Monday, 23 December 2013

Yesterday once more* - The Carpenters

It was on the 10th of December when I finally put up the tree. I wrapped the lights around it and turned it on. I then switched off the living room lights.

And then, it happened. The magic. I was transformed back to.... ME! But me when I was a small boy, mesmerised with the beautiful flashing lights on the Christmas tree me dad bought and set up.

As I sat in the darkness, eyes affixed on those flashing lights on the fake pine tree, I was just overwhelmed with so much emotions. It was like all my childhood memories of Christmas came rushing back (if that was even possible) and engulfed me completely.

Even tho my father did not believe in Jesus at that time, he made it a point that we celebrate Christmas. He would make sure it is special for us - especially since we, his children attend Sunday School. So we had a Christmas tree. Every year, he would buy new ornaments - and we just keep on adding and ading them to our tree until it just groaned with the weight of all the baubles and angels and fairies and reindeers and santas etc.

Every year, i would bug my parents to put up the tree - and i would spend a lot of time in the dark sleeping under the tree, enjoying the blinking lights of the trees.

And there would be presents. Lots of it. After all, it was also my birthday!!! Frens would come and gawk in envy at all those presents under the tree - some even asking if they were real. Well, they were!

Looking back, i know i have been so blessed!

And that night when i set up what would be Shona's first Christmas tree, i sat there with tears in my eyes - I just hope that Shona will have wonderful memories of Christmas like the ones me dad gave me when I was a small child.

*A song which always never fail to bring me back to my childhood days - so apt as that is what the song is all about! Used to me my all time fav song those days.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

They don't care about us* - Michael Jackson

This is the poster from the previous Hobbit movie. It features the dwarves in the movie. How many of them do remember in the latest movie?

I bet that it's probably only Thorin and Kili. Some will remember Balin - and also Dwalin but they will be remembered as the "old one" and the "grumpy one".

That is one of my main issues with the sequel to the Hobbit. I just don't care about them at all. If any of them die, it really dun bother me at all. Unlike the Fellowship of the Ring where when a member is killed, it effects us all.

In this case, it doens't mean much to me - not that i dispise them but there is no emotional connection with them. Even Thorin didn't seem like a nice dwarf in the sequel.

Not only the dwarfs, the elves too were the same to me. In fact, the depiction of the elves is so different! In the Two Towers, the elves sacrificed themselves and fought alongside with humans in a war that one could say had nothing to do with them.

But in the sequel, we see the elves as cunning and devious and selfish. Even the "good" ones like Legolas are boring.

But perhaps the point of the movie - or the trilogy is not the elves nor the dwarfs but the Hobbit itself!!! And in this case, i must say that Martin Freeman did brilliantly. In both movies. If not for him, i think we can just forget about the trilogy (unless we want to watch it just for the CGIs and the beautiful NZ landscape).

And the other attraction in this sequel is none other than Smaug! The scenes with Bilbo and Smaug are the best - just like the scenes between Bilbo and Gollum were the best in the first movie.

The only problem is that it takes sooooo long before we finally get there - and it took so long to say not much.

So how is the sequel? It was enjoyable and fun. There were some really good scenes (Bilbo and Smaug) but there was an emotional disconnect between me and the movie - unlike the LOTR movies.

*One of his most controversial songs.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The reason* - Hoobastank

I think that BSC has the best Christmas deco this year!

Isn't it impressive? It is a table setting for a Christmas dinner. Well, some dinner. Or a feast, to be precise! With turkey, lobster etc.

What makes it impressive is that the chairs are actually the stalls - and people actually walk under the huge table!

Top marks from me!

But fail when it comes to spiritual content!!! In fact, all the malls fail miserably!!! With themes like "bears", the Nutcracker, balloons - and even Minions!!! - they all seem to have missed out on the true meaning of Christmas.

No, it's not eating and feasting. Nor is it buying gifts (even tho the malls will want us to do that. Christmas at the end of the day is about "Christ"! That is why it is called Christmas - not Feastmas or Bearmas. Or even Minionmas!!!

The problem is not just here in Malaysia. Last year in London, we were there when they launched the Christmas lights which followed the theme of the Twelve Days of Christmas - using the things mentioned in that Christmas song. This year, the theme is Mr Peabody and Sherman!!!

A friend was commenting about me using the term "X'mas" to refer to Christmas. I had to explain myself that X'mas is just the greek way of referring to Christmas. The "X" in the greek alphabeth stands for "Chi", referring to Christ!

Still, many people are replacing with "Christ" in Christmas with everything else they can think of.

I myself am guilty when i get so caught upwith the shopping and the gifts and the holidays. I hope this Christmas that i will celebrate it for the right reasons. The original reason! The brith of Jesus Christ.

*My favourite song of theirs - reminds me of the days in 2004/2005.

Monday, 16 December 2013

True love* - Elton John and Kiki Dee

Sleepless in Seattle was on and since there was nothing else better to watch, I decided to re-watch it.  I remember I used to love this movie.

I had to laugh a how young Tom Hanks looked in this movie. But then again, this show was released 20 years ago. Things have changed so much since then!

Yes, even my views have changed a lot. I found that I did not like the storyline any more. It was so silly. And so unrealistic. Is this what love is? No. In my view today, this is a very distorted view of what love is. I pitied the character playing Meg Ryan's boyfriend. Here was such a sweet wonderful man who truly loved her. But she did not recognise it. Instead, she was looking for the kind of superficial emotional love that is portrayed b Hollywood movies. Her character's best friend even chided her saying she doesn't want to fall in love - she wants to fall in love in the movies.

I used t believe in that too. And that there is the "one" and I should wait for her. She will be perfect and it will all fall into place.

But now I realise that it is all a myth. There is no perfect one as we are all imperfect. And a wonderful true marriage will be one where the partners work hard to keep the love and relationship going. That is true love. To love even the unloveable, to love when it is hard to do so, to love by putting the needs and the feelings of the one you love ahead of your own.

I was watching an episode of House (season 7 episode 4) where the victim was a schizophrenic. But her husband did not know it. In fact, at the end of the episode, he realised that he did not know so many things about her as she kept her illness a secret from him. And he did not know what to do. He told House that this woman is not who he married. House replied that it was - it's just that he didn't know at that time. House told him that she is suffering from a serious mental illness. The husband said that it was too hard to stay with her now. House walks off but before leaving, he said "It is always hard".

