Tuesday, 31 March 2009

All by myself* - Celine Dion

I looked up and scanned my surroundings - like i always do when i'm eating alone, which i must say is pretty often. I kinda enjoy doing that - capturing brilliant little moments of life going on around me, little expressions of love, kodak moments, knowing looks, exchanged smiles.

My eyes fell on this auntie quite a distance away, eating her dinner. She finished her rice and then started drinking her soup, her head never lifted up but bent down onto her tray of food. When she was halfway thru her soup, she looked up - hesitatingly - and looked around uncertainly for a moment before returning to her soup.

My heart felt a tug. I dun know why but this always happens when i see older folk eating all alone outside.

A similar incident took place just one week earlier when i was whiling away some time at a KFC when an elderly woman walked in, bought 2 pieces of chicken and a cup of tea and sat right in front of me.

I guess i just wonder why are they alone? Where are their family members? Their children? Their grandchildren? Are they there alone by choice? Or otherwise?

I wonder how many people feel that way when they see me eating alone - or reading with a cup of coffee? Do people feel sorry for me, that i have no one to accompany me? Well, don't. It is by choice. I love these moments when i can be alone, and read - or eat, or watch people!

Back to last nite - my thoughts suddenly turned to me mom. That auntie over there could very well have been me mom, altho a little bit younger. And even tho me mom was at home, i wondered how many nights she would have spent like that auntie over there, eating all by herself, wishing she had some company other than the satalite TV. Me sis has been working so hard lately that she comes home rather late. I have not had dinner at home for as long as i could remember. Me dad is no longer around.

At that point of time, at the food court at Mid-Valley, i made up me mind to go back home and have dinner wif me mom as much as i can. Even of it means the two of us eating quietly, or sitting before the TV. Me mom can't be around forever, and while she still is, i better be around for her too.

*The remake of Eric Carmen's song. The verse of this song borrows a lot from one of Rachmaninoff's pieces.

From this moment on* - Shania Twain

It's been more than 2 years and over 500 posts.

I'm running out of songs to be post titles in this blog!!!! Believe you me when i tell ya a lot of posts never end up on this blog simply because i couldn't find a song to be the post title. Many a times, i've been tempted to re-use songs which i've used in the past before.

I have also been tempted to start a new blog. This has been my longest running blog ever! I tried once and use movie titles as post titles - but that idea failed.

Well, no point being a slave to 'traditions' and conventions! From this day on, from this moment on, i'll be reusing songs titles from previous posts. Yes! Not that anyone would notice it in the first place... oh well...

*One of the most often heard song in weddings at one point of time, this is her second biggest hit single.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

One week* - Barenaked Ladies

Is this as good as it gets? Or just a foretaste of what is to come?

The mind tells me it's the former - but me heart hopes it's the latter.

*The song which some say propelled the group to fame outside Canada

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Purple rain* - Prince and the Revolution

It rained purple at PJ today (the other PJ)!

And it was worth the effort! :-)

*The title track of the album of the same which was the soundtrack for the movie with the same name!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I'm with you* - Avril Lavigne

I originally wanted to name this post after James Blunt's "Who am I" but that was used in an earlier post.

When Moses was asked to lead God's people out of slavery from Egypt, he gave God many excuses. 5, to be precise - see Exodus chapters 3 and 4.

His first excuse was "Who am I?"

And i found that this was a common excuse given when God asks us to do something for him. It sure is one of mine.

One asks this when one feels inadequate. It's like asking God - why are you picking me? Who am I? I'm nobody. There are so many other more qualified person. I'm unworthy. I'm not ready.

Inevitably, this excuse leads to Moses' 5th excuse - "Please send someone else".

The problem with that is that God may actually do that! I have experienced that before. And i learnt that God does not need us to accomplish his will. If we refuse to play a part - or have a wrong sense of humility - he can easily use someone else to achieve the same results.

And i end up the loser - not being able to play a part in accomplishing God's will on earth, missing out on the numerous blessings one receives when one allows God to work thru him/her.

Well, the root of the problem is that we look at ourselves too much. When we do, we see only our shortcomings, our inadequacies, our sins. No wonder we ask "Who am I?"

But when we look to God, we see his power, his sovereignty, his love. And we realise that with God, nothing is impossible!

