Friday, August 24, 2007

hello hello

2 bloody years!!!

long time no see.. horr?!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

a friend in need, is a friend indeed

If there's ever one thing that I missed most after leaving KL (besides my family and those delicious food of course!) and move DownUnder, is the fact that I'm leaving behind all my friends too.

They're NOT just your average people whom you just greet your hi's and bye's to whenever you feel like doing so; these so-called friends are definitely more than that. Being brought up in a boarding school for most of my life teenage life, friends are like my extended family to me, my confidante, even my lifeline.

I could never imagine my how I could ever last this long in my life, if it wasn't for the constant sincere support of these beautiful people called friends, on top of the undying love I got from my family.

So when I finally moved here in Perth, one of the hardest fact I had to deal is not knowing anyone at all whom I could call friend. Of course, there were those kids in college whom I met nearly everyday, but I still find it a bit hard to get along closer to them, partially due to our slight age difference (most of them are fresh high school graduates anyway, thus we obviously have a totally different wavelengths in our thinking).

But then again, thanks to my dearest childhood friend, Faris, I do get my regular dose of close friendship connection whenever he flew into Perth in his flight duty. At least, knowing he'd be there for me no matter how hard my life could be here in such foreign place at times, gave me the strength to keep moving on.

So the past few years, other than the occasional visits from Faris, I had to merely content myself with these mere acquaintence from college, until early this year when I finally met D through one of those internet websites.

Right from the first time we met, we just clicked right away. I guess knowing that we shared so much similarities on the story of how we ended up in this country just gave us more reasons to get to know each other more. His sense of down-to-earthness also helps, especially considering how nasty fellow Asians (yup, he's Malaysian too, also with an Aussie partner) could be, whenever they encounter anybody with similar skin complexion as theirs.

I'm not sure why with such hostility from these people. They must be dealing some issues with their low self-esteem, or maybe they were just being territorial? Kosser betul ngan hadek2 nih. I totally don't have time for such games. But D was never like any of them.

The friendship between us just grows naturally, and what even better, we both LOVE Ning Baizura's earlier and recent albums to death. (Haha.. *blushes*)

Since he was always busy with work, and me with my studies, we could only meet once in a while. And everytime when we do meet, we always had such a great time catching up.

And then the hard bit came.

D has been dealing with some back pain recently, and even the trip to the doctor or physiotherapist couldn't make much difference. The pain finally gone after a while, only to come back, but this time even much more aggressive.

I only found out yesterday (since I've been a bit busy myself) that D had been taking off days from work, for the past 2 weeks, and had also been to the hospital to get some biopsy done on him. Apparently, the pain (in his lower back of his spine) that he had been experiencing all this while has started to show in the form of some swelling in one of his lymph nodes.

The result for his biopsy wouldn't be known until later next week, but the doctor only offered 2 possibilities:
  • He could have been having some serious viral infection in his lymph nodes, OR
  • There's a possibility that it could also be some cancerous problem (and THAT could be one big nasty news)
At this stage, there's nothing much that we, or rather he could do but to wait. It's really strange and totally emotionally hurtful when somebody you get along very well and closed to (despite only knew him/her for a such short period) had to deal with such traumatic experience.

At least, until the result comes out and all this sorted out, all that we could do is pray.

It's going to be a VERY long hard week for D, his partner T, and his family. And it'd be just as hard for us too.

I wish D great strength in dealing with this difficult time in his life. Just hang on strong there, mate.. We are all behind you for all the support that you need.


Take care.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Grey's Anatomy

Watched the 3rd episode of the new TV series Grey's Anatomy last night, and guess what? I'm totally HOOKED!

I mean, if even at the 3rd episode, they still manage to catch our attention, the producer must have done something good, right?

Besides, I'm feeling SO OVERDOSED already at the moment, with all these excessice spin-offs which has been muddling the TV shows these days. After all the CSIs (original in Vegas; Miami; and New York) and Law & Orders (original, SVU: Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, and Trial By Jury), I thought enough is enough, and I'll just choose the BEST one only to watch.. [but hey, THIS is entitled to one blog entry of its own, I guess?!]

And having a change of pace in the thing I watch doesn't seem a bad idea at all. So that's where Grey's Anatomy perfectly come in place.

One MAIN factor in determining whether a TV show going to be a success or not, is by studying the characters in it, to see whether they're convincing enough and deserved our undying attention weeks after weeks of viewing. And THAT was what I've been doing these past 3 weeks!

