Friday, March 30, 2007

life is so frail

it took a few days to sink in.

did anyone watch the season #2 finale of grey's anatomy aired over ntv7 on tuesday? as a medical drama, it's expected that once in a while a guest star will die from gunshot wound or a botched surgery. but killing off 2 recurrent characters in 1 episode is a bold & vicious move, deserving of a season finale. (for me, the mother of all season finale would be "who shot JR?")

who would have thought of giving an adorable doggie malignant bone cancer that spreads to the brain? the dog, unimaginatively called "doc" in the show, was possibly the only true love both meredith & mcDreamy openly proclaimed to share, although neither has ever uttered the all-important, but probably meaningless, 3 little words ( "i love you", duh!!) that the other longed to hear & savour.

doc was finally put to sleep by finn, the vet who has come to be meredith's new love interest. but old habits die hard, as was evident from the "quickie" she & mcD shared just moments after doc was written off the script - an easy task since the latter's was a non-speaking role. it seems in TV land, the grieving period lasts only minutes. either that, or pet dogs count for nothing in human relationships.

but the real tear-jerker of a scene belonged to denny, the heart transplant recipient, & izzie, the hot blonde bombshell who doubled as a surgical intern. poor denny, wasn't it just unfair & anti-climactic that the donor heart which took the whole of the previous episode to procure & to successfully transplant, would play 2nd fiddle to a massive stroke, to which he suddenly succumbed? add that to izzie's prior & deliberated acceptance of denny's marriage proposal, & you have people like me shouting out in protest : bummer!

life is so frail, even for animals. one moment, you're a happy dog, fetching sticks & chasing cars, & the next, you're convulsing from bone cancer that has also ravaged your brain.

life is so frail, even in a make-believe world. there you are, the lucky recipient of a much sought-after donor heart & the girl of your dreams agrees to spend the rest of her life with you. even before that smug look on your face wears off, your ECG goes flat & the code blue team fails to revive you.

life is so frail. like i said, it took me days for that to sink in, but i could have sworn i noticed a few nurses with swollen eyes the morning after the season finale.

can't wait for season #3 to take off.

***photo courtesy of abc website***

Thursday, March 22, 2007

getting sentimental again

i enjoy listening to the radio at work. i used to tune to because i thought richard, shazmin, ika & serena were "cool", & that the 'wrong answer game" was unique & amusing. don't get me wrong - they still are, except that i also need my regular fix of news on the hour, with the financial & sports updates, a service which provides. so, instead of switching stations back & forth, i made the difficult decision to stick to ok, the music is a little conservative & sedentary by comparison, which is why i think it's a bit out-of-place when they play boogie nites & the hustle. but i get by & the music does eventually grow on you. after all, i'm not exactly young & funky anymore, you know!

of late, i'm getting flashbacks when certain songs come on air. like my sentimental friend (herman's hermits). it was the song i dedicated to my 1st penfriend KH, way back in 1975. & everytime it's played, i reminisce of those care-free days of puppy love - oh, & don't get me started on donny osmond now!!

living next door to alice (smokie) was the song i sang to my 6th form classmate porky, with some improvised lyrics, on the bus home from our end-of-the-year farewell trip to desaru. a swan song, so to speak, because we never met as a class again after that.

my best pal peter & i organised a farewell for BH, one of our icu nurses, at the local ship restaurant & we managed to convince the resident band to join us sing you are always on my mind (willie nelson) as a tribute to BH's contribution at work.

(photo : where's the karaoke when you need it?)

ah yes, did i mention that kay, another 6th form classmate, & i are planning our 30th anniversary class reunion? 3 decades, or in effect 1 whole generation, have passed since we were last in school uniforms, sitting behind wooden desks, fiddling with slide-rules (calculators were disallowed in those primitive pre-digital days) & scribbling on exercise books while listening to our dear old teachers ramble on.

indeed, a reunion is way overdued, yes? & perhaps it is i who should be the sentimental friend of the old 70s era.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

only 1 winner at the city of entertainment

genting is THE city of entertainment, if the promotional tagline is to be believed. but before you get anywhere near the fun & festivities it offers, there's a 30km long & winding (& mostly uphill) road to be tackled. a daunting task if you are often light-headed & prone to motion sickness. unless you're a corporate bigwig, in which case you can avoid a bout of vertigo by travelling in style on a helicopter.

i was there for a conference recently. being the start of school holidays, the family tagged along for a weekend of self-gratification - the wife appreciated the cool crisp air (1700m above sea-level) while the kids' attention were directed at the allure of the theme parks.

