Thursday, 24 March 2011

Rush rush* - Paula Abdul

Everything is done in a rush these days.

i wake up and rush to get ready to go to work.

i then rush to get to work on time.

i rush from one class to another meeting.

i rush to get home.

i rush to finish off everything to get to bed so that i can sleep on time.

and the cycle resumes...

i sometimes get to wake up earlier and go for a run - but even then, i have to rush to finish my run to get back and shower and change - to rush off to work.

i miss those days when i could take my time, and warm down after a run. i even had time back then to drive to the Subang Park to run. After the run, i'll usually sit by the lake and just watch life pass by until the day slow winds to an end.

i used to even have time to take some photos after my runs those days!!!

no such luxury these days. Even blogging is a rush... gtg. Need to sleep!

*Her 1st single from her 2nd album, played a lot over the local radio the year when i moved to Subang.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sacrifice* - Elton John

Being in a couple is hard. And committing, making sacrifices; it's hard. But if it's the right person, then it's easy. Looking at that girl and knowing she's all you really want out of life, that should be the easiest thing in the world. And if it's not like that, then she's not the one.
Marshall 'Marshmallow' Eriksen (HIMYM S01E12)

I posted this quote in 18 August 2009. I stumbled across it again recently - when i was looking thru my blog, thinking of the memories tGiF and i shared. Why the sudden trip down memory lane? Well, it has been 2 years since we got together. Yes, there has been sacrifices - but looking back, it giving those things were easy. I do not miss them, i do not long for them - for what i have gained is so so so much more!

I love you, dear!

*This was partly inspired by the Aretha Franklin song "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man".

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Keep the faith* - Bon Jovi

I found this post in my drafts folder. It was empty save for the title and this pic:-

This pic was actually one of the last slides i used for my last sermon some time last year. The sermon was based on 1 Samuel 31.

Basically, it was about the death of King Saul, the first king of Israel. He died a sad, lonely, tragic and violent death - and the Bible tells us that the reason was because he was unfaithful to the Lord (1 Chronicles 10:13).

In my sermon, i traced back to his past, how he started so well as king! But soon after, he started turning away from God.

He was given many chances in his lifetime - but altho he felt regret at times, he never really repented. And his end was sad.

I was sharing about how important it is to remain faithful - all the way. It was a good reminder for myself. The journey of life is a long race. A good start is important but that is not enough. I hope i will always remember that - to indeed keep the faith and finish the race well.

It is only by his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit that i can achieve that.

*The title track of their 5th studio album

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Always* - Bon Jovi

Love always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:7)

*Their best selling single!

Friday, 18 March 2011

I feel the earth move* - Martika

A lot has been said about the recent earthquake in Japan. We have seen the aftermath where the tidal waves swept in at an alarming speed and clearing everything in its path.

Our hearts and prayers goes out to the Japanese.

Pic taken from

The earthquake brought to mind some Bible verses. It was a really bad one - extremely high on the Richter scale. The highest i have ever heard being reported. It is indeed scary.

But Isaiah 5 tells us that when God unleashes his anger, even the mountains will shake! See Isaiah 5:25.

This is a reminder for me that while God is love, there must always be a fearful reverence towards him - and that would necessarily include a true repentance of sins.

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).

Aren't we thankful to Jesus for paying the price of sins for us? I am!

*Her remake of the Carole King's classic.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I'm like a bird* - Nelly Furtado

Yes, i am like a bird! Well, more like a swan - doesn't matter if it's black or white (let's not turn this into a race issue!).

Or a duck - no, not the roasted kind.

This kind:-

These birds glide so smoothly - and at times, even elegantly across the water - but we never see how much they are kicking under the water to stay afloat and move.

*Her first song which made me a fan!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Stop and stare* - OneRepublic

Been so busy - and resulting in feeling so so tired. Being deprived of a basic human right - the right to leisure.

I just wish i could go fly away, and just rest. Take time to let life pass by without having to juggle so many things at the same time.

I thought of this following poem(?) which i blogged about in one of my old blogs.

Leisure by William Henry Davies

What is this life, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stop and stare

Pic taken during one of the moments in my life when i could do was just to sit and stare! (taken near the tip of Borneo in Sabah).

*Their 2nd single from their debut album, this was used in one of the episodes of Smallville (in season 7).

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Walk through the fire* - Sarah Michelle Geller & the cast of BTVS

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
Hebrews 12:5-7

This is a good reminder when we go thru tough times. I think the key in the verses above is "LOVE". Unfortunately, when some people read these vereses, they only see the word "DISCIPLINE". When they only see that, they missed out on the crux of the verses.

*Taken from the brilliant episode of BTVS, Once More, With Feeling (my fav!).

