Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Who needs sleep?* - Barenaked Ladies

So after the previous post, my condition just went worse. The medication did not help at all.

By the time the weekend came, i was so unwell that i spent most of the time in bed, sleeping. It was really bad - so bad that i actually dragged meself out of bed and went to see a doctor on Sunday. Only that they were all closed - and it did not help that Monday was a public holiday for us too.

Spent so much time sleeping. I really couldn't do anything else - not even watch TV or look at my phone. The pain in my sinuses was so bad - that one day, i was lying in bed in tears, longing for relief from the pain.

I was finally diagnosed with sinus infection and put on a course of antibiotics. Thank God that my condition improved after that and by the end of last week, I was feeling good - it was a strange sensation not having my nose congested!!!

Looking bad, it was probably God's way of making me rest and sleep. The past half year has been really challenging. Last month was really tough, with the working trip to Singapore. The demands of work has been increasing and increasing, and i do not get any reprieve when i get home as then the demands from the girls come. Then when they go to sleep, it is back to work again.

I think my body was really suffering and in dire need of sleep. The sinus infection did not affect the other parts of my body - but it was enough to knock me off my feet and ensured that my body gets the rest and sleep it is craving for.

Bad time management, unrealistic expectations placed upon self - all these just made the body weaker and weaker. Who knows what would have happened to me if i did not have the sinus infection!

Some times, i don't know my limits but thankfully, i have a heavenly father who knows - and will make sure i don't push myself over it.

I was talking to some colleagues last week and they were saying that everyone had fallen ill badly this semester as it has indeed been a very trying one. I'm thankful that i have been generally well.

*Taken from their 4th full length album, their most successful which contains their popular One Week.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Unwell* - Matchbox 20

I'm sick. Been fighting it for a while but physically, i cannot take it anymore.

Thankfully, it is not so bad. After all, i am at work now - and being as productive as i possibly can. And the best thing is that the two little girls are recovering. In fact, the older one is more or less recovered and the smaller one is on the way there.

Since October, it has been really bad, though. They have been sick - taking turns or doing it together. The worst was when the older girl had to be hospitalised. Poor thing.

The good thing was that once she was hospitalised, she started to get better. She was severely dehydrated and putting her on the drip really helped. I had to stay the night with her at the hospital but everything was fine.

However, they continued to fall sick - visiting their doctor became a weekly ritual! Having said that, it was always very nice to see the grandfatherly pediatrician. He is so knowledgeable and so calm and reassuring. and the girls enjoy the playthings he has in the waiting room.

For mummy and daddy, we get to go to the nearby shopping mall and have our dinner there!

But for now, mummy and daddy are falling ill - thankfully, the girls are fine. Cannot imagine how it is to take care of the small ones who are sick when we ourselves are not well.

*One of my all time favourite songs!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Hello, Goodbye* - The Beatles

By February next year, i would have been sitting at my cubicle for 8 years. The only one from the Law School who moved in there in 2010 and still be there on the 9th floor of Block E.

The same chair, the same table. Now they ask me to move. At such short notice.


Some of my colleagues are not too pleased with this. Some are getting emotional.

Me? Well, it's inconvenient - but i guess being older and experiencing so much changes in life, it does't really bother me that much.

I'll miss the old place. But i guess I miss the people more - so since most of my close friends have left already, the place is just that - a place.

Trying to look at the positives! I'm facing the window now so i also have more space to keep my things. And it's way brighter - with a built-in fluorescent lamp. The people at the new place have so far seem friendly - unlike my previous place where it was all 'business' like and no one bothered to even make eye contact! I'm with the hospitality school so i guess they should be pretty hospitable!

On top of everything, i have a view at my new place!!!!! =)

Hello new place and new people, goodbye old place.

At the end of the day, it'll still be business as usual. Work, work, work.

*Their single for Christmas 1967 - 50 years ago! And still so good.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Honesty* - Billy Joel

I was reading this to my daughter a couple of months ago:-

She stopped me and asked, 'What is blubber'?

I told her as what the book says, it is fat. 

She asked, 'So whales are fat?'

I replied, 'Yes'.

She added, 'Like daddy?'

'Yes, fat like daddy', i told her. She giggled.

You can count on kids to be honest on matters like these. Brutally honest!!!

*One of his many Top 40 hits, one of my favourite songs of his.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Just the two of us* - Grover Washington Jr & Bill Withers

Our kids are wonderful! Sure, there are times when they really drive us up the wall but we cannot imagine our lives without them now.

Still, it would be nice for us the spend some time together once in a while, to enjoy each other's company without being distracted by the wants and needs of the little girls.

So it was good that in recent months, we managed to spend some time alone, just the two of us.

The first was during our wedding anniversary - it was our 6th anniversary and we left the girls with my mom and went for dinner - at the very place where we hosted out wedding lunch 6 years ago.

Then at the beginning of October, just a few days ago, we actually spent 2 days and a night away on our own. It was very short but it was better than nothing. We went to Singapore. It was really nice just being with each other, not needing to be responsible parents for a short while.

Still, at the end of the day, it was nice to be back with the girls whom we missed very much!

Wonder when will we ever get to go away again like that? Doubt it'll be anytime soon as Gemma really gave my mom-in-law a difficult time.