The Medical Interns:

Dr. Meredith Grey
(Ellen Pompeo)
This lady is one helluva strong woman, although, at other times, I did catch a glance of her sheer desperation side, in her struggles to juggle her internship, the pressure of being the daughter of the famous lady surgeon (slowly unveiled through the episodes) in the same hospital, the wacky fellow interns, and of course the oh-so-essential love interest from the resident hunk, in the form of the Attending Surgeon, Dr. Derek Shepherd.

Being a strong-willed woman, albeit a little bit (not so much though) clumsy at times in her dealing with her life, Meredith IS a character everybody would LOVE to care for; therefore promising a strong fan-base for this great TV show.

Dr. George O'Malley
(T.R. Knight)
To quote from the official website from ABC, which gives a brief summary of the show: George O'Malley is the warm but insecure boy next door who always manages to do or say the wrong thing at the wrong time. In spite of his attraction to women, he's treated as "just one of the girls."

One of the girls?!! Haha.. Sessuattuh! As a matter of fact, in the first episode, as all the interns were changing into their uniforms, George were describing some people he met at a party and when he were given a funny look by the other interns for something that he mentioned, then he fumbled and quickly said something like, "But hey, I'm not gay.." Hmmm.. Very suspicious indeed.

Anyway, apart from Meredith, George is my next favourite character from the show. He's warm, down-to-earth, with the lovable (and huggable too!) boy-next-door personality.

What could he possibly offers in the future? Well let's just say, he could be hampering some deep love secret for his close friend Meredith, therefore creating a love-triangle between the characters.

And who knows, he could be gay too! [There's a hilarious scene in episode 3 when he had to deal with this issue.. hehe.. poor boy!] We just have to wait to find out more.

Dr. Cristina Yang
(Sandra Oh)
Sandra would probably be better known for her recent role in the critic's favourite movie "Sideway", which I still have yet have the time to see yet.. *sigh*

Anyway, in this show, Dr. Cristina Yang is the Queen of Ice. Heartless, hard-working Asian bitch (woohoo!) who couldn't care about what other people think about her, as long as she succeed in her goal in becoming a great surgeon. Despite Cristina's character being a tad bit cliched, it somehow gave a good balance to Meredith's in their journey in dealing with the medical internship.

The best bit was in the opening of episode 2 where Cristina making her way to Seattle Grace Hospital (that's where all the actions take place, by the way), riding a big [read: BIG!] motorbike. Hmmmm.. Could she possibly be the resident dyke? [Not TWO gay roles in a show?!! Is THAT even possible? Haha..] Butch femme?!

Or maybe, her icy heart just needs a little bit of thawing. And a little bit of warm loving?! You gotta love this girl too!

Dr. Isobel ''Izzie'' Stevens
(Katherine Heigl)
There's not much being shown yet about Izzie, yet in a few moments the she hog the screen, you can easily say that this beauty (she supports her medical studies by doing some modelling work.. Suh-weet!) has GOT brains too.. and a BIG heart (in a metaphorical way, of course) to boost.

Said to come from a poor family background, it's easily to be seen how she's fighting hard the passe judgement people normally says of beautiful girls, especially when the girls are blond, and the so-called lack in the brain department. And she working hard to prove these people wrong!

There might even be some back story earlier in her life (I really hope so!) on how she becomes so dedicated in her task.. which I'm sure would be inspirational. Who knows..

Dr. Alex Karev
(Justin Chambers)
The last friend (if that what you can call him) in THIS group of interns, Alex is your typical arrogant jock who everyone'd love to hate. VERY much.

Even Meredith and Cristina both share similar views on him. One time when they faced a prospect of having to share an elevator with Alex (while he kept on going being an arrogant prick that he is), the girls exclaimed, "We'd rather be a lesbian" and darted off to take the stairs instead. Hehe.. you go girls!

Alex probably got some major self image issue he had to deal with, but one thing for sure, the girls really know how to deal with this jock!

The Doctors:

Dr. Miranda ''The Nazi'' Bailey
(Chandra Wilson)
There IS a reason why she's called "The Nazi", and that's because she could really drill the interns. Miranda proves the fact that just because you a bit small in stature, that doesn't mean you can't hurt! Kecik-kecik cili api of sorts.

As a senior Resident Doctor, she's one tough lady, and very hard to please too. You'd definite won't want to fool around in her presence. Yet, despite the cold hard exterior, she's also a very compassionate doctor, dedicated in her roles to the patients, and training the interns.

