Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The reason* - Hoobastank

So we all survived 21/12/2012!!! I wonder how many people were actually afraid that they were gonna lose their lives on that day?

Well, the Bible tells us an account of some shepherds who must have thought they were gonna die prematurely!!! In Luke 2, it is recorded for us that "there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified".

They have seen God's glory - surely they cannot live to tell the tale! But wait a minute. Here is what the angel said to them:-

 “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Gaudi's depiction of the birth of Jesus
The message they bring is one of joy!!! They come bearing good news! No, the shepherds were not going to snuffed out that nite. For that nite so long ago, a saviour came to earth! Not just any saviour - it was Christ!!!

No, "Christ" isn't the last name of Jesus - even tho we do refer to him as Jesus Christ. Christ is his title - it basically means, the chosen one!

So this saviour that the angels sing about is not some random saviour - it is the saviour that has been prophesised long long ago!

So that is the reason why we celebrate Christmas! It is because of the coming of Jesus, to be our saviour. It has nothing to do with Santa Claus or snowmen or reindeers. It is so sad that the meaning of Christmas has been covered up - in fact, in certain parts of the world, they do not wish people "Merry Christmas" anymore but "Happy Holidays" - and yes, we have heard that we do not refer to them trees decorated with tinsel and lights as "Christmas trees" anymore!

That is why i feel burdened to talk about the true meaning of Christmas - for it is such a waste if the whole thing became just a meaningless celebration, another excuse to spend money and party away. instead, we can all rejoice at the coming of a saviour who provided a way for us to receive eternal life!

*Their most commercially successful single - and one of my all time fav songs in recent times! Hhmmm... that sounds like a paradox! Lol!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Taxi Driver* - Gym Class Heroes

When we arrived at Barcelona, we were in for a big surprise! The trains were not running!!! In fact, most of everything was closed. We discovered that there was a strike going on on that very day!!! Not just in Barcelona but also in Madrid and a few other places. I kicked meself for not being more attentive to current news – but then again, the tickets were booked in advance and we could not have predicted this. Or could we? 

Anyways, the fact of the matter is that we were there, and there was a strike, and we were stuck at the airport. So how? The only way into town and to our hotel was by taxi. The queue was long – as it was the only public transportation out of the airport – but it was that or take the risk of waiting until the end of the day. 

Thankfully, the taxi line moved rather quickly – taxi drivers must have been seizing the opportunity to take us hapless tourists to our destinations. We prayed that God will provide us with a good and fair driver, not one trying to fleece us. 

The driver seemed like a nice “uncle” and altho there was a total break-down in communication, I managed to show him the address and he seemed to know the way. 

Fast-forward – he stops the cab and tell us we have arrived. We looked at the hostel and told him no, that was not our hotel. Like how the Chinese say, it was like the duck trying to talk to the chicken!!! 

He then fished out his GPS (only then!!!) and tried to type in the address while driving at the same time!!! So the meter was running as he typed in one alphabet at a time… we got pretty fed-up but as I looked on the deserted streets, I realized that if we get out of the cab now, we will have a tough time finding another one! 

Even so, after going round in circles for a while, we decided to take our risk as the driver does nto seem to know where the destination is – and he is just wandering aimlessly!!! 

He however, did not want to let us down! He just continued driving and we were at a loss at what to do!!! The wife told me later that she really thought he was gonna kidnap us! 

Soon, we were out of the city area…and according to the roadsigns, we were heading into France!!! 

I then whipped up my phone and called the hotel – trying hard to ignore the thought of how much the roaming charges were gonna be. I go thru to the hotel and spoke to the ppl there. I then passed the phone to the driver. But when he took the phone, he was just talking and did not seem to be listening to the person on the other side. He gave me back the phone and continued driving. 

I tried to call the hotel again – and after a few tries (and sweating a lot), I got thru and the hotel ppl told me that the driver seems to know where the hotel is. 

After a while, we arrived to the neighbourhood where the hotel is – and altho we see signs to the hotel (and I thought I saw the hotel from the pics I saw from online), the driver could not seem to get there!!! We drove round in more circles as the meter kept on going higher and higher. We told him to stop to ask for directions – but just like a typical man, he did not. Maybe he din know what we were asking him to do!!! 

When we slowed down at a junction, I had enuf and rolled down the window. We started waving and calling out to a couple walking nearby. They came and we asked them the directions to the hotel. The driver again started talking to them but not listening. 

In the end, we arrived at the hotel. One look at the meter showed a sum of more than 50 Euros!!! I went straight into the hotel and asked the ppl there to help us talk to the driver and tell the driver that we are not gonna pay such a high amount. The guy at the reception reluctantly agreed to go with me. 

But when I started walking out, the wife was waving at me to go there quickly… 

The driver somehow informed my wife, thru a notepad, that he was only gonna charge us 35 Euros!!!

We were truly thankful to God that we arrived safely and that he really indeed provided us with a good and fair taxi driver. In fact, the hotel reception told us that 35 Euros is actually a low rate for a taxi ride from the airport to the hotel!!!

Bought this in rememberance of our taxi ride!

I actually felt bad for the taxi driver after that - he had to endure the verbal abuse from us, took us to 2 destinations and then undercharged us.

