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.

Monday, 25 February 2013

ABC* Jackson 5

The wife was unwell so she made soup today. That's what we ate - just rice with soup. No prizes for guessing what soup she made! (Hint - look at this post's title!!!)

I think most Malaysians of Chinese ethnicity know how to make the ABC soup. It is so simple! Anyone can make it! of course some will be able to make it better than others!

While we were studying in London, a fren told me that there is a story behind this soup! A lady wanted to cook a good meal for her husband/family, so she went to seek for advise from this old wise person. The wise person gave her 3 "magic" rocks. The woman was told to boil the rocks in water - and then add in potatoes, carrots and onions. And the magic rocks will turn the concoction into a delicious soup.

Of course there was nothing magical about those rocks! But the woman learned how to make a really nice soup!

And to me, this is one of my all time fav comfort soup!

I still remember one winter night at Colchester when i was feeling ill - having the flu. It was late in the night - and altho my fren Markus from another hall volunteered to make me soup - i was saying that i was longing for some chicken soup - i turned down his offer. Din want to trouble him. After all, it wasn't too difficult!

Went to the kitchen, took a piece of chicken thigh from the freezer, plonk it into water and put it on the cooker. Chopped up some potatoes, carrots, onions and all joined the chicken. Salt and pepper. Before long, i was eating the wonderful soup - and it felt sooooo good!

Today, on a raining late morning, i ate rice with ABC soup - my wife's variation includes tomatoes! Lovely! And instead of chicken, she used pork ribs!!!! =P

*A number 1 song in 1970 - it knocked "Let it be" from the no. 1 spot back then!!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Reality* - Richard Sanderson

I was randomly channel surfing the other day when I came across an old Travolta movie, A Civil Action. It was just about to start - so what the heck? I was bored and sleepy and had no mood to do anything else.

In less than 5 minutes into the movie, I was wide awake! It really caught hold of me with a good firm grip!

It started off with Travolta's character, Jan Schlichtmann narrating this - "It's like this. A dead plaintiff is rarely worth as much as a living, severely-maimed plaintiff. However, if it's a long slow agonizing death, as opposed to a quick drowning or car wreck, the value can rise considerably. A dead adult in his 20s is generally worth less than one who is middle aged. A dead woman less than a dead man. A single adult less than one who's married. Black less than white. Poor less than rich. The perfect victim is a white male professional, 40 years old, at the height of his earning power, struck down in his prime. And the most imperfect? Well, in the calculus of personal injury law, a dead child is worth the least of all."

From that point onwards, it got me hooked! It helped when the opening credits revealed that the movie also starred Robet Duvall - who was absolutely brilliant in this movie. They were aptly supported by Tony "Monk" Shalhoub, William H. Macy, Kathleen Quinlan, John Lithgow, James Gandolfini and a small role by Stephen Fry.

But at the end of the day, we are talking about John Travolta at his best. Sure, he has made some duds but he is one engaging actor and in his element, he is truly one of the most entertaining actors around!

To top it off, this was a legal drama! A tortious claim - personal injury, one of the things my former legal firm does. A bit close to home, I guess.

The movie was pretty good - although the ending seemed to be a little anti-climax. But that's to be expected, I guess since this movie was based on a true story. Therefore be warned - no typical Hollywood ending! It was still pretty good, tho, IMHO.

One of the thing about this movie that made it appealing to me was that it was pretty realistic in its portrayal of personal injury claims and lawyers. There were even a few scenes of Robert Duvall's character giving lectures (presumably for an advocacy class) and making some very true and relevant points and the filmakers used the courtroom scenes to illustrate the point. Like one basic rule of cross-examination is to never ask a question unless you know what the answer if going to be. Travolt's character learned it the hard way - like yours truly too!!! 

Here are a few of the quotes taken from the movie which got me nodding in agreement!

Jerome Facher: The truth? I thought we were talking about a court of law. Come on, you've been around long enough to know that a courtroom isn't a place to look for the truth. 

