Monday, 13 December 2010

謝謝你的愛* - 李心潔

We were traveling back to her hometown and i asked her to put in my 李心潔's CD. When we came to this song, we both said how much we like it. It was our favourite song of the album.

To be honest, i dun really know what the whole song is all about - but i do understand the title. And each time is listen to this song, i think of all the people who's love has touched my life - my family, tGiF, my close mates - and i always feel so blessed. Most of all, i am thankful for the love of God which surpasses all other love, and is the source of all other true love.

*The second track from her last studio album, this album was the reason why i became such a big fan of hers!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Speak* - Lindsay Lohan

Today is Human Rights Day. This year, their theme is "Speak Up; Stop Discrimination". Let's do our part and speak up against all forms of discrimination.

Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine all the people living life in peace
Imagine all the people sharing all the world
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
John Lennon

*The title track of her debut studio album - it was supposed to be the 3rd single but was never released.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Invisible man* - 98 Degrees

I was just reading about Houllier's return to Anfield the other day - it was described as "unhappy" as his his team's performance was dismal (see the article here).

It wasn't all bad, tho. I think the highlight for him was when the Kop actually started singing his name! With "affection"! Yup, us Liverpool fans still appreciate all he had done. But Hodgson has still much to prove.

Here's what the article said:-
"The only minor victory he enjoyed over Liverpool counterpart Roy Hodgson came in the closing stages of Villa's 3-0 defeat when he heard his name sung with affection by The Kop. Hodgson is not yet afforded this luxury. Indeed, he is still treated almost as if he does not exist by his own supporters".

Clueless Hodgson?

Yup, Hodgson still has not won us over yet. I know i blogged earlier that he looks promising - but that's about it. One incident which made me lose all faith in him took place at the closing stages of the match recently against Spurs. 2 minutes into stoppage time and Spurs scored, taking the lead. There was still a couple of minutes left - stranger things have happened in football! All is not lost.

But when the camera showed Hodgson, he was slumped on his seat, hands folded, having the expression of a kid who had his toy stolen from him. I was disgusted with that sight. Hodgson basically gave up!

I believe Ferguson and Wenger would not have reacted that way. they would be at the touchline and shouting instructions to his players, urging not to give up. As long as there is time, anything was possible. They could also be arguing with the 4th official for more time to be added.

I was very disappointed to see Hodgson's reaction - imagine how the players would have felt too!

So yes, unless Hodgson can improve, he'll remain the invisible man to us fans. And he should expect to walk alone.

*Their breakthrough hit - the 1st single from their debut album

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

What a difference a day makes* - Jamie Cullum

What a difference day can make - just 24 little hours...

So many things can happen in such a short span of time - the time it takes for the earth to make a full spin. One day you can be on the euphoric mountain top - and the next, you could have plunged into the depths of deepest gloom. Or it could be the other way round. One day you could feel like you have it all - and the next, you could end up with nothing.

Will the dawn of a new day drive away the dark clouds?

As i was thinking about this, i am reminded of what happened during my recent trip to India. We were there for a international competition. 2 days of preliminary rounds. At the end of the first day, we were sitting at the top of the table - and my student had garnered the most points. Other coaches were congratulating me, assuming that my team would make it to the next round. I refused to be caught up with such thoughts.

The 2nd day was a painful for us - our competitors had walkovers and/or easy opponents. We had to do it the hard way - but at the end of the day, it was a mere 0.5 points that stood in between us and a place in the semi-finals. Just half a point - but it was enuf to block our way.

I was surprised at how badly it affected me - i thought i was over these kind of things. It really dun matter to me anymore - but it does. what a difference a day made!

Still, i guess tt's what that makes life so exciting and interesting. We just dun know what to expect - and i like it! The mystery, the thrill. After all, to me, it's about the journey, not the destination.

I may not know what tomorrow brings, but i know something even more important - i know who holds tomorrow!

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from it's sunshine,
For it's skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Ev'ry step is getting brighter,
As the golden stairs I climb;
Ev'ry burden's getting lighter;
Ev'ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eyes,
At the ending of the rainbow,
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the One Who feeds the sparrow,
Is the One Who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Ira Stanphill

*This remake was included in his debut album. The song was originally written in Spanish!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bruce* - Rick Springfield

This is a great movie!!!!!

Especially if u're a fan of Bruce Lee. But who isn't? Well, i supposed many - but who has not heard of Bruce Lee?

Me and Bruce!

Still, this is a great way of knowing him even better! Yes, i'm a fan - but never a HUGE fan. So this movie was really informative. We get to see Bruce Lee growing up, the kind of household he lived in, the things he did as a normal kid, the embarrassing stuffs (like not being able to ride a bicycle - like me!!!!), his crush, his really good frens. I din know he was a dance champion too!!!!!

This movie allowed us to grow up with him.

Dun go if u're expecting a martial arts show - altho there is the showdown with the gwailo, and the fight scenes were really really good (better than Donnie Yen's fight scenes in "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen").

And we all know that this is prolly the most accurate depiction of his childhood - as it is told by his brother and his sister. Stay back during the end credits as they show the real photos of Bruce lee when he was young! He was an ordinary guy with extraordinary skills - and with big dreams. he dared to dream - and he made them a reality. But this came with a cost. And it was never a bed of roses. he went thru wat we went thru - failure in love, punishment from parents, poor results in school.