Monday, 14 March 2011

Smoke gets in your eyes* - The Platters

I daresay that after watching this clip, most people will not have dry eyes.

*Originally written for an operetta entitled Roberta.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

True love* - Elton John and Kiki Dee

What is love? Many people have asked this question. Songs have been composed and poems have been written to address this matter.

Methinks 'love' has been too loosely used. And that the true meaning of it is to go back to God's word. After all, God is love, and it is from his word that we can find out the meaning of it.

In 1 Corinthians 13, it is stated as follows:-
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It is sometimes so ironic when people claim they love but they are only seeking for their own interest. Love is not selfish - it is self-sacrificing.

The ultimate demonstration of love is when Jesus died on the cross for us. That should be the kind of love that we measure ourselves against.

But sad to observe, when one talks of love these days, it's all about me, me and me. =(

ADDENDUM: i am writing this as a reminder for meself too!

*Taken from his duets album released when i was studying in the UK. This single was released at the same time too.

So far away* - Carole King

I was looking at their photos and reading their FB posts & comments. It all brought a smile to my face - but at the same time, it left a big hole in my heart and left it aching...

I miss them all so much. I wish i was there with them, working together with them, enjoying and stressing at the same time. But i was not. I was over 10,000 km away - and it was also prolly a case of out of sight, out of mind.

I've been that far away from them - but i never felt this far away before.

This is one of the painful part of doing what i do. Students come, and they find their way into my heart - but not long after that, they leave. They all do. They all have to. They leave having each other - but leaving me alone.

Saying goodbye is hard - and i have to do this year after year after year after year...

It wasn't long ago that i was hanging out with these wonderful young ppl, spending time with them like i was one of them at times. How things have changed after less than a year.

I guess i should get used to this. But even after experiencing it on a yearly basis, it doesn't get any easier.

I wonder if that's the reason why i am not so close with my current students - maybe subconsciously, i'm not getting close to them only to go thru the pain of goodbye again.

I guess there are a lot of reasons - but i know that come September this year, my heart will not weigh so heavy as it has in the past few autumns.

As for those in the UK now, i shall try to just feel happy for them, for the wonderful time they are having - i do, no doubt! But i shall try not to feel sorry for myself - not to cry because it is over but to smile because it happened. And looking thru the pages of my memories, there are so many reasons to smile - and to be thankful for.

And as i look ahead, there are reasons to smile too cuz i know that whenever i get the chance to be with some of them again, it'd be just like how it was back then. =)

*One of her classic in her brilliant Tapestry. This song featured James Taylor on the guitar.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

How can we see that far* - Amy Grant

A little girl and her mother were walking towards me in that narrow corridor.

I kept to the right side and the mother kept to hers. The little girl however did not notice me as she walked in her carefree manner - until she was less than 2 feet away from me!

By then of course, i had stopped in my tracks. She stopped too, realising there was this hulk in front of her! She looked up to see me looking down on her.

With a little giggle, she moved to her right and go pass me, laughing away. I turned back to see her mom laughing together with her. I walked away, laughing too.

Little things like these can make my day! =)

*Taken from her album Heart in Motion which was nominated for a Grammy (Album of the year) in 1992.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Perfect* - Simple Plan

I just want to be perfect.

That's what Nina wanted more than anything.

I think that line sums up what i felt about the movie. Some may think it is dark. Others might be of the view that it was not enjoyable. Still others may find it confusing.

To me, it is just a movie of a girl who goes all the way and gives her all to be perfect. It could be any of us. It could be about any profession that we are in - or a thing that we do. If we try hard enough, if we practice a lot, if we give our whole heart and soul into what we do, we may be able to reach perfection... but perfection comes with a price.

Natalie Portman did a good job showing the extents her character would go to to be the best. She was good but again, like the other Oscar winners, i din think she was that good. I enjoyed watching Mila Kunis more.

But then again, Nina is not a character that we are meant to enjoy watching. She became soooo obsessed with perfecting her art - that in the end, she sacrificed everything for it. As she was told, "The only person standing in your way is you", she finally overcame that person!

I love it how art began to imitate life and vice versa - so much so that Nina couldn't tell the difference anymore. I enjoyed it when we too were drawn into her mind and we at times could not tell if it was reality or otherwise.

Maybe as one who alleged to once be a perfectionist, and as one who knew how he must lose himself and get into character when on stage, i was able to emphatise with Nina - and made the movie closer to home for me.

So much so that i thought this movie was better than A King's Speech. But as with so many other occasions, my choice never wins the Oscar.

(Last lines)Nina: I was perfect...

She was. The movie was close to it too.

*The acoustic version of this song was featured in the movie, Confessions of a teenage drama Queen.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

That's what friends are for* - Dionne Warwick & friends

For the record, i predicted this movie to win the Best Movie award.

