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Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Mixed Sunday with + Interview with UTP Lame Dream Team Manager

Well, had church today and a nice praise and worship session, well at least it was to me. Not so sure how others felt, didn't ask them. It's nice to come back and have a fresh new restart playing for Hope of God Ipoh, finally getting to test out the pickup for my dad's Maton guitar on the system as well as the bass and Javiar's the first one to play it. I think, in all honesty, having the bass guitar makes quite a whole lot of a good difference. I have to say, Javiar picked it up quite well and pretty fast too; so that was very beneficial for practice, great job dude, haha! I think having the drums, guitar, keyboard and bass guitar pretty much completes the band, having an electric would be more of an add on than anything really but of course, I wouldn't mind, hahaha! We could play more Hillsong United stuff, lol, hehehe.

Anyway, after a long day, felt pretty tired after I got back. Once again, I got that mood where I didn't really feel like doing anything. I opened Microsoft Word to do the summary I'm supposed to do for this chapter, but I don't even know how she wants it exactly so I just closed the program and just surfed the net, not doing very much. In fact, it was a little of a moodish depressing afternoon and the weather didn't help since it was so cloudy. I wonder how people in England live where it's cloudy on just about every other day. Some footballers don't even want to play in the English Premier League because they hate that kind of weather.

So, I went off for dinner at v5 on my own, and I tell you, there are some strange sights to see in UTP that's a little weird. As I was walking past the V2 girls block, low and behold there were three clusters (I have no idea for the right word) of HAIR on the floor right next to the drain, lol. It's very obvious it had been cut off from someone, and you're in the dilemma if someone actually cut their hair in their room and threw it down from their room, which would make the culprit most definitely a girl or if some joker just decided to put it there, lol.

Al right, so I went for my dinner and on my way back, I see a whole group of girls and maybe just two guys surrounding a tree. I was walking from afar so I couldn't really tell what was happening. When I got there though, I found a group of girls watching this one guy using a CRUTCH to try and get this cat of the tree. *Haih*

Anyway, (thank God this happenned, made my day) I walked back to my room through v2 and caught a hold of Jenny, Yen Piing, Lee See, Karen and Javiar having dinner so I sat down just to chill with them. That's one thing I really enjoy for whatever reason there is. I just like hanging out with them in a very chilled out manner. It's just a relaxed time and you've got people like Javiar and Karen around, not to mention Lee See and Yen Piing that can also contribute to the fun, it's a feel good time. Just gave them a short tutorial about *humz and after that we had a meeting to discuss the future of *humz.

Well, anyway, the outcome is, we have decided to replace the ILC (International Lame Club) with the International *Humz Company (IHC). The ILC will still continue operations and become a subsidary of the IHC, meaning that all ILC members will all have shares in the IHC. The establishment of the IHC has also produced another outcome, whereby the UTP Lame Team will be abolished and replaced by the UTP *Humz Squad which will enable the company to be more flexible and compete in both the Lame and *Humz leagues. Existing manager of the UTP Lame Dream team will continue to head the UTP *Humz Squad and was interviewed by a reporter.

*Warning: The following part of this post uses football terminology*

"What are your thoughts about building this new team for two competitions? Will it be tiring for them to hold out for the whole season?"

"I believe that the establishment of the UTP *Humz Squad has given more chance for other younger players to prove themselves. First team choice players such as Karen and Javiar, alongside new signing Eddy Tan will continue to play a major role in the team. With this team now able to compete in the *Humz League as well, there will definitely be more chances for the younger players such as Jenny, Yen Piing, Vern and Richard. This year will be a long season and we want to do well in all competitions, so having such a big squad that is strong in depth will definitely help us succeed. Having a new competition to play in, the *Humz League, we will definitely not be selling of players of good potential such as Jenny, Richard and Vern who I think have slightly larger potential and ability to play in this league. They could have gone on loan at other clubs and have more regular matches but I feel that they are still needed here and can make a big impact at this club"

"The name UTP *Humz Squad was given by the chairman, I understand that this has changed, can you enlighten us?"

"After a board meeting, we have decided to name the team simply *Humzters United."

"Have you identified any new signings this summer?"

