Wednesday, 17 February 2010

U can't touch this* - MC Hammer

So can u guess what do all these food stuffs have in common? Click on the pic if you need a bigger view.

Well, the title of this post gives a clue - altho, to be precise, i am allowed to touch these stuffs. I'm just not eating them. Wanna know what are they and why? Go here.

*His signature song and a huge hit which also won the Grammy for Best R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mountain top* - Amy Grant

While i was at the sunday service a couple of days ago, i was thinking about the incident when Jesus brought his closest disciples up to a mountain.

Putting it very simply, while he was up there, he was transformed before the disciples' very eyes. It wasn't a scary incident but a wonderful and exhilarating one. This was because one of the disciples, Peter, was so overwhelmed and amazed at the sight that he just blurted out that they should stay on the mountain top longer!

You can read the whole incident here.

I'm sure we have similar 'mountain-top' experiences in our lives and we wish we could just stay a little longer.

I was thinking about this incident because we were having a mountain-top experience at that time. The time for praise and worship is usually from 8.30 am to 9 or 9.05 am. But that particular morning, we just went on and on.

Maybe just to explain to those not from a Brethren church - in our service, there is no 'led worship' i.e. there is no one person who prepares the songs for that morning. Instead, everyone is allowed to stand up and lead in prayer, or Bible reading or to propose a song to sing.

I think that particular morning, we were really enjoying ourselves being in God's presence, thinking about the goodness of Christ and just worshiping him with songs after songs.

It was truly a wonderful experience - and i guess a pale reflection of how heaven will be like!

At the end, tho, one of elders did remind us that while it is good that we had a great time worshipping Jesus, it cannot and must not be just a fleeting experience, a feel-good encounter. It should result in true worship - living our lives for Jesus everyday.

And this in turn reminded me of the song which is the title of this post. It is rather lengthy but i would like to share all its lyrics here:-

I love to sing and I love to pray
Worship the Lord most everyday
I go to the temple, and I just want to stay
To hide from the hustle of the world and its ways

Now, praising the Father is a good thing to do
Worship the Trinity in spirit and truth
But if we worshipped all of the time
There would be no one to lead the blind

Now, I am not saying that worship is wrong
But worship is more than just singing a song
It's all that you say, and everything that you do
It's letting His Spirit live through you

And I'd love to live on a mountain top
Fellowshipping with the Lord
I'd love to stand on a mountain top
'Cause I love to feel my spirit soar
But I've got to come down from that mountain top
To the people in the valley below
Or they'll never know that they can go
To the mountain of the Lord
(Brown Bannister)

*The 2nd track from her debut album when she was still a teenager.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Come together* - Michael Jackson

I think the reunion dinner is a very important part of CNY. In fact, it is the same for most other celebrations - like for Hari Raya (Eid Ul-Fitr) where most of our Malay frens will travel back to their home villages to celebrate, or even Christmas where family members from all over will return home to share the Christmas dinner.

These past few Reunion Dinners that i have had has been pretty significant and special in their own ways.

Way back in 2005, i ate the reunion dinner knowing that i will not be able to do so with my family the next year as i will be in the UK doing my LL.M.

In 2006, i hung out with my very non-Chinese flatmates and watched The Two Towers - it was great, spending time with my 'extended family'.

2007 was a real reunion dinner in the sense that i finally got home. It meant a lot too cuz my dad felt a little better and was able to celebrate the new year with us. It also happened to be the last reunion dinner we had with him... which meant that the reunion dinner the following had one less person.

Last year, i had to travel - so i missed the reunion dinner with my family again!!! I had reunion meals with 2 groups, tho - one was with my students at the University of Reading. Typical chinese food with yee sang too! Another was with a few of the guys from my UoE days. We traveled from all over - Cambridge, Essex, Malaysia (me!) and London itself.

So this year, it was good to be back home again.

