Friday, 30 April 2010

Can u help me* - Usher

I was wif tGiF and we walked into a Nike shop. We looked at the Brazil World Cup jerseys as well and Holland's away jersey for the World Cup. I actually wanted to see if the new Holland home jersey is on display.

It wasn't. So I walked over to the guy at the counter.

Moi: So when will the home jerseys for Holland be on sale?
Nike guy: Oh, it's not out yet.
Moi: (Trying to be patient, with a smile on me face). Ok. But when will it be out?
Nike guy: *pauses* Before the World Cup!
Moi: Oh, ok. Thanks.

Riiiiiggghhhhtttt! tGiF and i walked out of the shop, trying to keep a straight face...

Pics taken from various sites online

*A single from his album, 8701.

2 become 1* - SpiceGirls

Yup, two movies become 1!!!! And yes, only 1 ticket. And yes, yes! It is in 3D!!!!

But the 1 ticket was at a much higher priced ticket since it is in 3D. And the 3D was nothing spectacular. It was nice, tho!

But the two movies together - simply brilliant! And i really enjoyed Toy Story a lot - even tho i had always thought Toy Story 2 was better!

Overall, altho i was absolutely physically exhausted, it was a great time and good fun. Nice to 'escape' from the frustrations at work and at the things going on in this country!

Now for Toy Story 3!!!!!!

Pics taken from various sites online

*Their 3rd consecutive no. 1 single and their first Christmas no. 1, way back in 1996

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Spring is here* - Nat King Cole

Was reading a fren's blog - she was talking about the beauty of spring! And a lot of me students over at the UK have also posted up lots of nice spring flower pics in FB.

But we have flowers here in Malaysia too!

And recently, the tree outside me house started to bloom!

But yet, it is still not the same as spring in the UK. It is really different when you have had to go thru months of cold bitter winter where all plant life seemed to have died - or fallen into a deep deep sleep - and then suddenly, spring springs and everything becomes alive again, colour fills the world once more!

As a Christian songwriter once wrote:-
What is wondrous time is spring
When all the trees are budding
The birds begin to sing
The flowers start their blooming
That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring
You want to pass it on.

I really miss spring in the UK. Here's my tribute to it:-

p/s - click on the photos for much better quality!

*His version of Rodgers and Hart song which was written for the musical, I married an angel. Such a sad song, tho.

Could've been* - Tiffany

A friend's cousin has been having migraines and other symptoms which we very much like wat i had last year. The doctors found a tumour in his head and took it out - but discovered it was cancerous. He is at stage 4 now.

Another girl had been pretty forgetful and was becoming very different. Unfortunately, they discovered the cause a little too late. It was a tumour just like mine - but instead of pressing against her skull (like mine), it grew onto her eye and left her blinded in eye.

Accounts like these makes me realised i could have suffered the same fate - or even worse. I doubt i am any better than these people. Yet for some reason, i sit here today, blogging, with my tumour taken out and proven to be benign - and the only 'injury' i suffered is having my hair almost all shaved off.

tGiF once said - not very seriously - that she 'saved' my life. Looking back now, i have to say that that statement may not be too far away from the truth. It after all only she who noticed the swell on my head - and it was she who made me go and get a medical check-up. If not, who knows wat could have happened?

I do not deserve this... but i have been spared a worse outcome and i must make the most of the life i have left.


I had difficulty drafting this post - the more i tried to write it, the more it seems like i'm rejoicing over the problems and misfortune of others. If that thought comes to mind when reading this post, i apologise. That is not my intention.

*Her 2nd no. 1 hit in the US - and my favourite song of hers!

Monday, 26 April 2010

So far away* - Carole King

I had to park pretty far away today!!!! Here is the view from the 8th floor of Block E where i am:-

I have been suggesting they have a gondola service to ferry us to this side of the lake!!!!
Or a sampan service at the very least!

But it really wasn't so bad. The morning sun was up - and it was generating vitamin D in my body. I strolled slowly along the lakeside, enjoying the view of the campus which i never seen before.

In the evening, as i walked back to my car, the sunlight was causing shimmers on parts of the lake. Nice. :-)

Walking along lakes always brings back memories of the lake back in campus at the UoE:-

Yeah, sure, that lake is miles different!!! But still, this is the closest i can get. Now if only the weather wasn't so humid...

The walk is nice (for now). At the end of the day, it really isn't so far after all. I used to walk even further when we were at the SS15 Campus (and i parked at SS14!!!!).

*One of her well known songs and one of my fav of hers.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Can't buy me love* - The Beatles

Yeah, money sure can't buy us love! But sometimes, it seems like money can 'buy' votes...

