Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 ROUND-UP (2009 RECYCLED)

Any great achievements for me? NO. Any extraordinary happenings? NO. Any exciting changes in my lifestyle? Definitely NO. Everything came and went like the previous years. Am I happy? YES. To some, it can be quite strange how a person can be happy and content when not much has happened to him or her. Yeah but that's me. I'm comfortably cocooned in my life at the moment that I don't think I want anything changed (unless it's for the better). At least, not yet. I'm sure that something is bound to happen sooner and later and I'll be shocked out of my pants when that happens. Till then, I'm going to enjoy the routine that I've created for the past couple of years and if there are going to be any changes, I hope they will be gradual. Some of my friends have commented on my laid-back attitude and I can only agree with them. After all, what is there to argue when everything that they say is true? Still, it doesn't mean that I don't work hard or put in any effort at all. I do but I don't think I'll be increasing the quota for my effort any time soon. Even then, I would say that what I've done is definitely much more than that done by some of my colleagues and friends. So how about that?

p/s Nothing much happened to me in 2010 and this entry is the same one that I wrote a year earlier. In other words, it's recycled and I might do the same thing again at the end of this year!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

MY BIRTHDAY : JUST ANOTHER DAY

I celebrated my birthday a few days ago and to tell the truth, there was nothing special on that day. It was just like any other day. I was too tired to think of any way to celebrate (and too old for that actually). I had my breakfast with my mum and did my house chores after that (didn't I just mop the whole house a few days ago?). I checked my facebook and replied the birthday wishes that I received (thank you y'all!). In the afternoon, I had a light lunch with a friend and after that, we went to the bank to finalise his house purchase (I sat there in a daze waiting for the next customer to be called as the bank officer went through all the details with him). Then both of us went to the hardware stores to look at paint samples and catalogues (This got me a bit excited since I love seeing colours). We also went to see a guy to get quotations since he wanted to do a little bit of renovation for his living room (I had to keep my mouth shut since the renovation was for his house and he could be quite stubborn with the way he wanted things done.) After that, it was off to the supermarket to get a few things on my grocery list (the same veggies and the same canned processed food as always). It was drizzling by the time I finished and we headed back to my house. I went to bed quite late and that was that. I remember someone said "A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip."

p/s So much for adding another number to my age, huh?

Monday, November 8, 2010

MICHAEL JACKSON - BREAKING NEWS

I believe many have heard that Michael Jackson's posthumous album will be out soon. December 14 to be exact. The first single 'Breaking News' from the album 'Michael' premiered today and I like it very much. It is definitely a 'Michael Jackson song' (no doubt about that) but the song itself is not without any speculations and doubts. There are many out there who think that the singer of the song is not actually Michael Jackson himself. Well, I don't know what to say. It could be Michael and it could be someone else imitating his voice. There are rumours circulating on the Net saying a singer named Jason Malachi is the one who actually sings the song. The passion, feeling and conviction usually associated with Michael's delivery are not truly evident in this song and this could be the cause of all the doubts and suspicions. Either way, his estate and Sony will definitely be making lots and lots of money from this. There are many factors that could have contributed to this. Michael's voice could have changed as he got older and if that is really him, I'm sure the vocal recording is not the final take. It could have been a recording taken during a song rehearsal. The recording company could only work with what was available to them and that is why the song lacks many of Michael's signature sounds. I'm sure the truth will be known sooner or later. We have enough sophisticated technology to identify a person's voice and it's not impossible somebody out there can prove whether it's Michael's voice or not. During the meantime, I'm simply going to enjoy the song regardless whether it's Michael Jackson or not. After all, it is indeed breaking news.


p/s Well, what do you think? Is it Michael?

Friday, November 5, 2010

RACE : OVERRATED?

Race. It's not really an issue but it is sad how we tend to make it into one and then blow it out of proportion. It's difficult to define someone by his or her ethnic background anymore and to do so is only going to invite endless debates and arguments. To me, there is only one race. The human race. There are no other races in this world unless you count the aliens who are yet to prove their existence (that's why we still produce human babies FYI). Still, there are many in our community who are still obsessed with skin colour and ethnic background. What we fail to see is that many of us are not only of one ethnic background anymore. The only thing that we have succeeded in doing is putting people in categories that we ourselves or someone else have chosen and set. That might have worked hundreds or thousands of years ago when racial superiority and racial discrimination were a common practice (for obvious reasons of course). At that time, interracial marriages were very few and far between (almost unheard of actually) but nowadays, marriages of that sort are no longer seen as strange. So how do we categorise the children of interracial marriages or do we even dare to categorise them? It's time we look beyond the physical attributes and ethnic background of a person and go deeper than that. A person should not be judged based on what he or she looks like. I, for instance, am quite dark in complexion while my younger brother is very fair. Most of us do not even look like our ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The issue of race in Malaysia might not have reached a truly complex level since children from interracial marriages are often brought up in the dominant culture of one of their parents but it can and will be when children do not want to or no longer can identify with only one culture or race due to the complex nature of their family background. There will be many who will refuse to be labelled as 'Malay', 'Chinese', 'Indian', or the discriminating 'others'. Even right now, there are many around us who are proud enough to embrace their various heritages and do not want to be of only one. This racial labelling is often social and political in nature and to continue putting labels on people will only heighten racism, prejudice and mistrust. It's still not uncommon to hear parents who are against interracial relationships and there are many who are totally against interracial marriages. Love is universal and it knows no boundary. Love is not just one shade but a rainbow of colours. Whatever thin, invisible line that we have created will one day break and we'd better pray that it will not break all of us too.

Monday, November 1, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 8 : WHITNEY HOUSTON - WHATCHULOOKINAT

The single's cover



It's time for you to strike back
They're lookin' at you
Whitney Houston
Muhammad 2 G
They're watching your every move

Bobby

They're watching you

Why you lookin' at me
Don't get mad at me
'Cause I'm still gonna be me
(Tell me, tell me, tell me)
Whatchulookinat
(
Tell me, tell me, tell me)
Whatchulookinat
I feel your eyes on me
You been telling lies on me
(
Tell me, tell me, tell me)
Whatchulookinat
(
Tell me, tell me, tell me)

See I don't understand
Why you keep peepin' me
When you don't even like me
You're after me and my man
Don't think you're stressing me

'Cause your lies don't excite me, no no

(Never thought)
Never thought, never thought
(Never knew)
Never knew that you would do this to me
Do this to me
(Try to ruin me) Ruin me
(Be my enemy) Be my enemy
(Never thought)
Never thought, never thought, never thought
(That you) That you
Would act as if you're cool with me

So why you lookin' at me

Why you lookin' at me
(Don't get mad at me)
Don't get mad
('Cause I'm still gonna be) Gonna be me
(
Tell me, tell me, tell me)
(Whatchulookinat)
Me, me, me

