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.