Saturday, 31 December 2011

Schadenfreude* - Natalie Venetia Belcon, Rick Lyon

I think it's not very nice when one gloats over another's misfortune.

Still, i cannot help but feel happy. I'm not gloating - just being honest about how i feel! After all, the first thing i read this morning was how Manchester United will most probably enter the new year being on top of the table. Well, this proved to be not true now!!!

And after all the flak the Liverpool fans received from Man Utd fans for not being able to beat the basement club, now the basement club has gone to their own yard and beaten them in the biggest shock this season!

Poor Alex Ferguson... it won't be a very happy birthday for him...

But i hope he still enjoys his 70th birthday - he has done much great things and this defeat should not cloud any of his great achievements.

For now tho, Liverpool fans and Manchester City fans will all be celebrating!

Happy New Year, folks!

*Taken from the original Broadway recording of the excellent musical, Avenue Q.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Bethlehemian Rhapsody* - Apologetix

The story of Christmas - what happened and why. Hope you'll enjoy it.

Is this the real birth?
Is it nativity?
Caught in a census
in the town of his ancestry.

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see.
He’s just a poor boy foretold by prophecy.
Because the wise men come, wise men go, angels high, shepherds low.
This is how God’s love shows.
It’s a wondrous story to me, to me.

Mary just got the word.
The angel did appear but he told her not to fear.
Mary now it’s just begun; your son is gonna wash our sins away.
Mary ooo (this is how God’s love shows) the God who reigns on high has sent his son to you to die for all.

I see a little silhouette-o of a sheep.
Shepherds watch, shepherds watch over there like the night time.
Angels shine like lightning very, very frightening me!

Glory to God, Peace on Earth, Glory to God, Peace on Earth!
Unto you is born this day, the only way!

I’m just a shepherd nobody loves me.
He’s just a shepherd from a poor family.
Angels said go to the stable and see.

Wise men come, wise men go, will Herod let him live?
Hey Herod – No! he will not him live – better go!
Hey Herod – he will not him live – better go!
Hey Herod – he will not him live!
Better go, will not let him live, better go, will not let him live!
Better go – oh – oh – oh
Go, go, go, go, go!

Oh, Mary Joseph, Mary Joseph!
Mary Joseph better go…to Egypt now
God his savior son who paid for me
for me, for me, for me!

So you think that it’s just a tale now days long by?
But this child who was born went to Calvary to die!

Oh, Jesus!
It’s the story of Jesus!
Wash our sins out!
Wash our sins right out of here!

Oooo, Jesus, Jesus
It’s a wondrous story, anyone can see.
Lets give God the glory!
It’s a wondrous story to me.

This is how God’s love shows!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Have youself a merry little Christmas - The Pretenders

No doubt - my favourite "secular" Christmas song is "Have yourself a merry little Christmas". I love the tune - a little bit moody but tinge with hope.

The song was written for the movie Meet Me in St Loius and it was sung then by Judy Garland. Since then, many others have sung the song and gave it their own interpretation.

My fav version is the one i first heard when i was celebrating Christmas at Colchester - the 2nd time i was spending it away from home. So it was a time when i felt a little sad - but at the same time, it was wonderful to spend Christmas there with the few of my frens there. Modern technology made it possible that close ones back home were not very far away too. So the bittersweet feel that i get when i listen to this song really reflected things around me at that time.

Check out the original version of this song:-

I like Katie Melua's version too (can't embed so see it here).

Here are some other versions of the song:-

Diana Krall's live version - brilliant!

I came across this Tori Amos version today which is really good - almost as good as The Pretenders IMO!

This is from Junji Delfino during the recent ESG Jazz Fest - horrible pic quality but the sound is not too bad.

Finally, here is my fav version. Enjoy! And have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I'll stand by you* - The Pretenders

I was never a fan of Suarez - you can read here what i thought about him back in the 2010 World Cup.

He made the news then - and now he's making the news again - being found guilty of racially abusing another player.

Now, let's make some things clear - i do not tolerate any form of racism. I am a big fan of Liverpool FC. I think that Suarez this season has been the best Liverpool FC player - and one of the best i've seen put on a LFC jersey for quite some time.

I am unhappy at the decision against him. You can read all about it - but the key thing to me is that he did not deny it. But he did not have any racist intent!

It would appear that it is a case of lost in translation - see what a regular BBC sport pundit (who is an expert on football in South America where Suarez is from) had to say about it here.

It would appear that Suarez is guilty of a strict liability offence - ie the offence was committed when he uttered certain words deemed to be racist, not caring whether he understood or knew what he was saying. Even Lord Ouseley, chairman of Kick it Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, said it did not follow from the guilty verdict that Suarez was a racist. He said thatthe FA's decision had to be arrived at on the basis of the comments made.

But what i am happy to note is to see the support given to him by his team mates. They issued a statement supporting Suarez - and in a show of solidarity, they all wore t-shirts last nite showing that they will stand by him in this matter!

I want one of those t-shrits!!! =)

*One of their hits in the UK during my stay in London. Love this song!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

All about you* - McFly

It is quite sad that some leaders cannot seem to differentiate the interests of those whom they are leading and their own interests.

Obviously, these are not good leaders. Sure, sometimes, their interests being served is in the interest of those they are leading - but not necessarily so all the time. In fact, i dare add, most of the time.

But that's how it is. We see it everyday all over the world. Leaders of countries who should be keeping the interests of their countrymen instead think only of how they can make themselves richer and more powerful - while people in their own land are suffering from poverty and malnutrition.

