Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fragility of life. :: Wanderlust. :: My Canto sucks!

One thing I hate abt life: the end. Sure, I know that everything that begins will have to end at some point. But seeing it happen to those around me, esp family, gets to me. I think that the 20s and 30s are great times, where we are done with experimenting with some stuff and we move on to other stuff. We are still in the process of self-discovery, but that we have more autonomy and resources at hand. But as we start feeling comfortable in our own skin, we see our parents and grandparents getting old. My friends also remarked abt our parents' slower reactions, lower energy levels, which was a stark difference from when we were teenagers and our parents still had the energy to stay up late for us (to lecture and nag, ha). My parents for one, have problems remembering events and things to do and buy these days. Instead of them picking me up after school, I've taken to arranging my schedule so as to be able to pick up my mum from her workplace in the evenings, to carry her bags for her, just like she used to when I was starting primary school.

I'll be bringing my grandmother to the hospital later today for her heart condition checkup. Already I'm thinking of how to put some news across to her and how to avoid some topics like the breakup with her. She's been unwell since her fall at home two years back. She cooks less often these days during family gatherings and I miss her home-cooked Peranakan food that I grew up with. Aunt brought granddad to the hospital today and the results were not good. Which left me with a heavy heart though I shall have to put up a composed and my usual chirpy self when I'm with them later. And after the fiasco with Uncle last week, I totally feel that they deserve better. I'm not a patient person even on my best day but when I'm with my grandparents, I think just lending them a listening ear is what they want and need. And me being me, I usually end up buying bags of stuff over to their place despite their usual protests. :D

On to my wanderlust. Tummy's been steadily expanding these days, no thanks to good food which friends have been recommending... see I can't tell ppl tt I've not been checking out new makan places. Tsk tsk. Baby season it seems - been exchanging tips with some friends who have given birth lately, in fact, there's a first month party this Sunday. Maybe I shld consider fasting three days before the HK trip so tt I can fit into the clothes over there.... H&M!!

Although I'm been struck by wanderlust, I did not expect myself to be travelling this year... but a series of events happened which ended up with me and my gal pals checking out singaporeair.com last Friday night and booking ourselves on a flight out next week within the hour after weeks of debating if we shld even travel. Think I've developed a habit for last min travels, book tics and travel in one or two weeks. In 05, 07, and this year... hey there seems to be a trend! Timing is perfect as well, drop off my thesis draft before flying off. Better to take time out now rather than later in the year, when I might not be fit for travel... or no time to breathe, much less travel.

I love travelling... and I think that travelling suits me. It gets tiring esp all the rushing through strange hectic airports, figuring out the transportation system, the language, the places to go for food and shopping, getting lost at some point and having things lost in translation. But it's fun being in a new place, to experience new stuff, both good and bad. And to have really great travelling partners! This time we have friends in HK, we look forward to hopefully pull some strings and skip the queues at some places. J gallantly offered his swanky apartment but I don't want to cramp his style while I'm there. In fact, our schedules are so packed tt we might not be able to meet up at all! The irony. :) Can't wait to get in touch with my canto roots - been getting a crash course in Cantonese from Daddy dearest. J still laughs at my poor attempts at the language, as did E n V when I met them for lunch yesterday. Bleah. Well, at least the Hong Kongers will get a laugh when they see me fumbling with the language. Haha. Coincidentally, J, S, E and V mentioned recently on different occassions that I already have the makings of a businessman's wife, though not really the high tea kinda, but one tt's active in the biz... thank god! Think I might whither away if I was having high tea everyday. So I told J to "get me the businessman la". Friends and their teasing. Tsk tsk. But am flattered peeps! :p

I've been getting PMs abt some display pic thingy. With all feeling that it was in poor taste and some confirming what they had previously postulated. Honestly, with all the thesis draft, handling of grandparents' med appointments (which take up almost an entire afternoon each time), HK last min research, packing (two days before I leave), and social engagements, I really have neither the time nor energy to be bothered abt such stuff. Honestly at this point in time it doesn't matter anymore. Que sera sera and chill peeps! :)

A Canto song from my fav singer. Still can't sing this at ktv, but I like Cantopop, they have more meaningful lyrics than even Mandarin pop. ;)


歌曲:欢乐今宵
歌手:郑秀文&古巨基 专辑:最动听的...天作之合
作:黄伟文曲:黄丹仪

从梦里伊甸来到我枕边
梦与真之间就只差一寸
要是留着你真实地纠缠
怕没权利以后留恋
情愫与相思如最爱的书
未了那一章没翻开的勇气
故事何样美终极是分离
不敢好奇沾污结尾
犹如无人敢碰
秘密现在被揭起
明日想起
我们其实承受不了
欢乐今宵虚无飘渺
再没余地继续缠绕
谈情一世
发现愿望极渺小
留下一点
距离回味犹自心跳
欢乐今宵虚无飘渺
那样动摇不如罢了

犹如无人敢碰
秘密现在被揭起
明日想起
我们其实承受不了
欢乐今宵虚无飘渺
再没余地继续缠绕
谈情一世
发现愿望极渺小
留下一点
距离回味独自心跳
欢乐今宵虚无飘渺
那样动摇不如罢了

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wanderlust :: Angels & Demons







I've seen the paranoma of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower.


