header copy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Malaysia U-23


Today's the first day I've seen the Malaysian national team play football well. It's full time and the Malaysian U-23 beat the Myanmar senior squad 3-1. I know the name 'Myanmar' puts you to sleep but I'm definitely seeing a better display of football here compared to plenty of other times their seniors have played. People always criticise the national team but they've never criticised the national U-23 team, because everyone's looking to see if they can grow better than the last batch of flops.

I caught the match on Malaysian tv as I was walking by the cafeteria and I decided to stop to watch. By that time, Malaysia was already leading one to nil so I was encouraged to see what would happen for the rest of the match. I will say that the U-23 team seems to be a much better passing team than I remember and definitely more attacking.

They made some nice incisive moves, they committed to tackles, they just played a better quality game than what I remembered. Two of the Malaysian goals were very nicely finished, especially the third one by Safee Sali (in photo below), that was a nice way to wrap up the game. I think we do have some good young players. The goalkeeper scared me a little though, he fumbled some but recovered, fortunately.



On Myanmar's side though, it was very very dissapointing to see them trying to chop our players legs off with their own. You could really see them trying to make it a more physical start and stop game to disrupt the U-23 team's momentum. I can't event count how many yellow cards I saw being shown to their players and how many times I saw Malaysian players being stretchered off the field temporarily. It was quite ugly in the second half and one Myanmar player saw red after he first just pushed a Malaysian player down for appealing for a foul, which landed him his first yellow and a tackle from behind that got him his second yellow.

The Myanmar goalkeeper was the worst though. A Malaysian player went down in the penalty box but fairly enough play was continuing but would stop eventually for the injury. While the ball was still in play, the goalkeeper rushed over to the Malaysian player who was still down injured and tried to push him back up. There was no way he was getting up, basically because you don't get straight back up after you've been kicked down. The Malaysian striker then just put one hand to push the goalkeeper back slightly AND THEN the Myanmar goalkeeper FELL LIKE A SACK OF DOORKNOBS. Oh my gosh, that was really it for me, I couldn't tell how many more dirty tactics they would try in a game they were already losing 3-1.

I have to say that amid all the rough tactics being employed against our U-23 boys, they held on until the end and I can honestly say that I'm proud of them. It's nice to win a competition two days before Independence Day, especially when the competition is named the 'Merdeka Tournament'.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A day in photos

Well, one thing happenned today that was seriously unfortunate. I had just finished my structured programming lab session and was about to pass up my homework to my lecturer, transferring some files to his computer using my usb thumb drive. As I tugged it out of the system unit using the string attatched to it, I succesfully ripped out the cover and left the flash disk itself very exposed. I tried to put it back in its cover but for some reason it won't fit. This is what it looks like now.



So that's one very fragile thing I have to take very very good care of. Now, another thing happenned today, a package arrived for me.


I opened it, and it definitely wasn't for me. Wonder who it's for. =)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back on the courts


After a two week layoff, Christon is back in action on the sports arena and has had a direct impact as of late. Earlier this week, Christon put himself through some training to regain fitness before coming back to play tennis today. He was seen playing basketball as what critics say was an attempt to test out how fit his left foot was. It has been known for some time that his ankle injury has recovered well, but not fully. He was seen running on the court enthusiastically but at times chose not to push himself forward competitively, suggesting he had not fully recovered.

Today, Christon was back on the tennis courts to play against his partner Vern, who looked to take advantage of his injury by giving him balls to chase. The match started off slow, with both players looking sluggish and content with playing long rallies, prying for one person to make the unforced error. Over time, both players began to find their momentum and were more adventurous, playing shorter balls and definitely making more runs. Christon made a few of his more powerful shots count, putting Vern on the back foot but she came back equally with a couple of smart runs forward making some volleys that were impossible to return, which left Christon just standing on the spot.

The highlight of the game came when Vern returned a ball DESTINED to reach the out box but favour was on her side when the ball hit the net and angled itself back in, bouncing in twice just in front of the net, leaving Christon stranded on the baseline. An illustration of the phenomenon is shown below. Christon was left staring at his predicament whilst his opponent began a victory dance, signalling much intent at drubbing it in his face.