Other leaders are more subtle - they make it look like the people they are leading are doing well so that they get the credit. At the end of the day, they are happy that they look good but do not count the cost that those under them had to pay.

The things that they do is all for themselves. It's all about them.

As we celebrate Christmas, i am reminded that Jesus is the best example of what a good leader is - he did not consider his position as God something to be clinged on to at any cost but made himself to be like us, born in a manger, lived as a man and then to die for all of us on the cross. This he did so that we can have our sins forgiven and we can have eternal life.

The things he did is all for you and for me. It's all about us.

*Their successful 1st single from their second album - which also contained "You've got a friend".

Monday, 19 December 2011

My father's house* - Bruce Springsteen

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:4-7 (Emphasis added)

There are many rooms in my Father's house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.
John 14:2-3 (Emphasis added)
My church elder was sharing this yesterday - when Jesus came to us, we told him there was no room for him. He had to be born in a manger.

But before Jesus went back, he told us that there are many rooms, for all of us.

I hope and pray that hearts will no longer have no room for him. Make room for him in your lives!

*Taken from his 6th studio album and covered by Emmylou Harris

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Silent Night* - Bibiana and Francesca Peter

This is an excerpt from our morning devotion which i thought was pretty good and i wanted to share it:-

Silence is indeed hard to find. Cities are notoriously noisy due to the high concentration of traffic and people. There seems to be no escape from loud music, loud machines, and loud voices. But the kind of noise that endangers our spiritual well-being is not the noise we can’t escape but the noise we invite into our lives. Some of us use noise as a way of shutting out loneliness: voices of TV and radio personalities give us the illusion of companionship. Some of use it as a way of shutting out our thoughts: other voices and opinion keep us from having to think for ourselves. Some of us make noise as a way of shutting out the voice of God: constant chatter, even when we’re talking about God, keeps us from hearing what God has to say.

But Jesus, even during his busiest times, made a point of seeking out places of solitude where he could carry on a conversation with God (Mark 1:35). Even if we can’t find a place that is perfectly quiet, we need to find a place to quiet our souls (Ps 131:2), a place where God has our full attention.

It was a good reminder of the need to spend some silent mornings - or nights, or whichever part of the day that is suitable for us - with God each day.

*I love this piano vocals version found on the “A Christmas Gift” album, an album by local artistes.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

All that jazz* - Breathe

It was free and it was at Empire Shopping Gallery. So why not? We decided to attend the ESG Jazz Festival 2011 on the 3rd December 2011. After all, we wre planning to celebrate our 3rd month of wedded bliss at Empire. So just drop by and watch for a while.

We did not regret it!!!!! It was simply wonderful!

The first performance for the nite was by Atilia. Who? Well, if u're familiar with the local jazz scene, you'll prolly not know her. Like us. But when she got onto the stage and started singing, we knew we would remember this girl from that day onwards!

She was really really good!!!! Her voice was so powerful and suitable for her jazz pieces. We even concluded that she was better than Ning Baizura. But that was a sad comparison. She (Arilia) not only sings in key, she sings well! So sad that she is not more popular than she is now.

We were planning to just listen for a while and then rush off to see some frens. But in the end, we stayed for her entire gig.

It also convinced us to go the next day to watch the other performances. We had dinner with me mom and sis so when we got there, it was almost the end of the first gig - Yudi Yap and the Shanghai Jazz.

But they prolly saved the best for last - the final performance that nite and for the Jazz fest was Junji Delfino and Michael Veerapan's quartet. So, so good!!!!! The musicians - the bassist and drummer along with Michael were pretty impressive. Junji was such a natural on stage and such wonderful vocals!!!!

Here, check out one of her numbers that nite (pic quality is bad but sound is quite alright):-

Junji is actually not Malaysian - but she is as Malaysian as we can get, living here for so many years. Atilia is Malaysian and so is Yudi. Michael Veerapan is Malaysian and so were most of teh musicians that nite too. This jazz fest restored my faith in the local jazz scene. If these performers were to be used as a gauge, i will say that our local jazz scene is in a very healthy state indeed!

*The title song of their debut album.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Yesterday once more* - The Carpenters

We watched Arthur Christmas last week - and we absolutely loved it!!!!!! =)

I know, as a Christian and a leader in the church, i really shouldn't be promoting a movie about Santa Claus as Santa has been used (among others, Coca Cola) to distract people from the true meaning of Christmas - Jesus coming to this world for us!!!

Sure, i recognise that - and i still hold on to the fact that Santa is not real (there's a historical person known as Saint Nicholas whom Santa is prolly based on). But i can still enjoy a movie, can't i? =)

It's really good! Altho it's not Pixar, the quality of the animation is top notched. To me, anyways! Ever wondered how Santa can go all over the world in one night and deliver gifts to all the kids (only the nice ones)? Well, wonder no more! Arthur Christmas explains it. No, better still, it shows us how it's done! Very very impressive!!!!!

The movie also boasts of a wonderful cast - with Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy! Both in outstanding form - their voices!!!

But what made me really love the movie was the story line. It has "HEART"! And this is the reason why a British animated movie about Christmas fared miles better than Speilberg & Jackson's Tintin.

I was moved by the movie - and yes, i judge movies by how much tears that i shed!!!