How true. It is never easy. It can be wonderful, it can be brilliant, it can be fulfilling - in fact, it should be all of those. But it is hard. If you do not want to work hard, then walk away. And you will never experience the beautiful true love that God planned for a man and a woman to have.

*This single was released way back in 1993, around the same time Sleepless in Seattle was screening.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

My all* - Mariah Carey

Later today, Nelson Mandela will be put to rest at his ancestral home. He is gone but he will definitely not be forgotten. I took this photo in London almost 20 years ago:-

The words under his bust is a quote of his - "The struggle is my life". And he truly demonstrated it.

This man is an inspiration to many of us. He was willing to stand up and fight for what is right - equality for all man, not considering the colour of his skin, whether it is black or white. He indeed gave his all for this fight and was willing to sacrifice his all.

His struggle has finally ended as his life on this earth has come to a stop. But for us who remain, the struggle goes on. Racism is still prevalent especially in my country. So our struggle will continue. But we know that those who have gone before us will be cheering us on.

*Her 13tg no. 1 hit in the Billboarf Hot 100.

Friday, 13 December 2013

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

I started - or rather, continued watching House recently. I'm still in season 7 and so far, it has been really good.

The last episode I watched was "Unplanned Panthood" - episode 5. It was really interesting in so many ways. The twist at the end was really good. The mother of their patient was found to have 2 kinds of cancer - and one was actually treating the other. The mother unfortunately passed the latter cancer to her baby and only the mother's blood can treat the baby. However, they needed to treat the mom's cancer which could prove fatal at any time. The problem with that is if her cancer is treated, then her blood will not be able to treat her baby's cancer anymore.

So what would the mom do? Obviously, she chose not to have her cancer treated until her baby is cured using her blood. That would take around more than 1 week but that was the risk she was willing to take.

The mother died shortly but her blood taken post mortem was sufficient to treat her baby completely. She gave her life to save her baby.

I have to admit that my eyes were not dry at the end of that episode. That is the love of a parent, isn't it? To be willing and ready to give their all, even if it means to die for them.

And I thought of my parents. No, they did not heroically gave their lives to save mine. But in their own ways, they gave their lives and their all for me. Papa lived his life only to provide for us, his children, and in the later part of his life, to provide for his grandchildren. Mama is still giving her life for me.

History will not remember them for tragically dying to save my life. But I will always remember them for giving their lives for me - and never asking for anything in return. True love. Real love. I am so blessed.

Now it is my turn. And I hope that I will give my all for my children - just like my earthly parents and my Heavenly Father have done.

*Taken from the musical Miss Saigon.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Outside* - George Michael

Today was pretty memorable. I had the opportunity to attend and "Roundtable Meeting" with the following guests:-

1. The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) – Judge Sang-Hyun Song of South Korea.

2. Judge of the International Court of Justice (The World Court) – Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India.

3. Third in charge at the Permanent Court of Arbitration – Dr. Aloysius Llamzon of the Netherlands.

4. General of The Hague Conference on Private International Law – Dr. Christophe Bernasconi of Mexico.

It is indeed a treat for someone like me who spent a year studying about the ICC, the ICJ and the PCA. It brought back so much memories of that year in Colchester.

To me, the "star" of the event was surely Judge Song, the president of the ICC. He has held on that post since 2003 - and will be holding on to it until 2015.

I must say that i am a bit ashamed to admit that when i got the chance to go to the Netherlands right after my studies in Colchester, i spent all my time in Amsterdam and did not go to the Hague where the ICC and ICJ is situated.

I really hope i can get the chance to go there in the near future.

This is the closest i ever got to the Hague - when my students went to visit the ICJ and tagged me in thier photo! Lol!

Anyways, back to today - it was interesting to hear Judge Song talk about the ICC - especially on Malaysia's position. Malaysia is not a party to the Rome statute - and as such, we are not under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

But Malaysia has come close to being a state party. In fact, teh ambassador to the Philippines was sharing about how a couple of years ago, the Phillippines decided to seriously consider ratifying the Rome statute - a big reason was becuase Malaysia was considering doing that!!! Now they are under the ICC but Malaysia is still not!

Judge Song gave the illustration of how Malaysia has come to the door of the ICC and even knocked on it a couple of years ago. The door has opened. But up until today, for some reason, Malaysia has not gone inside. We are still outside the door of the ICC.

Is it a lack of political will? There seems to be a fear that the rulers of the country will lose their immunity against prosecution. There seemed to also be a silly excuse that we need to get all our laws in order first before joining - like how someone must study and be an expert in the Bible first before becoming a Christian.

It is quite sad that Malaysia is still lagging in its international obligations. Do our leaders think that there is no need to get the help of the ICC as we are doing fine? i saw a lot of the opposition leaders but none from the government.

It looks like we will still continue to remain outside the doors of the ICC. Sad.

*The lead single from his Greatest Hits album, it was controversial as it took a swipe at the incident where he was arrested for engaging in a lewd act earlier in 1998.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Take my breath away* - Berlin

I had to stay up late to do work and i was already exhausted before it turned dark! And I had to wake up early to go for a tutorial. So when i found out that Liverpool was playing (around 4 am local time), i had to make the painful decision not to watch.

But i did wake up close to half 5 and decided to go and check out the last few minutes of the game. I stayed on to watch the highlights. It was so good. Suarez was so brilliant!

Taken from LFC's fb page
 4 goals! The first is a contender for the goal of the season!!! And the 3rd is the goal that will probably win the goal of the season if the first doesn't. It was sublime, his touches. He flicked it over the defender, latched on to it and sent to the to corner of the net. Watching it in slo-mo was like poetry in motion!!!

This guy is so so good! He is the top scorer of the league now - bearing in mind that he missed out quite a few games early in the season. But i am glad that he is now getting people to talk about him regarding his skills, regarding his football, regarding his passion, regarding his joy in playing in the no. 7 Liverpool jersey.

Just look at his stats for the game:-

Taken from LFC's fb page
Can i say it again? Brilliant!!! He will be a Liverpool legend, together with the likes of Dalglish, Keegan, Rush and Fowler. In fact, he is a legend already!!!!

