mental indigestion

Musical Discoveries September 25, 2008

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 9:50 pm
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For quite a while, music has been relegated to well, just a  background noise for me.

I got bored listening to the CDs I had so I stopped. I would mildly bob to whatever I might recognise on the radio, and mildly tolerate D’s retro/college rock band car mix.

Then I borrowed this movie from my school library. Admittedly, I had attempted to watch this on the plane earlier this year with a tiny Quantas screen and ear phones that only worked on the right side. I gave up because the characters looked too small and the first few lines in a thick Irish accent were incomprehensible to me. But I liked what I heard from the “Falling Slowly” youtube video and decided to give it a second chance (with subtitles this time). I was glad for suddenly, I remembered the magic of music. (And note, I am not exactly an Indie music person, but the passion and heart in the music for this film  was just mesmerising.)

My very generous blogger (and now real-life) friend AL had introduced me to The Frames (amongst many other good bands) a few years ago through her “AL’s Musings” CD and I particularly liked Glen Hansard‘s live performance of “Heyday” where he yells out “Good night Melbourne!” with some kind of rock and roll drawl. Well, it’s about time I discover more of their music!

I also just picked up a Shanghai Jazz CD from That CD Shop (one of their fascinating in-house High Society compilations) and am listening to it every night accompanied by a cuppa tea. I love it. As some of you may know, I have always liked lao lao old big band jazz but have already listened to whatever there is already. The contemporary cover versions by sweet young things sound vapid to me. But this album, where jazzy ditties are sung in this Chinese triad 1920s speakeasy way is absolutely fascinating. I am so glad to have stumbled upon a soulful reinterpretation of my favourite genre of music.

And it’s amazing how all this music just lifts your spirits. I’d almost forgotten about that.


Singapura September 20, 2008

Filed under: Life in general — mel @ 10:10 am


While at a Tall Hotel, I saw a scene which reminded me of the song:

Singapura, O Singapura
Sunny island set in the sea
Singapura, O Singapura
Pretty flowers bloom for you and me

Still set in the sea but the sea was so packed with ships and cranes (on reclaimed land that was once sea).

Pretty flowers still there, though most appear due to urban-planned artificial propagation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the balcony, people below are getting busy for a noisy zoom zoom race. Yet another thing to dispel this dreamy notion of that Singapura song I used to sing (with belief) as a child.


Congratulations Lauren! September 10, 2008

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 9:37 am
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You're a winner!

You're a winner!

Yay, my childhood friend Lauren has clinched a update: two bronzes in the Paralympics!

She is such an amazing person and you know, I can’t help but get peeved that there wasn’t much media coverage given on her before she clinched the medal (she was winning so many other medals for Singapore before this one!) . I tried by contributing an article on her in Vanilla Magazine (if you’d like to read it, just drop me a note and I’ll be happy to send you the scanned article), but it really didn’t help with the whole funding issue because there are “limited funds” for atheletes with disabilities (grrrrrrrr….).

And this is why I really couldn’t get all excited and nationalistic when there was the whole big hoo-ha with the Olympic Silver. Especially knowing there are such double standards in the way sports funding and recognition takes place here.

But hey, this is not a grousing session, but a celebratory post for a beautiful friend both inside and out with a spirit of steel. For her next event, she is performing to music (depsite being profoundly deaf). Please say a prayer and root for her! (Update: She came in third!)


I Belong September 9, 2008

Filed under: Inspiration — mel @ 8:54 pm

During Shar’s ROM a few months ago, Dawn told me about how she wrote a song after hearing our church wedding message given by Pastor Wendy.

I think there’s something very nurturing about Pastor Wendy’s ministry. She may not give the most theologically verbose sermons on earth, or organise things nicely in PowerPoint form, but she never fails to touch people with her heartfelt, Godfelt thoughts.I have seen (and experienced) her pray for people and they (usually females) cry even if she says the simplest of words.

And in this case, God used her to touch the musically-talented Dawn to write and sing a very special, comforting song. What a beautiful ripple of blessings this has been.

I Belong
I’m just
a sentimental freak
Standing at the crossroad of hello and goodbye
The further I walk the deeper I’m lost
Where do I begin
Where do I begin

Give me a home where I belong
Somewhere this wild heart can stop running and breath
I need a place to end this insanity
Bring me back again
To where you begin

Cos I belong, I belong to you
I belong, I belong to you
You’ve given me the sweetest hope that I could hold on to
You’ve given me eternity in my heart
In my heart

I’ve found a place to lay my head
A sweet salvation for this darkest hour
I would have lost heart unless I’d believed
In your loving goodness
In this broken world

I had to throw my faith in something I could not see
When I believed in what seemed like emptiness
You gave me security

You can view a video of Dawn performing this song here.


The Days September 4, 2008

Filed under: Kay poh recommendations — mel @ 12:10 pm

When two funny friends (and incidentally, both did our wedding photography) are featured in a movie (made by other other funny friends) as a lao beng (old gangster) and mental patient respectively, you know an objective review is not coming your way. But really, it’s such a fun film to watch, I now wish I had an Ah Beng boyfriend in secondary school (now if only I wasn’t so scared of boys then).

Besides taking fantastic wedding pictures, Anthony Levi Kho  displays a remarkable affinity to acting, dancing and even choreography. Sibeh got talent one lor. And with some really slick production and genuine Bengs whom I actually heard audition (i.e. cursing a lot in Hokkien) two years ago in D’s old office, it makes a really sweet gangster movie (and I never knew I could call a gangster movie sweet).

I  will leave you with the handphone teaser which I think best captures the essence of the film.


The Wisdom from Stories September 2, 2008

Filed under: Inspiration — mel @ 10:04 pm

Some interesting things after listening to Nury Vittachi at the Asian Congress of Storytellers today.

– Two of the most prominent and influential figures in history were Confucius and Jesus. They were also storytellers, who imparted life’s lessons through the parable form.

– Why do most folktales always have the heroes’ parents die early on in the story? Because most of the time, the story is trying to tell us this:  There will be a day when you will be alone, but you will be fine.

For some strange reason, these are two things I really needed to hear. That Jesus saw the value in stories. That problems seem to get lonelier as one grows older, but I have been taught all this while by loved ones – things will be fine.