水曜日, 7月 27, 2005

Like a fish needing a bicycle

like a musician needing an electron microscope.



i think i may like this. just one more item to get.

right, trabye kan?

月曜日, 7月 18, 2005

永遠に



目の前にいる君が少し輝き
周りが見えない
私達はどこにいるの

ざわめき始めた背景の中に
まだ消えないでね
もうなんにも聞こえない
しかし私は呼吸するのを感じることができる

おどろく程気まぐれな展開に
少しだけ
私らしくない期待をしてる

私は永遠にここにいたいと思う
このまま見つめ合っていたい
私は私に近い感じることができる
いつまでも側にはいられない
この瞬間だけはずっと永遠に

作詞 / 作曲: 宇多田ヒカル

日曜日, 7月 17, 2005

Scire usum medendi

it was 10 years ago today that i walked through the hallowed arches of king's hall for my congregation. the faculty of medicine in those days always had its congregation on the 2nd wednesday in the month of july at 5 pm.

i remembered that it rained a little in the morning but came 4 pm, it was gloriously sunny. as it was day one of a four-day convocation, the newly-mowed grass on the quadrangle of what was king's college of the university of durham was ours to enjoy. not to makan lah. i donned my black suit together with a crisp white shirt and the faculty tie to boot. my arwah mom wore her best kebaya and songket selendang whilst my dad looked (and felt) really good for the occasion (he postponed a CABG and opted for a coronary artery stent only weeks before!). our biggest disappointment was that my brother couldn't be with us due to his classes at university. there were only four malaysian families that afternoon and we spent the entire one hour post-ceremony taking photos. one thing i liked about our university congregation attire - no frickin' mortar boards!

it was the shortest congregation ceremony i've experienced (i've not been to any other actually!). we were ushered into the hall whilst someone played a classical organ piece. the graduands each had their hood with the colours of the faculty (lavender, scarlet and white) slung over their right forearms and are called by name (it was great to hear the long malaysian names being pronounced rather accurately) after being 'hooded' by the hooding marshall. the applause we received was non-stop from A to W (we had no X, Y or Z in our year). the VC gave a real heart-warming speech about the medical profession and then there was more organ music whilst we were ushered out of the hall. all that in less than one hour.



my emotions were mixed on that day. there was relief, as i have finally finished a long 5-year haul slogging my ass off. there was joy, as i was with my family (minus one, unfortunately) to commemorate the occasion. there was also apprehension, as in about two weeks after that day i was to be let loose on the wards together with those from my year.

there was a handful of us whom i'd probably refer to as 'casualties of war', who weren't there with us to share this joyful occasion. as painful as it must be, they marched on and proved their worth, albeit six months later. ten years on today, i'm sure these guys are doing what they do best (and most likely better than the ones who survived that summer) and nobody would probably even remember whether or not they were there that sunny july afternoon.

__________________________________
Scire usum medendi [latin: To know the art of healing] was the original motto of the Durham University College of Medicine, founded in 1834.

火曜日, 7月 12, 2005

Deja senti

deja vu (fr. already seen) is one of the recognised psychic phenomena that is associated with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). patients with this neurological disease would have a sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all, prior to (also known as an aura) a seizure.



today i experienced an alternative form of psychic phenomenon. no, i don't suffer from TLE. as i was driving to work, the car aircon smelt just like the one in my dad's car in KL. with the scorching summer morning sun outside and 宇多田ヒカル on my iPod, i might as well be driving on jalan damansara en route to 1utama.

during coffee break, i had another one of this olfactory experience. on of my colleagues was making some coffee when i swore the room smelt like... err... my gym. no, not the changing room lah!

it's really weird as these are in fact very much like auras in epilepsy, especially if i can't find out the source of the bau. the gym was explained by the fact my colleague admitted to using deodorant (right guard + coffee aroma = gym coffee room). the best one i had was many years ago in the medical school library when i smelt airplane food. i really like airplane food! yum! if there was the hum of a rolls-royce jet engine next to the library window, i would have sworn i was on my way home for the summer break.

are these experiences trying to tell me something?

aura 1: balik malaysia lah oi.

aura 2: you have a belly like a fat bastard. go exercise before you have a coronary.

where are my gym shoes?