Reunion Dinner 2010

While it is called the 'Reunion Dinner', the emphasis IMHO is more on the 'reunion' than on the 'dinner'. It's not about the food - last year we had Indian food!!! - or the place. It is all about the people - and i feel so blessed to be able to share it with people who are important to me.

*His cover version of the classic from The Beatles.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Better* - Boyzone

Alright - i think i get to be narcissistic once in a while, can i? Well, lemme warn u first (if u still haven't noticed it yet!), there are lots of photos of ME in this post. So carry on at yr own risk!

Because of my recent surgery, a portion of my head was shaven bald.

The hair has started growing again and the decision was made to crop off my newly coloured hair till it's really short so that my hair can grow again as evenly as possible.

The decision was made by me - but it wasn't something i wanted to do. I never liked short hair. Perhaps it is a reaction from the inner rebellious nature to the many years in school and being forced to keep short hair. Not only that, i am certain tt i dun look good in really short hair.

But oh well... it is only hair. And it will grow back eventually. So the gf assisted me by shaving off most of my hair.

What has been really surprising was the reaction of the people - specifically and generally, people of the female gender. Yes, the girls and ladies at work and in Chapel all say that my hair as it is now is a great improvement from how it was previously!!!!

No way!!!!

But they are all certain and honest about it!

Well, i told them that if they think so, they better enjoy it now - cuz i'll never have my hair this short ever again!!!! I mean look at me when my hair was longer (various length but definitely longer than how it is now):-

Do you all really think i look better now???

*This was their remake of Tom Baxter's song which i first heard in the movie Run, Fatboy, Run.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

You spin me around (like a record)* - Dead or Alive

Another post about death? Well, yes. But more of a celebration of the contribution of Walter Frederick Morrison on 9th February 2010.


Walter Frederick Morrison - the creator of the object that we call today the 'Frisbee'!

Pic taken from BBC News Online
(You can read about him and the Frisbee here)

To me, the frisbee brings back wonderful memories. In fact, it is found in my 'Happiness Bank - Specific' - a collection of specific happy memories in my life. I also blogged about it here previously.

It's actually quite a simple contraption - a plastic disc! The spin of the disc keeps it going far and at times hover deceiving in the air for a while. If u read the news report above, it all started with an upside down pan. Of course these days, there are more elaborately designed ones.

But u dun need it if all u want is fun!

That day late summer/early autumn will always be remembered - the 3 of us, the green grass near the lake, 1 hardly been used before frisbee, lots and lots of fun! :-) It was in fact a very emotional day for me (if u read my blogpost above) but it was all forgotten amidst the fun and laughter.

I brought back that green flying disc with me - it wasn't worth much, around 1 quid from Woolsworth, but worth a lot in terms of memories - and made the huge mistake of keeping it in my car under the direct sunlight. Over time, the direct heat made it brittle. So when i finally had a chance to play with it with some chapel mates, it literally fell part in our hands - but not before we had some good fun throwing it to each other, spinning it around.

Worth every penny - brought so much fun right up till the very end of its life.

Thanks, Walter Frederick Morrison.

*Featured on the soundtrack of The Wedding Singer, this was a no. 1 hit in the 80s

Live like we're dying* - Kris Allen

Talk about dying so near to Spring Festival (or Chinese New Year as it's more commonly known here)? Choi, some people may say.

But i like the song that is the title of this post - and i think the lyrics are pretty good too.

A young fren passed away earlier this month. Late 20s. Totally unexpected at first. It was just a fever - but it got worse and in the end, it took his life. This took place so near to the 1st anniversary of another wonderful young man and a great fren (see here).

And today, as i entered my cubicle happily after completing my last lecture for this lunar year, i was greeted with shocking and sad news - another death. The spouse of a colleague. It can be said to be unexpected. He leaves behind also 2 young children who do not understand why their 'da da' is not around anymore.