"We have watched a few youngsters and I think that we will be closely watching Witton in the next few months, He has untapped potential. We have also identified Calvin as a potential target but we feel that he's to eccentric for the club and may do more harm than good, but we will be keeping tabs on him."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Straight Up... For Real

Ok, I'm going to make a statement, and in all fairness to anyone who may refer to themselves as human beings may be uncomfortable and disagree and perhaps scoff at what I have to say but this is just some honest truth coming from me, perhaps you'll know me a little better after this post. And what I'd like to hear from you, if you like, is YOUR STAND on this issue, and it better not be wavy stand, but something strong and firm that is definite, and not something that is a compromise. I won't blast you or anything about your views, in fact I won't comment on them but I will definitely spend some time thinking about them. Anyway, here goes.

Just today, during Moral class, our lecturer opened up the class for what she called for something like an open discussion, which turned out more to be like a debate class anyway. Now, unlike the Malaysian primary or high school, we're challenged to say out our mind about how we should act morally in what many people call gray areas, sensitive situations that ask you if it is right to do the wrong thing and if it is wrong to do the right thing. It's one of those things where you supposedly discuss issues in a way with the allowance there are no wrong and right answers.

Now, we were given this situation. Let's say there's this man, named Arthur and his wife's got some terrible disease and she's going to die soon unless she gets this medicine from the pharmacy. Arthur has not enough money to buy the medicine and even if he looks for alternatives, he will not be in time to save his wife. Anyway, Arthur goes to the pharmacy and hopes the pharmacist will give him a discount. The pharmacist takes the medication that Arthur asks for to the counter and turns away to somewhere else because he needs to take the phone call. The obvious question here is, should he or should he not steal the medicine for his wife?

As I said, the floor was open and many gave their views in a way that I really didn't like because it was all so legalistic, and so 'point' driven. I guess maybe its because they're all experienced debators and public speakers. There was one African guy though, who stood out among the rest, and his argument was for stealing the drug. I cannot demonstrate his thoughts as accurately as he did but I will share his main ideas. His perspective was this, that that if someone were to obey the law and not steal the drug, it would be a significant display of pride on Arthur's part and an unwillingness to save his wife's life. He also mentioned that there would be no such thing as a woman who would be happy to know that her husband couldn't break the law to save her life. He didn't say this exactly but he was rebutting a point by someone else who said that a wife would be proud of her husband if he did not steal if I'm not mistaken, please correct me UTPians if I am. Of course there was a very strong idea he had, that the value of a human life would be more than that of stealing. After all, it's a very simple justification, a life is worth the sacrifice. But very largely, a lot of his ideas were based upon the fact, that it is very prideful for a man not to do all in his ability to save his wife, especially so if it means he had to steal the drug.

Let me ask you, in such a situation, where do you stand? After hearing his points, deep inside, I was pretty much burning, pretty angry to be honest and up until now, I'm still upset about it, and I'll reveal why in the following paragraphs. One thing though, is how widely those ideas were accepted that got to me. I respect that young mans opinion and I believe it to be result of some serious thought, but there's just too much wrong about it. If a man chooses not to save a loved one because the law forbids it under the circumstances, is he a man of pride? Is he too ashamed of his love of his wife to act very simply to steal it?

Firstly, you know doctors, upon their hippocratic oath, designed for them to want to save everyone they can, doesn't enable them to preserve life, but very simply to prolong it. As much as a doctor wants to keep man alive, they still have to die at some point, same for you and me. Has it ever occurred to any one of you, that in this case study that that might have been her time to go? God could have meant for it to be her time to go.

How would you know if was her time to go Christon? How could you possibly know? Let me tell you something, God put everything, and I mean absolutely everything for a reason. That very especially includes the law and the government over any nation, regardless of what is the religion of the state. God put all this in place for a purpose, and a small part of that purpose are the development of particular situations. For examples, we as extremely loving parents would want to save our son from execution for raping many young and innocent women but the law renders us helpless doesn't it. Your intention is right, but the result is not so. Same here in this case, sure, maybe this woman may be totally innocent, but it does not justify any sin to perform a deed seen as righteous. If you can see, the two already contradict. God allows things to happen, and a lot of times, we don't like it and we want to act against it naturally. It's happenned to me, maybe not this way but it has. So what should Arthur do, nothing? Well, very honestly, he can do everything in his power to save his wife in a way that is right, but if the only way out is stealing that drug, I'll put it very straight, he shouldn't do it.

