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Showing posts from May, 2012

What Should I Read Next?

While I was keeping up with my  reading lately, I was hunting around for a good tool that I can use to recommend me  books based  on the books that I have read and loved. I have used several,  and found this the best of all: What Should I Read Next? The site may not look or function as sleek as Your Next Read , but I still prefer its simplicity. The more important thing though is that the books recommended are by far better and more interesting. The titles given are more varied because I prefer not to read any more books of the same theme but is interested to know what other books that I might like. When I used Demick's "Nothing to Envy" in both the websites, YNR gave me more titles related to North Korea. In WSIRN however, one of the titles caught my attention -- Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers , which will now be my next read. pearlie

A Thousand Words #140

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pearlie Photo (c) 2007 Markus Biehal

Book Review: Legacy

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Legacy The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- and the Three Men Who Loved Her By Susan Kay I finally finished this book. It is good but not an easy read. I tend to keep referring to Wikipedia to check the facts as well as to figure out who's who. The author has the habit of changing the characters' names and reference fluidly. For example, Robin Dudley, which she refers to as Dudley from the start suddenly became Leicester at the same breath, after he was made Earl of Leicester. But all in all, it is good. It is fascinating to read of whom historians regarded as England's greatest monarch. I know that this book is considered fiction albeit historical, in that other than the known facts, the rest are all made up. I am not sure if the book's portrayal of the queen's personality and character is accurate. If it is, she would then be quite an amazing person, cool and calculated, sometimes with empathy and yet most times ruthless

Men in Black III

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I had not planned to watch this. I just happened to have a complimentary movie ticket and this happened to be the only movie that fitted the time I had today. I would have preferred to watch The Avengers or Battleship or The Lady. I did not expect much and it wasn't so good. It has its moments, like the one on the beach, but that is all I can say about it. I suppose it is not my kind of movies after all, but a free ticket is a free ticket. pearlie

Coincidently bored

Can I still say that there is no coincidences in life? I posted on Tuesday on the subject of boredom . On the next day as I was scanning the news, I found an article on work boredom . Now on Sunday, the speaker preached about bored Christians (link coming up). Three strikes. Is this getting somewhere? pearlie

Lazy Saturday

It is nice enjoying a lazy day reading and watching TV. I don't sleep in the daytime, but found this song by John Lennon so apt. I AM SLEEPING When I wake up early in the morning, Lift my head, I'm still yawning When I'm in the middle of a dream Stay in bed, float up stream Please don't wake me, no don't shake me Leave me where I am I'm only sleeping Everybody seems to think I'm lazy I don't mind, I think they're crazy Running everywhere at such a speed Till they find, there's no need Please don't spoil my day I'm miles away And after all I'm only sleeping Keeping an eye on the world going by my window Taking my time Lying there and staring at the ceiling Waiting for a sleepy feeling Please don't spoil my day I'm miles away And after all I'm only sleeping Keeping an eye on the world going by my window Taking my time When I wake up early in the morning, Lift my head, I'm still yawning When I'm in the middle of a dre

Book Review: Great Singers on Great Singing

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Great Singers on Great Singing By Jerome Hines I have not finished reading this book yet, but I thought I'd review it anyway, since I am not sure when I will finish it. And that is with the fact that I am kind of reading 9 books now at one go. The book started off well, and it was quite interesting to read what the singers have to say about some of the basics of singing. The author, Jerome Hines, interviewed about 40 opera singers to write this book, a chapter for everyone of them. He tries to find out several common things, namely breathing technique, the passagio of passage in the voice, vocalising and warming up, support, open throat. I don't attend or listen to opera much, but I did learn some useful things reading into their accounts and views on singing. For example: "The voice starts in the mind, not in the body." This is very true, Joanna, our Grace Notes conductor always ask us to think of the note first, of how it should sound before singing it.

A Thousand Words #139

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pearlie Photo (c) 2005 Sarah Williams

Rose-Coloured Glasses

Do you find yourself looking at the past with rose-coloured glasses in regret? Do you feel that things used to be so much better than now, that you wish you were back where you were, when in actual fact, you have forgotten past hardship and struggles? Some people tend to live in the past as a result. They forget that they have suffered through the same problems as they are facing now. It is just that these problems come in different shapes and colours. Let go of the past, live the present and look forward. You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~ Jan Glidewell pearlie

Are you bored?

