Jacky Cheung Concert 2017

Dear1 and I attended Jacky Cheung’s 2017 Singapore “A Classic Tour” concert 2 weeks back, and oh boy, what an eye-opener for the both of us!

This was my birthday present to Dear1, and his present to me, heehee, but we were still too stingy and are only willing to splurge on the balcony seats.  Despite being high up and far away, we thought that the show was still pretty good from where we were seated!

  • The Songs

It was supposed to be “A Classic Tour”, but Jacky defined his version of “Classic”.  Many of us came with the expectation of hearing all his classics, but halfway through the show, Jacky explained that he wanted this concert to go down in the entertainment history as a “Classic”, and not as a showcase of his “classics” songs.  Wow, what a revelation and amazing twist!

Neither Dear1 and I were familiar with most of the Cantonese songs presented on the night, but Jacky beautifully round up the evening with a medley of his most popular Mandarin hits.  That really created an out of the world concert experience for us all audience!

  • The Dancers

Not only did we get to hear Jacky’s awesome singing, his troupe of beautiful and athletic dancers performed multiple awe-inspiring dances throughout the show.  The ladies with great figures in their bunny suits, the men performed hops and walked on stilts; it must have been really a privilege to be part of Jacky’s dance entourage, and I bet they are paid loads for being the best in their class!

  • His Moves

I worried constantly for Jacky throughout the 3 hour show.  How can one’s vocal cords sing for 3 hours straight, on top of having to walk and dance and move up and down and round and round the 4-stage stage?  And at 50+ years old!?  Jacky is truly a professional, and an amazing one at that!

  • The Light Effects

Dear1 and I have not been to many concerts, but concerts/events/theme parks are usually a show case of the latest technology, or the lack of it.  Jacky’s concert definitely brought “Lights” to a different level.  Light dances with colored hanging lights are the passe now.  Floor lights, stage lights, minute hanging lights that dances round and round and up and down, big screens, floor screens, in fact each of the individual platform pieces are screens on their own; these different light effects created such amazing pieces to create such beautiful visual impact.

  • The Stage Effects

Did I mention that the platform is made up of individual pieces?  Yes, platforms that merely raise up and down seems to be the passe too.  The entire floor seems to be able to rotate, as a platform on it’s own, or as individual pieces on their own.  Wow.  And what’s with the lift off?  Can platforms even flange off like that  Where are the supports!?

  • The Fire Effects (and Smell Effects?)

As if indulging in your sense of hearing and sense of sight are not enough, there was real fire (sense of heat) and sense of smell (was it real smoke or not?).  Wah, was that really real fire in the middle of the stage!?

  • The Heart-Warming Contest

Despite all that excitement, Jacky held a heart-warming contest.  He first made all the couples do loving acts in order to win a mystery prize.  And this was awarded to a lucky couple.  It’s actually a simple portrait of the couple’s kissing moment on screen, signed off with the star’s autograph.  But Jacky’s accompanying message was, “If in times of arguments, take this portrait out and remember this moment when the two of you kissed passionately.”  Awe, so sweet….

  • The 1 Hour Encore

And I loved how Jacky ended his concert in an almost 1 hour encore. He said that there’ll be not 1, or 2 encore songs, but 3, but the encore turned out to be a long continuous medley of all our favourite hits.  I totally lost count of the total number of songs he sang in the encore.

It was a very entertaining concert, and Dear1 and I rounded off the evening with a food exploration to Rocher Beancurd House at Geylang for beancurd.  Surprisingly, the beancurd’s not bad, and we subsequently brought the kids there last week too.

I think Jacky had achieved his intention, so when x years have gone by, we’ll remember this as “Jacky’s Classic Tour” which Dear1 and I gave to each other as one of our birthday present.  Happy Birthday Dear1!

– Dear2

K-Drama and Us

Today is the last day of 2016. What an apt time to write a year-in-review post for our new found hobby – K-Drama! Haha…

K-Dramas have been all the rage these year and we’ve definitely also watched a few K-Dramas on and off. However, we’ve never really been hooked. Until this year.