*The song featured in the movie, Top Gun - seems to be apt when referring to Suarez!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Night fever* - Bee Gees

Not long after i finished the last post, i went to bed. As i was about to fall asleep (or was i oredi sleeping?), the wife woke me up and told me that Shona is having a fever. I went to fetch the thermometer and took her temperature. 38.9 C!!! Wondering if i did it correctly, i tried again and the reading was 38.8 C.

The wife was of course worried. She wanted to go to see a doctor - it was already past midnight!!! Wanting to be the cool mind, i went to my phone and started doing a google search. Unfortunately, all the sites were American so it was all talking about the temperature being 102 F or above 104 F etc. I did a quick conversion online again and found out that it was about 102 F. The online sites said that as long as it does not go over 103, it should be safe to just observe the baby for 24 hours - provided the baby is above 6 months (and also provided the baby does not show certain symptoms).

So i told the wife that there is nothing to be worried about - and that we should just observe her for the next day or so. But the wife did not want to hear that. She felt that Shona was too hot for a baby.

In the end, i did what i had always done - trust the mother's instinct. Or maybe i was just too chicken to shoulder the responsibility if anything bad happens due to us not taking Shona to see the doctor. Further, when i took her temperature again, it was 39.1 C!!!

So off we went, our first family outing so late (or so early) in the day.

We went to Sunway Medical and the nurse attended to Shona. He took her temperature and said that it is normal! 37.2 C!!! We protested mildly, saying that when we took the temp earlier at home, it was 38.9!!! He went on to explain how the thermometers we buy may not be so accurate - and taking the temp by the ear is not so accurate. To be fair to him, he was really very nice.

We still waited to see the doctor - and the doctor himself said that he felt Shona was a bit warm. He asked another nurse to take Shona's temp, saying it can't be 37.2. He was right. Even before the time was up, the doctor could see from the thermometer that it was already 39!!!

Well, he did not see any reason to be too alarmed as Shona did not display any other symptoms like rashes or having diarrheoa, etc. He prescribed medication for her and asked us to observe for the next couple of days. If it is a viral fever, it should be fine by then. But if her temp remains and goes up, we will have to bring her in again.

We were really thankful for the doctor and his nurse (an elderly lady) who were really helpful and patient.

So we went back home and that was the end of our midnight adventure. It was nice to be driving on empty roads!!!

We have been observing her since then and so far, her condition has not deteriorated. But it is indeed a difficult time for all of us - with the wife just recovering from her illness and me falling ill last night too! But poor poor girl was so unhappy today. We had to comfort her all day long.

We hope and pray that she will recover soon - and that this fever will only serve to strengthen her.

This morning when i went out of my house, i was greeted by this sight:-

It reflected how i felt - the cloudy moody feeling. But it also reminded me that even tho i can't see the sun, it was still there, giving me light and warmth - and eventually, the cloud will go away. So even in dark times when God does not seem to be present, he *is* there, providing and making a way out for us.

*The classic 70s disco song found on the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Thriller* - Michael Jackson

What a match! Everything a derby could ask for! I'm referring of course to the Everton Liverpool game last weekend.

It was truly entertaining. Thrilling. Nail-biting too! Moments of highs followed by feelings of despair.

I only started watching in the second half (together with the 1st half highlights during the half time break). So Liverpool were leading 2-1. But the main talking point of the first haf was this incident:-

Pic taken from The Guardian
How that is not a red card still baffles me. It still bothers me too. The referee has made sure he had a big big say in the outcome of the game.

There were other talking points too - like how bad Joe Allen was. He has never impressed in a Liverpool jersey and for that, he has been very consistent. In the second half, he could have scored with just the goalie to beat - or pass it to Suarez on his left who was unmarked. But he he sent the ball wide. He also got himself a booking - tho i must admit i was glad at how he got it!

The defence was pretty bad too! Minoglet let in 3 goals but he still made it into the team of the week on BBC Sports! That shows how good he was - and how bad the defence was. Having said that, Flanagan playing on the left full back impressed.

So it was 2-1, and then 2-2 and then Liverpool were down 3-2. I gave up all hope by then, to be honest. But still, i hung on - and was duly rewarded by the sight of this stupid dance which brings a lot of joy to a Liverpool fan:-

And finally, the rollercoaster ended. What a ride it was. To the neutral, it must have been truly wonderful to to watch. But to a Liverpool fan like me, i can't feel but we were cheated of a victory. We were in the lead when Everton should have been down to 10 men. But the referee did not do what he should have done.

It is so frustrating to see the inconsistency practiced by the referees - see how Rooney got away during the weekend too, but we have witnessed how red cards have been given for so much less.

The only way i can console myself is to honestly admit that Everton played really well too and if i was a neutral, i would think that a draw is a fair result for both sides who had countless of chances to win it.

*I'm sure everyone i know knows this song!!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Déjà Vu* -Beyoncé Knowles

Got hit. In the back. Again!!!

Look at my earlier post some years ago. Compare the damage to the car then with the damage in the photo above. Looks similar, doesn't it?

The situation was also almost identical!!! The cars in front had come to a standstill stop. So i slowed down my car and stopped it too. After a few moments, we felt the impact!!! Yes, we got hit while we were at a standstill stop!!!

This time, tho, it was a bit different. There were 3 other cars involved. But mine was at the front. Thank God i stopped a safe distance from the car infront of mine or else the damage could be worse. As it is, the damage is only limited to the back of the car.

When i made the report at the police station, the corporal commented "Kesian" when i confirmed that my car was the one at the front. I know what he meant but it is better being the first car than being the 2nd or 3rd - damage to front and back - or the last car - being liable for all the damage caused!

Oh well... we were really thankful, tho that Shona was not in the car at that time. And the incident made me reflect that we are indeed blessed as i counted my blessings.

So i'm car-less for now. And that has turned out to be not a bad thing too as my wife and i have to leave for work together and come home together.

*The lead single for her second album, this song also features Jay-Z.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

We made it* - Busta Rhymes

So England qualified for the World Cup in Brazil next year!!! Well done!