This incident served as a stimulant to the game with both sides getting more and more active on the court, both sides having some very close calls but Christon managed to edge his opponent in the end and as a result, gets to keep his opponents racket until the next time they meet again.

Later on in the evening, Christon was faced with another tough opponent, Suresh who had also been missing from tennis action as of late but had more match fitness coming into the match. During the practice session, both players looked sharp and Christon appeared to be more confident coming out of his earlier game and it looked as though their match would be a tight one. However, the ongoing drizzle that wet the court made conditions tougher to play in.

In consideration of time, the drizzle and Christon's injury, the match was limited to 'three games to win'. The match had a good start with both players being competitive and the first game was forced to a deuce that Suresh won. Suresh looked to be more alert and sharper than his opponent and won the second game, needing just one game to win. Both players started to look edgy and tried to outplay each other with short balls and spin shots, evading baseline rallies that both deemed to be unsafe plays. However Christon steadied himself and won the next game comfortably but still looked uneasy with Suresh's frequent spin shots and runs toward the net. Christon forced himself back into the game with some powerful shots and some good serves and clawed back to force a 3-2 victory in the end. Credit to both players for giving an entertaining display.

It seems Christon has been able to come back from a two week layoff to play tennis but it remains a secret as to whether he will play a rigorous schedule considering he has not fully recoverd. He himself has indicated he is not so sure how much he can play.

"Well, admittedly I am very happy to be back on the courts. It's a great feeling to be playing again. However, even during the matches against Vern and Suresh, I could still feel the strain and a little tingling on my left ankle that forced me to try and put more pressure on my right foot. I'm not sure how long it will take to obtain a full recovery, so I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to play as often as I used to yet."

That's all he had to say and that's all we have to report for now. We'll be back with more updates as we observe Christon's progress during the week. This has been brought to you by the *Humz News Network.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mentors


That's someone I think everyone could use, don't you think so? We never really think much about having someone that can be our mentor. What do I mean by a mentor? For me it's just somebody that can be a friend, that can guide us, help us and just lead us towards the right direction in life. As I said, we never think about it much, but at the same time I think a lot of us would love to have one.

It's hard though, to find someone that ideally is somewhat like you but an older you, a person that has grown up into the kind of person you would like to be. That person could be just a few years older than you or may even be more than a decade older than you are but it doesn't matter because its the wealth of experience and wisdom a mentor can provide you, the young mentee with.

As of right now, I do yearn to have a mentor. Maybe I'm not independent enough or perhaps I'm yet to be at that stage of my life where I am prepared enough to take life on my own. You know, I really wish I had someone that I can just look to as a role model and have a good relationship with.

I'm reminded back to the year 2000 when I came back to KL from Vietnam and I'd just settled in with my family and we attended SIB(KL) church and there was this one person in the youth section that really, reached out to me, and that was Christopher Chew. He intentionally chose to get to know me, to guide me, to help me grow as a person and he has contributed a lot to the person I am today. Back then I never really though of him as a mentor but someone who was just there to reach out to me. Now, when I analyse what happenned, he did play that mentor role towards me. He encouraged me, he guided me, as well as a number of great people I know like Christopher Wee and Samuel Wee. It's just unfortunate now that I've lost the personal touch with Christopher Chew ever since he left to Australia to pursue his studies and even when he came back. Nonetheless, I am very grateful for him, and he most probably won't read this anyhow but thanks a lot for everything, it means the world to me that you bothered to care about me.

Since the time our relation became less personal, I've never really had someone like that who I could really look to learn from or maybe just get some valuable advice from. It's not that I want to look for my mentor all the time to answer every question in my head. It's just nice to have someone credible, a friend that you really look up to give you input on your situation, someone you're close too. Friends can help in several instances but sometimes I believe we just need a person we know that can give a mature opinion.