Before we review the dramas that we’ve watched this year, let’s first take a step back and recap the dramas that we’ve watch prior to this year.

Back in the school days, I recall Dear2 being hooked on Winter Sonata. She must have re-watched it several times, but I did not watch the drama with her. I also recall Dear2 watching Autumn in My Heart, Summer Scent, Stairway to Heaven, The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, Jewel in the Palace.

Dramas that both of us watched together included All In, Temptation of Wife, My Love Patzzi, My Lovely Samsoon, Dr. Jin, Witch Yoo Hee, and most recently Good Doctor.

After watching all those dramas, we just didn’t get the irresistible urge to join the craze. It was more of a sporadic interest, whatever drama advert that caught our attention.

Well, that was exactly what happened earlier this year, when I heard about the good reviews about Descendants of the Sun over the radio. We decided to give it a shot. After all, catching a good K-Drama is infinitely better than watching the crap on Mediacorp.

But there was just one problem. DOTS was still airing in Korea, how were we going to watch it? All the previous dramas were watched either on local broadcast TV or DVDs that we bought.

After a quick search online, we realized that K-Dramas can be streamed online quite readily with English subs. It was also then that Dear2’s colleague introduced her to viu. That must have opened the floodgates.

There was no turning back. We were captivated by DOTS and we watched one show after another throughout the year. Even Japan Trip planning and Hong Kong Trip planning were temporarily shelved so that we could catch up on K-Dramas. Haha…

Dear2 and I are typically not trend followers. We would catch on to it only if we evaluate it to be something that we genuinely like. I guess that makes us late bloomers to the K-Drama trend, and it is really only because K-Dramas are becoming that good.

So, after watching DOTS, we watched it again. Yup, again. Next, Dear2 wanted to see more of Song Joong-ki, so we watched Innocent Man. After that we decided to catch up on some well reviewed K-Dramas and settled on My Love from the Star. That started the craze for Kim Soo-hyun, and we followed up with The Producers, Moon Embracing the Sun, and Dream High. In fact, Moon Embracing the Sun OST became my defacto music track at my office.

After that, I wanted to see more of IU, so we watched Infinity Challenge Music Festival 2015. That got us hooked on Infinity Challenge and we watched many many more episodes of it. We also liked Yoo Jae Suk and G-Dragon from the Music Festival and watched a few more episodes of variety shows such as Please Take Care of My Refrigerator and Happy Together. We also forayed into some Running Man episodes but it wasn’t as entertaining as Infinity Challenge. Some time during this, we re-watched My Love from the Star.

As luck would have it, IU would feature in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo which was conceptually similar to 步步惊心 (which happened to be another drama that Dear2 enjoyed a lot). So there’s no way we would miss this.

After this, I was on a business trip and Doctors was available on KrisWorld, so I watched around 10 episodes of it in-flight. Upon my return, Dear2 caught up and we finished the series.

Next up was Love in the Moonlight and both of us were enchanted by Park Bo-gum. We watched our first 1 Night 2 Days because of him, and right now, we are catching up on Reply 1988. Concurrently, we are watching The Legend of the Blue Sea, but it has been quite boring so far, don’t know if we’ll be able to finish watching it.

Phew~ What a year it had been. Dear2 and I have been swept by K-Drama fever, and it may well continue into next year. I think it is nice that we share a common hobby so we look forward to the late nights catching up dramas together after the children go to bed. We also have common topics to talk about, be it reading dramabeans, discussing the storylines, condemning local productions, moon-eyeing Korean idols. Haha…

Gotta go, Dear2 is waiting for me to watch Reply 1988 ep 8.

-Dear1

Monster University Weekend Outing and Air Purifiers

Thanks to SAFRA MovieMax, we won 4 tickets to the screening of Monster University last Saturday, 22 Jun 2013, at Marina Square. Baby1 needed a ticket as she is more than 90 cm tall now. So that left us with 1 spare ticket. However, we were unable to find anyone to attend the movie with us. So in the end, it’s just Dear1, Dear2, Baby1 and Baby2 – family outing.