Pic taken from BBC Sports

I thought i'd blog about this - mainly to give credit where it is due. And credit is to be given to Hodgson, Rooney and Moyes.

I have not had very much respect for Hodgson since he became Liverpool's manager for a short stint. I did not think he knew what he was doing.

But i must say he did well. Thanks to him, all England fans now know who is Andros Townsend. Hodgson surprisingly included him in these last 2 crucial games and he performed really well. In fact, he seemed to have sealed his place as a first team player in England's squad!

On top of that, Hodgson did what a lot of managers failed to (or was afraid to) - he benched Lampard. There has been so much talk about whether Gerrard and Lampard can play together - and going by the evidence of the games they have played together, they do not seem to play well with each other. So Hodgson did not play Lampard but instead chose Carrick - and this worked well too! So kudos to Hodgson!

Rooney! He broke the deadlock in both games. Enough said. I felt that he was overrated - but he has shown how valuable he is to England!

And finally, Moyes. Huh? How is he involved? He was not. But this is regarding Baines - the player that Hodgson put in the team as Cole was injured. And Baines showed how well he can play. He even set up Rooney's goal last night!

I have been laughing at Moyes and the Man Utd team when Moyes was planning to bring in Baines. But perhaps this is proof that Moyes was not so clueless after all? Would Baines have formed a good partnership as a full back with Rooney in Man Utd?

Having said all this, no one is getting carried away about England's chances at Brazil. But i will still be wearing my England jersey come the summer of 2014 (and changing it with Spain's occasionally).

*This promo single featured Linkin Park!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

No good deed* - Idina Menzel

The saying goes - No good deed goes unpunished. This basically means that "beneficial actions often go unappreciated or are met with outright hostility".

My poor wife experienced that recently. With good intentions, she shared her experience with another person when that person was not too careful with what she said. But that person responded quite defensively and in a hostile manner. I guess that some people can get too sensitive and misread good intetions. It probably comes from an attitude of pride - not wanting to admit that one made a mistake and not humble enough to accept advice from others.

So how? Stop doing good to others? Well, in my view, no. At the end of the day, we do good because that is what we supposed to do - and not to do good only if we benefit from it.

We just have to be more discerning when doing good - after all, the Bible warns us about throwing pearls to swines.

*From the musical, Wicked. Widely regarded as the most powerful song of the show.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Who's that guy?* - The Cast of Grease 2

I have been ranting about this for a while. And I am still unhappy about it!!! As Boromir would say it:-

But that's what Brendan Rodgers did. Giving it to Iago Aspas. Who??? I have no idea!!!

Sure, there have been former no. 9s who have flopped (I blogged about the recent no. 9s and whether they were successes or flops = you can read it here). But you can understand why they were given it - or least there was some justification. Diouf impressed in the 2002 World Cup and he was given the no. 9 jersey. Carroll was very impressive at Newcastle before he took the no. 9 jersey.

But Aspas?

Give him a chance? Well, he has not impressed at all when he came on as a sub. In fact, the only notable thing i remembered him doing last weekend was stupidly kicking the ball away (when it was Crystal Palace's freekick) right in front of the ref leaving the ref no choice but to show him the yellow card. Well done!!!

*One of my fav songs from the soundtrack, very musical-esque!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Papa, can you hear me* - Barbra Streisand

Happy birthday, papa!!!

I wish you were here - cuz you would then be able to see Shona! She brigns so much joy into the lives of those who see her, so i'm very confident you will be filled with joy when you see her too.

I am also confident that she will be so blessed to have a grandpa like you. I know you would loved her to bits, and spoilt her silly. You would have been there to carry her whenever she wants someone to (which is pretty much all the time these days) - and you would have done so willingly and happily.

I just hope that through me, Shona will be able to see you and the love that you have shown us when you were here on earth.

I have always appreciated you as my father - and now, being a father myself, i appreciate all that you have done even more.

We'll see you later, one sweet day!

*Taken from the movie, Yentl.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Back for good* - Take That

Wanted to blog this last Monday. Din get a chance. Thought i better post this up before the game later!

Suarez is back in the Premier League - and he marked his return with 2 well taken goals, helping Liverpool to win 3-1!!!

It was a poor poor performance by Liverpool - but Suarez helped them to win despite such a bad performance. So yes, i am glad he is back. And he looks like he's back for good. He still looks sharp, and he has not lacking in passion and work-rate. The boo-ing did not discourage him. His partnership with Sturridge is encouraging.

Perhaps more importantly, there was one telling moment in the game that warmed my heart - when he tumbled in Sunderland's penalty box from a challenge of a defender, but he picked himself up almost instantly and continued to chase for the ball. No more cheating? Well, i hope that is the case!

As he celebrates the birth or his new born son (see pics below) by dedicating both goals to him, i hope he will indeed be a good example to his son - and to all the young football fans out there.

The Daily Mirror published an open letter to Suarez earlier last week - and i was surprised at how much i agreed with the contents of it (you can read it here). Here is an excerpt from it:-

We have missed Suarez the footballer. A footballer of extraordinary talent. We have missed your astonishing skill, your ruthless will to win, your commitment to the tackle, your competitive edge, your obsessive love of scoring, your determination to fight for the cause, your skill, your pace, your power. 

We have missed your ability to change a game with a single, mazey run, your ability to trap a ball with the lace of your boot, to land a ball at the foot of a team-mate, seemingly at any pace and at any angle. 

But we haven’t missed what comes with all that. We understand that a competitive professional will sometimes push the boundaries of fair play but your record is something else entirely. 

So i hope that as he returns, he is back for good! And he can be sure that he will never walk alone.

* The number hit in many countries all over the world, taken from their 3rd album, Nobody Else.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Running on faith* - Eric Clapton

It has not been easy, being a parent - a first time parent. At times, it has been downright scary!!! There have been many moments of feeling utterly helpless anduseless - as there is only so much one can do as a parent.

For instance, how do we stop the jaudice (see my earlier post here)? How do we make it go away? We can just take her to the doctors and let them put her under the light. And then wait. Wait for each day's report on her blood test.

That is just one of the many examples. If we want to be paranoid, we can be worrying over the million and one things that could happen to her, all of which seems to be out of our control. At the most, we can minimise the risk - but can we ever eliminate it?