Boredom. This subject came up in my training session today when I was to role play a high potential employee but one that is bored. I do not like role playing because I just can't act, but playing bored isn't too difficult, I found. I read somewhere that boredom is a complex process. I wonder what is meant by that. A process? As in what happens when someone is bored? I don't know but what would you do if you were bored? I think the first to do is to find out why. I think boredom is more than just having nothing to do. It is being in the wrong place doing the wrong things, wrong in the sense that it is just not right for you. What would make me bored would be not being able to do what interest me, what is meaningful to me, or what is fulfilling to me. The trickier thing to do is to decide what to do after that. Finding a solution to that kind of boredom will be one of the most complicated things in life. pearlie p/s And what do you know, in my regular checking out

25G of free cloud space

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I have quite a number of PDF resources for reference but they are inconveniently stored in my netbook at home. And everytime I need to refer to something, I always wished my netbook was with me. I did think  about storing them in the cloud but my Dropbox account only has 2.75G space, and it was quite used up as well. And to buy more space is too expensive in Dropbox - 50G space cost USD99 a year! So I started hunting around for some  more free space and what do you know - it was perfect timing - Microsoft has just launched its own version of cloud storage called SkyDrive with 7G free space. But the beauty of it was that if you were a Hotmail account holder before 22 April 2012, you will be eligible for 25G of free space. My 11G folder of resources is finally accessible to me wherever I go, in all my devices. You better go claim it before it is too late: www.skydrive.com . pearlie

Why Pray?

Prayer is one thing I struggle with. On one extreme, it is trying to figure it out in the sense that prayer is not something you demand of God to act on or it is a as-long-as-you-have-faith-or-God-will-not-hear-you. On the other extreme, I am struggling with the sovereignity of God and prayer in the sense that since he has ordained everything, I repeat, everything , then why pray - someone has said, it is as if we are trying to change God's eternal purpose, an undertaking that is feeble at best and arrogant at worst. But what I know is that God has commanded that we pray, and pray I did, even though I could not fully understand why. I had approached it in the manner of being in a personal relationship with God, but I have now learnt whilst that in its itself is important, it is even more than that. It is a participation in God's eternal plan and purposes. We pray because God commanded us, we pray because he fulfils his plan through our prayers as one of his means. That is w

Happy people

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It has been ages since I have been actively taking photographs and when my cousin brother Raymond requested that I take photos for him during his birthday celebration last week, I was apprehensive. I had to warn him that I am quite rusty at it. But they didn't turn out too badly. Here's Ray celebrating his 50th birthday. He does not look a day older than 30! He held a dinner for family and friends. Four tables of 10-course Chinese dinner. Happy Birthday Ray!!! My pretty cousins More pretty cousins Here are my aunts and a rare shot of me (being the photographer, I am happily out of sight) And here are my some of favourite portraits shots. I love to take portraits. I love to capture each and every unique feature of an individual. pearlie

Seventy Times Seven

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The one word that has filled me today is "forgiveness", and this reminded me of an old song that I have loved back in the 1980s: David Meece's Seventy Times Seven. I have obviously lost the cassette with the song and even if I had it, I won't be able to play it. Thankfully there is YouTube. pearlie ------------------------------------------ This prison has no walls This bondage has no chains My memories have no mercy There's no one left to blame Wish I could force back The hands of time And right every wrong Grant me just this one last chance Before it's gone, gone, gone How could I be so blind as to doubt your love? How could I go on living without your love? Seventy times seven Will you forgive me for all that I've done Seventy times seven I'm so afraid of what I've become For all the promises laid to waste For all the seeds unsown For all the justice I never faced I must now atone Is there a soul that can't be

Book Review: Trick or Treatment

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Trick or Treatment, The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst, MD I got to this book when someone in my family introduced us to this alternative treatment called the Atlas Profilax method. They attested to its effectiveness and went as far as making arrangements for us to go visit the doctor. I am not a proponent of alternative medicine although not totally against it. For me, if it makes sense in my limited knowledge and if it does not cost too much, I don't mind giving it a try. But I must know what is involved. So I checked this Atlas Profilax thing out. It is a maneuver to reposition the first vertebra cervical bone call the atlas. I thought that to be a very risky thing to do and decided to say no to my relatives. We will not take the risk and will suffer our current condition, rather than risking paralysis or death. My husband then told me about this book written by Simon Singh. I have read his book on the Fermat Theorem befor