We were allocated the 11 am movie slot. We arrived at Marina Square at 10.40 am and made our way to the movie theatre. Upon arrival, there wasn’t much of a queue and we were able to retrieve our tickets swiftly. However, we were told that the organizers were out of 11 am tickets and we were offered the 1 pm tickets instead. We were fine with that, because we had other plans.

Well, our other plans was to pre-order air purifiers. The haze had been very bad that week, even hitting PSI 401 on Friday, 21 Jun 2013. By that time, air purifiers were sold out islandwide. Dear1 had Liked Harvery Norman on Facebook earlier and found out that limited supplies of air purifiers will be delivered to Westmall on Friday. Dear1 waited at Westmall for about 2.5 hrs and left at around 6.30 pm empty handed after leaving his contact in the waiting list. However, later that night, it was revealed on Harvey Norman’s Facebook page that stock did arrive later and were snapped up immediately. Obviously, waiting list is useless.

Later that night, during one of the night feeds of Baby2, Dear1 received a Facebook update from Harvey Norman stating that stock was available for pre-orders with full payment and an estimated delivery around 29 Jun – 2 Jul. We decided that we had to pre-order a unit to protect our family from the haze.

The unexpected delay in our movie event gave us a great opportunity to pre-order our air purifier.

We made our way from Marina Square to Millenia Walk where Harvey Norman’s flagship store was. The haze was still bad as we quickly walked through the outdoor linkway to Millenia walk. When we arrived, the staff were still receiving instructions about the pre-order with full payment. After some waiting, phone calls and confirmation, we were able to make a full payment of $188 for the Sharp FU-Y30E, and we were first on the list! Yippee!

Just as we were leaving, we overheard a conversation amongst the staff and supplier about Sharp air purifiers. Apparently, the Sharp supplier had yet to commit a firm delivery date for their shipment. However, the Delonghi supplier had promise a delivery date. We had a quick discussion with the staff there and decided that we will pre-order a unit of Delonghi AC75 for $199 as well because it had a confirmed and earlier expected delivery date. We were first on the Delonghi list too.

With 2 air purifiers, we will use 1 in our bedroom for the night and probably leave it at granny’s house where Baby2 spends her day.

We made our way back through the outdoor linkway back to Marina Square. The haze was still bad but just less bad.

As we passed Guardian, Dear2 decided to enquire about N95 masks. At this time, N95 masks were also sold out islandwide and we only had 2 in total – both issued by our companies. They have 1 box of 20 for sale – lucky! They were selling piece by piece at $2.80 each. We were third in line. Initially, we had wanted to get 8 masks – 2 for each person in our family. However, since Dear1 was the only person in queue, and the staff limited each person to only 2 masks, and a very long line starting to form behind us, we decided to get only 2 masks and leave sufficient for the people behind us.

We had lunch, Baby2 fell asleep in her stroller, and we made our way to the movie. Now, Baby1 had attended 2 movie screenings before. The first was free tickets for Puss in Boots. At that time, the darkness and the loudness of the movie theatre scared her and we left within 10 minutes of the movie. The second was paid tickets for Thomas and Friends: Days of the Diesel. Baby1 enjoyed that movie and sat through it without much fuss.

Monster University was to be her third movie. It started out fine but Baby1 started to lose interest, especially after the appearance of the scary Dean Hardscrabble. (Side note: Baby1 really enjoyed the short film The Blue Umbrella that was screened before the actual movie started.) It was probably her nap time anyway. At the same time, Baby2 had woke and started babbling. Dear1 carried Baby2 to the back of the theatre to minimize any disruptions. Finally, Baby1 decided that she had enough and declared the movie “not nice”. We decided to leave the movie theatre and make our way home.

Miraculously, during our short time in the theatre, the haze had cleared. The blue sky was now clear and the sunshine lifted our moods. We reached home and began putting our clothes out to dry in the fantastic weather. Never had we felt so happy to see good weather. The severe haze definitely changed our attitude towards the weather.

