光良 – 童話

Michael - Fairy Tale CD Cover While going through YouTube, this video was recommended to me: 光良 – 童话. I fell in love with the song even though it’s 5 years old. My sister tells me that 光良 (Micahel Wong – the artist) was actually signing autographs sometime ago at a restaurant we frequent. However at that time I had no idea who he was.

One interesting thing to note is that I always seem to mis-sing part of the lyrics. The original lyrics are:
我想了很久 我開始慌了
I thought for a long time, I began to panic
Did I do something wrong again?

But instead of singing 慌了 (huang le), I keep on singing 懷疑 (huai yi). I guess the main reason is because I didn’t know what 慌了 meant and both phrases actually begin with the ‘hua’ sound. After looking it up, I see it means to panic. 懷疑 means to suspect/doubt and both seem to work fine in this context.

Another part that I sometimes screw up on is 守護 (shou hu) which means to guard/defend. I sometimes sing 保護 (bao hu) instead, which means to protect.

Here are the original lyrics:

忘了有多久 再沒聽到你
Forgot how long it’s been, since I heard you
Tell me your favorite story
我想了很久 我開始慌了
I thought for a long time, I began to panic
Did I do something wrong again?

Chorus A:
你哭著對我說 童話裡都是騙人的
While crying you tell me, all fairy tales are lies
I couldn’t be your prince
也許你不會懂 從你說愛我以後
Or maybe you can’t understand, from when you told me you loved me
In my sky, all the stars have brightened

Chorus B:
I (am willing to) (need to) (will) become the fairy tale’s
Angel that you love
張開雙手 變成翅膀守護你
Spreading both arms, becoming wings to guard you
你要相信 相信我們會像童話故事裡
You have to believe, believe that we can be like the fairy tale where
Happiness and joy is the ending

Repeat Chorus A 1x

Repeat Chorus B 3x

Write our ending together

Update: Translation note: Technically both 幸福 and 快樂 both mean happiness, but saying “Happiness and happiness is the ending” sounded a bit weird. Initially I had “Good fortune and happiness”, but good fortune didn’t quite sound right in this context. I ended up switching it to “Happiness and joy” which sounded much better. While contemplating this, I remember when I was a kid, my mom would give me 幸福傷風感冒素 (medicine by Fortune Pharmacal to treat the cold and flu).

李健 – 向往

Li Jian - Wei Ni Er Lai CD Album Cover Thanks to @superekin for sharing this song: 李健-向往 (Li Jian – Xiang Wang). The title of the song means Longing and it appears to be a song released back in 2005.

Besides the melody, I really liked the lyrics too. The only lyrics I found were in simplified Chinese. Not a big fan of simplified Chinese (plus I don’t know as many words and read it slower), so I’ve converted it to traditional. Technically, I believe the title in traditional Chinese should be 嚮往, but I’ve never used this phrase before, so I’ll leave it as is.

Please forgive my pathetic attempt in trying to translate the lyrics. I had to look up several phrases in the Chinese dictionary. I would also like to thank howard2005 for providing an English translation, though I don’t agree with all his translations.

I know it’s not that
All birds fly
When summer passes
There are still flowers that haven’t bloom
I’m afraid to see you
Alone in despair
More afraid I can’t see you
Can’t get lost together with you

Wishing you were at my side
Watching fate change unpredictably
Understanding the power of patience
When the Spring breeze grazes over the hill
I can still feel the chill in the air
But no way to stop my longing for warmth
(And how can it stop my longing for warmth)

I know it’s not that
Farming will yield harvest
When tears run dry
Life is still so fragile
多殘忍 你和我
So cruel, you and I
Like shooting stars falling
多絢爛 飛馳而過
So splendidly, fleeting by
Lighting at night the most beautiful fireworks

Repeat Chorus 3x

Music I’m Currently Listening To

It’s been a while since I last blogged about music I’ve been listening to. I’ve tweeted a few, but I thought I’d share with you my current Zune playlist that’s on rotation/repeat:

Sorry to disappoint, but no Justin Bieber. ;p

Shiny Toy Guns – Major Tom

I’ve been seeing the Lincoln MKZ ad on television for a few weeks and I’m starting to dig the song. After a quick search, it turns out the song is a cover of Major Tom (coming home) by Shiny Toy Guns:

[Please visit blog post to view streaming video]

Generally, I’d just tweet this but it turns out that Shiny Toy Guns is giving away the song for FREE: TRANSMISSION TO MAJOR TOM. YOURS. FREE. They require you to register, but that seems like a small price to pay for getting the song for free. After registering however, it appears to just redirect you to Lincoln’s website, telling you to look for the download link in the lower right corner.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the download link. Looking at the comments back on Shiny Toy Guns’ website, people were saying it was pulled because they were planning for an official release. However on Lincoln’s website, their source still links to the song:

function downloadSong() {
    window.open('/extras/asset/majortom.zip', '_blank', 'height=100,width=200,top=200,left=300');

If you input javascript:downloadSong() into the location bar or just open this download link, you should be able to download the song. It’s a 10MB file with a 320kbps encoded MP3


Cherry Lips

So I recently heard an old song on a TV show and really dig it: Cherry Lips by Garbage

YouTube Link

However, it wasn’t after listening to 20+ times that I realized the song was about a boy!!! According to Wikipedia:

Shirley wrote the lyrics in the song as a tribute to writer “JT LeRoy”, pseudonym of Laura Albert, with whom she has an email friendship, after reading “his” two novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. The song is loosely based on the two novels, apparently referencing the character ‘Cherry’, a cross-dressing child-prostitute from the novel Sarah.

Lips Update

So I finally remember to ask the Xbox discussion about the issues I was hitting with Lips.

It turns out that all my issues stem from the fact I have a USB microphone connected to my Xbox 360. Somehow microphone registration gets all screwy because of that. In my case, I have my Rock Band microphone plugged into the Xbox 360 at all times. The fix is to unplug the USB microphone when you’re playing Lips. Apparently this will fix both the 2nd microphone lighting issues as well as the static noise, video and audio out of sync issues, as well as the freezing issues.

Other good news is that Harmonix (creator of Rock Band) is going to patch up Rock Band so it can use the wireless microphones! From MTV Games:

LipsWe broke the news that the highly regarded microphone bundled with Microsoft’s “Lips” karaoke game would not work with “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band” at launch.

Harmonix and MTV Games have now addressed gamers’ concern over the lack of compatibility, and there’s good news to be shared.

“Microsoft and MTV Games are working together to ensure that consumers will be able to use the wireless mics from ‘Lips’ with ‘Rock Band 2’ after launch,” said the companies in an e-mailed statement. “More details on timing to come. Harmonix and MTV Games strive for all third-party controllers to work with the ‘Rock Band’ games, fitting with Harmonix’ open-platform philosophy for controllers.”

Sounds like we’ll have a patch in the coming weeks! Will you use the “Lips” mic?

That’s great news! Being able to play Rock Band with a wireless microphone would be neat! Then I can scrap my Rock Band microphone and not hit into these issues anymore!

Mirror’s Edge

I don’t actually own the game yet, but I’ve played the demo and I found it to be a lot of fun. You may then be wondering why I have a whole blog post dedicated to Mirror’s Edge. The main reason is because it ties in with a couple things I wanted to blog about but doesn’t deserve their own post at the moment.

I got the demo a few weeks back and it was extremely fun. As one of CAD’s sillies state: “I have never felt this much like an acrobatic asian chick in my entire life.