*Their 4th UK number 1 single - a classic, to me!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Freedom* - Wham!

So the end finally came. And i have experienced freedom for more than a week edi!!!! And what a week it was, in terms of eating of course! ;-P

OK - i dun wanna explain (again!) why i had to impose a ban on meself on certain foods for the past 3 months plus (if you wanna know, see here and here). It's finally here. The long wait is over. I can eat watever i want to!!!!!

So how did i 'celebrate' my freedom?

Well, according to my (not so good) math, my freedom started on Thursday, 15th April. But come dinner on Wednesday, my mom declared for me that diet is over! She made a wonderful egg dish - using eggs and salted egg steamed with minced meat. Lovely! :-P

tGiF also surprised me - and wat a wonderful surprise it was. She bought me some super brilliant lovely choc-durian mini cakes!!!!!! Check out the pics:-

I could almost hear the 'Hallelujah chorus' when i finally ate it!!!!! It was no cake!!!! As you see in the pic just above, it was basically very little cake around pure real tasty durian flesh, covered in lovely chocolate!!!!!!

tGiF din even get one for herself - and she had to travel pretty far just to get them for me!

For the next few days at work, this was the scene (and smell) of my table early in the morning:-

Nasi lemak!!!!! It was supposed to be my first meal to celebrate my freedom - after all, the last meal i had before checking into the hospital was nasi lemak too!

The nasi lemak from my favourite stall - and just like old frens, it was like we never said goodbye!!!! It was exactly how i remembered it to be. Such a lovely combination - the eggs together with the prawn based sambal plus the peanuts over rice cooked in coconut milk!!!!

I could eat that for breakfast everyday!!!!

Anyways, my eating continued. At home, i finally could eat the Reese's peanut buttercup.

On Friday, i went with my colleagues to have banana leaf rice and i had curried mutton. I started making egg-mayo sandwiches to bring to office to eat. tGiF and i oso went to Delicious on Friday niote for dinner where i had my duck confit pasta while she had her usual crab meat linguine (of which i ate some too, of course! Crab meat!!!!). The duck was really good, as usual.

Then on Saturday, i traveled up to Ipoh with tGiF - she went to see her parents and get a haircut. I went to eat!!!! ;-P

When we arrived there, we wasted no time but went directly to Foh San - not even stopping at her parents' house!!!!

It was packed but we got a place. tGiF wasn't too impressed with the food at the new Foh San. me? I was having the time of my life!!!! Here are some of the prawn dim sums which i had. So so so so good!

The eating continued later - and tGiF again surprised me with buying roast duck!!!! Two types - pi pa roast duck and herbal roast duck!!!! Oh my goodness.... it was sooo good (help! i'm running out of superlatives to describe how good the food is).

I ate with her family but no prizes for guessing who had the most of the duck!

The next day, we traveled to Tanjung Tualang just to have seafood!

Yes, i have had prawns oredi - but not like the ones i had there! Big (we opted for the medium sized prawns) juicy and fresh!!!! Two styles - steamed with some wine (i think) and stir-fried. Interestingly, the stir-fried prawns was fried together with pork scratchings!!!!

There were also deep-fried squid, oyster omelette (arguably the best i've had) and crabs cooked with salted eggs!!!!!

Finally, on Wednesday this week, i finally had beef!!!! Nothing special - just a cheeseburger from Burger King. But my favourite cheeseburger locally (no bacon cheeseburgers here at the fast food joints).

The circle is now complete. Of course there were other small things i ate - like the deep fried fish egg me mom made, fried flat rice noodles with eggs and prawns, etc. Yes, there are still many other varieties of eggs, prawns, crabs, duck, peanuts, etc to eat. But i am contented now. Life seemed complete! ;-)

*Their second no. 1 hit in the UK way back in 1984, still sounds so good today!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Bittersweet* - Bobby Michaels

The certificate said that the time of death officially was 1527 hours, 23rd April 2007. That was exactly 3 years ago.

I still remember that day. I was at work at the University of Malaya - and of all the places, i received the fateful call while i was at the toilet of the Law Library!

I remember then travelling all the way to Sunway Medical Centre and going to the ICU. I remember my mother crying...

Today, i feel sad because i miss him.

Today, i feel glad because i know he is in a far better place.

Today, i feel happy cuz i know that i'll see him again, one sweet day.

In memory of Lai Siew Kong
Loving son, loving husband, loving father, loving grandfather.
7th Oct 1931 - 23rd April 2007

*One of his better songs. Haven't heard anything new from him for a long time, tho.

Because you loved me* - Celine Dion

I'm everything I am because you loved me (see here).

