Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Joke!

I started the day with a laugh due to Bee Ree:

Last night my wife and I were sitting in the living room, talking about life... In-between, we talked about the idea of living or dying.

I said to her:
'Dear, never let me live in a vegetative state, totally dependent on machines and liquids from a bottle. If you see me in that state I want you to disconnect all the contraptions that are keeping me alive, I'd much rather die'.

Then my wife got up from the sofa with this real look of admiration towards me... and proceeded to disconnect the TV, the Cable, the Dish, the DVD, the Computer, the Cell Phone, the iPod, and the Xbox, and then went to the fridge and threw away all my beer!!

*....I ALMOST DIED!!!*

Thanks so much for the joke! *hugs* :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nicholas Sparks Medley

It was either a buy 3 free 1 or buy 5 free 2 sort of offer. I can't remember, but I ended up having quite a few novels by this best-selling author after that visit to the bookstore. I had heard of Nicholas Sparks, had heard of his books being made into movies and such, but had never read any of them. Not one (and never watched any of those movies either...). I could separate what I want to write into individual posts, 1 for each book, but well... what the heck!

A Bend in the Road

This was the first one that I read, and I thought it was quite good, though not something I'd read more than once, if I can help it. The plot was simple enough, unlike certain modern novels that favour storylines so complex that sometimes, halfway through, I had to trackback and re-read certain parts to refresh my memory of certain characters or events. The simplicity of the story made lots of room for vivid portrayal of characters. The development of the protagonists' feelings for each other were adequately presented, though it didn't move me to the point that I'd be eagerly anticipating their union. The theme in this novel, and perhaps in most of this author's works, is LOVE. Miles Ryan loved his wife, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident. It took him a long time, but eventually, he fell in love with Sarah Andrews. However, a dark secret from the past threatened to tear them apart, to stand forever between them. But, predictably, love conquered all in the end... (oops, sorry for the spoiler). The last part of the novel is a little wanting, but still, it is an enjoyable read, if you do not mind predictability and non-impressiveness.

Message in a Bottle

I enjoyed reading this one slightly more than the previous. The idea of the story itself was quite fresh, and I really like the romantic notion of finding love notes in bottles washed up on shores. I'd expected to be moved to tears reading the notes Garrett Blake wrote to his deceased wife, Catherine, but I wasn't. Somehow, I felt that the notes lack intensity and passion. I could not effectively feel the love, desperation, despair and yearning supposedly expressed by the writer through the notes. But of course, the main female character, Theresa Osborne, did, and her curiosity and interest in the mysterious writer compelled her to seek him out. It'd hardly be a spoiler for me to write that they eventually fell in love - yes, that was seriously predictable. The falling in love portion was rather brief, in my opinion, and a little less convincing compared to A Bend in the Road. The author focused on how Garrett thought Theresa was very pretty, and how she was greatly touched by the letters he wrote to his wife, and I thought those alone weren't reasons enough to fall in love - not as deeply as described in the book anyway. Nevertheless, it is still a nice read. (I am careful to make no mention of the ending here...)

A Walk to Remember

My third Nicholas Sparks! The title of the book itself is very touching. The synopsis printed at the back of the book was pretty touching too. The novel itself - GAH! It was written in the first-person voice, that of Landon Carter, and yet, totally failed to affect me - the emotional journey that he went through, and how his feelings towards the main female character, Jamie Sullivan, changed from indifference, to awkwardness, to LOVE. Reading the book, I fail to comprehend, even to imagined when or how Landon fell in love with Jamie. I only knew it because it was blatantly written so. To me, it was almost as sudden as if he woke up one morning and decided that he loved the girl to distraction, and decided he would unconditionally love her till the day he died! No, I didn't enjoy this read. I thought it was lame and predictable, and extremely fairytale-ish.