On the same lines, Penny Arcade also made a comic strip about Mirror’s Edge, but I didn’t really have much problems with the headaches, given that I’m pretty sure I’m quite susceptible to 3D motion sickness. For example, I was playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Saturday and after just 2 missions (~30 mins or so), I felt a slight headache and had to stop playing. It could be that the demo was short and it didn’t have to time to get to me yet, but even with COD4, I was pretty sure I’d get a headache within minutes of playing the game, which I didn’t really get with Mirror’s Edge.

I was planning on getting it for the Xbox 360, but it looks like it’s going to come out on the PC in January, so I might pick it up then. PC games are usually cheaper to get and I’m not sure I’m willing to drop $50 on it quite yet, given that I heard it’s a rather short game.

Speaking of which, have you seen the trailer? Check out these trailers just to see how fun they look!

You can find more trailers here: Gametrailers.com – Mirror’s Edge: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews

The music you’re hearing in all of the trailers are remixes of a song called Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky. No, this has nothing to do with the Portal song by Jonathan Coulton.

You can also watch/download the HD version on Gametrailers.com. Someone also posted the mp3 for you listen: Still Alive.mp3 (Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky – 4MB). I personally think the song’s amazing, especially with the piano keys, which for some reason makes me think it has some Asian background. I wonder if that has to do with the fact the main character you play as is Asian.

Thanksgiving Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I assume some of you are still recovering from being overstuffed.

Thanks to Carolynn for planning out this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was a lot of fun helping prepare the food. Of course it was also fun eating it. There was a pretty good show up this year: Carolynn, Joe, Perry, Sathana, Felix, Tom, Jim, Saran, and Pita (sorry if I misspelled your name). Valerie also showed up later to join in the festivities. We had turkey, stuffing, green beans with onions and bacon bits, mashed potato, yam and marshmallows, pumpkin pie. The stuff was delicious. Now I’m hungry just thinking of it.

After eating, we played some Xbox 360: PES 2009, Rock Band 2, Lips, Gears of Wars 2, and even some 8 person Halo 3.

I took some photos which you can view in the photo album:
Thanksgiving 2008
Thanksgiving 2008

I even recorded a few Rock Band Sessions (posted with permission):
Perry and Pita - The Offspring - Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)Joe - Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf

Unfortunately I ran out of disk space during Perry’s and Pita’s performance.

I picked up Lips earlier in the week at the company store, here’s my semi-review. Since I’ve been an semi-avid Rock Band player, I’ll probably be making many comparisons to it.

The game comes with a good selection of songs. All 40 songs are unlocked at the beginning, so you don’t have to go through some tour mode to unlock them. Given that, we’ve found that even though there were 40 songs, not every song was something people wanted to sing. Unlike Rock Band where singing is optional (where you can choose to play guitar or drums), Lips requires someone to actually sing, and people always have a fear of singing songs they’re not too familiar with, especially when you only know the chorus.

You can’t actually fail in this game, but since you’re the center of attention, people become self conscious. It helps if 2 people are actually singing or if the whole crowd joins in like at a real karaoke.

Additional songs can be purchased at 160 points (about $2) each, but the selection is pretty weak right now, but more are supposed to be coming.

It comes with 2 wireless microphones, which is really neat. However, it’s sad that the microphones do NOT work with Rock Band, which apparently requires a patch from Harmonix. It’d be sweet if I were able to use the wireless mics with Rock Band sometime in the near future. The wireless microphone includes motion sensors similar to the Wiimote and you can use it to swing and make noises and so on. It also required to enable star power or overdrive or whatever Lips calls it.

The singing part uses the the center area for lyrics in big text and jumpy balls like at karaoke, and on the top and bottom are the pitch lines for 1st and 2nd player, which includes another set of lyrics, similar to Rock Band. However, different than Rock Band is that the lyrics move along with the pitch lines vertically, making it hard to read ahead. I can look at the lyrics in the center screen, but then my eyes have to jump back and forth between the lyrics in the center and the pitch lines above. Another pet peeve I have is pitch marker. In Rock Band, there’s this triangle that tells you exactly where your current pitch is. In Lips, they have a ball which is very hard to see, making it difficult to judge if I should increase or decrease my pitch in an instant.

