Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Are The World Foundation

I know this is a little dated but during the Symposium, one of the keynote speakers re-introduced this song and now I am totally taken by this version! Instead of sharing just the video, I thought I'd share the widget from the foundation's website:

The '25' refers to the 25 years since the original recording of the song by Michael Jackson. I managed to find the lyrics with the respective singers (sorry la, I am very outdated with music so I am unable to recognise all the singers in the video):

[Justin Bieber]
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
[Nicole Scherzinger & Jennifer Hudson]
When the world must come together as on
[Jennifer Hudson]
There are people dying
[Jennifer Nettles]
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
[Josh Groban]
We can't go on
Pretending day by day
[Tony Bennet]
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
[Mary J. Blige]
We are all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

[Michael Jackson]
We are the world
We are the children
[Michael and Janet Jackson]
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
[Barbra Streisand]
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

[Miley Cyrus]
Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
[Enrique Iglesias]
So their cries for help
Will not be in vain
[Nicole Scherzinger]
We can't let them suffer
No we cannot turn away
[Jamie Foxx]
Right now they need a helping hand
[Wyclef Jean]
Nou se mond la
We are the children
[Adam Levine]
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
[BeBe Winans]
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

[Michael Jackson]
When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
[Celine Dion]
Well, well, well, well, let us realise
That a change can only come
When we stand together as one

[Chorus - All]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
[Nick Jonas]
Got to start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
[Toni Braxton]
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
[Mary Mary]
We are the world
We are the children
[Tony Bennet]
It's for the children
[Isaac Slade]
We are the ones who make a brighter day
[Toni Braxton]
So let's start giving

[Li'l Wayne]
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

[Chorus - All]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

[Jamie Foxx imitating Ray Charles]
Choice we're making
Saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

[Rapping - LL Cool J., Will.I.Am, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz]
We all need somebody that we can lean on
When you wake up look around and see that your dreams gone
When the earth quakes we'll help you make it through the storm
When the floor breaks a magic carpet to stand on
We are the world united by love so strong
When the radio isn't on you can hear the songs
A guided light on the dark road you're walking on
A signpost to find the dreams you thought was gone
Someone to help you move the obstacles you stumbled on
Someone to help you rebuild after the rubble's gone
We are the world connected by a common bond
Love the whole planet sing it along

[Wyclef Jean]

[Chorus - All]
[Kanye West]
Everyday citizens
Everybody pitching in

[Singing - Children & Wyclef Jean]
Nou se mond la
Nou se timoun yo

You and I
You and I
[Kanye West]
Uh, 12 days no water
What's your will to live?
We amplified the love we watching multiply
[Kanye West]
Feeling like the world's end
We can make the world win
Like Katrina, Africa, Indonesia
And now Haiti needs us, they need us, they need us

[Chorus - All]
[Wycelf Jean]
Haiti, Haiti, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Haiti, Haiti, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Haiti, Haiti, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

Like Professor Hayden, the keynote speaker, I like how they added the rapping part, especially these two lines:

We are the world united by love so strong

We are the world connected by a common bond

We are all connected somehow by the unseen universal force called love. We have a natural tendency to love each other. We may all be different, but we are all similar at the same time. We all share that common bond, that bond of love. We just have to believe that we have to power to move others with the love we have.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

It is that time of the year again. I could still remember this time last year when I shared a video of a song I used to, and still sing.

It is that time of the year again. But this year, there is no celebration, as daily life takes over. Instead of a nice dinner with family and friends, I will be out attending a health seminar with Edison.

It is that time of the year again. I ask myself the same question, yet again. Why do we call it Mid-Autumn Festival when in Malaysia, we do not have autumn? I suppose it is like how Chinese New Year is regarded the Spring Festival. Everything we do still relates to China, no? No wonder to us Malaysians, it is simply known as Mooncake Festival (haha, everything in Malaysia relates to food, ey?).

It is that time of the year again. I have, however, resolved to not buy mooncakes for they make me miss home. I am content to just browse through the many varieties on sale in the shops.

It is that time of the year again. But this year and with every passing year until the day I have my own children, the urge to light colourful candles and lanterns around the house dies out little by little. Heck, thinking of cleaning up the wax after the fun is just... nah, we all know how fussy our agents are regarding our rented places.

But it is this time of the year when I stare at the moon and wonder if Chang Er is having the time of her life there with the little rabbit.

It is this time of the year when I am away from home that I replay the scenes of our dinner over at grandma's house. There would be a feast with all the traditional food after we take turns to burn incense. All us cousins would light the whole courtyard with small colourful candles in fancy patterns, as if in competition with the houses around us. We would light our lanterns (yes, the traditional ones made from bamboo and colourful glass paper, not those battery-operated unimaginative ones) and take a stroll in the neighbourhood.