I've been on one of the highest peaks in Salzburg in my Birkies instead of good, hardy footwear and had a blast looking through the clouds and fogs at the city beneath us.

I've watched dawn creep over the city of Rome from our hostel window, with the ever present St Peter's Basilica in the horizon's backdrop.

And watching Angels & Demons yesterday triggered my wanderlust after going though the photos which I took in Rome and the Vatican City in 2007.
Justify Full
I was glad to watch Angels & Demons with my Rome/Vatican City travelmates, C and S. C and myself read the book way before our trip, though I still can't recall if it was a coincidence that we managed to make a stop at most if not all of the stops which were featured in the book/movie. After reading and watching the Da Vinci Code and actually viewing the Mona Lisa in 2005 and The Last Supper in 2007, I've come to the conclusion that Dan Brown might make for entertaining mindless fiction, because he does a very poor job in researching for his books and coming up with conspiracy theories and symbols which does not add up upon closer inspection.

Among all of Dan Brown's works, I liked Angels & Demons the most. Not just because of the conspiracy theory element and how it explores some of the best which Rome and the Vatican City has to offer in terms of architecture with religious significance, but because it also tackles the theme of religion and science, which is a topic close to my heart, me being a social scientist and a Christian too. Some friends express surprise when they find out that I'm a Christian, though a lapsed one. Maybe it's because I do not go on about my religion and I do not practice saying grace before I partake my food. Some friends have also tried to ask me to test the extent and the knowledge that I have of the Bible. I usually handle their questions with ease. But it's not the religion that I have an issue with. It's my grappling of the idea of faith, of believing in something which cannot be seen or have an easy explanation for. And as my knowledge in the sciences grew, the more problematic faith became to me. Had a couple of encounters where the pastors were unable to address my questions and their frustration added on to my sense of disillusion.

Angels & Demons draws a lot on this theme of religion and science, the tension which exists between the two and how both can be reconciled. The movie did not do this central theme justice, but rather, ended up painting an ugly, simplistic picture of a religious fanatic within the Vatican who was plotting against to capture the world's attention as well as to discredit science and the Church's old enemies. The book had a characters, one who was a priest who ended up working at CERN, as well as the Head of Cern, which were not featured in the movie. There's more background information on the characters which explained why they behaved the way they did, including Ewan McGregor's character.

More about the movie: SPOILER ALERT! I felt the movie was fast paced and action packed. But more could have been done to further flesh out the characters, especially the main ones. Vittoria Vetra, for example, was a strong female lead meant to complement Robert Langdon in the book. However, in the movie, the more petite Nigella Lawson lookalike looked meek and frightened most of the time. Wassup with that?! And the way the assassin was killed off - lotsa unanswered questions: Was he from the Vatican as well? Or was he a killer on hire? And why did he off himself like that? But overall, given the limited screen time they had, I think Ron Howard did an alright job with the movie version of the book, a quick paced movie with lotsa effects and action to compensate for the lack of good filming locations, a credible plot and cast (the cardinals did look like a bunch of scared, cigarette-smoking old men and some looked like they belonged to the Italian Mafia more than the Vatican, the Great Elector looked rather sinister as well). One thing about movies with secret societies: it's tough to pull it off without looking like a raving lunatic, looking out for clues, drawing implausible relations and conclusions. Recall the movie, Number 23?

