.

This is usually in reference to how certain people seem to get away with things in this country. It refers to the hypocrisy, to the corruption, to the perversion of justice, to the blatant crony-ism. Yes, you can get away with all that here because Malaysia boleh!

It is also in reference to all the 'funny' (not amusing) things which takes place in this country.

Being 'inspired' by it all, i've started another blog. It is just to highlight news reports of these kind of incidents - and add some of my own personal views about it.

You can view it here. Enjoy!

*The title track of her 3rd album.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Another one bites the dust* - Queen

Yes, the seeds are being sent out of Wimbledon, one by one. Another major one bit the dust just now. A BIG one. The no. 1, in fact!!!

Ana is out! Outplayed and 'battered to submission' by a petite chinese girl ranked 132 places behind her in the World ranking. Zheng Jie is almost a head shorter than Ana. But this girl is no greenhorn. In fact, she is a Wimbledon winner - back when i was in the UK, she won the Women's Doubles title. I blogged about it here.

She plays singles too - and what a game she played tonite! Ana just din know wat to do!!! In fact, the World no. 1 and top seeded player at Wimbledon looked like she was going to burst out into tears - esp during the last few points. It wasn't so much (IMHO) that she was being sent out of the championship. It was more out of frustration - there was nothing she could do to stop that little chinese girl!

Sure, i'm sad to see Ana go but am happy and proud of Zheng Jie!!!! Jia yao!!!

*Written by their bassist, this is their best selling single and biggest hit ever!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Russians* - Sting

It's a bad night for the Russians... except for one. This one:-

Alla Kudryavtseva beat her fellow-Russian, the more famous and irritatingly noisy Maria Sharapova straight sets in Wimbledon as another seed bites the dust!

I used to be a fan of Maria but no longer am. There is nothing in her game that excites me anymore. She does not have an outstanding forehand (like Steffi) or backhand, no killer serve nor the sublime skill that Hingis had in her prime. These days, she makes the headlines due to her clothes, her father or her seriously loud shrieking on court. And yes, when she loses. Like tonight.

So no tears were shed by moi as Maria leaves Wimbledon empty handed yet again. In fact, it was a joy to see Alla skipping like a small girl given a new toy when she finally won the game. The world no. 154 beating the 3rd seed!!!

Maria and her dad were not the only sad Russians going to sleep to sleep. Hundreds of Russian football fans must find slumber hard to come by as they replay the scenes of how Spain outplayed them in the semis for the Euro 2008. The only consolation? Well, they lost only by 3-0, an improvement over a couple of weeks ago when they lost 4-0!!!

The Spain in the rain wasn't very plain!

The Spanish's first finals in 24 years!!!! And my, how they deserved it. Their passing in the 2nd half was wonderful. It was a joy to behold. It's all building up to a very interesting finals this Sunday. Let's hope it lives up to it.

*Taken from his debut solo album, it is about the repercussions of the cold war and uses a theme by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over* - Lenny Kravitz

Woke up late. Arrived at office late. Found out that i did not bring my room keys with me!!!! The price i pay for staying up late to watch footie!!!!

So Germany did a 'Turkey'... on Turkey!!!

Yup, the masters of late strikes got a taste of their own medicine. After winning their last few games due to late late goals - the one in the quarter-finals was the last kick of the match - the Turks got eliminated thanks to a last minute goal by Lahm!

Yes, i have been following the Euro 2008 - very closely, in fact. I just din think i had anything additional to blog about. Euro 2008 has been brilliant and enjoyable. Spain - my fav - have burried some ghosts by emerging victors in the quarter-finals. Netherlands - my 2nd fav team - lived up to expectations. They start well but stumbled. Yes, my choice of teams seems to have to do with the number of Liverpool players playing in them!

England is not missed at all.

If there's one thing i'll remember from Euro 2008, it'll be that it ain't over till the final whistle goes. Turkey made a habit of scoring late goals. Spain did it against Italy. Germany did it last nite when i had resigned meself to extra time.

And it is not just limited to football. I was watching Wimbledon last nite b4 the match and Ivanovic seemed to be on her way out - following the mentally tired footsteps of her fellow countryperson Djokovic. It was match point for her opponent, Dechy. In fact, Dechy had 2 match points!!! But Ivanovic saved both - the second coming from a heart-stopping moment as the ball bounced off the net cord... and fell onto Dechy's court. Ivanovic went on to win the decider. For Dechy, it was so close but yet so far. She prolly could have tasted victory - and wat a victory it would have been, against the new no. 1 in women's tennis. But it wasn't to be.

Ana gratefully kissing the net cord while Dechy weeps

Yes, folks - until the fat lady sings, dun give up! Ask Ana. Ask Semith. Ask Villa. Ask Lahm.