So what now? Are you going to let her die just like that? That question, if made into a statement would make Arthur a coward, afraid to be bold and courageous to face the risks and consequences of saving his wife. Let me ask you, are you bold, courageous and brave enough to let God's will happen? You may say, he's not being brave simply because he does nothing, trust me, it takes plenty out of person to wait on God. It's not even a question of saving the wife's life anymore. It's a question of you being able to surrender the situation to God and let Him have his way. God gives life and he can very well take it. Christon, are you saying that everytime in such a situation we should let God kill them? If you ask me that, let me tell you, as much as God takes away life, HE GIVES IT. I know God has done many miracles upon many peoples lives. That means God not only takes people away, he lets them live too, he saves them too, it's whether you allow Him to do it or not. Either way, God's going to have his way sooner or later, He's God isn't he?

Here you see, God always gives man the ability to choose and to do things, many many things. God would want Arthur to go all out and save his wife, simply because that is the woman God meant for him to love. That's a basic understanding to anyone even if you don't believe in God. God made guidelines for you to follow to have a good life as well, that's also understandable to anyone. When it comes to the crunch though, like in this case study, does everything go out the window and is anything that can be possibly done the right thing for the situation? Well, why not? An extreme case calls for extreme measures. That's purely justification so that you obtain your desired outcome.

For a Christian, you would know that God gave you his word and his law not as a restriction but as something to follow in life that you may have a good one, a great one even.
You know what, if you throw everything that has been given to you as a guideline to your life, you know what it symbolises? It's very simple, selfishness, as much as anyone may not agree, it's true. Why would you suddenly do away with a value that you know to be true for so long? It would definitely be because something didn't happen YOUR WAY and you want to change that.

That, is being selfish, in Arthur's case, if he stole the drugs, he wouldn't be saving his wife, for his wife, he'd be saving her for himself. Why would I say this? It's because he wanted something that was out of his hands and wanted more of himself than God's plans.

Face it, you don't like death. No one does, it's scary to think about your own death, what more about others? None of us like it, and therefore, you believe it to be bad if it happens to a good person when he or she is in good living circumstances. One thing I know is, God never wrote life and death that way. The sad thing is how we always think that dying is always a bad thing. You forget death isn't the end and that there is life after that. Death on Earth is a sad thing, but not neccessarily a bad thing, and on a side note, this misconception has led to the whole idea of cloning humans really, all because we're scared to die isn't it.

You may ask me, "Christon, LET'S SAY you are right and everything you say makes sense, if it really happens to you, will you really do it?"

Here's my answer, "Humanly, instinctively, I don't think I would do it, it's humanly impossible because all of us have survival instincts. I will say though, it is not by me that I do it, but by something called the Holy Spirit of God that's in me that will help me do it. God gives his faith and strength to those who believe in Him and the bible already tells me that He will not put me beyond what I can bear, so yes I know that I will do it through God that strengthens me."

So I ask you know, what do you say? I challenge you to make your stand.

Angry, very angry

To be quite frank, right after that class, I felt very angry, not offended, but very angry. I'll decline to say more now but by Friday, I think I'll have a full explanation on this blog about what it's all about. When you read it on Friday, it may be challenging to take it in, but in all fairness, it's really about being firm of your stance. It's very interesting since this genre of the 'issue' that I'll be talking about has hit me twice in the space of twelve hours.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's Official....

the UTP lame dream team is back in action. I'm so proud that they've been able to keep their fitness levels up during the off season (using football terminology for this post). The team has used this time very productively to keep in shape and to get ready for the new season. The team went through a pre-season friendly match this evening after dinner to evaluate the team's fitness levels before going into the busy hectic season. I was there at a press conference to see a few announcements being made to the public by the UTP Lame Dream Team.

Manager cum player Christon Emang of UTP Lame FC said to the press, "It's really amazing how these young players can keep fit and stay strong during the off season when they've been on holiday or assigned to their national teams (when they go back to their state) to play for their country. The off season can be an overly relaxed time or a busy hectic schedule for players, but I'm really proud of them all for mantaining their standard of fitness and playing levels over the past two months."

It seems to be a very exciting time at UTP Lame FC as the side prepares for a long season ahead, promising many tough challenges to mantain the great form that made them such a great lame side last season. As it is every year, each season gets tougher and players have to rise to the challenge to show that they can do it. Superior skill and unique technique have had a large part to play in UTP Lame FC success and Manager Christon Emang had something to say on his players developed talents.