It is unsurprising that God replies Moses by telling Moses that he (God) will be with him (Moses)! He said "I will be with you". So stop looking at yourself and look instead at the mighty God who is with you!

If God is on our side, what can we not do?

*Her first ballad released as a single.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Goodbye* - Air Suppy

Somewhere in sweltering Saigon earlier this week:-

Moi: Four US dollars!

VC: No, no. Five US dollars!!!!

Moi: Four!

VC: No, sir. Five US dollars!

Moi: But my friend just bought it for four!!!

VC: No, sir. No. Five US dollars!!!

Moi: Come on.... four! Yes? Four?

VC: Sir, cannot. Five!!! This is a good buy!!!!

Moi: A good buy??? Well, then, GOODBYE!

I stormed off, feeling quite please at my witty retort! But the feeling lasted only for a few seconds and i realised that no one is chasing after with a stuffed rabbit offering it at USD4. Well, i was unhappy! After all, Nic got his at USD4. Why is this guy now refusing to go lower than 5???

Prologue: Much later, at a different stall a bit away, i jumped when someone came up to me and said, "Sir, five US dollar"!!! I then recognised him as the bunny guy. I shook me head and said, "No, no. Four US dollar!" And to my pleasant surprise, he agreed, led me back to his stall and sold me that lil critter for USD4! :-)

*Taken from their 12th album which did rather well only in certain Asian countries.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

If you asked me to* - Celine Dion

The script was drafted. Sure, i plagiarised shamelessly from a few movies, threw in many cliches, added in a poem and considered slipping in a song or two.

It was then rehearsed.

All the effort was in vain. The moment i was with her, everything went out the window. I just asked her point blank.

She said yes.


*This was her remake of the original version by Patti LaBelle who sang the original for the James Bond movie, License To Kill.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Everytime I close my eyes* - Babyface

Yes, some lame DJ in the past commented that 'Every time I close my eyes... i fall asleep'.

I'm saying the same thing now.

I was sitting in a colleague's room and we were chatting. Another colleague came in and joined our conversation. It was getting rather warm in his room and i shut me eyes to rest them just for a second or two. I promptly fell asleep.

When i woke up, me colleagues were laughing me!!! They started making jokes about me staying up late playing computer games like some students of ours - or that i was still suffering from jet-lag since coming back from Saigon!!!!

But really, i've been so tired. And so sleep-deprived. That wasn't the first time when i just shut me eyes for a second or two and then fall into deep slumber! It has happened when i was in me car (thankfully, it was at the traffic lights). It threatened to happen during the staff meeting when i was sitting directly opposite the Reading School of Law head! And yes, it threatened too when we were at the Courts in Saigon and i was seated next to the Chief Justice!!!!

It has gotten worse lately. Previously, i could sneak in some sleep in the evenings. But with Easter practices and other distractions taking up all my free time, sleep is obtained thru stolen cat-naps like a stray (smelly?) cat scavenging for scraps in a dark alley - the journey back from Bar Council, the few moments in me colleague's room, the precious seconds in me car before the lights turn green and the cars behind honk at me...

Sneaking in some sleep in the corner of the top floor of an orphanage in Saigon. Nope, the pic was not taken by a student. By a staff!!! You'd think that adults dun do this kinda things anymore...

I just wish i could sleep now til August!!!!

The plus point about this is that i could just go to sleep at the drop of a hat! I had always been envious of those who can fall asleep the moment their head touches the pillow. I still can't do that but i'm just a couple of seconds slower than them now! Literally!

OK - to sleep now!

*One of his solo hits, this song featured Mariah Carey on backing vocals and Kenny G on the sax.

Crash! Boom! Bang!* - Roxette

Wow - how spectacular the crash was! I never fail to impress meself when these kinda things happen - altho one would have thought that by now, i should be used to them.

Well, i'm not. And i'm trying not to get used to them. In fact, i was going to do something about it. And last nite, i made the decision - prolly the biggest decision i've made in these years - and set my sights to carry it out.

Guess what? I fell asleep.

But... but.... i was so so tired!!! I really am... :-(

Just when i thought that this time, things will be different.

*Released as a single when i was in London. Yes, brings back memories of those times.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Pocketful of sunshine* - Natasha Bedingfield

Text message dated 27 August 2006:-

Ok five minutes to square three

That was in reference to one of the few 'dates' i had with HG back in the summer of 2006. Reading that text message again brought a smile to me face.