*The second single from his second studio album, this is one of my all time favs! Brilliant stuffs.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Green green grass of home* - Tom Jones

After Federer's easy win on the first day of Wimbledon, the reporter said to him, "It looked like the green, green grass of home". Federer agreed.

So did moi!

I love the Wimbledon Tennis Championship!!! Always had. Somehow, i never had the same sentiments for the other grand slams.

Maybe it has to do with the traditions that are being held so strongly - all players still have to wear predominantly white. And if you look carefully, there hardly are any ads around! The only one you can see is Rolex.

Wimbledon is different from the other grand slams as the players not only pit themselves against each other but also against the elements. With the typical British summer weather, they have to contend with the rain, the strong winds, the rain, the scorching heat and also, the unpredictable rain. And oh, did i mention rain? Many feel that the courts should be covered so that play would not be disrupted - but this is part and parcel of Wimbledon. The ability to stay focussed and not be put off by the weather.

Then, there's the grass! The ball just seem to move differently on grass courts. There seemed to be an elegance - unlike the ponderous slow clay courts or the squeaky fast hard courts. The grass also allows the players to play some nice serve-volley games. Altho those who do that seemed to be getting extinct fast.

Most of all, Wimbledon brings back memories! I remember watching Steffi Graf battling out with Monica Seles, Jimmy Connors playing John McEnroe, Goran Ivanisevic blasting everyone away with his serve, Martina Hingis being untouchable in her prime (and drug-free days).

It also brings back the memories of summer in the UK as i watched the matches online. And of course, i remember when one of my dreams came true and i walked among the tennis players (flanked by some stern looking stewards) and other fans at the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. That was a wonderful and almost surreal experience. Let me share my experience with you in photos:-

*Though not the original versioin, this was arguably the most famous - topping the UK charts way back even before i was born.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I need you* - LeAnn Rimes

Alright - so all the guys loved the movie, 300! So macho, wasn't it? Well, lemme tell you something interesting - way before Gerald Butler and his 6-pack abs appeared, there was a real incident which involved 300 men battling a great army.

It seemed to be a no-win situation. 300 men on one side. Their opponents - uncountable!!!! So much so that their camels "could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore"!!!!

But unlike the movie, the 300 men triumph! Yes, art did not imitate life.

You can read the entire account in the Bible, specifically at Judges 7.

The thing which gave them the edge - and ultimately the victory - was the fact that God was on their side. No, it was not their superior fighting skills or their incomparable bravery. Reading the account, you'd note that they started off with 32,000 men. But God did not want such a big army. He knew that in such a situation, the men might just claim victory to be entirely of their effort. So, after going thru a few sifting processes, it was cut down to just 300 men.

It's a good reminder for me - and i hope to all you Christians there too. At the end of the day, everything we accomplish for our Lord is ultimately because he enables us to do so. On our own, we can do nothing. With him on our side, nothing is impossible. We need him - no two ways about it.

On a connected note, i just wanna give all glory to God for the performance last nite. A lot of well meaning people have come up and congratulated us, praising us. Let me just say that without God, we could not have come up with it. If only they were present during our final rehearsal - where we just couldn't do it right. We just left it into his hands. And he carried us thru.

We need him - every moment of our lives!

p/s - for those who missed it and would like to catch it, we'll be doing it again at Cheras Gospel Centre on July 20th.

*The title track of her 6th album.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Fallen* - Lauren Wood

Yes, my love affairs with girls with guitars goes on!

I noticed recently that Youtube recommends videos that it thinks i may be interested in. Well, today, they recommended this vid of a girl doing a cover of 'Leaving on a jet plane'.

It was brilliant! She's brilliant!!! She calls herself TheBathroomGirl - because all her vids are made in the bathroom! No, guys - not when she's showering!!! Here's wat she says:-

"I sing in the bathroom because it has good acoustics. My first upload was recorded in the bathroom b/c all the other rooms were occupied and the idea kind of stuck."

She's a BBC with Malaysian parents and is living in London now! A quick check revealed that her name is Cherry!

Here are some of her youtube vids:-

And here is her cover of Alanis' Ironic. She looks really good here, doesn't she?

Go to youtube and check out her other vids! The quality of the sound is not really good - so to get an idea of how good she really is, check out her myspace page where you can listen to some of her original (i think) songs. I'm listening to them now - on a loop!

Enjoy. :-)

*Taken from the soundtrack of Pretty Woman.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Congratulations* - Cliff Richard

To all me students who did well, congratulations to you!

And especially to me Family law students, well done! Your papers were marked together with the final year students over there and you guys showed you were just as good as they are! I'm proud of you all!

The "Family Photo" - pic of the Family Law students who were present during the Law Dinner. Dun be deceived by their 'la la' pose! These are great law students!

p/s - those long nights coupled with one hour sleep preparing for yr lessons now seem so worth it!