Most of all, it made me feel like a kid again. No, not just a kid but a kid on Christmas morning!!! I almost forgot how it feels like, the magic of staying up or waking up and opening the presents under the tree. It was yesterday once more, when i was a little kid again. You remember how that feels like?

If you dun, go watch this movie! =)

*One of their classics and one of my all time favourites!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Spain* - Return to Forever

Yup, i went to Spain with the wife last month. A lot of people did not know about it until i posted up some autumn pics on FB. Well, we din really wanna tell everyone about it and publicise that our house will be empty for many days!!! =)

Further, it almsot din seem like the trip was gonna happen. That's another story. What matters now is that it did take place. And it was great!!!!!! =)

Here are the highlights of the trip:-

If you wanna read about the highlights of my trip, you can do so here.

*An instrumental jazz piece written and performed by Chick Corea together with his band back then. One of his more prominent piece! Good stuffs!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I'd give my life for you* - Lea Salonga

Every time we have the tutorial for Defences, i raise the same issue with the students regarding the defence of duress.

You see, in English Criminal Law, one cannot use the defence of duress when it comes to murder ie if someone threatens to kill you unless you kill another person, you cannot say that you should be excused from the charge of murder simply because you had to save your own life.

The law seems to expect individuals to say that they rather die than to kill someone else.

The scenario i raise is what if one bad guy threatens to kill you unless you kill another bad guy? The person you are asked to kill is a terrible person - a serial murderer and rapist. Which person would say that he/she would rather die than to kill the other person? Basically, would you give your life to save another?

Well, if the person you are going to save is someone very important or good, you might just think about it, won't you? But if the person is the scum of the earth, surely no one would want to die for him/her!

Well, in the Bible, it says that Jesus did exactly that - gave him life not for good people but for his enemies.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8

Yes, as we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that Jesus was born to demonstrate his great love for us - by dying on the cross. Such amazing love!!!

*Taken from the musical of Miss Saigon

Friday, 9 December 2011

Made in Dagenham* - Sandie Shaw

What got me attention initially was the reference to "Dagenham" - East London, which was my home for a bit in the early nineties.

But after reading more about it, we decided we wanted to watch it! A British show! With a very interesting premise!

We absolutely loved it!!!! The fact that the cinema issued same seats to multiple people did not spoil the nite for us. After all, not many people go and watch movies on the International Screens so there were plenty of seats for everyone.

I loved it cuz it was sooo... British! =) Hehe. But all in all, it did really well in every area. Good acting (Sallyt Hawkins, Bob Hoskins being as brilliant as ever, Miranda Richardson playing Barbara Castle wonderfully), funny, engaging, likeable characters that got you rooting for them and a very important message to tell.

Basically, it was set at a time when women earn much less than men - just solely on the ground that they are women!!!! That was that. It was how things were. Too bad. Just accept it.

But no. Not these women. They may not be be very cultured or educated - but they were skilled at what they did. And they knew what is right and and what is wrong. And most importantly, they dared to stand up for what is right and speak out against what was wrong - no matter what the cost.

It was so apt too that i watched this movie after having a session on gender equality for my human rights class that very day!

But dun take my word for it - here is a clip from BBC's resident movie critic talking about the movie. And i totally agree with what he said!

*The movie's theme song - performed by a former Dagenham Ford clerk

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Miracle* - Whitney Houston

So it's been three months since our wedding! The good thing about being married is... sometimes, housework is miraculously done on its own!!! Hehe :p

This was the status me wife put up recently.

Well, i know exactly how she feels!!! I experience the same too. The clothes are miraculously washed, they are miraculously ironed and folded too. The floors all get miraculously swept and mopped at times too. Lots of teh housework gets miraculously done too.

But this miracle is not a mystery! It's pretty straightforward. This miracle is none other than my wife herself! She is God's miracle to me.

*One of her big hits - not many people know that it is related to the issue of abortion.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I'd do anything* - Simple Plan

Being deceitful in order to look good is pitiful. Asking others to be deceitful so that you'll look good is wrong. Being unhappy at those who did not want to be deceitful for you is sad.

That's what i posted on my FB status yesterday.

I found it really pitiful that people would do anything just to look good or to impress others - even if it involves deceit. Is it so important that you would want to obtain the approval and/or praise from others by deceiving them? If you are good then people will acknowledge it. If you are impressive, then people will praise you. But if you're not, how low would you sink to obtain acknowledgement and praise that you did not deserve?

How can you sleep at nite? But the scary thing is that some of these people sleep very well! They are pleased that their deceit worked and they appeared good in the eyes of others.

What's even worse is when they ask other people to participate in the deceit. Or perpetrate the deceit!!! That is wrong. If you want to sink low, that is pitiful - but it is wrong to ask others to do the same. All the more when you have undue influence over them.

What is really sad is that these people get angry when others did not take part in their deceit. No, i applaud them for not wanting to be part of a scheme to obtain praise and approval that is not due.

I really feel bad for these people cuz they live in a world where the approval from others is so important - no, even essential to them that they'd do anything to get it even if it means getting it by deceitful means. And when such undue approval is received, they dun feel bad about it at all.

Such people will always live their lives trying to win the approval of others - at any cost. i can't imagine what kind of life that would be.

*Their second single from their debut album. It was also featured in the movie, "The Hot Chick".

Friday, 2 December 2011

If you wanna be happy* - Jimmy Soul

Happiness - is something everyone searches for. Some are sure they'll find it once they've moved back home. Some think they'll find it by making a new friend. Some hope to find it once they've defeated the competition. Then there are those who stop searching for happiness because they look up one day to discover it right in front of them all the time.