Since Saturday, we’ve had several days of good weather but right now I can see the haze worsening outside my window. We’re still waiting to collect our air purifiers, hopefully over this weekend. This spell of bad haze has demonstrated just how unprepared we are against such an annual occurrence. With the haze expected to last till September and probably every year moving forward, we will do our part to keep our family prepared. This will include keeping sufficient stock of N95 masks (preferably with kids size), maintaining the serviceability of our air-con, humidifiers and air purifiers, and educating ourselves and our kids about the haze and how we should go about our activities during the haze.

Lastly, I’m impressed with Harvey Norman’s timely and frequent communication through their Facebook page. Without it, we would not have been able to place our pre-orders at Millenia Walk. Keep it up!

(p.s. now let’s see if they are able to meet their expected delivery dates.)

(Update 28 Jun 13: Harvey Norman called to inform arrival of Delonghi set. As expected, Delonghi arrived earlier than Sharp. Glad that we ordered the Delonghi set.)

(Update 29 Jun 13: Collected Delonghi AC75. My name was scribbled on the box, indicating my reservation, good. Was informed that Sharp set likely to arrive 5 Jul.)

(Update 3 Jul 13: Harvey Norman called to inform arrival of Sharp set, 2 days earlier than expected.)

(Update 6 Jul 13: Collected Sharp FU-Y30E. Again, name was on the box. Enquired about remaining stock, apparently they’re still out of stock. Really glad to have managed to pre-order ours. Thumbs up to Harvey Norman for good service!)

-Dear1

Family Programs that are NOT meant for Children

Last Friday evening, I tuned to Channel 8 hoping for a relaxing watch. First time watching  <甜。秘密>, it’s refreshing to see Vivian Lai introduce different types of soya bean curd with a fat little boy. But oh gosh, I think I’d better not let Baby1 see this program!  After the first beancurd, Mummy (Vivian) told Ah Boy that deserts cannot be eaten too often but Ah Boy whined a bit and Mummy bought him a second (different flavor) one.  With that gone, Mummy reminded Ah Boy again that you can’t have so many deserts in a day. Ah Boy gave a grumpy face and Mummy relented – off to the next beancurd. Yummy yummy, and Ah Boy asks for more. “No.” “世上只有妈妈好…”  “Stop it please, here’s another bean curd!” And he gets another bowl. “1 more please.” “No!” “世上只有妈妈好…” “Ok ok…” And another one again. “I’m full now, but we can dabao some back.” “Ok. And let’s add 1 more box of a different flavor.”  Gosh, what happen to the “you cannot replace normal meals with deserts” preach!?

After  <甜。秘密>, it was <对对碰> at 9pm. “Ah Ma, you are so stupid.” “Ah Ma, please don’t be stupid.” These  are coming out from Kym’s youngest 10 year old to her granny.  And when Kym lectures her 2 older children, little sister continues to parrot her mother and repeats word for word including all the vulgarities. *Shakes heads*

Adult viewers may find these segments entertaining, after all they seem to be realistic portray of the real family. And of course they have the “PG” rating before the program to advise of parental guidance if there’s children.   But how do you tell your todddler, “look, Ah Boy is wrong to eat so much desert, you don’t want to become fat and unhealthy like him too”.  Or, “You cannot anyhow scold people Stupid ok” when the young actors are doing it so blatantly in the programs.   Kids are like a sponge and they really do absorb what is presented to them.   I wouldn’t want my kids to pick up these bad habits of whining and scolding people!

– Dear2

<Pillow Talk> – Conditional Love

Kudos to the recently concluded <<Pillow Talk>>, it’s surprising to hear so many of our friends, from young married couples to singles, tuning in to the TV at 9pm sharp every day last month!

Indeed, the plot and phrases of this drama are indeed catchy and close to heart.  Dear1 has a newly-married couple who can totally relate to the Pierre Png and Joanne Peh’s story while Dear1 himself seems to find many similarities for us in the Thomas Ong and Michelle Chia’s story.  Hmm…  I very much would like to beg to differ, but have to admit that there’s really some familarities there…

Today, I want to talk about this phrase that struck me the most from this show – Conditional Love.