We thanked God for him and we prayed for blessing upon him.

*Interestingly, in the lyrics, 27 bands and artists that the Gym Class Heroes like are mentioned.

Monday, 17 December 2012

It wasn't me* - Shaggy

The sermon was based on a verse in Genesis 3. So we read the whole chapter. A familiar chapter, no doubt. It did get me thinking, tho. 

When God confronted Adam, his (Adam’s) response was immediately to blame Eve. And when Eve was questioned by God, she blamed the serpent. 

Since the beginning of time, when man (and women, of course) is confronted to face up to his wrong-doing, his reaction would be to find someone else to blame. No matter how guilty he is, and how much he knows he is guilty, he will try to push the blame away. 

I have seen this around me too much – and at times, it sickens me. In order to escape blame and liability, people will intimidate others and make them take the blame, instead of owning up to the wrong they did. 

At times, they do it in a way that is so ridiculous!!! They are obviously wrong but they have the cheek to say it is someone else’s fault. 

Is admitting wrong seem to imply weakness? But are we too proud to come to terms that we are not perfect? Does it not take a big man to hold up his hands and say he has made a mistake? 

*His first official single and his highest charting song thus far.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Start of something good* - Daughtry

I watched The Hobbit yesterday! =) yeah, one day before the actual release on December 14th!!! 

Pic obtained from their FB page

It has been so long since I managed to watch a movie so early. I am still trying to catch up on movies that i have missed. But for The Hobbit, iw as gonna make the special effort to catch it early. 

After all, there has been a void (small one but still, a void) in my life when the Return of the King ended - and when i have watched all the extra scenes. So when The Hobbit was filming, i have been so excited! It brings back memories of so many years ago (yes, it has been that long) when i would be swept away by Peter Jackson's version of Tolkien's brilliant work (and the beautiful New Zealand landscape) and then wait patiently and with great anticipation for the sequel the following year around the same time.

It's gonna happen again now, all the way till 2014. And who knows for how long more, with the new scenes being released later like LOTR?

Anyways, i went yesterday, watched it, froze in the cold cinema hall - and thoroughly enjoyed the movie! Yes, even with all the expectations, it still was good! 

It was wonderful to go back again to Middle Earth (or NZ), reacquaint myself with the familiar characters and get to know new ones. The technology has improved since LOTR and it really showed!!!

And the best thing is that it is only the start!

The question however one may be asking is whether is it better than LOTR? Well, i compared it with The Fellowship of the Ring - and i still preferred Fellowship! Why? Well, go to this post and find out (warning: spoilers in that post).

*Their 4th official single from their 3rd album, Break the Spell.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What matters* - Edwin McCain

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Eccl 7:2"

This is true - it made me appreciate what I have more and help me remember what things in life are important.

My fren's mom passed away early Sunday morning. The wake was last nite and the burial this morning. I went for both of it and i must admit i was glad i did.

It was a pretty sobering experience - a timely reminder in our ever hectic and fast paced life that death awaits us all. Life is fragile. Am i focussing on things that really matter or wasting my time on those that do not?

It was pretty touching to hear the testimonies of that sweet old lady - she was indeed an example for us to follow.

It also brought home the grim reminder that the day will come when it will be me who goes up to thank the people for coming and for showing their love and concern to me. And to cherish every moment i have with mama from now till that day!

Still, it was a bittersweet experience all in all as although we'll miss her and we feel for her family as they deal with her departure - but the wonderful thought of her safe in our heavenly Father's arms now, free from pain and suffering, comforts all of us. And one sweet day, we will all be reunited again - together with papa, with Markus, and with all those who have gone ahead of us.

*His 2nd and less succesful single from his album, Misguided Roses. The first was I'll be.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Again and again* - Jewel

For my 2nd trip to London in last month, i had bacon and eggs for breakfast EVERYDAY for 9 days in a row!!!! For the last 3 days, i decided to give it a rest!

We found this little cafe near our fren's place at Angel - only four and half quid for this:-

Mine!!!! With mushrooms and toast!
My wife opted for the grilled tomatoes instead of mushrooms

Happy... and fat!!!

We also spent a few days at Barcelona- and at the hotel where we stayed, yes they served bacon and eggs amongst other things for breakfast!!!

Bacon and eggs - with chorizos!!!!!!

Subsequently, i went for my conference in London - what else do they serve for breakfast? Yes, typical English breakfast with bacon and eggs!!!!! 

9 days, man!!! Nope, i did not get sick of it. =P But i dun know how long i could have gone on like that!!!

That was for breakfast. 

Being in London also allowed me to satisfy my craving for roast duck!!!!! Without fail, i will always have raost duck when i am in London! When i used to study at Essex and travelled to London, i would end up eating roast duck too!

I can't find it here - even tho one of the restaurants have a branch here in Subang, the duck is just not the same!!!

It is quite sad, i know. There are so many other nice things to eat in London. I did try them - fish and chips, steak and guiness pie, scones, lovely sandwiches - but for roast duck, i had it again and again. It helped that my wife was not really in the mood for anything else and she could order other stuffs while i had my duck!

