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.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Celebration* - Kool and the Gang

Selamat Hari Raya! Literally translated, safe day of celebration. of course it means wishing you a happy Eid Mubarak celebration. And so i wish Selamat Hari Raya to all me mates who are celebrating it. And also i pray that your celebration is a safe one too!

Here's a song which is currently my fav song!!!! Brings me back to the days when i loved rock music! Enjoy!

*From their album, Celebrate, it hit no. 1 way back in 1981!!!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Nicest kids in town* - James Marsden

It was our (tGiF and i) 17th "monthsary" (using this word that my filipina fren uses) and we were supposed to go for Thai at a nice pricey restaurant near where i stay.

But a few hours before the dinner, i received a call from one of my students - they were asking me to join them for a triple birthday celebration at Lala Chong.

To be honest, i really wasn't that keen initially. It was supposed to be nite for me and tGiF. And furthermore, tGiF dun really know them very well. But after checking wif her, she said she din mind. So we canceled our plans.

After all, how many more opportunities would i hv to eat with my students (oh yes, i must add that these students are gonna fly off to the UK in a few weeks time)? Furthermore, tGiF and i can have our monthsary meal the next day. No biggie.

So off we went. There were 2 tables that we took up - and they asked me to order for them. No too difficult since i'm familiar with the food there. Thank goodness, the food was up to standard and all enjoyed it.

But the food wasn't the main thing - it was them students. tGiF and i really had a great time with them. It was good for me to catch up with so many of them - and they were all very nice and frenly towards tGiF too. So much so if i was busy talking to one particular student, someone else would notice tGiF left alone and go up to chat with her. As the night went on, tGiF could just go and talk to them on her own.

We had some crazy moments too!!! We had a typical chinese "yum seng" session too. We toasted the birthday people. And then they had a toast to tGiF and me. And finally, i gave a toast to them. We had a crazy "yum seng" time - here is one of it caught on video:-

If you listen carefully at the end of the clip above, u'll hear the group of older 'uncles' singing "happy birthday to you...". They were almost as crazy as we were - and they were surely at best tipsy. They were singing - and at one time, after a 'solo', we cheered them and they reciprocated!

We were really glad we went - after all all, what more do we need? Good food, great company! They truly are the nicest kids in town!

*Taken from the soundtrack of the movie version of the musical, Hairspray.

Friday, 3 September 2010

This time next year* - Cast of Sunset Boulevard

This time next year, God willing, my relationship status will change forever!

*The last (proper) song of Act 1, the cast is celebrating the end of the year and looking forward to the new year ahead.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

For the first time* - Kenny Loggins

James Cameron was quoted saying that one of the reasons why Avatar is being re-released again is because when it was first released, many did not have the opportunity to catch it in 3D. That is true. tGiF and i are good examples. We really wanted to but could not get the chance.

We did catch it in 2D, tho. Now here is the strange thing - i watched it in December last year before my surgery, i enjoyed it and loved it. Why was this strange? When i watched it again over last weekend, it was like watching it for the first time!!!!!!

It was pretty scary - i remembered watching it, and yes, i do remember a couple of scenes but only fleetingly. But for most part of the movie - over 90% - i cannot remember it!!!! So there i was, enjoying it afresh, not knowing what is going to happen next. Heck, i din even know certain main characters actually died!!!!

People say that when u start to lose yr memory, it would be the most recent ones that go first - last in first out. So it is no wonder that i cannot remember most of it since it took place so near my surgery. Makes me more thankful and makes me realise again how serious my condition was.

Anyways, if you did not manage to watch it in 3D back then, seize this opportunity! On top of that, i've read that there are many new added scenes which are really good! To me, i could not tell which scenes were the new ones!!!! But here are a couple of pics i found online:-

And if that is not enough to whet yr appetite, here is the trailer:-

How this movie did not win the Oscar for best picture still mystifies me! Sure, it's not the best movie of all time but i feel it was the best movie in 2009.

*Featured on the soundtrack of the movie One Fine Day, it was Kenny's one and only no. 1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Puppy love* - Donny Osmond

If you missed it like we did when it was released in the cinemas earlier this year, this is your chance to catch it, albeit on a small screen.

Ice Kacang Puppy Love has been released on dvd - and trust me, it is worth the buy!

We finally watched it last nite and we loved it. It was just as good as people say it is. I think this is the only locally made movie that i am proud of!

It has a simple storyline - but one that most if not all of us can easily identify with. Yes, it is about puppy love. First love. It will transport us back to when we were kids and life was simple. We would hang out with our mates, fight with them one day and be the best of frens the next. It will transport us back to when we had our first crush - how we would be so confused and scared, wondering what to do, worrying about how (s)he will respond.

This movie deals with it - and even more. There were sub-plots of relationships with parents which while not dealt with deeply complemented the storyline really well.

The movie captures the age of innocence really well. The actors all did their roles really well - including the supporting cast (the skinny and fat guys will surely make u laugh out loud). Lee Sinje was good as expected. The rest gave credible performances.

Furthermore, the music was pretty good - acoustic music. Very well written and thought of, fits the scenes like a glove.

And i loved the camera angles and the background for a lot of the scenes. the colours were so beautiful - even if it was the colour of a dirty old mossy wall.

I liked how it ended too - i won't spoil it here. Watch it!

And one more thing - you wanna know why it's called Ice Kacang Puppy Love? It's not some random title - and i found it to be quite meaningful.

Pics obtained from various sites online

*I remember listening to this song when i was really really young - but i din know it was actually a remake of Paul Anka's song.

Holiday* - Madonna

5 bridal shops, 4 movies, 3 day leaders' retreat, 2 hours drive away, 1 well deserved holiday!

And not to mention lots and lots and lots of fun, laughter and food! =D~

*Taken from her debut album, i still remember her performing this during the Live Aid concert in 1985