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.