While organizing a party for a fellow friend and her husband who is wheelchair-bound, this friend expressed how she stands by her husband all these years despite his handicap. “Why is it that our love for our children is unconditional, yet our love for our spouse is conditional?”

How apt!  My love for Baby1 is unconditional – I love her and I will continue to love her regardless.  Even if she is naughty when she grows up next time, I think my love for her will never change.  After all, I gave birth to her and she’s the most lovely thing for me.  But what about my love for Dear1?

Xiang Yun and Zhu Hou Ren used to be very much in love when they were young, but over the years, they have grown to detest certain aspects of the other party – Xiang Yun resents Zhu’s candidness while Zhu dislikes her snubs. In other words, they only like certain aspects of their better half.  But for their friend, she loves her handicapped husband despite his immobility and all that sacrifices that she has to make.  She loves him all the same, for who he really is.

My love for Dear1 has not dwindled to the depths of Xiang Yun and Zhu Hou Ren, but it is indeed becomingly more like Thomas Ong and Michelle Chia’s family.  I spend more time and energy on Baby1 than on Dear1, and I sometimes resent Dear1 for the never-ending housework to do.  Where got the time and energy to take a one-minute look at Dear1, much least a 5-minute chat!?

When we signed on the dotted line and when we said “I do”, we really mean for both of us to be together always and to weather all good and bads together.  This love cannot be conditional on “when we have the time” or “in calm times only”.

Let’s make it a point to remove these conditions and love each other more!

I love you, Dear1.

– Dear2

依然愛你

This is a song that I really like. I think it represents a lot of my feelings. I’ve shared this song and music video with Dear2 and she liked it too. So I’m sharing it here as well.

Let me copy and paste the lyrics from the description in the youtube link below after my signature.

===========

Lyrics and English translation:
一閃一閃亮晶晶
留下 歲月的痕跡
我的世界的中心
依然還是你
A flash a twinkle of a star
Traces our time together
Yet the center of my world
Still is you

一年一年又一年
飛逝僅在一轉眼
唯一永遠不改變
是不停地改變
A year a year and yet another
Time flies by with a blink of an eye
The only thing that never changes
Is constant change

我不像從前的自己
你也有點不像你
但在我眼中你的笑
一樣的美麗
I’m not how I was before
You’re not like you were either
But your smile in my eyes
Is still beautiful as ever

日子只能往前走
一個方向順時鐘
不知道還有多久
所以要讓你懂
Time only moves forward
The clock only turns one way- clockwise
Don’t know how long we have left
So I want you to understand

我依然愛你 就是 唯一的退路
我依然珍惜 時時刻刻的幸福
你每個呼吸   每一個動作 每個表情
到最後 一定會
依然愛你
I still love you, the only path I walk
I still cherish every minute, every moment of happiness
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Till the very end, I will always
Still love you

我依然愛你   或許是 命中注定
多年之後   任何人都無法代替
那些時光是我這一輩子最美好的
那些回憶   教我如何忘記
I still love you, maybe it’s fate
After many years, no one can replace you
Those times together were the best times of my life
How can I forget all those memories

我依然愛你 就是 唯一的退路
我依然珍惜 時時刻刻的幸福
你每個呼吸  每一個動作 每個表情
到最後 一定會
依然愛你
I still love you, the only path I walk
I still cherish every minute, every moment of happiness
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Till the very end, I will always
Still love you
I will still love you in the next life time

你每個呼吸   每一個動作 每個表情
到永遠 一定會
依然愛你
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Forever, I will… still love you

===========

For me, the lyrics (not so much the MTV) really summarizes my feelings for Dear2. We’ve known each other for more than half our lives. We’ve been together for nearly 14 yrs. Time moves forward and change is constant. People change, so do you, so do I. But the one thing that remains constant is my love for you. In my eyes, you are still always beautiful, and you will always occupy the #1 slot in my heart. The way I love you and the way I appreciate your love may have changed, just as the way we mature with age, but you still mesmerize me with your smile, your movement and your gaze.

If only words on screen can convey my emotions – I still. Will always. Love you. 依然愛你. Muck!

-Dear1

(Edit 28 Jun 2013: Broken link fixed.)

