Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lessons in song

(Severely personal post ahead. You have been warned.)

Majalah 3 tonight featured Mr. Abdul Halim Yazid, a dikir barat artiste and his travels in the Deep South of the United States to trace the story of the blues. I only caught it halfway when my ears pricked to the call of prayer from Senegal that was featured on the show (caught the rest on online). I happily abandoned the dishes I was washing in the kitchen and sat down to watch.

It was nice to see how musicians from different backgrounds and musical traditions could mesh together so beautifully when they sit down for a jam session. But what made me tear up was the song "Al-Fatihah untuk Ayah" (Al-Fatihah Prayers for Father) that Mr Abdul Halim sang together with some blues musicians. No one uploaded that version just yet, so here is the plain dikir barat version.

It was a beautiful tribute from a child to his father, singing farewell to his father who has departed this world for the next. My understanding of the Kelantanese dialect is poor, but I got the gist of the message of the song. The words were simple but heartfelt, the melody plucking the heartstring as it beats along to the rhythm of the drum.

(The rest is undercut for intensely personal navel gazing which may not be of interest to you.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet addiction

If you have high speed internet connection, a personal space and a computing device, I will bet that you have used all three to search for some sexually titillating media for your personal enjoyment.

But I ain't judging you. Each to their own. It's a billion dollar industry in the US of A and makes gobs of money world wide. Which ever taste you swing towards, there will be a porn of it somewhere.

Some would say it is better to indulge in some porn-driven personal time than to be unfaithful to one's partner or indulge in illicit sexual activity. Again, each to their own. However, there is a major downside to porn that is rarely discussed: inability to hook up with a REAL PERSON.

Porn is like McDonalds: cheap, easy and satisfying. But unless you want to be afflicted with poor blood chemistry profile and a waistline that rivals the circumference of the equator, you may want to indulge only on occasion to just take the edge off your appetite. If you have a gourmet kitchen and available material, why not take the time to prepare something that is much more satisfying and healthy than to consume processed product that no longer look like food?

Romancing your partner may take some time and effort. But surely a 3D enthusiastic partner is better than a 2D quickie?

But then again, each to their own.

I will let you go back to your previous activity.

Monday, January 16, 2012

On house husbands and local drama

Last night I did something that I have not done in a very long time.

I sat down and watched a Malay telemovie from the beginning till the end.

Not just that, I actually shut my mouth and refrained from criticising the acting / plot / storyline / etc.

Mr Labuci (Mr Sequins) was aired over the Cerekarama slot on TV3, told the story of Malique who quit his job to become a house husband. In the beginning, his wife, Zulaikha, was supportive of his decision. His good buddy, Alfi, was initially skeptical of his decision, ended up using his presence at home as a hang out to escape the pressures from working for his own father.

What first struck me about the movie was how natural the actors were. If you follow any of the Malay dramas, you will note how over/under acting are usually the norm; with unconvincing melodrama tossed in for good measure. I like how the dialogue did not seem forced and was delivered in a natural manner. Azhan Rani, the lead actor, did an excellent job conveying his role as husband/father/son/friend. The delightful young actress portraying the daughter is also refreshing and appear spontaneous in all her scenes. Rozita Che Wan did a decent job, but I wouldn't be surprised if many viewers were distracted by not the glitter on her outfits, but rather how well they fit her enviably hourglass figure.

The storyline was also a nice surprise, the treatment of the issue of how a man deals with the potentially emasculating job loss and how he developed his passion for sewing and beading (hence, the title of the film) was done in a sensitive AND sensible manner. I liked how Malique dealt with his mother's nagging regarding his lack of job and all the other role reversal that he played; however, I felt the confrontation with his wife when her true feelings about the situation came to fore and the resolution at the end was a tad too slick, but I accept that he just may be the rare breed of men who actually practices the kindness that was practiced by the Rasulullah SAW.

All in all, a nice weekend surprise and I wouldn't mind looking out for more shows with Azhan Rani in it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do you appreciate your senses?

As a music aficionado, I love the luxury of listening to aurgasms (the first 2 definitions, please). I try to be cautious with my headphones and earbuds, not to listen at too high a volume which could damage my hearing in the long run. But as I mentioned before, many people are not as careful. Are you one of them?

Like many of our senses (sight, taste, feel) we take our hearing for granted. I only appreciate my voice (although I am a mediocre singer) when I had a horrid throat infection to the point that I completely lost my voice. And yes, my youngest uncle was right. Once you stopped talking, it is very hard to start again, even if you are a chatterbox.

Do we think about other people who are deprived of their senses, either from birth or due to disease or accidents? Have you ever thought how it would be like if one day you can no longer hear the voice of your loved ones, no longer see the beauty of this world, no longer taste chocolate, no longer feel the silk against your skin? If your answer is yes or no, pray to God that you will never experience it.

It is easy to feel sorry for people who are unable to enjoy one or more of their senses due to a disability. However, many of them refuses to be the object of pity and made a life for themselves that is fulfilling and rewarding. And yes, even deaf people can enjoy music. Evidence are below.

Grenade by Bruno Mars

The New Sh*it by Marilyn Manson

Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

Friday, January 13, 2012

Of damaged heroes and cynical heroines

Hidden HonorHidden Honor by Anne Stuart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book I finished in 2012! Let's see how good I am at cataloguing all the stuff I read for this year. *grin*

Farting danger ...

... particularly so if you are an astronaut. It's not just the smell, but potential for explosion.

And unlike what you see in most movies, explosion (and farts) in space are silent.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snake oil debunking

OMG! Love this guy!

Midweek Sh*ts and Giggles

For the love of pr0n!

This clearly illustrates that bitches don't see themselves as bitches.

Like the Evita song, "You Must Love Me".

Stereotyping is bad!

I snorted my tea listening to this.

(moar under cut for NSFW-ness)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Thing!!!!

The Thing has always been one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. Pingu the Penguin is an adorable claymation character. What happens when you merge them?


Learning from nature

Apologetics arguing for certain types of behaviour tend to borrow from nature to justify whatever stand that they propose (e.g. homosexuality, bullying etc.).

Here's another example: domestic violence and divorce.

Happily ever after also elude arthropods, it seems.

Monday, January 9, 2012


This picture explains a lot about the reasonings of your toddler.

You're welcome.

And if you ever castigated yourself for being a bad parent, stop that. There are worse parents out there, examplified by this video.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Okay, okay, I am a few days over due. But what can I say? I'm an inveterate (invertebrate?) procrastinator. I'd tell you that it's my resolution to change, but then I would be lying.

Anyhoo, enjoy some sweet music from the delightful Zooey Deschanel and her dashing friend, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.