I think this has got to be my first concert in two years.
Plenty of teenage audience which made me feel a little awkward sitting there at times with their screams ringing through my ears.
Still it was a good live concert.
(Anyways, I meant to have written this entry few months ago but didn't have the time till now). So here it is, with pics.
Not a remarkable entry, I know, but it'll do for now.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I'm very intrigue that there is a Blogger apps which allows me to blog from my mobile. Excellent. I'm loving this.
And to think that my blog was going through a new-death development hell experience.
Welcome me back to blogosphere.
And to think that my blog was going through a new-death development hell experience.
Welcome me back to blogosphere.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Where do we go in 2011?
First post of 2011.
I'm tempted to wish everyone a "Happy New Year" but it's more than 60 days in, so the greeting is more or less redundant. It's already even futile to be wishing "Gong Xi Fa Cai" or "Happy Valentine's Day" right now. Maybe a happy birthday well wishes to those who and who but you know who you are and I probably would have greeted you in person or on FB already.
Perhaps, more realistically, I should do a head count of how many of my regular readers are still getting updates from here. I must admit that I had been totally off the blogosphere radar of late and had decided to learn how to live my life away from the blog but I landed into the atmosphere of microblogging (read: Twitter!), and was weighed down by the gravity of "short-attention-span-ness" and into the universe where you are forced to express your thoughts in all of 140 characters. Yes, if you noticed, my Twitter's been active where my blog had grown mouldy oldy and dormant though many months of neglect. And I don't blame those who were my followers then if they had chose to follow another path. I subscribe to the whole, romantic "If you love them, set them free..." notion.
Truth be told, and I know to some it would be the same old excuse: "I've been busy".
Don't believe me? Read the previous post which was done in Nov 2010 and the one before which was like what... half a year ago?
Well, be that as it may, I'm not going to make anymore excuses to you all, and I shouldn't be as well. Just hop on for the ride, read the words when it comes (no pressure on you, and no pressure for me to continuously update as well), and enjoy the pictures along the way.
Sure as hell,... this blog is alive.
Welcome back you.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Well, would you believe it?
One entire semester without an entry. If there's one thing I can sum up is this: the workload has increased. No doubt about that. This has been an immensely busy semester and even when I am typing this now, I am waiting for some documents to be sent my way so I can start working on them again.
And there's still some reports and minutes to write and complete as well.
But I suppose I'm doing a lot better than what was mentioned in the last post. On the whole, this has been a difficult year and I hope things are looking up from now on. I am so pleased that Christmas is round the corner, but on the other hand, I have to teach through the whole December 2010 to January 2011 period. We call this the monsoon semester aka "the short semester", and I'm so glad that this is the final monsoon semester. Ever.
I hope to get some travelling done soon. That short trip to Singapore in July is too short. I need a longer break. After this it seems like there's no break from December 2010 right up to Nov 2011. It's going to be a long, long year ahead. Even this year seemed long. But it also seemed short at the same time. I sit back and think, "Where the hell did this year go?"
And somehow I feel I am not the only one who's feeling this.
Friday, August 20, 2010
at Marina Bay Sands Resort
This entry took a long time coming.
So much has happened on a personal level: many highs and lows which has happened in the last two months which had shaped how this year is going to turn out for me. As cliche as that may sound, it really has been a challenging year so far.
There were so much to write about, but clearly it wasn't the season to sit and put my thoughts down as much as it was a season to first experience, feel, learn, understand, reflect and to be strong enough (and knowing to be strong enough) to carry on despite the circumstances and the weight of expectations that follow.
For a start, this episode started some time back in mid-June this year, when one of my students sms'd me to tell me that her mother was in the final days of the final stage of her cancer. The thought of walking into the hospital--which was all too familiar to me given the type of work I did back a few years' ago--all seems so clear to me today, although nothing of which felt remotely familiar on that day. I had left my Cell group early that night just to be by her (my student's) side and to provide whatever support necessary, although I'm not sure if I really had done anything significant at all. I hope that despite the adverse circumstances, I had done whatever I possibly could.