One thing i liked about the movie is that they made Bruce into human. And we get to see this side of him. Brilliant stuffs! And kudos to Aarif Lee! Excellent potrayal of Bruce Lee. And supposted by a wonderful cast which includes Tony Leung and Christy Chung! Oh, watch out for the appearances of famous stars like Shek Kin and Fung BoBo (as a cute little girl!).

Here's the trailer to whet yr appetite further if u're still not convinced!

p/s - all photos except for the one i am in are taken from online

*The only single from the album
Beautiful Feelings.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

A night to remember * - Cast of HSM3

It's snowing in the UK now. According to the news report, this is the "earliest significant snowfall across the UK since 1993". That struck a memory chord in me - cuz the early snowfall in 1993 was my very first time experiencing snow!

Winter of 1993

That night was a night i'll never forget. That was a night for a lot of us that we will never forget. I blogged about it previously:-

I remember the first time we saw snow in London – it was also my first time of seeing, feeling and touching snow!

It was forecasted on the radio one fine Sunday in November 1993 that there was gonna be a snowfall that nite. We got really excited and stayed up for it.

Then it happened. It was snowing. We all ran out to greet the snow! But there really wasn’t much – if snow is considered as rain, then the snow fall was like a small drizzle! Still, that did not dampen our spirits – after all, it was our first time seeing snowflakes fall.

And then, just as suddenly it came, so it went!

I went back to me room and fell asleep.

I dun know how long I was sleeping when I woke up suddenly. Immediately I sensed sumthing different. It was quiet – eerily and beautifully quiet. I pulled meself to me window – the sight took my breath away – the ground was covered thickly with snow and snowflakes dotted the dark nite sky! It was like a dream-like fantasy place – dead silence, everything covered in white and little white dots floating down from the heavens. :-)

I grabbed me winter jacket and me gloves, put on me boots and ran out – the silence was shattered by the sounds of shrieks and squeals of laughter! Me mates were all out – making snowballs, reaching out to catch the snowflakes, laughing with glee, taking pics! I joined them and twirled dizzily looking up – I loved the way the snowflakes fall haphazardly from the pitch dark sky, appearing mysteriously and float gently down onto my smiling face!

We had the time of our lives. We had snowball fights, we built a little snowman and then destroyed it and then made a bigger one (with the orange and white cone as its hat), we ran around in the snow, I made snow angels (one of my must-do things in my life) on the ground, and we basically just enjoyed ourselves, savouring the moment, going round like drunk people who were high on their experience of their first snowfall!

We hung out til first light, grabbed our cameras and went all over the place, snapping pictures – the road outside our halls, the shops across the road, the park behind our halls – it was absolutely beautiful – everything covered with a blanket of fresh brilliant white snow!

We ran out of film in our cameras and we decided the go back to our hall, change into dryer clothes, get new roll of film and go out again!

When we got back into the warmth of Marley Hall, suddenly, we realised how exhausted we were – we were up for almost the whole nite, we are soaked wet and cold, and we were totally wasted! Our plans were shelved as the draw of our nice soft warm duvets was irresistible!

Still, it took us a while to shake off the excitement and fall asleep. I actually sat at me 1st floor room window, grabbed my guitar and started singing Christmas carols with my fren who sat at his 4th floor window across the courtyard!!!!

By the time we fell asleep, the snow had long stopped falling. I remember hearing the noises of the other people in the halls waking up, discovering it snowed during the nite and started playing in the snow.

When the time came to go for classes in the morning, the snow had turned into muddy puddles, while some of the melted snow froze in the cool wind and made the sidewalk icy slippery – it really wasn’t very nice and we understood why the locals din really like snow.

The next time we experienced snow was in February the following year (I was so disappointed that we did not have a white Christmas despite temperatures dropping to below 6 degrees) but nothing beats the first experience.

That fateful magical November nite, we had the time of our life – it was indeed a wonderful memory which we’ll take with us for the rest of our lives.

There's something special seeing the snowflakes fall randomly and haphazardly down, all in its own unique shape and size. So yes, since that first time, i've had many opportunities to experience snow-fall - but each time is like the first time all over again. Simply magical!

*Taken from the soundtrack of High School Musical 3

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The air that I breathe* - The Hollies

This was one of the first few pics i took on my first morning at New Delhi - right outside the hotel.

No, it is not the morning mist u see! I thought it was initially and the weather is quite cool in the mornings and nites. But wat u see is really the dust/haze.

I went there expecting to fall sick due to the food or the water - but little did i anticipate that i will fall sick due to the air! The air quality was so so bad. There was one evening when i could almost not go outdoors. Even with a handkerchief over my mouth, i could still smell the smoke. It was like the place was on fire - but there were no flames nor heat.

When i got back, i came across this news report from Al Jezeera about the air quality at Delhi:-

It was the same as smoking 20 ciggies a day!!!!!! What was sad in the report was the optimism in the ending part. But this news report was made 2 years ago - and now things have not improved at all!!!!

