Friday, February 29, 2008

i turned a bit of my pain into a song

Every angel had dirty hands
Even Judas planned to just carry on
Just picking up the pieces
Of what lies behind those sorrowful eyes
You can walk away

You don't have to go on
You don't have to be strong
Walk away now
You can walk away

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

all the ice cream you could ever eat

Courtesy of

The New Zealand Natural ice cream buffet at Novena Square really isn't a myth after all, as I discovered yesterday. My brother was thrilled when I told him we ought to go check it out. And check it out he did - he promptly polished off four bowls of ice cream (three scoops per bowl), a plate of pasta, and nachos with cheese. I decided to skip partaking in the gluttonous fest, though - I don't think I could have forgiven myself for such indulgence!

Mingles (at Velocity)
238 Thomson Road #02-78/79
Singapore 307685
Tel: 6253-4650

the lover after me

Here I go again
I promised myself I wouldn't think of you today
It's been seven months and counting
You've moved on
I still feel exactly the same
It's just that everywhere I go
All the buildings know your name
Like photographs and memories of love

Steel and granite reminders
The city calls your name and I can't move on

Ever since you've been gone
The lights go out the same
The only difference is
You call another name
To your love
To your lover now
To your love
The lover after me

Am I all alone in the universe?
There's no love on these streets
I have given mine away to a world that didn't want it anyway
So this is my new freedom
It's funny
I don't remember being chained
But nothing seems to make sense anymore
Without you I'm always twenty minutes late

And time goes by so slowly
The nights are cold and lonely
I shouldn't be holding on
But I'm still holding on for you

Here I go again
I promised myself I wouldn't think of you today
But I'm standing at your doorway
I'm calling out your name because I can't move on

Savage Garden - The Lover After Me

Monday, February 18, 2008

Excerpted from "In the Grip of Grace" by Max Lucado

Guilt and Grace

by Max Lucado

Sometime ago I read a story of a youngster who was shooting rocks with a slingshot. He could never hit his target. As he returned to Grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck was dead. The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching.

After lunch that day, Grandma told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So, Johnny did the dishes.

What choice did he have? For the next several weeks he was at the sink often. Sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. “Remember the duck,” Sally’d whisper when he objected.

So weary of the chore, he decided that any punishment would be better than washing more dishes, so he confessed to killing the duck. “I know, Johnny,” his grandma said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave out of you.” (Steven Cole, “Forgiveness,” Leadership Magazine, 1983, 86.)

He’d been pardoned, but he thought he was guilty. Why? He had listened to the words of his accuser.

You have been accused as well. You have been accused of dishonesty. You’ve been accused of immorality. You’ve been accused of greed, anger, and arrogance.

Every moment of your life, your accuser is filing charges against you. Even his name, Diabolos, means “slanderer.” Who is he? The devil.

As he speaks, you hang your head. You have no defense. His charges are fair. “I plead guilty, your honor,” you mumble.

“The sentence?” Satan asks.

“The wages of sin is death,” explains the judge, “but in this case the death has already occurred. For this one died with Christ.”

Satan is suddenly silent. And you are suddenly jubilant. You realize that Satan cannot accuse you. No one can accuse you! Fingers may point and voices may demand, but the charges glance off like arrows hitting a shield. No more dirty dishwater. No more penance. No more nagging sisters. You have stood before the judge and heard him declare, “Not guilty."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

watching the candle flicker out in the evening glow

i was thinking of secondary school times and chuckled upon remembering how we wanted to form a band back then, in the height of the boyband craze and all the various teenybopper singers we used to listen to. if i'm not mistaken, we wanted to name ourselves "ten points offshore", though i can't quite recall the reason behind the name. good thing nothing ever came of it, though, because we realized that in its abbreviated form, tenPOS, it could quite easily be misinterpreted as "ten pieces of shit". hahaha. anyway, those days were fun. the days when i used to lug my guitar to school in lieu of a backpack (strange how we never seemed to study back then, don't you think?), where we would hang around in the classroom during recess poring over scores and lyrics and belting out songs. the times of my jordan knight craze (yes, i still think "give it to you" is a fab pop song, in case you were wondering). those were awesome times!

and i remember this song by bbmak was one of our favorites - in fact, it's a song i like very much still. sadly, it rings pretty true as well.