Ah well.... better enjoy the time we get to spend with the girls for i'm sure there'll come a time when they wouldn't want to spend time with us. So while they still do, we better make the best of it!

*This song won the Grammy for the Best R&B Song in 1982. A brilliant funky jazzy song.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Don't worry, be happy* - Bobby McFerrin

Saw these flowers in the car park the other day. Reminded me of these Bible verses:-

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It was a timely reminder to take one day at a time. Everyday, i pray to God, help me through today.

*Such a brilliant song, hit the charts at the time when i was going through my STPM revision.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

I will carry you* - Michael W Smith

Exactly the reason why i do not refuse the opportunity to carry my little girls. Especially the older one. I don't know when carrying her would be the last time i do so.

* A track from his 14th studio album, This is your time.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Send in the clowns* - Judy Collins

Someone sent me this after last weekend's game:-

I think it portrays the team very well! We have a bunch of clowns at the back!

After taking the lead at 3-2, we gave up 2 points by conceding another comical goal close to the end in added on time!

This morning, we performed slightly better. Our keeper was better and he even saved a penalty (albeit a poorly taken one). But the defence still leaves much to be desired.

Sigh... what is Klopp up to? Everyone knows our weakest link is in the defence but he hasn't done anything to strengthen it, has he?

*This song was written for the musical, 'a Little Night Music'. this song has been recorded by many popular artists and is considered a jazz standard

Friday, 4 August 2017

You make me feel like dancing* - Leo Sayer

I played some instrumental piano music on me phone last night for my youngest daughter. She loved it.

But the silly girl started to 'dance' - going round and round and round until she fell down on her bum, obviously feeling a little dizzy!

She sat there, with a silly smile on her face and making us all laugh.

I think music is gonna be very important to her just like how it is with her daddy!

*His first no. 1 single in the US but only managed to reach no. 2 in the UK. This song also won the Grammy in 1978 for the best R&B song.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Baby you can drive my car* - Lulu

I've read and heard a lot of good things about the movie, 'Baby Driver'. To be honest, i wasn't too keen. So he's a getaway car driver who has a baby face. So what?

But then i saw this clip as i wanted to find out what all the buzz was about:-


I began reading up more about it and realised why the writer and directer's name sounded so familiar (sorry but i really couldn't remember). He wrote Shaun of the Dead - one of the best movies ever!

And he also wrote the screenplay for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World!

It also brought back to memory this scene - one of the best movie scenes ever for me:-

Then the music in the first 6 minute clip made sense if the movie was directed by Edgar Wright.

So i made my way to watch it. It was one of the most enjoyable 2 hours i've had for a long long time. It really is sooo good! From the story line, to the wonderful cast and the music that was chosen for the movie, it was so near perfect!

I had a big struggle internally after that - is this the best movie for 2017 for me? Clearly better than the ones that i was looking forward to (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Aliens Covenant, Spider-Man) and better than the ones that critics have been raving about (Dunkirk, Wonder Woman). But is it better than Logan? Logan is definitely the best superhero movie i've seen. And it was just as good in terms of storyline and cast. But Baby Driver for now edges it into the top spot purely on the music part.

I doubt the upcoming movies that i am looking forward to will top this - Thor, Blade Runner, Kingsmen. But i hope that Star Wars will be better than this. I really do.

*Her remake of the Beatles' classic 'Drive my car'.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Shape of you* - Ed Sheeran

I saw this on social media today:-

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works. 
Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight. 
If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. 
Here are some things you can say instead: "You look so healthy!" is a great one. Or how about, "You're looking so strong." "I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body. 
Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one. 
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself. 
Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself. 
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes. 
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with. 
Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture. 
Teach your daughter how to cook kale. Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter. Pass on your own mom's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. 
Pass on your love of being outside. Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants. 
Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul. 
~ Sarah Koppelkam

I absolutely hate it when some people say to my daughter, 'Look at your tummy!!!! You are soooo fat!!!!!' If a girl is obese, you can tell her to take care of her health. If not, then just keep your views to yourself.

When I was overseas recently and was channel surfing, I saw this ad about a product which will help the (woman) wearer enhance her cleavage. It starts of with her feeling really sad and miserable as she has a colleague at work with a nice cleavage - and it ends of with her being so happy because now she can have a nice cleavage too!!!!! I felt so sad that these advertisers try to promote the idea that your life can only be complete if you look or are shaped in a particular manner - and if you are not, then you should feel miserable.

I think it is important in this day and age to emphasize the important of being beautiful inside and not to be so shallow and only be in 'love' with the shape of a person.

I am so surprised that so many people actually like the song that is the title of this post. To me, it is a song which objectifies women - which is why it is so surprising to me that people like it. It is a song that demonstrate how shallow the song-writer is. I hope my daughter will never end up with a person like that, who is only infatuated by her external looks - but that she will find someone who loves her for who she is, and for the wonderful person she is.

*Everyone probably knows - and loves (except me) this song now.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Walking in the rain* - The Ronettes

I love walking in the rain!

Well, i used to! And it also used to drive me mom up the wall! She would always get on my case when i would return home drenched and soaked to the skin.

It did not start out intentionally. I walked everywhere. And during the rainy season, it would be inevitable that i would get caught by the rain. And during those emotional days, the rain seemed to be the perfect companion on those lonely walks. I remember one classic moment as i walked back home, i asked rhetorically 'What else can go wrong???' and almost immediately, it started to rain. That made me laugh. God has a good sense of humour!