So i feel sick - really bad. I lost my voice. One of my students woke up on competition day to find her eyes swollen with some goey liquid in them. I had to take her to the eye hospital - thankfully, due to the 'luck' of the draw, we did not have to moot that morning. Anyways, the doctor concluded it was just an allergy reaction due to the dust.

I really hated it - each time i traveled out, my eyes would water and my nose would clog up. i have told many people that while i had a great trip, i dun plan to go back to Delhi again. This is one of the reasons - and a big one too.

It was sooo god to be back home and breath in relatively clean air! This is something which i have taken for granted too many times. Thank you lord for the air that i breathe here.

*Their last major hit single and one of my all time favourite songs!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Runaway train* - Soul Asylum

So everyone was watching Harry Potter! Since we din get tickets in advance, we decided against sitting in the front row of the cinema and opted to watch another movie. I had been wanting to watch Unstoppable but was stopped from doing so due to my recent trip to India. But I was determined to be unstoppable this time!!!!

It was great!!!!! Thrilling edge of the seat excitement for most parts of the movie. It was just like a rollercoaster ride – the initial part was slow but filled with so much anticipation of wat was to come. When the first dip came, it was a wonderful ride all the way to the end!

Someone was commenting online that it was such a waste to get such talented actors and crew to take part in a movie like this that will not be remembered – unlike classics like Shawshank Redemption, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dead poet’s Society, Love Actually, The Godfather etc.

True. I doubt I would enjoy watching it again. It won’t be terrible but it just won’t be as good anymore.

But does that make this a bad movie? No. Far from it. Well, it depends on wat u want. For me, I wanna go to the movies and be entertained in that 90 to 120 minutes. I want to be taken to another place and thrust into an exciting situation. I wanna be able to feel the fear, the adrenalin, the sadness, and most of all the joy. This movie gave me all that – and with change too! For that, I loved it.

Sure, it will not go into my records as among the best movies I have watched. But I had a great time and it was worth every penny!

And well done to Denzel Washington too. used to be a huge fan - then after a while, got a little tired of him. But this year, he came back with 2 movies which really won me over - this movie and The Book of Eli! Good stuffs!

*Won the Grammy for best Rock song in 1994 and propelled the group to fame.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Too much* - Spice Girls

10 days of spicy (no pun intended with the artiste of the song title above) Northern Indian food!!!!!

I love Indian food! The butter chicken, the tika masala chicken, the lamb rosh jogen, the mutton curry, the briyani and pulao rice, the aloo ghobi, the paneer, the spinach, the naan bread, the works!!!! They even had masala omelet at the hotel where i stayed! And the papadums are spicy!

It's not the typical Indian food we find here in Malaysia. I think the food here is not the northern type. if we want good northern Indian fare, we will have to fork out a lot in a nice joint. However at Delhi, good Indian fare was an everyday affair!

The spices were great! Not too hot but yet loaded with delicious spices! It was the only thing that everyone from all over the world could agree about - the food was good!

I thought i'd end up eating mainly vegetarian fare - but there was sufficient chicken and mutton/lamb to satisfy the carnivore in me! The cheaper places served mutton while the high end places served lamb - but whether it was mutton or lamb, it was tender! Lovely. Only complaint was that it was usually rather "bony" with not much meat on it.

I also ate food from the Bukhara restaurant located at the posh ITC Maurya Hotel - the place where Obama dined when he was there about the same time as we were. We did not eat there - it was bought back for us so it was cold - but the food was still lovely!!!!!

This pic was taken from online

Even when we had fast food, we din go for the usual stuffs - we tried the local specialties, so it was spicy pizzas and burgers too! =)

Still, having said that, too much of anything is never good. When i came back, i found myself craving for simple chinese food. With a sore throat, i wanted something with nice hot clear soup - and green leafy vegetables. And PORK!!!!!!! And soy sauce!!!!!!

On the morning when i arrived, i drove back out to the nearby coffee shop for breakfast - and i had two rounds!!! The first was the lovely and soothing kway teow soup and then i had chee cheong fun with yong tau foo!!!!!!

The irony of it all - my tummy dun feel well now when i'm back home!!!!

*Their second consecutive Christmas no. 1 single.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Candle in the wind - Elton John

The title of this post is a song that has been sung first about Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. But i'm using it to refer to Aung San Suu Kyi. I thought that the title of the song is an apt description after reading an article about her in BBC News Online entitled "Aung San Suu Kyi: Burma's fading light?" You can read the article here.

I've been following what is happening to her since i was a law student. I have blogged about her many times - and she is one who is held in very high esteem in my eyes.

This article however raises a lot of thoughts for me - many issues which i am glad i am not called to make a decision or take a stand. This just reminds me that in life, things are normally complicated. It can never always be a simple black and white matter.

First, the decision of her party not to expel her. The unfair laws of the cruel military junta gave NLD (her party) a choice of "expelling Ms Suu Kyi (and accepting the annulment of the 1990 poll victory) or not contesting the election."

This is really putting them in a Homer Simpson position:-

What would you have done if put into such a position? Look forward? Forget about the past - what is important is to look ahead. Expel her and at least the NLD has a chance of winning some seats. Not doing that will guarantee that NLD will get none.

But after 20 years of protesting against military junta and the annulment of the 1990 poll victory, should they just forget it? And give the military junta the legitimacy that it so dun deserve? And submit to a law that is clearly not right?

