Sunday, June 28, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON - BEN

I've uploaded one of my favourite Michael Jackson's songs of all time, Ben. This is his first number one hit as a solo artist and taken from from his second album of the same name. There is no official music video for this song and this one is taken from one of his TV performances. It would be another seven years before he hit the number one spot again with 'Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough'. Another favourite song of mine is 'One Day In Your Life' which didn't even make it to the top forty in the Billboard pop chart. On the contrary, 'ODIYL' became Michael's first solo number one hit in UK and was very well received by fans from other parts of the world. So here it is, Ben by Michael in karaoke version.

The single's cover

video

Saturday, June 27, 2009

LISA MARIE PRESLEY SPEAKS

Lisa Marie Presley wrote about MJ in her blog and there is more than what meets the eye if you read between the lines. She said that Michael knew what was coming and that she failed to help him. He even thought that he was going to end up like Elvis. What's that all about? Lisa Marie did not state clearly the exact content of their intimate conversation and the prediction that Michael made but my eternally suspicious mind suspects (please forgive me) there must have been some kind of substance abuse on his part. I truly hope this is not true. Too many lives and too many talents have become victims of drugs and alcohol. I can live with the fact that Michael was quite strange in his behaviour and demeanor. I can even accept all those unnecessary surgeries but substance abuse is something that I have never associated with Michael. Never. I know that the next few days is going to be important. His autopsy report will be released and only then will we know the truth behind the cause of his death. Never have I hoped and wanted so much to be proven wrong. Until now.

Friday, June 26, 2009

THE ANGEL AND THE MOONWALKER

One after another. First it was the Angel. Then, it was the Moonwalker. Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson passed away leaving all their fans in shock and grief. Farrah Fawcett in all her red swimsuit glory, flipped-back blonde mane and bright smile was the ultimate dream of many teenage boys and adults alike back then. Her poster sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and her feathered hairdo was copied by women all over the world (and not too long ago by Beyonce). Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, acted as the timid Scarecrow in 'The Wiz' with Diana Ross and moonwalked his way into our hearts and lives. A child star who grew up amid gossips, controversies, scandals and speculations, Michael's style has been imitated and copied (unsuccessfully) by many artistes like Usher and Justin Timberlake. Now, both of them are gone. I was truly disappointed when Farrah left Charlie's Angels and Lee Major, the Six Million Dollar Man. I was still a small child back then and these two incidents were considered as major tragedies for me at that time. I also remember watching 'Captain EO' at the Epcot Center, Disney World, Florida with two of my best friends, Nasir and Ali in 1987 (I wonder if they still keep the pictures that we took there). Not only 3D effects were used, laser and smoke effects were also employed to create an amazing visual experience for the audience. The set used for the final scene reminds me so much of Maxfield Parrish's paintings. Till today, I still regret not smuggling out the 3D viewing glasses since we had to return them after the show. Now, I can only look back at the good old times these two figures had brought into my life. The memories will probably last but their passing is just another sign that nothing lives forever and nothing stays young forever. Even for Angels and Moonwalkers...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

FATHER'S DAY

Today is Father's Day and I don't even know what to write about. There are many things that I want to tell but somehow, the words don't come out as I want them to be. I have lumps in my throat every time I think of my father. I have been thinking about this entry for the past two days and up until now, my brain still can't come up with anything. At the same time, it's also my younger brother's birthday today and it must be harder for him than it is for me. When my father was still around, we never did anything special on Father's Day. Staying far away from my parents back then, we never had the chance to celebrate Father's Day together and even if we did, it would seem awkward to do so since my father was an old-fashioned guy whose celebrations were limited to religious festivities and community gatherings. Father's Day will come and go and after today is over, I'm sure most of us will forget about it. The only one day we are compelled to show our appreciation to our fathers has made its round and it will another year before it comes back again. Many of us will be able to breathe a sign of relief but I will still be thinking about it, knowing I could have written something much more meaningful than this about my father.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

PAYING HOMAGE OR JUST COPYCAT POSES?