So one can just worry - and tears have been shed - most of which i think are due to feelings of helplessness, of not being able to do anything.

But thankfully, we have a God who is all powerful and all knowing. And we have a God who loves us so very much.

A fren recently reminded me - "It's difficult to ask you not to worry. But we have to learn to trust God. Small little things like this that challenges us".

That's so true. It is so difficult. But yet, we have to learn to trust in God. And he has yet to fail us!

One elder was preaching the other day about Moses, how his parents when he was a baby had to let him float down the river Nile in a basket, just having faith in God that he will protect their son. And sure enough, God did. Parents will have to learn to trust in God, to go in faith.

Taken from

*Taken from his album, Journeyman - apparently his favourite album! I love this song!

Friday, 27 September 2013

I know him so well* - Elaine Paige

We like La Cremeria ice cream! Not the best around - Haagendaz still holds the mantle for that - but not too bad. Interesting flavours, creamy, good taste. And nice container too!!!

Pic taken from Tesco's website

It is just the right height to use to defrost the milk for Shona. I was so glad to use it as the wife had been using the porcelein bowls and had to use two at a time. Using the La Cremeria box, i do not need to use anything else!

Until the wife decided to use the La Cremeria box to store some frozen food in the freezer. =( So back to using the heavy porcelein bowls...

That was some days ago. Fast forward to today. We were chatting in the car after lunch and i was telling her that Giant was having a sale for La Cremeria ice cream. She asked if it was really cheap and i said i think it was. It was normally around RM16, i think and when it is on sale, it can go to about RM13 plus. Now it is going for RM12.99.

She then responded by saying "...and you can use the box to defrost the milk!!!"

I was left laughing out loud as that was exactly the thing in my mind!!!

*One of my all time fav songs taken from the musical "Chess".

Monday, 16 September 2013

Survivor* - Destiny's Child

I recently started watching Breaking Bad - recommended by a good fren. Well, I have 5 seasons to catch up!!! It helps that the first only consist of 7 episodes!

Here is a quote from episode 5 of season 1 - and one of the best scenes of the series so far for me (i'm only at episode 6 of season 1):-

"...You've read the statistics sheet, these doctors talking about surviving, one year, two years, like it's the only thing that matters. But what good is it to survive if I'm too sick to work, to enjoy a meal, to make love. For what time I have left, I want to live in my own house, I want to sleep in my own bed. I don't want to choke down 40 or 50 pills every single day, and lose my hair, lie around, too tired to get up, and so nauseated that I can't even move my head. You cleaning up after me. Me... me some um... some dead man, some artifically alive, just marking time... No. And that's how you would remember me. That's the worst part. So... that is my thought process, Skyler... I'm sorry, it's just I choose not to do it". 

What would i do if in the same situation? I might just agree with this... and choose life!

*This song won the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 2002 Grammy Awards.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Satisfied* - Jewel

I went to watch Pacific Rim this week. I had a great sense of satisfaction after the movie!!! =)

I know people will talk about how bad it was - i have a friend who said she just wanted to run out of the cinema. Sure, it is predictable - and the story-line is a rip-off from The Avengers!!!

But the question i wanted to ask those who are complaining is what is it they expected when they went to watch Pacific Rim? Do people go to watch Pacific Rim for the story-line? For the acting? For the message that it preaches? For something to intellectually challenge themselves? If yes, i really dun know what to say about these people (without sounding offensive...).

Well, for me, i go to watch Pacific Rim to see giant robots fighting giant monsters!!! heck, even their tagline is "To fight monsters, we created monsters"!!!

And i got EXACTLY what i wanted!!! Big huge robots fighting big huge monsters!!!

You should have seen me the next day at office - my colleagues were super amused to see me rattle off about the movie like a small boy all excited over a robot movie!!!

Sure there were humans involved too... but i did not go to watch them!!!

If you look hard enough, you can see there are humans!!!
Having said that, i thought IdrisElba was pretty good IMHO! Rinko was nice to look at - and Ron Perlman was his usual watchable self!!!

I want my Pacific Rim toy NOW!!!!!!!!

*Her second single from her brilliant Sweet and Wild country album, it was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Yellow* - Coldplay

It has been more than 2 months - just a few days after the 60 day mark. We thank God that Shona has been generally well and healthy!

The biggest scare for us was her prolonged jaundice episode. When she was yellow. Not Simpsons yellow but it was pretty bad.

We were prepared for it. Deep down, i was hoping that she will be spared of it - but she was not. When it happened, we just prayed that it will be just like the normal jaundice cases. A lot of people were saying that "all" babies have it these days. Do not know how true is that statement - but perhaps it was not meant literally.

When her condition did not improve, we were advised by the clinic doctor to send her to the General Hospital to put Shona under the UV light for a while. We did.

"Chop"!!!! So Malaysian!!!

Having dinner in the corridor of the ward

Being the public hospital around, i think they weren't too keen to keep Shona around for long taking up a lamp - they would rather use it for more needy cases. In any event, we were glad that they thought Shona could go home.

But her condition did not improve that much. We took her back for her usual clinic check-up and were told her situation is not very good - kinda contradicting what the hospital doctor said!
The place where blood was drawn :(

But at the end of the day, we could see that Shona really wasn't her usual self. So we decided to check her into the private hospital and pay for a few nights there.

 We spent a couple of nights there until she showed signs of improvement.

The story did not end there, tho. She did improve but then there was a relapse a few days later. It was close to a month and by right, any jaundice would have disappeared by now.

To be honest, i was really worried. On top of that, i had to go back in Subang - have to conduct classes. Before i left, we took her to the government clinic and they were very worried. They did a urine test and took more blood to be tested. It took a while but we finally got the urine tested and it was fine. We however had to wait a few days for the results of the blood test. It was only out after i have left.

When i was back in Subang and before the blood test results came out, Shona's condition did not improve and the wife got really worried. I tried to sound brave and strong and told the wife not to worry - while i was worried sick. I told her to just wait for one or two days more for the result of the blood test.

But in the end, the wife brought Shona to see the specialist. The doctor informed us that it was breast-milk jaundice - since she was being breast-fed, she had this sepcial kind of jaundice. At the end of the day, what was important was that the doctor said it was nothing to worry about and that Shona is and will be fine.