They chose the latter route.

This only raised another problem - NLD disbanded. But the members could not remain united. Some felt that they can still form another party and contest in the elections. Others felt it was not right. Many people doubt that this will be a fair elections anyway.

So should they run for elections for then at least there is theoretically a chance for them to have a say in the eventual government? Or do not run for the elections - make a stand. Protest against the illegal and unfair elections and do not give them a chance to allege that they ran against them in the elections and won.

One group formed the NDF and are running in the elections.

Should Aung San Suu Kyi have just stepped down from the NLD and preserve the unity of the party but give in to the wishes of the junta?

The article went on to question other decisions that she had made in the past. These questions were raised by Justin Wintle. One was her choice to remain in Burma after the debacle that took place in 1990. He was of the view that it may have been better for her to leave and "she could then have addressed the UN General Assembly and other international bodies."

But if she had left, she would prolly not be allowed back into Burma again. So what good would it do to her fight? Her heart was in Burma and to suggest that she should have left back then could only come from someone emotionally detached from the situation. After winning the general elections back then, she had the support of the people. Could you blame her for not wanting to leave but to stay on and fight?

Of course on hindsight, we have seen that she did not do anything of great significance to the situation in Burma and ended up being imprisoned for most of the time. But how would anyone have known at that time? How could she have known? And even if she had known, i would not be surprised that she would have still stayed on. There may not be an express indication that she achieved much - but surely no one can deny the impact she has made in these past 2 decades.

But in the coming elections, she will not be running in it. Instead she will be locked up by the military junta. Some even suggest that she has slowly become not relevant anymore.

Is she a fading light then?

Politics is a hard area to be in. I'm glad i'm not in it. Do we sacrifice our idealism for practical outcomes? Should we disassociate ourselves from those who are wrong or compromise with them for a "greater good"? Do the ends always justify the means?

Tough tough choices.

But at the end of the day, even if Aung San Suu Kyi is a fading light today, i'd say that a fading light is still the brightest thing in the darkness.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Reflections of my life* - Marmalade

When i was at Bangkok recently, i managed to catch an episode of Life on Mars. What i really liked about that particular episode was the ending.

Basically, if you dun know what Life on Mars is about, it is about a present day cop, Sam, who gets transported back to the early 70s and has to live life there.

In the closing scene of that particular episode which i watched, Sam walks pass a crowd of people - and then he notices a man and his son walked by. Sam turns back and watches them walk away - and we soon realise that Sam was looking at himself as a young kid!

At the same time, the song "Reflections of my life" was being played. i love that song!!!! Listen to it:-

There was something in that scene that tugged at my heart. The song refused to leave me for a couple of weeks. And as i thought of that scene, it made me reflect on my life too. I wondered how it would feel if i was back there, in the 70s, seeing my father holding me by my hand, taking me places.

As i thought about those times, i became like Sam in my memories as i travelled back to those moments in time, being a 3rd party looking on at my father and me. I started reliving those times, and the places he took me - and i missed him again so much.

I oso felt so blessed, to have such a wonderful father who loved me so much.

*The hit single of this Scottish band which has been featured in many TV shows and movies.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Too young to go steady* - Karrin Allyson

We finished watching a movie and were walking hand in hand around Sunway Pyramid.

Suddenly, i heard a voice calling out "Sir". I turned and saw some of the guys from my new class. I returned their greeting and said hi to them.

The strange thing was that some of them were pretty amused to see me. Yes, they were giggling to themselves!!!! It was a strange moment and i waved goodbye and walked on, the sound of some of their laughter still heard.

tGiF asked what was so funny - i had no idea!!!! Were they so young and immature that the sight of me out on a date with my fiance tickles them?

This was confirmed the next day when one of them came up to and apologised for bumping into me!!!!!

It was like i was doing something wrong - and they caught me red-handed!!!!

Hello? maybe they are too young to be dating - or perhaps they are even forbidden?

Dun get me wrong, these guys are really good guys (well, at least i think they are based on this 1 month that i have taught them) - but this just shows how young they are. Or perhaps how old i am!!!!! I used to be able to relate to the students like a fren. Now the gap between us seems more evident - but this is a good thing, isn't it?

This only made me miss my students who are in the UK now more...

*This is the remake of Nat 'King' Cole's song and this version is featured on the Best Audiophile Voices album.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rest in peace* - James Marsters

Well, rest in peace, Paul! (Read here)

The recent World Cup will be remembered for a lot of thing - vuvuzelas, Iniesta, Green's blunder, Maradona jumping around, the karate kick on Alonso's chest in the finals - and Paul! Paul really made an interesting addition and distraction to the recent World Cup.

It was really funny at how people were so caught up with Paul! And some fans even threatened Paul when his predictions were proven correct! But it was all in good fun.

It is sad that Paul won't be around for the European Championship next year - but perhaps, it is better this way. Paul left us while he was still in his prime, still respected and not proven wrong.

And at least he apparently he died peacefully... and not end up like this:-

(All pics taken without permission from various sites online!)

However, my fren came up with this wonderful conspiracy theory - Paul was sold to some rich Chinese bookie for millions!!!!! Can't deny the possibility of that! Lol!

