Monday, October 13, 2008

Irene in KL Lifestyle Magazine October Issue

Two months ago, Irene was interviewed by the KL Lifestyle Magazine's journalist and it's now being published in the October issue. Click the picture to read it. Special thanks to Ee-Tan for writing this article.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mama Mia

Today's a holiday for me on the eve of Hari Raya. I decided to watch Mama Mia showing in the cinemas now. Called my wife who's working and she wanted to watch too. I also asked my wife's uncle's family to join. I went to Sunway Pyramid to get the tickets first as I was afraid that I couldn't get good seats. The show was at 9:40 pm. There were ten of us ranging from 3 years old to 40 plus. Didn't really got good seats. Was about 6 rows from the front and still bearable.

I thought that this movie was a comedy until young Adele told me that it's a musical too. Anyway, I for one enjoyed the movie a lot. It was very entertaining, funny, hilarious and my feet was moving with the music too. I used to listen to a lot of Abba songs and I sure did miss those songs. I may take my Abba album to listen in the car when I bring my children to the butterfly park tomorrow. I thought that movie was great. Meryl Streep for one sung very well as well as acting. I wouldn't say that the other casts sang superbly but it was not pitchy and they sang well too considering that they are actors and actresses. The only thing they lack was the expression or feelings when they sing. Anyway, the songs that they sang didn't need much expression. It was good enough. One song that Meryl Streep sang which needed much expression was "The winner takes it all" and she sang it beautifully. I think the producers have chosen the right actor and actresses to sing the right songs.

I just read a review in the The Star online who condemn the soundtrack and I just want to add to it. Click here to read the comments. In short, I do not find the songs all too similar. Songs like "I have a dream", "Super Trouper", "Take a chance" are all great songs which I don't think are similar as their chord progressions and beat are different. Yes, I would agree that Abba have their own trademark and beat. They always have two main ingredients; Keyboard based sound arrangement and the two females soprano and mezzosoprano voices. That's why they are special. But which singer or group don't have their trademark ? Almost all singers or group have their own identity with their type of music produced. Sometimes, by just listening to a song, you can guess it's from which singer or group. It's just a matter of personal taste.

Anyway, back to the movie. Everyone enjoyed the movie, young to old. My 5 year old son though fell asleep near the end as he was too tired and it was very late. But, he had a good laugh from the movie too before he fell asleep on my shoulder. The cinema hall was about 90% occupied and I can hear the audience laughing and enjoying the movie from the front and back rows.

I would definitely recommend anyone to watch this movie.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rubik's Cube

I have a Rubik's cube which I'll do when I'm free. I learnt how to do it when I was a teenager. My son saw me playing with it and he started to play around with it. Last week, he showed me what he had done. He manage to finish one side of the cube correctly. And on top of that, with all the colors matching at the other 4 sides too. I was surprised that a five year old kid can do it. Later, I found out that his little uncle Aaron taught him how to do it. But then again, I thought to myself, "How can a 5 year old do it?" It's not easy right ? Anyway I was still very surprised that he has the patience and mind set to do it. Am proud of him too. I asked him to do it again just now and this is what he had done in about 30 seconds.

Kids these days do give a lot of surprises to their parents I must say. Below is the Rubik's Cube after completion. Of course done by me :)

God Bless,


Friday, September 5, 2008

Surprised by my eldest son

Day before yesterday (3rd Sept '08) I brought my son for music class as usual at Yamaha School. He is taking the JMC class. It was another same routine class for me. As the class started, I had to remind my son to sing as he plays the electone as the teacher always emphasizes in singing when playing because they will learn faster. My son always refuse to sing and he sings very softly and often out of tune when the note is high. I always thought that he has a lower vocal range.

But to my surprise, he started singing very loudly and he was very energetic. Then came the Samba King song where the kids have to dance with hand actions. All the kids went to the front and as the music started, the teacher started dancing and the kids followed. Never before since my son joined JMC, dance naturally or followed the actions. He was dancing naturally and doing the actions and that surprised me again. Normally, he'll be quite stiff when it comes to dancing. I can see that he was enjoying himself. Another surprise was the aural singing where the kids gather around the teacher and as she plays, they have to sing the tune in Do Re Mi. My son was singing loudly and hitting the pitch which he has never done it before.