These walks increased when i went to London to study. Yes, gloomy rainy London - where i also walked everywhere. It was a different kind of feeling, walking in the rain there - the rain there felt so much more gentle, unlike the rain here which sometimes feel like icy pin pricks.

But when i got back, it was time to grow up. It was time to get a job - and i certainly cannot be going to the office or into the courtroom dripping wet!!! Still there were the odd occasions when i would forget about what people think and enjoy my wet stroll. A memorable occasion was when it started to rain after a particularly long dry spell. It was a moment to celebrate - and i did so by running out of the office and let the rain fall onto my face.

But those moments were few and far in between. And come fatherhood, i surely cannot be doing these kind of stuffs, can i? Can't i?

Well, the opportunity came when i was travelling for work - and away from the kids. That was last week. Got caught in the rain, was soaked to the skin and absolutely loved it!!!

Wet look!

I only wish someone would invent mini little wipers to fit onto the specs which will help when it rains too heavily!!!

Thank God i didn't fall sick, though! And it reminded me how wonderful it is to do walk in the rain. Yes, i will do it again with my girls!!!! They cannot grow up without experiencing the joy of walking in the rain. It'll drive their mom up the wall but it'll be worth it!

*Released in 1964, it was nominated for a Grammy back then. It has been in the Rolling Stones' 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Monday, 17 July 2017

19* - Paul Hardcastle

19th Grand Slam! 8th Wimbledon won without dropping a set!

I've said so much about him - there's really nothing more i can say right? After all, the facts speak for themselves.

"I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour. I guess I dreamed, I believed, and really hoped that I could actually maybe really do it. So I put in a lot of work, and it paid off."

*This was a big hit when it was released back in 1985 - hitting no. 1 in a lot of countries.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Girl you'll be a woman soon* - Urge Overkill

So I took a break from marking to go and catch Spider-Man Homecoming.

I sat next to this young couple who brought along their young daughter, probably slightly younger than Shona. They were enjoying their hotdog together before the meal.

When the show started, the little girl sat on her daddy's lap. At the end of the movie, she was snuggled up with her mom and her daddy took a wefie of them together before her mommy scooped her up and carried her out of the cinema.

I don't know why but it warned my heart witnessing all this. Such precious family time together.

Reminded me of how we would spend so much time taking Shona out. Now with her little sister around, it's just not possible to do this anymore.

And it struck me that Shona is growing up so fast - there are so many things that we cannot do anymore and if I'm not careful, she will be all grown up in a flash. It made me just wanna to rush back home and spend more time with her - despite the fact that I have so much work to do.

 Oh - if you read all the here waiting to hear my review of Spider-Man, it was awesome! Go watch it. If possible, bring along your kid daughter even though she probably won't understand what is going on.

*This song is found in the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction. Brilliant song for a brilliant movie!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

For the first time* - Kenny Loggins

History was made today when the first ever batch of International Law & Human Rights I module sat for their exams!

I have had the privilege of teaching this group and it has been a pretty trying semester - not helped by the fact that they decided to put the 2 weekly lectures back to back! On a Friday evening!!!!

I have had sleepless nights literally preparing for this and I for one am glad that it has all come to end.

The funny thing is that this will be the first and the last batch - for the syllabus has been changed and come next year, International Law and International Human Rights Law will be taught in separate modules - as it should.

*I like this version which is found on the soundtrack of One Fine Day.

Friday, 30 June 2017

So far away* - Carole King

My daughter wanted to eat tau-fu-fa but we were not planning to go to the place that served it. So i told her it was far away and it was not convenient for us to go there.

For emphasis - and a little bit of dad joke - i said that it was tau-fu-FAR!!!!

Not to be outdone, she responded immediately that we don't have to go eat tau-fu-fa. We can go eat tau-fu-NEAR!!!!!

*Found on her brilliant album, Tapestry. Love this song!

Monday, 26 June 2017

If you wanna be happy* - Jimmy Soul

If you asked me, I would be happy if I went for a picnic at Regent's Park in London, caughtthe fun rides at Disneyland, enjoyed the sunset at Santorini and watch the northern lights at Norway.

But to my daughter, a picnic at the nearby park or a ride on a swing in an unkempt playground is enough for her. Some of the swings were broken, there was rubbish strewn all over the playground, but the as the sun set, i could hear her giggle and laugh as she sat on the swing.

A reminder that we don't really need much to be happy and contented.

*This song was featured on the brilliant soundtrack of My Best Friend's Wedding.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Heroes* - David Bowie

Someone at work wished me 'Selamat Hari Raya' yesterday. Maybe he thought i was Malay?

But then again, we are all Malaysians. We all celebrate these holidays, don't we?

Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians. Maaf zahir & batin.

 I like this ad the best this year. It reminds me that we are all heroes in our own ways.

*To be honest, i first heard the cover version of this song by The Wallflowers from the soundtrack of Godzilla! This original version is just as good!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Bridge over troubled waters* - Simon and Garfunkel

A touching tribute. So sad. One's home is supposed to be the safest place one can find in this cruel world.

It was also touching to see the firefighters clearly moved and saddened by the tragedy. These brave people ran in and went up when everyone was trying to go down and out. Respect!

