Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - in retrospect - 2011 - a prospect

This is the last post for the year 2010. And what a year it has been. A friend of mine mentioned that it was a roller coaster of year. I can perhaps identify with that.
It’s been one heck of a revelation, this 2010 is.
I went to perhaps one of the most memorable concerts I have ever been to, in the guise of Pink Martini. I have found love, I have lost love. I have savoured the victory of some cases won and to review the cases which ended in defeat (of course not in the main roles but some important contributions nevertheless). Been to Sri Lanka, a place I have never dreamt i would go to. Malaysia won the AFF Suzuki Cup, also something of a surprise really considering they were never given a chance in the tournament after the first game thrashing of 5-1 in the hands of the eventual finalist losers, Indonesia.
I also need to make groundbreaking changes in terms of my health, some say that it’s good that it didn’t lead to more complications or that may be life threatening, either way, it’s ironic and perhaps a little depressing even. But life does go on despite everything I have mentioned, no qualms about that.
These are lessons learned and 2010 has provided many lessons and new and interesting experiences as well.
Whats in store in 2011? I wished i knew. But there is always a hope of a better year, but good or bad, I'm sure it would be another interesting and challenging year. haha....looks like my challenge ante has been raised to a higher level for next year prior to the events of 2010. And may His promises be fulfilled in 2011, I don't know what yet, but i shall be seeking them :)

Goodbye 2010, and I usher in 2011.

Happy 2011 everyone. Lets get the ball rolling.......

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Doom and Gloom never sounded this good

Was running through my mp3 list.
And then I ran through my "P" playlist.
I scrolled till I found Portishead.
I clicked on "Sour Times" and i remembered how I fell in love with that song back in 1995. On a dark, rainy day and alone at home. No lights, no electricity, only a radio running on batteries.
And i heard the wonderful melancholic, gloom and doom music that this band from Bristol played. Weird, atmospheric, sad, creepy and something to immerse yourself in such a gloomy atmosphere.
5 years later, i read a review of their self titled album, Portishead describing it as a cabaret from the dungeon. Nice way of putting.
Well, perhaps the best way to listen to Portishead, is to imagine yourself, being in a vast and empty landscape, without light, except a faint aural glow, alone, all by yourself, no one else, or rather no one left in this world and overlooking....emptiness..nothingness...
best way to enjoy Portishead...:)

doom and gloom never sounded this good...

Below are the links to the some of Portishead's work...

Oh....and another oddity in music...Bjork....

that would, perhaps, be a post for the future..

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Can Only Imagine

Kendrick chose this song sometime back for worship. When I first heard it, to get myself into the song before we practice, i was dumbstruck by the progression of it, cause I thought it was really good. And then I listened closely and read the lyrics of the song, and I thought, wow, this is really an honest song and perhaps a song which will reflect the genuineness of my emotions when I do meet my Maker when that day comes.
And when I stand before Him, I can only imagine what I would do, cause I wouldn't know what may happen. And I thought that this is really a good song to share with the people around me. And here I put forth the lyrics for your personal reflection perhaps and for you to imagine, what it will be like when you stand before Him. :)
As Celynn once puts it, "An emo song for an emo moment" :D
Herein are the lyrics:-

I can only imagine
What it'll be like
When I walk
By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus
Or in Your honour of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing Hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine, I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself
standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus
Or in Your honour of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing Hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine, I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine...

The music and lyrics can be found here
Though the version that I first heard was from Soul Survivor and I thought that it was absolutely incredible. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buy Elections and Shoot-Outs

The Hulu Selangor By Elections; was it an expected result?
To many, it was perhaps an expected result though not an anticipated one.
The Hulu Selangor Buy Elections is what its considered to be to put it more appropriately.
I was particularly disappointed with the results, not so much that Zaid Ibrahim lost, but that once again, money seems to be the greatest motivating factor. Well, at the very least, they tried to with the Chinese voters; see the pledged funds for the Chinese medium schools in Bukit Beruntung and Rasa.

I wish that much money was given to my alma mater, St Michael's Institution.