I've recently discovered this series on the Hallmark Channel, American Dreams. I love this show because it guest stars contemporary singers such as Brandy, Lil Kim, Hilary Duff and Jason Mraz to cover the oldies of the 60s! :)


That will be the day - Jo Jo as Linda Ronstadt

Well that'll be the day
When you say goodbye
That'll be the day
When you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave me
You know it's a lie
Cause that'll be the day that I die

When Cupid shot his dart
He shot it at your heart
So if we ever part then I'll be blue
You kiss and hold me
And you tell me boldy
Well that someday that I'll be true

Well that'll be the day
When you say goodbye
That'll be the day
When you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave me
You know it's a lie
Cause that'll be the day that I die

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Midnight repose

Every night, at slightly past two, a neighbour pulls up in his cab in the carpark which my window overlooks. He's a middle aged man in his mid 40s, dressed simply in a pair of black pants and shirt, by now unbuttoned and exposing a white singlet. Every night, he gets out of his cab and then proceeds to check both sides of his vehicle to make sure that the cab is parked properly and well within the lot. He then locks up and heads back to his apartment, weariness apparent in his slightly slumped shoulders in his gait. He comes down again at past three to begin a new shift. Somehow under the orange glow of the street lamps, this nightly ritual seems poignant and reminds me of how for most of us, we are just trying to make our way through life in the ways we know how and for some of us, the best way we can.

Been thinking about some stuff and decisions this week. Pondering over some discussions with friends I've met up with lately. J was in town recently. We meet up thrice a year but our conversations pick up naturally from where we left off. Could not meet up earlier this year as the then boyfriend was uncomfortable with me meeting guy friends alone. We talked till the sun came up signaling the start of a new day, and I realised that some stuff cannot be changed, need to consider before making some upcoming decisions and some of the mis-steps tt I've made. J is an experienced guy who's been able to advise me on a lot of issues that I'm facing, which he knows is the most help I will accept from him.

Been thinking about advice from M too. M's a really dear friend, looks out for me as an older brother, cooks up a real storm in the kitchen, I esp love his soups and he's someone that I can relate to who doesn't judge. I refrain from using the word soulmate as it is a very laden word for me. M understands what I'm going through presently and doesn't pass judgement on some of my recent decisions and situations. And it's true that guys' perceptions, esp J and M, are v diff from my gal pals, but one thing in common with all my close friends - they offer unconditional support and love yet keep me grounded when I don't make sense or when the going gets tough. Just that me being, well, me, usually end up keeping to myself more, to try to figure things out for myself first. Everyone's dealing with their own set of problems, why add on to theirs?

Am glad for T's piece of interesting news about the aftermath of her wedding dinner. Interesting development and I'm both flattered and amused. Let's see what happens from here. An interesting diversion now and then is just what I need. :)

Am going retro tonight, one of my favs from the last century.

Return to Innocence - Enigma
.
Ami Chant
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
.
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
.
Don't be afraid to be weak
Don't be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
.
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny
.
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
.
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
.
Don't care what people say
Follow just your own way
Follow just your own way
Don't give up, don't give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Craziness is over! Hols begin with a full blown flu.

Turned down an invite to spend the weekend in Bintan to spend Mothers' Day in Spore and to fulfill the outstanding social engagements which have been put on hold because of work. Most of my friends have been aghast at the stuff that has been happening at work and most of them had bigger reactions than myself. Maybe I'm just glad that it's over and done with, though not without more drama in the emails, asking to bring forward the date and time, more assumptions and accusations which needed clearing up. Came to the point where I had to suppress an inward groan when it comes to checking my emails. What's the point in letting emotions get in the way? Just focus on the task at hand, handle it professionally and move on to my hols.

And my hols began with a bang.... with me getting the full blown flu/cold which have been bugging me for part of the semester. But better now than earlier I guess. :) But being sick sucks. Big time. :s Am trying to survive on getting more rest and some medication already at hand.

Sore throat kicked in on Saturday before we caught Star Trek the movie... which by the way is really not bad! Don't need to worry if one is not a Trekkie, I am not one... JJ Abrams did a brilliant job - plot had its usual JJ Abrams' twists but none too convoluted. Great effects and I think the casting was v apt as well! I was lucky to watch it with someone familiar with it and he managed to explain some of the background to me during and after the movie. I think my favourite character was Zachary Quinto, who is brilliant as Sylar in Heroes and also a very good Spock. Live long and Prosper. :)

Also received news about some friends who had been publicly interfering with my private affairs a while back, which might have had implications for the events which happened lately. To publicly interfere with who I am seeing or not seeing without my knowledge and then play the neutral card is just plain hypocritical and a sycophant. Am mulling over the new information and feeling pretty mixed. Anyway.

Can't wait for Angels and Demons to open this week.... my friends myself visited most of the key places mentioned in Rome and the Vatican City mentioned in the book and we can't wait to point out more discrepencies! :p However, the book remains my fav among Dan Brown's books because of the discussion of the tension between religion and science/logic. And also, Ewan McGregor is in the movie.