*This was UK's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1978. It came in second.

Desperado* - Emi Fujita

I've started watching Desperate Housewives again. It's season 4 now.

It took me a while to resume watching this series as no one seemed interested in it. I have to admit that season 2 was a real let down but the series 'redeemed' itself (in my books) in season 3. The major turning point was somewhere in the middle of season 3 - in the episode which involved Lynette and others being held hostage at gunpoint.

Season 4 is turning out quite well. The introduction of Dana Delaney is welcomed - altho Nathan Fillion seemed out of character and out of place.

So why do i enjoy watching DH? It's a good question seeing that i basically dun like most of the major characters! Susan is such an airhead, Bree is a pain and Gabby is so self-centred. I only like Lynette - and generally, the men - like Tom, Carlos and Mike.

One of the things i enjoyed most of this series even from the very beginning was Mary Alice's voice-overs at the start and at the end of each episodes. It's really a nice touch to use her character - and the things she shares are really true and most of the time, thought provoking. The scenes used to coincide with wat is being said are done very well.

Here are some examples of her monologues:-

Passion - it's a force so potent we still remember it long after it has faded away. A drive so alluring it can push us to arms of unexpected lovers. A sensation so overwhelming it can knock down walls we've built to protect our hearts. A feeling so intense it resurfaces even though we try so hard to keep it buried. Yes, of all emotions, passion is the one that gives us a reason to live. And an excuse to commit all sorts of crimes.

Desperate Housewives 318

From the moment we wake up in the morning till our head hits the pillow at nite, our lives are filled with questions. Most are easily answered and soon forgotten. But some questions are much harder to ask because we are so afraid of the answer. Will I be around to watch my children grow up? Am i making a mistake by marrying this man? Could he ever truly love me? And what happens when we ask ourselves the hard question and get the answer we are hoping for? Well, that's when happiness begins.

Desperate Housewives 322

The other thing i like about it is the frenships and the relationships that are depicted. As mentioned earlier, all the characters are flawed. But their saving grace is that they love each other in spite of the other's short-comings. True frenship. True love.

And perhaps, another reason - the main one? - is the memories it brings. You see, i started watching it when i was at Essex. It was those cold dark winter nites when i would catch an episode or two after dinner before turning to me law books. Just listening to the theme song (which unfortunately has been cut really short in season 4) transports me back to Room 5 of Flat 11 in Rayleigh Tower. And me and me flatmates would sit and talk about it - and alert each other when the newest and latest episode is out.

So yes. Many people enjoy watching Desperate Housewives. They love it for its entertainment value. Some watch it as a form of escapism from their otherwise dull lives. Others like the bonds of friendship depicted in the storyline - stories which may bring back memories - sweet or otherwise, stories which move and inspire, stories which tickle and amuse. But perhaps, people enjoy it because it simply touches them in the heart.

Ok - on to the next episode! ;-)

*Her remake of Eagles' classic, i love her rendition of it - altho one of me mates can't stand her diction!!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Never gone* - Backstreet Boys

Second Father's Day without a father. Well, an earthly father. Kinda feel a little envious of those who had one to celebrate it with.

Was thinking of the the good times. One of the early happy memories i had with him was fortunately captured on film. It was when i was too young to go to Sunday School - and i was crying as me bro and me sis went off, leaving me alone.

Well, me dad started pulling the living room table out to out porch and got his camera. He then took out me 'action figures'. He decided to cheer me up by having an impromptu photo session! He arrange the toys on the tables and posed me with them. Maybe that was the start of me cam-whoring days! Altho i'm still a non-league player compared to the girls in me class who are in the Premier League of cam-whoring!!!

I was telling a fren a while ago that i dun have a pic wif me dad. Actually i do. I found it. This was way back when i got me award for being the top student in me class.

I thought of going over to the columbarium and just 'hang out' with him there. But i decided not to. Yeah, his remains are there - but he isn't. He's here - in my heart.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye(?)

*The title song of their album released in 2005.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Everything changes* - Take That

"Have you had a life-changing experience?"

That's the tag-line for our musical, A.D. which is coming up on the 22nd of June - 2 weeks away, to be precise (for details, see the invitation on the side panel).

There'll be singing, multi-media presentation, video clips, drama etc.

Everyone's invited - but be warned - it can change your life. Forever!

p/s - yes, i'm in it too! :-)

*The title song of their 2nd album which was released when i was there. It brings back memories of those good old days.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Rocket Man* - Elton John

People have said that Badawi will only be remembered as the Father-in-law of Khairy. I found that to be amusing - and sadly, not far from the truth too. After all, what has he achieved for the country?

