Sunday, 23 January 2011

Home* - Michael Bublé

Ipoh! No, it's not my home. It used to be tGiF's home - but i think here is where her home is now. =) Ipoh is the home of her parents.

I like Ipoh! I actually found meself looking forward to going to tGiF's parents' place. Some people may find that strange. After all, Ipoh does not really have any famous tourist attractions.

But maybe tt's where it's charm lies. It is a nice quiet, simple place, surrounded by mountains and hills. Maybe it's cuz i get to stay there for free - there's always a room there for me, all to myself whenever i go there. Maybe the small town feel reminds me of the small towns i stayed at in the UK when i was studying there. Maybe it's just being able to get away from it all!!!

It's prolly a combination of all the above - plus one more very important thing! The FOOD!!!!!! That's one thing i always look forward to. The highlight of the morning will be where to go to for breakfast - dim sum? Hor hee? Hakka mee? Curry mee? The highlight of the afternoon is where to go for lunch - nasi ganja? Laksa? Bean-sprout chicken rice? Then it'll be tea time. Dinner. Supper, even!

I'll be blogging about Ipoh food in the next couple weeks in my food blog. In fact, i have oredi started on a couple of posts about food at Ipoh! =P~

I'm oredi looking forward to the next trip to Ipoh. It may not be my home - but in a way, it is like my second home.

*One of my favourite songs of his.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Movin' on up* - Ja'net Dubois

It happened a few months ago. The educational institution that i worked in got "upgraded". It was conferred the status of a University!

Well, i have a lot to complain about at my place of work - it took some months before we were finally issued our new staff IDs to reflect the change (together with a new lanyard!).

And due to some bovine issues, we will not be having our official launch so soon - definitely after March!

But still, i take pride to be an academic staff of a local University. =)

p/s - so no more "Life in TUC" tags for my blogposts anymore.

*The theme song from one of my favourite sitcoms when i was younger, "The Jeffersons".

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Missing you* - Diana Ross

Sometimes it makes me sad, though... Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

When i heard this line, i immediately thought of my frens - so many of them, gone. To another place... and some, to a better place. It's such a bittersweet feeling. Deep down inside, i wish i could just keep them all close by - but that would indeed be a sin. I rejoice for them too, knowing they are having the time of their life - i do.

Still, i miss them a lot...

*Her tribute to her fren, Marvin Gaye.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

(I can't get no) Satisfaction* - Britney Spears

Is USD65 million enough? Well, it appears to me that it is not for these twins:-

Pic obtained from same site as the news link below

They are the Winkelvoss twins who alleged that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea and codes and set up Facebook. Two years ago, the matter was settled out of court. Now they are back in court asking for more money!!! You can read about it here.

Let me just say that whatever little i know about this is mainly from the movie, The Social Network. Based on such limited knowledge, my legal mind tells me that the twins actually do not have a strong case. But a settlement was prolly the prudent way to end the lawsuit.

Now, the twins are back. Why is that? methinks it has to do with the recent announcement that Facebook is worth 50 billion!!!!!!

So yes, 65 million is a lot. But compared with 50 billion, it pales.

Still, when will it ever be enough? This is only an illustration IMHO that material things cannot satisfy. You can get a lot - but no matter how much you have, it will never be enough.

Am i saying the twins are greedy? No. i dun know their motives - but it is clear that the previous settlement of 65 million is not satisfactory to them now.

At the end of the day, true satisfaction in life only comes from believing in Jesus. I'm speaking from experience.

*Her remake of the classic song by The Rolling Stones.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Interview* - Gentle Giant

Caught this interview with Bruce Lee. Found it to be pretty interesting and entertaining! I should not be surprised but i was pretty impressed with his command of the English language!

After watching this, i felt even more how his untimely death deprived us from such a wonderful and talented personality.