木曜日, 7月 07, 2005

London disaster

i got to know of this from an SMS at 1050 hrs GMT from the neon in KL, of all places. i've always had this kind of scenario played at the back of my mind every time i take the tube when i'm in the smoke. in the 70's and 80's, it was the IRA. now, this (no one has made any claims as of yet).




a few of my colleagues were shocked but probably the shock was not as bad as it was when the two jets collided with the twin towers in NY. bombs had gone off in london (like harrods, for example), brighton and manchester. and not forgetting northern ireland for the last few decades. this may explain why my british work mates appear to be 'not that phased' by what happened this morning.

this was expected. the tube is a target which all of most know is vulnerable. every time i use it, i'm sure deep down in my heart, i say a little doa. anything can happen anywhere. any time.

my prayers are with the injured and the family of the dead (the count is two at this moment). and to all in london, stay safe.

__________________________________
thank you for the kind wishes in the comments box. please go to the bbc website for further updates.

Kepah boy

this book is bizarre.

i wasn't laughing out big ha-has (probably i wasn't supposed to).

puns that i got.

and there were probably more that i didn't.

from the sweetest to the grotesque/macabre, this is archetypically tim burton.

he even did the pictures.

i leave you with at least one which could be counted as my favourite:

the boy with nails in his eyes
put up his aluminum tree
it looked pretty strange
because he really couldn't see


good thing i got this for less than a fiver!

水曜日, 7月 06, 2005

No Stairway? Denied!

whilst reading the forum on i-bands, one of the guys posted some pics of this person.

jimmy sakurai.



i couldn't help but stifle a chuckle, but sakurai or not, he does look like jimmy page bar the asian features. he nailed the hair, clothes and the guitars (i am not sure whether jimmy played the strat in his heyday, though). i googled jimmy-san to find out that he is in a led zep tribute band aptly named, err... mr. jimmy. apparently he started playing some led zep covers at an american army base in japan and had been performing as a led zep tribute band ever since. he was even voted 'Best Jimmy Page Player' (pardon the japlish) and contributes to various japanese guitar mags. the english section of his site also advertises his services to anyone needing a' jimmy page' for their band. no, ladies. i don't know if he does hen nights.



the australian pink floyd is another tribute band but living up to its name. especially if you get to perform at david gilmour's 50th birthday bash and get to use the same stage production equipment as pink floyd! rumour has it that roger waters was in the crowd when the aussie floyd played at the royal albert (again, another first for a tribute band). my workmate got to see them live in sheffield arena last year and said the performance was top notch. they don't look like pink floyd but they sure as hell sound like them. the lights weren't as elaborate but they apparently have a similar disc-shaped screen at the back. another date in my gig diary. they will be coming to these shores but they'll be playing some festival in derby (uhuh). i'll wait till they play like the city hall or something.

i also hear that there are also a few more tribute bands worth watching, like bjorn again (also from australia), the bootleg beatles (the longest running and most successful tribute band ever with rave reviews to boot!) and YYZ (a UK-based rush tribute band). i have written about this a long while back, about how i loved performing tribute sets (i've done one megadeth and two pearl jams - the second pearl jam set was the best one ever, if i should say so myself). i guess i do it out of reverence and, most of all, enjoyment of playing the music i love.



being in a tribute band has its shortcomings though. it'll work better if the original band is no more. only a handful of tribute bands make it big by being able to tour the world, but you won't be able to sell records. most tribute bands would be doing the local pub circuit rather than selling out the madison square gardens or the budokans of the world. people like myself would probably like to play the odd toilet circuit and even if i get to do so, i need to remember not to leave my day job.

Simple

i was given yet another meme from idlan which had these two simple questions. i have, then, two sets of simple-ish answers.

What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play?

Food.
Music.
Sleep.

What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level?