*Taken from the brilliant 'musical' episode of Once More With Feeling.

Monday, 25 October 2010

How deep is your love* - Take That

Karen: Aren't you afraid he's gonna hate you?

Edie: I love him enough to let him hate me.

Desperate Housewives S05E19

I was like WOW when i heard that. How many will be willing to do that? We cannot deny that our love is at times motivated by our own selfish needs. And when we love, we want to be loved back.

In the case of Edie, it was best for her son to hate her so that he will have a better life and turn out to be a better person. Perhaps Edie was wrong in her assessment of the situation. But you cannot fault her love.

*Their remake of the Bee Gees classic.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Beat it* - Michael Jackson

It's been a while since i've baked. But actually, this time round, it doesn't count as baking! i made a cheesecake! =)

It was really easy - basically, i just put them stuff together and beat it! That's all. And then i chill it.

It consist of cream cheese, sugar, cream, gelatine and melted chocolate.

It had a digestive base.

Well, it was simple - but not easy. I had to go out when i forgot to get the cream. When i got back, i broke the casserole cover when i was using the casserole to melt the choc. So out i went to buy more choc - wouldn't cheesecake to have bits of glass in it, do we?

The weather was humid and i was sweating like crazy - i hate M'sian weather - but no worries, none ended up in the cake. I dun think so anyways...

The result? Well, the base was too crumbly and the cheese part was too soft. =(

But the 3 people who have tasted it thinks it's yummy! So who cares how it looks like? If it tastes good, it is good! =)

*One of his signature songs - who doesn't know this song?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

They don't care about us* - Michael Jackson

I read this on the electronic signboard outside Summit while stuck in a traffic jam:-

They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Good reminder to me that as i seek to be a teacher, i must seek to show that i care too.

*One of the most controversial songs of his.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I saw her standing there* - Tifanny

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
John 19:25-27

We were studying this passage on Monday. I have shared about this passage many times - the first time when to the youths and when i asked them what lesson can we learn from it, some smart alec said "Give your mother to John"!!!!

This passage is a wonderful example of how Jesus is always putting others first. He was going thru excruciating suffering - but he saw her standing there, he took the time to make sure that his earthly mother would have be taken cared off after he leaves, even tho he was in great anguish and agony.

But on Monday, an interesting thought struck me as i listened to the teaching leader. I have always forgotten that besides Mary and John, there were also other women who were there, near the cross of Jesus. Salome was one of them!

Now Salome was the mother of John - and we were wondering how she must have felt when Jesus asked her (Salome's) son to be the son of Mary! We were also reminded that this was Salome who not too long ago went up to Jesus asking (almost demanding) that Jesus makes her sons to be his right hand and left hand men!

We always remember Salome for that - short-sighted, not spiritual, failing to understand the plan of God.

But we see in this passage that when all of Jesus' disciples, all his closest companions deserted him (except John), only a few women stayed close by him near the cross. And as Jesus hung dying on the cross, he must have saw her standing there. She could have very well come to the conclusion that Jesus was a loser and will not make her sons great men in an earthly kingdom - yet she stayed closed to him to the very end.

As i thought about it, i wondered about myself - when Jesus is being attacked and ridiculed and mocked, will i run away quietly of will he see me standing there, identifying myself with him?

I hope it would be the latter.

*Her cover version of this brilliant song by the Fab Four!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

First time* - Lifehouse

The first time i ever heard of Paramore was in 2006, at Essex, when i stumbled upon this clip of them on YouTube:-

I fell in love with them immediately!!!!! This immediately became one of my favourite songs - and till today, this is my favourite song of theirs. This version. So so good!

I supposed part of the reason why i love them is also because they are tied in with my experience and memories of being at Colchester. I remembered sharing this clip wif Markus knowing he would enjoy it as much as i did. I still remember that time when we were chatting in his room - and then i showed him this clip on his laptop...

They're performing now not far away - and i'm not there. =( But at least i can listen to them thru these clips!

*Their first single from their 4th album.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Everything changes* - Take That

All my students have safely landed in the UK and are quickly settling into life there, trying to shake off their jet lag. And less than 24 hours after the last few touched down there, i will be meeting my new students.

Maybe it's a good thing - not having much time to miss my students...

Come tomorrow, everything changes. During our staff meeting last Friday, the Dean was saying how i was the only staff member who was there when she first joined. Yes, i will be the most senior member in terms of the time spent in Taylor's Law School. The school has changed completely. Everyone who was here when i first joined has left.

The head of the school is now the Dean - and she joined not long after i did. The admin staff are all different. All my frens who were my fellow lecturers have either left or retired. We are now located at the new campus. And we'll be having 40 plus new students tomorrow.

Taylor's Law School is totally unrecognisable if you last saw it before the academic year of 2007-2008.

I'm not complaining. I like the new campus. I've been back to the old campus a couple of times and altho the walls there hold lots of wonderful memories, the building without the people is nothing.

I have a good working relationship with the admin staff. I get along pretty well with the Dean and the Deputy Dean. Altho i do not know the new staff members well, the initial signs bodes well and i am excited to be working with them - after all, new brooms sweep cleaner, dun they?

Students? Well, they come and go. That is a given. It would be bad for all if they do not leave!!!!