Mary Alice, Desperate Housewives S07E03

Let's learn to count our blessings and give thanks to God for everything!

*A no. 1 hit way back in 1963 and more recently featured in the wonderful soundtrack of My Best Friend's Wedding.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Heart attack* - Olivia Newton-John

It is not surprising when i read about football managers suffering from heart conditions. Harry Redknapp recently underwent a heart op. Former Liverpool manager Houllier suffered a heart attack during a game way back in 2001.

Why is it not surprising? Well, i almost had one the other night - watching the Liverpool Manchester City match!!!

One of the "heart-attack" moments - Silva rounding Reina but only to find not one, not two but THREE Liverpool players stading at the goal line! It was also quite amusing to see them lining up behind their goalie to protect the goal!

It was pretty good stuffs!!!!! Fast-paced, lots of actions, show of skill. It came to a point when i could not watch it sitting down!!!! There were many moments - to the amusement of me wife - that i was screaming and jumping and rolling on the ground in frustration or relief!!!

I even thought that i felt feverish due to the excitement! I felt flushed!

Why always him? Well, thankfully, he made the headlines not for scoring!!!

In the end, i was truly disappointed. City came to a point when they were contented to just sit back and let their goalie save the ball - and the team, again and again and again. I guess i shud be pleased that we managed to limit City to just one goal - and that too from a set piece. Unlike their average of 3 or 4 goals per match!!!

Still, we shud have won. Sigh... But it could have been worse - we could have lost too. And i could have had a cardiac arrest!!!

*The first track from her Greatest Hits Vol 2 album - not one of her very well known songs.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Too much* - Spice Girls

Found this in my draft posts. I love this quote/prayer. So simple and so true. Too much of anything is never good. Give me just enough.
Give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9
*Their second consecutive Christmas no. 1 single, way back in 1997!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Autumn leaves* - Eric Clapton

One of the main highlights of my recent trip to Madrid was being able to experience autumn again!!! =)

Without a doubt, autumn is my fav season - i think it is the most beautiful time of the year. I absolutely love the leaves, all green, brown, and orange - and red, even! So lovely!!!!

As i was there, i realised that the last time i experienced autumn was in 2006!!!! Altho i've been back to the UK many times since then (and even to NZ and other countries which have autumn seasons), i've never been there during autumn itself!

It was indeed a most pleasant surprise - back in the UK, autumn would have been long over at this time of the year. So i assumed it would hv been the same in Spain - but i was wrong!

The best thing about it was that i was able to experience autumn together with my wife!!! =) I suppose it was really nice as it was totally unexpected. Dunno when i'll ever get to experience autumn again...

*This was his version of a popular jazz standard originally written in French.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Life is beautiful* - Vega 4

Winner of the Best Foreign Film at the 1999 Oscars, i've always wanted to catch the movie. But never did - until last week!

And i was glad i did. It lived up to all the hype and praise!

I have to confess tho that i opted to watch it in English... =( Well, i was on a plane and it was well pass my bedtime - i din think i'd be able to last thru the movie reading the subtitles.

Some may say that this is a comedy - others can say it is a movie about the concentration camps during WWII. But to me, this is a movie about life! And the first part showed how Guido, the lead character lived his life to the fullest - and he had everything! But in the second half, after being deprived of his freedom, having his wife separated from him and facing inhumane treatment and threat of death daily, he still show how life can still be beautiful!

I guess it is a good reminder that circumstances around us do not need to shape how we feel about our life - and that real joy can be experienced even in the darkest moments.

Wonderful movie!

Thoroughly deserved the Oscar! And Roberto Benigni? The man deserves his Oscar for Best Actor too - beating the likes of Ian McKellen and Tom Hanks!!! But i think he was just playing himself! If you have seen him during the Oscars (see here - can't embed it), he is just like Guido in the movie!

*This song by a British rock band has been featured in many TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Ghost Whisperer etc.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Part-time lover* - Stevie Wonder

What got our attention was her high pitched Mickey Mouse voice. It was kinda irritating – but not so bad. Not yet. We knew that longer exposure to it will surely drive us suicidal – or worse.

I wondered about her husband – how he puts up with it! Day in, day out… But then again, to each his own. He must really love her – and probably finds her chipmunk voice cute. Or even sexy!!!!!

And as we ate our dinner in the table next to them, it was pretty clear that he was utterly smitten by her! It was pretty nice to see that. There they were, married with a kid – at least one since he had a big bag of newly bought diapers with him – and yet, still acting like they were dating.

But as the dinner went on, something just wasn’t right. I could not put my finger on it and TW told me later she felt the same. But we were there for our dinner so we just let it pass…until the “husband” got up and left. So fine – he went over to settle the bill. But no. He did not return. He just left with his big bag of newly bought diapers!!! After a while, the lady got her stuffs together and left also.

Then it all clicked together!!! That explains why she was so flirty with him. That explains why he was asking her questions which he should have known as her “husband”. That explains why they were acting like they were on a date. They WERE!!!!!

We just felt so disgusted with them after that. Well, you may think we were being self-righteous – but we feel very strongly about the sanctity of marriage! The man prolly had a wife back home with his child. And he went off to buy diapers like a responsible father. And he did. But he took the opportunity to have a secret rendezvous with another woman!!!! And the woman surely knew that the man was married – all of us saw he was carrying the pack of diapers!