(Tell me, tell me, tell me)
(Whatchulookinat)
Tell me whatchulookinat
(I feel your eyes on me)
Feel your eyes
(You been telling lies on me)
Telling lies
(
Tell me, tell me, tell me)
Tell me

(Whatchulookinat)
(Tell me, tell me, tell me)
Whatchulookinat

Oh you know you're wrong
Don't wanna respect my song
But it's okay 'cause either way
My following is real strong
You try so hard to show the whole world what I do
Now I'm turning the cameras back on you
Same spotlight that once gave me fame
Trying to dirty up Whitney's name

(Never thought)
Never thought, never thought, never thought
(Never knew)
Never knew that you would do this to me
Do this to me

(Try to ruin me) Try to ruin me
(Be my enemy) Be my enemy

(Never thought)
Never thought, never thought, never thought
(That you) That you
Would act as if you're cool with me
Why you lookin' at me

Messing with my reputation
Ain't even got no education
Trying to mess with my concentration
Don't even have a clue of what I'm facing
All you know you need to stop it
Defaming my name for a profit
God is the reason my soul is free

And I don't need you looking at me

Lookatchaself

LET'S KARAOKE 7 : WHITNEY HOUSTON - I LEARNED FROM THE BEST

I finally did it! This is the karaoke for Whitney Houston's I Learned From The Best, one of my favourite Whitney songs of all time. I'm not sure if the instrumental is an original or not but I finally managed to find one that fits into the video. Now, let's sing!

The single's cover



Did you really think that
I would really take you back
Let you back in my heart
One more time

Oh, no no

Did you think I’d still care

That there’d be more feeling there
Did you think you could walk back
In my life
Oh


So you found you missed the love you threw away

Baby, but you found it out too late, too late

And so you know the way it feels to cry
The way that I cried when you broke my world in two
And baby, I learned the way to break a heart

I learned from the best
I learned from you
Oh baby, now, I learned from you


I remember cold nights

Tears I thought would never dry
How you shattered my world
With your goodbye, your goodbye

Would have sold my soul then
Just to have you back again
Now you are the last thing on my mind


Now you say you’re sorry and you’ve changed your ways
Sorry but you changed your ways too late

And so you know the way it feels to cry
The way that I cried when you broke my world in two
And baby, I learned the way to break a heart
I learned from the best

I learned from you
Oh baby, now, I learned from you

So when all you’ve got are sleepless night
When those tears are clouding up your eyes
Just remember it was you
Who said goodbye, who said goodbye

And so you know the way it feels to cry
The way that I cried when you broke my world in two
And baby, I learned the way to break a heart
I learned from the best
I learned from you
Oh baby, now, I learned from you


I learned from the best
I learned from you

Friday, October 29, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 6 : JANET JACKSON - DOESN'T REALLY MATTER

The single's cover


Hmm, he-he
Oh, hey
Doesn't matter (It doesn't matter)

Doesn't matter at all

Doesn't matter what your friends are telling you
Doesn't matter what my family's saying too
It just matters that I'm in love
with you
It only matters that you love me too

It doesn't matter if they won't accept you
I'm accepting of you and the things you do
Just as long as it's you
Nobody but you, baby, baby

My love for you, unconditional love too
Gotta get up, get up
Get up, get up, get up and show you that it

Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing
Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter w
hat they believe
What matters to me is you're in l
ove with me

Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing

Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter what they believe
What matters to me is you're nutty-nutty-nutty for me

(You're so kind)
Just what I asked for, you're so loving and kind
(And you're mine)
And I can't believe you're mine

Doesn't matter if you're fee
ling insecure
Doesn't matter if you're feeling so unsure
Cause I'll take away the doubt within your heart
And show that my love will never hurt or harm

Doesn't matter what the pain we go through
Doesn't matter if the money's gone too
Just as long as I'm with you
Nobody but you, baby, baby

Your love for me, unconditio
nal I see
Gotta get up, get up
Get up, get up, get up and show you that it


Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing

Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter what they believe
What matters to me is you're in love with me

Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing
Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter what they believe
What matters to me is you're nutty-n
utty-nutty for me

(You're so kind)

Just what I asked for, you're so loving and kind
(And you're mine)
And I can't believe you're mine

Doesn't matter what they say
Cause you know I'm gonna love you anyway
Doesn't matter what they do
Cause my love will always be with you

My love for you unconditional love too
Gotta get up, get up
Get up, get up, get up and show you that

My love is true, and it's just for you, uh

Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing

Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter what they believe
What matters to me is you're in love with me

Doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing

Cause I'm in love with the inner being
And it doesn't really matter what they believe
What matters to me is you're nutty-nutty-nutty for me

Nutty-nutty-nutty my love for you
I can't believe my dreams come true
I've finally found somebody whose heart is true

And best of all you love me too
And nutty-nutty-nutty my love for you

I can't believe my dreams come true
I've finally found somebody whose heart is true
And best of all you're nutty-nutty-nutty for me


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Nutty-nutty-nutty my love for you
I can't believe my dreams come true
(He-he)
I've finally found somebody whose h
eart is true
And best of all you're nutty-nutty-nutty for me
Nutty-nutty-nutty my love for you
(I'm always doing that!)
I can't believe my dreams come true
I've finally found somebody whose heart is true
And best of all you're nutty-nutty-nutty for
me

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GUCCI IS GUILTY OF STRANGELOVE

Gucci has just launched its latest fragrance for women, Guilty which is said to be inspired by Barbara Streisand's song of the same title. Even the print ad for the new fragrance bears a striking resemblance to the album covers of Streisand's Guilty and A Star Is Born, one of my favourite movies of all time. All that was fine until I saw the ad campaign on television last week. I could not believe that they (don't ask me who they are since I don't really know) have used the anthem of my youth, Depeche Mode's Strangelove but by a different group for this commercial. Oh my heart! My aching heart. I'm sure there must be a lot of people out there who like Friendly Fires' version but DM's version is still the one that I hold close to my heart. Nothing can ever replace that version. Period. End of discussion. I love that song so much that I even posted two different versions of Strangelove video clips back in November 2008. Every time I listen to its haunting melody, deeply ambiguous lyrics, pulsating drum beats and lush hypnotising synths, I am taken into another world. Totally strangelove, I'd say. To me, they (again I don't know who they are) have committed a serious crime and it is totally 'unforgivable' (pun intended of course).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

THESE (SKULL BUCKLE) BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING

I love boots especially ankle boots. In fact, I love most boots as long as they are not too bulky or make me look as if I belong to the construction site or the fish market. I even own an old pair of Capezio cowboy boots which are considered as 80s vintage nowadays. I also have a pair of tan soft-soled moccasins which enable me to feel the ground when I walk in them. These skull buckle boots were on sale on the Internet and they reminded me of my old pair of boots that I kept somewhere in the the back of my closet. Just for old time's sake, I decided to try them on once again and to see if they would still fit. Well, it's quite difficult to outgrow some of your foot fetish and I can safely say that they still look fine after all these years (it's been almost 25 years since I first had them). I even felt like kicking some butt when I was wearing them. I don't really fancy the first pair in the picture below since they remind me of riding boots and the skull buckles are not 'tough' enough for me. In fact, the buckles look like little brooches to me. The second pair is quite okay but again, the buckles are similar to those in the first pair. The third pair looks much more contemporary and I don't really mind wearing them to work if I have them (unfortunately, I don't). I also love the heel and the pointed toe. The zippers give them a sophisticated touch and the sheen is just perfect.

