Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is a song that Zuhairy introduced me to a couple of months ago, and I found it to be so ethereally amazing that I've decided to post it here and share it with all of you.

The song is called Trois Beaux Oiseaux de Paradis (in English, "Three Beautiful Birds of Paradise"). It's a composition by Maurice Ravel, an early 20th century French composer. His forte was Impressionist music, which is a genre of classical music that emphasizes the power of atmosphere and suggestion. It began as an antithesis of 19th century Romantic music. The particular version below is a recording by a choir from the 19th Choral Summer School 'Camerata ad Libitum' workshop in Pontevedra, Spain. I would recommend reading the lyrics while listening to the song for added effect.

Original Lyrics (in French):
Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis
Mon ami z-il est à la guerre
Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis
Ont passé par ici.

Le premier était plus bleu que le ciel,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Le second était couleur de neige,
Le troisième rouge vermeil.

"Beaux oiselets du Paradis,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Beaux oiselets du Paradis,
Qu'apportez par ici?"

"J'apporte un regard couleur d'azur
(Ton ami z-il est à la guerre)"
"Et moi, sur beau front couleur de neige,
Un baiser dois mettre, encore plus pur."

Oiseau vermeil du Paradis,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Oiseau vermeil du Paradis,
Que portez vous ainsi?

"Un joli coeur tout cramoisi"
Ton ami z-il est à la guerre
"Ha! je sens mon coeur qui froidit...
Emportez le aussi."

English Translation (by Judith Kellock):
Three beautiful birds of paradise
(My love is gone to the war)
Three beautiful birds of paradise
Have passed this way.

The first was bluer than the sky
(My love has gone to the war)
The second was the colour of snow
The third was red as vermillion.

"Beautiful birds of paradise
(My love has gone to the war)
What do you bring here?"
"I carry an azure glance
(Your love has gone to the war)
And I must leave on a snow-white brow
A kiss, even purer."

"You red bird of paradise
(My love has gone to the war)
What are you bringing me?"
"A loving heart, flushing crimson."
(Your love has gone to the war)
"Ah, I feel my heart growing cold...
Take that with you as well."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Radio Turd: Episode 1

Dear Suemy,

Never let it be said that I rest on my laurels when it comes to fulfilling your musical needs. However, as is the nature of a typical Turd relationship, you live absurdly far away and your equally absurd working hours are completely inconsiderate about the sustenance of our friendship . Truth be told, I've forgotten what you look like. If I try very hard, I can somewhat recall that your height reaches somewhere up to my navel, but that's about it.

Anyhow, this post marks the launching of Radio Turd, which is much less grander than it sounds. Whatever I post up here will be mostly what I consider Suemy-centric, or else it's just music that I like and just feel like recommending. Radio Turd will be a monthly feature on this blog, and it's your duty to "tune in" every month as this project is solely for you (non-Turds are, of course, welcome to sample and/or review the music recommendations, but we bear no responsibility with regards to possible bouts of oddity, followed eventually by insanity).

April Selections:

  • Low Vs Diamond - Killer B

    If you haven't seen the latest episode of OTH yet, this song was featured. They've had a few other songs featured back in Season 5; so far I like this one best. Catchy guitar hooks - I'd love to be able to get away with walking down a street here just lazily singing about Killer Bs. As always, try to watch it within the episode itself (6X20) to appreciate how the song lends itself to the frustrated Nathan trying to coach yet-another-arrogant-asswipe-of-a-basketball-player scene.

  • The Get Up Kids - Like A Man Possessed

    I know, I know. I don't like this band. What songs by them did I listen to again once upon a time and instantly dislike? Turns out there actually are diamonds in the rough. This is another gem I picked up from OTH, but from way back when in Season 2, during Nathan's car crash. Consider this musical therapy for emo-inclined moments. I like the lyrics, though.

  • David Usher - We Are Wolves (Electric City)

    Come on, people. It's time to move past Black Black Heart already! Mr. Usher's released quite a few albums since then so get cracking on them. This song is from his latest offering, Wake Up and Say Goodbye (released 2008). But do check out other songs such as The Music, Kill The Lights and Love Will Save The Day. Heck, check out all his albums. Track listings are a click away.

  • Everly

    I didn't mean to turn this into an OTH-centric entry, honestly. I can't help it if Mark Schwann has exceptional taste in music. If you love Bethany Joy Galeotti, you'll love this band. It's a group she formed recently with an old friend, and their music is quite folk/pop/rock-oriented. For now they have an EP called Mission Bell out, and so far it's doing very well. Thank you God, for small favours such as Myspace.

*rubs hands* Well, that's it for this month's edition - I'll be on the hunt for more gems within the coming month. Have fun browsing the list, and for goodness sake let us meet up in the flesh sometime this millennium. Skype won't cut it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

City That Never Sleeps

Federico Garcia Lorca

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars.

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.

Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead dahlias.
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.

One day
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows.

Another day
we will watch the preserved butterflies arise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only a head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting,
where the bear's teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.

Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.