But altho we know they will leave us, altho it is expected that they will eventually leave, it still does not make it any more easier when they actually do.

Sure, there are some that you dun mind - and are in fact happy - to see their backs as they go off. But i'm so blessed as those are few. Very few.

Being with the students most of the time, they do hold special places in my heart. We share so much together, go to places for visits or just hang out on campus. I really enjoy their company. At times, they are the ones that keep me going. What is my crown and my reward? Them! They have a way of brightening up my days, they never fail to make me laugh, they bring so much happiness and laughter into my life, they entertain me with their antics, they encourage me with their potential, they even teach me a thing or two even if i'm supposed to be the teacher!

And for some of them, they are not just my students - they are my frens. They support me, lend me an ear to listen, earn my trust, pull me up when i'm down, make me feel good when i feel otherwise. Is it any wonder why i'll miss them?

The over 10 thousand km separating us now will be the test of our frenship. Will it be"out of sight, out of mind"? Or "absence makes the heart grows fonder"? Altho i hope it is the latter, it is usually the former. After all, it must be so exciting and so fun for all them now, seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing a brand new life!

Them being there will change our relationship - and it'll prolly never be the same again. Still, i'll try not to be sad. For this is inevitable. This is life. I've been thru so much of goodbyes that i've accepted it as part and parcel of what we have to go thru while we're still on this terrestrial ball. And instead of being sad, i will be happy for those moments that we shared together.

Yes, everything changes - but that is not a bad thing, for thru knowing them, my life has been changed forever.

And for that, my dear students, i thank you - and i thank God for knowing you.

*The title track of their 2nd album, this song was released as a single when i was studying in London - so it always brings back wonderful memories! =)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

All the time in the world* - Boyzone

I was going thru some posts for purposes of tagging them - and when i started looking thru the posts that i did when i was in the UK, i found them to be of much better quality!

They really capture the emotions that i was going thru at that time and rereading them left me emotionally touched.

Could it be that life was really so good back then - and life these days cannot compare/not as interesting? Well, of course life back then seemed more exciting - it was an adventure, seeing new places, meeting new people, going thru new experiences. But it would not be fair to say that life was better then.

Life today is just as challenging - and i am going thru new and exciting things!

Or am i just growing up and getting mellow? Do we all grow up into boring old farts? Well, i did turned down an offer to go watch Slash in concert just to spend some quiet time with tGiF!!!!

As i was thinking about it, i concluded that the main difference between now and then is that i used to have so much free time back then!!! So i had the luxury of not rushing thru my posts, of really exploring my feelings and taking the trouble to put transform them into words in a blog.

Unlike these days when blogging means a rushed job during lunch time or just before i drop onto my bed, rushing to sleep so that i can be physically and mentally alert the next morning. Back then, even if i had a 9 am class, i could go as a zombie and crash back onto my bed 5 minutes after the class end!!!!

If only i had the time to do what i want in the way i want it to be... like for this post, i really dun like how it is being written. I actually stopped earlier on, wanting to procrastinate this post to another time as i know if i forced it out now, it won't do justice to how i feel and what i really want to say now.

But perhaps tt's a luxury i can ill afford to have these days... =(

p/s - all photos were taken in various places in the UK back during the time when i blogged better(?)!

*Featured as a bonus track on their 3rd studio album, it was also included in their compilation album, By Request.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Goodbye* - Michelle Branch

It's that time of the year again - i've been so busy and distracted that i almost forgot about it. It's the season of 'goodbyes'. =(

Yup, September will be always be remembered for the many frens i have had to bid farewell to. It all started mainly way back in 1993 when i had to say goodbye to my family and frens here. The following year, i had say goodbye to a whole of people whom i have grown to love when i was studying in London.

It was the same when i had to go and do my Masters degree too. We had so many farewells when the year ended, all so memorable. Yes, is till remember all of them - especially mine, when a mini entourage followed walked me to the Uni bus stop.

Now, in the recent years, September is the time to say my goodbyes to students who have grown to be frens. For this year, it has oredi begun - some have gone back to do their Bar. One has gone back to her hometown and will be flying off from there. I just said goodbye to another last nite as she'll be leaving earlier to spend some time in London.

As the character of Eva in the musical Evita sings about her love life in "Another Suitcase in Another Hall", i echo similar words in this situation, that altho i anticipate the goodbyes, but all the same i don't it. Wouldn't you?

Having said that, it is such a bittersweet experience - of course it hurts knowing that i'll never see them again for some time. But it also helps us appreciate what we had - and what we have. It's a cliché but we never really know what we have until it's gone - or is about to leave.

Come next week, i'll be bidding farewell to most of my students. I'm happy for them - and excited for them. I'll be thinking of my frens whom i had said my farewells years ago. It is sad that i have not heard from some of them again - especially my flatmates at Rayleigh Tower and my workmates at Food-on-3. To all of them, i said "See you later" - just like how the locals do over there. I like that - it sounds so much better than "Goodbye".

I dun know when i'll see any of me mates and me students again - but if i do, i hope we can still take it from where we last left.

And when every door closes, another opens. October is the month of 'Hellos' - and this year, it no exception - i'll be saying hello to my returning students and meeting new ones again. The circle starts again.