*The original version, such a beautiful song. It won 5 Grammy Awards in 1971 including Song of the Year and Best Contemporary Song.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Daddy* - Beyonce


It was around 2 in the morning. I was woken up by my daughter earlier as her diaper leaked and her clothes and bed got wet.

Had to wash her, change her, changed the bed sheet and mattress protector and put her back to sleep. After that, I couldn't sleep anymore and for the next hour,i just sat there looking at her,sleeping peacefully - and that filled my heart with so much love and joy.

Being a father is not easy! I had to eat 2 Happy Meals the last week just to get these fellas for my girls!!!!

Happy Father's Day! I wouldn't give it up for anything!!!

*Her tribute to her daddy - i hope my daughters would find the lyrics of this song to reflect how they feel for me.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Empty* - The Cranberries

Thought of day from my Hymn Lovers Favorites calendar:-

One can only fill a bottle if it is empty. God can only fill me when i empty myself.

*Taken from their No Need To Argue album.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Don't need much to be happy* - Mary Chapin Carpenter

It was her first time on the beach. She absolutely loved it!!!!

It wasn't a very nice beach. The sand was coarse and brown. But did it matter to her? No. She was the most contented person in the world, with her little shovel and small pail which she got me to fill up with sea water for her a couple of times.

As my student said, it's so nice to see how children are easily contented by the little things in life.

We have so much we can learn from the children. They are truly a blessing from God.

*From her Ashes and Roses album, released in 2012.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

For good* - Kristin Chenoweh and Idina Menzel

An important and timely reminder from the camp talks -

Romans 8:28-29 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters'.

In ALL THINGS. God works for the GOOD of those who love him (me!). God has also predestined me to be CONFORMED to the image of his son.

In ALL THINGS - this includes the pain and suffering that i have to go through.

The pain and suffering is not something bad. It's not bad luck (trials are appointments, not accidents - reminder from another talk). It's not that life is unfair and i just have to suck it up. God is using that to work out something. For me. For good.

*The brilliant duet from the musical, Wicked.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

My favourite things* - Julie Andrews

My daughter just came out of her room (again) and told me she thought of scary things.

I told her when that happens again, she should think of her favourite things. Happy things - like picnics and swimming, and bicycles and playgrounds, and ice cream and fries.

She replied, '...and tomato sauce too?'

I said, yes, she can think of that too!

She then happily went back into her room. =)

*One of my favourite songs from the wonderful The Sound of Music.

Monday, 15 May 2017

I will always love you* - Whitney Houston

I was reading a newspaper article about a 77 year old woman who is staying in a home and yearns to see her children this Mother's Day.

Here is what she said:-

“My two sons are busy and may be staying overseas. I don’t blame them. Hopefully I will get to see their faces and tell them how much mommy loves them. Don’t mention they have abandoned me. My sons have their own families and I don’t intend to bother them. Just tell them mommy loves them and will always keep them in my prayers.” 

It breaks my heart to read this. It also reminds of the kind of unconditional love a mother has for her children - despite what her sons have done or failed to do for her, she still loves them and prays for them.

To a certain extent, i can emphatise with her. There are times when my daughter is angry at me and refuses to even look at me. But i still love her. And i cannot think of anything that she can do to make me not love her anymore.

I know that i annoy my mother a lot - and can be very impatient with her. But no matter what i do, i know she will still love me. What a strong woman she is. When my father fell ill, she had to take care of him and face with his frustrations. When he passed away, we were all worried for her - but she showed us that our worry was unfounded. She has since went through the worry of seeing her youngest son go through 2 brain surgeries to remove tumours therein. She is still strong - but physically getting old. I am glad that she gets to spend her twilight years enjoying the company of her 4 grandchildren.

p/s - It makes me wonder - we have laws which require mothers to take good care of her children when they are young. Should we also have laws which require the children to take good care of their mother when she is old?

*I think everyone should know of this classic hit of hers, taken from the soundtrack of the movie, The Bodyguard.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Reality* - Richard Samderson

Expectation vs reality!

I guess that is to be expected?

But wait a minute!!!!! See this! Reality lives up to expectations!!!!

*Apparently, this song is featured on the soundtrack of a French film! One of my favourite songs way back in the 80s.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Without you* - Air Supply

I am still watching Agents of SHIELD. And I'm still enjoying it!  In fact, the past few episodes have been getting really good reviews from fans. I agree with them!

Last week's episode was one of the best ever! It moved me to tears so much.

This was one of the best TV scenes i've watched:-

Mack and a few of the team are trapped in the 'framework' - a matrix kind of world where everything is just a computer programme. Daisy and Jemma went into the framework to get their friends out - but they have to convinced them first that they are in the make belief world.

Finally, they get everyone together and convinced them to return to the real world - all except Fitz (who had to be forced to go back) and Mack. It's not that Mack does not believe - but in the framework, he had Hope. Hope is his daughter - whom he lost in the real world. And to him, Hope is everything to him. She means the world to him.

In an emotional speech, Mack responds to Daisy's plea of returning to the real world and leaving behind what is not real. He said that Hope laughs at his jokes, they watch movies together, when Hope is sad, he holds her. Hope is real to him. And he does not want to live in a world without Hope.

At that moment, i could relate to him. If i was in the same position, would i want to live in a make belief world with my daughter, or would i want to live in the real world without her?