Food.
Music.
Sleep.

the thing is, apart from sleep, i will just get on and do it. if i wait for others to make their mind up to do the same with me (it's not like i don't do things with friends - i'm merely illustrating scenarios when i really wanna see/eat/do something and people can't because of whatever reason), i just won't get to do it. quite a few of the gigs i go to are on my own. it ain't sad. if i wanna go by that philosophy i wouldn't have watched the likes of audioslave and the last ever smashing pumpkins gig. oh, this meme is opened to anyone who feels like doing it. got a feeling this one has done the rounds in the blogosphere for a while!

see? told ya i'm a simple man.

土曜日, 7月 02, 2005

Pigs have flown...

...pink floyd reunited at live8.

-seen on a banner this evening at the hyde park gig

as the who was playing, my eyes were glued to the telly. the pink floyd was next, with roger waters, after 21 long years. after a little chatter by jonathan woss, the unmistakeable heart beat prceding speak to me/breathe was audible from the stage.

david gilmour has aged since the last VHS i saw him in, which was the earls court gig following the release of the division bell. gilmour started off with the pedal steel intro whilst roger waters seemed back at home with his black precision bass. nick mason looked like he just came back from a PTA meeting at a boarding school in dorset whilst richard wright quietly plays on the kurzweil. i have to say, whoever the director of videography/photography/whatever is, rick wright is a member of the band. he is not a hired hand, so you should have had more shots of him! however, kudos for panning to battersea power station and the (?)london eye (which looked like the ubiquitous disc-shaped screen seen at their live shows).

as breathe got into way, gilmour picked up a black strat similar to the one he used in the days of the dark side of the moon. the next song was an apt choice for the event, with waters' unmistakeable bassline intro to money accompanied by the ka-chings! gilmour's bluesy solo was so out of this world. he used his hiwatts. obviously lah kan?

waters then proceeded to express his happiness for being back with these "three guys", and dedicated the next tune to syd barrett - wish you were here. gilmour played a gibson acoustic whilst waters had a martin. tim renwick was on bass duty then. it was really great watching them back together. there was this poignant shot of gilmour smiling to mason whilst waters sang the second verse (gilmour sang the entire song on the album).

the last song was a tour de force with both waters and gilmour on vocals. they played comfortably numb, man. they playfully lifted their arms as they sang "my arms felt just like two balloons". again, gilmour did his magic on the strat. i remembered my friend telling me how underrated gilmour is as a guitarist. the outro solo was just soulful, ending with a "thank you and goodnight" from gilmour. the four of them went up to the front of the stage and took a bow. no tearful hugs, though.



a potential proper reunion gig at earls court? just have to wait then, haven't we?

Feed the world

"feed the world! bob said that.
sign the fucking petition! now, i said that!"

-johnny borrell, razorlight


i think that was the best one i heard today.

i am watching/listening to snow petrol[sic] singing run at live8 in hyde park.

no, i'm not at hyde park. i'm watching it on telly like the other supposedly 5 billion people out there.

i wondered why there was an sms lottery. BBC1 reported a quarter of a million people in attendance (tix were won by 65,000 winners? times two.). there is a crescentic enclosure closer to the stage. i doubt that would fit 130 000 people eh? as i said before, live8 is better watched on the telly, although you have to be there to soak in the atmosphere.

missed the opening. managed to catch a bit of REM on radio 1 this afternoon. got home in time to catch the likes of snoop dogg (it was really weird to catch macca layan-ing snoop), razorlight, madonna and, at the mo', snow patrol.it's great that SKYdigital's red button came in handy, allowing me to catch the gigs in pilahdelphia[sic], rome and toronto. everyone had a 15-minute limit on their performances. kinda like a 3-song gig per band. as this is live, it was also great to see some swearing on daytime telly. hehe. madonna did an unconvincing are you fucking ready, london?!!, as fake as the posh spice's i-bet-she-she-knows-the-cameras-are-pointing-at-her pout seen at the side of the stage.

also, the fact it's 15 minutes per band makes me feel less bitter about not catching pink floyd live. it's a full 2 hour show or nothing.

oh, the killers are onstage now. later.