The Notebook

One word: CACAT. When I was halfway through the book, I can't believe I was still on the same novel, can't believe the direction it was going, and cannot imagine a book written like that could actually appeal as a love story! It starts off with the narrative of an old man - the reader wouldn't know who he is, or what he's getting to. Then, it skips to the "love story" of a young couple in the distant past, which basically centered on the events that occurred across a period of several days. (I noticed similarity in descriptions of lover-boy preparing a meal for lover-girl with Message in a Bottle) The reader knows the profoundness of their love because it was plainly stated repeatedly - the how or why is left to the reader's own imagination. Then, as abruptly as it began, the tale of the two young lovers ended, and the reader is again brought back to the present, through the narrative of the old man. And yes, as the reader would've guessed, the old man is the man of the story, Noah Calhoun, and this story is that of him and his wife, Allie Nelson. Granted, the love the old couple had was each other was very extraordinary and grand and all, and perhaps you could say I am too shallow to appreciate it, etc. Whatever. I just didn't like the way the book was written, regardless of the plot and idea. Not to mention the notebook, as the title of the novel is, plays an almost insignificant (and very negligible) role in it all.

The Guardian

In progress... at Chapter 7.


(edit: finished reading as of 25/8, will write about it soon)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Something must be profoundly wrong with a person who feels the need to write in the middle of the night, unprovoked in any way. What is she feeling? What is she thinking? How could anyone ever comprehend what that is in her heart, in her thoughts? Herself included. How does one tell eccentricity from insanity?

* * * * *

How could she be but moved? When he looked at her, he really saw her. Not just how she appeared, but who she really was. In his eyes was the intense, burning passion she had yet to know existed. When he listened to her speak, he really heard her. Not just the words, but the very train of thoughts that brought forth the words. He felt the emotions that lay deep in her heart. When he spoke, his words resonated with her own. His thoughts were her own. His fears, his dreams, his aspirations were her own.

* * * * *

He said that yearning for something you know you cannot have is like crying for the moon. No matter how hard or how long you cried, the moon cannot come to you. That is truly the saddest sort of longing, isn't it? Knowing the impossibility of one's dreams and yet, wholly powerless and unable to stem the want; bearing the painful consciousness of the harsh reality, and being plagued by melancholy thoughts of what could had been, what would had been. And one continues to yearn - through bitter tears, through sleepless nights, through ceaseless heartache.

* * * * *

She would not speak of it. She would not respond to questions nor jests nor provocation. One thinks one might know what she was thinking, what she was feeling, but most of the time, one just couldn't be sure. There were tell-tale signs in her facial expressions - the emptiness, helplessness, being lost in thoughts. Looking at her, one could almost feel the woes of her withering heart. There is no remedy, no appropriate cure nor comfort - not for one who'd been forsaken, not for one whose heart was cruelly cast aside and trampled on. None at all.

* * * * *

One tries hard to comprehend the need for one to spend time being solitary. Why is there the need? To straighten things out, to clear one's mind, or to simply be removed from all the earthly elements of one's life for a while? To talk to oneself, to reason, to delve into the deep subconsciousness, to discover what one really wants? Or just to be. How does one tell eccentricity from insanity?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Auspicious Date

I do not normally write more than ONE (1) post per day, as I usually take unusually long to gather the ideas, arrange the bits and pieces of my thoughts, put them into proper sentences with choice words, then proof read and edit and proof read and edit and... In short, I simply cannot afford to spend that much time too often. Today, however, must be made an exception, simply for being August 8, 2008 - 08.08.08. Many consider this day extremely special, from those who had their weddings to probably those who decided to start the 2008 Beijing Olympics, today.

I remember the day that was August 8, 1988. I was still in primay school then. I remember our teacher wrote the date on the blackboard - 8.8.88 - and told us it was real special, because we won't see "8.8.88" again for another hundred years! At that time, we children were all very impressed! I vividly remember my feelings of regrets that such a grand day ended too soon! Thereafter, I noticed that one of my papa's old shirts had this date printed on it - 7.7.77 - July 7, 1977. Ooh, my childish mind thought, there was another a unique grand day just like the one we had!