Very recently, I've really felt that I could use one. There were certain things that were just bogging my mind down. I just purposely kept myself busy doing anything I could think off just to escape it. Of course, it always comes back to you and I was fortunate enough to just call someone to talk to, that's always been very reliable, dependable and faithful to me, my mother. She's one person I am close to and I've always been grateful for her help. Actually, in a way you could say she's kind of been my 'mentor' over the past few years. It reminds me though, that other than my parents who I'm quite far away from, I don't really have that someone to look to.

I do wonder sometimes though, if what I want is a mentor or simply a friend that can sit down with me once a day and ask, "Hey, how was your day?" and continue a good solid conversation for 15 minutes.

Turning the tables around, I was wondering if I should or if I would be a mentor to anybody throughout my lifetime or anytime soon. Do I have the capacity to take someone in and treat him as a younger brother, to be there for him and to lead him down the right path? It's a good question to ask yourself because then, you start looking at your life and begin measuring who you are.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Acoustic Night

The last post, I went on talking about how I was preparing to perform last night, and as you would know, last night finally happenned and I think a lot of people had fun which was great. I can't really say that for myself because I was more on the 'doing' end of things but it's always nice to see what you're a part off come off well.

Acoustic Night started of a little late but it was good nonetheless, I think the performers needed a good break before we started. We'd spent the whole Friday evening and night practicing and the whole Saturday afternoon and evening too, so they could use as much time as possible to rest. A small mishap occurred on Saturday when one of the strings on the electric came off as I was practicing Shadow Proves The Sunshine by Switchfoot. Fortunately, there's a music shop not too far away so we could quickly restring it, at my expense though. It cost RM 30, lol. It's not even my own guitar, it belongs to Adonis, so he'll have some nice new strings to play with, haha!

Anyhow, we proceeded at about 8 o'clock and we started off with the emcees, Mei Fang and Kuo Chun and got off to our first performance, playing what Seven Sweet Surrender played for Euphonious, Dare You To Move and it just went on from there. I guess you could say it was a smooth night, without much hiccups, I didn't notice any if there were anyway. We all performed about 13 songs altogether I think, with some breaks in between where we played a few games with the crowd which went along pretty well, did a quiz thing as well that went on throughout the night, the winners got 4 free TGV ticket vouchers.

Anyhow, I think most of them had a lot of fun which was great because that's what Acoustic Night was all about really. It was just about getting new people to know us a little better and to enjoy each others company. Well, I've got some pictures her, it's been a while since I had photos on my blog, so here goes:


started off with "Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot



Myself and Eddy during "Dare You To Move"



Playing a duet with Vern for the song "Daughters"



Performing "Shadow Proves the Sunshine" with the band



Tek Keong during his solo performance



Javiar with a rose in his mouth some chick gave to him, lol. I think he's very pleased with it, lol. That's one thing Felix's yet to achieve in his time as a muso, wahahahahahaha!

Will have some links to other blogs and perhaps videos covering this soon. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 13, 2007

About Playing Music



One thing I've found out, or reminded myself of lately rather is how music can mean nothing to you at times after you've heard it over and over for a very long time. It's like the advice an elderly figure can give to a youth that has a great impact on the first time but it loses its tenacity as he tends to repeat it over and over.

You can remember the lyrics of the song. You can sing through it over and over but you come to a point where you think, "I'm finally sick of it." There comes a time where we just want to stop hearing that song because even if someone changes the tune and jazzes it up a little, it's still the same thing, or rather the same core message that you're hearing.

That's where you conclude, that you're finally tired of the message in that song and you'd like to hear something else. After a while though, let it be days, weeks or months after you stopped listening to that song and play it again, it feels good. That's because it's always good to be reminded of something good.

As a performer this weekend, I haven't really had such a luxury. I have to practice, I have to constantly ensure that I'm playing and singing the right thing, so how do I avoid not getting bored and putting on a lacklustre performance this Saturday?

I think the only thing I can do, is to be genuine to what I play when I perform. That means, I have to mean what I sing, and I also have to mean what I play. Internalising a song commits you to it and each time you repeat it, it only serves as a drive for you to play it. As many times as I may have had to sing it, only the times that I've really meant it felt good. Sure, maybe during practice, you don't focus so much about that, but when it comes close to a real performance, you'd like to compliment what you're doing as a whole, not merely playing your instrument or wailing on that microphone.