Thanks, pa!

*Her hit single which was featured also in the movie Up Close & Personal.

I feel good* - James Brown

House, Season 5 Episode 6:-

Dr. James Wilson: Maybe he had a great cup of coffee, or a tremendous bowel movement. Bottom line is your boss is in a good mood. Stop analyzing it and just enjoy it.

I just dug out this quote which i posted much earlier, almost a year ago, actually. But i thought of this quote this morning - cuz i'm in a good mood! And it wasn't because of a great cup of coffee! ;-)

But there are also many other reasons - the headache's gone, what was lost is now found, i received another FB message which made me laugh the first thing in the morning. And i'm still rejoicing over the good news of a fren which i received last nite.

Yeah, even tho
Liverpool lost last nite, it just won't dampen me mood!!!

Oh, i oso had a nice breakfast of nasi lemak!!!! :-P

*One of his signature songs and some people say, his most well known.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Out of the blue* - Debbie Gibson

Incident #1

It has been more than a year since i saw her. We have not kept in touch since the last we met - save for that FB birthday wish. We are separated by continents and would take more than half a day to just get physically close to each other.

But i received an e-mail from her the other day. She may not realise it nor even directly intended it but there was this one particular statement contained therein which really made my day.

If i needed an additional push to give my best in my job, if i needed more motivation to go the extra mile in my lesson preparation, if i needed a reminder that all my efforts are not in vain, if i needed some encouragement not to feel discouraged at how the bosses dun seem to appreciate me enough, i got it all from that one little sentence.

Thanks, MC! I really really appreciate it.

Incident #2

To be honest, i really cannot remember when was the last i saw her!!!! More than 5 years, perhaps? And just like MC above, she is all the way in London.

But time and distance do not make us strangers - we do keep in touch once in a while thru occasional messages on FB (yes, FB again! Praise God for FB which helps us keep in touch with frens). She'd make random comments about London, prolly knowing tt i'll be definitely interested in those little updates - like telling me that Camden Town is on fire, or that the snow is falling heavily and it's freezing!

So here is her latest one (doubt she'd mind me reproducing it here):-

hey, you're looking well!

i actually managed to lay on the grass for 3-4hours under the sun last weekend in the country, and it was great! i forgot that london can be quite lovely in the spring.

you're making me wonder now if i'll actually like going back to australia!
i had to laugh when i read that!!! What did i do to make her wanna stay in London? But i understand the spell that the City can have over one - it was on me and is still over me! So after laughing at this totally random note, i felt a strong longing to be back there again, enjoying the spring, and lying on the grass...

*The first track from her debut album of the same name.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Better* - Tom Baxter

I'm excited about some movie sequels coming out soon!!!! Yes, excited but a little apprehensive. What if the sequel does not live up to expectations? There has been a lot of movies where the sequels just dun live up to the first part. Not only that, it just spoils the wonderful memories of the original.

But i do remember many movies where not only did the sequel did justice to the first part - but it turned out so much more better! This got me thinking and then blogging about it. So check out the list of sequels which i felt outdid the original movie - click here to read the list.

Anyways, here's hoping that i can add these following sequels to that list after i watch them:-

Oh, do you know there are gonna be a whole lot of new characters in Toy Story 3? Take a look at this photo - there's even this strange looking dude at the right side of the pic, below the octopus toy and behind Ken!!!

Pics taken from various sites online (except the last one, obviously!)

*I first heard this song in the movie, Run Fatboy Run and i fell in love with it.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Have a little faith in me* - Jewel

I am nobody. I'm just a lowly servant. My duty is just to serve. But i'm not complaining. Unlike a lot of other servants i know, i have a brilliant master!

He is a royal official. Mind you, he is pretty high ranking in King Herod's administration. Yet, he is a kind man. He treats me and my fellow servants fairly. Sure, he maintains the decorum and we are all expected to respect him as our master - but because of who he is, the respect comes naturally.

Besides being a wonderful master, he is also a loving father. Being an important man in the King's court does not give him an excuse to neglect his son. He ensures he spends time with the boy, teaching him, playing with him, being a father to him. It brings joy to us seeing how he loves his son so much.

So it was indeed a devastating blow - not just to my master but to all of us - when the little boy fell ill. My master wasted no effort and expenses to try to get the boy well. Sadly, the boy grew worse and worse.

The house suddenly became gloomy - like a huge dark cloud came over it and refuse to move. My master refused to eat and stayed at the boy's bed all day. We all began to worry for him too.

Soon, it became evident that the boy is not going to live for long. This was whispered in corners of the house but no one dared to talk about it. All seemed lost...