Roast duck rice!!! With the layer of fat between the skin and flesh! *Drools*

A happy man!

Even when we ordered dishes, duck had to be one of them!!!!

 I miss the roast duck...

*The lead single from her Goodbye Alice in Wonderland album.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I need you* - LeAnn Rimes

We had the privillege of worshipping at All Soul's on the 2 Sundays when we were at London - and God truly blessed us when we were there.

My wife and i after one of the service

For one of the Sundays, the Rector spoke on 2 Corinthians 12. The key verse no doubt will be “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It was a timely reminder and a great encouragement for me! 

At the end of the day, i have to remember that God's grace is *sufficient*! I do not and shold not rely on my own stregth and ability. If i have any weakness (of course i do), that is fine - for God's power is made perfect in my weakness.

So what should i do? Do not depend on my self - but look to God and when his power is displayed, give him the glory! I need to know that I need him in my life!!!

*Released as a single from the album, Jesus: Music From and Inspired by the Epic Mini-Series. It was later found in her compilation album of the same name.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Thanks but no thanks* - Sparks

I never liked to get people to take photos for me. Well, i dun think they would do a good job!!! 

But recently, after looking at one of my fren's vacation photos, the wife and i decided that we should get people to do ti for us - and not use the one-handed technic that i had been using all these while. 

 So while we were outside the Tower of London, we decided to ask someone to take a photo of us with the iconic Tower Bridge in the background. We ended up asking 3 different people. Here are the results - and you can see i my fears were justified!!! 

Where's the other tower???
Where is the tip of the tower???
Focus on us!!!!! We're so blurred...
So if someone were to come along and offer to take the photo for us, i'll prolly say "Thanks but we're alright"!!!

To be fair, tho, i think the 2nd one is pretty nice. If only he managed to catch the tip of the tower...

*An oldie - taken from their 4th album, Propaganda.

Friday, 30 November 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas* - Johnny Mathis

When we were in London, they lit up the Christmas lights at Regent's Street! The deco all over town are up. We even went to the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park!!!! =) 

Today was the first time i went to a local shopping mall for a very long time. And yes, the Christmas deco are up too!!! Interestingly, Pyramid had their deco based on the works of Gaudi!!!! 

Not too bad - quite unique, i must say. And since i just got back from Bacrcelona too, i really like it! Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

I hope that it will also *feel* like Christmas - as our eharts are touched by God's love to us by sending his son Jesus! 

*This version of this song was featured on Home Alone 2!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The power* - Snap!

There was a huge protest in Egypt earlier this week - it is reported that tens of thousands of people came out to protest against the act of their new President in giving himself power.

Pic obtained from BBC News Online
It is so ironic as Egypt faught hard to overthrow President Mubarak only just last year. The protestors are quoted to say that they do not want another dictatorship.

It is also ironic as President Mursi was seend last week taking a big role in brokering a ceasefire between Isreal and Palestine - although in my view, he seemed to be clearly anti-Israel at the start. I was in the UK and following the news closely daily. So there he was criticising others when he cannot handle his own country?

Some say that the power is necessary for him to protect the country - but the manner he has gone about doing it left much to be desired.

Here is a summary of the powers he gave himself (taken from BBC News Online) -
  • Reopen investigations into killings of protesters; retrials of those accused 
  • No appeals against constitutional decrees made since Mursi came to power 
  • President to appoint the public prosecutor (must be aged at least 40) 
  • Constituent assembly to get two months extra to draft new constitution 
  • No judicial authority can dissolve the constituent assembly or the upper house of parliament (Shura Council) 
  • President authorised to take any measures to preserve the revolution or safeguard national security 
 It does seem wide, doesn't it?

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why is it that so many huge decisions are left with just one person? At the end of the day, the power in a democratic country should lie in the hands of the people. The people have spoken - well, tens of thousands of them. Will they be heard?

*A huge international hit for this German music group.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Smooth* - Santana featuring Rob Thomas

In the span of less than 2 months, i have had the opportunity to sit in 4 long haul flights by MAS - twice in October via 747 and twice this month via the A380. I have to be honest and say that the flights left much to be desired.

To be fair, the first flight pretty good. Smooth. Maybe it's cuz it was a day flight? My memory of a 747 was that it was pretty cramped in the econ section. But it wasn't as bad as i remembered! So yes, it was pretty good. Moved about a bit, enjoyed the view - we managed to see the himalayan range and it was awesome!

However, the landingwas pretty bad. Bad weather? It was pretty bumpy and i felt sick. It was so bad that i continued feeling that way even after we landed and only recovered when we got onto the terminal building. Apparently, i turned quite green!

Just to illustrate how bad it was, when the plane touched down, it actually skidded *sideays*!!!! We were tossed to the left and right! Never before had i experienced that on a plane while it landed (yes, many times on a roller coaster tho).

The journey back home was worse! It was bumpy thru-out the flight. Ok, i exeggerate but not by much!

Maybe it was because the planes were old? The 747s just flew their last flight to and from London last week!

So i was pretty excited when we got the chance to fly by the A380 this month. 

Me in the A380!
I was disappointed. It was also a pretty bumpy ride!!!! The "best" part was whne it landed. No side skid this time round but the pilot just smashed the plane down onto the runway. It hit the ground so hard - so much so that many (if not all) around me screamed out in shock - and the there was nervous laughter after that!