Well, it din spoil our nite – but for a moment, we felt very sad for the wife back home. It was an eye-opener for us. Sure, we have heard of people being unfaithful all the time – and we are not surprised by it. But to have it happening right next to us? That made it so real. Reading and talking about it is one thing. Seeing it played “live” before you is another!!!

Anyways…I did try to justify the situation for the guy. Perhaps the wife knew about it. Perhaps the lady was the sister of the wife? Perhaps… but the more I tried, the more I realized how unlikely it is. Based on their mannerisms and the conversations, it was surely not a platonic relationship!

But having said that, as I’m blogging about this now, I thought of a possible perfectly good explanation – maybe the guy was a widower and/or a single parent. Surely then he has the right to go and meet other women. Well, I hope that is the case – if not, then I feel really sorry for the wife and child for whom the diapers were for.

*Hit the no. 1 spot in 4 different Billboard charts back in the mid-80s!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Feels so good* - Chuck Mangione

But for most of us, nothing is quite so therapeutic as a good long talk with a few old friends.

Mary Alice, Desperate Housewives s06e13

We have many wonderful memories of our wedding – and we truly thank God for it. And one of the memories was what took place the day after. We arranged to meet up with my ex-UEL mates to catch up.

We were late, tho. Took us a while to leave our nice hotel room. And by the time we got there, everyone had finished or were finishing their meal. After we were “kicked” out of the restaurant (they had to prepare the place for dinner), we stood outside for quite some time, refusing to leave, still lingering on, not wanting the time to end. Especially for TW and me, since we missed most of the catching up (they even went out for karaoke the nite before – and I had to turn down their offer for obvious reasons).

Finally, Ling really had to go as he was driving back to JB. That left Augustine and wife, Stephan and us. I suggested we go for a drink and we did.

It was such a wonderful time! We just went into a bar nearby, ordered our beer and talked. And talked. And talked. And laughed a lot too!!! We talked all the way and thru dinner time. In fact, Ling probably reached home way before we left the bar!

It was so good to catch up with them again. For it had been a really long long time since we had such an opportunity. But like true old frens, each time we get together, the years in between the time we last met just seemed to melt away and there we were, just as if we were students again and not having parted ways at all.

And the best thing about it – TW who hardly knew them at all except for whatever I have told her about them just fit in so well! She wasn’t just there, sitting quietly listening to us. She was in the conversation too. =) She felt so comfortable with them and they just treated her like they have known her as long as they have known me.

Can’t wait for the next opportunity! =)

*An instrumental piece which lasts 10 minutes! Brilliant stuffs.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I'm so excited* - Pointer Sisters

It's coming to 2 months edi. But to be honest, the entire proceedings on that day still seem surreal to me! Maybe it's cuz i haven't seen the official photos yet.

But i remember it to be real. Especially the days leading up to it! Stressful, yes, but also very exciting! And one of the wonderful memories i have was that a lot of my frens were excited as well! It was quite amusing but at the same time, heart-warming, that our big event was important to not just ourselves but to our frens as well. Reading their messages and seeing their comments on FB was really nice!

We thank God everything went well and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves! We did!

*Considered to be one of their signature songs.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

It's probably me* - Sting

Haha - this guy is funny!!!!

Six - One!!!! A night to remember!!!! Or to forget!

Just disgusted at how the United defenders seem to just give up close to the end. That is so not United!!! Wished i could have been present at the dressing room after the game...

*Taken from the soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 3.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Perfect* - Simple Plan

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

I'm blessed that someone saw thru my imperfectness and chose to love me.

I just found out that the acoustic version of this song was featured in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Home* - Michael Bublé

This is my country. This is my home. Happy 54th year of independance!!!!

This is really really brilliant!

*One of his best known songs.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday* - Boney M

The long holidays have started! I made the big mistake in deciding to go into a Malay area on the beginning of the holidays - last Saturday.

It was jammed packed!!!!

People and cars alike, it was almost like Boxing Day sale madness all over again (see here) - there were human traffic controllers inside the shopping mall!!!

People were taking advantage of the weekend before the Eid celebrations to do their shopping - i had to go there for a final fitting before my big day!

Still, despite the madness of it all, spirits were not dampened - it was after all the start of a long holiday! And for me, it's really really long!!!! =) (altho i'll be back in office some time this week to sort out some stuffs before a much deserved break!).

*Their hit in the late 70s - yes, i still remember singing to it back then! The tune is adapted from a nursery rhyme - Polly Wolly Doodle!!!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Anything but ordinary* - Avril Lavigne

London, Reading, Avillion PD, Rajes, Ho Chi Minh City, Dining, field trips, Joseph, moot, judge, Sunitha, appearing on newspaper, LawAsia, Palace of Justice, Programme Director, Human Rights, Taj Mahal, Law Ball, KLIA, TV appearance, Lakeside Campus, Thaatch, Jessup, Champion, Runners-Up, Kajang Prison, Family Law, Markus, carpark problems, ducks, Moot Administrator, banner...

It has been a very happening and most unforgettable 4 years! Praise God for bringing me thru.

*Taken from her brilliant debut album, Let Go.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Drive* - R.E.M.

I got me license to drive!!!! All over the world! =)

Din take me that long to get - altho i almost decided to procrastinate doing it. Thank God i listened to tGiF's advice and waited.

*Lead single and first track of their 8th album. Did not do too well in the US but was a big hit in the UK!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A better man* - Robbie Williams

As we shared prayer items, i was glad when someone said that they he is not asking for a stress-free week!!!

