Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


Friday, May 29, 2009

What started off as an abbas saad feature on soccernet led me down a very nostalgic trip along one of football's more local memory lanes.

it's 1991. i'm eleven years old. my school buddies are stanley wong and munadzam. we share a common love of two things: gila gila magazine and the johor state football team. 

that year, johor wins the malaysian semi-pro league. abbas saad is the top scorer with twenty odd goals. we go to the malaysia cup final to face selangor. i don't know about stanley or munadzam, but this is a particularly big match for me because five years prior, when i was six, i saw selangor demolish johor 6-1 at this same stage. 

but on this cup final night, that guy above, ervin boban, struck three past selangor and we carried the malaysia cup home. it was one of my best experiences ever as a football fan. and until today, that team - with abbas saad, alistair edwards, ervin boban, nasir yusof, a young annuar abu bakar, captained by salehan mohd som and managed by mike urukalo - will always be one of my favourite, if not my alltime favourite, football team.

my dream would be for johor to be in the final of the malaysia cup again, when i can bring my family to watch it at the stadium. i can imagine the conversation already.

me: kids, the last time johor was in a malaysia cup final, papa was eleven. and he saw us destroy selangor.
kids: but pa... we live in selangor.
me: no we don't. who said? who said?
kids: pa. subang jaya is in selangor. my school badge has yellow and red on it.
me: where got? i don't see any yellow. that's blue, son. stop pretending to be colour blind.

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Genusfrog [ 4:38 pm ] | 2 comments

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's quite fantastic, but last year i forced myself to watch a champions league final that i dreaded to watch because i couldn't bear to see either team win, because of one reason alone. it was to be my tenth european cup final in a row. this year's is eleven. i don't need the preservation of a record to spur me on tonight. i've been all catalan for weeks now and will continue to be till the final whistle and, hopefully, well beyond. here's ten years of european cup finals for me.

1998 Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus
Saw it at: Gratton St home, Melbourne
Was in Melbourne. We came home after a late night, I think, and I popped on the tv. I was a new Juve fan at the time, and was heartbroken at the score, with something like 10 minutes to go. I would later realise that this was their third successive final and I guess that made me proud.

1999 Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich
Saw it at: Gratton St home, Melbourne
Already a four-year Liverpool fan, this one was a no brainer. That same season, United snuck in two late goals to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup (I think) and my heart bled for Bayern over this one. Distinctly remember staying up for this one.

2000 Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia
Saw it at: The Avenue home, Melbourne
Remember watching this and thinking (a) who is this Valencia, (b) is this what it's like in the Spanish league, and (c) this does not feel like a cup final.

2001 Bayern 1-1 Valencia (Bayern win on penalties)
Saw it at: West Brunswick home, Melbourne
Was somewhat chuffed for Bayern because I saw it as poetic justice for losing final three years prior. Today, I regret it. It's a shame that Valencia never won Big Ears in their two giddy years reaching the finals.

2002 Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Saw it at: West Brunswick home, Melbourne
How to forget that Zidane goal? I followed Leverkusen's road to the final very closely, through a magazine show on SBS called World Soccer. And I remember supporting them helplessly, hoping in some way that Madrid would not be able to pull off the boring win. Ok, so it wasn't a boring win. But it was still boring.

2003 AC Milan 1-1 Juventus (AC Milan win on penalties)
Saw it at: Gasing home, PJ
Ah the hype. Was up on the couch with Win and Ern (Milanese) only to witness my Italian side bow out with some piss poor penalties.  European Cup final support-success eludes me one more time.

2004 Porto 3-0 Monaco
Saw it at: Gasing home, PJ
I was rooting for Monaco on this one. Morientes was inspiring. Their victory over Madrid was the highlight of that season's tournament. Porto was vile. They'd been vile since beating Celtic in the UEFA Cup final the year before. Again, the team I back loses. 

2005 Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (Liverpool win on penalties)
Saw it at: Gasing home, PJ
Until this. This glorious cup final to end all cup finals. This masterpiece of drama, football, inspiration and fandom stirred to become the pinnacle of my 24-year career as a fan of the sport. Yes, I was on my knees. Yes, I was crying like a baby. Am damn proud of it.

2006 Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal
Saw it at: Gasing home, PJ
Was living out on my own already but made the trip back to Gasing to catch this with Win. For the second successive year, I celebrate a European Cup victory. I'd already been partial to Barcelona since the late 90s, so to finally see them succeed in Madrid's sport - and deny Arsenal at the same time - was quite sweet. 

2007 AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool
Saw it at: Centerpoint mamak, BU
Oh the heartbreak. I grumbled all night with Adrian and Chris half winding me up, half probably not really knowing whether to feel sorry for me. I kicked at a mamak chair (lightly). Both teams were poor. We were just poorer. We had the more romantic road to the final, taking out Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea. But they got their revenge. It gets worse.

2008 Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea (Man Utd win on penalties)
Saw it at: Mamak at Bayu Puteri, then Original Kayu, Aman Suria
Grudgingly went downstairs to catch the game and was quite pleased that no one was winning it until the mamak closed midway through the second half and chased everyone out - a move that shocked me enough to handle either team winning. Drove out to Kayu to finish off the game. It stretched till penalties. B****rd Terry. I will never forgive you. Hah.