In fact, as i scrolled down the list of messages in my Inbox, there were many more reasons for smiling!

Flashback to Monday - i ended up not having my mobile phone for more than 24 hours. So i reverted back to me old Sony Ericsson mobile. It was a pleasant surprise and a wonderful walk down memory lane as i re-read all the old messages contained in that phone. Yes, most of it were regarding my stay - and my subsequent revisit - in the UK.

So there were a few from HG - after losing touch with her for so long, it felt strange to read her old messages to me. A nice 'strange' way. Her voice and a mental image of her saying those words filled my mind.

There were an exchange of some text messages with KeKe - yes, we were texting about HG. :-)

There were a few others from me flatmates - Di wishing me a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival (something which i never and will prolly never receive from anyone!), Chiaki thanking me in Bahasa Malaysia ("tremakase!!!"), and Alberto wishing me a happy birthday and a merry Christmas.

There were texts from mates here in M'sia, to me when i was in Colchester. Stephan and Kristin texted me to tell me how they enjoyed the long phone conversation i had with them, Shelbs sharing her joy with me on the best X'mas gift i've ever received, Charity telling me how she was caught in the middle of a shopping crowd in London on Boxing Day, me travel mates sending their farewell texts after our trip around France... so many!!!

There was an exchange of texts between me and Michael as i waited for the bus at Stansted on my first return to UK after my studies.

Another from me mate in London telling me that she is eating my farewell gift to her - Krispy Kreme doughnuts. She has the distinction of being with me when i had my first ever Krispy Kreme doughnut!

Very simple texts, some of them - but the memories attached to them are so meaningful and wonderful!!!

If i ever need a lift, or put a smile on me face, i know now that i just need to look at these little gems of messages again. As i walked around with me phone in me pocket, it really felt like i have a pocket full of sunshine!

*Taken from her 2nd North American album, this song was however not released as a single in the UK.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I am woman* - Helen Reddy

I jumped outta bed when the alarm went off at 10 minutes after 5 in the morning - and promptly went back to sleep after turning it off. 30 mins later, i forced meself to sit up. Every inch of me body screamed at me to just forget about it and drop back onto me pillow and head towards slumberland again.

But somehow, with superhuman effort steely determination, i was up, changed and in me car - before i could even talk meself out of it.

Where was i heading to? What did i do?

That, my frens, will remain a secret for now. But suffice to say that i 'became' a pretty girl for 30 minutes. All that effort for just half an hour!

Yeah, go ahead and have field day and knock yourself out making all the assumptions and insinuations. It was worth it! ;-)

*This was the first song by an Aussie to hit #1 on the Billboard chart. It was also the first Australian-penned song to win a Grammy Award.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Little Sister* - Jewel

She looked so beautiful tonight!

And the added bonus of hearing her sing again - I almost cried! I realised how much i missed her.

I just regret not getting a chance to tell her all this...

Congrats Mr & Mrs Lee.

*Taken from her debut album

Friday, 6 March 2009

You've got a friend* - Carole King

I was watching Friends when i came across the scene that you can watch in the clip hereinbelow.

As i begin to realise who my real friends are, i begin to miss my true friends even so much more.
I know that no matter what, i've got a friend in them.

This was a scene that Michael and i re-enacted before i left.

I miss you, Michael! and i dun care how gay it sounds! Lol!

Chilling at Paris

Seeing ourselves

Going thru some weird hairdos (and facial hair too)

Sometimes we feel like killing each other...

Other times, we drive each other to wanna kill ourselves!!!

But yeah, we'll always kiss and make up. Albeit reluctantly at times!

*Written by her and covered extensively, this song is listed in the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

1-2-3* - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

So it's back to the basics. It's starting again at the very beginning. When you learn to read, you start with A, B, C. When you learn to sing, you start with Do, Re, Mi. But somehow, each time i start to learn how to speak mandarin, i start with 1, 2, 3. Or to be more precise, yi, er, san.

Yes, this is another attempt of mine to learn the language of me ancestors. I've lost count how many attempts i have made - either on me own or by lessons. There was the few times when i tried to learn using cassettes and even CDs. No discipline. Then i started having lessons. One was in church. The teacher stopped after a few classes. Were we that bad?