Of course, I think most of you who are readers of this blog would probably have realised that what happened the following day on 17 June was one of the darkest days of the year especially for those who are in or are closely connected to the Taylor's CF. We had lost our brother and friend Joash Wee in a terrible car accident which also claimed the lives of his father, grandmother, and two younger sisters. When I had received the sms from Nicole in the morning, I wasn't certain if the news was a sick joke from whom the original source was unknown or the truth. I didn't know to react neither did I want to believe the truth, even if it was. By the time I had arrived at work, I received a phone call from Cheryl and to my horror of horrors, the news was true. I believe that most, if not all, of us were in shock for days knowing that his untimely departure affected us so deeply in so many ways. This was a young man who was loved by those around him and--according to one CFer which I agree with his statement--had in his short life, left a legacy for us to follow. So instead of recollecting the thoughts of his sudden loss and to evoke the pain relating to it, I would like to thank and appreciate God for blessing us with Joash despite the short time we had with him and I believe God has His timing and had called him back once Joash's purpose on earth had been fulfilled. Once again, we miss you bro and we'll meet again soon.
Joash Wee (RIP 1987 - 2010)
(photo courtesy of Taylor's CF)
Then there were exams for my students which I had to prepare them for and that short span of time was a much-needed distraction from the shadowed valley. Shortly before this there were also the assignments that I needed to mark and cleared before the final assessment.
Of course, there were some high moments in between as well. In fact, there were some high moments which involved my brothers from my former church and former band (Qrown) -- Stephen and Keng.
Stephen and Joanne presents baby Talia
Stephen, who now works at Singapore, together with his missus, came back to KL for a short holiday--as a father. Eleven weeks prior to their return, Joanne (the missus) gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Talia, and they decided to come home to present the baby to all their family and friends. It was sweet that they had invited their closest friends to share that moment with them. I had posted up Stephen's testimony on video at Facebook earlier, so those of you who actually watched the video would know that Talia was really a gift from God and also there were some adversities that she had to survive through during the early phase of her life. But all is well now. As a friend, I am so proud of this new family and it's such a joy to be a part of their life (I know Stephen for quite many years now) and, like Stephen said, also a part of Talia's life now as well.
Keng, on the other hand, took the brave step to the next level and married his fiancee, Majorie. But before that, of course, the bachelor's party. This was the first time I saw the teetotaller Keng drink for the first time. However, this guy's got a pretty good threshold for alcohol. It doesn't mean that just because he doesn't drink, he can't drink. He surprised us all. Anyway, this was the first time I get an sms telling me of the stag night at 7pm and to appear at the venue at 11pm. Very spontaneous albeit last minute, but I think most of us had fun trying to get Keng wasted, but somehow despite numerous attempts, this guy totally stayed firm. Good guy this Keng.
Boys will be boys and longtime friends (l-r): with Keng, Mark, Seng, Shel, and Stef.
Keng who is a professional musician and plays bass for the band Seven Collar T-Shirt played and recorded his own bridal march theme which was really original, very atmospheric and surreal at the same time. Cool nonetheless.
The church ceremony
(photo courtesy of Keng's official wedding photographer)
... and the dinner.
A few days after the wedding, something else happened which was a major miscommunication with a cell member, but that's all water under the bridge now. All had passed and we are firm friends again, but at that point, it was difficult for both of us.
And then came the new appointment at work which was a new challenge I was looking forward to and relished, but it was something for the next season.
Some time after that, it was my mid-term break which, in many ways, was the close to this roller coaster chapter. I took a trip down south of the border to the city state of Singapore, which up till last month, I had not visited in seven years. My cuzzie, Brenda, kept asking me last year when I would visit, but I kept postponing the dates much to her chargrin as I couldn't find the time. But this time, it was much needed. And timely. And intentional. I wanted to catch up with my extended family and (re)building the bridges with them, and also to reconnect with friends. I had a great time at Stephen's, and also catching up with Jin Ye, Su-lin, and my cousins -- Eugene, Diana, and Brenda--with their respective families. It's good to finally get to know my nephews on a more personal level and I hope, looking forward, to also connect with my nieces whom I didn't get a chance to meet during the trip.
with my cuzzie Brenda
Something I thought which was very uncharacteristically of me and very untypical of anyone who visits Singapore, I didn't get much time to do shopping. But above and beyond it all, I am pleased and dare to say that I had re-established relationships and friendships during the trip. Not even two stolen pairs of shoes could derail me. It was disappointing, yes, but sometimes we need to understand what we value most in life, and at this moment, I know what I value in life and more than ever or anytime in my life, I am certain and reaffirm that all of us were born to relate to each other.