Until one day, news reached us that this certain man had arrived in a nearby town. Well, not so near - 20 miles away. This man apparently was someone special. He was powerful. He could be the little boy's only hope.

To be honest, i wasn't happy with the arrival of this person. After all, the boy is going to die - my master should just accept it and move on when the inevitable happens. He doesn't need anyone now to come and give him false hope - my master could end up a more broken person when his hopes are dashed.

But no one could stop him. He insisted on traveling ;the 20 miles just to see this man. We know it was pointless to try to talk him out of it. So off he went.

We waited anxiously by the boy's bedside. We only prayed that master would come back in time to spend the last few precious moments of the boy's life with him. We waited, and waited... and waited...

Then the unexpected happened - the boy started to stir. What is happening? He tries to get up - we stop him, of course, but he gently pushes us away. He is well again!!!! We were all flabbergasted!!! What in the world was happening?

It doesn't matter. Who cares how he suddenly got well. He is well!!!! He gets changed, he cleans up, he eats. the other servants attend to him. Me? I hurried with a couple other servants to go and look for my master. This is such wonderful news!!!!

We met him as he was on his way back. He burst into tears of joy - but somehow, he did not seemed surprised at the news. He only asked one thing - at what point of time did the boy get well. We told him - it was at 1 pm yesterday. He nodded, expecting it. And without much further ado, we rushed back.

The reunion was wonderful - the entire household started crying. We were anticipating this just a few days ago - but it was not the tears of joy that everyone was shedding now. Yet, deep inside, i wondered at the strange reaction of my master when we told him the news.

I found out later wat took place - my master had met this man. My master begged the man to come to our house before the boy dies. This man just replied "You may go. Your son will live". And you know wat? My mater took him at his word and departed!!!! No need for any reassurance, no need for any clarification, no need for further proof. My master just started making the 20 mile journey back.

But that was not all. We found out that the boy got better at the same time when this man told my master that his son will live! Yes, at 1 pm, yesterday. Amazing!!!!!

Not only could this man heal, he could do it 20 miles away!!! We have heard so much about this man - and now, all of us unsurprisingly believe in this man, and have accepted him as our Lord and savior. This is no man. He is God!

Adapted from the events found in John 4:43-54.

Among the many lessons i learnt from the said Bible passage, the one most applicable to me at this point of time was to emulate the faith of the royal official. As i shared with my Bible study mates, i would want further reassurance from Jesus. Maybe it's my training as a lawyer - but to just take this stranger at his word? That is great faith!!!!

But not impossible to have faith like that. Jesus said also that if we have just a little faith (as small as a mustard seed), we can move mountains (see Matt 17:20)!

Mustard seeds (Pic taken from online)

I've been worried a lot in recent months over the surgical fees that was spent for my operation early this year. My own personal insurance could only cover half of it. The company's insurance has so far delayed in paying. My sister has so far covered the remaining half - and it is quite a big sum.

I was worried that the insurance would finally refuse to pay and there are indications that this may happen. That would mean that i'll have no savings for a long long time as i have to slowly repay my sister. I'll be stuck in my job as i would need to make the money.

But i am no longer worried. Well, i'm not certain that i will get reimbursed by the insurance - but i am certain of this that God has promised to provide for me. So whether i get the money back or not, i shall not worry - but i will just have a little faith in God.

*This was her cover version and was featured in the movie, Phenomenon. Her version was of course brilliant!

Heroes* - The Wallflowers

Yes, i so enjoyed it! Are you gonna judge me? ;-P

I'm talking about the movie, Kick-Ass!

It is a movie adaptation of the comic-book of the same name and same characters.

Putting it simply, it is a movie about superheroes - but superheroes without any special powers. They have the skill, they have the weapons but more importantly, they have the heart. The lead character initially does not even have any skills nor weapons - but yet, he faces off without the baddies to save strangers.

I won't say much about the story - go watch it like me, not knowing much about the movie, and enjoy it.

I have to say tho that the character who steals the show for me is the 11 year old character by the name of Hit-Girl (the alter-ego of Mindy Macready) played brilliantly by Chloë Grace Moretz. Well-known movie critic Robert Ebert only gave this movie 1 miserable star but he did admit that "Chloë Grace Moretz has presence and appeal".

And brilliant looking purple hair!!!! I want hair like that....

I oso have to say that this is the first movie for a very long long time which features Nicholas Cage that i actually liked. I even thought he did pretty well - perhaps he should do this more often, be a supporting character.

Having said all that, i must say that there is a LOT of very graphic violence in this movie. Steer clear of this if things like that offend you - all the more if u dun like the idea of an 11 year old inflicting the violence!