Sure enough, when Shona went to the govenrment clinic for her routine check-up, the blood test results showed that she was fine.

She is a brave girl, no doubt!!!

Quite a drama for us first time parents. We are truly thankful that she recovered fully from the jaundice and is now in the pink of health (literally and figuratively)! No more yellowness.

*My fav song of theirs. It also reminds me of a monologue my fren did when he purposely sang it out of tune!!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Superman (It's not easy)* - Five for Fighting

I was one of the first few people who caught Man of Steel. I was really interested to see how it is.

I really so wanted to enjoy it too. After all, i was one of the few people that actually enjoyed Superman Returns (yes, i did!!! You can read about it here). Well, this was supposed to be better! Hey, i even wore red underwear to the cinema (and like the new Superman, i did not reveal it!!!).

My verdict? It was more Super-meh than Superman.

Sure there were some good point about the movie. I have blogged about it in my other blog and you can read about the good and the bad of the movie there.

On another note, i realise that watching movies cannot be the same again. It was the same realisation i had when i saw The Lion King musical for the second time when i was in London last year with the wife. It was a different experience, watching it as an expecting father.

The best part of Man of Steel to me was when his parents had to deal with sending him away. I found tears in my eyes as i know how painful it may have been. But it was the right thing to do - the best thing to do. Parents will do whatever it takes to protect their child, to ensure their child has a better future. Even if it means it comes with a great personal cost.

I guess the real Superman - and Superwoman - in the movie was Kal-El's parents. And i hope that i will be a Superman to my Shona too. It's not easy but by God's grace, i hope i can.

*Featured on a few TV series (Smallville was one of them, of course!) and nominated for a Grammy in 2002.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Feeling good* - Michael Bublé

"So how does it feel to be a father?" Someone asked me that - and i couldn't answer him. Not immediately. I feel good! But it was more than just that.

Where shall I start? I have been overwhelmed by so many feelings and emotions since the day - no, the moment I saw her for the first time in the delivery room. I'll never forget that feeling. It was the best feeling I have ever experienced in m life. I way over the moon. Heck, I was over Mars and Venus too!

Since then, almost 1 month has passed. It has been a crazy one month, with our learning curve as parents going up steeply and quickly, with visits to the doctors, with reading so much to learn so many things, and at the same time, catching up on work in a crazy last few weeks of the term, not to mention suffering from dengue fever!!!

Truth be told, part of the reason why I could not answer the question on the spot was simply cuz I din know the answer. I mean, I know what I have been feeling but I have not had the opportunity to really sit down and think about it.

Yes, I *am* happy - to say the least. I'm proud. I'm ecstatic. I feel so blessed. God has been so good and gracious to us by blessing us this way.

And yet, at the same time, I feel afraid. I am scared. This is the real thing. There is no trial run. We cannot reboot it nor can we start afresh if we mess it up. Are we up to it? Will we do a good job? How will she turn out to be? Are we really ready? But can anyone ever say that they are?

And I know also that this blessing will bring together with it moments of hurt, feelings of helplessness, sleepless nights, stressful and worrisome days... But that is what we "signed up" for. The price to pay will be high - but at the same time, we know - and we were just reminded by the speaker tonight - that the rewards are sure. And the rewards are priceless. And the rewards will truly outweigh the sacrifices that we will have to make.

Is it any wonder why I could not answer that question immediately? There are just too many answers!!! But I am glad he asked it - and I am glad I have the time to think about it.

*His remake of this wonderful jazz song originally sung by Nina Simone. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Waiting for that day* - George Michael

Another new day at Ipoh... 

3 days have come and gone since the day when she was suppose to come. Today does not seem like the day too... but then again, we won't be surprised if she decides to show up! 

We've been preparing for this day for so long - and we've been expecting her since last week. Yet, she still seems to be comfortable where she is and is delaying her coming. 

Well, to say that we've been preparing for so long may not be so accurate. Sure, we've been making the arrangements etc. but truth be told, i've been so busy lately that altho her coming has been on my mind a lot, i've not really been preparing myself very well. So in that sense, it is a good thing that she is not here yet - the extra days have been used to prepare myself - mentally and physically (trying to get lots of rest!!!). The missus and i have also been spending a lot of time together knowing that times like these will not be easilly found when she's here.

So while the tension is high and the suspense is great, we are still enjoying ourselves and looking with great anticipation for her appearance! I hope it'll be sooner rather than later as i have to get back to work soon...

We may not always get what we want - but God will give us everything we need!

*Taken from his brilliant Listen without Prejudice album, this song is medley-ed with You can't always get what you want.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Do you hear the people sing?* - Cast of Les Miserables

I woke up a few times. Couldn't really sleep well. perhaps it was anxiety. Perhaps it was the excitement. I'm sure there was some sadness too. It's probably a combination of all three.

Anyways, i wanted to get up early and go before everyone else.By the time i got there, a steady queue has been formed - and it was growing by the second!!!

By the time 8 o'clock struck, i couldn't see where the line ended. It just went on and on and rounded a corner at the bottom of the street. I was glad that they opened the gates on the dot. Having said that, there was another round of waiting when we got it. We were herded and amde to stand in line following our allocated stream. It was like school assembly all over again! When we finally were called to go to the classrooms, we had to wait while tehy verified (paintakingly) the details of each voter before allowing them to do their thing! But it was all over. 

As i walked me mom out of the school and back to her house, the crowd was in full strength! It felt good. Really. Even from the start of my wait, i was touched by the fact that people took it so seriously that they actually decided to wake up early on a Sunday morning and queue up. Spirits were high and stangers chat with each other, their main common ground is that we are all Malaysians and we all want to play our part. When they called for senior citizens to move up ahead of the queue, one could see so many of them - some with the aid of walking sticks, most who should have been in bed instead of being out in the humidity - actually wanting to vote. Surely not for themselves (only). They are doing it - I'm sure - for their children and their grandchildren. I saw a frail old man being wheeled on a wheelchair. I heard later how this mentally challenged young man with a paralysed right hand still wanted to go and make his mark, literally. 

Truth be told, i felt a little down in recent days - partly due to the fact that some people have decided not to vote. Some of them are even proud about it, some amking a joke of the whole thing. I felt sad. I felt sadder when others commend these people. 