The most recent attempt was taking lessons from a Chinese girl studying in London. But it should not be a surprise to many of you that taking mandarin lessons inevitably brings back memories of being in the UK.

Hui Guo was her name. I found her on the net. After a few exchanges of e-mails, i decided to give her a try. It was quite a nice experience. Being a student at SOAS, UOL, she used the classrooms there to conduct her classes. so i had the opportunity to enter the campus of SOAS and used the classrooms there. It wasn't anything great, tho. Pretty drab and ordinary. But still, it was SOAS!

So memories of those dark, cold wintry nites when i would exit the tube at Russel Square and meet her at SOAS would accompany the memories of studying mandarin.

Hui was really nice too. And patient! In additioinal to the lessons, i enjoyed just chatting with her after the lessons. Being all alone in London, it was nice to have someone to chat with and meet up on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, our frenship din last long. It was cut short due to the theft of the money in me bank account. Having no money, i could not carry on with the classes. Being desperate, i returned to Colchester and got a job there instead. Shortly after that, i was called to return home due to the health of me dad.

I dun know wat happened to her. Altho i did try to contact her when i went back for a visit during the summer of 2007, we could never find a suitable time to meet up. When i was in London, she was away. We did chat a while on the phone...

Another thing which brought back memories of me stay in the UK is my fellow student now. There are only 2 of us. Altho she has never been to the UK, the interesting thing is that i got to know her when i was sudying at Essex!!! Thanks to Jon, i started reading her blog and then from there, we got to know each other. We were 'e-frens', i guess! It was during the summer of 2006 and it was a most wonderful time back then. World Cup, Wimbledon, Food-on-3... and her!

Anyways, i really hope that this time round, i will actually benefit from the lessons. I'm not too ambitious - all i want is to be able to have simple everyday conversations in mandarin. And if i were to backpack around China, i would be able to survive - and understand if a local is saying bad things about me! :-)

Ultimately, this may have an important bearing on where i may spend the rest of me life... and what i may be doing during that period of time.

Still, it was fun and i'm looking forward to more lessons. I oso need to practice! Can't wait for the day when i'm able to really post a post in mandarin - not copy and paste some chinese words online and pass it off as a post here!

*One of their hits in the late 80s.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

She will be loved* - Maroon 5

I remember walking around Mid-Valley with her. It was late and the shops were mostly closed. We stood outside this card shop and looked in, reading the cards and laughing at some of the funny ones.

I used to go back to that same card shop many times after she left, just trying to recapture that moment, imagining seeing her image reflected in the store window, standing next to me. I stopped doing that only after the shop closed down.

Suntec City - right at the top floor. We randomly chose this cafe and sat there for hours, chatting. So long that till today, I still remember the cafe tables very well! It was glass top and underneath the glass were coffee beans! The cafe is no longer there - or perhaps they have changed the tables...

Driving back from a wonderful outing to Genting Highlands, everyone else was sleeping but she kept awake to keep me company as i took the wheels.

Drama practice, rum and raisin ice cream, Burger King, P Tinto's Miracle, long chats, loads of laughter...

Suddenly all these memories came back to me - almost like the rain last Sunday, it poured relentlessly, sweeping me away in a wave of its strong currents of emotions. What triggered it? A simple text message from her early this morning. It ended with a simple "See u soon".

Yeah, i'll be seeing her soon. This weekend, to be exact. And i suddenly felt so excited for her! My dear little 'sister' is getting married this weekend! All grown up, a woman, about to embark on a new journey of her interesting life. I'm happy to have played a supporting role, albeit i would have wished for a more recurring role! Still, i'm glad i have made several guest appearances in these past few seasons.

She's gonna look so gorgeous this weekend, that i'm sure! And yes, she will be loved!

*This songs always have reminded me of her. I think she was the one who first told me about this song.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Umbrella* - Marie Digby

It pays to be observant! :-)

*Her acoustic version of this song on YouTube propelled her into fame.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

I just fall in love again* - The Carpenters

I've fallen in love! Again!

Check her out:-

*I used to love this song when i was really young!

I hate this part* - Pussycat Dolls

It was going so well... until then.

How i loath thee, oh thou green-eyed monster!

*Their 2nd worldwide single from their 2nd studio album.