The violence din bother me (i won't elaborate on that) but i did find the profanity a bit too much. Yeah, sure, some might say that it is a realistic depiction of high school kids and gangsters these days. But i really dun think the movie will lose much of its appeal and quality if the swearing was cut down - or even cut out completely! We have had many really good movies about high school kids or gangsters which did really well without having the profanities.

Anyways, i'm definitely gonna watch it again... and dye my hair purple soon...?

Pics taken from various sites online

*Taken from the soundtrack of the movie, Godzilla.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Stronger* - Britney Spears

Me with Astro Boy boots @ Madame Tussauds, HK

I'm preparing meself for the second week of moots for the second intake of year 1s. Week 1 was interesting - and when it came to an end, i compared it with the first week of the moots for the first intake.

That was in February this year and it was also the first week i got back to work after my surgery on the 4th of January 2010. When that week was up, i was totally exhausted! It was being thrown into the deep end of the pool. There was no time for me to ease back into work. I ended up physically drained.

But comparing it with the end of last week, it could not have been any more different. That was not to say the moots went smoothly. Moot court not arranged, judges failed to turn up, replacement roped in last-minute (literally), counsels appearing late... but yet, i did not feel exhausted as i did way back in February - which wasn't that long ago.

But back then, i just recovered from a major surgery. The body was naturally weaker. Further, going back to work full time then was the first time since early December last year.

This only shows and proves that i have become much stronger since then. I am recovering well - credit to the skill of my surgeon and the care given to me by me mom, but all glory to God!

I do feel like i'm back to my best, physically - or at the very least, close to it. I have also started running again. And so my next target will be this:-

But i was so busy preparing this post that i just missed out signing up and getting the early bird discount!!!!! RM10 down the drain. Sighs...

*Her 3rd single from her 2nd studio album, released in late 2000.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Don't you (forget about me)* - Simple Minds

The BSF lecture ended and i rushed to the washroom. When i came out, i saw R, my discussion leader from 2008 and i went over to him. I greeted him with a warm smile. But he looked at me with perplexity. He squinted at me and it was obvious he had absolutely no idea who i was. Finally, he looked down at my name tag - and then he burst out laughing, calling my name.

He was so amused by the whole thing because he just could not recognise me. he said that i have changed so much! Have i?

Well, take a look at the following pics of me - the one on the left was taken in 2008 (when R was my discussion leader) while the one on the right was taken just a few weeks ago:-

Whatever it is, i'm glad that despite not being able to recognise me outwardly, he still remembers me.

*I first started liking this song when it was used in an episode of Futurama. This song is in fact found on the soundtrack of The Breakfast Club.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

All the way* - Jeffrey Osborne

There are some albums where you can just pop it into the player and listen to every one of the tracks in it - and love it all! I'm not talking about 'Best of...' albums or compilations where all the good songs are put together. I'm also not referring to Musicals or movie soundtracks.

Most of the time, i buy CDs just for one song - i'd hear it and fall in love with it and then rush to get the album which features that song. Then i'd be disappointed as the song which i loved happens to be the only nice song in that album!!!! The album which comes to mind at this point of time to illustrate what i'm saying is the Hoobastank album i bought cuz i loved the song The Reason. That - in my own opinion - was the only nice song on the whole album.

There are also albums where there are a few nice songs - and either i'd programme it to just play the nice ones or i'd just put up with the not so nice ones till the nice ones come on.

Then there are those which i like all the songs on them. Not bad. This usually takes place over time when after listening to some songs over and over again, i dun just 'put up with it' but it grows on me. Others are albums where i just like all the songs - and this applies to all of Jewel's albums.

But there are only a few albums where i loved every single track on it! I can play it as it is, i can put it on shuffle, it doesn't matter cuz every song which comes on will be great! I can just listen to the album from the start all the way to the end, loving every song!

I was just thinking about this when i put in one such album the other morning - and i started thinking of other albums like that. I decided to list them down in my other blog and u can view the list here.

But as a teaser, lemme just put the photos of the artists of those albums.

Recognise all of them? Care to venture a guess which of their albums i simply love?

Pics taken from various sites online

*This song was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Dying Young

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Too much* - Spice Girls

Why did you have to do that?????

That was totally uncalled for. It was most unprofessional. More than that, that was just plain rude and disrespectful.

I had always respected you. After all, you have proved yourself to be very capable. Once you set your mind to do something, you will go all out to achieve it with great determination. You set high standards for others as you set the same for yourself.

So i kept on asking myself the question - why did you do that???

