Archive for November, 2009

English Music by Peter Ackroyd

‘Music is a divine madness, boys,’ he used to say. ‘Don’t you wish you had caught it? Sing! Play! Do something to lift your mediocre little lives!’

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we’re three

I agreed to attend The Firm’s D&D tonight only to realise that it’s my wedding anniversary. :S

Then I went to Court this morning and ran into JC and the last time I had a matter with him was on my wedding anniversary last year.

Then I went to lunch with School Marm and ate at the restaurant The Other Half and I had dinner at on our wedding anniversary last year, and where I bought Elmi lunch for her birthday this year.

On my way back from lunch, I ran into Elmi (!!) at the bottom of my building.

Coincidence much?

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…Captain Dan Mathews rubs his jaw speculatively. The moment passes. Thirty-five years later I watch him rub his jaw speculatively. The moment passes. I am writing about Broderick Crawford rubbing his jaw. The moment passes. The moment of the moment passing passes.

A lot of what is ordinarily referred to as mental illness is really just noticing things that pass notice.

Murderers take heed: the man you kill may be somebody’s father. Somewhere there is a little boy who needs to kill that father himself in order that he may grow up strong and true.

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I’m having two relatively slow weeks at work with no hearings and nothing important going on all round, which I suppose is perfect for me to sit out the fatigue from my hellish KL trip over the last weekend (where I was made to carry one Peanut and another in situ and walk for a total of more than 2 kilometres…don’t ask).

On Wednesday evening, I left work super early to catch Maksim live in Singapore at the Esplanade with Elmi and friend.

It was really lovely. The choice of the programme was a little strange, ranging from the very childlike and popular Alla Turca from Mozart, Brahm’s very serious Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op 5, the very cheesy Exodus, the elevator-music-esque Claudine, ending with the very energetic Hall of the Mountain King from Greig: all of these most effortlessly rendered in a neat one and a half hour showcase.

I was a little disappointed that he didn’t play any Rachmaninov (I feel in love with him watching him do a Rachmaninov on a telecast of one of his concerts on TV) and that he only did one Encore (which was some crazy atonal thing which I am not fond of as a rule but was fascinating to watch anyway). But then he made that up by doing a really great Bohemian Rhapsody and a nice Chopin nocturne.

And he does the most lovely cantabile. His tonal shading is perfect. It was such a joy listening to him, even through the unfamiliar pieces. He is really quite the performer.

I will be watching Hamlet the Clown Prince next week before my schedule goes into a blip of trials again. Sigh.

I took a rather small intern (with a rather unfortunate name) to Court with me this afternoon. He is about 15 years old and today was his last day at work. We had the following conversations through the afternoon:

Me: Oh, so after this internship you’ve still got about 4 more weeks of holiday fun!
He: Well, I’ll probably spend it hanging around studying.
Me: Studying?!
He: Yes, studying for next year.
Me: *speechless*

Me: So what do your parents do? Are they lawyers?
He: No, they are not.
Me: And they want you to be a lawyer?
He: No.
Me: So why are you interested in being a lawyer?
He: Because of politics…and other things…it’s a really long story…

Random opponent: Do you have a girlfriend?
He: No. I’m too young to have a girlfriend…well, not until university at least…
Random opponent: How old are you?!
He: 15 years old.
Random opponent: You are far too young to want to be a lawyer!! When I was 15, all I wanted to do was play football and go out and play!!

It was good fun. My opponents were quite amused by my very serious and very small intern. They kept asking me whether he was my son (haha). He kept insisting on carrying my court bag and umbrella too. He tried to even carry my handbag while we were entering chambers (you see, I have a nasty habit of leaving my handbag around the waiting area because I figured that if a bunch of lawyers would steal my handbag, then I really deserve it) until I told him that one of the guiding rules in life for men should be that they should never, under any circumstances at all, carry a woman’s handbag.

I do hope that he eventually finds his way in life. Such serious and driven young men are quite rare to come by.

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I originally wanted to have noodles in chicken soup for lunch today but when I walked to the restaurant, I spied some undesirable characters therein and so I did an about turn and headed for some where else.

Then I ran into The Bollywood Star and had a rather nice chat with him while walking through the underground. We parted near the trains and I found myself wandering to my regular lunch place; that is before the coming of Nut 2, a place I haven’t visited for the last two months or so. I ate a smoked salmon and mozzarella salad drenched in pesto dressing, a cup of piping hot french onion soup, and a can of coke light while reading my book (book du jour being English Music by Peter Ackroyd). On my way back, I stopped at the fruit shop and to my absolute delight, found that pomegranates were in season again.

It’s really comforting. I feel normal eating the food that I normally eat before Nut 2 came about and screwed around with my appetite. It also reminds me of this time last year when I ate more or less the same thing for lunch every day while waiting for the arrival of Peanut.

It’s been a really good year.

And I really hope that this normalcy experienced today is back to stay.

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Mother-In-Law: What are you all doing for [Peanut’s] birthday?

Me: She has no friends and she can’t eat cake. So we probably won’t be doing very much.

Mother-In-Law: [shoots me killer look] Must have cake one!!

Me: *oopppss*

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The problem with my work is that some days, you feel so completely disillusioned with the system that you start questioning your whole belief system, even your existence in this system.

I can’t help wondering whether I did anything wrong, anything at all.

But then I tried my best. I honestly did. So my best wasn’t good enough.

Then I wonder whether it is because my common sense is not common enough, or whether my rationalisation is not rational enough.

And then I remember all of the three years I’ve had the file, nights and days and nights and days of slaving over the matter, over the computer, trawling for cases, thinking, thinking, thinking, brainstorming and arguing with The Buddha, the final 150-page submissions, the relief.

I appeared before a judge yesterday evening over some matter or other and he said to me:

The system is such that so long as your expectations are not out of the ordinary, you will always get what you want.

I remember feeling comforted by what he said then.

Today, it made my disillusionment so much greater because the system just simply did not prevail in this one instance. So are we now saying that the system gets you what you want only sometimes?

But that can’t be right. Not when we are in the business of Justice.

Like I have always said to my boss, the problem with the world is that no one cares very much for what is right anymore.

Oh well. I have a trip to make up to KL tomorrow. The long coach ride and / or the company will either make me feel better about life or drive me over the edge. At this point in time, I can’t quite tell which would be a worse curse because I can’t understand how I can exist in a world that’s gone crazy like that.


Six years ago today, I wrote this entry. The quotation at the top is so apt for today, don’t you think?

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