After all, stress is good - dun u think so? Of course too much of stress can be bad - and it can break a person as well as families. But a stress-free life IMHO may not be a good thing.

If we get too comfortable, we tend to become complacent. We were talking about the DUMC incident and a fren was sharing that the members there are all getting close together and praying more. I jokingly said that perhaps what we need is some persecution so that our members would all "wake-up"!

At the end of the day, we will be forced to improve when "stress" comes in - looking back, stressful times has really molded me and helped me develope patience, humility, strength and taught me dependance on God. People can share also that in difficult times, families draw closer together. It is only when times are dark that light can shine the brightest!

In the book of James, it is written:-
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

*One of my favourite songs of his!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

If I ever lose my faith in you* - Sting

I was out jogging when this 'auntie' (older lady) was jogging in the opposite direction and heading towards me. I did not give much though about her until she came close. As she passed me, she said "Good morning"!


After being frustrated with those who work in the same place as me, who see me almost everyday but yet do not bother to acknowledge me but instead look away (see here), this total stranger renewed my faith in people here! It reminded me of those days back in London when strangers used to greet me in the parks.

*One of his classics which has been remade by many people.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

For the first time* - Kenny Loggins

This post commemorates LFC's first win of this season!!!

The night started with some pizzas.

Then the match! Together with tGiF, my brother and my nephew. As usual, watching LFC play is a frustrating process - and tGiF was feeling it. My nephew too. Welcome to the real world of LFC.

We all had the wonderful experience of watching LFC play live locally here last month. There were 9 goals altogether! It was a great match to watch and the atmosphere was simple awesome!!! On top of that, as LFC were playing Malaysia, all the spectators were winners - whichever team scored, we celebrated like crazy!!!!

But i had warned tGiF that in the real world of the EPL, it will not be as entertaining to her as the live match was. Sure enuf, the first match against Sunderland on the 13th was a frustrating experience.

Thankfully, last weekend's match was not as bad.

To me, the signs were good - especially seeing Kenny Dalglish put on his rain coat at the start of the 2nd half. All of us were wondering why he was doing that as it was summer and surely it wasn't that cold. Shortly after that, we realised why - it started to rain. Only after that did Dalglish's counterpart, Arsene Wenger put on his rain coat.

This simple observation which was prolly missed by most people showed me on thing - Dalglish was one who looks ahead and prepares himself. Wenger reacts. Harsh conclusion? You would think so if you're an Arsenal fan.

Anyways, Dalglish finally put in Suarez who was involved in both LFC's goal - scoring the 2nd one. The celebrations in my house was rapturous!!! =)

But eventually, both my nephew and tGiF will have to experience the pain of losing - but tt's part and parcel of being a LFC fan!

*This version was used in the movie One fine day.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Story of my life* - Bon Jovi

A student wrote this on the fb wall of another:-

"planet of the apes" soon ok! or "horribble bosses"..i heard its also good...

For a moment, i thought she was referring to my life at work!!!!

*Taken from their Have a nice day album.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Look away* - Chicago

I'm just so mad!!!!

It may seem to be a small thing but perhaps this is the straw that breaks the camel back!

The staff room i'm in is not that big. We've all been here, some for almost 20 months! We all know each other here - even if you just joined recently.

The corridors are not that wide - there is hardly a gap of 6 inches when we walk pass each other.

What irks me is that these people (no, not the Law School lecturers, of course) can just walk pass me and look away!

Is it so hard to say "hi", or "good morning"? Fine, even if you dun want to say anything, will it cost you so much to just smile? Or even look at me and give a formal nod???

I feel like an idiot, looking at them with a wide smile and they just look away and pretend i'm not here.

Sure, i'm not a white guy - but that just shows how shallow certain lecturers can be - they'll be so frenly with my expat fren but totally ignore me cuz i am a Malaysian!

Is it any surprise that their students are some of the worst mannered ones on campus?


But i'm not gonna let them win - i'm gonna be even more proactive, perhaps even standing in their just to stop them so that i can greet them. But is this gonna be worth the effort? Sigh...


I checked with my expat colleague and i stand corrected. He tells me he experiences the same too, people just looking away. Sad-eh?

*Quite different from their other hits - lead vovals was Champlin, not Cetera, and it did not feature much horns. Still, one of my fav Chicago songs as it was a hit during my form 6 days.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Nothing lasts forever* - Maroon 5

Further from my previous post earlier (see here), i read a verse this morning which echoes some of the sentiments voiced there - and it came from the wisest man ever lived.
I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11
So i may have the best team in the competition but that does not mean i'll win. Similarly, winning the competition does not necessarily mean that we were the best team!

But what was Solomon trying to say? Well, i submit that he is basically telling us that the things we achieve in this world are not important. After all, they are all temporal in nature - nothing this world offers lasts forever. What is important are the things that we do which will last for eternity.

And he confirms this in his penultimate verse from this book:-
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments.

*Track 6 from their 2nd studio album.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Why don't you write me* - Simon & Garfunkel

And I've been keeping all the letters
that I wrote to you,
Each one a line or two
I'm fine baby, how are you?
I would send them but I know that it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Michael Bublé, Alan Chang, Amy Foster-Gillies

As i was singing the above song the other day, i started thinking of the days when we used to write letters to each other. Letter writing is such a lost art these days.