"It's really refreshing to see how some of the players have really matured as individuals from the previous season and show much promise coming into this new season. Several players have shown their very promising talent during pre-season and I personally believe that they will be able to make a very large contribution this season as opposed to myself."

What was interesting was to see who were the people that manager Christon Emang was referring to.

"Very specifically, I have seen tremendous progress in Javiar who has really matured a lot as an individual and I believe is meant for big things this season. He is very much the Cristiano Ronaldo that has finally grown up and is ready to take on the large challenge ahead of him to be superiorly lame and conquer it. He has improved tremendously in his technique and I hope he can convert it into great performances on the field. Another great prospect is Karen that has also seen some good growth. She is an extremely talented playmaker (comparisons to Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Cesc Fabregas in football), that is able to come up with creative solutions on the field and keep the game going in our favour. Her relentless persuit to be lame during matches lifts the teams spirit and she is always able to push the team to play the full 90 minutes filled with passion."

He also went on to talk about the youth development of the club

"So far there are a few young players that I believe have potential to make it big but have not come to fully realise it yet. The young Richard Liaw and Jenny are two players I am closely observing too monitor their progress. Sometimes they can come up with magnificent plays that can turn a game around in the last five minutes."

The transfer market was also on his mind.

"At this point, it has crossed my mind to sell players, and its sad to say that Wei Vern is one of them. It's no secret that she has ability but there has been poor development of her technique in training as well as what I think is a lack of zeal to contribute to the team. We will see how things go though, but as far as things go, we will consider offers for he to go to another team. As for buying, we would really love to buy some players from Simply Younited FC, particularly Gerard Chow who is performing bizzarely well day in and day out for them. He is an outstanding player, an artist of the game in his own right. Pei Ling is another one we are looking at because she is really dead killer. Sometimes you need players like her that can finish off the job so that the game ends in a great mood and that is what she would bring to the club."

At that point, the manager waved away at the press and did not receive further questions about the team going into the new season. Still, I'm quite close to him though, I'll keep you informed about the developments of the team. Until the next time.

ChRisE

Sunday, July 22, 2007

One of those matches...

You substitute your keeper during extra time but still lose the penalty shootout, lol.

Republic of Korea 4
Iran 2

(Penalty shooutout result. Full score after extra time : nil - nil)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Simply...... just very simply.... united.

I'd just came back from dinner with my parents and Aunty Jenny Toh actually. Had some real nice porridge with frog, fried pork strips, fried pork (ordered two times because I demanded to have one more plate to myself), egg tofu, vegetables, one large garlic fish. It was at one of those places that you'd never go to in your life unless your friend specifically told you to go there. It was this small Chinese restaurant somewhere far away in a small township at Sungai Buloh. One of my mother's friends brought her there so she decided to bring us there as a family before I left for UTP today. It's a prety nice place and the price was reasonable. If you count altogether, we ordered 7 dishes and we paid RM 76. That's a pretty good deal to get in a place like that.

Anyway, after all that, I decided to pop by Kay's place for lifetime since it was still ten o'clock. Lifetime's supposed to end at 10.30, but as long as I've been in Simply Younited, it's never ended at 10.30, haha! I arrived just in time for the accountability session for the new Alpha series church is doing as part of the foundation programme. It was good really, had a good discussion with Gerard, Wai Nyan and Brian. This is why I like cells or lifetimes, because that's when you actually get to discuss more in depth or practical application about stuff in the bible.

That took up about 15 to 20 minutes, and that concluded lifetime for the night. A lot of people started asking me, where were you? I'd already told Pei Ling I wouldn't be around, guess that didn't get around much, lol. Anyway, it's always nice to know that people miss you, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I certainly know Jeannie does, wahahahahaha! Theoretically, she has to miss me...... well simply because she has to but that's another thing altogether.

We just hung about for supper, everyone got a taste of this potato salad thing that Wan Phing made, which I'm sure was brilliant but I didn't try because I was stuffed with all the pork in my belly, lol. Anyhow, just hung around talking and listening to everyone, Gerard making his jokes and all.

It was really a nice way for me to end the night before going back to Ipoh, a reminder of the really great companionship, fellowship that I've had since the time of Simply United to Simply Younited. I think it's that sense of togetherness, camaraderie that I've experienced that I know I won't get anywhere else. It's a very unique bond honestly, it's not mentally and socially but very much spiritually. It really creates that culture and atmosphere that is really like no other.