Barney’s Musical Castle Review

Earlier this year, we received a brochure from our Maybank Friends and Family card. In it was an early bird 20% discount for the stage performance, Barney’s Musical Castle. We were quite excited and wanted to bring Baby1 to this show. There were 2 motivations leading up to this decision.

Several months earlier, we were having some trouble with Baby1’s bedtime. She was already sleeping through the night. However, the problem was that she liked to stay up late, say 11pm. Our solution was to buy some DVDs with bedtime stories for Baby1 to watch. It would serve 2 purposes. First, to let her learn about the importance of bedtime. Second, as a trigger for bedtime (i.e. once the video ends, it’s time to sleep).

After a brief search, we found this Barney’s bedtime DVD on a spree on Singapore Motherhood Forum and decided to buy it. That was to be Baby1’s first exposure to that purple dinosaur named Barney. And for some reason, she liked it right away. And the bedtime stories worked. We were able to get her into bed at around 9.30-10pm every night.

That was the first motivation, Baby1 liked Barney.

Since Baby1 liked Barney, we were on a lookout for live performances where we could let her see Barney in real life. It happened that United Square was hosting the Barney and friends show over the Christmas period. And so, we brought Baby1 to that show.

There, I perched Baby1 up on my shoulders for about 20 minutes while Barney sang and dance to about 4-5 songs. Baby1 loved it! For the next few days, she would repeatedly tell us about Barney on stage in her own simple language. Come the weekends, she would asked if we’re going to see “big big Barney” again. She really liked it.

That was the second motivation, Baby1 like seeing “big big Barney” in real life.

So when we knew that a Barney stage performance was coming, we decided to bring Baby1 to see it. We had also considered the Disney on Ice show, but Baby1 wasn’t really interested in Disney characters at that point of time.

We bought 2 adult tickets at the second most expensive zone for $68 each. That works out to be 68 x 0.8 = $54.40 per adult after Maybank discount. We went for the 17 March 2012, 5.30pm show at EXPO.

Over the next 2 months, we prep Baby1 up for the show by letting her watch Barney’s Musical Castle on Youtube. It should be a largely similar production. We wanted to let Baby1 be familiar with the songs and the flow of the show. Partly, this was minimize the chances that Baby1 will throw a tantrum when faced with unfamiliarity on the actual day.

Come actual day, we arrived on time and found our seats. We were quite pleased with our seats as it was near the stage and we had a good view. We also bought a Barney t-shirt for Baby1 which she insisted on wearing right away. :)

Now, about the show. There were several key differences compared to the one we saw on Youtube.

  • The actors were adults, not children.
  • BJ was too tall.
  • Several songs were cut.
  • The Sign was much smaller.
  • The King’s Crown was much too small.
  • The costumes for the bunny, fox and bear looks sloppy.

Nevertheless, Baby1 enjoyed herself and she was able to sing along and also dance along to several of the songs.

Overall, I find the production value of the show to be lackluster. The merchandising booths were also understocked – we couldn’t buy a barney soft toy. However, the important thing was that, as a family outing, it was a resounding success! Baby1 really enjoyed the show and she would talk about it for days to come.

Price wise, it was slightly expensive, 2 adult tickets cost a total of $108.80, and we didn’t even buy a ticket for Baby1. When she grows older, she will need her own ticket and that will make it even more costly. We observed that some children were only accompanied by only 1 parent. That makes economic sense. The other parent can simply visit the other exhibits and event at EXPO while waiting for the show to end.

Seats wise, I was glad we bought the seats nearer to the stage. It makes the entire experience much more immersive, especially for Baby1.

On a side note, we met a friend at the show. She was there with her husband and 2 kids, both younger than Baby1. She would go on to attend the Disney show the next day. She commented that the Disney show was much better and that the Barney show was a waste of money. I wonder. I did not attend the Disney show so I am in no position to compare. But I will say that from an adult’s perspective, I will also think that the Barney show is a waste of money. But from a family’s perspective, we had a great time, and it was worth it.

For many things in life, the people who you share it with is often more significant than the event itself.

-Dear1