I eventually got another pair of shoes and that was as much shopping I did with the time there. The rest were spent sightseeing with friends and just catching up.
with the Cheongs -- Stephen, Joanne, and Talia.
When I got back from Singapore on Monday night, I had to prepare for the orientation program the following day when the new intake comes in. Immediately, I was thrusted back almost immediately into the new season. With that new responsibility from the new appointment.
But before the semester started in full swing, there was also the staff trip to Penang and Pulau Payar.
Pulau Payar Marine Park
(two hours by boat from Penang and at the waters of Langkawi)
On the ferry boat with Wei Haan, Rachel and Molly.
And the traveling party from my respective School
But I regard this staff trip as a start to the new season rather than the end to the one which this whole blog entry is about.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
This is the 700th post in this blog (which is about six years since I started it). Not bad eh considering I'm not a full-time blogger? Another milestone.
Well, nothing to be proud of. This entry should have came sooner considering that it is about a concert which happened here three days after Kelly Clarkson's.
I bought the ticket (yes, ticket, read that as ONE) to Stereophonics' show the same time I bought the tickets for Kelly's. That really dented a hole in my wallet for a while. But it was all well worth it. One thing I learnt from this whole week though: never go for two concerts within the span of a week. Other than being costly, it can be very tiring (for the throat especially) and dehydrating. But like I said, well worth every penny.
On the ticket it was printed showtime begins at 7:30pm, so I arrived at a comfortable time of 7:30pm. There was a queue... a long queue. Wait, the doors are not opened yet? Why not? Looks like I didn't have to wait so long compared to some of the rest who I reckon were waiting there like for God knows when. While queueing there were some girls from some tobacco company doing some research and were giving away lighters in exchange for personal information. Typical. Within 15 minutes, I met Roy and he was accompanied by his colleagues one of which was Jian Loong, a former neighbour of mine. Amita, I was told by Roy, was also coming for the gig. If I knew they were also going for the gig I wouldn't have had to go buy tickets all by myself. Anyway, I was already prepared to go to a gig on my own. It's cool, but it's not as fun I suppose. Amita agreed with me in admitting that we were not really big Stereophonics fans and we only knew a few songs.
We only got in at about 8:30pm, I think. After getting in, it was more waiting. While waiting, Amita and I got a beer each at RM10 per pop and were surprised to see that the beer they served were Tiger Ice. It came in a bottle reminiscent of Corona but tasted like Tiger Beer nonetheless. It tasted lighter than the usual Tiger though, not too sure how high is the alcohol percentage in comparison to standard Tiger. I was quite surprised to see that gweilos made up more than nearly 30% of the crowd (I could be mistaken about this figure but there were quite a lot of Caucasians in the crowd).
By the time the band took the stage it was already 9:20pm. So much for 7:30pm, and they didn't even have an opening act. Stereophonics started the night with a song from their latest album Keep Calm and Carry On called Live 'N' Love. It was loud and lively enough to kickstart the night.
After the first song, they proceeded to play A Thousand Trees and some songs which were more familiar to me. "More familiar" in this case means songs that were in their greatest hits compilation, Decades in the Sun. Some of the favourites that they played that night were My Own Worst Enemy, Pick A Part That's New (the one with the cool Italian Job parody video!), Maybe Tomorrow, Superman, Mr Writer, Have A Nice Day, Local Boy in the Photograph, Just Looking (... I'm not buying!!!), The Bartender and the Thief, and their very very smashing and rocking UK #1 hit, Dakota.
I made sure I charged my camera battery so that it could last me till the end of the night; I somehow knew that Dakota would be the last song of the night. My battery lasted me till the end of the night. Problem was the memory card didn't. So midway through Dakota, my greatest fear came through. I ran out of memory space after shooting all the other songs that preceded the encore. Bollocks! So I had half of Dakota in my camera and the other half in my iPhone, and I still haven't got round to editing the videos and somehow mashing them up together. But damn! I need a memory card with a bigger memory.
I had one other complaint though: when Kelly Jones took out his acoustic guitar and played a slower, intimate number, I was annoyed to find that so many of the people upstairs (I'm not too sure about downstairs) were talking among themselves like some pub with people more preoccupied with their own conversations over beer than listening to him belt out a song about red star, or whatever. And it was getting quite loud too, till at some points the voices from conversations nearly drowned out Kelly's voice from the speakers. I mean, we all paid good money for the show, so why couldn't they just STFU and listen? Yes, maybe the song was unfamiliar to many but this is no pub band. This is a paid-for concert, and the rest of us want to listen to the artist as well. It seems like as if the audience only responds to loud, heavy distorted guitars.