Is this how they take care of their new planes?

Thakfully for MAS, they had one more chance to redeem themselves in my eyes - and they did. The flight back was pretty alright - not as smooth as the first 747 flight but not bad. As we were about to land, my wife was preparing herself for the "smash" landing again - and i whispered to her that i had confidence in this pilot. The landing was pretty smooth - not like butter but pretty good.

Now compare this with the 2 flights i took with EasyJet - both day time flights, both really smooth. Both were on Airbuses (320 and 319). The first flight was by a female pilot - and she put all the male MAS pilots to shame!!!! Maybe it was an easier plane to fly? But i was sufficiently impressed and happy with the budget airlines!

I wonder when will i ever get a chance to fly with Easyjet again...

To anyone from MAS who is reading this post, i am just sharing my honest views on what i experienced recently, that's all.

*Brilliant song! One of the few times in recent history that i agreed with the decision to award it 3 Grammys - song of the year, record of the year and best pop collaboration with vocals.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Don't give up on us* - David Soul

It has been a pretty crazy past few weeks! Been so busy...

I really hate seeing this blog neglected like this. =(

In any event, who even notices what goes on here? Who blogs anymore? I asked my students the other day if anyone keeps a blog and they gave me the "look"! It's like so last decade, isn't it?

Still, i dun blog for the sake of my "readers" - if there are still any left!!!! I do it for meself. An act of reflection.

But these days, that seems like a luxury. So little time to just sit and think and reflect. 

This is bad.

So i'm not gonna give up on this blog. Not yet. I still see the good in blogging. And although i am very much restricted these days with what i blog, that still should not prevent me from blogging at all.

Now if only i can find the time...

*His biggest - and some say his only - hit song!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I don't have the heart* - James Ingram

300 weeks! New record! Previous record? 299 weeks - also held by the same man!!!! =) 

But how far can he go?

I don't have the heart to say this - but i will. It seems that he at times does not have the heart to win any more. Take the Olympics - i did not get to watch the finals, but apparently, he just din push himself.

Similarly, in the recent Shanghai Masters - he committed 3 double faults in a row!!!! That meant that he served 6 times without getting the ball in!!!

I guess this is what happens when u reach the top. Where else do you go? Olympic Gold? Shanghai Masters? Well, these are not Grand Slams! And Roger has matched Sampras' record of 7 Wimbie titles.

Couple with the fact that he got married and is now a father. Perhaps winning is not everything?

Dun get me wrong - i'm a huge fan of Roger and he still plays amazing tennis! But not very consistently these days... =(

*I was surprised to find out that this was only his 2nd number 1 hit on the US Billboard Charts.

Monday, 15 October 2012

A place to call home* - Joey Tempest

Finally! We got the keys last weekend. It seemed a little surreal, to be honest.

Our house-hunting has taken us on a roller-caoster of a ride - and it was one long one. It came to a point when we did not dare to keep our hopes up as it has been crushed so cruelly so many times. Maybe that's the reason why getting the keys seem surreal - perhaps i still dun dare to rejoice...

But thankful, we truly are. Expecially to God who has led us thru so much. We wanted to buy a house but we ended up with more than a house. We ended up with a house as well as having our faith in him strenghtened. We experienced also the support and love of frens and family - and of each other. We learned that God is truly in control. We learned to let go of hurts and forgive those who wronged us.

Now we look forward to a new chapter of our life together - it is exciting as we know that God has planned out everything for us and his plan is the best!

We forgot to take a photo of the house on the fateful day!!!! But here are some pics of the interior that we took before.

It may not look much but we are looking beyond the dust and dirt and stains - and we could see a place that we can call our home. =)

*The first single of the former lead singer of Europe (yes, "The Final Countdown") from his debut album of the same name.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Who am I?* - Hugh Jackman

Found this on FB - thought it was worth sharing there. And here!

When I say that "I am a Christian," I am not shouting that "I am clean living." I'm whispering "I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say "I am a Christian," I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need his strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon his name.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not holier than thou. I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

*Ok, this version is not available yet but it will be in the original soundtrack of the movie Les Miserables to be released at the end of this year!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Open window* - Sarah Harmer

My car's front passenger seat window has been like this for the past couple of months:-

You may wonder why - well, the power window is busted (like every other Proton car, i guess). So why dun i go get it fixed? I did! But it's gonna cost a bomb - and since i'm gonna sell the car off, it's just not worth it. I'm selling it to my mechanic so he just told me to use duct tape to hold it up for now!!!

The problem is that the sale has been delayed (long story - another time) so i've been using up quite a bit of duct tape to hold up the window.

Needless to say, having the window like that is just an invitation to thieves! It is announcing "This window is busted". 

I was so tempted to put a sign in the car saying "There is nothing valuable inside this car" - but this could work as reverse psychology and encourage would be thieves to break in!!!!

There has been one attempt a few weeks ago. But that guy was too weak to push the window all the way down. 

It was only a matter of time when someone stronger tried - and that someone did it last nite!