My old punk boots on the other hand came from a different era (last century actually). The heels are not that high and the soles are quite flat. The best features are the buckles of course. I loved these boots back then and I still love them now. Unfortunately, I don't think they fit with my workplace environment and current lifestyle so I'm going to send them back to where they were before. I believe their walking days with me are now over. One of these days, I'm sure they are going to find a new owner (one of my nephews maybe?) who is fascinated with them the way I was with them more than 25 years ago.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

KEEP A CHILD ALIVE : WHITNEY AND SADE

Two of my favourite singers at the same function. Yes, both of them were at the 'Keep A Child Alive', a benefit spearheaded by Alicia Keys to raise funds for children. Sade looked as stunning and graceful as ever and Whitney looked good too. Whitney's appearance somehow signifies her return to the centre of celebritiness (is there such a word?). She rarely makes public appearances anymore and a glimpse of her in public is enough to create a frenzy among her devoted fans. I wish the two of them had performed together at the benefit but unfortunately, they did not. Alicia and Sade, however, did perform 'Stronger Than Pride', a song which is taken from Sade's third album of the same title. Sade's world tour, her first world tour in ten years, will kick off next year in Hamburg, Germany. I'm sure more great things are in store for both of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(NOT) TO FORGIVE AND (NOT) TO FORGET

In life, sometimes we have to make choices when it comes to the next course of action once a (bad) relationship is over. When I say relationship, it can mean anything and everything. It can be a relationship between lovers, spouses, colleagues, friends, relatives and even siblings. Should any connection with the other party continue or should it stop? Should any casual relationship be allowed to exist or should everything be best put to rest? Someone who has been hurt badly in a relationship might go for one of these options but it is definitely difficult to make the right decision since a lot of factors can come into play.

a. to forgive and forget
b. to forgive but not to forget
c. not to forgive and not to forget
d. not to forgive but to forget

I have always believed that for everything and anything that has happened, it is better to forgive and forget. All that has changed and I'm not even sure if it's for the better. I am trying to learn to erase certain people, places and memories from my life. It's one of the most difficult decisions that I've made but I do have a lot of scars, bruises and injuries on my soul to prove and I do not want to add even another scratch to it. At the moment, I simply cannot afford to be my 'old self' anymore. My decision might seem harsh and irrational to some people but there is no more room for all these. In other words, the bitter past is over and there will never be a second chance for it to slide back into my life. I have to move on and look to the future. Good experiences will be kept tight in the corners of my mind. That is where they belong. I have always cherished them (and always will) but don't expect me to be bound to them as if they were the most precious things in my life. The opposite, on the other hand, does not even deserve to be part of my life anymore. I've been grounded for too long and I want to learn how to fly. Naturally, I cannot be weighed down by any emotional burden and sentimentality. I am not saying that this is going to be my principle forever since nothing ever stays the same but at this moment, this is how I feel...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

HOW TO BE A DIVA

Welcome to DIVA 101. This is a short course on how to be a real diva. Here you will find tips that will help you become the envy of every woman alive. These tips are not in any particular order but each and everyone of them is as important as the other so don't try to skip any. Simply follow them religiously and success is guaranteed to be yours. If you fail, don't bother retaking it. It simply means you are not meant to be one. Other recommended courses : NERD 101, JOCK 101, SLUT 101.


Lesson 1 : It can be real or it can be fake but you still need to have it. Lots and lots of it. The bigger, the better. No self-respecting diva can be seen without 'it' being in its proper place. What is it? HAIR. As mentioned earlier, it can be yours, it can be fake, it can be somebody else's but you still need to have it. Just look at Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor. Local example : Sharifah Aini.

Lesson 2 : Lots of glitter (not shine). You can have glitter on your clothing. You can have glitter on your hair. Or you can have glitter on your make-up. Just remember that the Vegas showgirl look is a definite NO. Go for classy glitter not trashy. Again, Diana Ross is the perfect example.

Lesson 3 : Never explain yourself. Explaining yourself shows that you care too much about what other people say which translates yourself as someone who is not confident enough to brave the wilderness. A diva could care less about gossips and rumours surrounding her. There is nothing mysterious about her. She simply has a nonchalant attitude. Madonna will never be the diva she is today if she has to explain every single controversial thing that she does (which is a lot).

Lesson 4 : Be over the top (even if you can't really afford it). Being over the top depends on your attitude not the size of your Swiss bank account. There are women who definitely will have more money than you do but they can never be the divas they aspire to be. So maximise and optimise your situation and your lifestyle. Some people say that the sky is the limit but a diva can definitely go beyond that. Extravagance and opulence are the keywords here. Examples : Kimora Lee Simmons and Naomi Campbell.

Lesson 5 : Jewelry. You can buy them, borrow them, rent them or even steal them. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you have them. First choice : Diamonds. One carat and above. Nothing less than that. If possible, of rare cut and colour. Nothing can top that and it's the definite status symbol. Second choice : no second choice actually. No costume jewelry and please no imitation either. Anybody can spot a fake from a mile away. And never ever wear rhinestones.

Lesson 6 : Marry well and marry rich (not someone with the surname 'Rich' okay?). It also doesn't hurt if you marry more than once but make sure you don't come out of any marriage with nothing. Never marry someone who is below your social status unless it's your third or fourth marriage and you have enough from your previous marriage to support your definitely younger toy boy. Learn something from Rita Hayworth and Liz Taylor.

Lesson 7 : Never show your weakness(es) in public. Never succumb to your own emotions in public. A diva can fall from grace when she shows that she is just like any other woman out there. Shed a tear (two at the most) and quickly wipe it (them) from the corners of your eyes but never sob.

Lesson 8 : Never stay at home waiting for something to happen. Make sure you are always in the public eye. You can go out socialising, doing charity work or even be in jail. Just make sure the press and the paparazzi know you are in there. Bring an entourage if possible. The more is definitely the merrier. Remember that the universe revolves around you.