That's what brings meaning to your music and that's what makes it great.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's so painful

Really, it's so painful. It is approximately 4.12 a.m in the morning and I cannot sleep because the sprain on my left ankle is really painful. I really cannot sleep at all in peace. I've been putting my left foot above my body by resting it on my shoe box but it's just so painful. I literally teared a bit. I didn't really see it but Suresh told me it was very swollen when I went to see the guy at the clinic. Even though I didn't see it, it sure feels that way. I've been told I'll be out of action for 4-5 days, perhaps a week, haven't had this in a long, long time.

God, please help.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Weekend

Wow, really, I haven't played so much guitar until the tip of my fingers are still hard after leaving the guitar alone for more than five hours. It's kind of crazy to think about how much guitar playing I've done in the space of less than 48 hours.

On Saturday, Seok Yee, Witton, Richard, Kuo Chun, Eddy, Javiar and myself went down to attend the music workshop at church, had a whole team come down from PJ to meet us. It was very good to meet them, you can sense the whole 'team' thing about them and the really good attitude that they bring with them. Anyhow, they practiced for Sunday as we watched and the guitarist had a Takamine Santa Fe series that's got a real nice pickup, it sounds good even though it's plugged directly into the system, lol. The sound of the strings still come out really nicely even if you pluck strings above the 12th fret, which is something I'd love to have.

Anyhow, got to meet the guys over dinner, I ate like super babi, hahahahaha, ate soooo.... much, hahaha. I love that place, can't believe we've never gone there for dinner before, it's so close, right behind the hotel too. It's a real shame Tek Keong, Leonard and Vern couldn't make it. I don't even remember how many pork dishes we had, lol. I have to say though, feel really sorry for Seok Yee, Maggie keeps calling her 'drumstick', lol. Now everytime she says it, Seok Yee's got two eyes on me plus a shoulder to hit me whenever she feels like it, lol.

After dinner, we had a good time with the team, did a little ice breaking plus team building stuff, before I led a short time of worship with Witton and Javiar. Just decided to recycle two of last week's songs. Too bad the old keyboardist wasn't there but we did fine without her anyhow. Was pretty happy, we hadn't forgotten the stuff we played, lol so it went pretty smooth. After a short meeting with the other team, we got right down to Acoustic Night practice and that was a lot of practice.

We did really miss the trio of Leonard, Tek Keong and Vern for practice because it'd have been a little more productive had they been around but hopefully that'll be sorted out next week. We really spent a long time on some of the songs, the whole cooridnation of the band and everything isn't easy but I was pretty happy with the Alicia Key's stuff, but again, not playing with the piano that leads the song makes a whole lot of difference but the band played pretty well so I was quite happy. Shadow Proves The Sunshine proved to be something difficult to link the drums and guitar together, Eddy's done a great job, now it's the challenge of integrating us with him. It's a little annoying because I'm still not so sure how it should be done exactly. We practiced many songs over and over and over until the tips of my fingers turned GREEN. We decided to call it a night, it'd been productive but, not productive enough.

So on to the next day, Sunday, got up late, had breakfast late, but we all had a good time. You know, throughout the past two days, I've really felt that I've begun to get closer to these guys and really start to bond better, that's why it really is a pity Leonard, Tek Keong and Vern couldn't make it. It's really the fellowship that builds the team, and that's what the team from PJ already mentioned the night before. A lot of laughs too really, Seok Yee and Witton bearing the brunt of most of it, hahaha. Witton in particular really did face the music from Kuo Chun all the way from this morning until we got back after dinner, really have to admire his patience.

Anyhow, Sunday service went on and after that we got to do some real practical music workshop stuff, and I personally did benefit from the video done by Paul Baloche they showed us, anyone would really. It was a little about the fundamentals of how each band member/instrument compliments each other instead of fighting each other, song dynamics and so forth. Seok Yee in particular managed to pick up quite a number of valuable things. We had a chance to put what we'd seen and learnt into practice for real and it was good because now we could see that we were more meticulous and detailed in what we were doing so I think that benfitted the entire team.