The first thing i noticed was that the fuel pump door was opened. He must have accidentally opened it when he tried to pop the boot. I thought he may have tried to siphon off my petrol since he couldn't get anything out!!!!!

He must have been frustrated as there was nothing worth stealing in my car!!!! Obviously i removed all valuable things from the car when the window got busted like that. 

He just left my car in a total mess:-

Ah well... i was supposed to clean up the junk in my car and the incident just forced me to do it! 

The thief got off with whatever coins i had in the ashtray - i guess it's fair payment to him for getting me to clear up all the rubbish in the car! Lol!

Thank God he did not take my Doc Marts!!!!! Altho it would have been a great excuse to get me a new one! =)

*A wedding song by this Canadian singer songwriter.

Friday, 12 October 2012

It's been awhile* - Staind

Last post - 30th July!!!!! Almost 2 and a half months!!!!

Since i started this blog in November 2006, i have at the very least blogged at least once a month! (the only exception was late in 2009 when my life was in a total mess due to the tumor in my head which was removed in January 2010). In fact, since i started blogging in October 2004, i have blogged at least once a month.

So this long break is really something not usual. Thankfully, it is not attributed to something bad like back in 2009. Altho in a way, it could look like that. I have been really busy at work!

But it's not just work - it is just a combination of many things together. Work is definitely one of the reasons. Been distracted by many things to. It's definitely not due to lack of things to blog about.

Another reason is because no one really blogs very much these days - with FB statuses and Twitter taking a more prominent seat. Are we getting too lazy - that instead of writing a post on a blog, we just put up a sentence in our FB status? Altho some "frens" status looks almost like blog posts (and are longer than some of my posts in this blog!!!!!

But i dowanna give up on this blog. After all, a big reason for this blog is not for my readers but for myself. To record what has been happening to me - and some MAJOR LIFE-CHANGING events have taken place which will lead to brand new experiences in the coming weeks/months. =)

More about these things in the upcoming posts... hopefully, it will not take another 2 months plus for that!

*I just found out today that the title of this song is this way and not "It's been a while"!!!

Monday, 30 July 2012

After the love has gone* - Earth, Wind & Fire

They were seated at the table next to ours - husband, pregnant wife, little boy, out for dinner at a shopping mall in town. Nothing exceptional.

But after a while, i began to notice something - husband and wife never spoke a word to each other. In fact, they did not even look at each other - they both sat facing the same direction. Wife dotted over the boy but that was it. Food came, and they ate in near slience. The boy was a little excited about the food but that was the only excitement emanating from that table.

Once the food was consumed, the husband turned his attention to his smartphone.

Finally, as we were about to leave, there was some communication!!! They were not strangers sharing the same table after all! But it was for the wife to signal the husband to pay up and leave.

Sorry - maybe i'm being a little busybody. Seem to have a habit doing this (see here). I just felt sad. I pressume they are married. They have a boy and another child is coming. But i just did not feel the love at all. It all seemed like they were there just to eat but they would rather be some place else - with some other person. It seems like the love has gone.

Does having a child and being married for a while do that to couples? I dun think so. I know many frens who have had children and are not like that.

I just feel very sad - and could not help but wonder how did it come to this? I'm sure they were madly in love with each other at one point of time. Or were they?

I begin to wonder also how many married couples are like this? Feeling stuck and trapped in their marriage. Regretting it - but staying together for the sake of...? the children? Avoid embarrassment? But this goes on until death parts them.

I just hope that what i observed last nite of that couple was just the exception rather than the norm. Maybe they had a fight just before they arrived at the restaurant and they just did not want to say anything more to avoid making it worse. Maybe on normal occasions, they are truly very happy together.

At least the boy seemed to be in good spirits!

*Multi Grammy Award winning song. Brilliant stuffs!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Beautiful* - Christina Aguilera

Northern lights - in the south!!!! Beautiful, isn't it?

One of my dreams - to see the Northern Lights!!!For now, I just have to settle for photos and vids of it! Some day...

*A beautiful song about someone who is fighting against low self-esteem and insecurity issues

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Again* - Janet Jackson

They are redoing the movie again!!!! 10 years after they first told us the story of Peter Parker and how he became Spider-man!!!


Still, i heard good things about it. And i do think that Andrew Garfield is a pretty good actor. Coupled with the good reports i read on my frens' FB comments, i decided that i will watch it - even tho it was not onmy anticipated movies of 2012 list (see here).

The wife however was not interested. So i went on my own - ended up sitting next to a smelly stinky geek and in front of some fella who was kicking at my seat all thru the show.

Still, i enjoyed it! Told the wife that if she changes her mind, i would watch it with her again! She asked if it was really that good until i want to watch it again. I told her that it was good enuf for me to not mind watching it again!!!!

So it's not gonna go on my list of all time fav movies. I still enjoyed it. And perhaps more importantly, i thought it was way much better than the original Spider-man!!!

Why? Well, check out my post here for reasons why i thought so!

But having said that, i am having trouble comparing this with Spider-man 2!!! In fact, i think that while i enjoyed The Amazing Spider-man and think it is better than Spider-man, i dun think it is better than Spider-man 2.

After all, Spider-man 2 had a much better villian - Doc Ock, played so well by Alfred Molina!