But it was such a wonderful thing back then. We used to go and look for nice letter pads (do such things still exist). Or the cheapers ones will seek to buy aerogrammes. Dun knwo what is it? Google it!

I remember those days long ago when i would specially set aside time and sit down to write, pages after pages. Using all kinds of paper that i could find - even using the tray papers from McDonald's or Coffee Bean.

Letter writing can be done anywhere! I remember a letter i wrote in the laundry room at Marley Hall while waiting for the laundry to get done.

There is this freedom one has when writing - not confined to the four corners of an email these days. One can write, scribble, draw, glue - and attachments are real things literally attached to the letter.

Once the letter has been composed, it is not the end of the creativity! One then can choose how to fold the letter - and then choose the type of envelope and address it artistically, even leaving small notes on the envelope, sometimes to the postman!

Then off ot the post office to queue up for the stamps! Finally dropping it into the post box, leaving it entirely by faith in the hands of the postman, that soon, it'll be dropped into a letter box, sometimes half way across the world, bringing warm greetings printed on a nice coloured (and sometimes scented) letter paper.

On the other end, receiving mail is one of the greatest joys of student life. Going to the post room is so fun - filled with the anticipation and hope, which culminates in great joy or bitter disappointment. Looking out of the window of yr house as the postman approaches, hearing the "clunk" of the metal letter slot of the front door indicating that letters have been pushed into the house... =)

Why dun we write anymore? Sure, we have e-mails these days. Text messages. But sending a letter seems more meaningful at times. Why? Well, it's perhaps because of the trouble it takes to do so - and the receipients realises that they mean something when the sender actually took the time to send them a letter. reading one's handwriting is so much more nicer than reading words off a PC screen, no matter what nice font you use.

One of the nicest letter writing stories i've heard was a colleague of mine who told us that just before he left to the UK to finish his studies, he hooked up with a girl here in Malaysia. While he was away, she wrote to him EVERYDAY!!!!!! Ok, altogether now - Awwwwwww..... how sweet! =)

*Taken from Side B of their 5th and final studio album.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Some guys have all the luck* - Rod Stewart

Manchester United was the only big team to win last weekend in the opening weekend of the EPL season. They won thru this goal:-

Yes, it was not just a deflected goal - it was a DOUBLE deflection!!!! How "lucky" can they be??? But this seems to be their story - well, not all the time, tho but a lot of the times. They always seem to get the best of luck.

Still, i know that in football, teams do "make" their own luck. Credit must be given to them and it looks like they will win the premier league again this season.

But while some people seems to have the good luck all the time, others seem to have bad luck all the time!!!

Maybe it's me! I'm the "curse". But i'm referring to the Law School's moot teams.

I've always refused to believe in the concept of "luck". You are either good or you're not. But since taking part in moot competitions, i've realised that luck plays a HUGE role in determining the outcome.

Take for instance, your team ends up in a group which consists of the competition whipping boys (the team that everyone beats) and another team which failed to turn up. Surely then topping the group is a foregone conclusion!

Or how about your team having to face a judge who fell asleep during the competition? When threatened, the judge decides to give more marks to your team - so what turned out to be bad luck initially became good later!

I've grown to accept it a lot - after all, it happens in any sport. In the prelims, if you end up in a "Group of Death", your chances to progress will be slim.

But in the recent competition, we were again the victims of cruel luck! There were more new judges taking part and these people think it fit to award mooters marks like 98% and 99%!!!! Ridiculous!!!! That is close to perfection!!!!!

We're not talking about maths where if you get the answer correct, you will get the full marks! Even in law exams, getting a 70% is considered exceptionally good!

So it was really painful in the recent competition when 2 of our teams won all their moots easily. They were unbeaten. Unfortunately, there were other teams which also won all their moots - so to decide who to proceed, the individual marks were used.

Unfortunately for us, although the judges sang the praises of our mooters, they were pretty conservative in their scoring - and rightfully so. We had the opportunity to moot before experience judges. However, the other teams had the luck to moot before judges who had no qualms to award maximum points on almost all categories - so naturally, the marks they acquire clearly were more than the marks we did.

We never got the chance to moot against them so we never really knew how good they were. However, i must say that my mooters were really really good. Even a judge of a well known international moot competition thought one of my teams were among the best he has ever seen.

But that's how it is.

Last year, we missed out by half a mark. This year, we missed out despite winning all our moots and doing well. I felt so bad for my mooters. They of course were not too thrilled!

But thankfully, they recovered from it faster than i did.

A good lesson in life, tho. In future, they will experience many situations when they have an airtight case and they submit it perfectly - but at the end of the day, it all depends on their luck of who will be their judge they are appearing before.

C'est la vie.

*A hit for him back in 1984

Monday, 15 August 2011

Enjoy yourself (It's later than you think)* - Doris Day

Sometimes we get too caught up with the demands of life - that we just forget the simple and important things in life. We forget to live! And enjoy.

Jesus said that he came that we may have life - and have it to the full (John 10:10).

So let us all learn to enjoy - no, i'm not saying that we become irresposible and frivolous. But even in what we have to do, we can learn to enjoy it!

Here's a brilliant clip of a wonderful legand (if i may call her that) - i like this recording cuz it has the "old" sound to it, like we're listening to an old radio. =) Enjoy!

*One of the many versions of this popular song in the early 50s. I just found out that the refrain was used in the HK "Enjoy Yourself Tonight" variety show! No wonder it sounded so familiar!!!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Let's have lunch* - Cast of Sunset Boulevard

Last week, i decided to have lunch with my colleague for a change. After all, term has ended, office hours were a little bit more relaxed.