Dear frens - life is fragile. Unpredictable. I dun want to be morbid but these are facts we need to face. We really do not know what will happen tomorrow - it is out of our hands. But i have to remind myself - and would like to share with you - that what we do now, what we do today is in our control.

So let us not deny ourselves our favourite food. Let us wear our best shirts/dress and not wait for a special occasion. Being alive today is special enough! Go climb that mountain u always wanted to or run the marathon. Buy that pair of shoes u have been admiring at the shop window for so long.

And perhaps more importantly, let us take the time to appreciate the people around us. Tell your special fren u love him/her - or tell the person you admire! Hug yr kids as much as possible. Take time to spend with yr family members. Laugh till you cry, forgive and forget, seize the day!

Take time also to think about where will u spend eternity - and do something about it.

Live life to the fullest - live as if we're dying.

*The first single after he was crowned American Idol, this is also a remake of the song by The Script.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

I'm yours* - Jason Mraz

Found this post in my drafts folder. Wonder why i did not publish it - it was drafted in November 2008!!!!

I was so tired that i just crashed out at the end of last week. Slept all the way til some time after midnight. As there were no classes the next day, i decided to reward meself by watching a movie. What movie shall i watch? I finally decided on Hotel Rwanda.

Yes, i have not watched it yet!!! Bought the DVD before doing me Masters. Even downloaded it when i was in the UK. But this movie was a 'keeper' - not to be deleted. So i'll always be able to watch it. Procrastinated and up til today, i still have not watched it yet.
I decided to watch it cuz i intend to screen it for me students to watch - i knew wat it was about but it's best i watch it thru once b4 letting them see it.

But i did not finish it. Not even a quarter way thru, there were too many questions running thru my head. i went online to do research. One thing led to another and i was so caught up researching and i ended up not watching the movie.
The nite when i decided to take a break from work, i ended up doing just that!

The week before, after completing a 25 km marathon, i drove back all the way from Penang, got caught in a massive jam and arrived home after midnight. After a shower, i was preparing lessons til after 2 am! Even when i was in the jam, i was oredi thinking of the things that i'd be doing in class the next day.

It's confirmed - i'm addicted to work! I'm a workaholic! It's like i belong to my job now.
I actually had to consciously take a break these days after i fell ill last month - yes, i think due to overworking!

The best thing about it? I'm enjoying it! Today was a classic example! Surprised me students with a little play-acting at the beginning of the class - the reactions of the students were priceless! Tutorials later was interrupted many times with laughter! What made it enjoyable was that these students were very vocal and willing to do some intellectual sparring with me.

I just hope they enjoyed it as much as i do! ;-)

Fast forward to today, things have not changed much. Like for example, i was at the office early in the morning yesterday until late evening. Got home and napped for a while. Then dinner. After dinner, i was back at work again, all the way till 1.30 am!!! When i woke up early this morning and couldn't sleep anymore, i took my books and notes and started reading them!!!

It seems like my life is just eating, sleeping and work.

My poor gf is so neglected...

But thank God i'm still enjoying it. When i have a headache, it actually goes away when i start doing work!!! Classes have been fun, colleagues are all in good spirits despite all of us having so much work.

Blog has been neglected. I'm so glad for a short respite tonight. Actually, i'm just back from work, showered and was preparing to update my slides. Looking forward for a break soon. Next week is a long break! But it only means i finally have the time to finish my outstanding work and unpack my boxes at my new office.

I tell all my students on the first day in class that they will have to kiss goodbye to their life as they know it when they become law students. I should know! ;-P

Ok. Back to work...

*The first single from his 3rd studio album - only first heard of him thru this song!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Physical* - Olivia Newton-John

Doctor: So are you back at work?
Moi: Er... yes (sheepishly, as i am supposed to be still on MC). But on a lighter load. Just 3 to 4 hours a day.
Doctor: What do you do?
Moi: I teach.
Doctor: Ok, that's fine... as long as it is not PE (Physical education).
Moi: Oh, no, no (laughing). I teach at a local private college.