But today, i can see that these are in the minority.For today, I saw my fellow citizens coming out together on huge numbers and in one voice, from all ages, of all backgrounds, a lot are physically challenged, braving the heat and uncomfortableness, sacrificing their time and more, going to cast their vote. I do not know who they have voted for but I am proud to be one of them today who got our nails blue (tho for some, not for long) and who fulfilled our duty to our beloved country.

You could almost hear them singing together that we are Malaysians and we want to have a say in the democratic process of our nation. We are singing a song that tells others that we care. 

*This song was chosen to be the closing song for the movie version released recently.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A change would do you good* - Sheryl Crow

Why would one want to vote for the oppostion? Are we not living comfortable lives here? Do we want to risk the stability we enjoy? Should we not be happy with the way things are? We can surely name many other countries in a worse condition when compared with our country. 

So why should I vote for the opposition? Because i have had enough of the racism in this country (even BN consist of parties which are divided by race!!!). I have had enough of being asked what my race is even though I am Malaysian. I have had enough of the corruption we see everyday. I have had enough of the exploitation - and although i live in some comfort, many others are denied basic human rights and necessities. I have had enough of people getting (filthy) rich unjustly and no action is taken against them. I have had enough of the arrogance - which is understandable after being in power and in control for more than half a century. 

By voting for the opposition, i hope i spread the message that if the government does not perform satisfactory, then we the people can remove them. Similarly, this message should go to the opposition that if they come into power and likewise are corrupt and racist etc, then we the people can remove them. I see the good done in Penang (although some have gone to great lengths to cover it) and i hope the same good will come to this country too. I cannot be 100% sure what will happen if the opposition win - but i can be sure of what will happen if they don't. And because of that, my vote this Sunday is pretty much confirmed.

I hope to vote for a better future for my children. If the future for them is improved, then i will be so happy. If the future is not good, i hope they will forgive me - but still be proud knowing that i dared to do something to make a change for the better.

* The 4th single from her 2nd album.

Monday, 29 April 2013

I saw her standing there* - The Beatles

 I saw her the other day. I shouldn't have been surprised about it but i was not prepared for it.

I must say that she looked really good! And i have to admit that she looks much better than when she was with me.

I guess i could have taken better care of her when she was with me. But i must say that she was expensive to maintain - and truth be told, i din think that she was worth it.

The incident did bring back memories of the time we spent together. Since 2007!!! The first long trip we took was to Penang. We also went to the east coast together, just the two of us.

But she's with someone else now - Sam. And he's taking real good care of her. I joked with him that i would like to have her back!!! Sam said that he would take good care of her and make sure she look good. Well, i'm happy for her! 

I have another car now but she, the purple Wira will always have a special place in my heart.

*Apparently, this song was originally titled "Seventeen"! Love this song. But then again, it's the Beatles! What is there to not love about their songs?

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The final countdown* - Europe

This is it! According to the doctors, it can happen anytime now!!! 

There is about 2 more weeks before the due date - but who knows? She may want to enter this world sooner. Maybe she want to expereince the GE13!!! Maybe she wants her mommie to have a special Mother's Day and be able to celebrate it this year and not next. 

 We've been so busy so i guess it really have not sunk in yet. Not to its full extent. It helped when the doctor started explaning the beginning of the end - what the wife will be going thru and what we will have to do. Truth be told, it all seems a little surreal at the moment. But the "sur" will be evaporating soon! Anytime now... 

The place where it all ends - and where it will begin...
*Aruguably their most popular song with the so familiar sythe intro.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

This used to be my playground* - Madonna

This is brilliant! And it moved me to tears...

*Featured in the movie, A League of Their Own, this is one of my fav songs of hers.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Everything changes* - Take That

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my 1000th post in this blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since 11112006. Almost 6 and a half years... 

Well, that's not a lot of posts. But this is a milestone of some sorts.

I know that if i just go and read the old posts, i will be transported back to those days. I will be brought back to Essex, to Barking, to London, to the life back then. I will feel the joy and taste the bitterness, i will ache again and cry once more.

I may not understand everything i have written. I will probably not feel the same way as i felt last time. I would laugh at myself for the kind of things that had happened and the the type of thoughts i was having.

Well, that *is* to be expected. Things change. People change. The only thing that is constant is the fact that everything changes.

In my post on my other blog, i talked about the changes in my life these past few months (see here). But do i regret anything? To be honest, there are some stupid things that i wished i did not do, some words which i should not have said, some people whom i should not have hurt...

But in spite of that, i am gald of the other things that have happened, the people whom i have met in these past few years, the places i have been. I am glad of the happiness i have experienced - and even the pain and the hurt i had to go thru. That's because i am who i am now because of all i have gone thru. I am who i am now because of the influence that the people around me have had on me. And i am in a place where i am thankful and i rejoice in everything the good Lord has blessed me with.

Yes, the song goes "everything changes but you...". And i can truly testify that in spite of the fact that status quo cannot be maintained forever, God will be the same - yesterday, today and forever. And that gives me hope to carry on.

Before i end my 1000th post, i just wanna say that things are going to change even more in these coming months! Yes, someone is coming into my life soon - and my life will never be the same anymore. And regarding this change - well, lemme quote Heidi Murkoff from her book, "What to expect - the first year":-

"It helps to keep in mind that change, while always challenging, can be exciting too. Though there's no doubt that it will be - in so many ways - richer and better than ever."

*The title track of their album which never fails to bring me back to London in 1994!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Feels like home* - LeAnn Rimes

Finally, after close to 3 months since getting the keys to our house (see here). The path to actually getting to move in was just as rocky as the path to purchasing the house!!! But that journey has come to and end. It has been 2 months since we've moved in and we have settled in well. We are really thankful to God as we like the place very much!!!

But it is not perfect. If you look at the photo above, things look really nice! Take a closer look and you will see how shoddy the workmanship is for the renovation carried out. Things were done in a thoughless and careless manner. Our moving in was postponed many times - thank God we were allowed to extend the rental of our flat or else we would have been squatters for a couple of weeks. Promises made by our contractor was constantly and consistenly broken. He had also promised to provide a lorry and help to us when we had to move our stuffs in. On the fateful day, he told us he cannot do so - it was obvious that he could not finish the work at our house and hoped that by not providing the lorry, we will have to postpone our moving in again. But thank God again that we managed to make alternative arrangements and moved in - yeah, we were living there when the house was still a mess, workers carrying out their jobs. 