*Their version was the first version of this song that i heard.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Never gone* - Backstreet Boys

It's been 10 years since papa left us. Time really flies. We went to the columbarium like how we did for the past 10 years. The difference was that we are all much older. But we enjoyed recalling little things about him that made us all smile.

There are times when I miss him a lot - more than I thought I would. But more than that, I wish that my two girls would have had the chance to know their yeh yeh - he would have loved them deeply and they would have enjoyed being spoiled by him and entertained by his antics.

But having said that, I know my girls will see a lot of their yeh yeh in me - and I will try to love my girls selflessly and sacrificially as he did to me when he was still around. I thank God for giving me such a wonderful example to follow.

*Taken from the album of the same name, the song was written for one of the guys' father.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The greatest love of all* - George Benson

I can try to guess. Or even imagine. But I'll never know how much it meant for the Holy One to take away my sin.

So here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that you're my Lord. You're altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonder to me.

*The first and original version before Ms Houston made an even bigger hit of it.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ten thousand angels cried* - LeAnn Rimes

It rained (again) this evening - on Good Friday evening. When that happens, I always remember this song:-

*I love her version of this beautiful song!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

How deep is your love* - Boyzone

"...When you do have a child no matter how much you think you're prepared for it you'll be stunned by the capacity you have to love somebody."

RDJ.s character in Ally McBeal

I shared this quote before on Facebook, quite some time ago - and i still feel stunned at how much love i have for my daughter. The other day, i just sat with her, holding her hand, looking at her happy face and feel the love inside of me just .... just wanting to explode! I just sat there with a big smile on my face, hoping she didn't notice the tears i had in my eyes.

I wished she can know how much i love her... but at the same time, i know she can't. Not until she has a child of her own...

*Their remake of the Bee Gees classic!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Only one* - BoA

This was sitting in my draft folder since last August. Came up with the title and wanted to start blogging but did not get the chance to do so.

Until now - when it seems right to do so?

I noticed back then that all the links to my friends blog in the side bar reveal that not one of them have continued blogging! Yes, i am the only one left.

In fact, there was a time when i was sure that i would join them - and leave the blogging world for good. You would note from the side bar that in 2014, i only blogged twice! Only 2 postings in the whole year! I only resumed in 2015 after my second major surgery in recent times. But by the end of 2015, i was only blogging once a month.

Things did not improve much in 2016 - in terms of blogging.

The event that triggered my blogging life again was watching the movie Sing with Shona. I did not think i would blog regularly again - but at this point of time, at the end of February, i have already blogged more than i have in the whole of 2016!!!!

The thing about it though is that i do not know if it will last. I have many things i wanna blog about lately but i've been so busy. Term is resuming next week - and i'll be really caught up with work - at Uni and in church!

I really hope i can go on blogging... but if not, then at least i would have improved this year compared to last year!

*The lead single from her 2012 Korean album of the same name.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The dream is over* - Story of the Year

So 9 months after winning the Premier League for Leicester against all odds (see my post here), Ranieri gets the sack!

In an interview yesterday, he said that his dream has died. It's ironic that a man who made so many people's dreams come true and who has inspired millions not to give up on their dreams now finds his to have died.

Was it the right thing to do? What is 'right'? Unfortunately, in today's EPL, he can be considered fortunate to have lasted so long!!! But some fans wouldn't mind being relegated if he was still their manager.

The debate will go on but all should be able to agree that the EPL has lost one of the most charming, humourous, passionate managers.

Let me end off with something light-hearted...

*A song taken from the 4th studio album of this American rock band.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Try a little kindness* - Glen Campbell

I was at Giant the other day to buy milk. Just one bottle. made my way to the payment counters.

Not my photo - got it from the Foursquare page of Giant USJ

To my dismay, the 'express counters' were not opened and only 3 payment counters were - and all 3 had long lines of people with trolleys full of stuffs. I queued at the shortest one but it would still take a while before it comes to me.

I waited and waited and waited... i tried to look out for some managerial staff so that i could complain and ask them to open at least one 'express counter' for people like me. But none were in sight.

And so i waited. And waited. Some lady in front was taking a long time removing all the items from her trolley (and there were a LOT!!!) and placing them on the counter. And then taking each item and placing them one by one back into her trolley - as she opted not to pay for plastic bags so she was placing each item back in and was probably gonna roll it to her car.

I felt like Judy Hopps in Zootopia waiting for Flash the sloth to give her the info she wanted - the only difference is that i was still waiting in line and it wasn't my turn yet!!!!

Another pic obtained from online without permission...

When it was almost the turn of the lady in front of me, she turned to me and asked if I would want to go first! It really took me by surprised - i stammered 'Well... erm... yeah... if you don't mind...I only have one item'. She smiled back at me. Her elderly parents must have been thinking that she was out of her mind!!!!

When it came to her turn, i stepped forward and paid for the milk. And then i was off, saying 'thank you' again for the millionth time.

Now why would she want to do that? What benefit will she get from doing that? Nothing! The benefit was all mine! The only benefit she can get is that satisfaction of knowing that she did something kind to a random stranger and really brightened up his day - and i hope she will meet more people like herself. In a world where people appear to be more self-centered and selfish, I am reminded that there are still those who are selfless - and i hope this motivates me more to be like that too.