But there's no doubt about this one thing: Kelly Jones, like his namesake Clarkson three days' earlier, can sing live and can hold his own amongst the best British vocalists for a rock band with his famous whisky voice.
Check out the vids for yourself...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Kelly on stage
It took me nearly half a month from the last entry to finally put this up.
Some of you had already asked me in person.
Yes, Kelly Clarkson's concert was awesome, other than the fact that, from where we were seating, she was just a this little speck on stage. Well, that's what cheap tickets get you. According to Paul, she said that we climbed up the 'mountain' (referring to the seats we had which were the RM98 ones) and looked down from the mountain towards the stage. Realising that there were some truths in what she said, I noticed that we were even seated higher than the roof of the stage. We sat so far from the stage and so high up, trust me on this. But still we got an unobstructed view after we switched to others seats considering that our earlier ones had a RM98 view of the railings. Too expensive to be having a view of the railings. I could see that at the workplace or better still at home. But I guess that's the beauty of "cheap" seats... their unreserved/unnumbered seating status meant that we could move around from one seat to another.
Anyway, just to backtrack a little, we arrived shortly before the 8pm start time, and it just was the right timing. We didn't have to wait long after getting in through to the parking. We sat for about 10 to 15 minutes and then it was over to the two opening acts -- Jaclyn Victor, who sang a medley/compilation of the hottest Malaysian hits (including Lagenda, Isabella, Sejati, Suci Dalam Debu and etc); and Suki Low (the winner of One in a Million) who sang one Chinese song and also played violin for that song. I never watched an episode of One in a Million before, but I can understand why lots of people tuned in to it previously. Suki is quite easy on the eyes, isn't she? Oh yes, and she's got that talent thing there going on too.
There was a short break after the two performed, then suddenly two vans came in through an entrance in the stadium -- one, a white van that looked pretty standard, and another one which was silver and had black tinted windows--and parked at the side of the stage. The crowd obviously noticed, not that it's very discreet anyway, and screamed. Alright, had to be her in the second one.
By 8:30pm, Kelly has taken the stage and the concert was in full swing.
Needless to say, she played all her big ones, after kicking off with the title track of her latest album, All I Ever Wanted.
A screen capture early on, with her hair still down.
Midway through the concert (no, she didn't ran out to the washroom like she did at Germany, see video below), she tied up her hair resulting from the warm humid night. It can only be a girl to noticed things like these and it was Paul who brought that to my attention.
Her crowd interaction was pretty good making every attempt to keep herself down to earth and not seem like a big celebrity that she is. You can see she really adores her fans who adore her in return (I saw on YouTube that she once fired her guitarist on stage because apparently he was messing with a fan... oh well, so much for trying not to be a big celeb, but then again, she was protecting her fans, but that's a different story and I don't want to speculate on that).
With her hair pretty tied up.
Other than her hits, she did sing some covers as well -- I think there was one by Alanis, and then she also medleyed her song If I Can't Have You with Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Out Of My Head, and then near the end, she did White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.
She disappeared after Since You've Been Gone, only to reappear again after the encore cheers from the crowd to finish off the night with Already Gone, that White Stripes song, and the finale, My Life Would Suck Without You.
One thing is for certain: this girl can sing live.
No doubt about that.
But then again, do we expect anything less from the first American Idol winner, given the fact that the contestants sing live week in week out?
I didn't think so.
Anyway, here are some videos I took to keep you occupied after all that I had written.
Friday, April 23, 2010
And I await...
April 25 (Sun)... Kelly Clarkson
Yes, a pop concert! Kelly Clarkson, no less. Oh well, aren't we all guilty of certain guilty pleasures sometimes?
Anyway, read somewhere that Jaclyn Victor (MI1) and Suki (OiaM) will be opening for her.
April 28 (Wed)... Stereophonics
I hope Stereophonics won't get stuck resulting from the volcanic ash incident... oh wait, they're coming in here from their Australia / NZ tour.
Nah, shouldn't be a problem then.
... and I'm fully migrated from the old centre to the new campus.
This is my new workstation.
Yes, Alice, Christin, Nadia, and Vinny, your pic in the nice cute frame is still on my desk.
A little corporate looking innit?
I could have sworn it looked like I was working at Microsoft or something...