Thursday, April 30, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
I was at home then, online when suddenly I heard a lot of noise coming from the kitchen. The heavy duty cooking pan, which was hanging on the window grill, had a hard time keeping still. It was blown off the window grills by the strong wind and kept hitting the window grill when the wind slightly receded.
I looked out of the window and it was a scary sight. The sky was red in colour lined with thick rainclouds. The trees and shrubs looked as though they were "high on drugs" or something. They were swinging madly in all sorts of directions. Though strong wind was common sight before heavy rainfall, but I have never witnessed anything of such magnitude.
The wind was roaring as I tried very hard to close the window for precaution sake. It was difficult as the power of the wind was so strong. I closed the big windows and had left the small ones open for ventilation. The sliding windows rattled as the sound of the wind coming through the small windows continued to shriek. There was sound of things falling apart or breaking off down in the street and things were flying in the air like plastic bags, leaves breaking off from trees etc. In fact, few leaves flown into my flat. I was living on the highest floor!
Then, it started to rain. The strong wind blew them into the flat from the small window, something which had seldom happened. As the rain continued to fall, the power of the wind weakens gradually. Soon, rain stop and everything was back to normal. The next day, I saw a lot of “debris” on the path and many people mentioned about the sudden strong wind in facebook and forums.
NEA revealed that the wind speed on Wednesday night had hit 83 KM/Per hour and was the strongest Singapore had experienced in nearly 9 years. It was caused by storm called “Sumatra Squall”. As the name explains, Sumatra squall usually developed overnight in Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca before sweeping into Singapore between midnight and daybreak. They usually occur between April and September. NEA said there might be one or two more of such storm, but it is unlikely to be as powerful as the one we experienced on Wednesday.
Reference taken from CNA news:
Monday, April 20, 2009
I remembered there is a similar Chinese drama or movie. The man had a tree grown out of belly button because he was cursed by a Chinese witch doctor and later died. Who would have thought that such thing would happen in real life?! Scary... Be careful what you breathe in next time...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Not that I am surfacing old news, but please click and read on. I bet everyone would have already seen British Got Talent - Susan Boyle’s footage. For the benefit of those who did not, Susan Boyle is a 47 year-old unemployed Scottish woman. She took part in the British Got Talent competition and surprised the judges including notoriously critical Simon Cowell.
The first impression of Susan was not pleasant. She is not beautiful. In fact, she looked haggard and also behaved eccentrically. Before she stood on stage, she told camera that she wanted to make the audience rock. Simon Cowell asked her what the dream which she answered that she is trying to be a professional singer. When asked why it has not worked out, she said she have not been given a chance before and hoping that this competition would all change. Audiences rolled their eyes, sniggered and laughed at her when she replied that she wants to be as successful as Paige.
Then the most amazing things happened… She opened her mouth and sang the first verse, the crowds went mad and they were rocking to her singing. The judges all looked shocked as she had a good voice and had sung really really well.
Pierce commented that her performance was the biggest surprise he ever got. He remarked that Susan had irritated everyone at first with the cheeky grin saying that she wanted to be Paige. Everyone was laughing at her then, but no one was laughing at her after she sang. The lady judge said that everyone was being cynical and her appearance was the biggest wake-up call ever.
I agreed with her especially the line “Biggest wake-up call” indeed. It is human instinct to want to see beautiful version of things. We are so used to seeing beautiful people performing. They may or may not sing well, but most importantly we tolerated them. Whoever thought that a person looking like Susan Boyle would have such an amazing voice? The fact that the camera shot so much of audiences’ disbelief footages was to actually prepare to showcase Susan for laughs that she had not sing well… She had thrown everyone off guard.
Looking at her, I saw some of my reflection. I thought I could sing pretty well (that is to be humble), but I have never won any Karaoke competition. My friends knew that I could sing. I have participated in Singing competition twice. Once was during Secondary School times, the other one was during Polytechnic last year. I never make it on stage.
I was partly at fault for the secondary school competition. I have chosen Kit Chan’s 喜欢你。 I forgot some of the lyrics nervously, but I completed the chorus well. The panel had three teachers, one of which is my choir mistress. Not only did not I make it on stage, the other friend who sang quite well never did too. I was quite surprise when the finalists were revealed. Most of them were NPCC cadets. I guessed the HOD who managed the NPCC had a bigger say among the panel of judges.
My friend and I later complained jokingly to a teacher about it that those people can’t sing as well as we did. The teacher thought that we were sore losers. One day, our class was rehearsing for a teachers’ day performance at the assembly area. My friend and I were lead singers. After we finished on the way up to class, the teacher walked up to us and said “You know, I think you are right. You sing better than they did.” He was having P.E class nearby and had happened to hear us sing.