Last year, we had 05.06.07, and 07.07.07, and then 20.07.2007 - dates made in heaven for mass weddings! So romantic ler!!! Of course, if you'd just think about it, we also had 06.06.06, 05.05.05 and all the way down to 01.01.01, though I cannot, for the universe, imagine why not much were made of those that I could recall! Next year, we'd be getting 09.09.09, the day during which another zillion couples would want to tie the knot!!! And after that - we'd get the binary dates - 01.01.10, 01.11.10, 11.10.11 ...................!!! Wow, wow, wow!!!!!

Are you insanely exhilarated at today's date, and eagerly expecting the other soon-to-come auspicious dates???

(in case you're still wondering - yes, this post is reeking with sarcasm)

She is Mee Mee

She is Mee Mee and I am Nee Lee. Of course, she wasn't always Mee Mee to me. She was HK.

I moved into House No 12 - there were 7 of us in it. I first saw her in her room - this lovely, fair-skinned girl with a sunny disposition, She greeted me cheerfully in Cantonese, in which I am not fluent. Thank goodness we understood each other perfectly well in English.

Soon, I got close to this fun-loving, friendly girl, and we realised we shared a lot in common. For one, we both love to sing. We discovered we both used to record our favourite songs off the radio, and we both once kept a scrapbook of handwritten lyrics, copied down by listening to the songs repeatedly (yes, Google did not exist while we were growing up...) I remember I shared my prized possession with her - Herman's Hermits' My Sentimental Friend (which I actually requested a Radio 4 DJ to play, then recorded it on tape!) and she actually appreciated it - not many people her age would, I expect! I also remember we used to study for final exams together, while listening to the radio - we'd play both our radios, tuned to the same station, 1 in front of us, 1 behind, to achieve that "surround sound" effect (gosh... weren't we cute?! *blwekkkk*) And then there were the crazy times, the teary times, all those choir singing, and the mango-on-the-way-to-and-on-the-way-back-from-pasar-malam incident!

The following two years in the hostel were, I believe, one of the best times of our lives - for the 3 of us: HK, C and me. Other than being obsessed with The Sims, we shared laughter and tears, reflections and contemplations, instant noodles and late-night suppers. In the course of that time, HK became Mee Mee, C became Bee Ree, and I - Nee Lee. And, in accordance to the "ee" naming convention, we became the roomees instead of roomies (or roommies, as Mee Mee always insisted).

It is hard to characterize liking, and I am unable to detail the reasons I like Mee Mee so much, or the ways in which we clicked so well. I cannot make a list of our favourite topics for conversation, or how we can talk for hours and never run out of things to talk about. I cannot justify my want to tell her so many things, and my interest in listening to whatever she wants to tell me. I cannot explain how we seem to be able to read each other's minds sometimes, and somehow managed say the same things at the same time. It is the miracle of friendship. Both Bee Ree and I agreed, that being roomees, we know each other so well that we do not see each other's flaws anymore - our friendship is so strong it binds us and blinds us.

She will be married soon, our Mee Mee, and I am compelled to write this little bit about her, about us roomees and about the great times we had (are still having, and hopefully will continue to have for as long as we shall live!). Here's to your happily ever after! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I got the following in my mailbox:

Dear Sarah Brightman Fan,

We are very pleased to announce that Sarah, together with the Chinese singer Liu Huan, will be singing the official theme of the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

Nearly 100,000 people will be present to watch the opening ceremony in the "Bird’s Nest" Olympic stadium, with billions more expected to tune in worldwide to watch the extravaganza.

The theme song, whose identity has been carefully kept secret via its omission from all three of the opening-ceremony rehearsals, will be revealed at the conclusion of the ceremony, which commences at 8pm Beijing time Friday night.

For further details, click here to visit the Official Olympics website.

Or, click here to read the transcript of the press conference at which Sarah's participation was announced.

Needless to say, this is a tremendous honor for Sarah, and we are thrilled that Sarah will once again be singing the Olympics theme song. Many of you already know that she also presented the theme song for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in a duet with Jose Carreras, to a global audience of 2 billion.

With that said, enjoy the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games!

This is sooooo exciting! I can't wait! I can't be calm! I do not need to rely on work to numb my (tortured) mind and dull my feelings (of despair) any longer! The overwhelming anticipation of tomorrow night is drowning out all else!