But it may not be a fair comparison as TASM had to deal a lot with laying the ground story - which it did much better IMHO compared to Spider-man.

Maybe it would be fairer to compare Spider-man 2 with TASM 2!!!

But for now, Spider-man 2 remains as my fav Spider-man movie. Here is the brilliant trailer to go with the show:-

*Her hit way back in the early 90s when i was studying in the UK.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Back at one* - Brian McKnight

Wimbledon Finals!!! History in the making - we get to see a Brit winning it for the first time in our lifetime or we see Federer equalling the record of winning it 7 times. 

The wife and i were pretty excited - finally, style, poise and grace will win the championship instead of sheer brute strength and pace!

But in the first set, it sure did not seem that way as Federer disappointed us like how he always have been doing recently. Piling unforced error upon unforced error - to the sheer delight of the British crowd!

But he eventually found his rhythm - and it was a joy to see him like poetry in motion!

Eventually, he won it quite easily - but it no less sweeter than the first 6 times, i'm sure!

It was really great to see him win again - and altho he is not as unbelievable as he used to be (see here), there were flashes of his brilliant old self and that was enuf to see him thru. A lot of people said he played really well - i beg to differ as i still remember the time when he was almost invincible on Court. Those days are over, tho. Doubt i'll ever get to see him again.

In any event, i was so happy - and icing on the cake is that he retains back the number 1 spot for a record number of weeks!!!

Well done! Enjoy it, Roger. So will i for i wonder how many more times will i get this opportunity again.

(all pics taken from news sites online)

*The title track of his 5th studio album.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Unwell* - Matchbox 20

I posted something in a lighthearted manner earlier when i said that 2 is better than 1 when it comes to grocery shopping (see here).

But not long after that, something happened that made me really thankful to God that the wife was around!

A couple of weekends ago, it was the dumpling festival. On the same day, i went to the wife's boss' baby party. Lots of food and drinking, tho to be honest, i did not stuff me face too much cuz the food was just alright! And i was saving a little for dinner that nite!

For dinner, me mom made her special "char yoke". There were loads of other food too. I wasn't feeling too good before dinner as there was some uncomfotable feeling just below me chest. It became worse after dinner. It felt like a bad case of indigestion.

I tried to go home and sleep it off - but it got pretty bad. So bad that it kept waking me up. I could not get into any position that was comfortable, standing, sitting or lying down. In the end, i had no choice but to wake up the wife and she took me to the 24 hour clinic nearby as it was oredi 2 am.

It was a little embarrasing when the doctor asked me what i ate for dinner and lunch. She prolly concluded that i just stuffed meself like crazy and deserved the suffering i was going thru. Ah well... i really din stuff meself too much. We think it could be due to the dumpling i had the day before as the glutinous rice used to make the dumpling can be quite difficult to digest.

Anyways... i went back - watched Spain beat France and finally got to sleep. Thank God the medication helped.

It was prolly the worst i've felt for a very long while - so bad that i do not think i could have driven to the clinic meself. So it was indeed a good thin the wife was around! 2 is better than 1, eh?

On another note, i realised how difficult it must be for those who are in worse condition than me, being in pain and feeling uncomfortable all the time. 

We should all be thankful for the good health we have.

*One of my all time fav songs!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Good thing* - Fine Young Cannibals

Last Wednesday, it rained! Woohoo! =)

But that meant i had to whip out the umbrella - and i decided to use my brand new umbrella. But as i was struggling to open it, i got a cut on my finger!!!! It wasn't bad but it was bleeding and it was painful. And it was on the inside part of my right index finger. Being a righ handed person, each time i handle something, it will hurt.

I was like cursing the stupid umbrella la! Sigh...

After the next day, when it did not get any better, the wife suggested that i use the ointment bought from Thailand. Can't remember what it is called. But it is pretty effective to deal with cuts and injuries to the skin. We bought a big bottle of it for me mom when we went there the last time. So i asked me mom to put some in a smaller container - i wanted to put some on after i got home and took my shower and brushed my teeth to avoid washing it away.

Finger got much better. Thank God.

But not the end of the story!!! On Sunday, as the wife was cooking, i heard some crashing sounds and i hurried over to the kitchen. Apparently, the saucepan was falling off the cooker and when she tried to steady it, her hand inadvertantly came into contact with the metal part and burnt badly. I told her immediately to put it under cold running water.

She was in obvious pain - however, it was a little amusing as she held her hand over the sink but she continued to stir-fry the vege with her other hand! I ahd to tell her off and told her to stop cooking as the burnt was quite bad. It started to blister almost immediately!

The cold water was not helping much and i thought of - yes, you are right - the ointment i brought back from me mom's place!!!! I fetched it and a lot of it was applied to hand.

As she sat quietly in the dining hall in tears, holding her hand, i finished up the cooking and cleaned up the kitchen. And it struck me - if i did not get that stupid cut on my finger, we would not have had anything to apply on her burnt hand!!! We may have had to even go out to the clinic or to the pharmacy to get some medication.

I shared with her about that. She was feeling so much better after applying the generous portion of the ointment on her hand. And we both agreed that it was a good thing that i cut my finger the other day. A small price to pay so that her burnt can be dealt with effectively.