Even to this day, the work is not completed yet. He has promised to come to finish it up - and broken his promise many times too. To be honest, it was really frustrating at times. I got so mad whenever i see the shoddy work carried out in my house. It is such an embarassment. These people take absolutely NO pride in what they do. If they think they can get away with not doing something, they will try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh? 

The longer i stayed there, the more i see the slip-shot manner they carried out the renovation. A classic example was this - they made a "manhole" in the ceiling so that one can go up above the ceiling and carry out repairs if needed. When the water filter people came to wash the water tank, they discovered that the manhole was cut in a place where it was impossible for anyone to go through it!!!! The person who cut the manhole just did it and did not care if it was fit for purpose. He must have surely realised it but did not bother at all. 

Sigh... Having said all that, it really feels good to have a place to call home. For Valentine's day, we decided to celebrate it at home - and it was probably better than any place that we could have gone to (and spent a bomb)!!! 

So sure, it may not be a perfect house - we noted that there could be termites too... - but it surely feels like a home to us. After all, it is not the building that makes a house a home. 

*Taken from her 3rd album. I really like her voice!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

With a little help from my friends* - The Beatles

I finally caught the newest trailer for Ironman 3!!!

So so good!!!!

I'm one of the few people that i know who is looking forward to this movie. A lot of me mates were disappointed with Ironman 2. To me, it wasn't as good as the first one, of course, but it was still good!!!

But this trailer only made me long even more for it!!!! If you want to know little details you can get from this trailer, you can read about it here.

This scene really got me excited too!!!! Back-up!!!!

*This song was written for their drummer who sang it! Ringo!!!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Blame it on the rain* - Milli Vanilli

Went for a haircut. After it was done, i heard the thunder rumbling. I knew i had to rush to beat the rain. But i was too late. It had oredi started raining.

That meant i was trapped!!!

Well, it's not a bad thing, right? After all, it was a mall i was in - and i could wander around, checking things out, something that i have not had the chance to do for a while...

But yes, it *is* a bad thing! Wandering around could mean spending money too!!!!

And yes, i spent quite a bit. Well, according to my budget, anyways. Bought some books. =)

But they are books! And books are good, are they not?


Anyways, it was the fault of the rain...

*Their big hit - which was not sung by them! Still, it had a catchy tune! =)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Thank you* - Dido

I was just thinking about the account where Jesus healed 10 lepers. He told them to go and get themselves checked by the priests - they were the people who can official declare that they are healed. As they wemt, they were healed - but only 1 came back to thank Jesus.

To a small extent, i felt that way recently. 9 students were pestering me to sign their Certificate of Good Behaviour. I had to arrange with another colleague to bring it over to them as they were overseas.

Only 3 bothered to write back to me to let me know she received it and to thank me for it. The others - some who were communicating with me so regularly on this - got  their cert and remained quiet.

Sigh... not the first time, tho. As a lecturer, when the students need you to do something, they will be yr best frens at times - but when they have no need of you, you'll become the invisible man.

I guess this is a good reminder to me to always be grateful to the Lord and to others around me - and not to take them for granted. Sometimes, it is so easy to say a simple "thank you". And that simple gesture can mean so much. But it's the simple things that we forget most of the time...

Still, before you think all my students are an ungrateful lot, i must say that many of them have expressed their gratitude to me. Here are just some of the thank you notes that i have received which is pinned-up on my cubicle wall now.

*Her first big hit - and this song was first featured in the movie, "Sliding Doors".

Thursday, 28 February 2013

One more chance* - Madonna

I came across this video today. It's actually an old clip - it took place in October 2011. I was pleasantly surprised and really liked it. So i'm sharing it with y'all here! Just some context - this clip was taken during the 25th American Cinematheque Awards Ceremony. Robert Downey Jr was honoured with the American Cinematheque award and he actually chose Mel Gibson to present the award. This clip is of his acceptance speech - and it is not your typical acceptance speech:- 

I've always been a big fan of Robert Downey Jr - and this vid shows a part of him that we rarely see (well, for me anyways). This clip just speaks to me so much! 

Instead of focussing on himself when he accepted his award, he took this opportunity to talk about someone else. He turned the spotlight to someone else - and he asked that we all forgive someone who has made a mistake. 

This also shows that kindness can and should be reciprocated. Mel had no idea what was going to happen in the future - and he helped Robert without asking for much in return. What goes around, comes around - in a good way sometimes, and now Robert was doing mel a big favour.

It also reminds me of how we need to forgive people when they have made a mistake. After all, no one is without sin. Jesus said that let him who have no sin be the first one to cast the stone. people do make mistakes - and i believe that those who made mistakes should be given another chance. And if we follow the principle in the Bible given by Jesus - and another chance, and another chance, and another chance... .

I guess i feel that way cuz i have made many mistakes in my life - and still am - and time and time again i have been given another chance.

p/s - I have the DVD forThe Singing Detective but still have not watched it yet after all these years!!!! Must dig it out...

*Taken from her compilation album, Something to Remember, this is my fav song of hers despite it being one of her lessor known singles.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Closing time* - SemiSonic

Finally, they will asking for their last call. After the end of tomorrow, they will not be opened again.

I'm talking about Sin Seng Nam, a popular coffeeshop in KL. After 85 years of running their business there, they will be closing. I'm not fan of local papers - but you can read a nice write-up about it here.

Pic taken from The Star
I blogged about this place some 5 years ago - when i came back from my studies and paid the place a visit only to find empty chairs at empty tables. Can't help feeling nostalgic and a little sad when i found out that the place will be closing.

As i read back my old post, i am transported back to Seng Nam in those years when i was still practising. It was a place where we'd feel completely at home. I was there with my colleagues, i was there with me mates, i was there with my clients. i was there alone. There's something about that place that i can't put into words.

Ah well... thanks for the memories!

*One of their more popular songs, it was nominated for a Grammy (Best Rock Song) in 1999.