I was just so happy looking at him. I told him that he was very good that day and ask him to continue to do this. I'm proud of him and I must say that he really surprised me during this class. I hope he continues to be energetic.

Proud and surprised father,

Mom' Garden

Went back to my hometown with my 2 kids last Saturday on the 30th Aug '08. Brought my camera along and took a few pictures of my mom's garden. Below are the pictures. I didn't quite like the first picture because I wanted to get a sharp image of it. It was blur to me. But to my surprise, most people like it and after I look at it again, it's actually different from the rest as it creates a kind of magical feel and it has nice bokeh.

Well, just have to look at things in a different perspective. The more you try to make things perfect, the worse it becomes. I guess life is just like that. Don't have to be too fussy over things. Being simple can make life more meaningful, beautiful and most of all more joyful.

What do you think ?


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A small get together

Was able to meet up with my good friends from Banting Church whom I've not met for quite a while today. It's hard to meet up these days as everyone is busy with their own life. Somehow I got in touch with Meng Yan through facebook and she arrange the meet up. I met up with Meng Yan, Ai Chin, Fei Chin, Wei Chien and Chee Sian for lunch at little Penang Restaurant in Mid Valley. All of them are much younger than me and was my choir members.

Manage to catch up a little bit of what's going on with their life now. I'm glad to see that all of them have grown up and doing well. Meng Yan in advertising, Ai Chin an actuaries, Wei Chien into studio recording and broadcasting, Fei Chin an interior designer (If you need to design your house, you can call her) and Chee Sian doing his own insurance business.

It was short but worth it. Haven't been catching up with my friends but this is a start. One thing that we talked about was the Musical Night where all was involved and how fun it was doing the recording, practising the songs and we had to get onions to get those acting into tears so that the recording is more real..............The recording was all done in my room in Banting. I hope I can get the video again and remaster the sound and burn it into DVD.

I wish all of them all the best in their life.

Here's a a few picture that we took. I'm disappointed that it wasn't sharp. I found out that my external flash wasn't working properly and shutter speed was too slow.......sigh. Anyway, at least I've got the pictures.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Into the House of the Lord

Was feeling tired 3 days back because of work stress and also busy at home with the kids. Just felt like writing a song. Was pondering upon God's goodness in my life. As we worship him and always seek him, he will always keep our hearts and minds in peace. I picture it as though I'm entering into our Lord's special house where you'll find everything you need there. Be it peace, hope, love and joy and you wouldn't want to leave it because it is such a wonderful and perfect place to be. There is no reason for one not to enter to His house. Only believe in Him and you can enter it. His love for us is so vast and beyond our comprehension. He welcomes everyone into His House regardless of who you are or what you've done in the past.
Anyway, it's just another simple song that I did overnight. I didn't sleep at all and still went to work feeling fresh surprisingly :) Not that satisfied with the music, the singing and lyrics though as I did it in a rush. Still working at it and putting more instruments like drums, strings and bass guitar into the song. Will update it once I complete.

Into the House of the Lord.mp3

After this, I want to try to write a more upbeat song. Hope I'll have the time to do it.

God bless


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Running out of patience ?

I have always been a very very patient person by nature. When I was in primary school, I remember this one kid who always bully me and I would not get angry at him. I remember once he locked a padlock at my pants where I wear my belt. I would never get angry at all. In university, my course mates intentionally disturbed me during a class and I would just treat it as a game their playing. They would be angry in return and asked why I don't get angry at all. For those who know me since young, I've never lost my temper. I always try to give people a benefit of a doubt and say to myself that it's alright.

Now that I have kids, I find myself losing temper all the time towards my sons. hmmm......this is not me....I thought to myself. For example, teaching my eldest son piano. I will tell him what to play and how to play. He's always not concentrating and that makes me angry and I will scold him. If he makes mistakes, I get angry and belief me, I AM fierce. My wife can be a witness to this. Those who knows me will be shocked. Sometimes my son would cry and still playing the piano. I'll feel bad but I would hold myself together and just be stern and and ask him to continue.