I'm very much thankful for Simply Younited, each one of them are encouragers and inspirations in their own right, in their own way. Thank God for cells, loL, hehe.

Oh by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY YEE SAN!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ferguson.....

is the man I want to strangle if he talks a second time about selling Giuseppe Rossi and buying another striker. I sincerely hope he doesn't waste this talent. I mean, playing so well in Reserves, playing so well at Parma on loan and then smacking him in the face with Tevez's signing is really a big smack in the face, not to mention Alan Smith after a good recovery from injury.

Ji-Sung being out until next year dissapoints but it gives Fletcher and maybe even Eagles a chance. Eagles should play in the pre-season game tomorrow, he better impress. I want to see at least one home-bred United player on the first team. Once Scholes, Giggsy and Neville are gone, there won't be any home bred players left on the first team sheet. Lee Martin and Phil Bardsley better step up too.

I don't mind selling Smith, it is logical since he'll have to fight real hard for a first team place and admittedly he needs regular first team football if he's ever going to make it back into the England squad. It's more for his own good than for the team's really. All Tevez's fault, should have stayed in South America, instead of scoring against us on the final day of the season, lol.

Ok, from attackers to defenders, let's say they do sell Heinze, who's going to be Evra's long term backup? Silvestre is getting old and I'm pretty confident he'll be out of United after two years, given his age. Lets face it, great players like Sheringham and Schmeichael had to go because they were old.

Nonetheless, good prospects though, Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson. It's just that....... United should be able to have more than 2 home bred players on that first team sheet.

If they don't.......

they should just blow up their Academy building....

By the way, the next rant's on Malaysian football, since arguments are at its peak right now. But really, weren't the Malaysian team results expected.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finally

Malaysia will finally get a taste of fibre optics, been waiting for this a very long time. I don't even know how long we've been behind the other countries that have already been using low end T1 technology. We're finally making this step, the only thing I'm not happy about is as usual, Telekom Malaysia will have the monopoly and they're very much known for poor connections at times. Well anyway, hope they do a good job.

Read the full article here.

What I'm very interested in though, are the charges they'll put onto consumers. Fibre optics aren't a cheap commodity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tension & Struggles

Fuhh, I tell you, its very very scary. It really sucks to feel this. I guess you don't need to be told that though. It's funny how the mind can work, when you can initially think of something good. Then, when you're in the middle of fulfilling this, you meet realities, then doubts that ask if you can really pull this off, creep in. The roadblocks start meeting you on your journey.

That's when you start to think of the negative, ALL THE WAY. You don't remember of any positive you thought of before. It becomes a fear that creates the tension within you. The goal is now the problem, not the goal. Then you're only focused on just satisfying the minumum requirements. It's no longer about making your 'thing' good, but just about making it 'work'. Maybe it's because once you've stepped into something, you can't get out and you're kind of forced to deal with your current situation. It's where you hope to grind out some kind of result.

The goal that's transformed into a problem, turns into a fear and tension that makes you wonder, "Will it work?" It comes at a point you need to make a decision and take action. It creates a struggle within but it works to force you to make your way through a challenge. Nonetheless, there are two ways so struggle. Do you struggle to make it 'work' or do you struggle to make it 'great'?

Monday, July 16, 2007

24


Well, currently at Khye Shin's place early in the morning. It's been a pretty long night I must say, it was a pretty long but happily eventful day yesterday right up until now. Quite a number of interesting things have happenned in the last 24 hours.
At about this time, 24 hours ago, I was still awake because I couldn't sleep as a result of drinking iced coffee I believe. Being the genius I am, I never thought of the consequences before then at dinner. So, what did I do? I was pretty much wide awake, quietly watched a couple of Adam Sandler movies while playing FIFA Manager 07 at the same time for about three hours or so. Right now, I have an avid addiction to FIFA Manager 07, even with the slow loading times, I'm still ever so patient to wait.
Anyway, woke up a few hours later to get up and go to church, brought the Norman acoustic guitar along with all my stuff to stay over at Khye Shin's place. Service went along fine, was just a little annoyed I didn't bring my notebook but all the notes are on the church website anyway, so I'll get it later. Anyhow, during lunch something happenned to me that has totally never happenned in my life before. One young girl, I believe she's definitely less than ten years old, a nice little girl who I'm acquainted with because my mother knows her mother, suddenly asked me, "Koko Christon, do you have a girlfriend?"
I don't know about you but I was stunned for a second but instinctively said, "No, I don't have a girlfriend," and smiled back at the young little girl.
Then she said, "Don't bluff." Ok, then I was pretty shocked and didn't say anything else. Long after the ordeal was over, I thought what happenned was kind of cool, I don't get that experience everyday. On the other hand, it tells you a little how youngins are growing up a little faster than I did.
Long after service and lunch was over, brought out the acoustic I'd kept at my mum's cubicle at the church office to pass the time. I was with Khye Shin, we played a couple of things, and um..... as a joke we purposely opened the guitar casing to collect money, hahaha! This girl actually put in fifty cents, but that was part of a joke. Felix went on to contribute another twenty cents I think but that was all we made.