Love this song by David Tao and Jolin Tsai, makes me happy when I hear it. Given the recent marital bliss by friends such as TMG and TK, and Mediacorp celebs Michelle Chia and Shaun Chen, I think this song is q apt! :) Friends have been asking me about my recent posts and actually, I am not against marriage in general and I am really glad that my close friends and loved ones have found their happiness. Just that I feel maybe marriage is not for everyone. :)

今天你要嫁給我

作詞:陶吉吉/娃娃 作曲:陶吉吉 女聲:蔡依林

陶喆:
春暖的花開帶走冬天的感傷 微風吹來浪漫的氣息
每一首情歌忽然充滿意義 我就在此刻突然見到你

Jolin:
春暖的花香帶走冬天的淒寒 微風吹來意外的愛情
鳥兒的高歌拉近我們距離 我就在此刻突然愛上你

合唱:
聽我說 手牽手跟我一起走 創造幸福的生活
昨天你來不及 明天就會可惜 今天嫁給我好嗎

RAP:
Jolin in the house
D.T. in the house
Jolin in the house
D.T. in the house
Jolin in the house
D.T. in the house
Our love in the house

陶喆:
夏日的熱情打動春天的懶散 陽光照耀美滿的家庭
每一首情歌都會勾起回憶 想當年我是怎麼認識你

Jolin:
冬天的憂傷接續秋天的孤單 微風吹來枯了的思念
鳥兒的高歌唱著不要別離 此刻我多麼想要擁抱你

合唱:
聽我說手牽手 跟我一起走 過著安定的生活
昨天你來不及 明天就會可惜 今天你要嫁給我
聽我說手牽手 我們一起走 把你一生交給我
昨天不要回頭 明天要到白首 今天你要嫁給我

RAP:
叮咚 聽著禮堂的鍾聲 我們在上帝和親友面前見證
這對男女現在就要結為夫妻 不要忘了這一切是多麼的神聖
你願意生死苦樂永遠和他在一起
愛惜他 尊重他 安慰他 保護著他
兩人同心建立起美滿的家庭 你願意這樣做嗎? Yes,I do

合唱:
聽我說手牽手 一路到盡頭 把你一生交給我
昨天已是過去 明天更多回憶 今天你要嫁給我
今天你要嫁給我 今天你要嫁給我

Friday, May 8, 2009

A love that will last :: Happy 1st week to TMG &TK!

So many thoughts, so little time to pen/blog them down. I've been caught up in a flurry of activities in the last week. It was tough deciding on which to pen down tonight but I think I will focus on my friends instead of myself for a change tonight. :)

A week ago today, I attended a wedding, both church and the dinner, which made me feel that love is possible. This is a pretty tall order coming from someone like myself, but I do think that there are some moments in our lives which takes our breath away. I had exactly one of those moments at TMG's wedding last Fri.

It was one of the best weddings I've ever attended. It wasn't because of the lovely decorations, it wasn't the lovely gowns, it wasn't the great music accompaniment (always important in a wedding), and it wasn't the nice food or settings in the church and Rasa Sentosa. It was all of that, and more. It was the palpable love between TMG and TK, the silly grins at certain points of the celebration, the looks of tenderness that were exchanged and the look of serenity and bliss on both their faces.

Maybe it is because I know TMG and TK as a couple since they started dating, but this wedding held some significance for me. At some points that day, I felt wistful as I thought about some what could have beens for me. But in the course of the day, I realised and felt that TMG and TK really have what it takes to not only get together, but also to stay together. I never really understood from all my previous relationships when my partners mention the idea of love and its place in a relationship. But when I see TMG and TK, the looks they exchange, the nuances in their speech and actions, I think I'm beginning to understand what a healthy, loving relationship between a couple is all about. I understand that nothing is a guarantee, but it's about knowing ourselves, our partner and knowing that he/she is worth it. That can't be measured, even difficult to ascertain, but we know it when we see it and I saw it, bright and clear as the day last Friday.

Therefore, when my mum asked me last Fri night how the wedding was, my reply was simple: It was romantic (sunset by the beach no less!), the company was great (catching up with K and S), food wasn't half bad as well. But I think that as memory of the wedding fades into the other weddings I will attend, this wedding will still be one of the best I will ever attend. Because it was real, heartfelt and to me, a testament that true love does exist. Even us cynics know a real deal when we see one.

So to TMG and T, it's been a week of marital bliss for you guys, here's wishing you many more good years ahead and for keeping it real for the rest of us, that love is not a bed of roses, but knowing that the other person is worth riding out the tough times with and that letting go is no longer an option. Cheers. :)

Tonight's song is a song that TMG serenaded TK with during the dinner. Definitely one of the highlights of the evening, even though there were many many lovely songs that day, from Barry White to The Beatles. :) This song has very apt lyrics as well.


At Last - Eva Cassidy
At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last