People may say that she was lucky. As a Christian, i am sure it was all God's plan. =)

*Their 2nd no. 1 hit in the US, after their more popular She drives me crazy.

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Best* - Bonnie Tyler

Spain are the Champions of Europe again!!! 

2012 will be remembered among other things for the wonderful Euro competition! What a great tournament! Wonderful goals, super football, great drama. 

I'll remember dragging meself up in the strange hours of the morning while trying not to wake up the wife and sitting in our living room watching our small TV - it's reaching its expiry date soon! The tube is about to give way and we can see strange colours around the edges. Still, it was good enuf to follow the game (altho when i go over to me mom's place and watch it on the huge HD TV, it looked like it was a different place altogether).

Our little TV - Thanks TV3!!!!

Spain winning it in wonderful fashion is just the icing on the cake!

No. 1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4
Seeing Torres scoring a goal which was  not unlike the one he scored 4 years ago against Germany was so satisfying! It was again the wonderful Xavi who set him up with that thru ball - like how he did 4 years ago. It was truly deja vu!

Spain winning by 4 goals is the highest margin in a Euro finals ever!

And Torres ended up with the Golden Boot Award! I thought he was not gonna get it - and he missed a wonderful opportunity to clinch it when he decided to set up Mata for Spain's 4th. In the end, it was counted as an "assist" and he won the Golden Boot award by virtue of scroing 3 goals, having 1 assist and playing in fewer matches! Well done!

The question now that everyone is asking is whether this Spannish team is the best footballing team ever!

I think they are the best footballing team i have ever watched! So yes, to me they are the best! While some felt bored (or even cheated) by the way they played, i found it a sheer joy to see how they passed the ball around so confidently and quickly. Some goals they scored were almost like they were passing the ball all the way into their opponents' goal!

Anyways, most of the BBC pundits seem to think they are very very good, if not the best!

Chris Waddle - "We've seen a masterclass today. Spain have been the best team in the world for the last four or five years. They deserved it tonight again, even with 11 v 11. Italy gave a lot of effort, but unfortunately they'd played too many hard games. They felt the pace and Spain, with that superior technique and movement and talent on the ball have run out easy winners. The Spanish have been criticised but they are the best team in the world without a shadow of a doubt." 

Phil McNulty - "They have now been untouchable in three major competitions and already few would back against them in South America when the World Cup goes to Brazil in 2014. They are the ultimate combination of silk and steel. They conceded one goal in Euro 2012 and have the Barcelona "carousel" of Xavi and Andres Iniesta augmented by Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso in midfield. Del Bosque felt confident enough in this brilliant side to ignore the claims of a conventional striker such as Fernando Torres, although he made a devastating late contribution against Italy. David Silva and Cesc Fabregas more than compensated - and it was all done without their great goalscorer David Villa and iconic defender Carles Puyol. The greatest? It would have to be a very powerful argument against Spain."

Martin Keown - "Spain are going to dominate for years to come. They have to be the best side ever. I can't see any other team getting near this. Spain have really set the bar high and they have time on their side. They're beautiful to watch and there's something extra special about this team. They're a group of winners." 

Alan Shearer -  "This Spain team is the best ever. We mention the Brazil sides with Pele but this is absolutely unbelievable what they have achieved." 

Alan Hansen - "People will talk about the first half of this game for 30 or 40 years' time. Before the game we said this Spanish team are arguably the best team ever, but there is no argument now. I don't think I've seen anything as good. They were picking the passes, making the angles and playing it with such pace. When they pass in that manner it doesn't really matter if they play with a striker or not. It is not only their technical ability, but also they work so hard. Look at Andrea Pirlo's performance, he has been a star in this tournament, but in the final he hardly had a kick. That was down to the pressing of the Spanish players. It was a privilege to be here to watch it and that's what every team has got to aspire to." 

Gianluca Vialli - "This tournament has proved that Italy are the most improved side in Europe, but the final proved we are not there yet. Spain are in a league of their own. They have shown how truly magical they are."

* The original version that was covered by Tina Turner.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Look at me* - Geri Halliwell

The following is what i drafted yesterday. The funny thing is that as i was drafting it, i started to disagree with meself!!! That's the reason why i decided not to publish it. 

But since it was already drafted, i thought i might as well publish it - but with a post-script at the end explaining why i do not agree with meself on this.

It never fails to surprise me how LOA some people can be on Facebook!!!!

Granted, FB users are there to seek for attention. If you dun want attention, then why are you on FB?

But some people seem to take it to a new level - seems to be pretty desperate!!!!

Like one student who out of the blue publicly declared his love for his father on FB, telling him how much he means to him etc. His father is NOT on FB. So why is he telling his father things on FB when his father would not know of it? To get attention, that's what! So a lot of girls actually thought he was such a nice person - one girl even commented how sweet he was!!!

Now, a lot of students announced that they have completed their law degrees. Fine. Great! Well done! Share the joy with others! But this particular student went on to post up all the DETAILS of his results - and even highlighted how well he did for his final year but this was not reflected in his overall results.

Wah... you so clever, ah!!!!!

The other day, a fren of mine declared her love to her husband on FB.