The polytechnic one was more hilarious. I think I chosen a wrong song and had entered the wrong category. I entered myself into the English category and chosen to sing “Top of the World”. English is not my forte. You can laugh, but it did not appear to me that Top of the World was a kiddy song. I thought it has a nice melody.
Anyway, the judges were three lecturers. There were some students helpers in the room. My poly best friends were very supportive and had waited for me outside the room. Nervously, I only managed to sing “Such a feeling… “and then it went mute. There was no sound from the microphone. The student helpers took the microphone and test it out and ran outside. My friends all looked surprised that it was over so soon. One of them asked what happened and the helper replied “No batteries” I remembered hearing her scream “What?! No Batteries?! "
Soon, the batteries were replaced and I have another start. I sang and I think I did quite well, though nervous. I guessed I impressed all of them in the room and there were students helpers coming up to me saying that I sing really well.
On both competitions, I thought I could get in the Secondary School’s one because the competitors were not strong. However, I anticipated that I would not get it for the polytechnic one. I believed that there are better contestants. I took part in the competition as a confident booster. I just had changed my image then and was still suffering from low self esteem. I want to impress people with what I do best, which is to sing as I believed that I can sing quite well. I did achieve that, thus I wasn’t feeling sad.
Honestly, there were times when I looked back and think that if I wasn’t big and looked better, will I get a chance to sing on stage? I have impressed many people, but I want to have a taste of winning an award for it. I just hoped that someone would organize a purely Singing competition for people like me to take part.
Looks matters, I am not going to argue about that, but it does not necessarily meant talent!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
More concrete reports surfaced in Entertainment section about Andy’s marriage in recent months. There were first rumours that Andy will make a surprise visit to Malaysia in April to distribute wedding cards to relatives and guests from Ms Zhu’s side of family. Then, just weeks after tabloid revealed the news, Andy again poo-pooed the news that it was not true and was a no-show in Malaysia on the reported date. Well today, news of Andy Lau postponing his marriage (whether or not with any truth) to a later date spread in newspapers and online.
After the entire buzz, I cannot help but wondered why can’t Andy Lau just get married?
Of course I do know that Andy is an idol. To those who did not know, an idol is supposedly better-looking artist who attracted majority of fan by charms and looks. However, Andy had showed people that he is more than the face and chest. He is a music icon in the 90s and was one of the two voices which men love to impersonate in Karaoke (the other one being Jacky Chueng). He acted in many profitable films and even won Best Actor in Taiwan’s prestigious Golden Horse Award for his performance in Internal Affairs 3. He is not exactly talent-less and given his current age, I am sure loyal fans would have understood on why he is getting married and will still support him.
It cannot be possibly that he had hesitated for the sake of privacy. Of all people, I thought he would understand that artists of his status would have little or no privacy at all. That is a dilemma and woes of being a public figure. You can try to be low-keyed, but paparazzi and sometimes fans would do whatever to dig out information about you, so much so that your family life, your love life and sometimes intimate moments are laid out for all to see.
I especially felt for Mrs Lau-to-be. She had reportedly waited 20 plus years for his commitment. It is an amazing feat. I probably would not be able to do it. I mean waiting for a man to commit for 20 years… Wouldn’t she at a point doubt that he does not love her? I would. If a man really love you, why wouldn’t he want to marry you and make you his wife?
Just recently, I heard some of my friends relating stories of how their female friends were still not married after dating for 10 years and more. During the earlier years of dating, they often quarrelled with their partners over commitments issues. The man usually cited reasons like they don’t want to settle down so soon, they want to concentrate on their career first, they like the current arrangement or simply give all sort of reasons (except the real one) to divert the questions. As years goes by, they got used of their current situation and decided to stay status quo. Sound familiar?
While some of the men really want some time to achieve what they want before settling down, I would think some of them never did. Those selfish men probably want to have a companion on hand, but actually waiting for someone better to come along. I believed all women knew what is going on and whether their partners really love them. I guessed they continued with the unhealthy relationship because they are not sure what to do if they were alone. Imagine you are no longer young and suddenly alone, what are you going to do ? It will be a traumatic experience.
Back to Andy Lau, I am not suggesting that he is one of those guys.
Perhaps fans and paparazzi should just give Andy a break and let him finished what he ought to do...
So Andy Lau's fan, would you still support him if he were married? If not, why? Are you all attracted to his exterior or his talents?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
You are expressive, original, and independent. Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art. (I guessed some of you would have know that I am rather good with such things...)
You would make an excellent:
Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor
The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary. (Yawn...)