For a while, i felt sorry for you - you must have been going thru a lot of stress and perhaps pain for you to suddenly react that way. But even if that was the case, it still did not give you the license to do what you did. What you did was simply too much. There was a line and you have clearly crossed it.

And when the chance came later to right the wrong you did, it appeared that pride stood in the way. We all make mistakes - but we compound them if we do not seek to right the wrong we did. Yet when the opportunity presented itself, it was not seized upon.

Now see what you have done - not only will you have to pay the price for it, we ALL have to suffer too. Things will never be the same again - ever! We all lose out.

But you are the biggest loser - cause you have lost a lot of respect from others.

I am unhappy about wat wat u did - but i think i feel more sad for you. :-(

*Their 6th consecutive no. 1 single in the UK and their 2nd Christmas no.1.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Waiting for that day* - George Michael

And the day is none other than the 15th of April 2010!!!!!

I've always considered meself quite westernised. So it may be a bit of a surprise to you (and even to meself!!!) that i would choose to follow some old chinese beliefs rather than take the advice of medical doctors of the 'Western' medicine.

You see, the chinese have this belief that after a major surgery like the one i went thru in January, i will have to refrain from eating certain kinds of food for 3 months to 100 days! What are those things tt i'm to refrain from? Well, to put it simply, it all happens to be my fav foods!!!! (see
here) Except pork. Thank God pork was not on the list!

Failure to compy with such requirements could result in serious consequences - like the wound getting infected.

The doctors of 'western' medicine of course scoff at such practices. Go eat watever you want. Altho i must add that my doctor chose his words carefully when asked if i should refrain from any kinds of food. He replied that 'western' medicine believes i can eat anything i want. Note, he did not say it was his personal view!!!!

Well, having a wound on my head and near my brain made me think twice about neglecting the old ancient chinese beliefs. I dowan the wound to get infected!!! And if you think about it, no one can really disprove the alternative chinese medicine. There certainly has to be some truths in it.

Well, better be safe than sorry, i concluded. To err on the side of caution. After all, it is only for 3 months. And it is only food!!!

I surprised meself at how self-controlled i have been. :-)

Anyways, with my poor maths, i have counted that the 100th day (yeah, i took the longer period - if i can refrain from 3 months, might as well go for the 100 days!) is on 13th April 2010!!!!

Freedom on the 14th!!!! I've oredi made plans of wat to eat! ;-P On the morning of the 14th, i will start off with nasi lemak!!!!! With the prawn based sambal, boiled eggs and peanuts, all things which i have not had for more than 3 months!!!!

Then there is satay, fried kuey teow with prawns, mayonaise in my sandwiches, duck, beef burgers.... April the 14th could not come any faster!!!!

*His 3rd single from his Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 album. I loved this very acoustic song. And it has a sample of 'You can't always get what you want' at the end of the song.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Absence of fear* - Jewel

"Please lie down", she asked me. I lay flat down on the bed while she draws the curtains. She walks over to me and points to my pants buckle - "Can you undo this?"

Yeah, sure! I did. She pulled up my shirt and started feeling all over my body...

Then she started asking me questions. Do I smoke? etc., etc. This was one of the many initial check-ups i went for some time last year. Not too long after this check-up, i saw her again. But she was just one of the many doctors who surrounded me as the senior doctor talked to me. I was expecting the same - nothing in the scan, no concerns, should be alright. But the presence of so many junior doctors with worried looks on their faces hinted otherwise.

It was all over in a few moments - the senior doctor broke the news to me and showed me the scans. Basically, i have a huge tumor in my head and i need to get it cut out.

Ok. I have to go and check with my insurers first and i'll let them know. The junior doctors leave, perhaps a little disappointed that there was no 'show' to see - no cries of disbelief, no refusal to accept the truth, no breaking down in tears.

But mind you, it was indeed serious. Dun take my word for it - look at the scans:-

The doctor wasn't exaggerating when he said the tunor was the size of a tennis ball. Look at the space it was taking inside my head!

But yet, the really really strange thing was that despite being totally unprepared for it, there was no fear in me. I went by the next few weeks and months making all the arrangements but yet i cannot remember once when i felt fear. The biggest fear i felt was prolly before the results came out, when i had to go thru the MRI scan. In fact, recently, i went to the dentist and i had more fear in me than before my major brain surgery!!!!

I even made jokes about and took it rather lightly at times. When my mom touched my forehead, i feigned pain which really scared her. Naughty boy, i am. I even told my frens that i made up a song for my situation - to the tune of The Cranberries 'Zombie'. It went "In my hea-ad, in my he-e-a-ad, tu-u-mor, tu-mor, tumor, mor, mor...".