Lesson 9 : Dress as if you have a socialite party to attend. Wear designer clothes which sound exotic and foreign (if possible, the ones which are barely pronounceable). Leave Guess, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger to the kids. Choose Badley Mischka, Emilio Pucci, Diane von Fürstenberg or Yohji Yamamoto instead. Patronise an aspiring designer if you like his or her work. Drop the label if it has become too commercial.

Lesson 10 : Never pay cash. A diva doesn't have time to deal with real money. Imagine looking for coins in your purse when it should be holding your blood-red lipstick. Leave the paying part to your assistant and your accountant. American Express only, please. No Visa or MasterCard.

Lesson 11 : High heels. You can be a six-footer but nobody says that you cannot wear them. No ballerina slippers or worse, sandals. Stilettos if you can balance yourself well. Don't horse-walk and don't drag your heels. Just sashay and float. Paint your toe nails if you have to show them but not in garish colours. RuPaul is almost seven foot tall but that doesn't stop him from hitting the roof in his heels.

Lesson 12 : Never curse and never swear. Leave all the four-letter words to the hoes from the ghettos and the bitches from the hood. Be acidic and sarcastic but never bitchy. Come up with witty remarks and unforgettable quotes. And no shouting either (not in public anyway. You can always shout at your domestic help at home if necessary).

Lesson 13 : Smile but don't grin. Grinning is for girls who think they can attract guys by showing their pearly whites. Plus grinning always makes anybody look stupid. You are a diva not a bimbo so smile like one.

Lesson 14 : Leave a trail of exotic scent wherever you go but never divulge to others what it is. If you can afford to have a perfume named after you then so much the better. Visit a perfumer ('le nez'  if you are a snob) to create your own personalised perfume and make sure it is packaged to reflect your 'divaness'.

Lesson 15 : Never ever proclaim yourself as a diva. A diva is like a queen and a queen does not need to tell her subjects that she is one. She knows who she is and her subjects do too. But remember a queen can always be dethroned so protect yourself well.


If you think you can follow these simple steps, then you are ready to enroll in Diva 102 which is definitely more comprehensive and intensive than this introductory course. There will be no test (which means no retest) or final exam. Only an on-going assessment of your progress and status. Good luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

HAVE A BLESSED EID 1431H

To all, may we have a blessed Eid this year and may peace be with all of us.

Monday, September 6, 2010

MY RAMADHAN

A few more days and the fasting month will be over. Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid and Syawal will soon take the place of Ramadhan. I haven't done much preparation for the celebration except making some cookies yesterday (which turned out okay) and cleaning the house (which was very therapeutic for me). Really pathetic I know but I can't do more than that. I'm not in the mood for a lot of things lately and I feel emotionally drained. I've been going through Ramadhan this year like a zombie and it's not a very pleasant sensation. To my frustration, I can't even pinpoint the exact reason(s) for the turmoil I'm experiencing inside. I'm sure it's not midlife crisis (I went through that a few years back) and it's definitely not andropause (not going to have that in the next few years at least). I want to blame it on the weather but I'm too smart to pick on anything that can't defend itself. Neither can I put it on the people around me since nobody has done me any wrong (nothing that is that serious anyway). So what is the problem here? I guess I only have myself to blame. A lot of bad and sad things are happening around me and I guess I can't take them anymore. A few people I know passed away unexpectedly this Ramadhan. A good friend is having serious marital problems after twenty years of marriage. Another good friend is breaking up with his lover. The devastating flood in Pakistan. Some people taking my kindness for weakness. The negativity and depressing news in the media. The list goes on and on. My emotions are too fragile at the moment and I can't handle all these things simultaneously. I'm sure this feeling is temporary and I'm also sure that I will soon recover from this minor emotional disorder (I don't have any other choice, do I?). It's just that I hate feeling so helpless and weak. In retrospective, I believe all these things are blessings in disguise. On second thought, it has been a great Ramadhan and I am thankful that I am still breathing to bask in all its wonder. I'm sure that Syawal is going to bring new lights, new insights and new directions into my life.
آمين

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WHY AM I STILL BLOGGING?

I am a late bloomer when it comes to blogging and when I finally got to it, blogging was no longer all the rage. In fact, it is now considered as passé. So why am I still blogging? Why am I still holding on to something that is almost outmoded and outdated? Why can't I simply use Twitter or facebook? Nobody reads my blog anyway so why don't I just quit? The reason is simple. I am not the type of person who can give my opinion in fifteen words or less. I am not good at summarising my thoughts and ideas. I love lengthy detailed sentences. I am of the older generation and I will never be the always-on-the-go type which usually typifies the younger generation. Blogging enables me to touch on a topic or a subject at a deeper level (there's nothing deep about the things I write actually but I like to think that I put some thought into them before they are published). I have lost my spontaneity (which I doubt I will ever regain) and that's why I prefer to voice my feelings in my blog instead of putting them out for the whole world to see on facebook or Twitter. I know a few friends who have put their blogging to rest and a few others who are taking an indefinite hiatus. Blogging can be quite frustrating if you know that nobody is reading your blog but I have always considered my blog as a diary in which I can jot down anything I like about the happenings in my life (which do not amount to much actually). Of course, I don't write about very personal things. Certain things are better kept to oneself and I am not ready (I guess I'll never be) to share that part with the rest of the world yet. Blogging can be quite time-consuming and a lot of times, you run out of ideas. Not everyone is born to be a writer and not many can keep their creative juices flowing . That is why many bloggers choose to limit their subject matter and focus on one specific area. At the same time, there are many unique blogs which have attracted loyal followers from all over the world. These bloggers have created inimitable identities and styles for their blogs. They have readers who give them constructive comments and sometimes, even financial support to keep on blogging. At the moment, I am not even sure how long I will keep on putting my thoughts in this blog. I hope it will not suffer an untimely death since I intend to bore (to death) anybody who comes for a visit. I'm sure one of these days, this blog is going to die but I do hope it is not going to happen soon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

GETTING TO HAPPY 2

I wrote way back in March about Terry McMillan's new novel 'Getting To Happy' and I was super excited (I almost peed in my pants) to get a glimpse of the cover. I simply love it and I can definitely tell who's who. Gloria is the one in baby blue. Robin is in pink. Bernadine is wearing the lavender dress. And Savannah is in canary yellow. I must have read Waiting To Exhale about a thousand times now and I can hardly wait to know what these ladies' lives have been like for the past 15 years. I'm not sure if this sequel is going to be as good as 'Waiting To Exhale' but I can hope, can't I? After all, life is partly about our journey towards happiness and contentment. Nothing stays the same and nothing can be perfect forever.

