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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Grandma's Cremation

Grandma passed away 5 days ago on December 21st. Her heart failed her after her surgery. She was 92 years old and nobody should undergo surgery at that advanced age but there wasn't a choice.

2 nights ago, me & my Lioness went to her wake at Toa Payoh where most of my relatives finally saw me after like 10 years or so because I was MIA all these years. It was nice to receive all the hugs from the ones who used to be close to me during my young growing up years.

Grandma's face was looking shrunken inside the coffin but at least she had a peaceful countenance on her face.

It's Christmas today and it's also grandma's cremation day at 光明山 temple. My Lioness & me planned to take the first train since we had to arrive at the funeral at Toa Payoh by 7am. My poor Lioness had to struggle to wake up when I woke her up at 4:30am, so I let her continue to sleep for a little while longer.

We arrived at the funeral late anyway thanks to the rain that came suddenly while we were on our way to the train station. I have already started to HATE the rain lately with a passion since it always seems to come at the most inappropriate times.

When the Buddhist funeral rituals were completed and Grandma's coffin was loaded up to the transport, we formed a procession, followed behind the van ferrying grandma and marched toward the coaches that took us to 光明山。Our procession was a gesture that us, who are grandma's descendants, escorted her as she made her way to the afterlife.

Grandma's sons and daughters (including mum) had to wear white socks without their shoes as they followed directly behind the van and the ground was wet. Poor things. It then started drizzling and us men had to go around making sure that the women, and especially the children had shelter with whatever umbrellas we had with us.

At 光明山, a final Buddhist ritual was conducted before grandma's coffin was put in the furnace. Those of us who are Christians stayed at the back since we didn't participate in the ritual. So I stood to attention and bowed my head and offered a prayer for grandma as a sign of respect. Mum started crying and I went over to comfort her.

After grandma was cremated, we went back to the funeral place to rest before those of us who volunteered went back to 光明山 with grandma's sons & daughters to put her ashes into her urn. Once that was done, we brought the urn containing grandma's ashes down to the basement to place grandma's urn at the allocated space for her.

Inside the basement walking among the columns and rows of urns, I had to labour for my breath, probably due to the combination of the layout and depth of the place. I couldn't help but look at the photos and date of demise for the urns I've passed by. A handful of folks died so young.

When grandma's urn was placed at the allocated place bought by her descendants, we went back to the funeral premise, hung around for awhile, chatted, I played with the kids and we took photos before we left for home.

Rest in peace, grandma.
And Merry Christmas to you, dear gentle reader.

- De Lion Speaks

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Teaching Folks To Play Guitar In A Comfortable & Dumb Manner

I uploaded this video of me playing my favorite song 'Comfortably Dumb' by Extreme last year. YouTuber BBQworst023 left me a message on that video page requesting me to do a tutorial video for the song.

So I picked up my Washburn N2 (Little Storm) modded with a Gotoh Floyd and a Seymour Duncan '59 neck humbucker pickup and made the following video which includes my own improvised guitar licks.

Always add in your own personal touch to every song you play; it's one of the best ways to improve musically and training your ears.

I don't know BBQworst023 personally but making this video was a joy.

- De Lion Speaks

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On The Horizon: Amazing Spiderman

First, we had First-Person shooters. Now, we're gonna have First-Person Arachnid.

Awesome. That's despite the fact that I have arachnophobia. Anything with more than 6 legs is an abomination to me, but that's just my own irrational fear that doesn't carry any insult to the creations and handiwork of almighty God (though my arachnophobia is reasonably justifiable, considering it evolved because of an incident between the past toddler me who couldn't keep his hands to himself, a big kampong spider and an injection all toddlers would find painful). Man will always be the scariest creatures anyway. Well, they won't appear so bad when it comes to the female variety with long slender killer legs.

Spidey has always been my favourite super hero. While the rest never speak more than 8 words everytime they talk, Spidey gets all the long-winded witty lines. Heroes shouldn't be as himbotically dumb as Rambo in the first place who couldn't even mumble coherently, much less talk.

Can't wait for this one, since the Tobey Maguire version turned out to be like a web-spinning Rambo movie. And I can't stand Tobey's hairstyle in the movie which everybody's grandfather had when they still had hair, ugh.. well, except for the one he was sporting during the period when he was the bad Spidey with the black costume.

Bring back the wit & the better hair, Hollywood. I have both my eyes on 8 of yours.

- De Lion Speaks

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cam-Whoring: Me & My Main Workhorse

My Washburn N4 made out of Padauk wood and modded with the coil-split system is my main axe. I've lusted after this guitar since the 90's and finally got my hands on one the day after Christmas in 2009. I named mine 'Abysmal Gale' and what a beautiful guitar she is. Her growls, screams and purrs are ambrosia to my ears.

She's my most precious possession.

So today, I decided to take a picture with her and I had a lot of fun filtering the taken photo through the iPhone apps Camera Bag and Label Dispenser before filtering the whole shebang through Instagram and Adobe Photoshop for the texts.

And this is what I've produced (click the pic to view it in higher resolution):

It was fun and the whole thing was done in less than 25 minutes. Probably shorter. Who's counting anyway when one is having fun.

- De Lion Speaks

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Deck The Halls

Our Christmas tree is up :) I'll be hanging around for longer periods in the hall now, especially during the nights. O'Lord, thank you for thy gift of salvation to mankind. You Rock, Your Majesty.

As for you, Santa, I'm sorry that I've been naughty this year. Again. As always. Still, I'll write what I need for a present this Christmas & leave it under the tree. I'll make sure it's big enough for the missus to spot it too ^_^ Those flickering lights ought to help.

- De Lion Speaks