Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He looks like a girl

Caitlin, being born only seven years ago, did not have the slightest inkling of who MJ was until last Saturday when she saw me watching follow-up programmes on tv about him. Her first comment when she saw him was "He looks like a girl".

And yesterday, at drum lesson, she played to his song "Scream". She also told her teacher that he looks like a girl.

Bye bye MJ and Farrah

I'm a few days late in jumping on the MJ-Farrah-death-comment bandwagon. What was MJ to me? I am not a huge crazy fan but I liked some of his songs. And his dance moves were great. I was surprised to learn of his death when I chanced upon the breaking news on CNN as I was channel surfing last Friday morning. Another music great gone. Saying that he did impact the global music scene during his 40-odd years career is an understatement.

As far as I remember, my kid brother JK and I were first aware of MJ when he got the Grammy in 1983 if I recall correctly. We got the Grammy awards cassette compilation which included hits like Culture Club's 'Do you really wanna hurt me", and a Cyndi Lauper song which I can't remember its title right now. I think it also had MJ's Billie Jean. And JK would play that cassette every morning without fail and we were getting ready for school to the sounds of 'Beat It'. And it was every morning indeed for quite a long time after the Grammy awards heat subsided. What a way to start the day. Ha ha.

Then during my early working days in the early 90's, Black or White was a prominent feature in most clubs when some friends and I used to go out once awhile to let our hair down. And when MJ was in KL to perform, he stayed at Concorde Hotel which was right next door to the office building I worked in then. I remember the traffic outside was crazy as people were slowing down to see if they could catch a glimpse of him. And the window of ladies' washroom of my office looked out to the windows of the hotel rooms so everytime I went for a pee I'd look out the window to try my luck. I read in the papers that the suite that MJ stayed in that hotel is now named the MJ Suite.

As for Farrah Fawcett whose life was taken by anal cancer, I kinda feel the loss as she featured quite prominently in my primary school days when tv was still black and white then. My classmates and I used to love watching Charlie's Angels and we had lots of pictures of her (among other then tv and music stars) in our 'entertainment' scrapbook. In Standard Three, my classmate AMC, was the first to start a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine cutouts of pictures of these stars and the rest of us followed suit. We'd compare and check out each other's scrapbooks every now and then. Her hairstyle was "wow" and I think her iconic red swimsuit poster with her dazzling smile was regarded as scandalous then for a smalltown nine-year-old girl like me. Although she was not my favourite angel (it was Jaclyn Smith cos I thot she was the prettiest among the three), I did like her as she completed the trio.

A 1983 pic - this is how I remember MJ to be before plastic surgery changed his face.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At home with Rusty and Caitlin

On quite a number of mornings this week and last, I've stayed at home longer than usual, leaving only to fetch Caitlin from school and procrastinating errands that require me to go out. Workmen have been coming in and out doing stuff that we've procrastinated (again, that word...)for some time. We finally got our backyard roofing, balcony mosquito-net door and water filtration system installed. And also, after a long delay, the developer's workman also came to patch up some cracks and rectify some other minor defects around the house.

Rusty continues to reign supreme in our front porch. Now that he's almost eight months old, he's behaving more 'grown up' and starting to mark his territory more aggressively .... anything that resembles a post will surely get one of his hind legs up. So the front porch pillar, the garden stool, my car tyres (what's with dogs and tyres?), outside lamp posts and trees belong to him. Once, I left a laundry basket outside and he happily lifted his leg there too. And one morning, as Eugene was leaving for work, he happened to leave his backpack on the ground and the next thing you know, he had to take another bag to work. Looks like 'diaper' days are back for me but instead of changing diapers, I have to keep a look out and hose down a lot more things these days. He's not put off by anti-pee repellant and my scoldings. But he is quite easily trainable. I only have to be more consistent and diligent.

He knows "sit" and learnt "lie down" in two days. Next I've to get him to "stay" which will be a challenge. Anyone who comes out the door gets an excited, hop-and-jump greeting and licks on your toes and feet. He always thinks it's playtime and is extremely delighted when he gets to play fetch. His boundless energy is pretty amazing and the uninitiated would think he's a crazy dog, rushing about, skidding around etc.

Okay, I'm starting to sound like a typical proud mum who goes on and on about her cute kid, only this time it's Rusty and not Caitlin.

Speaking of Caitlin, she is chugging along fine at school. This week, however, she's made a few complaints and in her usual "drama queen" manner declared that she "hates" everyone in school and doesn't want to go to school "forever". Firstly, it was because she got punished for the first time by a teacher for forgetting to colour some pictures in her otherwise completed homework. Next, the boys in her class were noisy and the whole class was penalised and let out a little later for lunch. Then, the boy who sits next to her has taken her hair clip and a few of her colour pencils he borrowed ransom, saying that she has to pay him 70 sen if she wants them back. Kids these days....

This Saturday is report card collection day. Hopefully, car park woes and waiting in queue to see the teacher will not be too distressing.

Caitlin finds her new Yamaha Junior Extension Course quite challenging and gets discouraged and reluctant to practise sometimes. They are learning lots more improvisation, harmony, play-by-ear and playing techniques which require more practice. I too find it challenging compared to my days at her age where piano lessons were confined to only the boring British ABRSM syllabus where focus is on technical skills and interpretation of classical pieces (that's why I think I never developed perfect pitch). She's impatient in getting things right from the beginning so when she faces something that requires patience and practice to get there, she gets put off. As for drums, she still enjoys her lessons (it's been two years now this month), likes her teacher a lot, and will be taking her Grade 1 exam later this year.


I got tired of listening to Caitlin's Barbie Prince & Pauper CD in the car. She's been listening to it for two weeks straight and singing along with it like she's practising for Malaysian Idol. So yesterday, instead of leaving the CD in the player and listening only to our commercial-packed radio stations, I stuck in our bootleg version of Michael Buble.

Some people like him. Some people don't. I'm neutral. This song is nice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A quicky post

This is a quicky as I've to rush for errands that can't wait. Still no phone and internet line at the house. The two-week school break is over. We spent two nights in Camerons last weekend with Eugene's family. Caitlin had fun with her cousins. It was crowded and there was a traffic jam in Camerons plus the north-south highway going home. It was like travelling during the festive season!

Here are some pics.

All the above pics were taken by our trigger-happy C. The last pic of E and me gives it away.

And here is where we stayed for two nights, Thoe Villa.