Saturday, May 04, 2013

My thirteen

There was someone on some radio programme mentioning listing 13 albums in 13 minutes, ones that stick out in your life. I was thinking about this on walking in to work and in no particular order, these are 13 I could think of, ones which I listened to almost ad nauseum for months, maybe even years (in clumps).

Supertramp - Breakfast in America I listened to this a lot in Form 5 (Year 11) and at first year Uni. No strong images but being in the bedroom of my aunt's house, whom I lived with when I was doing year 12.

Sufjan Stevens Come on Feel the Illinoise I listened to this almost non-stop most of the latter half of 2005 and most of 2006. It's just a really beautiful album.

Fiona Apple - When the Pawn Fiona is like a drug. Once I start listening to one song, I dig out all her albums and listen to them all back to back for days/weeks.

Vangelis - Themes This was played in the car a lot, on my solo drives around Bavaria, when I was working there. The End Titles from Bladerunner played loud is pretty apt when one is driving fast on the autobahns.

Kate Bush The Dreaming This was also in the car. I still think this is one of the best albums ever. I think this one benefits from listening to it loud, which is not such a problem in a car on the Bahn. I used to subscribe to the and it's predecessor, I think it was alt.lovehounds? It's been a while. We're talking early 80s here.

Kate Bush - Never For Ever I listened to a lot of this when I was in Year 12 when I was in KL. This was the first year I was living away from home. So feelings of isolation, home sickness and fitting into a new social circle crops up a little when I listen to this. All suitable conditions for completely loving this :-) Reminds me of David Anthony, cos besides me, he was the only other person I knew who'd listened to the album.

Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. I listened to this a lot in 2006 when I was working at DD. Reminds me of the reception area, cos the ringing of the phone there sounds like the beginning of one of the songs. *shrugs*

Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head. I know liking Coldplay is not so cool these days, but I really liked this album. It reminds me of MT especially when she told me she couldnt talk to me anymore cos her partner was a little jealous and forbade her. D'oh! I was quite sad/crushed cos of it then.

XTC - Skylarking Reminds me of Mark and Janine cos it was playing when they came over for dinner once. And driving on Whitehorse Rd in Blackburn. Dont really know why.

Various - Red Hot and Blue. Watching the clips on TV in the house in Mill Park.

Tuck and Patti - Tears of Joy. Reminds me of Steve who said that listening to Patti gives him a headache. *shrugs again*

Bee Gees - Spirits Having Flown. Daggy? I think still think it is a very melodic album. Reminds me of high school and some of the girls I had crushes on but was always too insecure/awkward/unsophisticated to even say hello.

Joan Armatrading - The Shouting Stage Reminds me of the daily drive to work in Burwood East, and some of the sadness when my then relationship issues.

I think that's 13. There are many more, but these were the first 13 that came to mind. Damn. I just remembered Peter Gabriels So. And Portisheads Dummy, Massive Attack Protection, both of which reminds me of Elle, when she was having her marital issues and Pet Shop Boys Underworld, which reminds me of working at TPG in Richmond, cos Meg who worked there really liked them too

D'oh, also Bon Iver, Sarah Issakson and Rebecca Tornqvist, Tori Amos? I should stop now. I've not heard listened to much new music recently as it does take quite an investment of time and energy on my part, but I quite liking the Lana Del Rey's now not so recent album. There, off my chest.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I didnt like 2010 all that much. Hope you fared better. Hope 2011 fares better.

Friday, August 31, 2007

View via the pinhole that is my blog

They had a father's day breakfast at the school and any kid who wanted to, could read poems they composed for their dad. So when her turn came, I was thinking, This is going to be cringeworthy, cos the first four girls were quite so. You know, Dad protects me, sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, lovey lovey, kissy kissy etc etc... But it was actually really cool. She wrote about what I wasnt. Not a superhero, not a cook, not a cleaner, and some others which I cannot remember. What I was was that I was her Dad! I felt, relieved, cos it was non-cringey. Good kid.
So what did I do for Fathers day? I cleaned after her, I cooked her bacon and eggs for breakfast, pancakes for dinner and we went bike riding. I dont know where she gets her inspiration for her poems from. *sighs*

I went for one of the many talks they held for the Melbourne Writers Festival. The guy from Boing Boing was one of the people speaking. He is such a well prepared and polished speaker and made the others look quite dull and unfocussed. Very entertaining speaker.
One of the ladies speaking made the unfortunate decision to wear a skirt for the session. Because of the elevated stage, it was like that Sharon Stone interrogation scene from Basic Instinct. It was so distracting. I know, I know. I couldnt bear to watch but cannot look away. What was the talk about, you ask? I dont remember.

