Saturday, April 24, 2010

Help Yourself

Been having this song on repeat recently - Help Yourself, written and performed by a guy who called himself Sad Brad Smith specifically for the movie Up In The Air.

The movie was both about the personal devastation caused by layoffs all over the US, and the character played by George Clooney who chose to isolate himself in the cocoon of constant travel, distancing himself from both friends and family.

So, the song's lyrics, in a way, is directed towards the people who had been laid off, but is applicable to George Clooney's character, too.

Have a listen :)

I know you'll help us
When you're...
Feeling better and we realise
That it might not be for a long, long time...

But we're willing to wait on you
We believe in everything that you can do
If you could only lay down your mind

I want you to try to help yourself

Take the time to take apart
Each brick that sits outside your heart
And look around you
There's people everywhere
No they don't always show
They're just as scared
And we'd be more prepared
If we pulled on through...

I want you to try to help yourself

Oceans of water underneath our feet
Terrible design
Dusty rooms you cannot sweep
Clouding up your mind

I know you'll help us when you're...
Feeling better
And we realise that it might not be
For a long, long time...

But we, we lend the weight on you
We believe in everything that you can do
If you could only lay down your mind

I want you to try to help yourself...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

J Plates

The other day as I was driving around my wife's hometown Kluang, I spotted a car with the number plate JFK, and suddenly realized how lucky Johoreans are with their number plates.

Apart from showing off that you are part of the Kennedy clan, you also get number plates like JET. My friend Simon used to own a car with that plate, and I relished those days when we could say "Let's take the JET" with a straight face in front of our friends.

Then there's JEW (??!!), JAN (for January babies?), JAL (Japan Airlines employee), JAM (for the masochistic). Add the number 5 to JAW and you get Steven Spielberg's classic summer blockbuster.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

That Thing Called Running

Many friends and relatives ask me about my obsession with running in the last two years, and I often have a hard time trying to articulate what it really meant to me.

But a few months back, I stumbled upon Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". A memoir of sorts, Murakami explained the role of running in his life as a novelist, and I found myself gobbling up half the book at a cafe within one hour of buying it.

A lot of people assumes that people run in order to think, but actually the opposite is true. Murakami described it as "running to create a void", which is exactly what happens to me when I run. There are barely any thoughts when I run - just the focus on moving forward, on the pace, on the breathing.

Running is also about finding yourself - how far you would go to get anything done, how much pain and suffering you are willing to endure. That sounds masochistic, but its actually quite enjoyable :)

Murakami captured all this and more in his little book. He also explained how running impacted the other aspects of his life, especially his writing career. He went so far as to say that he would have produced something very different if he had not been running.

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