Such a simple act of kindness - can you imagine what kind of a world we would live in if all of us did one simple act of kindness? It will cause others to do the same - and that would cause even more to do the same. And it will go on and on and on and on - for kindness will surely result in more kindness.

*One of our favourite songs in Sunday School back then!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Monkey* - George Michael

Little Gemma turned one recently. On my suggestion, we got a monkey themed cake for her when we were back at Ipoh to celebrate it with her maternal grandparents.

Why monkey? Well, she was born in the year of the Monkey according to the Chinese calendar. But it's not a very nice thing to say of your child? That she's like a monkey???

It's all in good humour and the wife and her parents did not seem to mind.

She is after all trying to climb all over the place. When i carry her, she would try to climb over my shoulders! She's one active one - and fearless one!

This little monkey have brought so much joy into our lives. She has also caused us to aged much!!! We are thankful to God that despite the little mishaps and scare (see here for example), she made it to her first birthday, full of energy, in good health and spirits. A milestone for all of us - and the first of many more to come!

May God continue to grant us the strength and patience and love to bring this little monkey up in a way that will please Him. Like her name suggests (and as the Dave Bryant song goes), may she be like 'a precious stone, crystal clear and finely honed' - so that the life of Jesus may shine through her and give the glory back to him.

*His 6th solo single reaching no. 1 in the US (the 4th from his Faith album)! It was also his first dance no. 1.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Save the best for last* - Vanessa Williams

One of the things i look forward during Chinese New Year is the 'yee sarng' - or literally translated, raw fish. Apparently it is created in Malaysia and is now something that one has to eat during a CNY meal!

It is basically a colourful dish mixed with some raw fish together with plum sauce (to overcome the fishy taste, i guess). The key thing for this is the name itself which in chinese sounds like 'increase in abundance' - that is something the superstitious would like to happen in the new year. The Chinese eat a lot of food at this time more for the name of the dish/food.

I had it 6 time this year. All very different. One even had raisins in it!

The first time, during our reunion meal

The 4th time. And the 3rd time at Ipoh.

The best one this year was the one we ate on the last day of CNY. I guessed we saved the best for last? It was home made by my sis-in-law.

What we really liked about this is that it uses fresh ingredients - vege and fruits! Carrots, cucumber, dragon-fruit, mangoes! It tasted so refreshing!

Well, no more until next year!

*Some consider this as her signature song. Certainly one of her better ones!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

When you say nothing at all* - Alison Krauss

Queen Elizabeth II: It doesn't feel right, as Head of State, to do nothing.

Queen Mary: It is exactly right.

Queen Elizabeth II: Is it? But surely doing nothing is no job at all?

Queen Mary: To do nothing is the hardest job of all. And it will take every ounce of energy that you have. To be impartial is not natural, not human. People will always want you to smile or agree or frown. And the minute you do, you will have declared a position. A point of view. And that is the one thing as sovereign that you are not entitled to do. The less you do, the less you say or agree or smile...

Queen Elizabeth II: Or think? Or feel? Or breathe? Or exist?

Queen Mary: The better.

(Taken from Season 1 Episode 4, The Crown)

*Her version of this song which was released in 1995 before the more popular(?) remake by Ronan Keating was released in 1999.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Only wanna be with you* - Hootie & The Blowfish

So Chinese New Year came and went. It was pretty good!

It wasn't what i had hoped it would be! But it was good!

I was hoping to be able to catch up on the TV series that I have been wanting to watch - or even do a binge on the entire season 1 of The Crown. That seemed pretty possible when we checked into the staycation apartment and found out we could watch Netflix there! On a 60 inch HD TV!!! The missus managed to catch a few episodes but i only watched some bits and pieces only.

In the end, i did very little watching TV - as my daughter wanted me to be with her all the time. Or rather, she wanted to be with me all the time. After all, it has bee n a long time since i did not have to go to work and she did not have to go to school!

Even when we got back to Ipoh, the situation did not change! I expected her to stick with her grandmother (who was ever willing to spoil her her to bits and give in the every single requests of hers) but surprise, surprise, it was 'daddy, daddy...' all the time too.

So that's how i spent most of the CNY - watching Ben & Holly with her, doing her workbook with her, reading with her.

To be honest, there were times when it was tiring and i just wanted to spend some time or do 'adult' things, not kiddies stuffs. But i know that there'll be a day when she wouldn't want to be with me anymore (or even embarrassed to be with me?) - so i better enjoy it while i still can!

And enjoy it i did!

*Their signature (arguably) song which hit the charts successfully in 1995

Monday, 6 February 2017

Because of you* - Kelly Clarkson

This was the interview Federer gave after winning his 18th Grand Slam recently:-

In an older post some years ago, i share about how i felt sad for Federer that there is someone like Nadal around. I thought that if Nadal wasn't around, Federer could have been even more successful than he is now. You can read that post here.

But this two lines from the interview above showed that Federer had a more positive outlook at things (at around 4:05 onwards):-

"As much as he has hurt me and hurt my career sometimes, I still always respect and enjoy the match-ups with him. You know it has not been easy, and i think he made me a tougher and better player over the years, so without him, I wouldn't maybe be here tonight..."

He can be very bitter about things but he instead looked at the glass as half full. And this is a good lesson for me too. There have been people who have hurt me before - and some still do. But these people - although unintentionally - actually made me into who i am today. Some have actually made me tougher, some have actually made me better.