Monday, August 9, 2010

WELCOME BACK RAMADHAN

InsyaAllah, Ramadhan 1431H will start on Wednesday and I sincerely hope all of us who are observing this month will be in good health. Amid the excitement of welcoming this blessed month, let's not forget that there are others who might not be as fortunate as we are. Therefore, let's not be wasteful, indulgent and extravagant. Let's make this month a time for us to cleanse and purify our bodies, hearts, minds and souls. Let's practise moderation, patience and self-control. Let's have a truly meaningful Ramadhan.


p/s This is the link to the official Ramadhan timetable for Malaysia which can be downloaded and printed for our convenience.
http://www.islam.gov.my/portal/puasa10.php

Thursday, August 5, 2010

AL-FATIHAH

I had just returned from town when I received a phone call from an ex-schoolmate informing me that Firdaus Yusoff, one of our friends from high school, had passed away. I knew that he was hospitalised but this was a real shock. Firdaus Yusoff or Oz, as he was fondly known, was a jovial person and was my classmate. We were never really close when we were in high school since he was a 'rocker' and I was not one. Our class had a lot of 'colourful' characters and he was one of them (I only found my 'true colours' after I left school). He also liked to tease me (and another friend, Gush) a lot! He had always been interested in music and music was in his life until he was hospitalised. His first (official) public performance was during our school's Silver Jubilee celebration back in 1982. I might be wrong here but that was the first time I saw him playing. After our public examination, all of us went our own ways and Oz went to one of the public higher learning institutes to further his studies (and played music on the side). Then, his music took over. That was the beginning of his foray into music and he stood by his music till the end. The last time we met was somewhere in Central Market when he was still busking. Through facebook, I managed to get back in touch with a few of my ex-school chums including him. I found out that he was working in Langkawi and from his pictures, he looked truly happy. Now, Oz is gone but the high school memories will always remain. Al-Fatihah.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 5 : WHITNEY HOUSTON - HEARTBREAK HOTEL

What! No Whitney Houston's karaoke? Well, it's quite difficult for me to get any original Whitney Houston's instrumental that can fit perfectly into her video clips. Finally, I had to resort to creating an incomplete karaoke. This song is taken from her 'My Love Is Your Love' album which I absolutely love. I wish I could create 'I Learned From The Best' since it is one of my favourite songs. Still, this is better than nothing. I didn't put in the lyrics in the video clip though. They are already there in the first place.

The single's cover



This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel

This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel


You said you'd be here by nine
Instead you took your time
You didn't think to call me boy
Here I sit, tryin' not to cry
Askin' myself why, you do this to me

Since you're not around for me
To tell you baby face to face
I'm writing you this letter
And this is what I have to say

All I really wanted was some of your time
Instead you told me lies when someone else was on your mind
What'd you do to me? Look what you did to me
I thought that you were someone who would do me right
Until you played with my emotions and you made me cry
What'd you do to me? Can't take what you did to me


Now I see, that you've been doin' wrong
Played me all along and made a fool of me baby
You got it all wrong to think that I wouldn't find out

That you were cheatin' on me, baby how could you do it to me

Since you're not around for me
To tell you baby face to face
I'm writing you this letter
And this is what I have to say

All I really wanted was some of your time

Instead you told me lies when someone else was on your mind
What'd you do to me? Look what you did to me
I thought that you were someone who would do me right
Until you played with my emotions and you made me cry
What'd you do to me? Can't take what you did to me

This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel

This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel
This is the Heartbreak Hotel

This is the Heartbreak Hotel

All I really wanted was some of your time
Instead you told me lies when someone else was on your mind
What'd you do to me? Look what you did to me
I thought that you were someone who would do me right
Until you played with my emotions and you made me cry
What'd you do to me? Can't take what you did to me

All I really wanted was some of your time
Instead you told me lies when someone else was on your mind
What'd you do to me? Look what you did to me
I thought that you were someone w
ho would do me right
Until you played with my emotions and you made me cry
What'd you do to me? Can't take what you did to me

I ain't gonna take it, I ain't gonna take it no more
I ain't gonna take it boy
I ain't gonna take it no more
Everything you say is a lie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 4 : JENNIFER PAIGE - CRUSH

This one is for the Gleeks and I am sure there are many out there. The original version is sung by Jennifer Paige back in 1998 and the new version is by Lea Michele (which is not really that bad). I simply love this song. It tends to stick in my head for quite a while every time I listen to it. I guess it must be the chorus that does that. The song is very light and breezy, a little bit sensual and not too 'dancey'. Definitely a song for driving to the beach with friends on a Saturday afternoon. An appropriate song to dedicate to that someone who is head over heels with you when you are just simply enjoying his or her company.

The single's cover



Ahh, crush, ahhh

I see ya blowin' me a kiss
It doesn't take a scientist
To understand what's going on baby
If you see something in my eye
Let's not over analyze

Don't go too deep with it baby

So let it be what it'll be
Don't make a fuss and get crazy over you and me
Here's what I'll do

I'll play loose
Not like we have a day with destiny

It's just a little crush (crush)
Not like I faint every time we touch
It's just some little thing (crush)
Not like everything I do depends on you

Sha-la-la-la, Sha-la-la-la

It's raising my adrenaline

You're banging on a heart of tin
Please don't make too much of it baby
You say the word "forevermore"
That's not what I'm looking for
All I can commit to is "maybe"

So let it be what it'll be
Don't make a fuss and get crazy over you and me

Here's what I'll do
I'll pay loose
Not like we have a day with destiny

It's just a little crush (crush)
Not like I faint every time we touch
It's just some little thing (crush)

Not like everything I do depends on you
Sha-la-la-la, Sha-la-la-la

Vanilla skies (vanilla skies)
White picket fences in your eyes
A vision of you and me

It's just a little crush (crush)
Not like I faint every time we touch
It's just some little thing (crush)
Not like everything I do depends on you
Sha-la-la-la
Not like I faint every time we touch

It's just some little thing
Not like everything I do depends on you
Sha-la-la-la

Not like I faint every time we touch
It's just some little thing
Not like everything I do
Depends on you

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 3 : BELINDA CARLISLE - MAD ABOUT YOU

This one came one in 1986 during my sophomore year in college (yes, you should have figured out my age by now). It was Belinda Carlisle's first single (after her departure from The Go-Go's) which propelled her way to the top back in the 80s. The song has a Go-Go's feeling and sound to it since it was considered to be on the group's next album (which was never recorded). An uptempo song which spells summer and everything fun, it is definitely for the young ones (and also not so young ones) who are in love.