It is the time of the year when TNB does not chalk up as much from the rakyat as usual. Many houses would switch the lights off in exchange for candle light. Hm, but now with Astro in many households, I wonder if that is still the case?

It is the time of the year when I think of the kids I teach and wonder if they are being taught the songs I would teach them. Songs like 月亮圆, 月光光 and 真热闹 complete with hand actions, hopefully.

It is the time of the year when I share the homesick feeling with many others abroad. I miss the family gatherings, the food, the atmosphere of festivities.

And so I would like to wish my family and friends 中秋节快乐 no matter where you are in the world...

。。。 没有春夏秋冬的家流传千年。。。

Monday, September 20, 2010

S.H.E. Is The One Live In Sydney Concert 2010

A very expensive piece of paper gave me two hours of excitement, happy music and a nearly worn-out voicebox!

Also, I told myself that by hook or by crook, I will meet her on the night:

Jie Hui, my ex-student whom I taught for 4 years and is now reading law at Monash University. It was SO GOOD to see her!

I did not go alone. My partner-in-crime and super Hebe fan was Selvi, someone I recently befriended at Nutrition 101:

And when you are at a concert, you are expected to make some noise. These came in handy:

When the stage turned from this...

... to this...

...everyone went hyper!

The opening of the concert was the song which made them the stars they are today - Super Star:

This was followed by a video explaining the conception of the group; of how three different characteristics came together to form one entity, hence the name of the concert, 爱而为一:

From there, they maintained the fast-paced action with Boom Boom Boom, Super Model and 宇宙小姐:

The tempo slowed down with the girls re-appearing on stage with a backdrop of a crescent moon:

They presented a medley of 612星球,热带雨林,天灰,五月天,你最近还好吗 and 花都开好了:

The combination of the backdrop, lighting and confetti, just lovely. They interacted with the crowd and showed us that they really are adorable with 伦敦大桥垮下来,怎么办 and 可爱万岁:

There was a video of a cute animation by Ella, which gave the girls time to change costumes, re-apply make-up, as well as a quick quench of thirst. The video had Ella introducing herself and the two other members of the group:

At the end of the animation, Ella talked about how she found Hebe's voice angelic - clean and clear, which worked as an introduction to Hebe's solo of Dream A Little Dream Of Me:

elina's solo of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go! followed on from there. I apologise for the poor clarity of the video, as I could not get the camera to focus:

I quite enjoyed the jazzy edge to the solos. Ella's solo of 我就是我 was the only solo in Mandarin, as after that, Selina and Hebe joined her on stage to give a jazz rendition of 触电:

After that, it was back to rocking the house down with 半糖主义, 我爱烦恼 and 痛快:

Narrated by Selina, a short video clip was played and in it were three young girls (who will grow up to be very pretty) who were drawing with crayons about who they want to be. Young Hebe wanted a stage of her own, young Selina wanted to be a beautiful bride and young Ella wanted to protect the both of them by becoming Superwoman. Haha... They then returned onto stage and invited us to join in their pyjama party with 天使在唱歌,金钟罩铁布衫,梦田 and 老婆:

While disrobing from all those layers of pink, the three girls took some time to stir up some light-hearted banter and impromptu jokes on the seafood they ate. Ella enjoying the fresh oysters and confessed that she had about 12 of them! Not only that, she said she had two and surprised everyone with her two 'oysters' (think of what the Little Mermaid wears...)! Hebe played along by commenting on how sexy Ella was, "Wow, 你好性感哦". I think my favourite part of the concert was the KTV part (and I apologise for my hyper singing, as I was so excited!). It was just hilarious watching the accompanying music videos, which were one-of-a-kind, as the person singing the song would appear as the character in the music video! First up was Ella, who selected to sing Jay Chou's 简单爱:

Second, it was Selina's turn to sing and she chose Fish Leong's 崇拜. Hebe's turn was next and she sang Faye Wong's 给自己的情书. She also took this opportunity to promote a song called Love? from her new solo album:

The following KTV session involved us in the audience, as well, as we were invited to get up on our feet to join in the high-ness. Well, I don't know about everyone else but Selvi and I were definitely up dancing and singing along to Mayday's 终结孤单, A-Mei's 三天三夜 and 魔力:

After the below video, the battery of my camera totally passed out and I had to rely on my mobile phone, instead - I had to record the laser display that was on during I.O.I.O.:

Mobile phones being mobile phones, quality of sound and picture nearly non-existent but how can I not record 不想长大?

美丽新世界 closed the curtains for the concert:

Actually, here is a better video of the entire closing number of I.O.I.O., 波斯猫,不想长大,Beauty Up My Life, Remember and 美丽新世界:

Of course, no concert is complete without the audience asking for me and so, the girls delivered 中国话 and 恋人未满 as encore songs (complete with a change of costumes):

Some videos shared here belong to Alex. Thank you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A tale of two sisters, shopping

By Petra Gimbad

Dedicated to my sister

“Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it’s an open mind.” – Gail Rubin Bereny

It is one thing to shop for the office and another to shop for the jungle: an important realization.