God sometimes put difficult people in our lives to make us better.

*She said that she wrote the song when she was 16 years old as a means of coping with her parents' divorce. It was released in 2005 when i was in the UK and it brings back memories of those good times there.

Monday, 30 January 2017

The best* - Bonnie Tyler

I never thought I'd ever see Roger Federer win any more Grand Slams. Not with the younger people like Djokovic around these days.

But never say never! Roger Federer defied odds and injuries and won his 18th Grand Slam yesterday in Australia!!!

World no. 1 Andy Murray and former no. 1 Djokovic were sent packing earlier and it paved the way for a mouth-watering final of Federer and Nadal!!! Something that many never thought they would get to see again - the two of them battling it out in the finals of a Grand Slam.

Even then, i have had too many heart-aches to give Federer much hope. But something inside still thought there may be a slim chance. After all, Federer had an extra day of rest.

I was out of town and could not watch the match live. Even if i could, i'm not sure if i would have watched it! I can't remember when  last watched anything live - and seeing the team/person i supported win!

When i checked the scores, Federer was leading 2-1!!! I then followed the live scores update - and sure enough, Federer lost the 4th game! It had to go to the deciding 5th set! And Federer - for all his skills and flair, in my view is not a person who has the physical strength to compete with the younger men in the 5th set.

But he did!!!!!

Well done, Roger! Form is temporary, class is permanent!

And he showed his class in the interview afterward when he said "Tennis is a tough sport. There are no draws. If there were I would have been happy to accept one tonight and share it with Rafa".

But I am glad he won! He is truly the best player that tennis has seen! Perhaps he should now retire while he is still playing well! Or shall he try for 19?

*This song was released in 1988 but the cover version by Tina Turner the following year performed better.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Have a nice day* - Bon Jovi

Met a gentleman yesterday morning at the lift lobby - and I do not mean gentlemen in the generic sense. He was dressed very well and carried himself well. I didn't really notice him and was looking on the floor when he wished me a good morning.

The lift then came and of course he gestured to let me in first. When his floor came, he said 'Have a nice day' to me before exiting.

As he did so, I saw from his backpack that he was from the Ministry of Higher Education. He was a guest but he sure made me feel welcomed! Such a pleasant encounter.

If only we were more like that. If only I was more like that...

A friend commented that this gentlemen is a rare species. That is true - but also so sad. How difficult is it to just say 'Have a nice day' to another human being?

*The first single from their album of the same name

Thursday, 26 January 2017

To sir with love* - The cast of Glee

This was reported in the University of Essex webpage yesterday:-

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of human rights pioneer Professor Sir Nigel Rodley KBE, who has died at the age of 75.  
Sir Nigel was one of the founding fathers of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre, a generous colleague and a wonderful friend. He leaves his mark all over international human rights law and institutions, in particular at the United Nations. 
He dedicated most of his life to combating torture and other serious human rights violations and was a beacon of hope to victims of such atrocities. He will be greatly missed by colleagues at Essex, those around the world who have worked with him and by the many students he has inspired over the years.

Pic taken from the Uni of Essex webpage

Sir Rodley was my lecturer. He was my supervisor for my dissertation. He was a wonderful person.The world has lost a great man. The world is a better place today because of the work that this man did when he was alive.

He was such a great and well respected person and he has done so much to improve the respect and fulfillment of human rights around the world, and at the same time, he was always so humble, always so friendly. The meetings I had with him were usually short and I regretted not taking the opportunity to ask him more of the work he had done and the horrible violations of human rights that he had come across.

During lectures, he was always ready to make jokes and laugh but when he starts to talk about how human rights were being violated and breached, you could see the seriousness in him and the heart he had to defend and protect those rights.

If I had met him without knowing anything about him, I wouldn't guess what he had done. But I found out what he did - and was so impressed and inspired. I am a better person today because of him.

Thank you, Sir!

*Their version of this classic song which was sung in season 1

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Baby it's cold outside* - Vanessa Williams & Bobby Caldwell

It's Chinese New Year this weekend!!!! Besides the usual pineapple tarts and dried meat and Mandarin oranges, we will be expecting super hot weather! But will the expectations be fulfilled?

It has been raining daily. Yesterday, it rained from morning and it was basically showers all day long. It felt like London!

It looked like gloomy London too, this morning!

I went for walk in the rain the other day - i didn't know it was raining when i left my office and when i got down, i was too lazy to go back up to fetch my brolly. So into the rain i went - and i quite enjoyed it!!! I used to love doing that and it brought back memories of my days in the UK and in London!

Autumn in London
It has been a while since i've done that - and it is probably wise too as i'm not that young anymore!!!! I immediately felt like falling sick that night itself. Being stuck in the traffic jam for a while in an air-conditioned car while being soaked to the skin didn't help. Thank God that the thousands of miligrammes of vitamin C i took helped!

But i digress. Back to this morning - even the temperature feels like late spring/early summer in London!

According to the weather forecast, it's gonna be like this for the weekend too!

Well, i for one am not complaining. The hot weather during CNY is not something i look forward to but something i put up with. I hope the weather forecast will prove to be accurate (am i asking for too much?).

Hot or cold, have a great Chinese New Year/Spring Festival celebrations!!!