Should't parties have expenditure cap for by elections? Perhaps this is something that the EC over-sighted. After all, these are 'donations'. Come on, seriously, why 'donations' at this hour? Unfortunately we have accustomed ourselves to accept this as 'election campaigning propaganda'.
A friend of mine said, that it is a good thing for the chinese schools. I agreed. But it is only a temporary gain, and not one in the long run. Unfortunately, this is a referendum that money still buys into the hearts of people. That our politics, is still race based, no thanks to MCA and MIC for upholding that fact. And then you have PERKASA, making racial statements all day long without going unpunished. Punishing the Chinese for not voting BN by not fulfilling the pledges that were 'pledged'? Punishing under what circumstances and under whose authority?! COME ON?!!

My friends, such is the sad state of our politics in this country.

With the personal attacks on Zaid Ibrahim's 'alcoholic problems', it goes to show how hypocritical politicians really are. I'm sure all the other politicians have lived absolutely perfect lives.

So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her - John 7:8, King James Version

Perhaps that above sums it up appropriately :)...and yet they continue to cast the stones...

It is a sad day for the rakyat as a whole once again.

And to compound perhaps a week of general misery,once again, we have news of the nation's police force once again, being all too trigger happy. The shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah will once again bring Malaysian minds where, too often, the police have acted as the Judge, Jury and Executioner. Aminulrasyid never even had a chance to appear before any juvenile court for his offense (driving without a license) which seems to me, now, carries the death penalty. It's simply too tragic and crazy.
To the family of the deceased, the RM10,000.00 compensation(how little the life of a young boy seems to cost)is nothing compared to the trauma that they go through at this very moment. The loss of life and the loss of a son.
I only hope that the Bar Council's push for a public inquiry on this does not fall on deaf ears as we so often have seen in the past...

This is another blow to the image of the civil defense service, and I mean the police here, if it's not tainted with doubt and distrust already.

If anything, it further makes a mockery of 1Malaysia...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poetry and Prose

Was listening to Tourniquet's Vanishing Lessons just a while ago. It was a piece of good music and i was reminded of an excerpt in the interlude of the song, quoted by....I don't know...Vincent Price maybe? But it was from Edgar Alan Poe's Masque of the Red Death, a symbolic tale of the Black plague if I'm not wrong...

"There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless, which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost , to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made." - Edgar Allan Poe, the Masque of the Red Death

This is a random post...or is it?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Oh The Wonderful Cross

As we go through the season of Lent and this week in particular, of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, let us just remember the journey of Christ, from the time of the Passover Feast(the Last Supper) to the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed, to the events when Jesus was betrayed and sentenced to be crucified, and yet all this was done, for the salvation of you and I. At the Cross He died, so that we may live. The Death was not in a glorified fashion, for anyone would know or perceive, that the crucifixion was a devastating and gruesome encounter. But it is His death for US, which makes His resurrection even more so glorified.
Thank you for the Cross.
As we reflect on this time, let me just share this song, which has been a constant comfort in needful times for me. :)


WHEN I SURVEY the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Oh, the wonderful cross,
Oh, the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find
That I may truly live.
Oh, the wonderful cross,
Oh, the wonderful cross,
All who gather here by grace
Draw near and bless Your name.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Music: Lowell Mason (1792-1872)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Saturday Morning Visits

I dread going to the dentist.
I have been there many times, and still that dread doesn't get any lighter. But of course sometimes we do what we need to do, and today, i needed a filling.
Heck, in my previous visits, i have never opted for any painkiller jabs, so this is just one of those days.

I walked up to the counter and presented my name, telling the lady at the counter that i have earlier made an appointment.
She couldn't find my card. I apologized for i forgot that i have actually registered as Daniel. No wonder they couldn't find my card, since it seemed like any other random chinese bloke name.

I went in to see the Doc. I told her that I may have chipped off a filling. She checked and confirmed that there was a growing cavity instead and I asked me if i wanted to do the filling. Yes...of course, i obliged. She started drilling and it hit my nerve. I winced. Then she asked me if i needed an anesthetic jab.
Reminiscing my past experiences with my filling sessions, i said...its ok..i can take the pain. Then she drilled somemore...I winced in 'slight' pain.

And then i asked her:- "you're almost done rite?"
She coolly stated :- " "i have just's gonna be worse when it hits the decaying part"

OK. Screw it i thought. Bring me the jab! Suffice to say, the filling was done in no time and painlessly. In Fact, my mouth still feels numb as i type. hahaha..Damn....

The lesson of this post:- Sometimes, when the pain is too much, Don't pretend to be Hero or Macho. Nanti susah....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

O' Ye of Lil' Faith

I swear if I'm still idle in office, I'm gonna hang my head and doze off. To remedy that, I need to write, and write I shall.