Jan Schlichtmann: The odds of a plaintiff's lawyer winning in civil court are two to one against. Think about that for a second. Your odds of surviving a game of Russian roulette are better than winning a case at trial. 12 times better. So why does anyone do it? They don't. They settle. Out of the 780,000, only 12,000 or 11/2 percent ever reach a verdict. The whole idea of lawsuits is to settle, to compel the other side to settle. And you do that by spending more money than you should, which forces them to spend more money than they should, and whoever comes to their senses first loses. Trials are a corruption of the entire process and only fools who have something to prove end up ensnared in them. Now when I say prove, I don't mean about the case, I mean about themselves. 

Jerome Facher: [to law students] Now the single greatest liability a lawyer can have is pride. Pride... Pride has lost more cases than lousy evidence, idiot witnesses and a hanging judge all put together. There is absolutely no place in a courtroom for pride. 

Jan Schlichtmann: The lawyer who shares his client's pain, in my opinion, does his client such a grave disservice, he should have his license to practice law taken away. It clouds his judgment. And that's a beneficial to his client as a doctor who recoils at the sight of blood.

If you have not been a practising lawyer, you may be surprised at these lines - but lemme tell you that these views are spot on!!! This is the real legal practice! Good stuffs!

*One of my fav eighties hit!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Unwell* - Matchbox 20

It's the 13th day of the Chinese New Year - and i just went to the 3rd hospital since the turn of the new year of the snake!

Well, thankfully, the visit to the Assunta Hospital today was just a routine check-up - and the doc gave the all clear! =)

Before this was the Sunway Medical Centre - twice - and also the Pantai Medical Centre at Ipoh! =(

A lot of people are unwell since the beginning of the year! Myself included!!! I was told by my students that all who went with me to Macau in January fell sick when they got back. Flu and flu-like symptoms! It was the same with me. I guess the lack of sleep and flurry of activity couple with the travelling compromised everyone's immune system.

Then one of my colleagues was diagnosed with dengue fever! She was in the hospital for quite a bit but thankfully, she is back to work now.

Me mom's eyes had problems - ArMD - and i had to take her to the hospital for treatment last month. It was a little scary but the treatment went smoothly, again all thanks to God! Laser into the eye, injections into the eye...

At the beginning of the Chinese New Year, we were told that me mom-in-law was unwell. It sounded to me like a viral infection. But when we got back to Ipoh and the night of the first day of Chinese New Year, it was feared that her condition was related to her heart condition! Yes, she did have a heart condition but her health has improved so much in recent months! So the news was a blow to us all.

Since it could be so serious, we wasted no time and decided to check her into the hospital that nite itself. Waiting at the emergency ward was pretty down-heartening! It was mainly children who were brought in - all of them still dressed in their CNY cute clothes, but all of them looking not too cute as they were clearly unwell.

So me mom-in-law was admitted into the hospital but thank God it was nothing to do with her heart condition. As i suspected earlier, it was a viral infection and she was up and about in no time! Even cooked a nice meal for us on the 3rd day of CNY before we left!

Fast forward - Sunday morning, the 8th day of the CNY and me sis called me just as we were about to leave for breakfast before church service. It was me mom - her eyes made aturn for the worse. It was pretty bad and that morning itself, there was even blood! She was brought to Sunway - and there we were again, in the emergency waiting room.

It was scary as me mom's eyes were REALLY red!!! You see, the ArMD is basically having bloodcells in the eyes rupturing. This can cause blindness. It was a blow to us too as we were told that the treatment carried out was a success. So why was there blood now? Is me mom in danger of losing her eye-sight? What was even worse is that now both her eyes were red!!! Originally, the ArMD was only in one eye.

We waited until she was called into the treament room - and then she was promptly sent upstairs to the eye-specialist (altho we could not udnerstand why they couldn't send her up immediately). The specialist checked me mom's eyes on her machine - and immediately diagnosed it as conjunctivitis!!! Nothing to do with the ArMD!!!

This explains the pain me mom is feeling in her eyes and why both eyes were now red!

It was a great relief for all of us - and we are so thankful to God! 2 situations where we were fearing the worst and on both counts, it was nothing serious.

Yesterday, we were back at Sunway Medical again!!!! This time it was the missus who was unwell. It was nothing serious and she went mainly to get medication and an MC. We were just across the dialysis centre - and sad memories came back to me... I look at the old men there, hooked up to the machine, with their wives faithfully by their side, keeping them company. I remember how papa was like that and how mama was there with him thru those many hours...

