Friday, March 30, 2007

Heart of gold

I wrote this in November 2005:

"Some things that put a smile on my face:
Dunkin Donuts coffee
Egg tarts when they're hot
People arguing in Lebanese
Food joints that are open way after 11 p.m. when you're hungry
Craving for diner breakfast food
College students doing homework and hanging out in library at 2 a.m.
Older people who are young at heart
Water fountains"

Still true. Especially the college student part. I'm fortunate again to be in school and I treasure every minute I'm on campus. The intellectual discourse in and out of classrooms. The idealistic minds looking for justice and democracy. The protests. The naivete. People dancing in the hallway of K.K. Leung at 8 pm and the smell of their sweat. The water fountains. The high profile speakers being invited to speak. The late night gatherings outside of library. It all reminds me of the good old days of Cornell. The fact that I'm once again surrounded by impressionable young people and ostensibly profound discussions puts me at ease.

School is the polar opposite from the real world. The real world is full of deceit and lies and people doing terrible things to each other. If you do something stupid, you may even go to jail. And all those parking tickets too. The real world can still be fun if you have a positive mindset. But people lose interests there. They are not passionate about what they once longed for. They lose sight of the important things in life. And most of them have to take care of the cash business. Friends start to drift apart because of lack of time. Therefore, it's imperative to set your priorities straight.

Tomorrow is my last advocacy assessment. I must say I'll miss it. I must admit that I went from feeling indifferent about advovacy to really loving it now. I enjoy telling a story in front of a judge that shows my side's point-of-view. The last few advocacy exercises really made me realize I belong in the courtroom. I take great pleasure in the submission, leading the judge through the documents and cases, and presenting a clear and cogent argument. Most importantly, I've received quite positive comments from the assessors, and that really boosted my confidence. This shows how constructive comments can help a person grow. The key word here is "constructive," not "positive." I don't need praises all the time. I just need someone to acknowledge my effort. So I'll enjoy my one last presence at the High Court tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be a frequent visitor when I start my practice in August.

Someone wrote me last year saying I'm "talented, smart and have a heart of gold." Well, needless to say, that was quite a compliment. I don't care if I'm talented or smart. I DO care if I have a heart of gold. I don't want to be remembered for my contributions to society. I just want to be remembered as being a nice person. And even THAT is hard sometimes.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My blues partner-in-crime

Just found out my blues partner-in-crime Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner has just released a CD called "Live at Chick Hall's Surf Club." It's got some authentic blues out there. This was the show that got Clarence to the IBC finals in Memphis. It's the best medicine for the lonely soul and hunger for some authentic blues. Check out the samples and then buy the CD!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Brilliant in every way!

This is high-class humor. Nice song too. Makes me miss the spirit of "Freedom of Education" from Ivy League schools. But most of all, this is LOL funny!

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Chris Gardner is a living inspiration!

Saw "The Pursuit of Happyness" today. This is going to a movie that's going to stick with me for awhile. Inspirational movies are being produced less and less in Hollywood these days (aside from those endless baseball/football/basketball-themed films). The last one I remembered watching consciously was "Forrest Gump," and that was years ago. Hence I had been wanting to see "Pursuit" since I heard about it last year.

Chris Gardner is a truly inspirational character. You can read more about his biography here. What particularly struck a cord with me was when Gardner said to his son in the basketball court, "If you have a dream, you gotta protect it. Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something. Not even me."

Gardner's story shows us that hard work is mandatory. But the extra stuff you get in life is about how much you really want it. If you want it, you'll have to go get it.

In my four years of working as a lawyer in the USA, I had ups and downs. I used to a rather passive person, but those four years trained me to be a positively active person. Some people are luckier than me; things just fall on their laps. But I don't envy them because I knew a long time ago I'm the type of person who has to fight for things to happen. Now I just go grab my chances and give 100% of my heart.

I am not afraid of being in a disadvantaged position because nothing can shake my confidence anymore. My HK trip has turned out to be a surprisingly lovely journey because I have a strong support network both in and outside of school. So I want to thank my family, friends, and even some amazing acquaintances for giving me the support and encouragement that I need. And trust me, I'll give it back and bounce it around. Because you can't use up encouragement; it's endless.