Dr. Derek Shepherd
(Patrick Dempsey)
As mentioned in my earlier post, he IS the official resident hunk in the hospital. The object of affection for Meredith despite how hard she try to deny it herself.

As a new comer to Seattle Grace Hospital (he just got transferred(?)/moved from New York), Derek is just as fresh to the hospital's environment as the interns, and is slowly showing his credibility as the new Attending Surgeon. Not much has been shown of his background yet (it IS after all still up to episode 3) so any future revelations on this cute hunk would be truly appreciated. Hmmmmm.. chunk o'Hunk!

Dr. Preston Burke
(Isaiah Washington)
This other Attending Surgeon is probably the resident arrogant jock back in his internship days, and he still have a bit of that selfish arrogance still stuck up there in his head. Anyway, don't take that fully against him because Preston IS after all a very good surgeon still in his journey to the top.

He sees Derek arrival in the hospital as a direct competition to him, especially considering the fact that they were both the main contender for a job promotion there. And it seems that Preston would do anything to ensure that he gets what he aimed for!

Dr. Richard Webber
(James Pickens Jr.)
The last of the main roles in this series, Dr. Webber encompass the typical warm leadership role you'd expect from a Chief Surgeon. Serious at times, he also have some funny sides which were shown from time to time.

As the one overseeing the whole run in the surgery's department, he'd definitely have his hands full with the constant politicking amog his medical staff, and most importantly, the over-eager medical interns who'd always love to get noticed by him, in their training to become a good surgeon themselves.


The Verdict So Far:

It has only been 3 episodes, yet the future seems so bright. With tight writings and colourful characters, Grey's Anatomy can only promise great viewing for faithful TV viewers.

But then again, I'm might only saying all this because I'm still on rebound after my girls from Desperate Housewives left me (after their first season ended recently on Aussie TV screen). On the other hand, Grey's Anatomy could also be a great TV show to watch, and its strength would be shown even more as the first season's episodes evolve.

As far as the characters goes, what I wrote up there is only of my own observation based on the first 3 episodes, and we all know there's only so much they could squeeze in such short period. For more information on the background of the cast, you can refer here in the official (short) cast biographies.

One thing for sure, I'd keep coming back for more to watch the show every Monday nights at 8:30pm here in Oz. It'd also be interesting to see whether the show would slowly shifted from being a one- or two-main-character-driven series at the moment, to a full-fledge ensemble performance from all the strong cast.

The mad medical interns would definitely keep me entertain for that one hour viewing, and even educate me (whenever possible) of the stressfull wonderful world of student doctors, everywhere in the world.

And oh, to end this blog entry on a high note, Grey's Anatomy is also nominated for the 56th Annual Emmy® Awards, for 3 categories:

  • Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Sandra Oh [Oh yeah!]

..and, they are also starting with the second season of the show in the United States of America, which premieres on their ABC channel on the 25th September 2005. More strong reason for me to watch and follow the show, indeed!


NB: All photos are courtesy of ABC Inc.

Monday, August 22, 2005

100 songs (meme)

I found this in someone's blog, and thought it was a pretty neat idea (Don't worry, nobody's tagged here. But hey, DO try it out, anyway!)

The Directions:
[1] Go to musicoutfitters and put your birth year into the search field [there's a "Search Our Site" tag at the top right hand corner of the screen].

[2] The first link is likely the top 100 songs of that year. Cut and paste that list here (in your blog).

[3] Bold the ones you actually like. Understand that the word "like" in this case means, at the very least, that you wouldn't immediately change the radio station.

[4] Pick a favorite and underline it.

The Results:
[Top 100 Hits of 1973 / Top 100 Songs of 1973]