The single's cover



I'm mad about you
You're mad about me babe
Couple of fools run wild aren't we
Pushing the day into the night time
Somewhere between the two
We start to see

Mad about you (Mad about you)
Lost in your eyes (Reason aside)
Mad about love (Mad about you)
You and I

Something 'bout you
Right here beside me
Touches the touched part of me like I can't believe
Pushing the night into the daytime
Watching the sky's first light
While the city sleeps

Mad about you (Mad about you)
Lost in your eyes (Reason aside)
Mad about love (Mad about you)
You and I

Mad about you (Mad about you)
Lost in your eyes (Reason aside)
Mad about love (Mad about you)
You and I

I'm mad about you
You're mad about me babe
Couple of fools run wild aren't we

Mad about you (Mad about you)
Lost in your eyes (Reason aside)
Mad about love (Mad about you)
You and I

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MONEY FOR NOTHING (I WANT MY CHANNEL V)

Channel V is no longer aired on Malaysian Astro and has been replaced by FOX. So how do I feel? Pissed off definitely. Why can't they have both Channel V and FOX? I don't really watch MTV since most of the time I can't relate to the current music trends and the reality shows (Yes, I am old and don't want to change). Channel V is (was) absolutely not as trendy and hip as MTV but it has (had) its own style and audience. I could watch the video clips and listen to the music without feeling that I was involuntarily trapped in a discotheque or a rave party or worse, a teenager's boudoir. MTV is no longer what it used to be. There was a time when MTV showed video clips of different genres 24/7 but those were the good old days. They are gone and they will never come back. Granted, some of the programmes on MTV can be quite interesting but most of the time, MTV is just another profit-oriented channel showcasing bratty and spoiled rich kids and their superficial friends (I can't stand My Super Sweet 16 and My New BFF). I have nothing against MTV and if that is what their format layout is going to be, so be it. Anyway, let's get back to Astro's decison to scrap Channel V of its channel list. I know that Channel V has never aired anything except 'pop' video clips in the first place but most of the time, these video clips could cater to the average person. Now that is no longer available, where can the average person find 'pop' entertainment without resorting to MTV or Astro Hits (which is the pits)?

p/s Dire Straits (or Sting rather) sings 'I want my MTV' in the first line of the song 'Money For Nothing' which is about music from the point of view of a common person (very much like me). Now a plea to Astro, I am obviously in a dire strait and 'I want my Channel V'.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 2 : OMC - HOW BIZARRE

He was a one-hit wonder who appeared out of nowhere and suddenly made it big in the international music industry. Just like his appearance, he also left like lightning. A Pacific Islander from New Zealand, Pauly Feumana of OMC took 'How Bizarre' to the top of the pop charts in most countries in 1996. Pauly died earlier this year at the age of 40, 15 years after his debut single was released but this infectious song lives on. This is definitely a summer song. With its lilting melody and happy mood, this is actually a fun song to sing. Like Madonna's You'll See, I've made another karaoke version using the original video clip and the instrumental version. Enjoy it and I'm sure it will bring back a lot of happy memories to some of us.

The single's cover



Brother Pele's in the back, sweet Zina's in the front
Cruisin' down the freeway in the hot, hot sun
Suddenly red-blue lights flash us from behind
Loud voice booming, "Please step out onto the line"
Pele preaches words of comfort, Zina just hides her eyes
Policeman taps his shades, "Is that a Chevy '69?"

How bizarre
How bizarre
How bizarre

Destination unknown, as we pull in for some gas
Freshly pasted poster reveals a smile from the past

Elephants and acrobats, lions snakes monkey
Pele speaks "righteous," Sister Zina says "funky"

How bizarre
How bizarre
How bizarre

Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
It's making me crazy (It's making me crazy)
Everytime I look around
Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
Everytime I look around
It's in my face


Ring master steps out and says "the elephants left town"
People jump and jive, but the clowns have stuck around
TV news and camera, there's choppers in the sky
Marines, police, reporters ask where, for and why
Pele yells, "We're outta here," Zina says, "Right on"
We're making moves and starting grooves before they knew we were gone
Jumped into the Chevy and headed for big lights
Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights...

How bizarre
How bizarre
How bizarre


Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
It's making me crazy (It's making me crazy)
Everytime I look around
Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
Everytime I look around
It's in my face

Saturday, July 10, 2010

LET'S KARAOKE 1 : MADONNA - YOU'LL SEE

I used to like Madonna a lot until she became too weird (she was revolutionary back then but now she is only trying to be necessary) for my liking. I have most of her albums from the 80s and 90s and also a few singles which I consider as the definitive themes of my youth and life. When she came up with 'Music', my interest in her went dead. I stopped buying her music and that was that. However, her song 'You'll See' is one of my favourites. It was even covered by Susan Boyle in her debut album 'I Dreamed A Dream'. Without a doubt, Susan has a better voice but I prefer Madonna's version (sorry about that, Susan!). Madonna's version is tinged with sadness and melancholy while Susan's version sounds more defiant and aggressive. I think Madonna brings a lot of soul and emotion (most of the time) into her ballads. Just listen to 'Live To Tell' and 'This Used To Be My Playground' and you'll know what I mean. Combining the original video clip and the instrumental version of the song, I managed to 'manufacture' my own karaoke version of the song. I don't have enough multimedia skill on how to embed the lyrics into the video clip so if you want to sing along, you'll just have to listen to the original version first.

The single's cover


You think that I can't live without your love
You'll see
You think I can't go on another day
You think I have nothing
Without you by my side
You'll see
Somehow, some way

You think that I can never laugh again

You'll see
You think that you destroyed my faith in love

You think after all you've done
I'll never find my way back home
You'll see
Somehow, someday
All by myself
I don't need anyone at all
I know I'll survive
I know I'll stay alive
All on my own
I don't need anyone this time
It will be mine
No one can take it from me
You'll see

You think that you are strong but you are weak

You'll see

It takes more strength to cry, admit defeat
I have truth on my side
You only have deceit
You'll see
Somehow, someday

All by myself

I don't need anyone at all
I know I'll survive

I know I'll stay alive
I'll stand on my own
I won't need anyone this time
It will be mine
No one can take it from me
You'll see

You'll see

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FUROSHIKI AND ORIGAMI (WRAPPING AND FOLDING)

I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with the word 'origami' which is a paper-folding technique originating from Japan but very few might have heard of 'furoshiki'. Personally, I had never heard of it until a few people from the Town Council came to demonstrate how to make full use of it (they were trying to encourage more people to recycle and reduce the use of plastic bags). Furoshiki is actually a type of traditional wrapping cloth used by the Japanese to transport goods or gifts in the olden days. This piece of cloth is so versatile that we can transform it into almost anything. A few simple wrapping and tying and we can have a bag, purse, bottle carriers et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I was quite amazed (I shouldn't actually since Malay mothers in the past used to carry their babies around and fashion make-shifts 'buaian' using batik cloths) to see how a simple piece of cloth can be transformed into something creative and beautiful. I used to make small boxes from old greeting cards to accommodate small items which were always lying around on my dresser. I learned to make these boxes from a friend more than 15 years ago (thank you so much Kak Ting). I was quite intrigued by the small, cute boxes that he gave to his guests when he had his Hari Raya open house. In these small boxes, he would put small tokens of appreciation (usually fridge magnets) to thank the guests who had come to visit him. The boxes and the gifts were inexpensive but the thought that he had for his guests was definitely priceless. I still have a few of those boxes left. In fact, I have ventured into other things. I even transformed an old cardboard file into a box to store my old bling bling (yes, I DID wear tons of jewelry and accessories when I was younger but I wear only one ring nowadays).

