Corrinne's Musings - A singer-songwriter's life.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I write songs, I sing them... I play the piano and a little bit of the guitar.. I've released 5 albums of music, I love the scent of freshly fallen rain and the scent of lavender on bedsheets. I would drink tea all day long if the caffeine didn't keep me up at night. I hate driving in L.A traffic. I would love to one day catch the squirrel that steals the plums from my tree and make him a pet. I don't watch TV anymore. My 3 year old daughter is more entertaining than any TV show could ever be :)

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

A chance encounter with a Chinese Opera

I had just finished buying some chicken hor fun
to take home for dinner and was walking to the
bus-stop when I heard the sound of cymbals and
the acrobatic stylings of a woman's voice singing
a Hokkien operatic song.

Walking quickly towards the music's source,
I found, smack in the middle of cosmopolitan,
present-day Holland Village, a throwback from of

A Chinese opera was being presented, with
puppets, porcelain-faced puppets dressed in
old Chinese wayang clothes elaborately embroidered.
The puppets were about 30 cm tall and they even
had their own velvet chairs, which looked surprisingly
modern in architectural styling, something one might
actually buy from Ikea, if not for the fact that
the chair was miniature, merely 10 cm tall.

I could not understand what they were singing about
as the opera was being presented in Hokkien.
It was very fascinating to watch though and
I was amused to see that in place of a traditional
guzheng or erhu, there was a man backstage, playing
a Casio keyboard. I guess even something as
traditional as a Chinese opera being staged in Singapore
is not untouched by the convenience of modernity.
The lady singing was also the puppeteer.

Right in front of the stage were many plastic red buckets,
each filled with various foodstuffs like Maggi instant
noodles. I assumed that they were being offered to
the various gods that were depicted in the illustrations
on the gold and red altar at the front of the tent,
this being the season of the Lunar New Year and such.

So perhaps, the opera too, was being staged for the enjoyment
of those who had passed beyond the present.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

A Massage in Malaysia

Just got back home from a one-and-a-half
hour long massage.. sheer bliss....
and it only cost 35 Ringgit, ie. $17.50 Singapore
dollars or about $10 US dollars.

There is something special about the healing
touch of a massage.

Soothing an aching neck and back...smoothing
out the knots that come from circling
the road of life over and over... magically transforming a hard brick
into a soft, melting lump of butter.

You can say all you want about the benefits
of those robotic massage armchairs, or those
massaging feet machines, but nothing beats
the feeling of two warm hands and an able

And when the massage is done, you're just overcome
with a sense of gratefulness, because under all our make-up,
our fancy schmanzy clothes, under all the guises of business
men and women, of tyrannical monarchs, of powerful politicians,
of be-spectacled college professors, of muscular bodybuilders
and chauvanistic men or raging feminists....under
all the masks and pretences that we wear...
we're all beating hearts, blood and flesh...

and sometimes, all we need to melt our armours away,
is a simple touch that shows someone cares.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Chinese New Year Fireworks

Sitting here in Seremban, Malaysia...
a shower of fireworks spewing
across the nightsky, heralding in
the Lunar New Year. High-pitched shrieks pierce
the silence as phoenixes take flight and explode
in the night sky with a loud, 'BOOM'.

According to tradition, fireworks are set off during
Chinese New Year to scare away the evil spirits.

Yet,what is it about fireworks...
that makes people stop and stare in awe?

I stood transfixed at the kitchen window,
as I watched the black night suddenly
light up in colours of pink, purple, green,
red and orange. Little bulbs, little feather
lights, fairy dandelions, spreading their glow
for a short while and disappearing into the