1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree, Tony Orlando and Dawn
2. Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce
3. Killing Me Softly With His Song, Roberta Flack >> a real classic.. I LURVE!
4. Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye >> class!
5. My Love, Paul McCartney and Wings
6. Why Me, Kris Kristofferson
7. Crocodile Rock, Elton John
8. Will It Go Round In Circles, Billy Preston
9. You're So Vain, Carly Simon >> who.. moi?
10. Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross >> because I was touched EVERY morning! Haha..
11. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, Vicki Lawrence
12. Playground In My Mind, Clint Holmes
13. Brother Louie, Stories
14. Delta Dawn, Helen Reddy
15. Me And Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul
16. Frankenstein, Edgar Winter Group
17. Drift Away, Dobie Gray
18. Little Willy, Sweet
19. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Stevie Wonder
20. Half Breed, Cher
21. That Lady, Isley Bros.
22. Pillow Talk, Sylvia
23. We're An American Band, Grand Funk Railroad
24. Right Place, Wrong Time, Dr. John
25. Wildflower, Skylark
26. Superstition, Stevie Wonder
27. Loves Me Like A Rock, Paul Simon
28. The Morning After, Maureen McGovern
29. Rocky Mountain High, John Denver
30. Stuck In The Middle With You, Stealers Wheel
31. Shambala, Three Dog Night
32. Love Train, O'Jays
33. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Barry White
34. Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose, Tony Orlando and Dawn
35. Keep On Truckin' (Pt. 1), Eddie Kendricks
36. Dancing In The Moonlight, King Harvest
37. Danny's Song, Anne Murray
38. Monster Mash, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and The Crypt Kickers
39. Natural High, Bloodstone
40. Diamond Girl, Seals and Crofts
41. Long Train Running, Doobie Brothers
42. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth), George Harrison
43. If You Want Me To Stay, Sly and The Family Stone
44. Daddy's Home, Jermaine Jackson
45. Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye), Gladys Knight and The Pips
46. I'm Doing Fine Now, New York City
47. Could It Be I'm Falling In Love, Spinners
48. Daniel, Elton John >> one of Elton's good ones.
49. Midnight Train To Georgia, Gladys Knight and The Pips
50. Smoke On The Water , Deep Purple >> rock on!
51. The Cover Of Rolling Stone, Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
52. Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich
53. Your Mama Don't Dance, Loggins and Messina
54. Feelin' Stronger Every Day, Chicago
55. The Cisco Kid, War
56. Live And Let Die, Wings
57. Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?, Hurricane Smith
58. I Believe In You, Johnnie Taylor
59. Sing, Carpenters
60. Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got), Four Tops
61. Dueling Banjos, Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel
62. Higher Ground, Stevie Wonder
63. Here I Am (Come And Take Me), Al Green >> didn't UB40 do a version of this song too? Nice!!
64. My Maria, B.W. Stevenson
65. Superfly, Curtis Mayfield
66. Get Down, Gilbert O'Sullivan
67. Last Song, Edward Bear
68. Reelin' In The Years, Steely Dan
69. Hocus Pocus, Focus
70. Yesterday Once More, Carpenters >> *sigh* melancholy song, for one of those days.
71. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Bette Midler >> it's Bette! 'Nuff said.
72. Clair, Gilbert O'Sullivan
73. Do It Again, Steely Dan
74. Kodachrome, Paul Simon
75. Why Can't We Live Together, Timmy Thomas
76. So Very Hard To Go, Tower Of Power
77. Do You Want To Dance?, Bette Midler
78. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, Johnny Rivers
79. Ramblin' Man, Allman Brothers
80. Masterpiece, Temptations
81. Peaceful, Helen Reddy
82. One Of A Kind (Love Affair), Spinners
83. Funny Face, Donna Fargo
84. Funky Worm, Ohio Players
85. Angie, Rolling Stones
86. Jambalaya (On The Bayou), Blue Ridge Rangers
87. Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend, Lobo
88. Break Up To Make Up, Stylistics
89. Daisy A Day, Jud Strunk
90. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001), Deodato
91. Stir It Up, Johnny Nash
92. Money, Pink Floyd
93. Gypsy Man, War
94. The World Is A Ghetto, War
95. Yes We Can Can, Pointer Sisters
96. Free Ride, Edgar Winter Group
97. Space Oddity, David Bowie
98. It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond
99. The Twelfth Of Never, Donny Osmond
100. Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Temptations >> only because I like the version done by George Michael/Queen

The Verdict:
10 out of 100 songs. Not bad, I think. 1973 turned out a pretty good year for music too, I guess.

Now.. I wonder, what song topped the chart in Malaysia back in 1973?

Friday, August 19, 2005

let's get INSANE!! - because we can

This one is for a good cause.

Do you sometimes wonder, how come, when there's a certain new music album in the market, which has just been released, you looked for it high and low and you just couldn't FIND the bloodyfreakin' CD.

This guy's facing the same problem too, and the worst thing is.. the album he (and everyone else) has been searching for is HIS!

We certainly feel for you, brudder.. Blame the record company marketing people dude!

So, he is doing what any other Malaysian musician had never done before (at least to my current limited knowledge-lah), and he is literally re-inventing the term [inter]net-working to the max.