I couldn't believe it when these pictures came out. My eyes almost popped out of their sockets and I had to restrain myself from throwing up. The fabulous poses of Brooke Shields from her Calvin Klein days have been copied by Gisele Bunchen and Kim Kardashian (shame on them). How unoriginal and how terrible since nothing can beat Brooke's original poses. It was Brooke who put Calvin on the fashion map when she appeared on a TV commercial more than 30 years ago mouthing the words 'Nothing comes between me and my Calvins. Nothing'. Gisele is already a top supermodel so I was quite surprised when her pose imitating Brooke's came out. She did not need to do this to justify her supermodel status. Kim, on the other hand, is just another talentless star wannabe and attention seeker like Paris Hilton (unless you count the bedroom skills she practised on Ray J in their infamous homemade video as talent). I'm sure you can see the similarity here so don't ask me to elaborate. She is just another pretty face with a big butt and those copied poses look quite comical. To me, these pictures are not even tributes to Brooke. They are just another marketing strategy to boost the sales of the publications in which these pictures were published. I guess some people will never stop at anything. Certain poses will forever be embedded in our minds as belonging to certain people. Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Betty Grable, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Farrah Fawcett and numerous others have their own signature looks. Lauren Bacall, for example, is known for 'The Look' she created when she went for the screen test for her first movie. There have been too many Marilyn Monroe look-alikes but there will only be one Marilyn. The real Marilyn is dead and everybody knows you can't compete with a ghost. As much as I love Madonna (the early Madonna that is and not the present control freak she has become lately), she is just a cheap Marilyn rip-off. So to those who want to steal the limelight from others, stop being a copycat and develop your own look and style. As for me, I am like a chameleon and my looks are definitely original but they change according to my surroundings and mood. At the moment, I am sporting the 'Bitchy Look' and you definitely do not want to see it...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?

Have you ever wondered what vegetables to buy when you go the market and how to cook them? I know it can be quite a pain in the ass trying to figure out what to cook in order for you to get your recommended daily amount of minerals and vitamins the natural way (I don't like to take supplements by the way). Every time I go to the market, I will try to go to the 'sayur kampung' section first. After all, one does get tired of eating the same 'modern vegetables' (my mother calls them that) day in day out. If I see another plateful of stir-fried vegetables in oyster sauce, I would definitely scream. It is much easier to get these so-called 'sayur kampung' when you live in a small town like mine. Still, there are a lot of these types of vegetables and herbs that I don't see anymore. It was my luck when a friend of mine came to visit me with a basketful of some of these vegetables. I guess that is why restaurants which serve 'kampung' dishes are still a hit everywhere. I'm still learning the names of all these vegetables and the recipes that go with them. FYI, I don't exactly cook but I will try to help my mother prepare the dishes. She can be quite fussy and the dishes have to be prepared her way and her way only (all mothers are like that, don't you think so?). The 'sayur-sayuran kampung' are well-known for their medicinal properties and they are often consumed to remedy certain ailments. But who cares about the medicinal properties when they taste that good? Definitely not me!

Pegaga (Centella Asiatica), Tapioca Shoots, Buah Ramunggai/Buah Kilo (Moringa Oleifera)

Daun Selom (Java Water Dropwort/Sium Javanicum)

Bunga Kantan (Ginger Torch/Etlingera Elatior)

Buah Putat (Barringtonia Racemosa)

Petai (Parkia Speciosa), Bamboo Shoots, Banana Blossom, Green Bananas, Jering (Archidendron Jiringa),

Pucuk Salang, Pucuk Tenggek Burung (Euodia Redievi), Bayam Pasir (Wild Amaranth)

Pucuk Geti/Daun Turi (Sesbania)

Pucuk Midin (Red Vegetable Fern)

Pucuk Gegeli, Serai (Lemon Grass), Terung (Aubergine), Pucuk Kaduk (Piper Sarmentosum), Kacang Kelisa (Four-angled Beans)

Belimbing Buluh (Averrhoa Bilimbii)

Terung Telunjuk, Terung Pipit (Pea Eggplant/Solanum Torvum)

Buah Macang (Horse Mango)

Jambak, Daun Kesum (Persicaria Odorata)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

YOU'RE SO FAKE I CAN SPOT YOU A MILE AWAY

I'm not a very good judge of people's character but I've been meeting a lot of fake people lately and it's driving me nuts. I can't stand them but at the same time, I don't feel like telling it straight to their faces (does this make me a fake too?). Usually, I'd go with the flow of the moment and after my unfortunate encounter with them is over, I try my best not to be in their company anymore. I'd pretend to be totally engrossed in something or in a rush whenever I see them coming. That is usually the strategy that I use. But I have to admit that it is not a very good strategy. Some of them will continue to seek you out since they know that you have something that they want or there is something in store for them. Sometimes, you don't even have anything to offer them but by making themselves look impressive, they think they can command respect from you. Most of them can be really manipulative and scheming. They will wield their most powerful weapons and strategies to lure you into their traps and before you can say 'fake', you are already enchanted and blinded by their charm. A few will go at all costs to impress you with all sorts of tales and stories. Just like any other fake goodies (which will not last long), their tall stories somehow can't stand the test of time and before long, all of them will fall apart at the seams. Still, this doesn't seem to have any effects on these people. They will go on creating more impressive and outlandish stories to tell others. Can't they at least put their talents to good use? Write children's stories or scripts for soap operas for goodness sake. I'm sure there is a wider market for that and of course, the money is good too. Don't bore me and don't waste my time. If I want to hear something totally absurd, I can always switch on the TV and watch the reruns of 'The Young And The Restless' or 'Santa Barbara'.