As I study myself, I believe these are the reasons that I have this anger management issue now

  1. I want to do things my way and if it does not go accordingly, I get agitated. But I guess children are different. They get distracted very easily.

  2. I want my sons to be good and if they behave otherwise, I get very dissapointed.

  3. I have high expectations on the two boys. When they don't meet my expectations, I explode

  4. I release my work stress through them which is not good

  5. I have a lot of things that I want to do and I want things to go fast. When it doesn't, I explode again.

  6. I'm stressed up taking care of them as they are a handful. They are two hyperactive kids

  7. I give pressure to myself to be a good dad.

I have become impatient over the years. I guess, now I have to tell myself each time to slow things down and try to explain in a calm way when I get agitated. Moreover, they are still very young. Sometimes, I feel so frustrated over things that my boys do; messing the room, leaving all the toys all over their room etc I'll shout at them. I believe my neighbor can hear me. To those who know me, you must be shocked right ? I guess I have to learn to be calm now and not try to control them like a robot. They have their own minds too. For example, my young one likes to play with the water in the sink and always mess things up getting his whole body wet. If I look at it in a different perspective, he is actually exploring things and imagining and being creative. He'll have his dinosaur toys in a container with water and he'll have his own story. I guess sometimes it does no harm to be messy. Just have to be patient and clean up the mess later. I believe both my kids are scared of me. However, they are still open to me which is good.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate my kids. I love them very much. I always love telling them bedtime stories before they sleep and they like it very much. I guess being a father is not easy. I'm also weak and not perfect. Well, I'm continuously learning and God is teaching me everyday.

I remember last Sundays worship topic is from 2nd Corinthians 12. When we are weak, God will keep us strong. I have to accept that all things whether good or bad has it's purpose. Verse 9 says " And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" Verse 10 " Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong ".

I have to acknowledge all my weaknesses to God and He will give me the strength that I need.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Lord Our God Almighty

Lord Our God Almighty ? Yes, he truly is a real God who is mighty and never fails me even though I've failed Him many times. I was thinking of my days when I was staying in Banting and the church I attended. Indeed He has blessed me through this church and now that I've moved on to another church since 2001 as I'm living in Subang Jaya now, He is still good and taking care of me and my family here.

I've been to Sunday School since I was young. I think I was about 6 or 7 years old when my mom's friend Auntie William was a Sunday's school teacher and she will go around Taman Seri to pick up all the children with her old but big mercedez Benz car to church. I remember all of us maybe 10 children have to squeeze into her car. I have always enjoyed Sunday School because of the singing and story telling. Thanks to her I was brought to church and was taught about Christ and how he died for me on the cross. I practically grew up in Banting Chinese Methodist Church. I've learned a lot of things from this church be it spiritually and to be a good person in this society.

Talking about Sunday school, I will always remember Mr. Lim Kim Chai story telling. Every single child will get excited when he starts to tell stories. Every kid would love to listen to him as he is able to get our attention and he is very expressive. He is indeed a very good teacher and a devout Christian. Then there is the handcrafts which I always liked. I was always slow to finish the crafts as I was too careful in doing it and wanting it to be perfect. Guess till now I have this character in me.

MYF was my next stage. Stands for Methodist Youth Fellowship. Had a lot of fun with my close friends Timothy William, Michael William, Hock Wah, Lee Ping, Patrick, Jerry and many others. I started to play the guitar from the MYF. We always had fun together when we have singing competitions and other activities like bible quiz and table tennis. Was never good at the quizzes. My cousin Mona will always win the bible quizzes . She's now one of the advisors for the MYF. However, I'll get very excited when it comes to singing competition. I would be very busy practising, helping others to play until I took my sis for granted. She would get very sad as I didn't practise with her. I've always been very sorry to her about this.

Before I knew it, I was already in university for 5 years. After graduating, I worked in Toshiba which is near Banting. I still attended this church and I taught in the Sunday School. But it didn't last long as I wasn't good at teaching and catching the kids attention. I wished I was like Mr. Lim the great teacher. Anyway I joined the choir and played the piano. Rev Peter Hong was pastoring the church at that time and his wife, Mrs Hong was leading the choir. I had many good memories with the choir group and also with Mrs Hong. Once a month the choir would give a song presentation during the Holy Communion. I always love the practices on Sunday nights. The boys would always be sitting behind and not concentrating and Mrs Hong would get angry sometimes. I guess boys will be boys. Oh well! Anyway, she's always close to all of us and a good teacher.