*The tile song of their album released in 1976. The lyrics were derived from the questions they received from press interviews!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Blame it on the rain* - Milli Vanili

But - but - but! Always "but". Always excuses with you! Always some reason why it's not your fault? I have news for you, Dennis Doyle from downstairs. It's *ALL* your fault!
The brilliant Mr. Ghoshdashtidar from the movie Run Fatboy Run

It's never our fault, is it? Why is that? prolly it's because it is always easier to blame someone (or something else) when things go wrong. I blogged a few days ago about how the former coach of Liverpool gave a lot of reasons why his team wasn't doing well - but took none of the blame on himself. Perhaps if he did, he fears it may affect his reputation as a coach? Well, too late. His reputation has been scarred forever. How the mighty have fallen - from coach of the year to what he is now.

But tt's how life is. The initial response is self-preservation. It has also a lot to do with the ego, i guess. Students blaming other people/things when they dun do well, lecturers blaming the students when their evaluations are not good, church elders blaming the members when the congregation is not growing.

Even for meself - there were many times when i had a disagreement with tGiF and i felt she was the one to be blamed. The person in the wrong. But after cooling down, i come to realise that i was not without fault at all.

I think that the world would be a much better place if people would just own up to their mistakes - because it only then that we can correct ourselves.

*Their last no. 1 hit before the scandal broke out!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Fragile* - Sting

"Because we are food for worms, lads. Because believe it or not, each and everyone of us in this room is going to one day stop breathing, turn cold, and die..."

(Quote taken from the movie, Dead Poets Society)

We are all gonna be fertilising daffodils...

The first week of work in 2011 passed by pretty quickly - i'm sure setting the tone of how things are gonna be for the rest of the year.

As the year started, there was one recurring theme that seemed to be taking place - morbid as it is, that theme is death.

The year started with the despicable and terrible murders of Christians in some parts of the world - more notably, in Egypt. In the week past, we also learned of the death of an actor that i regard highly, Pete Postlethwaite. Throughout the week, there were sad news of relatives of frens and colleagues passing away - both young and old.

In a way, this is a good reminder for me as the year starts - that our lives are fragile. It is also unpredictable - but one thing is for sure - and sadly it is that we will all one day die.

So what should be our response? Well, after saying those words quoted at the start of this post, the character of John Keating asked his students to take a look at the photos of old students. He then said this:-
They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you.

Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils.

But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?

"Carpe..." hear it? "Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary".
I do not know how long i have left on this terrestrial ball - but as long as God lends me breathe, i hope to make my life extraordinary. A good reminder at the beginning of the year! As stated in Ephesians 5v15-16, "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity...".

*Written as a tribute to Ben Linder, an American engineer, murdered in 1987 in Nicaragua. The song was also used on many ads after the 9/11 incident.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Because of you* - Kelly Clarkson

Roy Hodgson is no longer Liverpool's manager. I am not unhappy about it. Most people are now showing sympathy to him. You may think i am mean but i am not affording him any.

Time's up!
(Pic taken from The Telegraph site)

Come on - he is the manager. Be a man. Own up to your failings. But even as he leaves, he refuses to take the blame for the dismal results Liverpool has been producing - some of the worst in recent memory!!!! Some records were rewritten - but not the ones that any Liverpool fans would be proud of.

There are those who put the blame at the players.

Perhaps they have not been playing brilliantly - but should that fault not also lie with the manager? You can put all the best players together but a terrible manager can mess up the team.

Let me illustrate - but pointing to a movie!!! The Phantom Menace - Star Wars Episode 1. Look at the stars in the movie:-

Liam Neeson - nominated for best actor for the Oscars, the BAFTA, the Golden Globes and many others;

Ewan McGregor - nominated for acting awards for the BAFTA, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and many more;

Natalie Portman - Golden Globe winner and nominated for the Oscars, the BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild and many others;

Samuel Jackson - winner of BAFTA and Cannes Film Festival Awards, nominated for Oscars & Emmys;

(Pics obtain from various sites)

This is almost like a dream cast! Yet, the movie was really really bad. The acting was some of the worst even seen. Why? It had such good actors!!!!

The reason - George Lucas! He directed it. This shows that you can have the best 'players' but still end up with a bad team performance if the person in charge has no idea how to lead.

But more often than not, those in the leadership positions never want to take the blame - they like to push it to other people and/or other things.

I've seen this too often. In my church, the elders always blames the congregation but never ever take the blame when the church is not doing well.