Some of the Simplyians came to hang around, Gerard, Felix, Daniel Lo, Yee San and Jon was around too. Khye Shin started this simple tune, and then I started singing out lyrics about KFC, and then Jon added in some of his own, Khye Shin put in some and Gerard did his good(lame) voice fill ins. I tell you, it was so awesome, ahahahahaha! Something spontaneous like that, came out pretty good, or maybe its just really easy to sing about fast food chains. I think we should really record it one day.
Anyway, after Khye Shin and I were done, we discovered Khye Shin's mother couldn't take us at church because his sister was at One Utama, so we had to take a cab there and hang around until his sister's movie finished. Now, there's one thing, it is very inconvenient to lug around a GUITAR in a shopping mall, particularly because for whatever reason you are in any mall, you move around a lot. Fortunately it was just for a while because I sent it to Guitar Collection to change to a new set of D'Addrio strings so I had an excuse to leave it there for a while. We had dinner over at Fish & Co. That place never fails to fill me up, didn't have the stomach to eat anything after that.
Soon enough, we headed back over to Khye Shin's place and we got down to work straight away. The first song we tried out was Alicia Key's If I Ain't Got You, and we took a pretty long time to work it out. Don't get me wrong, the chords are easy, but Khye Shin has the job of figuring out the lead guitar part, and putting it in tabs for my fellow guitarists to learn up quickly. I've also videotaped his parts to make the learning process easier. I think we spent up to more than an hour on that song. We worked pretty well on the other songs as well and by the end of the night, more like the start of the morning, we had finished up four songs. It was something nice to achieve since we started out at about 8.00 p.m.
Tomorrow, we have to try and finsh off Gravity, Don't Know Why and When You Say Nothing at All. After that, I need his valued opinion what should and what should not be included in all of these songs when it comes to the other instruments. I really hope we can be as productive this late morning as we were last night. You can achieve a lot with Khye Shin. =)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ChRisE (Seven Sweet Surrender) & Bob (HaLEawAy) Collaboration

Today, I'll be heading over to Khye Shin's place at Valencia, um not the one in Spain I might add. The housing area, lol. Finally, I'll get to go to his place, been wanting to go since he moved in. I heard the Valencia houses are pretty nice, perhaps nicer than Sierramas, hahaha! In all fairness though, I think Valencia was initiated after Sierramas.

I'll be heading there overnight, not because of fun (well not ENTIRELY), but because I need his help. It's a little collaboration on music, something we've done before, but not in this way. Previously I've done a little songwriting with him, we did about two songs, and I think he's totally forgotten about the first one. That was like way back though, when the both of us were only staying about a block away in Mon't Kiara. In fact, I've never really attempted songwriting since.

Anyhow, I'm enlisting his help for a different reason. You see, about six weeks into the new semester, the church I'm going to in Ipoh's having something called Acoustic Night. It's just a night where we've got live unplugged music, a very chilled out, relaxed setting, where everyone's there just to enjoy themselves. Nothing very spiritual about it, just something nice everyone can appreciate. If you're around then, come and join us, it'll be fun. In fact there are a couple of really cool things you might get, there are some games and stuff on the night as well and um, you might win a couple of free movie tickets. =) All the more reason to come, haha! I'm serious about the tickets, I am sourcing them, just have to confirm some stuff first though, but I'm 70% sure, it'll be attainable.

Actually, acoustic night shound sound familiar to some of you, because CoUZ did it a couple of years back and that's the one CoUZ night I've remembered the most. I still very distinctly remember the jazz band with Wei Li on the piano, Felix on the drums and then really sweet performances by Candice Ng and Fergus. That was uber cool, CoUZ should do it again sometime I think, haha! I think Candice Ng singing anything is always captivating, haha!