Recently united, my sister and I embarked on a shopping spree long overdue in glitzy Kuala Lumpur.

We would find the best bargains for the best quality, and stuff that was pretty as it was practical for our village, jungle and street environments. We would go where no woman (or man) has gone before.

My sister is the researcher who hikes into villages and jungles at least every second week. I am the child protector who works in a red light area.

She gets to scrub her body frantically at the end of the day to search for leeches, and I get to scrub my head and feet for fear of tuberculosis and needles.

She needed, among other things, a pair of jeans: “I need them to hike in the jungle and to visit ketua-ketua kampung (village heads) – it’s disrespectful to wear track bottoms.”

So off to the mall we went.

First stop: Stage Cosmetics.

“Here, you help her – my sister knows nothing about lipsticks,” said my sister, who reviews skincare and cosmetics part-time. The lovely makeup assistant, B, had welcomed us and introduced an array of pink lipsticks.

“How about this?” B dabbed a shade of pink on my mouth.

“Too Siti Nurhaliza. I’m not a pop queen.”


“Alamak, too Mak Datin. I belum cari Datuk lagi!” (Oh dear, too Datin. I have not found a Datuk yet!)

“How about this now?”

“Er, very nice. But… people in my work area will think I’m a sex worker. I don’t want to unintentionally offend some tai kor (gang leader) if I say no when he asks what’s my price.” I was slightly miserable by then.

“Where do you work?”

My sister and I told him.

“Have you ever been asked whether you’re a prostitute?”

“No, but someone I know was.”

B gasped. “Apa jadi?” (What happened?)

“She said she was having her period, so maybe he can ask our colleague instead.”

He laughed.

Next: Caring Pharmacy.

We looked for moisturizers and sunscreen. A sales assistant suggested a brand.

“No, that doesn’t work in the jungle. My skin will peel,” said my sister absently. She turned and pointed to another brand. “Now this brand’s good if you’re planting padi (paddy). Aunty X uses it when she’s in the fields and she’s fairer than I am. But it breaks me out.”

“Maybe it only works if you’re working the paddy fields.” We pondered awhile before realizing the sales assistant had scuttled off.

Third stop: Metrojaya.

The fact that my sister works in an office on weekdays and that her feet are more attractive than mine made me sigh. We discovered a white pair of shoes that fit her perfectly.

I insisted that she purchase them: I cannot wear shoes that show dirt because of the street outreach component of my work and wanted to live vicariously through her feet.

“Value the fact that you work in an office, and able to wear heels and white shoes,” I exhaled dolefully. Her feet did look pretty.

The sales assistant tried to sell me a pair of high heels and I refused. As any clubbing kaki (buddy) would know, most women’s shoes in Malaysia are made for fashion and not function. Wear them for three hours and you will lose your toes.

Many Malaysians do not understand the word “No”. My sister helpfully explained to the assistant: “My sister can’t wear shoes she can’t run after kids in. She works with street children you know?”

The woman was flabbergasted. She tried to sell us another pair of heels, made in suede.

“No, no. I can’t rinse these in the sink. I need to be able to run in them, and rinse them to attend night functions.”

My sister turned to the sales assistant, “My sister is serious, you know.”

We knew we spoke gibberish when the assistant looked confused.

In the end, we abandoned the plan to buy a pair of jeans for my sister at the department store, opting for the market near my workplace instead.

“How much?” asked my sister.


“Ok – let’s go!”

The writer works at a children’s organization.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Celebrating 300 posts!

This is my 300th post on my lovely blog! And to celebrate, I bought myself this:

Yes, I now have a black handbag that most of you would feel I would never buy! Hahahahaha.....

Ok, ok, I did not buy it to celebrate this post. It was coincidental. I bought it due to several reasons:

1) It looked good and was in a colour that would match most of my clothes.
2) It was reasonably priced.
3) I needed something that I could bring to fancy dinners, to work and to functions.

Called the 'Plain Jane' from Nine West, it is a new arrival and is not even up on their online store yet. Housemate also bought herself a 'Sitting Pretty', which I thought was lovely, too.

Hm, I wonder which occasion would the virgin appearance for my little Jane be?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

My Macquarie Lighthouse to Rose Bay walk

When I woke up in the morning, the sky was grey. Peering out of my window sill, I noticed that the ground outside was wet. Argh, it rained. Wonder if the rain would continue to fall later on in the day. No, I am going to trust the weather forecast, which said that it would be a sunny day and so at around midday, I took the train to Town Hall and walked up to Hyde Park to take a bus off one of the many stops along Park Street:

The bus took me to a stop on the other side of the road from Christison Park. The park is perched on top of the ocean cliffs, providing sweeping views to the ocean and Sydney Harbour, which at the time I was there, had some event on (see the yachts?):

What made me decide on visiting this lighthouse? Well, my uni used to have this lighthouse as its logo. After all, we are not called Macquarie University for no reason.