I am not very sure how best to explain what/who Tua Pek Gong is. “Tua Pek Gong” 大伯公 is Hokkien pronunciation of a Chinese deity. The literal translation of “Tua Pek Gong” is Great Grand Master. According to Wiki, Tua Pek Gong was a pantheon of Malaysian Chinese Gods. He was a Hakka (one of Chinese dialect) man named Zhang Li who landed on Penang accidentally after his Sumatra bound boat was struck by wind. I guessed he must have done a lot of good deed in Penang because after his death, people worshipped him and even built a Tua Pek Gong temple after him. Tua Pek Gong was so revered among the Chinese community that it was being worshipped not only by Malaysian Chinese but Singaporeans Chinese as well.
Actually, these photos were taken by my brother. He went there during the Chinese Year to pray for good luck. Because it was the year of Ox, Loyang Tua Pek Gong temple "hired" an ox for people to pray! Quite clever marketing idea once you got past of the idea of praying to an ox. Don't worry animal rights people, the ox was not there as a sacrifice. It was there for people to pray at only, with lots of food, water and space provided.
So tourists, the next time you are in Singapore, do visit the fame temple and get to know more about Singapore Chinese culture.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I am depressed beyond words. Driving is something which I have so much confidence in, something which I thought I did quite well, but I just keep failing. I felt so demoralised… It should not be like that. I do not deserve this.
The time to wait for another round of test is just excruciating. The whole series of driving misfit is just so humiliating. I have seen worst drivers on the road, but they are there driving and I am not. The repeated failing of driving related tests as if inferred that there is something wrong with my intelligence.
Thank you for ruined a person who is trying to pick herself up... So so so, humiliated...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Fret not! Here’s a Chinese soup recipe to beat the heat! Light and Soothing - Apples and Pears Soup (南北杏果梨汤).
Apples – About 2. Cut into chunk
Pears – About 2. Cut into chunk
Lean Meat – 300 grams
To measure water - One bowl of water per person and one bowl of water for the pot.
Sweet and Bitter Apricot Kernels (南北杏) - About half a tablespoon
Salt to taste
You can use solely apples or pears for the soup. If you are following my recipe, the apples and pears ratio should be 1:1.
Instead of using fatty cuts, it is better to use leaner meats for this soup.
Apples are good for expelling heat from body. It nourishes the lungs and aid digestion.
Pears also have cooling effect and are good to cure cough.
Sweet and Bitter Apricot Kernels or 南北杏 is good for cough. However do take cautious when using this. I wikied and found out that one should not used more than 10 grams of it as it contained mild poison.
Dried Figs also expels heats and has disintoxication properties. It dissipated phlegm and dehumidified the body.
Refer to my first recipe on how to prepare the meat. It should slightly pre-boil to rid excess fats and drags.
Apples and pears should be cut up into large chunks. Dried figs should be halved so that the sweetness can be easily defused into the soup.
Boil water. When boiled, put in the meat first and wait for it to come to boil again. Then add in the dried figs and sweet and bitter apricot kernels. When it boils, add the apples and pears.
Let it simmers for about 2 hours before serving.
This is a perfect soup for hot weather. It has a slight sweet and sour taste. Very light, which is good for hot summer day. It cools your body down, nourishes your organ and also aid digestion.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I finally managed to watch "The Devil Wear Prada"! It was quite a good movie. In one of the Paris scene, there is this beautiful song which I thought it was very romantic. I googled and found out that the song was titled "Les Yeux Ouverts". It was the french version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
Listen to it and tell me. Can the song get more romantic than this version? French plus Dream a little Dream of Me is the ultimate love song. Awww... The version which I like was the cover by British Band - Beautiful South.
Beautiful South - Les Yeux Ouverts
Ce souvenir je te le rends.
Des souvenirs, tu sais j'en ai tellement.
Puisqu'on reva de jours errants.
Pas la peine de changer trop...
Ce souvenir je te le prends.
Des souvenirs, comme ca j'en ai tout le temps.
Si par erreur la vie nous separe,
J'le sortirai d'mon tiroir.
J'reve les yeux ouverts.
Ca m'fait du bien.
Ca ne va pas plus loin.
J'vais pas voir derrierePuisque j'aime bien.
Un dernier verre de sherry.
Du sherry mon amant quand je m'ennuie.
Tous les jours se ressemblent a present.
Tu me manques terriblement...
This memory I'm giving back to you.
These memories, you know I have so many.
Since we dreamed of passing days
No need to change too much.
This memory I'm taking from you.
Memories like that happen to me all the time.
If life mistakenly sets us apart, I'll get it from my drawer.
I dream with my eyes open.
It feels good.
It does not go any farther.
I don't look back
Since I feel good.
I wish tomorrow would come quick.
A last glass of sherry.
Sherry, my love, when I feel sad.
All days look alike to me now.
I miss you so terribly.
Translation: Professor Jacques Bereaud Cornell University
Compiled by: firstname.lastname@example.org