What is remarkable about Gardner's career is that he does a lot of charity work and gives back to society. Not only is he wealthy in the conventional sense, but he also understands the true quality of life. "Wealth" is not measured by how much money you make, but by how much you enrich people's lives around you, one at a time. So I dedicated this entry to those who have and continue to inspire me. Thank you for making me strong and rich throughout all these years!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Some new YouTube clips!




Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm still the coolest bloke around!

Weird mood. Cheerful yet still could use some more inspiration. Well, it's not the Chet Baker kinda season, nor is it the time to review "Before/After/During Sunrise/Sunset." But I'm just sorta in the witty/playful type of mood. Kinda like Basil Fawlty or David Brent. Looking forward to April Fools Day so I can play a prank on someone.

I need a small break to gather my thoughts and organize them in a kaleidoscopic manner. Flower them with a little bit of Erroll Garner and a little bit of Oscar. Need to say I was in awe with the legendary Chucho Valdez. My jaw dropped and I was blown away by the wayward wind. Makes me want to pick up the "Buena Vista Social Club" CD I once lent someone some 7 years ago and never received it back. I feel Latin and rhythmic.

Pleasant jazz is nice. A little bit of above-par coffee is even nicer. A slow stroll outdoors on a lazy afternoon is lovely. Maybe a little Mose Allison and some Van Morrison. Making cynical comments about mediocre films. Spending quality time with those who share your dreams, passion, and love for life. Sooner or later the time and place become irrelevant and a mutual understanding emerges.

James Taylor is a genius for he totally understands the "Secret O'Life." This song has been my motto for life:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There aint nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since were on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
Its okay to feel afraid
But dont let that stand in your way
cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since were only here for a while
Might as well show some style

Give us a smile

Isnt it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
Its just a lovely ride

Now the thing about time is that time
Isnt really real
Its just your point of view
How does it feel for you

Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race

Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

It's funny to review your old blog entry. I wrote this on September 2005:
"Think globally. Act locally" is a pretty darn pretentious slogan. I say, "Have a global support network, but retain your local friends because at least you can meet them at Starbucks."

That's simply brilliant!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Some new photos from the gig!

Many thanks to Roland for taking these photos.

It's still weird to see my name on a semi-commercial release. Hope it'll generate some buzz. I'm blessed because Eternity Girls are singing my song. I had never heard of them before until I saw their big giant poster above Wellcome Supermarket in Causeway Bay. Now I know they're the biggest to come in contemporary Christian music. Aren't I blessed?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reasons for MIA

Well, apparently I've been struggling with the new Blogger format and they want me to get a Google account. It seems now that Google has signed a contract with Blogger I'm forced to sign in with a new account. Hence the long overdue update of my otherwise uneventful life (compared to a lot of HK people).

Played a wonderful gig with Gigi, Dan, Sylvain, Alex Quirino and DC @ Innonation last Saturday. This was one of my more memorable gigs in recent history because I was playing with a smokin' band and we were doing very sophisticated stuff like "Ugly Papa" by Julia Lee and "Long John Blues" originally sung by Dinah Washington. Most of all, it was great to drag Gigi out of her hotel environment and showcase her vocals skills, as the world needs to hear her. So many of my friends came out ("Thank you!") and they were charmed by Gigi's sultry vocals and stage persona. Some of them told me, "Initially we came to see you, then we saw the singer..." That's what this was all about. Special thanks to Justin @ Innonation (who's getting married in less than 2 weeks) for providing a venue free of charge for me to let my feelings out.

Another piece of good news is that I passed my first semester exams at PCLL. Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy exam to pass. I still remember my whole right hand soaring during the Civil Drafting exam. So I'm relieved that I passed. And I need to be extra careful with the second semester. More time will be allocated from now on to studying.

These days I'm rooting for Dear Daniel who's an underrated stuff animal and who has a pretty generous personality and big heart. I also long for some warm vitasoy milk in bottles. More new entries for Christian music contest organized by ACM. Still crazy after all those years...

Thanks to those who were by my side during the darkest times of my life.

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