Between Transfiguration and Ascension

For devotion in our Grace Notes practice today, we read Oswald Chambers' "His Ascension and Our Access" from his My Utmost for His Highest, and I found it very illuminating. ******************** His Ascension and Our Access It came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven —Luke 24:51 We have no experiences in our lives that correspond to the events in our Lord’s life after the transfiguration. From that moment forward His life was altogether substitutionary. Up to the time of the transfiguration, He had exhibited the normal, perfect life of a man. But from the transfiguration forward— Gethsemane, the Cross, the resurrection— everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to anyone, and by His ascension our Lord entered heaven, keeping the door open for humanity. The transfiguration

To be honest with you...

I have recently noticed that this certain phrase has become so commonly used in professional settings that it has become like a virus or allergy that is impossible to cure. I find this extremely annoying: "To be honest with you..." Why do people say that before they state a point, and every other point for that matter? Do they imply that they are not honest at any other times? We need to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. Interjecting statements with verbal tics will not help. If you need to buy some time to think before saying anything, just pause...and then state your point. pearlie

104 floors of Tiny Tower

I am seriously addicted to this mindless iPhone game. 104 floors now with new floors costing almost 1.7m coins and about 2 days and more for new floors to complete. It's crazy, but kinda fun, especially when I needed something to do that does not require any brain cells. Here is my all-glorious 104 floors tower: http://towers.nimblebit.com/1023778327 pearlie

The book and ebook debate

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I recently had a debate with my husband and friends about which is better, book books (what I mean by hardcopy prints) or ebooks. Being a proponent for ebooks -- since I found them so versatile, mobile and convenient, and with them so  much cheaper than printed books -- I obviously went all out to promote it. My friends were not convinced. I do get it -- like them, I still like the feel and smell of books, but the mobility and convenience won me over though. But my husband -- usually the smartest of whichever lot you put him in -- trumped the argument. His point was this: if you were trapped in your home during a war, you'd be more happy with a book book. Your ebook will not last for long. The battery will run out in no time, and you might not have a supply of electricity for long. It's a war. He won. pearlie Photo from Digital Trends

My 50 Book Challenge 2011/12 - 2

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Back in mid 2011, I challenged myself to read 50 books in 2011/12. The criteria was, as long as it is a book of any kind, of any topic, of any genre, be it print or electronic, whatever strikes my fancy. I took on that criteria because the last round I went on a challenge, I stuck to theological books. This time round, I wanted to be open to whatever that interest me. I am reposting here the books I have read thus far, and I must say that all the books I read this year are very good. To me, they all deserve at least 4 stars, if not 5. 23. Time Warped, Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by Claudia Hammond (8-9/6/2012) 22. Stiff, the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (31/5-8/6/2012) 21. Ecclesiastes, Why Everything Matters by Philip Graham Ryken (12/3-30/5/2012) 20. Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (3 Feb - 30 May 2012) 19. Legacy, The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionat

My once prolific writing

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I am sitting here, still in the office at 1.13am, not knowing how long more will I need to be on standby for the project team. The last time I stayed back late was about two or three weeks ago, when I stayed till 4.00am but working. Now I am on standby. I am too tired and sleepy to read the book I have with me and so I openned up my blog which I have not for the longest time ever. I did not even know that Blogger has changed its looks. I began reading the poems that I have written over the past few years and the apocalyptic piece which I have penned 4 years ago. I couldn't quite believe what I read! It shows that I have been really dry in my writing lately. What inspired me to write those I really have no idea. Just glad that I did. And I hope this will inspire and motivate me to be actively blogging again. I found myself nothing much to say lately. It shows I have not been really thinking thinking. Thinking I have been, just not on the right stuff. ... It is now 2.5

My prayer

I feel I have so much to say And yet I have nothing I feel I have so much to do And yet there is nothing Months have come and gone And yet I feel I am nowhere Here I am after all these years And yet I feel ever so bare Something is amiss Something not quite there Only this I know and this I do That to my God I submit in prayer In all the time I am with Him I know on Jesus I surely can depend His love, His grace, His joy, His peace My Lord, my God, my Saviour, my Friend (c) 2012 Pearlie Ng All Rights Reserved