Ok, so because we're having this acoustic night, I'm getting Khye Shin to help me arrange a number of songs we might play on the night. You can't really just be strumming chords on an acoustic the whole night, because that would just be plain boring. I only have today and tomorrow with him, so I'm hoping we can sort of rush through some of the songs and arrange it for all instruments involved. We only have guitars but we can always picture what we want out of it. Just hope I can make the best out of this evening and tomorrow.

I think we'll start of with some John Mayer stuff since we're so PRO-John Mayer, haha! Not to mention Switchfoot as well, haha!

Monday, July 09, 2007

This Week

This week's playlist is:

Taking Back Sunday - A Decade Under The Influence
Chavelle - Send The Pain Below To Learn
Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity
Motion City Soundtrack - Everything Is Alright

Hope I can pull of the drums, lol.... first time playing with Alex and Wei Yang in a band.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Great Grandmother

Feeling a little dizzy and dazed today, think it's the lack of proper rest or the whole Penang trip ordeal. Yeah, went down to Penang on Thursday with my parents to visit my great grandmother. It's one of those occasions where I go back down to Penang with my family once a year to visit. You could see it a little like everyone gathering around once a year for the Chinese New Year. There was one time I didn't visit for the whole year so it felt like I hadn't seen her in a very long time.

It's really quite amazing how my great grandmother's still alive really. Let's be honest, the life expectancy of a regular person isn't that high is it? Sure, there are those that live longer than a hundred years old but rest assured not every human on earth will live that long. She's been through World War I and World War II you know, it's a lot to ask of such a person to go through both world wars and come out alive, let alone live until the age of 91. I think it's good to pay tribute and honour to those who have gone through times such as those.

It felt really nice to see her, and to see her smile is one of the best thing's I've experienced. It became something really meaningful to me, not that she's never smiled at me before or anything like that. It's just that this time around, I was more sensitive to that, don't ask me why though.

All right, most of you, if not all of you know I can't speak in any of the Chinese dialects, Mandarin, Cantones, Hokkien, you name it, I can't speak it. That's a a little bit of a stumbling block in a sense that it prevents me from communicating with my great grandmother a little more effectively. It's not that I have tonnes to say to her, but you know, it's nice to speak to someone in a language they are most familiar with. In the end, some of you will say, VERY SADLY (although honestly, I seriously do not consider it so), I do communicate with her in Bahasa Malaysia, since she doesn't speak English, maybe just a little bit, but that would just be like me who knows a couple of words in Mandarin and Cantonese, not even sufficient to construct a proper sentence.

It was good to have some small talk with her, honestly, I've never really talked to her much over the years, simply because I haven't much to say. As I've said before I've never really been a good a verbal communicator with people as much as I'd like to, even just with my own friends, what more with a relative I only see once or twice year. The experience felt refreshing and it was nice to hear when she wished me well in my studies, she uttered one of the very few phrases she knew in English, "Good luck, good luck"

That was nice.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

TAKA....

mine... I like Takamine, especially that ONE.... Gosh it's nice, the price is pricey but for its range, I think its virtual value is quite extensive. I mean, it is below RM 5000, hehe. It is a beaut, especially since I like dreadnoughts. The pickup's decent, it sounds good over an acoustic amp. That was what I've found over at Mahogany, definitely something on my shortlist. My dad and I brought the Maton guitar over to put in a pickup, cost is about RM 390. Quality should be there since its a Fisherman pickup. We'll be collecting it over on Saturday I think. I wonder what it'll sound like on a system or amp. The Mahogany

I've decided, The Guitar Store is a poor place to go, don't go there. I wasn't quite happy with my dose of customer service there yesterday. I definitely prefer that dude over at Mahogany. That dude is so..... anti-Takamine, maybe that's why I don't like him. Ok, so he did teach me a little about a SOLID guitar, but there are plenty of good SOLID Takamine's around. He showed us some of the Maton guitars but really, the sound out of those guitars weren't as balanced as I'd like, didn't get much out of Guitar Store. I'm looking for something with a little midst, perhaps leaning over to something bright, but brings volume.