Why? It is such a typical movie to win that award!!! And Colin Firth's character is such a typical character where Best Actor/Actress awards are usually given!!!

But this movie was truly a joy to watch. I was so tired physically when i went to watch and we din have good seats - close to the front, right at the far right corner. That did not stop me from really enjoying it. It was funny, it was interesting, it was inspiring to see how one can triumph over personal problems, it was British! ;-)

And the beauty of the movie is that it is not so much about how a King overcomes his stuttering problems - but more of how a fren helped another in a time of need. To me, this was a story of a wonderful and unlikely frenship between a King and a commoner. Thru great adversity, thru difficult times, thru failures and everything which tested the bounds of their frenship, the commoner stuck with his majesty.

He was there, literally in his face at the time of greatest need - and because he was there, not only the king was aided - but the entire nation was motivated. I think its wonderful how a simple frenship like that can have such a great impact in history!

Brilliant stuffs. I thought Geoffrey Rush deserved a nomination - and perhaps maybe would have deserved it more... but tt's my view.

And in my view, against my prediction, i do not think this is the best movie of 2010!

*This version is actually a cover version of the original which was featured in the movie Night Shift.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pocketful of sunshine* - Natasha Bedingfield

I put my hand in my pockets and fished out what was in fact a journey planner for the London Underground! In the other pocket, it was a wet towel issued by See Woo.

I was initially surprised - until i remembered that it was the same jacket that i wore when i was in London recently.

Me with some former students outside the Supreme Court

I had put it away as i normally wear an older one at work. That one still works but not very presentable. But Tuesday was a big day for the Law School so i brought the good one to work.

Getting those things out of me pockets brought me back to London for a few fleeting moments - and brought a smile to my face. Can't wait to be there again - with tGiF the net time, for sure!

*The 2nd single from the album of the same name. Really liked this song as the beat is very bright and 'sunshinny'!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A strong strong man* - Rick Astley

A bit late but i'm doing my Oscar movie reviews now!!! 127 hours here followed by A King's Speech and Black Swan. This was the order i watched these movies.

This was a brilliant movie!!!! I take my hat off Danny Boyle. How do you make a movie about a guy with his hand trapped in between a rock and the cliff wall for 5 days plus? How do you keep the interest going? This is a masterclass of how one can do it!!!

Danny Boyle keeps us interested - but more than that, he gets us involved. He got me involved too. I felt the fear, the frustration, the anger, the regret, the hopelessness. Credit to James Franco for a wonderful performance too. And when he finally gets rescued, i felt the relief and the joy.

But i am not surprised it did not win the best movie. It was just not "Oscar material". I'm not saying it wasn't good enuf but just that the best movie usually demands more - a bigger cast, more sets, unlike this movie where most of it takes place around 1 person stuck in the same place.

The movie also made me have great respect for Aron Ralston. He seemed like such a nice and likeable guy. Well, i dun know if that is true or not - but i do admire his courage and mental strength. How many of us would have been able to do what he did? A fren said that instead of cutting his arm off, he would just slit his wrist and die there.

But not Aron. He is indeed a strong strong man - and i'm not saying just physically. Against all odds, he remained alive - and even got himself out of a sure death situation for most people. He did not let despair overcome him. He could have been very angry with the world. Such a freak accident!!! But instead of just asking why, he thought of ways to remain alive.

And not only that, photos of him post that incident really moved me - his love for life did not diminish. Instead, he carried on his adventures, not letting his handicap deter him nor slow him down. He did not wallow in self-pity and regret but he moved on.

Truly a valuable lesson and a good example for all of us to follow!

Let me end with a couple of his quotes:-

"We're all going to make mistakes, ... Your mistakes are the result of choices you make. But, because we make mistakes, does not mean we can't rectify that."

"Whatever you're faced with you already have the tools to transform that adversity into something that's positive. That's what I proved to myself."

*One of his favourite songs of mine.

Monday, 7 March 2011

King* - Weezer

No, i'm not gonna gloat about Liverpool's win over Man Utd. In football, u'll win some and u'll lose some.

But i wanna sing the praises of our manager - King Kenny!!!!

Look at how he has turned the team around since joining in January.

In the 12 games he was in charge for all competitions, LFC only lost 3 games - and 2 of those were the first 2 games (one of which was a narrow 1-0 lost to Man Utd after a stupid Steven Gerrard tackle which left LFC with only 10 men for two thirds of the game). They have recorded wins against Chelsea and Manchester United and have kept 6 clean sheets. They have moved from the 20th place to the 6th.