Anyway, Susanna had this 80s music lyrics quiz on her facebook which I got a paltry 4/10 and of that, some of them were lucky guesses. Heh. Well, who pays attention to the lyrics anyway but to be honest, I wasnt really listening to that type of music.
So I was dredging my memories back to the 80s as to what I was listening to then. Dont judge me but prominent in my memory was a lot of Windham Hill. Yeah, no lyrics, see. Some Yo Yo Ma, lots of Stevie Wonder (Hotter Than July), some Vangelis, The Police, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Quincy Jones (The Dude), XTC's Skylarking and Michael Jackson. I said, Dont judge me. But most prominent amongst them was Kate Bush. I still think The Dreaming is the most complex and multi-layered album that I've ever come across.
Oh yeah, and this very talented French composer Jean Michel Jarre and the English group Scritti Politti. I liked them both a lot. Ahhh.... the 80s. What?
Now? I've been listening to this Lily Allen song a lot. On repeat. Yes, I admit, not much of a leap there.
And no, I never listened to any Yanni.

OK, I admit it. I considered doing a "Chai has left the building" kind of post. Maybe next month. Till then.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bending the Truth

Good lord! I wonder what these guys are like in a social setting. How does one bring up the topic without coming across as being weird? "Hey, you know what would be really fun?".

Speaking of fun, it's funny how some people can affect me. I've had many occasions where I've had to deal with people where each meeting prior, I tell myself I am going to be very very patient and not get riled. But when push comes to shove, I lose control and get visibly irritated.
So if spending time with such a bunch of people, who communicate using endless barbs, where every interaction has some underlying tension even if the topic of conversation may only be the latest episode of Sesame Street, where just purely from the tone used is enough to raise ones anxiety and stress levels no end, affects me so badly, why do I do it? Why indeed?
To those people who have asked me this, I say to them, "Mum, Dad, you are family".
But Kim loved being the centre of attention, getting everything she wanted.

Trip back to M'sia was OK. Wasnt a holiday so much as a trip to visit the olds. Coming back to a house with a temperature of 4C after 16 days of 32C/99% humidity is a little confronting though. Still, I think I prefer the cold.

Each trip home does dredge up lots of almost forgotten memories.
Kid : Who was that guy you were talking to, Dad?
Me : Do you remember me telling you when I was 7, and this bigger kid 6 doors down from where I lived told me that there are some birds which will swoop down on you and pluck out this special hair on top of your head which acts like stopper to keep your soul in? And when this specific hair is pulled out, you suffer great indescribable pain and you die very soon after? And that I didnt dare leave his house for hours until I had to and I sprinted home like I've never done before with my hands on my head, screaming for my mum?
Kid : Yes.
Me : Well, that was him.

And driving past the place where I used to sometimes play table tennis as a kid made me wonder what happened to the guy who used to bully my friend and I? I dont remember his name now, but everyone called him Fei Chee, which when translated means fat pig. I wonder if I can get any compensation for that. I could handle some free money right now.

Anyway, some pics from the trip, in case you had nothing better to do.

Soundtrack to viewing the pics? PSB's Being Boring. Though in reality, listening to this song often makes me feel a little melancholic. Maybe that's why it's the only Pet Shop Boys song I listen to regularly.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Seeing what's not there

Sheet. I just typed in my name and the word blog and my blog comes up. I was going to write about how my procrastination is costing me money but I recall reading how some employers are using the net to do background checks on prospective employees. So writing about this could be 'detrimental' to any future job applications.

So procrastination is not costing me money. I didnt leave applying for my kid's passport renewal so late as to require the express service and I didnt have to pay an extra $76 for the express service. And I'm pretty sure the apostrophe in kids in correct.

Ah well, the internet remembers all. So they'll now know about my car accident, my run-in with the japanese takeaway etc etc... But do hire me anyway. I work quick and am quite easy to work with! References available. Note that I am not looking for work right now.

Anyways, where was I?
Oh yes, I was saying that I've always been conflicted about eating meat. Sometimes when I chew, I can imagine the muscle and tendons that I am chomping on. And sometimes, the personality of the animal in question. Yes, yes, don't judge me. It's pretty distressing enough but I am too weak to give up meat. My best effort was a meatless 7 weeks about 10 years ago. Anyway, I read recently that some Dutch scientists are making meat in the laboratory. Isn't that cool or what? You could eat anything you like. Chicken, beef, whale, tiger, dodo, eagle, panda, giant tortoises. And all without a single animal being killed. A world without abattoirs. Now that would be worth seeing, no? And no methane problem from the cows too. Cant wait for that day. And then, I'd really go vegetarian. :-) Icky, no?

Anyway, will be eating satays (in M'sia) exclusively the next 2 weeks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You cannot get good satays here though this place comes pretty close.
I told the kid I'd take her to see her cousins in the U.S. next year if she'll read 10 books of my choosing. She thought about it for like 5 seconds and said "Dad, I think I'll get to go anyway so I dont think I'll be reading those books". I would have threatened to not take her but I was so flabbergasted by the reply that I just went "Uh, ah, ah, uh...". But she's right. She's going to go anyway. This is the kid who at 4 years of age asked me "When mum goes out, can I be the boss?". What makes her think her mum's the boss and furthermore, what makes her think that when her mum's out, the #2 spot is up for grabs? Creative parenting is hard. Bring back corporal punishment, I say.

And isnt this a pretty song? I'm still puzzled as to what instruments are used in the chorus and how they are arranged. Sufjan is a major talent. He can even make the scales sound really good.

Catch ya later.