And now Hodgson puts the blame of insufficient time and not being able to bring in new players.

Hello? The Liverpool team he inherited had the most players playing in the World Cup recently. They may not have the best players but they have good players - all around the park!!!! World class goalie, defenders, midfielders and strikers. Unfortunately, he was unable to make the best of the players he had - and instead of getting the best from them, he got the direct opposite.

There can be no doubt that the Liverpool players are skillful - and if tt's the case, then there can be no doubt that the reason why they are under-performing is because of the manager.

Yes, Hodgson. It is all because of you - and that is why i am not sad to see you go. I do not wish you ill but i am glad that this is the end. I do feel sad for you, tho. you will be remembered for setting some of the worst records for Liverpool - and the only manager who walked alone. Yes, for all their failings, even managers like Souness, Houllier and Benitez will never walk alone.

*Her hit song which was on the charts when i was doing my Masters in the UK at that time - this song will always remind me of those days.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Reunited* - Peaches & Herb

Coffee, updates, London, gossips, musicals, memories, stories, museums, tea, Paris, laughter, plays, views, jokes, plans, secrets, gifts...

Reuniting with frens is simply brilliant - the only downside is that time seems to pass by so quickly and it's time to say goodbye again.

But having said that, saying goodbye is required before another reunion can take place.

*A huge hit in the late 70s, topping both the soul and pop charts!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Wait* - Take That

The good news i received in the post below did not come quickly!!! I was made to wait for it. You see, i was scheduled to go for the scan at 1.30 pm. It should not take long - and thereafter, my doc will see me.

So i went to the counter as directed at 1.30 pm sharp. The people at the counter had no idea about my scan. they did not receive any instructions about it. So i had to wait till the 'lady' came back from lunch. 'Lady' - i dun know what to refer her as!!! She is not a nurse. But she is not the receptionist either. I made my appointment with her and she was the one who directed me to the counter. But apparently, she failed to instruct the people there.

So i waited.

Then she came back from lunch. i was then sent to the radiology department for the scan. Waited some more!!!! Why? Cuz they weren't sure if they had to use the 'dye' when scanning me. The doctor person in charge there went for prayers. So i waited.

Finally, she got back - yes, they needed to use the dye. Which meant also that i was supposed to have fasted for 4 hours!!!! Of course i din. I wasn't instructed to!!!! So i had to loiter around for another 3 hours plus before they could scan me!!!!!

Finally, they scanned me. But after that, i had to wait for the doctor to study the scan and produce the report.

The report finally came. I paid for it and took the scan as well as the report. I was so curious to read the report - but decided against taking it out immediately and reading it!!! Din wanna seem so anxious - altho in truth, i was really wanting to know by then!!! But i had to go back up to see my doctor. I guessed there would be time then to sneak a peak at the report.

When i got back up, i told the 'lady' i was ready to see the doc with my scan. She took the scan from me (with the report) and asked me to... wait for it.... yes, wait!!!!

Since i was there the latest, i had to wait till everyone had seen the doctor before my turn came. But it finally came - and when it did, my consultation did not even last 3 minutes!!!!! But that's a good thing, isn't it? Well, it is. Because as we all know now, the results were very very positive!!!!

So yes, that was really worth the wait!

But more than that - the wait was really good for another reason too! you see, to be honest, i had been rather worried about check-up. And as the time of the check-up drew nearer, i was pretty close to freaking out. I was feeling much more scared compared to last year when i had to go for the surgery!!!! It was so strange! Maybe the tumour had so badly effected me last year that i just did not know how to feel scared about it!

So there i was, worrying all alone. I did not want to cause my loved ones to go thru wat i was going thru so i did not share with them about my fears.

When i drove to the hospital, the memories came back to me again. The nightmare of having to spend the time in the ICU, not allowed to move much, and basically just lying there and waiting for time to pass by. Of course i prepared myself for the worst - and that meant that i ad to go for another similar surgery again!!!

When i was first waiting for the radiologist to come back from prayers, my heart felt so heavy then. I prayed - and asked that i could experience God's peace, the peace that passes all understanding!