Imagine me - a PE teacher!!!! Lol!

*Her most popular single in terms of chart placement and her last no. 1 hit to date.

Friday, 5 February 2010

It's been awhile* - Staind

The Putrajaya Night Run is tomorrow night. Nope, i'm not running in it. In fact, i won't be running in any runs or races for a while.

After all, i'm still recovering from a major surgery - i do get tired very easily. So any kinds of physical exertion is not recommended. When i told my doctor that i'm back at work, teaching despite still being on MC, he said it's alright as long as i'm not teaching physical education!!! Lol!

It has been a while since i've actually ran - whether competitively or for fun. I did sign up for the Nike Human Run in S'pore in October 2009 - and got the dates mixed up!!!

Me in S'pore on the 25th of October 2009!!!!!

I oso signed up for the Penang Bridge Run on November last year - but then something really important was scheduled on the very same day at Chapel. So i had to forfeit that run too.

Pic taken during the Penang Bridge Run in 2008

I dun think that i even ran non-competitively or for leisure in the second half of last year. Most of the time, i'd be too tired of be having a headache.

I actually missed running. I rekindled my affair with running during late summer and early autumn in 2006. The weather then in the UK was so wonderful to run in.

Can't wait to put on my Nikes or my Brooks again and run. My target would be the KL International Marathon sometime in the middle of this year. And 10 km only. Wonder if i'll ever be able to do a full marathon...

Some of my competitive runs - KLIM '08 and '09, Nike Human Run 2008, Ipoh Marathon '09, Shah Alam King of the Road '09, Putrajaya Night Run '09, Penang Bridge Run

*Their only song to reach the top 10 of the Billboard chart, this is probably their most famous song.

I'm still remembering* - The Cranberries

I remember having you in the team during the RBS Missions Trip to Temerloh...

I remember our trip to Bristol...

I remember watching Friends with you at the backpacker's place at Fishguard...

I remember the Christmas Day lunch you hosted in 2006...

I remember exploring the Welsh coast at Pembrokeshire with you...

I remember us taking photos of the Clifton Suspension Bridge from evening till night...

I remember attending the Hari Raya and Christmas gathering for M'sian students with you...

I remember singing carols with you in Square 3...

I remember sharing my can of 'sambal ikan bilis' with you...

I remember chatting with you and Samuel at the corner mamak shop till early hours of the morning...

I remember you passing me the winter jacket and saying that we'll talk about my UK trip when i get back... and that was the last time i saw you.

It's been one year... and sometimes, it's hard to believe u're no longer with us - physically. But u'll always be with us in our hearts.

Markus Ng (6/5/1985 - 4/2/2009)
(Pics taken from Markus' profile photos on FB)

*Track 10 from their 3rd album which was not bad but not very successful.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Against doctor's orders* - Kenny G

I've been back at work this week - one week before my MC expires!!!

Yes, i'm working while still on MC. I also doubt that the doctor would have allowed me to be behind a steering wheel so soon.

I must be quick to add that the bosses were nice enough not to overtax me. So i'm just doing two third of the lectures that i would normally do - and i am not required to stay the normal hours at college.

But still, there are so many other things i need to do. Like today, i did not have any classes but i was working a lot.

But thanks be to God that i am well enough to be back at work one week earlier (not counting last Friday when i went back for a refresher cum briefing on mooting).

Anyways, it is good to be back - and a good 'warm-up' for the crazy weeks ahead. If i had started back work after my MC expires next week, it'll be like being thrown into the deep end of the pool without a float.

The down side to it is that i'm feeling so tired and stressed out. I have so much to blog about but can't find the time to do it (except of quick ones like this). I have many messages to reply - and i do not want a quick short reply. So that too has been delayed.

Hope this blog won't be neglected too long.

Well, at least i know that when i drop on my bed later, i'll fall asleep very quickly.

*The second single from his 5th studio album, Silhouette.