It seems that these days, it is not enuf to tell yr hubbie that you love him - you must tell him you love him and let hundreds of your frens hear you telling him!!! Why???

I guess to be fair to her, there is a thin line with telling your husband you love him on FB and telling everyone on FB that you love your husband. And a thin line with telling your father you love him on FB (even if he is not gonna read it) and telling everyone on FB how much you love your father.

But telling all the details of yr results when it looks good? I dun know... Dun get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with that. It is FB and you are free to express yourself (unless it goes against basic human rights principles). And i guess that if i dun like it, i can just ignore all these desperate calls for attention.

As i was drafting that post, i begin to wonder - it *really* is a thin line between telling your spouse that you love him/her and announcing on FB that you love your spouse. It is just a different way of saying the same thing, isn't it? And yes, i have declared my feelings about my wife on FB too. Not very much different from telling my wife about it on FB. A thin line it is, dun u think?

I'm prolly LOA too!!!

But the one about announcing ALL the details of yr results? Hhmmm....

*Her first single from her debut solo album.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lucky* - Britney Spears

Lucky!!! That's something that the English rarely say about their team in major international competitions. It always seem like they have the worst of luck!

All the way back to the 1986 World Cup where they were undone by a goal scored by Maradona with his hand!!!

In the 1998 World Cup, Argentinian theatrics got David Beckham sent off and they eventually got knocked out of the tournament in that game.

In 2002, Beckham, their captain and star player broke his metatarsal just before the World Cup and while he played in the World Cup, he was clearly not fully fit and did not perform well.

Similarly, in 2006, Rooney also broke his metatarsal before the World Cup and he also was not in best shape when he played during the World Cup and he under-performed.

In 2010, Lampard had a perfectly good goal disallowed!!!

So for a change, it was nice to see that luck favours England for a change last nite! The Ukrainians had a perfectly good goal against England not given - and this eventho there was a 4th official standing at the goal line looking at the ball!!!

Are things gonna be different for England this time round? Well... perhaps. In my view, while they did get a lot of bad luck previously, it was just a convenient cover-up of the fact that they were just not good enough. For example. Lampard's disallowed goal against the Germans - Germany was clearly far more superior than the English - that even if the goal was counted, it may not have mattered. Others have a different view on this of course.

Having said that, i have been pleasantly surprised that i have not been bored to death by the English - as i had expected to be! Even last nite, their passing were pretty good - short passes were neat and Gerrard's long passes were accurate. We also have a pretty reliable goalie now. So with a bit of luck on our side, this could mean that things should be different this time?

Sure, they are not as good as the Spanish - but that doesn't mean that the Spanish are gonna win! Playing the best football and being the better team does not necessarily guarantee victory - ask the Polish and the Russians. Ask Barcelona and Bayern Munich!

I'm still supporting the Spannish - but sentiments makes my heart feel good for the English!

p/s - pics taken from all over the web

*Her successful 2nd single from her 2nd album.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Two is better than one* - Boys Like Girls

Being married, i can truly say taht two is better than one!

No, no, i'm not talking about the number of wives!!!! =P 

But doing things together is definitely better - and this demonstrated when we go grocery shopping!!!! The super special offer items limtis each customers to the number of units that we purchase - like 3 per customer. When we go together, we can buy 6! Hehe.

And when paying for our goods, we can use the express lane - even if the number of goods that we buy is over the limit. As long as it is not 2 times over the limit!

Ok, ok - honestly, there are way better reasons why being two is better than one!!!

*Really liked this song last year - included it in my wedding lunch playlist!

Monday, 18 June 2012

I'll be there for you* - The Rembrants

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you –
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm –
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and for evermore.
Such a short Psalm but so rich and so powerful!!!!

Psalmist says that his help comes from the Lord!!!! Yet, so often, I turn to other things for help. I do not recognise God’s ability to be able to help me and God’s love to want to help me! I miss out on the blessings of being able to involve him in everything I do. I failed to admit that I need in him everything – and as such, I end up depending on myself. This clearly is sin – not giving God the proper place in our lives as he deserves.

After all, the Psalmist also reminds me that my Lord is the maker of heaven and earth! He is the creator for this whole world! Imagine, having Messi to play on the same football team as you? Well, in everything we do, we can have the maker of heaven of earth on our side, in our team!!!!

But even Messi can have his “off” days. But my Lord is one who watches over me all the time – he does not slack, he does not sleep. Not only does he watch over me all the time, he will protect me from things within as well without. In our modern day of travelling, we may not appreciate how the Psalmist say that God protects the traveller from the elements – but those are real dangers!

This Psalm was meant for travellers – and the reminder to the travellers is that God will keep us safe in our coming ins and going outs. For us Christians, we are travellers too – as this world is not our own. We are just passing thru – pilgrims in our journey to our Promised Land. As we go thru life, we travel thru this world – and we are assured that God, the maker of heaven and earth, the one who never sleeps, is there with us all the while, watching over us so that we will not slip or stumble, and protecting us from external things around us.

We look forward to our destination – but for now, we enjoy the journey with our Lord! For he Lord who beither slumbers nor sleeps will be there for us every step of the way.

*The theme song for Friends.