I just wanna end off this post with some nice 'goodbye quotes' i found online:-

Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends. ~Richard Bach

We only part to meet again. ~John Gay

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

And my all time favourite:-


*This song was featured in an episode of Buffy - one of my favourite episodes, and one of my favourite songs. yes, I first heard it some time in September 2006.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Change* - Taylor Swift

I've been avoiding reading the local news lately - it gets just too depressing. But it is hard to run away from the things which are happening in my country - and like an ostrich, just by burying my head in the sand does not make it go away.

I got home from a holiday - and along the way, i encountered some cops who appeared to me to be corrupt cops (see here). Then when i got home, i heard about this provocative article in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper entitled "Orang Cina Malaysia, Apa Lagi Anda Mahu?".

Then i finally decided to watch this clip. It starts off very depressingly but there is hope at the end.

What is the hope? There is hope that things can change - but we will have to bring the change. Let's make the change, shall we?

*The last track from her album Fearless, this song was also meant for the American Olympians.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Forgiven but not forgotter* - The Corrs

"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones..."

William Shakespeare (spoken by Marc Anthony in Julius Ceaser in Act 3, Scene 2)

I like this quote by Shakespeare - like in the sense that i fully agree with it, altho i dun like the fact that it is true. Taken on its own and a little out of context, this quote correctly highlights the fact that we are more likely to remember the wrong that one does rather than the good.

It is a bit frustrating - esp if you are from a local church not dissimilar to the one i attend. No one really bothers if you do all the good in the world - but cross a line a wee bit and you will be summoned before the elders and people will start talking about you (not, not about how nice your shirt was).

But hey, no one said that Christians are supposed to be perfect. But why limit it to Christians? Everyone is surely guilty of this albeit in differing degrees.

Fact - people will do wrong. But it is also true that to a lot of people, it is easier to forgive than to forget! Altho IMHO, to forgive *is* to forget. That is the example set for us by God himself. If we are truly repentant, he will forgive us - and it will never be brought up again. Simply because the price has been paid by Jesus on the cross.

But people are not like God. They will remember. And no matter how much good you do, they always seem to bring up things in the past to out you down. To put me down.

Having said that, i'm thankful for people who actually do forget when they forgive. A good example is my boss. The Dean of the Law School. I'm always grateful to her for always trusting and believing in me - even tho i have let her down many times. The worst (and i hope it'll be the worst ever) was when parents would be calling her up late last year to complain about me.

Yet she kept the faith in me - and today, she never brings up the past. Well, not never. If she does bring it up, it's more to encourage me rather than to put me down.

I hope to always be able to forgive - as the saying goes, to err is human, to forgive is divine. And in forgiving, i hope to forget - for many have forgiven me and forgotten about it. God is the supreme example.

*The title track of their debut album - clearly not among my favourites as i do not agree with the title!

Where I want to be* - Josh Groban

" know, previously whenever you talk about london, i never truly could comprehend how and why you felt so much attachment to this city. never thought i would feel the same! but yes, i do now.. so so em seh tak to leave this place - all the memories and the ppl and the much things i've yet to do. but i suppose no one can ever say they're done wif london since it's such a happening city wif everything!"

The above is an excerpt from an e-mail a student sent to me not too long ago.

A lot of people have wondered about my 'obsession' with London - yes, even for those who have been there. Some have hated while others liked it - but they have not fallen in love with London! A mate who has been there a few times does not understand why i keep on going back there - he tells me to go see other places. he can't understand - and he's not the only one. Yet, after staying in London for a while, they begin to understand how i feel.

The student above was not the only people who voiced such sentiments.

Me, on London Bridge, looking out at London!
(Photo credit - Michele, 2005)

So what is it about London that has charmed me so much? The history? The culture? The arts? The theaters? The food? The people?

Yes, to all of the aforesaid - but more! It is also the memories i have of that place. London after all was the first place outside of Malaysia that was my home for a while - at least a year! I grew up a lot there - i experienced so much wonderful moments, happiness of the highest order and plunged into the deepest sorrows, i tasted real true freedom, i had such crazy times there too.

Yet, even that does not fully explain it. I guess it's just one of the things in life that you cannot give an answer to. The fact remains - London is the place where i want to be.

So why am i not there? Well, you can't always get wat you want, can you?

I am in fact supposed to be there now. But i'm not. The irony is that so many people i know are there or are going to be there or were just there!!!! It was almost like some forces were trying to rub it in on me!!!!

Still, i'm not bitter about not being there. One thing that London does not have - the people here. My family, tGiF, my frens, my students.

p/s - not being there did not stoip me from thinking about London. Check out my latest post on Holly's Lists here about the places i loved to hang out at when i was there.

*Taken from Chess in Concert which took place in London (where else?) in 2008.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Where did he go?* - Keri Hilson

The finals for the US Open should start in a few hours' time. But i dun really care. After, Roger Federer isn't playing. =(

Where is Roger Federer? He wasn't at the finals of the US Open. Nor was he there at the Wimbledon finals this year too. Can someone please tell me where he went?

Pic taken from The Globe and Mail site

Sure, he made brief appearances at times (see here), but most of the time, he disappeared. Someone who looks like and plays like - tho not as well - is taking his place. And i'm so sad. Is that 'impostor' really Roger? It can't be, can it? Then why is he not playing like he used to?