p/s Suggestion : Fashion-conscious ladies should make their own furoshiki out of their old Hermès and Ferragamo scarves instead of letting the moths have a field day with them. I'm sure they will look trés hobo chic carrying these furoshikis around!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WORLD CUP SONGS (AND THE SEXUALISATION OF SOCCER)

I'm not much of a soccer fan. In fact, to a lot of people I can be considered as a non-fan. Still, it doesn't stop me from listening to the music and songs that usually accompany the World Cup fever. In 1994 it was Queen's We Are The Champions. 1998, Ricky Martin's The Cup Of Life. 2002, Anastacia's Boom. 2006, Il Divo and Toni Braxton's The Time Of Our Lives. Now in 2010, it's Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). What about the World Cup songs before 1994? Well, everything before that was too sedate (in other words, the songs were non-pop and non-commercial). Soccer was once considered a very serious game but now, it has become part and parcel of entertainment and business. The present soccer players are no longer mere soccer players anymore but they have also become celebrities, millionaires and billionaires (just watch MTV's Footballers Cribs and you'll be amazed at how opulent their lifestyle is), friends to world leaders, honorary members of the elite society, sex symbols, trendsetters and icons. So how did everything start? I have always considered Queen's We Are The Champions (I love that song actually) as a bridge towards a more commercial sound for the World Cup songs. The world was changing then (it was a natural progression of course) and more people were beginning to accept differences. Consequently, nobody gave a hoot when Ricky Martin started to shake his bon-bon to the tune of The Cup Of Life (everyone followed suit after that). With the song becoming a big hit all over the world, the world's soccer scene is no longer what it used to be. As a result, soccer has become pure entertainment for many people. One thing led to another and there was no way the monster could be stopped after that. Everybody knows that sex sells and it did not take long for the big corporations, the sponsors and the soccer players themselves to be cashing in on that factor. Beckham's sexy Emporio Armani underwear ad campaign finally consolidated the notion that soccer and sex can complement each other (beautifully of course). In 2002, Anastacia showed her well-toned abs and tried to repeat Ricky Martin's success. In 2006, Toni Braxton showed (purposely?) her tits and ass (on two different occasions) for the whole world to see during the opening ceremony. Now, we have Shakira gyrating, shaking and contorting her body in a video that has been viewed more than 25,000,000 times on youtube (I'm sure the number will double soon). Do we even dare to ask what the focus is? Is it the music? Or her hips (which obviously don't lie)? Or lest we forget, soccer itself?


p/s With the current trend moving from everything sexy to the absurd and strange, I seriously hope Lady Gaga won't be asked to sing the official song for the 2014 World Cup.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

A word or phrase used for our loved ones. That's what terms of endearment are. We use them to address a person we love and there is no telling how many of these words and phrases are. We use them in public and sometimes, we use them in private. Most of them are shared and a few are exclusive. Whatever language they are in, these words and phrases make us feel closer and more intimate to each other. The bonding and intimacy that these words and phrases provide goes far beyond their literal meanings. Certain terms are only used by certain race and culture. To use them outside the race and culture would make them sound awkward and not genuine. Some might even sound vulgar. Certain races and cultures also seem more affectionate and creative than others and have come up with very interesting terms of endearment. Quite prominent and outstanding are the African Americans who are quite creative when it comes to terms of endearment. Here is a list of them in different languages that can be used to express our feelings to our loved ones. Forgive me if they are inaccurate, my dears...

ENGLISH - angel, baby, darling, sweetie, sweetheart, tiger, muffin, peach, princess, pumpkin, boo, honey

MALAY - sayang, intan payung, bujang, buyung, adik, abang, kanda, dinda

ARABIC - hayati, habibi

FRENCH - mon cher, ma chere, cherie, mom coeur, mon loup, mon mimi, ma poulette

CHINESE - bǎo bǎo, qīn ài de nǐ, xiao ke ai

TAMIL - kunju, raasa, raasathy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S WIFI : SHARE, STEAL OR BORROW?

Why pay when you can get it for free? I guess that is what some of us will do when it comes to open Internet connection. With many establishments such as offices, restaurants and cafes having open Internet connection, it's not unusual to see more and more people on the lookout for these free-for-all locations. Using that connection for personal use is not something that is that unusual. A lot of people I know do that (this includes yours truly too!). The question is should we or shouldn't we use open wifi connection intended for personal use without permission? This one is definitely up for a debate. Can this be considered as unauthorised computer use since no permission has been granted to us to use somebody's wifi? Can we be charged and if so, for what? If the connection is open, can it be considered as stealing if we use it without permission? Maybe the word 'stealing' sounds a little bit harsh so some people consider their action as 'borrowing'. To some other people, this can be considered as freeloading and freeloaders are definitely not a welcomed lot. Is using other people's Internet connection the same as listening to your neighbour's radio? In some ways it is but in a lot of ways it is not. The invisible signal streaming down our office or home does not really invade our privacy, unlike the blaring music coming from our neighbour's house. Solution : don't leave your wifi open for others to use. The signals are not only confined to your own home but they can also spill to the whole apartment complex, neighbourhood and surrounding areas. Some people are not aware that the bandwidth will be affected if you are downloading movies and videos. The connection will be slowed down when we tap into someone's wifi connection. I don't know whether it is illegal to tap on somebody's open connection but I do know that it is not ethical since no permission is granted. It's like reading the e-mail of a person who has forgotten to log off. One word of caution : Don't start using other people's connection. Once you start, it will be difficult to stop. It's like eating candy. It's hard to stop at one.

p/s This entry was done at home and I definitely did not use the free network connection from the District and Land Office next door to the place where I work.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

KTM (OF OLD POSTERS AND MEMORIES)