I think one of the great things was how both teams actually inspired both teams. I mean, they inspired us in terms of just their genuinity in serving, and just giving what they have, apart from being musically talented which they really are. We on the other hand, inspired them in terms of the heart that we put in, and very particularly the energy that we put into our practices even. It must have been to such an extent that they said that they'd actually like us to come down to PJ sometime to inspire the youth in PJ perhaps to be more enthusiastic about playing music in church. That was something that struck me because it asked me this question, "Wow, are we really such people that be an example for others to follow and be inspired by?"

When I think about it now, why not? I mean, we're just a bunch of people that can do certain things, that are willing to serve and are driven by the desire to lead people into worship, and God doesn't require any more than that from us to do what we do.

Well, anyway after all that, got to practice Acoustic Night stuff again until 6, really got my hands tired, had some good japanes food, came back, and now I'll have to face a real hectic week, hopefully can find some time for sports, lol.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Van de SAVIOR



It's no wonder an aeging keeper like Van de Sar still plays when he saves three penalties from Claudio Pizarro, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Phillips respectively in a row! Yoke Mun and I were just in time to watch Van de Sar pull of a good save off Frank Lampard of all people, hahahaha! We both were a little dissapointed, we didn't know the Community Shield would go straight to penalties after extra time, but it's all good nonetheless.




Wayne Rooney had the icing on the cake when he stepped up to put in the winning penalty.


P/S: Ronaldo had a good all round game today, like Ferguson said, his decision making is improving, slowly transforming into a Ronaldinho. Anyhow, really really dissapointed Rossi's been sold to Villareal, but at least they put a clause in where they can buy him back, hehehehehehe, Ferguson's a smart man. =)


Friday, August 03, 2007

Tennis.. Football...Tennis...Football... Philip's Battering

All right, the past two weeks have been reasonably free for me so far since everybody including lecturers are just settling in, re-scheduling classes, adjusting timetables and that no labs start for me until the fourth week. Most lectures have been pretty much lectures that haven't resulted in assignments yet as well, which leaves my evenings pretty free to do whatever I want.

In such a case, in KL, I'd be pretty much on my computer the whole time or spend my time daydreaming about being in a band, lol. Anyhow, UTP provides me better options with their pretty good sports facilities. For those who don't know my university well, we have approximately four tennis courts, four squash courts, two netball cum futsal courts, a swimming pool, a gym, one volleyball court, one beach volleyball court, one basketball court and sepak takraw court plus a room with a padded floor used for martial arts training and a field big enough to host three football fields and a jogging track around the field, not to mention there's also another track across the road that goes around this huge lake. If you think about it, that's a lot of things.

The facility I use the most would be the tennis courts. I play tennis, learned quite a long while ago, but never really improved until now but I guess you could say I have learnt enough skill to play a 'proper' game of tennis. My tennis partner's Vern, we've been playing together quite a while now, ever since the first semester we came I think. I think we really took advantage of this past two weeks to play as much tennis as possible. I think we played about five days in a row the previous week and about four days in a row this week. That's a lot of tennis in two weeks, I've never done that before, I assure you. Like my partner said, "I think we're addicted to tennis." I think the word 'relentless' can almost be used to describe the determination for us to play whenever we're free, think it's improved my partner's game a little bit too, haha! Oh and both of us were in awe of this girl that's got some real good tennis strokes, calling her my partner's idol now, lol. Khye Shin, for your info, she's a CC2 but has potential for CC1, I think there's a combination of both CC1 and CC2 there, but more of CC2.