The week before my surgery, i was at Disneyland! The day b4 the surgery when i had to check into the hospital, i was late cuz i was having Häagen-Dazs ice cream wif me mates.

Looking back, my family must have ben worried sick, especially on the morning of the operation, when they came and wheeled me away. Me? I was worried that i might get motion sickness lying on the wheelie bed thingy!

It is only recently when i begin to realise how serious my situation was. Each time i go for a follow-up check-up, the doctor will ask me questions about problems tt i could be facing. Praise God i did not have any of them - but i begin to see how so many thing could have gone wrong. It was after all a surgery on the brain - i could lose some senses, lose some ability to think or to balance or to control my limbs.

And as i look back at those scans now, it scares me a little.

But i was not scared at all previously!!! I am not boasting - i give all credit and glory to God. It was him who gave me the strength to go thru the months b4 the op. It was him who gave me peace thruout that time. It was him who ensured that there was an absence of fear in me.

*The final track in her album 'Spirit', my fav album of hers! The track contained a 'hidden' song too, an a capella duet with her mom.

Goodbye to you* - Michelle Branch

And so this is it, is it? Goodbyes are never easy for me - and this is definitely one of the hardest.

We've been thru so much together. I guess deep down i knew this day would come - but i had pretended that it would never.

If i had to name my closest and most faithful earthly companion when i was doing my masters in the UK, no one would come in a close runners-up. From the day i was there till the day i left you were there for me. You were there in the darkest hours, you were there sharing my joys, you were there feeling my pain, you were there helping me in my studies. You were there to help me relax, to keep me entertained, to make sure i'd keep in touch with my frens and families, to introduce new frens to me - to even make plans for all my holidays and trips, knowing very well i was gonna exclude u from joining me. Yet, u'd wait faithfully for my return.

And now, u're gone... for good?

I'm referring to none other than my laptop. I have spent so much time together with it.

It was indispensable to my course work. Studying human rights law is not like any subject that u just read the textbook. I needed to use the online resources, journals and articles. I also needed to use my laptop to complete all my course work and my final dissertation.

The info i got from online was oso not limited to study related matters. It extended to finding a church, spiritual food, backpackers place (plus online booking), renting cars, shopping, weather (never leave for London without first checking, how to make cheap phonecalls, recipes, news, planes, buses and trains schedule etc.

It was my source of entertainment - it was where i watched all 7 seasons of Buffy, 4 seasons of 24, and many many more of Desperate Housewives, Lost, etc. and countless of movies too. I watched live World Cup games and Wimbledon matches on it too as well as many online clips like the ones on YouTube. I oso got lots and lots of music - and this made up for the fact tt i left almost all my music cds at home due to weight issues (and insufficient time to rip them into me laptop).

Thru it, i kept in touch with so my family and frens back home. I would chat with my family and frens - we would have our meeting time from different parts of the world and conference call together, playing online games too. E-mails, MSN, blogs all helped me to remain close. It was also how i kept in touch with frens on campus as well as make new frens from all over the world thru the blogging sphere.

Yes, blogging - i spent so much time just blogging and posting up my photos. Check out the links at the side bar to this blog, especially my main blog at that time, Rambling in Rayleigh.

It's no surprise that the first thing i do each day is to turn on my laptop - and the last thing i do was to shut it down. Altho there were times when it was just left on all nite long.

I went and collected back my laptop from the shop today. I stroked it gently when i got it back. And so, this is it. The end of the road for my dear old faithful laptop. The motherboard needs to be repaired - and it would take around 50 quid to fix it up.

But me mates have all been telling me tt it's time to let go and move. The laptop is old. Might as well get a new one. Why waste more money on fixing it up? It is more than 5 years old! These days, laptops are much faster, lighter and cheaper.

Yes, yes there are all right. But they dun know the history i have with my laptop. So perhaps there'll be a twist in the tail. I took it back and it will will sit in its damaged condition in the corner of my room - but for how long? Until i go and purchase a brand spanking new one? Or maybe i might just decide to send it to be repaired... yes, i'm a sentimental fool.

*She performed this song in Episode 8 of Season 6 of Buffy TVS. Such a brilliant performance and and brilliant ending. Loved this song since then!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

With or without you* - U2

Still on Clash of the Titans. One thing which struck me while watching the movie (the new one) was the 'modern' thinking of the humans. Especially the lead character, Perseus.

The gods are reflected as weak, emotional, vengeful, desiring the worship of the people - basically not depicted in very good light. Man instead wants to be independent, free from the gods. Man wants to show that they do not need the gods at all. Even Perseus refused any help from Zeus - and this was so at the cost of the lives of other good men.