I admit, I have been a lousy supporter this season. Ever since Ronaldo's Judas-inspired departure to Real Madrid, I have written off United's hopes of retaining the BPL. I mean Crybaby Ronaldo has been fantastic for the seasons before, and with United heavily relying on him to conjure up the points,surely there is a huge void to fill following his departure. With Carlo Ancelloti at Chelsea's helm and a squad full of depth, surely they looked like Champions. These were my thoughts. I wrote off Arsenal as well, being a relatively young squad, but one to watch in the future and Liverpool....well...for obvious reasons...they suck! ahhaa..and undying faith in Manchester United ...seems to be wavering.....

8 months down the line, the title race is wide open, thanks to Chelsea blowing off most of their matches, I wouldn't have guessed that United were still in contention to achieve a treble (without the FA Cup but with the Carling Cup instead). Now Chelsea is playing ketchup, but with Arsenal keeping close tabs with United, this looks like another race to the finish. BUt what's interesting is also the battle for 4th spot, the final Champions League spot, between not 1, not 2 but 4 teams!! Lets see, Aston Villa, Spurs, Man City and Liverfool.

After the United v Liverpool match on Sunday, 21.3.2010, it further fortified Liverpool's position as a truly sucky team. My uncles are gonna kill me if they read this post, but it is highly unlikely that they will read this :) haha...

Park Ji Sung with the winning header against Liverpool

Suffice to say, KING ROONEY has filled the void left by Ronaldo. Many say Ronaldo's departure had paved the way for Rooney to play upfront more freely and with confidence. But the other player whom I would especially mention is Darren Fletcher, who has finally proved, after what...4 seasons me thinks, that he is actually a good player....if not, an industrious player. This is one season where I dare not kutuk him because he does not give me the opportunity to do so. Hence, I shall concentrate my kutukans on Berbatov, whom time and time again has failed to deliver.

So...I have been wrong...and gladly I accept that my judgments have been wrong, in good ways! Of course, the race is far from over, be it the BPL or the Champions League, we still have another old enemy to battle, Bayern Munich. I haven't watched a single Champions League match other than the highlights, and if United makes it to the final, I hope my Boss is willing to grant me the indulgence, to be a part of it.

OK now...i'm less sleeepy and i can continue on my written submissions.
:)Lethargy my good friend, we meet once again......

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Glass of Pink Martini

So, there i was in my office room on a Friday morning, having a McMuffin and browsing through the Star, hoping there won't be any pictures of the First Lady, but damn....there always is a picture somehow...and i was flipping through Metro for events. I hardly do this, but its been 2 years since i last went for a concert which Switchfoot, I figured I might as well check for some stand up comedy acts. I knew Placebo was coming, but that didn't appeal to me. While browsing, I chanced upon Zee Avi....hmm...her songs are not bad....maybe can la....and then i saw an obscured tiny spot....PINK MARTINI, live in Dewan Philharmonik. I checked the for the dates....15 and 16 of March! Jeepers Creepers! Thats next week!!

I picked up the phone and called Colin, my usual concert kaki, but he couldnt make it. So I called Eugene, and he said maybe. And i posted in FB...useless effort. Within less than 4 hours, RM110 ticks were gone...and me and Eugene and He Xiang got ourselves RM150 ticks.....instead. :) Still, these were good ticks.

And so there we were on Monday night, 15 March 2010 in Dewan Philharmonik.At a Pink Martini concert! It was a formal event, and many were in their dresses and lounge suits. Everyone looked like Vesper Lynd and Bond. As for me, I was pretty comfortable without a jacket but still, not only did I feel underdressed, I felt out of place cause I thought i had stumbled upon some upperclass community gathering of sorts...but hey, I'm here for good music....and that's all that should matter to me. I was prompted by an usher, asking me not to use my camera ( pics or evidence of me being at a Pink Martini concert, i thought!). Oh win some you lose some. When the light went out, a bloke in a suit went up on stage, and gave the band it's intro...something like this;

"Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, mempersembahkan, dari Oregon, USA, Martini Merah Jambu!!!!"...hahaha...what a way to start....and when the music played....really....nothing else mattered at that time. We were experiencing our first sip of Pink Martini...

