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

At the end of the day* - Cast of Les Misérables

There are times when one questions why is it that the wicked prosper? I've always believed in my head that at the end of the day, they will pay for the wrong they have done. They will be exposed for who they really are.

For the rest, i believe that we should never tire from doing what is good and what is right - for even if we do not reap the benefits immediately, we will eventually.

God is just, God is faithful. And i've been reminded of that in a small way recently.

Psalm 37

1 Do not fret because of evil men

or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
seeking their very lives;

33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,

36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

*The first song of Act 1 of the musical.

Friday, 10 October 2008

The sounds of silence* - Simon and Garfunkel

10 days into the month of October and only 1 post. And that too was a hastily put together photo montage of a Liverpool match last Sunday.

No posts in Malaysia Boleh and 1 miserable post in Just another food blog.

Wonder if anyone still comes here? Perhaps all 3 faithful readers have given up hope after being greeted by the sounds of silence each time they drop by here.

It's not that i dun have things to post. No, far from it. I still have draft posts waiting to be edited and posted!!! I go thru the day composing posts - whenever interesting things happen. And in my life, there is never any shortage of such things! ;-)

But when i finally get in front of the laptop, i just dun feel like blogging! Why? Well, many reasons. One really stupid reason is i'm running out of ideas of post titles - and getting too lazy to figure out new ones! You have to take yr hat off to me for coming out with hundreds of songs as post titles - and not just random songs. It has to be songs that i know, and songs that relate directly to the post subject.

Another reason was that in view of the serious matter taking place in my beloved country - serious breaches of human rights - i just din think it was right for me to post about trivial matters. People's liberty were taking away and lives were being threatened. And here i am blogging about Mamma Mia? (no offence meant to those who have blogged about Mamma Mia in recent weeks) Or bragging about how i have passed Carina on Word Challenge? (It is a big deal to me!) Or complaining about how i miss life in the UK?

Yes, that's the other thing too - aren't you tired of reading about me whining on and on about how i miss life in the UK?

Besides that, there were so many things that i just could not make public. And altho i think only 3 people actually read this blog, it is still available to the masses and is linked on many others' blogs. So i have to be a little more discreet. And careful.

I've also been distracted - by Word Challenge!!!!! Sad, man.

Finally, i'm physically tired. All i wanna do when i get in front of the laptop at the end of the day is to just vegetate and watch House or Prison Break. Yes, blogging takes effort on me part - me not like some people who have a flair for writing and a way with words.

Classes have resumed this week. Am trying hard to readjust back. So much work to do... It's the end of the week now and i'm just taking a breather - and blog!

Maybe it'll be business back as usual. I have many blog posts in me head, waiting to be put onto the screen.

Maybe after i finish a movie. Laters!

*Paul Simon wrote this song after the assassination of John F Kennedy, trying to capture the emotional trauma of the Americans. It was this song that propelled them to popularity.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Won't you come back?* - Breathe

They were labeled the comeback kings in the past - no doubt thanks to their exploits at Istanbul in the Champions League Cup Finals where they came back from being 3-0 down to win it.

But that seemed so long ago... until now!

This season, they were down 1-0 against Middlesbrough but came back to win 2-1. They were down 1-0 against Manchester United but came back to win 2-1. They were down 1-0 against Marseille but came back to win 2-1.

This time round, they were down 2-0 at half-time! Would they come back again? We had to wait until the 55th minute before a glimmer of hope sets in!

Torres! 2-1

Torres again!!!! 2-2

Kuyt!!!! 2-3

Yes, they did it again. And in doing so, showed great character and determination! What a game!

(Pics taken from various sites on the net)

*Track no. 9 from their first album, All that Jazz.