Isn't that how man thinks today? Generally, i mean. Most do not care if God exists or not. Most also do not want to outright deny the existence of God - but man believes that they have no need for God in their lives (if he indeed exists), that they can do well without God - or that God has nothing to offer them. After all, they may argue, what difference would God bring into their lives? Would life be any better - or is it the same with or without God?

With God in my life, does it mean i will never have to suffer? Does it mean my families and loved ones will be guaranteed a peaceful and painless existence? Does it mean i will have food on the table and money in my purse all the time? Does it mean i will never suffer rejection or discrimination? I have to admit that all the questions in this paragraph have to be answered in the negative.

But these things are temporal. What is more important than these things that will not last are naturally things which will last - for ever and ever. And one thing that will go on eternally are the souls of man.

And no matter how strong, how clever and how inventive man can be, man can never find a way to be delivered from condemnation and spend eternity in heaven. But God has made a way for us - by Jesus dying on the cross for us, we can have everlasting life if we believe in him. And that my dear frens, is the biggest difference in our lives if we are with or without God.

While where we spend eternity is of great significance, God also will provide for us while we are still on this earth. I cannot put it any better than the hymn writer, Annie Flint in her below:-

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Yes, my frens. I can testify to that. And i can testify that it makes a huge difference if we go thru our lives with or without Jesus.

*Their first no. 1 hit in the US and listed as no. 131 in Rolling Stone magazine list in 2004 of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It would be on my list too if i had one!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Hey god* - Bon Jovi

Yes, the gods are mad - man has turned their backs on them. Man has decided that they do not need the gods anymore. So the gods hit back! Man is given an ultimatum - sacrifice the beautiful princess or the whole city will be destroyed.

One man... well, a demi-god sets out to thwart the plans of the gods.

That's basically the premise of Clash of Titans. Don't go if you want to watch good acting, interesting story line or character development. But if it's action and CGI you want, this will be your cup of tea.

Put it simply, i liked it. The action was fast and furious and the CGI was pretty good... and there was Gemma Arterton!

Still, it doesn't get anywhere near my favourites list. It could have been so much better. When Perseus travels with his small crew of soldiers, the scenes almost reminds me of when the Fellowship of the Rings are traveling. However unlike the latter, we never really get to know Perseus' gang at all - save for Draco.

But yes, i did enjoy watching it. After all, i was a huge fan of the original - and perhaps to some extent, i think the original was much better. For one thing, i remembered that the scenes with Medusa were much much better. i was literally scared out of my wits! But in this remake, perhaps the CGI became its own victim - while the effects were good, it just wasn't as scary as before.

I cannot decide if i prefer a white or a black Pegasus. Oh, and Zeus' clothes were not that funny looking!

Anyways, here are some photos to compare the new and the original:-

Perseus - long-haired or crew-cut?

Zeus - methinks less shiny clothes is better!

Medusa - better CGI does not necessarily mean better villian!

Kracken - both just as ugly?

Pegasus - black or white?

Pics taken from various sites online

*The first track on my favourite album of theirs, These Days.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

I'm alive* - Electric Light Orchestra

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Matt 28v1-10 (NIV - emphasis added)

*This brilliant song is featured on the soundtrack of Xanadu.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The greatest love of all* - Whitney Houston

Why did Jesus give up heaven's glory
for this world of sin and misery?
Why did Jesus suffer in the Garden
drain the bitter up of agony?
Why did Jesus stand in Pilate's judgement hall
Wear that cruel crown of thrones so patiently?
Why did Jesus give His life to safe me?
It was love, God's wondrous love for me.
(E. C. Heidelberg)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. - John 15v13

*One of her classics, back in the time when she used to sound good and was free (as far as we know) from illegal substances.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sacrifice* - Elton John

I dropped this yesterday - it slipped off me hands and gravity pulled it downwards.

(Pic taken from online)

It was almost like it took place in slow motion as it descended slowly - and the sickening thud when it struck the tile of the floor. Not once but a couple of times as it bounced up and down!!!!

I expected the worst - as this was not the first time. I dropped a bottle of cologne before in the past and it shattered into many tiny pieces, spilling the fragrance all over the place.

I remembered blogging about it - and in my post, it was tied in to a passage from the Bible. Coincidence? The passage was referring to an incident which took place in the final week of Jesus' human life on earth - and we are now going thru 'Holy Week' which is to commemorate the same thing - Jesus' final week on earth as a human.

So i thought i'd share that old blogpost with you. You can read it here. After reading it, you will appreciate why i titled this post as it is.

*One of Sir Elton's classic, loved by many including yrs truly