They started off with Bolero, an instrumental, which gradually introduced each member of the band/orchestra. After a grandiose introduction, Thomas Lauderdale, the pianist/ band leader thanked us for English and Bahasa Malaysia!! He carried himself very well, and we had a laugh as well. And then he introduced China Forbes, the female lead and voice behind Pink Martini. She told us that she had no idea how we have ever heard about Pink Martini, but nevertheless thanked us, to the laughter of the crowd. She started singing Let's Never Stop Falling In Love, in English and in Bahasa Malaysia!! hehaha...we clapped and laughed through the was excellent really.

And the band played on. Then they played one of the signature songs, Sympathique, which is probably an ode in French to people who refuse to work ...haha...and explained the meaning of the chorus. It was greeted with huge applause. The band then played some new songs from their latest album, Splendor in the Grass, with 2 concept pieces entitled ....hmm nevermind...i don't really remember the titles at this point.

The band had a 20 minute interval, and that's when me, Eugene and He Xiang went down to check out the Cd's on sale, for we were told that there will be a meet the band session! I wanted to get the latest album, but it was sold out and what was left was Sympathique and Hang on Little pondered for a while and....decided to check after the concert, if they had anymore stock of the latest album instead.

The band played on....again after the interval and further introduced new songs including the album titled song Splendor in the Grass, claiming it to be influenced from music by the Carpenters......and they were not kidding! It sounded like something out of my old AIWA hi fi cassette player when my dad played the Carpenters in it! Nostalgia habis!!

Before they closed, they stated that they were gonna play two songs. After playing the first song before the finale..and i knew that they were gonna end the night playing Brasil. That would have been a finale to remember! my disappointment, they played Dovedanya Mo was ok larrr...but not what expected and wanted to hear....sei..:( but when they finished, the crowd (including myself)...gave a standing ovation. They truly deserved it! So they went backstage......and then they came out!! The crowd cheered and whistled!! I was correct. My hunches never fail me. I knew they would end with Brasil! Great! it was a rousing finale and it got the crowd to their feet and samba-ing albeit from their seats.... It was great fun to see the crowd and the band enjoying themselves. We were only an inch close before actually forming a mosh pit! haha kidding...and they ended with a Bang!

4 thumbs up for showmanship! They are one band which really enjoyed themselves while playing on stage. Its like, they were entertained by themselves playing music with each other! Well...there were 11 of them in all. Just imagine Slipknot, only with evening jackets,loungesuits and without the Boiler suits and masks. No cussing, swearing and shredding of guitars but delightful, easy listening and oft-quirky music. :)

Suffice to say, after the concert, I went down, got myself a copy of Sympathique (since they had no more stock for Splendor in the Grass) and qued with my concert kakis to meet the band and get my memorabilia stuff signed. In conclusion, I had a great night out and Pink Martini gives you goose bumps and a happy feeling and leaves you wanting more :)

Below are pictures during the meet the Band sessions, Lauderdale is the guy with the silver hair and the lady is China Forbes....the rest are members of the band. Pics far below, Eugene and He Xiang...and last picture below - yours truly...haha

Good night and selamat bekerja besok.

Friday, March 5, 2010

WCW live in Malaysia

The points laid out by Zaid Ibrahim in the Malaysian Insider link could not have been any clearer. The government isn't and was never going to accept a strong opposition. He pointed out that the US government flourished due to the battle of policies between the parties, which in the end, created better and improved policies. In short, good governance.

We do not have good governance. Everyday, in the newspapers, people are hopping more than ever. The Perak fiasco has clearly proven it is the people who suffer most from party hopping. I have voted for the legitimate state government, the PR state government, and even that has been robbed away from me.

I suppose, the party hopping encouraged by Dato' Seri Anwar has clearly backfired badly. And these days, PKR members hop like crazy. But it's a good thing in the long run. The bad need to go before the good comes in eh? Therefore PKR shouldnt be disheartened by it all.

As evidenced, perhaps we should be reminded that the current Federal Government has clearly put intentions of building the nation aside. Rather the agenda or policy before the next General Elections is to wrestle back the 2/3 majority. This is blatantly evident....everyday!!

So where does that leaves us? half baked policies for the Rakyat?? But whatever it is, i know who i will be voting for in the next General Election. Without a doubt.
So perhaps people, these few years before the next GM, be prepared for a reign of darkness before the morning arises. We are still at dawn at this point.