*I like this version of hers which can be found in her equally brilliant Christmas album.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

You are loved* - Rebecca St James

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Do not read on until you have watched Sherlock Season 4, Episode 1.

Watson: You didn't kill Mary. Mary died saving your life...

Sherlock: In saving my life, she conferred a value on it. It is a currency I do not know how to spend.

Sherlock Season 4 Episode 3

Upon hearing that conversation, i thought of how Jesus died to save me. By doing so, he conferred a value on my life. On our lives. On the lives of those who believe in him. Even thought there is nothing inherently good in us - but it is of great value to God!

Then i read this verse from the Bible:-
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

Yes, i am. No matter how weak i become, or how sinful i am, in God's eyes, i am of great value - so much so that he came down to die to save me.

As i think about the uncertainty of 2017 and what this year has in store, i am reminded to not worry - for myself or for my girls.
‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?  
So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 
Matthew 6:28-34

*This song expresses the singer's desire to tell her childhood friend about God's love

Monday, 16 January 2017

I want to hold your hand* - TV Carpio

It was a difficult weekend. i was dumped with so much work suddenly on Friday and it had to be done by Monday!

It didn't help that Shona was still unwell - but she was on the road to recovery. So this meant that she was a little bit clingy.

She wanted me around her all the time. When its bedtime, she would want to sleep on the same bed with me, refusing to sleep in hers. Well, being sick meant the poor girl got her way most of the time. In the middle of the night, she would turn to me and say 'I want to hold your hand'.

It made it really difficult to get a good rest - especially since she was drifting in and out of sleep most of the time due to the illness.

When i thought that she had fallen asleep, i tried to go and do my work - only for her to call out 'Daddy!!!!!' and i had to go back and lie down next to her.

I tried very hard not to get frustrated that i couldn't get work done. I didn't want to get upset with Shona because of some other people's shortcomings which resulted in me having to do extra work to clean up their mess.

I know that i should enjoy and cherish these moments when she is so clingy and 'sticky' to me - for there will come a time when she would want her freedom and find my presence irritating or uncomfortable. I hope that it won't come until much much much later!

*Her version of the Beatles' classic song.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thankful* - Kelly Clarkson

Shona's fever persisted until today. So it was back to the doctor again this morning after i checked her temperature and discovered it was 39 degrees!

I was worried. High fever since Sunday evening. Mosquito bites on her last week and me killing a blood-filled aedes mosquito. Sure, the doctor said the other day (see earlier post) that most probably it is not dengue as Shona has a running nose. But it doesn't mean it is definitely not!

It was heart-breaking to see her last night, so lethargic and so tired. She is always so full of energy and fun.

So off we went, me with a heavy heart.

The bad news - they had to test her blood, to see if it is a viral infection or a bacterial. And since they are drawing blood, they will also conduct a quick test to rule out dengue. It would take around 15 minutes.

When Shona found out they had to take blood from her, she started crying in fear. Poor girl. It probably took very fast - thankfully the doctor was pretty good and took the blood very quickly - but it felt so long holding her and trying to comfort her.

Then the following 15 minutes felt even longer! Thankfully by then, Shona was fine. She had a nice cute bandage to show off and the doctor gave her more stickers for being such a brave girl.

We were outside, waiting for the results and the girls were having fun on the rocking horses! Then Shona played with the slide (it was quite a child friendly place) - and then we were called in again.

Good news! Confirmed it was not dengue. Thank God, thank God!!!!

We had to wait until later in the day before finding out if it is merely a viral infection or a bacterial one - the latter would mean that she would need to have a course of antibiotics.

The call came shortly after lunch - again with the best possible news. Not bacterial. We just have to wait for her to recover then.

So thankful to God and to the friends who prayed. Hate seeing Shona with the fever but am thankful its not dengue.

*The title song of her debut album.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Night Fever* - The cast of Glee

What a night. High fever (40 degrees!!!!), projectile vomiting, and a cockroach to cap it off!

Poor Shona has been having fever and it spiked in the middle of the night. I went off to get her medication for her to call out to me to get back into the room. She wet the bed! It was probably my fault for not putting it on properly plus the fact that we made her drink a lot of water that caused the diaper to leak.

So had to get her to take her medication, then changing her and washing her up, then cleaning up the bed.

As we got ready to finally go back to bed, i saw it coming - the coughing and the change of expression on her face. i scooped her off the bed just as the projectile vomiting started. As i held her, i could feel the vomit going down my back.

Thankfully, it was mainly water that was vomited so it wasn't very dirty nor smelly. had to then mop up the floor and took a quick shower - thankfully, Shona did not get any of the vomit on herself (*pats self on the back for my quick action*)!

Finally after the bed sheets have been changed, the wife decided to change the smaller one's diaper. As i went to dispose of the diaper in the kitchen, i came face to face with a cockroach!!!! I was like, when will this night end???

But with a swift strike, the roach was sliced into 2 and its poor legs ripped off!!!

And then, back to sleep! Finally!!!!

But with a heavy heart. What was the cause of the fever? And seeing her in distress really broke my heart.

p/s - Her fever was still there in the morning and we took her to see the doctor. Thankfully, the doctor reassured us it probably is not dengue. Will have to observe her for the next couple of days - and pray hard!

Family portrait at the clinic!

*Featured in the 16th episode of the 3rd season.