No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night,
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"When the great earth, abandoning day, rolls up the deep of the heavens and the universe, a new door opens for the human spirit, and there are few so clownish that some awareness of the mystery of being does not touch them as they gaze. For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars - pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time. Fugitive though the instant may be, the spirit of man is, during it, ennobled by a genuine moment of emotional dignity, and poetry makes it own both the human spirit and experience."
- "The Outermost House", Henry Beston

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Morning Interlude

Rainy mornings make for soggy attitudes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around The Well

I love music-related quizzes, fill-in-the-blanks and whatnot. So when I saw this on Hazlin's blog, I really couldn't resist. So, this is my band of choice: Iron and Wine. In reality, it's a one-man show, the brainchild of Samuel Beam. The song that drew my attention to his music was He Lays In The Reins, which is still very much my absolute favourite song ever. I found this gem on the Road Mix (Vol. 3) Soundtrack of One Tree Hill, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's strange, but describing the things/people you love is a great challenge, isn't it? What I can say about Iron and Wine's music is that it will make you feel like it's a great loss not to be a Southerner. The magic and mystery of the South is in every line and every melody, and Beam's ability to effortlessly temper his anger, sorrow, wistfulness and joy with gentleness really just does it for me. Go here to listen to their music.


Pick Your Artist: Iron and Wine

Are you male or female: Woman King

Describe yourself: Bird Stealing Bread

How do you feel about yourself: A Book Unfinished

Describe where you currently live: Beneath The Balcony

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: House By The Sea

Your favorite form of transportation: Carried Home

Your family is: It’s The Same Old Song

Your best friend is: The Trapeze Swinger

Your partner is: White Tooth Man

Your favorite color is: Blue Leaves

What's the weather like: The Wind Is Low

Favorite time of day: The Night Ascending

If your life was a tv show/movie/book, what would it be called: Someday The Waves

What is life to you: Muddy Hymnal

What is the best advice you have to give: The Years Seal Their Beauty

If you could change your name, what would it be: Jezebel

Your favorite food is: Her Tea Leaves

Thought for the Day: God Made The Automobile

How I would like to die: Innocent Bones

My soul's present condition: Love and Some Verses

My motto: Free Until They Cut Me Down

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sweatdrop #2

Setting: Saturday, 18th April 2009. The Gardens, Mid Valley. Nature is a-calling and Significant Other waits patiently outside the bathrooms, holding our things.

Yours truly strides confidently into the ladies' bathroom, then stops dead as a man and a boy walk past her on their way out. ...the hell? With realization and horror slowly dawning on her, she backtracks and looks up at the sign. Oh. The little skirt on the female symbol isn't really a skirt at all. It's a pair of pants.

Me: *stomping back outside, red-faced* I went into the men's bathroom!
SO: *looks up at sign, tries to keep a straight face* I can see that.
Me: Why didn't you tell me I went into the wrong one?!
SO: *chortles maniacally*
Random man in background: Hahhhh, salah (wrong one)....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Are Wolves

It seems to be a uniquely, despicably human characteristic to always say what we don't mean, and to not mean what we say.

In other words, a large composite of our nature tends to lean towards tongue-twisting and truth-bending. Whatever variations, forms or cocoons you spin on these terms, the final evolution is always the same: everything ends up as lies.

For some, it's a defense mechanism, a coat of armor protecting their secrets and deflecting all attempts at human interaction, even the well-intentioned.

For some, it's a resolution stemming from fear. Even children know this - lying through their teeth about a cat knocking down a vase which was, in truth, their own mess. Lies equal temptation, the promise of escape with no consequences.

Then, there is the elite group. A select few who lie simply for the fun of it. For them, it's a game. Lying is the access door to cheating, stealing and having what you want. Lying knocks your enemies down inch by inch until you have the perverse satisfaction of seeing them stripped of their skin and honour.

It's hard to tell them apart from you and your own. The best of them cook your food, kiss you and tell you they love you. They offer sweet smiles and even sweeter dispositions. When their chips are down they smile even harder, burying pain after pain until they forget where it's hidden. They will hug you and promise to die for you, and they will stab you and lick your blood clean off their knife.

Beware the liars.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


My blog of original poetry is now up and running!

A Murder Of

Everyone is welcome to link this to their own blogs, but please do ask me beforehand. Formalities are a necessary evil at times. :)

And now back to your regularly scheduled programme.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flesh & Bone

"What's the first article of faith?

That this is not all that we are."

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Hello, boys and girls. It's time for you to get acquainted with a side of me you may not be too familiar with. For the perversely-inclined, that would just be my business persona.

I offer proofreading and editing (in English) and translation services (Malay to English) for various fields of writing, e.g. college assignments/theses, research proposals, bulletins, flyers etc. I have a full time job as an English editor, but I've been providing such services on a freelance basis for the past 2 years.

Rates are RM 4 per page depending on subject technicality, length and deadline urgency. However, the price is negotiable.

For those who wish to submit their material to be proofread/edited/translated, please e-mail me with the following information:

- Your personal particulars (name and contact information)

- Area of specialization and several sample pages of the document (if it is a thesis/research proposal)

- The material you want proofread/edited/translated, attached in preferably Microsoft Word format

- Your expected deadline for the work to be completed (please give a few days' notice at least)

For further information, you can reach me at

Tell all your friends. Ta. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome to England, Baby.

I'd heard Tori Amos' music as a teenager growing up, but didn't truly start connecting to her music until I bought Scarlet's Walk in 2003. Then I started to listen to her earlier songs and I've loved them ever since.

Amos' music is that perfect contradiction that you look for in a work of art - the rhythm of the music itself is accessible, quick to befriend your mind and heart. But the lyrics are so intensely vague yet personal that you can't help but feel like she's an old friend telling you stories about the stars and the paths that we all walk together.

Since Scarlet's Walk, I've had the same feeling each time a new album was released. And I'm getting the same feeling now with the new single. Welcome to England, indeed. It's a hell of a beautiful ride.

Tori Amos - Welcome To England Music Video