Rev. Peter Hong then was transferred to another church in PJ and Rev Lee Huck Tee replaced him . Sister Phaik Hwas then took over the choir. Thereafter, I took over from her as she was very busy with other church activities. I think that was in 1995 if I'm not mistaken. I recalled that I was very nervous when I first started teaching the choir. Every week I would get anxious and I guess I didn't really do a great job when I look back. I always prepared the songs last minute and the choir members would have to suffer trying to learn the songs as fast as possible. I would always seek sister Phaik Hwa for help and she is very helpful to me. I was always shy to conduct the choir during the presentation and all this while sister Phaik Hwas would be the conductor and I would be behind controlling the mixer. Sometimes, I would be behind the sanctuary trying to conduct the choir as I do not want to be seen. I always said to myself, " What kind of choir master am I?" I should have stood in front of them to conduct or guide them but my shyness always gets in the way. I love the choir a lot though I always find it hard to control the members. I always love to get new songs and immediately I would listen to the songs chosen and do the minus one accompaniment for it. I would spend hours doing the song sometimes till the wee hours in the morning. We would have presentations on musical nights to evangelize to the non Christians in Banting, Easter day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, weddings etc. All this brings sweet memories. I still have the audio recordings of the musical night. I'm trying to get back the video and if possible, remaster the audio sound and post it here. Really miss those times a lot.

Another thing that I miss is going swimming in Morib at night. I remember Voon Li (nickname Li Chai) who is a good swimmer and has the pass to the Morib swimming pool. Almost every week, Voon Li, John, Voon Ling, Sharon, Amelia and myself would go down to Morib to swim. I would drive my proton iswara and go there for a swim at night. It's very relaxing to swim at night. It was fun.

Banting Chinese Methodist Church will always be in my heart. It's a small church but all the members are very close to each other. We always work together, care for each other spend time together. One thing I miss is the supper time together at the mamak stalls.

I thank God for bringing me to this church. Now that I'm in Pantai First Baptist Church, He is still with me because of his love for me and because He is the Almighty God. While thinking of His goodness, I wrote this song to dedicate to Him.

Well, that's all for my short story about Banting CMC


Sunday, July 27, 2008

My first blog

Been deciding whether to blog or not too. After much deliberation, I said to myself why not share what I have with my friends, relatives and the world. I'm no writer by the way, just trying to make a breakthrough in writing as I dislike essays during my school days and I'm not good in language. My sis however is good in language. I guess I cared too much on whether people will like what I write but hey! that's not the important thing right ? It's what I like to do and if it's right, nobody can stop me from doing it.

I hope I have the time and the strength to continue this blog as I'm tied up with many things. Plenty of things I wanna do. Music is part of my life. Wanted to be a musician but guess that's not by destiny. But, I do have the privelege to have my own music room to play my syntesizer and create my own music, singing and doing my own recording. At the moment I'm also brushing up on my acoustic guitar playing. Learning from a Pastor who is a great guitarist. Been practising my scales in the guitar. I have a lovely wife and 2 sons to take care. That takes up a lot of my time but it's worth it. I love them very much. I would even learn up drums, saxaphone, electric guitar if I can but looks like I have to give priority to my family too. Have to have balance my life. I'm also playing with a band for the company's anniversary dinner which is on the 24th August 08. Mostly malay songs and a few english songs.

And there's also photography. Hmmm.........I don't really know how I started it or why but it seemed to have connected to me when I was in Hong Kong last year September 2007. I had my first Olympus DSLR E510 and started shooting eversince. Had a previlege to do studio photography too shooting my wife's beautiful jewelry. Check out the pics at the link below

I-Precious Jewelry Photo Gallery

So much for my introduction. Don't want to bore anyone with a long intro. Will update my blog soon. Here's a song to share about love and friendship before I part.