Well, i will remember him as something else - i'll remember him as the 'Rocket Man'!!! It's because under his watch, the prices of things and inflation has sky-rocketed!!!! (Hmm... thinking about it, it sounds more appropriate if it was a DAP man!!!! LOL!)

Yes, i'm referring to the recent price hike in petrol. I remember when i was overseas, i was reading about how the prices of petrol went up - twice in one year, i believe! Coming back home, it took a while to get used to seeing the total sum i have to pay each time i fill up the car!

We were chatting the other day and i was sharing how i used to love driving. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, i would just go for a drive. It would be lovely - listening to music of me choice, enjoying the aircond, feeling the speed, driving on near deserted roads, looking at the nite scenery, and taking roads less-traveled, or even roads i've never been on before. But now, i can't afford such luxury. Yes, it's a luxury!

Sure, one may say that petrol prices here are still the lowest in the region - but you must look at the context. Eg. petrol prices are high in S'pore - but so is the earning power. You cannot compare like that. Futhermore, look at the quality of public transportation there!

So now i guess we just have to be a little bit more miserly. We must make new holes on our belts to tighten it further.

But wat sickens me is the hypocrisy in our ruling leaders. As a mate opines:-
It’s just a basic lack of understanding and sympathy the leaders seem to have with regards to the common man/woman. Their hypocrisy is also nauseating. “Change your lifestyle”, “Ubah gaya hidup”!! yes yes YES, we know…. but how about that RM60 million house in Perth? Or the private jet? Or the boutique in Pavillion? Do you think the PM even refill his car or take the bus on his own? Does he know what it feels like being a normal Malaysian?
Just today, i was out jogging and decided to buy my fav
nasi lemak for breakfast. To my shock, the price has increased by 25%!!!!! What the...??? I dun blame the nasi lemak guy. He too must be feeling the pinch.

*This song was loosely basd on a short story by Ray Bradbury.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Remember the time* - Michael Jackson

19 years ago today, students and pro-democracy advocates were massacred in Tian An Men (天安门) Square.

Today, all the blood has been wiped clean. All records in China regarding the incident have been "deleted". Students in China are taught a very different history today.

The powers in China would like the Chinese people to forget about that incident. But by pretending it did not happen, it doesn't mean that the people did not die.

I will remember. I hope you'll join me to remember to.

And here's the famous clip of one rebel stopping a whole fleet of tanks!!!

It never fails to move me each time i watch it. What can one man do? Defenceless, unarmed, against a whole fleet of tanks (if you look at other clips, it'll show the many tanks behind)? He stopped them all. And today, he still encourages and touch lives of others.

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
with sounds of freedom
sounds of freedom
Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
there is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live
And lend out voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend out strength to that which we with to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

Jewel Kilcher

*Taken from his album Dangerous, this song is also remembered for the interesting music video set in ancient Egypt.

Red hot* - Debbie Gibson

This is a super overdue post. But might as well post it up since it took me a lot of effort to find these pics online!!! ;-)

Went to see Marie Digby when she was in town last month! What can i say? Her performnce was brilliant (but the pre-show performances were utterly horrible). She's talented and she's hot!!! Confirmed by 2 of me female students who were there!

Autographed by her! :-)

I have to admit that i always have this thing for female singers who play the guitar. I mean, dun you think a girl playing the guitar looks cool???

Check these out (and see how many you can recognise):-

In case you dun know, these talented artists are Avril, Lisa, Colbie, Missy, Taylor and Jewel!

Oh, and Jewel's latest album is out today! Woohoo!!!

*One of the tracks from her debut album.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Who will save my soul?* - Jewel

One thing which many people dun know about me is my 'thing' for shoes!!! Foot wear, anyways. I meself din realise this until i was counting the number of pairs of shoes and sandals i had while in the UK! I brought over my running shoes, my outdoor shoes, a pair of formal shoes, slippers and sandals. While in the UK, i bought 2 pairs of Karrimors and me Doc Marts. Oh and another pair of slippers in Paris after i left mine under me hotel bed!

OK - i guess compared to some girls, this is nothing. But this also doesn't include the shoes i left back at home - 2 canvas shoes, 2 football boots, one pair futsal boots, more formal shoes, my Camel boots, 2 pairs of sandals... and my Addidas Kampong!!!

One major problem i face is that the soul soles of me shoes keep coming off!!!!

Me Timberlands (which was thrown away in London after serving me faithfully especially when i was at Wales):-

Even me sandals weren't spared. My Teva's soles came off when i was in Bako National Park, Sarawak - and i had to use rafia string to keep it together!!!

One of the latest victims - me futsal boots.

But it's ok - me got me brand new futsal boots!!!! Got it really cheap cuz some of the stitching came off.

So when we playing futsal again, guys???

*Her first song from her first album, this is also her first hit single.