Well, he is now in a better place - and my mom is definitely much happier now!

So this CNY will be remembered among other thigns for the many visits to the hospital! But these are not sad memories - God has been good to us and our families! We are truly thankful to God - and i have also realised how much i take our good health for granted.

So why were we at Assunta today? Well, that's for another post - with a happier title! =)

*One of my all time fav songs!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sleeping child* - Michael Learns to Rock

Went to visit a fren who just gave birth to a baby girl. 

Pic taken from me mate's FB page

I can just sit there all day long and watch her sleep. Despite the noise around her and the chatter of the visitors, she just slept thru it all. So peaceful.

*Did not hit the charts but this is my fav song of theirs.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Rainy days and Mondays* - Keiko Lee

I was listening to this song yesterday during a pretty gloomy looking Sunday evening...

The song really hit a spot in me! First, it has been some years since i've heard this version - and it sounds so so good! It has also been a long time since i've listened to the original Carpenters' version too.

I loved this song! Truly a classic in my books. So moody, so emotional - and so me (in the past)!!! 

The strange thing is that i dun really fully emphatise with the song! I generally LOVE rainy days! It doesn't really get me down... or does it? Maybe i love rainy days *because* it gets me so moody!!! Yeah, maybe...

But i'm sure for many people, Mondays do get us down, right? Monday morning blues is pretty common. Except that for me, my Monday morning blues came early this week! I got it on Saturday morning!!!  The reason is because i knew that the weekend signals the end of the Chinese New Year holidays for me. And the weekend was gonna pass by so quickly as it was filled with activities!

It doesn't help that i will be working over this coming weekend too - so that would mean that i am gonna be working for 12 days in a row non-stop!!! =(

Still, having said that, coming back to work is not such a dread. It's not like i was skipping my way into the office - but i guess i enjoy my work and in some perverse manner, i was looking forward to get back to work again!

Back to the song again - one of my favourite parts is:-

Funny, but it seems that I always wind up-a here with you;
Nice to know somebody loves me.
Funny, but it seems that it's the only thing to do:
Run and find the one who loves me.

It is nice to have someone to run to when you have the blues - someone who loves you! I know i can always turn to God. And i'm so blessed that he has also given someonewhom i can turn to also.

*Her version of the Carpenters' hit song.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Happy together* - The Turtles

It's the Chinese New Year! Spring Festival - altho that sounds a little premature with all the snow in the northern hemisphere!!!

For the 39th time in my life (or was the 37th?), i went for my family reunion dinner on the eve of the new year's day. It never gets stale. It's always so special. Some have left us while we have had new additions. I guess it is even special this year as we had to *return* home for the reunion!

Food was good as always! We decided for something a little bit more simpler to ease the burden on me mom who is getting older. So we din have her special "char yoke" which is easily everyone's favourite or among their favourites. We had steamboat.

We started off with "yee sarng", of course! Something we usually have - but something everyone overlooked! So it was up to me to wander out at around 5 pm on new year's eve looking for a Chinese restaurant!

After coming up against locked doors and closed shutters, i decided to go to the nearby mall and get it from the expensive restaurant chain there. They should be opened!

It was a good decision as i came across Esquire Kitchen and decided to get the yee sarng from there instead.

Well, this is a free plug for them - but it was pretty good! And my sis-in-law said that the portion was quite generous too!

So that was it! We ate and ate and ate. Why should we depart from tradition? =P

Still, just being together and being able to enjoy another reunion dinner is something pretty special. And i could see that me mom was so happy! I can't blame her. Seeing your family come together, enjoying a simple meal, laughing and chatting - what could she ask for?

Come next year, Godwilling, she will have another grandchild to celebrate the new year with!

After dinner, i stayed on to help to mop the floor. My mom couldn't help but comment that every year when i was staying at home, i would be moping the floor on new year's eve. This year, altho having moved out, it was still me who was mopping the floor. She must have felt nostalgic thinking of the past. I felt the same.

I just hope that there will be many more happy reunion dinners for all of us!

* Thier one and only hit way back in 1967 - knocking off the Beatles from the no. 1 spot!