Named after the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, Macquarie Lighthouse is the longest serving lighthouse in Australia.

Unfortunately, they were not open for tours when I was there. So, I managed only to capture the outside of the lighthouse. I made a detour and began my coastal cliff walk from the pathway behind the lighthouse. I kept taking photos of the historical building!:

As I walked along the cliff, I noticed that the yachts have sailed to out of the harbour!

It felt a little weird to be walking alone. If you have been following my blog, you would have noticed that my coastal walks have been a two-person affair. I mean, two people makes a long walk seem shorter and more interesting. And besides, my partner-in-crime has better scenery-taking than I do. I suppose, this walk gave me the chance to hone my own scenery-taking skills. Here are more views of the lighthouse from various stops throughout the walk:

There was another white building further along the walk with this plaque:

This was Signal Hill Reserve.

The above fortifications were originally built to accommodate a 9.2 inch breech loading disappearing gun as part of Sydney's coastal defence - two others were installed, one at Bondi North (still in position but buried) and the other at Clovelly. It was housed in the centre of the group and had a steel canopy with a slot through which the barrel protruded in the firing position. It was hydraulically jacked-up to the firing position with the recoil pushing it down under the canopy for reloading. The gun was commissioned in 1893, the last firing there was in 1933 and it was removed in 1937 and replaced by two 6 inch MK 11 guns placed in each of the outer pits - these were removed after World War II. The barrel of the 9.2 inch disappearing gun can be seen at the Artillery Museum at North Head.

I continued on with my coastal clifftop walk. Haha, yup, it was definitely a 'cliff top' I was walking on, alright!

It brought me to Gap Park. Gap Park is a major tourist destination offering spectacular views of the ocean and Sydney Harbour. The park also supports a rich history containing early fortifications, shipwreck relicts, disused tramline and windswept native coastal vegetation:

The gun emplacement at Gap Park for a small calibre gun, which was never installed, dates from World War II:

I had the chance to see shipwreck remains of The Dunbar:

It was a full-rigged ship that was wrecked near the entrance to Sydney Harbour in 1857 with the loss of 121 lives.

With a cliff face like this one (despite all its magnificence) 200 odd years back, how could a ship not sail into it in bad weather? Anyways, continuing with my walk...

... there were scores of tourists here with cameras clicking away. Haha, I was one of those tourists waking photos of Gap Bluff:

Doesn't this rock formation look like it is pointing at Middle Head?

Of course, when you reach the top, how could you not take left-to-right pictures of the surrounding scenery?

Hm, where to next?

I decided to cross the road and walked on through Robertson Park, which is located in the centre of Watsons Bay:

Here is where you would find the famous Doyles On The Wharf:

Open for business from 10:00am to 6:00pm, this seafood takeaway and bistro is right at the wharf, which proves convenient for those of you travelling by ferry:

Strolling along the beachfront...

... brought me past the Vaucluse Yacht Club...

... and Gibsons Beach Reserve, which has dinghy storage available:

Unsure of where to go, I followed the road through some residential area and turned into a pathway with this sign:

It took me down a narrow walkway that snaked right outside the majestic and expensive houses there:

There was even a mini waterfall, as if a totally different world existed behind here:

A few steps onto this bridge, and...

... Parsley Bay Reserve unfolds itself!:

I love, love, love the crystal clear waters just below the bridge!

Little did I realise that Neilsen Park was around the corner:

Forming part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, it is also made up of Bottle and Glass Point:

On the other side lies Shark Beach:

Hm, I wonder if the beach got its name from the shark nets protecting beach-goers? At the end of the beach, there was a sign that caught my attention:

Oh, yes! I am definitely up for a foreshore walk! And hence, my Hermitage Foreshore Walk adventure began!:

I had great views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and fascinating rock formations:

This part of my walk was Hermit Point. Very secluded, I spent quite some time here taking close-up photos of the crustaceans:

I found it quite amazing how the walkway brought me past the back of people's houses. And I mean, literally the other side of their fences. I suppose it serves a purpose for the local residents, as they have free and extremely easy access to the sand and sea, like Tingara Beach:

There was another beach called Queens Beach, where I saw someone fishing (maybe for dinner?):

By the time I made it to Rose Bay, the sky was beginning to morph into its daily golden sunset colours:

From the beach, I walked through the small lane next to Westpac Bank and out to the main road to wait for the bus back to the city. I am so proud of myself! In total, I walked 9.5km. Oh well, plus minus, I suppose. It was tiring but hell, it was satisfying!