Friday, May 21, 2010


Remember 'Chicken Soup For The Soul'? Back in the 90s, almost everyone I knew was into that. We exchanged 'CSFTS' books and we shared stories with friends, neighbours and colleagues. Now, there is 'Gives Me Hope' which is similar to 'CSFTS'. The stories are short and simple (twitter-style, they say) yet the messages ring true. It doesn't matter if they are real or not. What is important is the message that hope is indeed a powerful feeling. There are lots of heart-warming and inspirational stories from which we can draw our strength whenever the chips are down. Sometimes, we need a little boost and motivation to go about our daily lives. There are lots of challenges, hurdles and pain to overcome. I'm sure there are times when we feel truly down and out too. When we have nothing left in this world, hope might be our one and only salvation. Most of time time, we tend to use the word 'hope' too casually. Without hope, life might as well be over. There is also an extension of 'GMH' called 'Love Gives Me Hope'. For those who like little uplifting stories and anecdotes like these to start their day, here are a few to begin with.

Story 1
A 74-year old man has an rare antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia. He has donated plasma almost 1000 times since he was 18 years old. He has saved an estimated 2.2 million babies so far. James Harrison, you GMH.

Story 2
About a year before my dog died, he started to go blind. When my cat realized this, she began helping him find his way by rubbing against his legs, running ahead of him, and meowing loudly so he could follow the sound of her voice. The love pets have not just for people but for each other GMH.

Story 3
4 months ago, I was diagnosed with Alopecia. A month later I had lost all of my hair. I was scared to come to school because I thought everyone would stare at me. The next morning I heard a knock on my door and ten of my friends were standing on my porch with freshly shaved heads. Two of them were girls. They're the best friends ever. GMH.

Story 4
Today was my cousin Kaylee's fifth birthday, and a little girl with Dwarfism was at her party. Kaylee came up to me holding her hand and said,"This is my best friend Elena, and she can't grow. She's special, God made her that way." My baby cousin's blind love for others GMH.

Story 5
My brother is autistic and can't talk. 3 years ago, he got his first Valentine's card. It was from a girl in his class he had a crush on. She has sent him a card every year since. Understanding and love GMH.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Andy Warhol coined the phrase '15 minutes of fame' and it can't be any truer in the entertainment industry where fame is totally transitory. I'm sure that most of us have heard of these songs before and I'm also sure that we were so much into them when they were at their height of popularity. So the question is where are the singers now and what happened to them? Why did they suddenly disappear into oblivion and why couldn't they sustain their fame and popularity? Maybe their style of music no longer appeals to us since Man is fickle by nature and so is our taste.

p/s Pauly Fuemana of OMC passed away earlier this year. RIP, Pauly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I finally got the box set to commemorate Sheila Majid's 25th year in the music industry (a little late but what do you expect when you live in a small town like mine?). Her debut album 'Dimensi Baru' is finally available in CD form, much to the delight of her loyal fans. When that album was first released, it was considered as a breakthrough in the local music industry since it brought with it new sounds and new concepts. The songs in that album were different from the other types of music which were dominating the local music scene then. The songs had a slight jazzy and R&B arrangements to them and they soon caught the attention of the more 'urban' crowd. I never did buy the first album but the first Malay CD that I bought was her second album 'Emosi' (I think it's her best album ever) and I love almost every song in that album. 'Sinaran' (one of the songs from the album) is a favourite for a lot of people and has become almost a signature song for Sheila. Unlike a lot of people, my personal favourite (until now, of course) is 'Di Dalam Emosi Ini'. 'Sinaran' somehow doesn't get me the way 'Di Dalam Emosi Ini' does. The box set is definitely a must for all Sheila's fans. At RM 99.00, I consider it a steal but nothing can beat the original CDs. The graphics on the CD covers are not as sharp as the originals and even the colours are a little bit off. But I shouldn't be complaining too much, should I?

I wish I had collected more of her music. These are the only ones that I have. Pathetic compared to what some other people have.


... and try to see the funny side of teaching life sometimes...

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Friday, May 7, 2010


I'm sure everybody has at least bought a cassette tape once (this does not apply to the current generation) and I'm pretty sure that some of us have tons and tons of these remnants from the 80s and 90s. So what do you do with them since nobody listens to cassette tapes anymore? They have become obsolete and to be seen listening to your music on your mega-obsolete Sony Walkman is a definite no-no (unless it's a Sony Sport Retropod which is cool). Well, you recycle them or better, you upcycle them. I came across a few sites which show items made from old cassette tapes. Some of them are quite brilliant and will definitely not look out of place in a modern home or for a modern person. In fact, some of them can be considered as avant-garde and revolutionary. These old cassettes are quite versatile. You can turn them into numerous items ranging from the ordinary to the spectacular. Here are a few examples of what you can do with them.

p/s I would love to get my hands on that cassette tape cabinet. It will be the perfect place for me to keep my other music stuff.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Yes, it's Labour Day today but instead of getting the rest that I deserved (did I?), I ended up doing some spring cleaning around the house. I'm always particular about the way I carry out my cleaning (that's the reason why I don't like others to do it or to help me) and I will not stop doing the chores until I'm fully satisfied (or ready to drop due to exhaustion). In no way am I close to being another cleaning freak à la Joan Crawford but I like seeing everything being spotless. I know my muscles are going to be sore tonight from all the washing, cleaning, mopping, dusting and scrubbing but I also know that it's going to be worth it. Please don't get the wrong idea. My place is not immaculately clean 24/7 since there are times when I refuse to lift even a finger to do anything at all. My bedroom can look like a refugee camp when my laziness seeps in and I can simply ignore the mess that I've made all over the house. I can dump my dirty laundry in the basket (sometimes even outside the basket) and it will not bother me one bit. Keeping house is definitely no easy task and knowing that I can be quite good at it, maybe I should start providing domestic service to those who don't feel like doing such hard labour.

p/s By the way, I'll do everything except clean other people's toilet. For that, they have to find another domestic service provider.