what am i supposed to do
with all these blues
haunting me, everywhere, no matter what I do
watching the candle flicker out in the evening glow
i can't let go
when will this night be over

i didn't mean to fall in love with you
and baby, there's a name for what you put me through
it isn't love, it's robbery

i'm sleeping with the ghost of you and me

seen a lot of broken hearts go sailing by
phantom ships, lost at sea
and one of them is mine
raising my glass, i sing a toast to the midnight sky
i wonder why
the stars don't seem to guide me

the ghost of you and me
when will it set me free
i hear the voices call
following footsteps down the hall
trying to save what's left of my heart and soul

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Darren Hayes - The Only One

This man has one of the most beautiful voices ever. Listen and be amazed!

in a world so cynical
you came in and changed the ball
from black to white
and made me right
this is all atypical
no one else has had the time
to read the signs
you are the only one

no one else can keep me from
the danger of myself
you keep me stronger
you are the only one

and now i love you even more
than i did before

Friday, February 15, 2008

stop breathing if i don't see you any more

a busy, busy week looms ahead. two exams, both for courses i don't really care about (they're pretty much just filler courses i took to maintain full-time student status). there's history on tuesday and i need to look up all the names of people and places and somehow regurgitate them during the 50-minute exam. kind of pointless, if you ask me. thankfully i'll be done with my geosci minicourse on thursday after the final exam then - i always had an intense dislike for physical geography in rjc and i don't think anything's changed since then. polsci research and data entry needs to be done, i really need to get moving on that. it's quite tedious but i suppose it feeds my olympic weightlifting habit (at least it'll help cover the cost of gas). most importantly i really need to get down to work on my polsci honors thesis. i've been putting that off for way, way too long, which is scary considering the first draft is due march 3. there's still a considerable chunk of writing in the last section which i need to get down to. that being said, i'm looking forward to spring break (and taking off from a week of school). i just need to leave ann arbor and the mess this term has been for a bit, if only for two weeks, and return to familiarity.

girl you caught me completely off guard
on the night you said to me
i just don't love you no more

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hombres G - There Is

i know it's the worst day of the year to think about this, but i remember you telling me that you never wanted to see me hurt the way you'd been hurt by someone else before

This vacation’s useless, these white pills are gone
I’ve given a lot of thought on this 13 hour drive
I missed the grinded concrete where we sat past 8 or 9
Slowly finished laughing in the glow of our head lights
I’ve given a lot of thought to the nights we used to have
The days have come and gone, our lives went by so fast
I faintly remember breathing on your bedroom floor
Where I laid and told you but you swore you loved me more

Do you care if I don’t know what to say?
Will you sleep tonight or will you think of me?
Will I shake this off, pretend it's all ok?
That there’s someone out there who feels just like me… there is
Those notes you wrote me I’ve kept them all
I’ve given a lot of thought on how to write you back this fall
With every single letter in every single word
There will be a hidden message about a boy that loves a girl

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Till I See You - Hillsong United

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

- Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

This song never fails to minister to me and serve as a reminder of God's unchanging love. I don't think there's any other constant in this world. You are bound to encounter bitter disappointments, struggles, and numerous other trials in the course of your lifetime. You might be let down by the people whom you trusted and loved the most, and be hurt deeply. But God's love never falters, it never ebbs or recedes with the tide, it's always there for you. I hope the words in this song speak to you too, just as they spoke to me, and made me remember.

The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the Cross and grave to find my soul
And till I see You face to face
And grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in You

With all I am I'll live to see Your kingdom come
And in my heart I pray You'd let Your will be done
And till I see You face to face
And grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in You

I will live to love You
I will live to bring You praise
I will live a child in awe of You

You are a voice that called the universe to be
You are the whisper in my heart that speaks to me
And till I see You face to face
And grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in You

You alone are God of all
You alone are worthy Lord
And with all I am
My soul will bless Your name

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

i needed the reminder...

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:6-7

WOD for Wednesday 02/13

Alright guys, forget all I've ever said about CrossFit.
If you really are looking to get fit in twenty minutes a day, and don't mind people staring while you work out, wondering what the hell you're up to...

This is the real deal!