But more than just the results, what is heartwarming is the way they have been playing! They are playing beautifully! The forwards are scoring. The defence is getting tight and confident. The midfielders are doing their jobs - either by supporting the defence (like Lucas) or helping in the attack (like Meireles). I'm still not impressed with Reina nor with Gerrard but the team is playing well!!! They are playing with the passion that was clearly missing before the return of King Kenny.

For the supporters of Roy Hodgson, methinks you cannot defend him anymore. A lot were saying that he inherited a bad squad and wasn't given much time. Well, King Kenny took over the squad and got the results! This is proof that Hodgson did a bad job and just could not handle it.

I've always been a fan of LFC, painful tho it has been at times - but King Kenny has made me glad again to be a Red!

Pics taken from all over the web

*The last song on their deluxe edition of the self-titled album, this was sung by their bass player.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Only you* - Sally Yeh

I’m really glad that BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) has resumed. In the first lesson itself, I gained something really important which I could share with some people whom I am close to, to help them thru a difficult period of time. In the second lesson, I gained something which was directly relevant to me.

We’re studying Isaiah and in chapter 3, one of the main problems of the people of God there were their arrogance and lack of humility. They were doing pretty well, storing up on silver and gold, horses and chariots. When horses are mentioned in the Bible, it usually represents earthly things – that men in those days value horses and depend a lot on horses. So when a nation has the best horses and in big number, they will get arrogant and proud, thinking that no other nation can get to them. They become self-sufficient.

That was what I was going thru. Things had been going generally well for me – but I failed to recognize that it was only because God was helping me thru. Instead, I started to think highly of meself, being proud that I could do and achieve so many things. I have to admit that my ego was getting inflated.

Studying Isaiah chapter reminded me not to be arrogant and proud – to an extent that I started to reply on my own strength and ability. It reminded me that without God, I am nothing and can do nothing. It is only thru him and only him that I have the ability to do what I am doing now. And therefore, he should get all the glory.

On Friday, tGiF chose this song for ahf and I found it to be very meaningful and relevant for me. It is only in Christ alone that I should glory.

Shawn Craig & Don Koch

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by his strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hand
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by his grace I am redeemed
Only his tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
Now I seek no greater honour
Than just to know him more
And to count my gains but losses
To the glory of my Lord

In Christ alone, I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory, let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

*I first heard her version of this song before learning it was from Starlight Express.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Country boy* - Aaron Lewis

Last Sunday, i watched American Idol for the first time this season. I must say i was pretty impressed! Maybe it was the wine but each and everyone of the last 24 sounded pretty good! This is the season to watch, methinks. JLo was pretty good as a judge too.

The stand-out performance for me has to be Scotty McCreery:-

He's sooo good, isn't he? That voice is wonderful!!!!!!

I dun think a country singer will win AI tho - but Carrie Underwood did (can she be considered a country singer?). So who knows...

He will prolly have to show he is more than just a one trick horse - and be pressured to sing songs from other genre. That may be his downfall then. Or perhaps not.

But for now, country music has never sounded so good to me. Thank God for this country boy!

*The first single from the the first solo album of Staind frontman, featuring country singers George Jones and Charlie Daniels.

Me against the world* - Simple Plan

Some time ago, out of sheer boredom plus a tinge of curiosity, i tried this quiz on fb - What 2010 movie are you?

The outcome was this:-

It was a small surprise - more because in dun know much about this movie! So i made it a point to watch it.

I got it from Michael when i was visiting him last month. When tGiF knew i had the movie, she was more curious than i was and wanted to watch it. So we did.

And we both loved it!!!!!

To put nit simply, it was about how the main character, Scott had to fight off the 7 ex-es of the girl that he is in love with.

It was pretty offbeat but in a way that we both liked. The way the scenes changes, the flashes of the scenes and the little written comments were very familiar. It was after watching it that i found out the director was the same guy who directed the brilliant Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz!!!!! This was actually his first North American movie - and his trademarks are all over the movie.

Furthermore, the fight scenes - which were a lot - were all really very well done and choreographed! I must say even better than the fight scenes in Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible. And if i was a gamer, i would love this movie even more!!!! There were so many references to that!

The music is pretty good too - Scott, the main character of the movie is the bassist of a band.

After watching this movie, i must say that the storyline does not describe my life at all!!!! But yes, it is so me after all - strange humour, crazy happenings, unpredictability. And awesome? ;-P

So while i play a lot of those stupid quizzes on fb, i only leave the link to this result as it is the only one i'm happy with - cuz the movie was simply brilliant! =)

*The 5th track from their 2nd studio album.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Isn't it romantic* - Ella Fitzgerald

I came across this recently thanks to one of my students:-

Arguably the most unromantic version of this song - but they sure dun lack in passion! Absolutely love this. They even harmonize well! =)

*One of the classic songs with its music composed by Richard Rodgers