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Friday, November 28, 2008

Amazing.

It's amazing.

It's amazing how time can manipulate you, how it can make you feel differently about different events, whether it felt like an age ago, or whether it felt like it happened just before you blinked.

It's amazing how my last blog post was more than three weeks ago.

It's amazing how it's only been 18 days since I did my audition recording at Carolyn's.

It's amazing how I remember my last dental appointment, god knows how long ago.

It's amazing how it's already been a year since the last MPYO tour, and a year on, it's time to tour East Malaysia this time.

It's amazing how I was in college for the last time for a long time, eight hours ago.

It's amazing how in less than 24 hours, I'll be seeing my pals again.

It's amazing how it's only been 3 months since I switched my major instrument from the violin to the viola.

It's amazing how Barack Obama was made the new President-elect only 24 days ago.

It's amazing how in slightly more than a month, A-Levels will be on again.

It's amazing how Jia Rong has already been in the US for more than three months.

It's amazing how in eight to nine months, I myself might be going overseas to study music.

It's amazing how I've been in college for nearly a year.

It's amazing how the next tutti rehearsal is barely three days away.

It's amazing how I've already lived 17 years of my life.

It's amazing how it feels like a century since the string masterclass on Wednesday.

It's amazing how I've stayed single for like - ever.

It's amazing how secondary school seems oh so far away.

It's amazing how I'm going to get the chance to play the orchestral part for the Dvorak Cello Concerto in concert, 11 days from now.

It's amazing how the last time I changed one side or both my contact lenses was three years ago.

It's amazing how it's been so fucking long since our last chamber practice, eh Dylan?

It's amazing how I was in Penang a month ago, when it feels just like yesterday.

It's amazing how it's gonna be a week since my first music album review for The Star was published.

It's amazing how I remember my MPYO audition in 2006 so clearly.

It's amazing how it's gonna be two months since I sat for SAT exam.

It's amazing how it's been more than a month since I came close to a music teaching job, before making the right decision to turn it down, unfortunately at the last minute.

It's amazing how I've had backaches in the morning for nearly two weeks.

It's amazing how quickly I've adjusted to my new spectacles, pretty much in a day.

It's amazing how my phone has lasted me more than three years, albeit the problems it has faced.

It's amazing how I've sent in my application materials a week ago, although it feels like a month.

It's amazing.

What is?

This.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Milestones.

Black is beautiful.

It sure is.

In a matter of a few days, two amazing things happened. One in the sporting arena, and the other in the world of politics.

Lewis Hamilton and Barack Obama have created history.

On Sunday afternoon in Sao Paulo, Brazil, home hero Felipe Massa crossed the line to take the chequered flag and to complete the comeback of beating Hamilton to the title in the F1 season finale.

Or did he?

As Massa and everyone in the Ferrari pit were going crazy celebrating the Brazilian winning the championship, Hamilton had managed to pass Timo Glock on the last corner of the final lap to snatch fifth place, and as a result led Massa by a single point in the final drivers standings.

The Ferrari pit went silent.

So the thing is, do you believe in fate? How is it that the result was exactly as how the statisticians had put it: "even if Massa won and Hamilton finishes fifth, Hamilton would win the championship." I mean, how often does it really happen exactly in the reality of things?

Even I, who had already read the result online and was watching the repeat of the ending of the race was shocked. It was as if God had caused Glock's car to malfunction or something which allowed Hamilton to pass him, on the final lap! Drama.

People would question, was Hamilton lucky? Was this victory undeserved? Should Massa have won the championship instead? Well, like it or not, Hamilton's the new world champion, the first black to win it and the youngest ever as well. There's no way Ferrari are going to make an appeal to the FIA against what happened with Glock's car. That would be completely ridiculous.

Yes, maybe Hamilton did get some good fortune when Glock had his problem. But I personally feel that Hamilton fully deserves this victory. After a similar scenario last season when he lost it to Kimi Raikkonen in the final race, it's as if justice has been done. He had done everything right last season, in his first race in the sport, and though things weren't easy this season either, Hamilton prevailed.

I mean, come on, double world champion Fernando Alonso of Renault actually said publicly, "I don't know, but it's good he's punished anyway" when Hamilton was penalised by the stewards earlier in the season. Where's the sportsmanship there? And other drivers who by right should not be criticising other teams or drivers openly admitted that they didn't want Hamilton to win the title. Well, all I can say is, he sure got the last laugh on Sunday.

But as much of a Hamilton supporter I am, I do feel for Massa. It's not everyday you get to win the Formula One world championship, in your home grand prix as well. Massa was clearly shaken after the race. One can understand and empathise with him. True, Massa may have not been perfect all season or anything, but who is? Hamilton didn't have a perfect season either, he made some mistakes along the way too, just like everyone does.

So after the race as Massa stepped out of his car to address the crowd, even I joined in to applaud him.


***
YES WE CAN.

Those three words must have become pretty well known across the globe by now, and the phrase was chanted more than ever on the night of Tuesday at Grant Park in Chicago. More than 200,000 people were there to see and hear the new President of the United States to give his speech.

Barack Obama has been a revelation since he exploded onto the scene. One could already tell that this was a man who was indeed ready to bring change to America. His opponent in the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton eventually endorsed him too after she lost to Obama in the Democratic race.

And as Obama won the electoral votes by roughly 2-1 (I haven't checked whether all the votes have been counted), Republican John McCain, Obama's opponent in the race for the White House was gracious in conceding defeat, and promised to help Obama in the future. I felt that during the last debate between the two, McCain was going to find it very difficult to topple Obama. It was clearly evident that McCain was starting to get desperate, sometimes being too overemotional and always blasting Obama. Well, you can't entirely blame someone who was behind in the polls based on predictions.

It was interesting to note that this election was claimed as the victory of the 'young Americans'. Around two thirds of those young voters had voted Obama, and as the age groups increased, more and more were voting McCain, but even when it reached to around the senior citizens age group, it was somewhat divided, with roughly half voting Obama and the other half voting McCain.

As Obama finished his speech before the huge crowd at Grant Park and when his family along with the family of Joe Biden, his running mate and new vice president-elect, it was a truly emotional moment. I too, was holding back tears. Today was the day that America saw the electing of the first African-American as president. History had just been made.

A few weeks ago I wondered how Anwar Ibrahim could've been only 50 something when he was on the verge of becoming the Prime Minister of our country, 10 years ago.

Well, how old is Barack Obama?