He's offering to distribute himself whatever amount of the said CDs/cassettes [of his debut album, "Fuuyo"] which he has in his possession, to anyone who is interested, and they can send the amount of money worth for the album directly back to him.

"... JIKA AWAK MAHUKAN ALBUM FUUYO AFDLIN SHAUKI, email direct kepada saya your full name and address anda ke^ and write AFDLIN DAH HILANG AKAL! as the subject..."

Go and check his blog (click here) for further info.

Yes he might have seemed to lost his mind, but then who wouldn't? If you're in his shoes, you would have done the same too. I certainly would.

This is for the support to the local music scene back in Malaysia.

Just because one road is blocked, that doesn't mean we are completely trapped. There's always other ways to go around it.

And it's because we CAN!


^EDITED 22 August 2005 : FUUYO banner added *fuiiyohh!* to the entry, sebab it looks kinda cute. Haha.. Oso can, wat?!!

^EDITED 25 August 2005 : because he changed his email, due to the unexpected explosive albums requests he had been receiving that the hotmail account couldn't handle(!). Now THAT's what I call HOT (hehe.. oooh, the irony of it!) Not bad, eh?!



Brrrrr.... it was bloody cold last night!

Woke up this morning, all curled in bed and wondering whether we had left the fridge door @#&% opened.

Nope. That wasn't it.

So I checked the Perth weather details over the internet this morning, and there it was:
Which was the minimum temperature in Perth Metro area, at 06:57am this morning.

Mak oiiiii.. sejuk gilerrrr!!!

Luckily my snugglicious Neil was there to keep me warm.

THAT, ladies and gentleman, IS the wonderful world of couplehood.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

hell hail.. yeah?!

Remember about the forecasted hailstorm I wrote last Friday? Well, forget it. It didn't happen at all, despite the heavy rain cloud detected on the weather radar. Buang karan jek menunggu. Come to think of it, nama nye pun FORECAST kan?! Maybe the temperature wasn't cold enough to turn the rain water droplets into ice.

Anyway, woke up this morning, and checked the weather forecast for the day:
Issued at 8:45am WST on Wednesday the 17th of August 2005 for today and tonight

Severe Weather Warning issued for this afternoon and evening. Occasional showers, increasing early this afternoon with thunderstorms and hail. Fresh and gusty NW winds shifting S/SW this evening. Damaging squalls possible with thunderstorms.

Hmmm, alamat gerentilah I won't be going out today. Even to the local mart to buy some groceries. Or to the post office to get some stamps. And also to Subway to send my casual job application form (cari fulu$$$ skett lerr beb).. Suddenly, there's lots of chores for me to do! Meh.

I'm not sure whether the hail and thunderstorm would actually happen or not.. but it's good NOT to be out there, and just to stay in the comfort of our home, looking at the dark grey sky outside.

And just in case, maybe I SHOULD put out some buckets and pans in our backyard to collect those hails should it finally decide to come. You know.. to collect those ice water and keep it in the freezer. It'd be handy to serve them in the gin & tonic to any visiting guests. Haha..


Monday, August 15, 2005

the path we take in our life

I came accross a blog last week, where the writer finally decided to give up blogging, after having a hard time dealing with his sexuality.

You see, he just realised that he IS gay, but still in the process of swallowing the hard fact (no pun intended there, though!). So he decided to do the noble thing: stop blogging, stop getting himself surrounded with all these homos, and most importantly, he decided to follow what his family/religion told him the right thing to do - BE straight.

Don't get me wrong here. Coming out is a difficult process, and the outcome may varies from one person to another. And what made it harder is when there's family involvement in it, in terms of what they think is good versus what is bad for your life. I should know it because I had to go through the same process not so long time ago, and unfortunately it is something I have to deal with still, these days.

Anyway, I'm not gonna make any comments on the guy's decision, nor telling MY side of story here, but instead, I'm gonna post a touching letter, which I found from a blog I frequently reads.

This [anonymous] letter proves that despite how some family deals harshly to their kids homosexuality, there ARE other people who see things differently, in a much bigger perspective with a different refreshing point of view..

A Mother's Reflections

"Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from you good people. I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda" could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage. You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings than we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

There IS hope in this world after all..

And by the way, in my opinion, the only way we could live our life to the fullest is NOT through what we thought other people might think of us, but rather, we fully accepting ourselves FIRST for all the perfection AND faults that we are. After all, nobody's perfect in this world anyway.

To kitjarnabangsar, whatever your choose to do in the way you live your life, I wish you all the best!