And you know what? I did experience that! I did not realise it at first but the fear and the worry just went away! I initially thought the wait would kill me!!! Just get it over and done with quickly and lemme know the results - instead of letting me drown in my worry.

But God had other plans. He made me wait - and in the process, he let me experience his wonderful peace. And just learn to rest in him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4v6-7

*Track #3 from their latest album which features Robbie Williams again!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Don't come around here no more* - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Scan taken early morning January 4th 2010:-

Scan taken late afternoon January 4th 2011:-

The result:-

Is this the end of the tumour? I sure hope so!

Thank you, Lord.

*A collaboration with David Steward of the Eurythmics.

Monday, 3 January 2011

For better or worse* - Debbie Gibson

It was not a good year to be a Liverpool FC fan. They were lying in the relegation zone for a while and ended up the year in a position they had never been since the 50s!!!!

Yet, surprisingly - and pleasantly so - i have noted that in the past year, i have seen the most number of people out in public wearing a Liverpool FC jersey. Even when we lie in the relegation zone, even after losing to the bottom team, i see people out wearing that familiar red jersey with Carlsberg or Standard Chartered printed on its front.

It is very heartening to see that. This shows that these Liverpool FC fans are the true fans. We do not support the team when they are doing well - thru thick and thin, we will all proudly support our team.

Compare the number of people on the streets these days who wear the Chelsea blue jerseys. I have not seen any at all since Chelsea have been playing badly and losing in recent weeks. Are those who used to support Chelsea true fans? I better not answer that question - but i would say that those who still wear the Liverpool red are true fans!

And i'm one of them! =)

*Her first single from her 5th album which was her only album under the EMI label.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

I need you* - LeAnn Rimes

My fav song for New Year's eve! (a lil late but better late than never!)

We don't need a crowded ballroom... - if you're with me, next year will be the perfect year!

A good way to remind myself that i need God to be with me thruout the whole of next year - if i want it to be a perfect one!

Looking back at the year gone, many people would not call it a perfect year. I blogged about the highlights of the year below - but there are a lot of painful and terrible moments, unhappy incidents, experiences which i would not wish on anyone. But i know that with hindsight, it was these things which contributed in making the year to be brilliant! It was these that made the sweet moments sweeter, the achievements more meaningful, the happiness more joyous!

*The title track of her 6th album.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Everything changes* - Take That

Eventually, over time, we all become our own doppelgangers - y'know, these...these completely different people, who just happen to look like us. "5 years ago Robin", that girl? She's pretty great. But "doppelganger Robin" - she's amazing!

Yeah, i was watching "How I Met Your Mother" early on New Year's Day - dun ask why. But i'm glad i did - cuz of that little monologue by Ted at the end of season 5. That monologue got me thinking - and got me blogging!!!!

It is so true, isn't it? Aren't we all doppelgangers of who we used to be in the past? I started thinking of where i was 5 years ago. Well, thank God for blogs!!!! I was reminded from my blog that i was at Sheffield, sharing the New Year with Kok Choong, Kevin and Vivian (see here).

Do i look the same? Definitely better back then!

5 years down the road and Kev and Viv are married, Kok Choong is gonna be my best man this year before he himself tying the knot (or biting the dust) not long after me!!!

But who was i? I was a Masters' student, living life to the fullest and without much care. How different am i today? Well, i would say VERY different. Was i pretty great back then? I would like to think so. but the more important question is compared with who i was back then, have i changed for good?

Change is inevitable - in fact i would say that it is very important. So the question is not whether we have changed, but how have we changed? For better or for worse?

OK - i need my sleep. Blessed new year, peeps!

*The title track of their second album released way back in 1993.

Thank you* - Dido

Toy Story 3, Ice Kacang Puppy Love, National Champions, tGiF's birthday, Singapore, Penang, Human Rights conference at Bangkok, World Cup, proposal, mom's 70th birthday, iLove Camp, lakeside Campus, Chilean miners, seeing Martina Hingis, Standard Chartered marathon, 24 Season 8, New Delhi, hanging out with students.

These are some of the highlights of 2010 for me. Thank you so much for being part of it. Thank you Lord for everything.

*The biggest hit from her debut album - although this was featured in Sliding Doors' soundtrack before being released as a single.