I'll say that, it actually got me really tired, but I don't know, I was pretty gung-ho about it, to keep the momentum going. I could definitely feel the strain on my thighs and arms, but I just went on anyway. I was pretty happy, got to take out my new Reeboks on an extensive runout. I was still looking to try out my futsal shoes though. The chance finally came on Wednesday night and actually, I'd just come back from dinner after tennis and I was walking to my room when Jin Ming suddenly asked, "Hey Christon, want to play futsal?" Because my name is Christon, I instinctively said, "Sure, ok, give me five minutes." and quickly changed my shoes. Actually I was really tired, but you know, you obey your calling, ahhahahahhaha.

Ok, now this match was pretty special because Philip's really the man of the match, hahahahahaha! I was playing on his team and Philip was the goalkeeper and we were playing against, Arjun, Murnawa, Suresh, Yugen, Valsan and Jing Zhi. Now, you put those four Indians together, you have a team like Arsenal going against us that's pretty much like Sunderland or something. They actually wanted a practice match before the convo fair competition so it was something like a pre-season thing for them. Anyway, it was a really tough game, and very much a physical game, especially when you have the stronger guys like Murnawa to go up against. They just DOMINATED the game, they either scored or missed narrowly and Philip was scared, haha! You'd be too if you saw a super powerful shot from Murnawa flash past your nose.

Things changed a little later on after I managed to half volley the ball on target but Jing Zhi was able to save. I think that turned the game around, we started to make more chances and Jin Ming made himself count. Philip started to make a difference too, hahahaha! He managed to hold on to a skier and blocked a couple more shots from the wing. One went straight off his foot and he had to start jumping about, pretty much inevitable. We did start laughing, I mean, it's straight from a cartoon you see. What was really painful was when he got shot straight in the stomach THREE TIMES and he just had to collapse to the ground, Play stopped each time it happenned but by the second time the game stopped, it was because it did look a little funny and our opponents started to laugh, not to mention myself and our teammates. Some of us literally dropped to the ground to laugh (but in all fairness we were all tired, so dropping to the ground wasn't that big a deal) Even Murnawa said at some point, "Dey, don't let him be keeper." Philip did a good job nonetheless, just have to get him some American football armour the next time.I did manage to enjoy myself though, very happy I managed a couple of nice runs, got to score two or three goals I think. Philip got hit DIRECTLY in the stomach for the fourth time in a row and had the wind knocked out of him and collapsed like a sack of rice, he really had enough and had to go. It was a little surprising to actually see him at Yoke Mun's birthday lol, speaking of which, Raymond and I feel like idiots going there with our musical instruments when it didn't make any difference, lol. But really, Philip did take a real battering. One thing about that night though, Valsan's first touch was thoroughly impressive. It was difficult to defend against him, but it was annoying that the last goal of the game, was a deflection off his ass that stunned Jia Haur (replacement keeper for Philip) and myself, lol. It's a bummer when you end the game with your opponent scoring off.... his bum... lol.

The next day, same thing happenned, futsal after tennis and this time, it was just us without the all star Indian team, lol. Anyhow, I decided to be keeper this time since I brought my keeper gloves. I'll say though, it felt nice to make saves off Jia Haur, it was painful though when I slid across the ground to snatch the ball of him, grazed my leg, lol. What annoyed me was when he came up on close range, I went the wrong way, BABI! Stupid la, I could have saved that one, but I went the wrong way, it makes you feel a little bit like a moron. That was the only goal we conceded too. Eventually, I changed places with Jing Zhi and got to go up front a little more, it feels nice to play with Jin Ming up front, you can give him some nice passes and he'll finish or the other way around. Anyway, ended up early, scored one goal running down from the right wing. Got to find out after the game Jin Ming's a big Transformer's fan, coolness.

Hopefully can play again tomorrow, no one's up for tennis or futsal tonight. Must rush back from care group for futsal lol, let's pray it'll end early, lol, or maybe I won't go, or maybe I'll sneak out, lol. Pleaseee let me play futsal. PLEASeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sports Week

It's really been..... one whole week of sports non stop. Will blog about it soon, lol. I will say though, it's good to get back among the goals (football). Philip Chan'll be a special feature in the next post too, hehehehehehe.... =)

Going off for futsal now, after coming back from dinner after tennis, ahhahahahahah. No worries mum, keeping up with work just fine.