I almost fell off my chair laughing at this! (Well, I suppose I would have fallen off, had it been a Hawaii Chair). ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the beauty of throwing weight around

one week since i started serious oly training and i am loving it. time to knuckle down and learn (hopefully master someday) the finer details behind the snatch and the c+j. enough of that premature-arm-pulling-before-your-legs-reach-full-extension kind of shit that i am so wont to do when trying to do "grace" for time. that kind of half-assed technique might be enough to get me through "grace" or "isabel" with a halfway decent time but won't serve me well when it comes to moving some legitimate weight. time to get serious about it. olympic weightlifting is so different from the other sports i've done in the past. canoeing, dragon boating, rowing, running... they're all races. a race against your opponents, always a race to see who can run out the clock first. strategy's important. but the thing about strategy in that context is that you never know what game day's going to be like. for instance how out of nowhere we thought we were going to capsize while leading by a comfortable margin in sdba k2 500m final. just like how that huge wave crashed against the side of our dragon boat and with its passing swept away any hopes we had of medalling in sdba dboat 2004 finals. in those sports you have to be reactive, you need to prepare for the unknown, you have to take every race as it comes.

but oly lifting is different. you're in total control. you have full discretion over how you want to approach the bar, how you want to set yourself up for the snatch or the c+j, when you decide to initiate the lift by pushing against the ground. and no one can thwart that. well, no one but yourself. the lifts, when done right, are like poetry in motion. once you start, you've got to follow through. there's no time to think once you've begun the lift, when you decide to replicate what you've rehearsed in the gym, time and time again. either you make it or you don't - there's no halfway mark here. you don't get consolation points for a missed lift. it's a beautiful sport. the technical precision is enthralling. flexibility, power, strength, speed, explosiveness all coming together in harmonious synchronicity.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another new CrossFitting tool... errr, toy!

My new training tool!

I've never really thought of myself as handy when it comes to repairing or making things, but these parallettes are just about the easiest (and one of the most useful) pieces of equipment that anyone could put together. I've been toying with the idea of making my own parallettes for quite a while now, but the thought of having to spend the time chipping away at PVC pipe with a $5 handsaw was rather off-putting. But I really needed to work on my L-sits and experiment with the ton of cool gymnastic exercises that could be done with parallettes, so I finally got around to writing down a list of the materials I needed to get to make my own.

Well, I finally made a stop at the ACE Hardware Store down on Washtenaw yesterday on my way back from Oly lifting training and picked up 1 1/2 diameter PVC pipe and assorted pipe fittings (elbows, t-joints, caps - see the link I posted above for the full specs and layout), together with PVC cement and some sandpaper. The total cost of the equipment I bought was only about twenty dollars. Armed with my purchases, I made my way home and began my novice attempt at building homemade gym equipment. As expected, it took me a while to coax the cheap, generic handsaw into working properly and taking less than ten minutes to cut through a section of pipe. The sawing produced a myriad of fine PVC shavings which just about floated everywhere, almost made me wheeze, before being subsumed into the carpet flooring of my apartment. Oh well. After about an hour of sawing, sweating, and sneezing, I finally had fourteen neat sections of pipe of varying lengths (2 24", 4 8", 8 5"). I then connected the pipes to the fittings, by using the PVC primer and the cement, taking care to ensure that everything was properly aligned. Not too much to complain about this bit, except for the overpowering fumes of the PVC cement. Voila! Parallettes! Finally, I had a pair of parallettes to show for all my effort. I tried them out by doing a couple L-sits and holds and was very pleased with their stability.

(I did give that initial pair of parallettes away to my friend, but I made another set today for myself. For my own set, I sanded the parallel bars to give them a better grip. They'll hold chalk better that way as well. In addition, I didn't glue the perpendicular supports to the parallel bars at the 90-degree elbows, but I did glue everything else together. Not gluing the supports to the bars makes it possible for me to dismantle the parallettes for ease of packing if I were to bring them along on my travels, for instance. This makes them essentially the same as these American Gymnast Travelettes, except that those cost like a good thirty bucks more. Well, I suppose you don't have to suffer through PVC dust shavings-induced sneezing fits or risk getting high on the fumes from the PVC cement, though.)

I'd strongly urge everyone to make or procure a pair of parallettes. They're easily constructed - as a hardware noob like me can testify - and pretty foolproof to make (although you might like to invest in a better handsaw or a pipe-cutter). Also, there's no end to the gymnastic progressions that you can practice. L-sits, straddle holds, planches, handstands - the possibilities are limitless. These gymnastic movements are also some of the hardest to master and require continuous practice and many static holds. Parallettes are definitely something you want to add to your arsenal of home gym equipment!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

you could resurrect a thousand words to deceive me more and more

“Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defense"
- Samuel Johnson

Enough said.