We sat right at the end of the food court - it was wonderful!!! The breeze was blowing constantly, the weather was lovely, we chatted about our lives and made plans for a possible future visit to Paris while enjoying the view of the lake.

And we saw them - ducks!!! And geese! I dun know why i was so thrilled to see them! Maybe it brings back memories of the lakes in the UK when i was studying there - be it on campus or in the lovely parks there. There would always be ducks and geese swimming around.

The next day, we sat right next to the lake - this time it was a bit warmer but still nice. Like a summer day.

I think i'm beginning to enjoy having lunch on campus - not just eating my own packed lunch in my cubicle bout outside, enjoying the fresh air and seeing life pass by. So much so that altho i was the only one around late this morning, i decided to go out for a brunch on my own.

Sitting there by the lakeside, reading, listening to Michael Buble and just enjoying the scenery... Nice!

Little pleasures in life are not underrated! =)

*The first song of the musical where we were brought to the movie studio - i loved it as it captures very well the busy-ness of life there.

Monday, 1 August 2011

So far away* - Dire Straits

More than a year ago, i posted this up on this blog, complaining how far i had to park my car. Here's the picture from that post.

Well, things have gotten worse!!!! Today, i had to park my car so much further away, you couldn't even see the spot from the photo above!!!

Still, i din mind. I saved RM3!!!! Hehe. That's quite a lot edi!!!! You can buy something from the Dollar Shop in the US!!!! =)

*The first track from their brilliant Brothers in Arms album!

Friday, 15 July 2011

God save the Queen* - Queen

A picture is worth a thousand words! What does this say to you?

My fren said "British humour?"

*Featured on what some regard as their best album ever, A Night At The Opera.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Absence of fear* - Jewel

They thought that the only way to deter us was to instill fear in us. They use threats and force against us. They tried to frighten us but it only made us more fearless - they must hate to admit it but their tactics backfired.

They carried out their threats - but this only served to embolden us. They used the media to make it loud and clear that they will do watever it takes - even violate human rights and break the law. This resulted in waking up those who slumbered and push aside those who were sitting on the fence.

It was like a scene from a zombie horror movie on the morning of 9th July 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. Streets were deserted, roads were barricaded, helecoptor hovering above, emegency services on standby.

Yet, when the time came, Malaysians rose up - Malays, Chinese, Indians, young, old, handicapped, whole, they all came forth and stood their ground.

The bullies lost. They did not know what to do - after all, they are not paid to think, just to carried out the brute force. Yet, the people in yellow did retaliate alike - i even read how some of them shook the hands of these policemen when the day was over and the objectives achieved.

The people in the government must really be afraid now - what can they do to stop us from fighting for equality and fairness? What can they do to carry on their corruption and abuse of power? They must be thankful for the selfish short-sighted people who complained about the inconveniences suffered, who feel that we are doing alright and we should nto complain but just to submit quietly as we have done for more than half a century, who are enjoying life and do not want to move out of their comfort zone.

But the message has been made loud and clear. We will not be pushed around and frightened by strong-handed tactics anymore. This is because we have something worth fighting for - and nothing they can do can change that.

We are not afraid.

They should be.

(All pics taken from Al Jazeera website)

*One of my fav song of hers found in her 3rd album which i feel is her best ever!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ironic* - Alanis Morissette

Don't be too hard on Najib. After looking at all the photos online, i must say that as a result of how he handled the Bersih rally last weekend, he is arguably the most successful PM in uniting the various races of Malaysia - even if he did not mean to do that.

Pics taken from various sources online

For the first time in my (long) life, i actually see some hope for unity among different races in our country.

Well done, Mr Prime Minister! But you still have to go - sooner rather than later.

*Her classic song, still sounds so good!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

That's not it* - Jasmine Solano

I remember the last time Bersih had a rally, there was this person who complained about it - cuz it caused him to be late for the musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

This time round, i read from Facebook a friend (yes, she is a friend on FB) complaining about the Bersih planned rally cuz she could not go into town without a massive traffic jam to do retail therapy!!!

Well, everyone has the right to express their view but IMHO i think they kind missed the point here. What Bersih is doing is surely more important than a musical ( a really one at that) or traffic free roads or shopping.

Let us remind ourselves of the objectives of Bersih. They are calling for inter alia an overhaul of voter registration lists, tougher measures to curb fraud and fairer opportunities for opposition politicians to campaign in government-linked media. They are not even calling for the overthrow of the present government. If the next government is elected fairly and cleanly, then well and good - doesn't matter which party is the one that wins.

But the response of the government has convinced a lot of people today that they are not fit to take charge. Even things like human rights have all be thrown out of the window (see here).

The following two pics are taken from Facebook - of this elderly lady who should be an example to us all - coming out to stand up for what she believes in for the sake of the younger generation.

But the response to her offer of flowers was to be drenched by the water cannons.

There is another fren who said that he will not vote for them - simply for causing the massive traffic jams and inconvenience. Well and good too! But i hope also that they do not get the votes not just for that. There are bigger matters here, more serious and long term issues.

p/s - this post is not meant to condemn those frens who expressed their feelings on fb. They have the right to do so - as i have the right to voice mine here too.

p/p/s - except for the last 2, the pics are obtained from Al Jazeera.

*Her debut single.