Look at my previous posts about him, how the way he plays is
Unbelievable and describing him as the World's Greatest. Look at his stats when he won the Wimbledon the last time (2007 - yes, that seemed really long ago). What has happened to him? Has fatherhood changed him? Has he lost the hunger? Maybe he has won it all so there is no more incentive for him? Or perhaps he was too hurt by some of the painful matches (eg his loss to Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon finals)? Maybe he needs a new coach. Or it could be all of the above. I dun think it's because others have learnt how to beat him - because most of the time, he does not get beaten. He just throws the game away. It was not the brilliance of his opponent but more due to his own unforced errors. (Nadal fans will get on my case for saying this!!!).

Whatever it is, i really hope we see him again cuz it just isn't the same. He is still the one that i wanna watch. The others are good but not as entertaining. Come back soon, Roger.

Hope to see you at Australia next year.

*The last track of her debut album - to be frank, i dun really think much of this song! =P

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Do it for our country* - Peter Frechette

I read an interesting article not too long ago - "Should Chelsea Pair Be Punished for their 'Injury' Inspired England Absence". You can read the posting here.

Yup, these two players were playing for their clubs - and then 'suddenly' could not play for their country, one having to go for an operation and the other told to rest.

It is interesting as many have seen these players put club over country. What do you think?

An interesting study in contrast would be Spurs' Dawson and Defoe - both very important to the North London side but both still making it for the international games for their country when they were needed.

Unfortunately, both were injured and now will miss their club matches.

Dawson injured during the Bulgaria game

Defoe being stretchered out during the Swiss game

Isn't it an honour to play for your country? It is definitely more profitable to play for your club. In any event, even if the Chelsea duo still wants the honour to play for England, i hope the manager would not put them back in automatically - after all, England performed badly when these two played during the World Cup (and played badly too) but in their "injury inspired absence", England played really well!

Pics all obtained from various sites online

*Taken from the soundtrack of Grease 2, it was actually a duet in the movie but ended up as a solo on the soundtrack! Apparently, the girl din turn up for recording!!!

Do you remember* - Phil Collins

Today is the 9th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York which claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people.

Flowers being placed in a reflecting pool at Ground Zero
(Pic taken from BBC News Online)

Do you remember where were you 9 years ago? I remember that nite very clearly - i just got home from an RBS committee meeting and everyone was in bed. I turned on the news and was totally shocked at wat i saw on CNN - so shocked that i could not take it on my own and went to wake my father up.

Still, the shock surely cannot compare to what was felt by the almost 3,000 victims and their family members that day way back in 2001.

Till today, many cannot comprehend why such acts were done, why so many innocent lives were ended so needlessly. How much hatred and anger there must have been for those people responsible to carry out their horrible acts. Acts done in the name of religion?

And yet today, are we any better than before? An alleged Christian (i seriously doubt his belief) pastor has threatened to burn the Koran, alleging that Islam is of the devil. Muslims in return have protested, shouting "Death to America". A lot of people have called the pastor not to carry our his threat. But i think the reason is not so much out of respect for the Muslims but fear - fear of what the Muslims might do in retaliation, fear that many more innocent lives will be taken away again in anger.

History is one of the best teachers for life - and i believe that is the main reason why we have to study it. We hope that history will not repeat itself - the bad ones, at least.

So do you remember? And if you do, will you do something about it? Shall we exhibit more love instead of hatred? As it is written in the Bible, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

*One of the many brilliant songs from his album ...But Seriously.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Higher* - Creed

I haven't really been following the US Open this year. The main reason is cuz i'm actually following a normal sleeping and waking hours these days!


Yes, i actually wake up early in the morning now - well, not that early but early enuf to go for a quick jog and then to work. So this means no more staying up til the wee hours of the morning.

But the other day, i managed to catch my first match - and it was the quarter-finals between Clijsters and Stosur. I must say it was no classic!!! Still, being a fan of Clijsters (more by default as no other woman player is interesting to watch these days), i watched the entire game, rooting for her.

The game went into the deciding 3rd match - and it was almost farcical! They were breaking each other's serve!!! yes, in the end, Clijsters managed to hold her serve and won it at the end. But for a long time, it did not look like it was gonna happen. But then again Stosur wasn't giving much of a fight either!!!

Looking at the stats, Clijsters made a total of 43 unforced errors!!!! Yet she still won. But i must say, she ended strongly and won convincingly.

Now this is the sign of a true champion - no matter how bad they are playing, they still somehow manage to dig deep and produce the shots to get the results. I remember how a fren was complaining about the M'sian shuttlers, specifically, the doubles team who lost recently. He said that once they lose a set, they never seem to be able to recover from that. They can never pull themselves up and win the next set - they have not done so yet.

Perhaps that's why we never produce any champions.

But Clijsters is one - but if she plays like that again against Venus in the semis (later), she's not gonna have much of a chance for a finals appearance this year. But who knows? She could and she can dig deep again and lift her game onto a higher plain.

ADDENDUM: Clijsters beat Venus and is in the finals! Woohoo!

*Their breakthrough hit! Still sounds good.