And so, tonight, I begin my second decade of catching European Cup finals. I still call it the European Cup. I grew up reading books that called it the European Cup and even if the competition's name has changed, I will always prefer to call it by the name of the tropy. Here's to ten more years.

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Genusfrog [ 4:55 pm ] | 0 comments

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.


unblessed are the dominating, the earth won't go to them.


not the mighty? not the forceful and powerful and triumphant and aggressive? not pushy people? not the bloodthirsty, ambitious and ruthless people? not the bullish? the dominant? the bossy?  

not the type A personalies?

the colerics? not them? i always thought that the colerics will inherit the earth (and the phlegmatics won't notice it!)

oh wait. it says inherit. 


the colerics rule the earth, that we know. the mighty and forceful and aggressive stampede through business and politics. the bossy boss. and the dominant dominate. but inheriting the earth is not the same thing as rampaging all over it. rampage is taken.

inheritance is given.

inheritance involves a father making a choice. and the bible says that God chooses his meek children to hand the earth to.

so what really is meek? i've learned that meek is not weak. it's not timid. the original greek word is praus and it denotes "strength brought under control". they say that praus is like breaking the will of a horse until it will let someone sit on it. before you break its will, it's strong but you can't use it. after you break its will, it's still strong, but now you can... 

harness it. 

meekness, it seems, is like that. the earth is not going to people whom God can't harness. 

blessed are those who'll let God harness them. he'll entrust the world to them.

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Genusfrog [ 12:48 am ] | 0 comments

Friday, May 22, 2009

This could be a monumental weekend.

one of those big career weekends.

sunday. then monday.

send up a prayer.


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Genusfrog [ 4:42 pm ] | 0 comments

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

what is it to mourn? do we only mourn when someone dies? is it...

a deep sadness?
feeling depressed?
feeling broken?

feeling totally shattered?

what does a mourner look like? he weeps. he's inconsolable. in ancient israel, when you mourn, you put a sackcloth over your head. it looks weird. it must be depressing to sit around with your head in a sackcloth for days. but they did that when they mourned.

loss is absolute, but grief is relative. i've never lost anyone close to me before, but i've felt the grief of a mourner. it's painful. and until someone walks you out of it, it's a very dark place to be in. like being in a sackcloth.

that someone walking you out of it, that's comfort. someone holding you when you're crying your eyes out, that's comfort. someone putting things into perspective, that's comfort.

comfort is soothing. it is care. it is reassurance. it is relief.

blessed are those who are broken inside. they will find relief.

but isn't this circumstantial? can you be constantly sad? what if you've nothing to mourn about?


can't be constantly sad? where i have lunch, there's this lady who goes around hawking some really useless furry toys to the office and construction crowd. she's never gonna make a sale there, and even if she does, it's never gonna sustain her. what's she doing there? who does she need to feed? where did she get those toys and how long has she been trying to sell them? how many of those things does she need to sell before she can go home each day? and what's it like for her to go home every day with her basket still full of nonsense?

she breaks my heart.

and life must break her heart.

and if you were her, it's not hard to be constantly sad. and sorrow is no longer episodic.

blessed are those who are brokenhearted because of life. someone will care for them.

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Genusfrog [ 3:25 pm ] | 1 comments

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

poor in spirit.

as opposed to... rich in the flesh?

who's rich in the flesh? tycoons? self-made men? people who are sufficient with the things of the world? what does that make the poor in spirit?

people who are insufficient in their own spirit? a poverty of the will?

bankruptcy inside?

and what's this kingdom of heaven?

a kingdom is a territory. a sovereign territory. like saudi arabia. but this is the kingdom of heaven. it's the sovereign territory of heaven. with a demarcation. and a king. Jesus said that when john the baptist showed up, the kingdom of heaven started advancing. people started laying hold of it.

it's not an earthly kingdom. maybe it's not even a cosmic kingdom.

i've heard people say that it's a kingdom in the heart. that since john the baptist arrived, this kingdom was doing all that advancing in the hearts of men. and people were repenting.

blessed are those bankrupt inside. God's kingdom will advance in their hearts.

does that make sense? what if you were not bankrupt inside? what if you were fortified inside. say, maybe you have a fortress for a spirit. can the kingdom of God advance in your heart? in your inside?

blessed are those who know that they can't do it by themselves. their hearts will become God's territory.

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Genusfrog [ 2:20 pm ] | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hey. wait a minute.

Jesus says "anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" in matthew 11 when he sends out the twelve. the cross doesn't show up until much later, maybe about two years later, when Jesus actually gets nailed to one.

was he prefiguring it?

isn't it strange that Jesus should tell his disciples to take up a cross long before Jesus would himself be subject to it? wouldn't they have found his invitation quite random? surely they had little concept of what the cross would mean to them at this stage.

say you went up to your teacher or pastor or hero, and he said "put a noose around your neck and follow me", wouldn't you find it strange? 

i know what Jesus is doing here. he's inviting them to immitate him, because he knows that one day, they too will have to take up their cross and die for the truth. it just never occurred to me that Jesus was talking about the cross long before the crucifixion. 


Genusfrog [ 11:50 am ] | 0 comments