Guitar Collection's not really a great place especially since they only deal very few brands of guitar. But if you're really into the ESP brand, by all means. They're stocked with ESP to the brim. I'm not so sure why they do that, especially since it's only really meant for rock, not a very versatile electric guitar. They've got a few Canadian brand acoustic guitars that are not bad actually, but I didn't find anything there satisfactory, basically I didn't find what I was looking for. What was bad was some of their amps when I was trying out some of their entry level bass guitars were crackling all the way. What is that, and I don't think it was a cable issue. If it was a cable issue, they really should make sure they have good cables for potential customres to try their instruments.

Oh by the way, Guitar Collection's entry level basses are..... not worth it. Go anywhere else that has that Ibanez bass that's about RM800, I think it's a very good deal considering its price. I think that's the best entry level bass around. I found one with a changed pickup for about RM890 in Mid Valley Megamall and another with the already built in pickup for about RM 800 at Sungei Wang.

Well, for anyone looking for a mid-range acoustic guitar without a pickup below RM 2000, there are some nice ones over at Mahogany. Even with pickup's it's possible to get something around the RM 2000 range at Mahogany. However, if you're looking at something around the RM 1500 range with a pickup, I guess, Guitar Collection or The Guitar Store may have something for you. One thing though, if you're never sure if you want a pickup or not, don't buy it. Buy something without a pickup, if you want one, you can always put it in as an add on much later for as low as RM 350 or as high as RM 1000 and they're all good quality ones.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A&W (Alex and Wei Yang)

Finally, after I don't know how long, it must be more than a year now, I've sat down with Wei Yang and Alex for a good chat. It's been ages really, even if its not, it definitely feels that way. I arranged for them to pick me up from my place, apparently I gave bad directions so I had to go walk about 10 minutes to get to where they were. Anyway, Alex is one frustrated driver, haha! I think he'd prefer it if there were no drivers in the world except for him so he can put his car anywhere he likes. His hair has really grown, and to think he shaved earlier on in the year. Looks good on him, man I'm missing my long hair, lol, even Wei Yang's is longer than mine.

We'd nowhere to go, so we went to One Utama, headed over to A&W for some floats. We had a real long talk there. I thin we spent over an hour there even before we walked around, where we would talk some more. Talked about a lot of random, yet normal things ranging from music, playing in bands, arranging band practices to things like economics, parking money in bank accounts, national interest rates. Yeah, it does range quite far. Sex was one of the things too, lol. Other than that, a lot of talk about college/university life and we find some things in common about our lifestyle. Mainly it had to do with the hostels, the LAN gaming that goes on all the time until the wee hours of the morning, people leaving doors open and etcetera, In large contrast to my uni, everybody in Wei Yang's hostel just leave their doors wide open without feat of getting stuff stolen. Y9u do that here, you have eight laptops topped off with several handphones stolen.

Found out Alex has sort of a dent on his new Shecter, man, that is painful, especially when you move on from an entry level instrument. Wonder if it can actually be fixed. Wei Yang hasn't even touched his electric for ages, it's just sitting there, lol. Still waiting to get an acoustic of my own, but Dad's Maton is still a good solid instrument, nonetheless. It cost my dad RM 1400 at Guitar Store, I guess it may be cheaper now. (Hints to someone)

We just went walking around the whole place, aimlessly, but talking a lot. Alex still has all those lame jokes, which can be a bit scary and disturbing sometimes, but still fun nonetheless. Alex bought this PC DVD game for RM 15, which we all think is expensive but as we talked, it made sense since the police have been efficient in their crackdowns on PC game piracy. Low Yat plaza is totally free of it, I couldn't find one game when I went there. At least I know other places to get some. Talking about buying stuff, anyone know a place to get Takamine guitars in KL BESIDES Mahogany?

It's good to see the two of them again, especially since they're both in Australia and I'm over here. Trying to meet up to jam, either in somebody's house or in a studio. We might as well since we all can play something, just for the fun of it. Khye Shin should be coming along as well, I think.

One thing interesting is I think we're all the same height, lol. Not much of a difference between the three of us. Alex though, looks real fit, going to the gym and all while I'm turning into a blob with my mother's cooking. Wei Yang still looks a little thin, but better than last time I guess, lol.

Another interesting thing is I've just realised that close friends I've had over a period of time come in duos. In ISHCMC in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, there was myself, Sebastien Ferriere and Alistaire Duley, then in KL, when I first came back, Andrew Yew and Edmund Chong were close to me, then in high school, Wei Yang and Alex became the next pair. Wonder which's the next?