we stayed at a monstrosity that is the 1st world hotel, validated by the guiness book of world records as the largest hotel in the world with 6118 rooms. i don't recall its presence (or any semblance of it's impending construction) on my last visit in feb 1999, so it must have been built in record time to open in dec 2000.

rumour has it that it was built specifically on the selangor side of the border with pahang- i didn't even know that the state boundary runs through genting - because sentiments were strong at that time that the opposition fundamentalist party PAS may capture pahang at the 1999 general elections. should that occur, the casino operations which is located on the pahang side & which the fundamentalist party said it would ban should it come power, would conveniently shift over to the 1st world hotel premises on the selangor side. anyway, it's just hearsay which didn't materialise & genting continues to reap in the big bucks on both sides of the border!!

i did make a few observations during the brief sojourn there :

1) there always seemed to be hordes of people everywhere - at the hotel lobby, shops, restaurants, theme parks & certainly at the casino. what is it about the latter that attracts people like a spell, i wonder?

2) there's a sticker next to the tap in the room that declared, "water safe for drinking". all very assuring but i still boiled it anyway. but it did make me think - is it because the water elsewhere is of dubious quality??

3) food is very expensive by any standard, in marked contrast to hotels in las vegas, where i recall the huge buffets go for an unbelieveable giveaway price of USD2.99-3.99. maybe that's because there are numerous hotels/casinos on the vegas strip itself competing for tourists' dollars, while genting runs the only casino & all 5 hotels at the peak of this hill resort.

gamblers may have frivolously lost hard-earned money there, but many would have made much investing in its shares. so, whichever way you look at it, there's really only one clear winner in this game of chance - genting.

Monday, March 12, 2007

tagged (again!)

i was tagged by bengbeng some time last week. so, here are the 5 things i wish for my kids this year :

1) 1st & foremost, i wish for them, not only for this year but for years to come, that God will always look over them

& lead them in the way that they should go;

2) i wish they will eat more veggies, wholemeal bread & brown rice,

& that they will earnestly follow the example by which i lead.

(of course, i will still treat them to the occasional burger meal). i know this is a tough call because i myself didn't like veggies when i was their age, but then, there was also no KFC or McD at that time.

3) i wish they will enjoy school,

make new friends & learn to live with people of different backgrounds;

similarly, i wish i could be more disciplined to set aside more time to teach science & maths to the elder girl, & chinese to the boy;

4) i wish they will remember (& hopefully appreciate) their happy childhood memories

& grow up to be happy adults,

& then bring into this world more happy children!

5) & last but by no means least, i wish they will continue to love each other more with each passing day.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

the chosen one

i'm just a star wars buff. no, not fanatical enough to the extent of accumulating every known mechandise or paraphernalia related to the sci-fi series. just interested enough to collect the dvds of all 6 episodes & the occasional freebies that came with fast-food promotions.

just like shakespeare, some scenes are significant, while others are largely forgettable. take, for example, the climactic fight sequence between obi-wan & anakin, amidst erupting volcanoes & flowing lava, in episode 3 - the revenge of the sith :

obi-wan : you were the chosen one. it was said that you would destroy them (the evil sith lords), not join them. you were to bring balance to the Force, not leave them in darkness.

anakin : i hate you!!

obi-wan : you were my brother, anakin. i loved you.

how often have we made choices, only to discover to our regret & dismay, sometimes alarm & horror, that they were the wrong ones. selection of careers, life partners, business partners, political leaders, & even cars & houses, have at one time or other, reflected our shortcoming in making the right choices.

in our weekly care-group meeting last week, we briefly discussed israel as God's chosen nation, among whom a saviour - no, The Saviour - shall arise, bringing with him & through him, a message of hope & the promise of salvation to the world. but did they rejoice at this high calling? no, they turned their backs, they rebelled & they disobeyed. not only the ordinary citizens, but even iconic figures like moses, david & solomon were all guilty of such trangressions.

doesn't fiction often imitate life? in the movie, anakin is the jedi-turned-darth vader. even as he is mortally wounded by the flames from the burning lava, he is decidedly more consumed with hatred & anger. he was the chosen one to bring peace & justice to the republic, but gave up the jedi belief & gave in to the dark side.

fortunately, for israel, therein the similarity ends, for God stood by His steadfast commitment to His chosen people, declaring, "I will not forsake you." & true to His words, despite their wicked & errant ways, The Saviour descended from the lineage of david. the apostle peter reiterated this fervent assurance in his letter:

"but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."
1 pet 2:9

**this post is inspired by
Dr Alex Tang**

**picture courtesy from the
star wars website**