I was accompanying a friend to get his ticket at the railway station (which is located not too far from my house) a few months ago when I stumbled upon these two old posters. They were lying on the old dusty floor and I could not help but took them home. There was something about them that made me want to have them (I am not a chronic hoarder but I like to collect certain stuff). The old railway station holds a lot of memories for me and my parents. My younger brothers used to take the 'Senandung Malam' and the 'Sinaran Pagi' (one was working in Langkawi and the other one was studying in Port Dickson) and as usual, my late father (may Allah bless his soul) and mother would send them to the old railway station. That was almost 20 years ago and I am not even sure if the 'Senandung Malam' and the 'Sinaran Pagi' services are still available or not. There was even a small canteen at the railway station where the food was cheap but good. Now the canteen is dilapidated, deserted and dusty. I would sit alone (I was a loner and did not have a lot of friends) on the bench at the railway station in the evening watching the trains go by each and every time I went back during the school holidays. That was my favourite pastime back then. The railway station was old and after a while, some people forgot that it was even there. The number of passengers who boarded the train from the station kept getting less and less and sometimes, there was none at all. The quarters for the employees were slowly abandoned and tall grasses started to grow around the area. It was such a sad sight. Now, it has undergone a face lift and a new modern structure has taken the place where the old warehouse used to be. Yet the old part of station is still retained. I have also noticed that there are more and more students from the TAR College using the train service to either go back to their hometowns or campus. I am sure these students are going to have some wonderful memories of their own 15, 20 or 25 years from now.

p/s I didn't have a scanner big enough to scan these posters so I had to use my already outdated digital camera to take these pictures. I had to do some minor adjustments and editing to them since they are no longer in pristine condition.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE HOARDERS ANONYMOUS

Most of us don't even realise that we are hoarders (most of us think we are keen collectors when we are not). We collect and save everything that we think can be of use in the future. Some of us are so obsessed with this habit that it becomes quite difficult for us to discard and part with the things that we have collected over the years. Animals such as rats, hamsters and certain birds are known to be notorious hoarders. They gather food and materials in their nests and it does not take a genius to tell that the sight is not pretty. I am a teacher and I know a lot of other teachers who are hoarders (though they refuse to admit that). They keep past years exam papers, sample essays, old textbooks, outdated reference books, extra unused hand-outs (and some used ones too) and myriads of things in their drawers, on their tables and under their tables (not to forget the boxes, files, baskets and other forms of containers under and on their tables too). At the same time, there are also a lot of women (especially housewives) who collect and save plastic spoons, bottles and jars, paper cups, fridge magnets, recipe books, pieces of cloths, 'bunga telur', food coupons et cetera et cetera et cetera (I can go on forever listing them actually). Hoarding can be a very dangerous habit since it can be a hazard when these materials are not properly stored. Now, the trend has taken a new turn and there is a new type of hoarding that is affecting the modern man (and woman). It is called digital hoarding and it is as serious as (if not more than) the usual traditional hoarding. With portable hard drives becoming cheaper and having bigger storage, it has become much easier for these hoarders to save everything. Movies, songs, audiobooks, anti virus (usually pirated), games, presentations, jokes and pictures. You name it and they will have it. Unlike conventional hoarding, digital hoarding will not take up a lot of space but the same questions remain. Is digital hoarding as dangerous as conventional hoarding? Can it become a problem since there is no physical threat or danger involved? I would like to believe that I am not a hoarder but I do have problems throwing away certain things such as clothes, shoes and magazines. Please don't even suggest that I throw away my old cassette tapes, VCDs and records (definitely last century technology). I still want to keep them although I know I do not need them anymore. For the past couple of years I have been on a movie and song downloading spree (I am into my third portable hard drive at the moment) and I find it very difficult to delete these movies and songs. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever be free from all material things which have enslaved us.

p/s So am I a hoarder? To a certain extent, YES. Am I an obsessive-compulsive hoarder? Definitely NO. But some might argue otherwise.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

THE PRICE FOR FREEDOM

Some people say in order to gain freedom and peace, some people must die so others will be able to enjoy them. I wish it doesn't have to be that way. Everyone deserves to live in peace and comfort. Nobody should go through their lives without proper shelter, enough food and warm clothing especially children. I could not help but feel terribly saddened and angered by the recent Freedom Flotilla raid which took the lives of nine innocent civilians. This kind of violence, brutality, cruelty and arrogance must be put to an end. Ten years have passed since we embarked on a new millennium and yet, we are still killing like we were thousands of years ago. One thing for certain is the flotilla is on a humanitarian mission and nothing else. It is an act of kindness and compassion. All for the sake of peace and humankind. Nothing can ever justify the killings of these people. Enough is enough.

Friday, May 21, 2010

GIVES ME HOPE

Remember 'Chicken Soup For The Soul'? Back in the 90s, almost everyone I knew was into that. We exchanged 'CSFTS' books and we shared stories with friends, neighbours and colleagues. Now, there is 'Gives Me Hope' which is similar to 'CSFTS'. The stories are short and simple (twitter-style, they say) yet the messages ring true. It doesn't matter if they are real or not. What is important is the message that hope is indeed a powerful feeling. There are lots of heart-warming and inspirational stories from which we can draw our strength whenever the chips are down. Sometimes, we need a little boost and motivation to go about our daily lives. There are lots of challenges, hurdles and pain to overcome. I'm sure there are times when we feel truly down and out too. When we have nothing left in this world, hope might be our one and only salvation. Most of time time, we tend to use the word 'hope' too casually. Without hope, life might as well be over. There is also an extension of 'GMH' called 'Love Gives Me Hope'. For those who like little uplifting stories and anecdotes like these to start their day, here are a few to begin with.

Story 1
A 74-year old man has an rare antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia. He has donated plasma almost 1000 times since he was 18 years old. He has saved an estimated 2.2 million babies so far. James Harrison, you GMH.

Story 2
About a year before my dog died, he started to go blind. When my cat realized this, she began helping him find his way by rubbing against his legs, running ahead of him, and meowing loudly so he could follow the sound of her voice. The love pets have not just for people but for each other GMH.

Story 3
4 months ago, I was diagnosed with Alopecia. A month later I had lost all of my hair. I was scared to come to school because I thought everyone would stare at me. The next morning I heard a knock on my door and ten of my friends were standing on my porch with freshly shaved heads. Two of them were girls. They're the best friends ever. GMH.

Story 4
Today was my cousin Kaylee's fifth birthday, and a little girl with Dwarfism was at her party. Kaylee came up to me holding her hand and said,"This is my best friend Elena, and she can't grow. She's special, God made her that way." My baby cousin's blind love for others GMH.

Story 5
My brother is autistic and can't talk. 3 years ago, he got his first Valentine's card. It was from a girl in his class he had a crush on. She has sent him a card every year since. Understanding and love GMH.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ONE HIT WONDERS

Andy Warhol coined the phrase '15 minutes of fame' and it can't be any truer in the entertainment industry where fame is totally transitory. I'm sure that most of us have heard of these songs before and I'm also sure that we were so much into them when they were at their height of popularity. So the question is where are the singers now and what happened to them? Why did they suddenly disappear into oblivion and why couldn't they sustain their fame and popularity? Maybe their style of music no longer appeals to us since Man is fickle by nature and so is our taste.

p/s Pauly Fuemana of OMC passed away earlier this year. RIP, Pauly.