There’s also a mode where you can connect a music player (i.e. iPod or Zune) where you can play your music and sing along to it. I haven’t tried this mode yet, but apparently it also does the pitch lines, but without the lyrics, it becomes hard since most people don’t really know the words outside of the chorus for most songs.

Issues with Lips
I’ve hit into a lot of issues with Lips and I haven’t been able to find anyway to troubleshoot the issue. If anyone’s experience the following issues, I would like to know if you have a way to get around it. I’m pretty sure it’s an issue with the game itself, since I haven’t hit into any of these issues with the other games I play, but it could be that my Xbox 360 is finally dying.

  • When playing 2 players, one of the mic’s lights do not blink according to the music. I’ve tried changing the batteries, resyncing the mics, but the lights will not come on. If I hold the power button, the lights will blink, but supposedly they’re suppose to blink according to the music’s rhythm during game play.
  • Once in awhile, the music becomes out of sync with the game. Other times, there’s a lot of static in the music. And both of these are precursors to the game freezing, which I would then have to reboot. I verified it’s not actually the song or using custom videos as replaying the same song in the same mode has no problems after a reboot.
  • There’s probably a way to get around this, but I haven’t figured a way yet. Once in awhile, I add a song in Sing mode and decide not to sing it, and I can’t seem to get rid of it. Every time I finish singing a song, instead of returning to the main list, it shows this song. Does anyone know how to remove that song so after singing, it returns me to the main list?

On Saturday, I caught dinner with Andrew and watched Milk. The movie was decent. Interesting information about gay history which I never knew about, but it was quite clear who their targeted audience were. I do have to say Josh Brolin once again outdid himself and gave an amazing performance. I didn’t realize it was him until halfway through the movie. After seeing him in No Country for Old Men and W. and now Milk, not only can he act like the person he’s portraying well, but he can LOOK like the person he’s portraying well. Andrew also mentioned, it would’ve been interesting to hear Dan White’s side of the story on this whole affair. Apparently Dan White was the first one to use the Twinkie Defense.

Heroes and 2012

I know it’s been awhile, but here’s some food for thought. I first saw the 2012 trailer during the previews of Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond 007 film. The HD trailer was released and I started reading up on it. If you didn’t know, 2012 is the Gregorian year where the Mayan calendar ends. Many have predicted that it’ll be the end of the world.

Anyway while reading it up on Wikipedia, I came upon the following passage:

2012 is claimed by some with New age beliefs to be a great year of spiritual transformation (or alternatively an apocalypse). There is disagreement among believers as to whether 2012 will see an end of civilization, or humanity will be elevated to a higher level.

Many esoteric sources interpret the completion of the thirteenth B’ak’tun cycle in the Long Count of the Maya calendar (which occurs on December 21 by the most widely held correlation) to mean there will be a major change in world order.

Astrologer John Jenkins has determined that on this date, there will be “an extremely close conjunction of the northern hemisphere winter solstice sun with the crossing point of the Galactic equator and the ecliptic“, an event that will not be repeated for thousands of years.

According to Wikipedia, an ecliptic is the apparent path that the Sun traces out in the sky during the year. … The name ecliptic is derived from being the place where eclipses occur.

I don’t think the passage above predicts an eclipse is going to occur, but I’m not exactly sure what it means to have the Galactic equator crossing the ecliptic, but for some reason it reminds me of Heroes. If you’ve been following the recent Heroeos, you’d know that some eclipse happened a long time back which gave them their super powers, and another eclipse is going to come and take their powers away and somehow the earth ends up being blown to smithereens.

Update: During dinner, Xyon and I were discussing Monday’s episode of Heroes and the topic of solar eclipses came up. It seems that the closest 2012 total solar eclipse to this “dooms day” is on November 13. So maybe my theory is a bit off, or maybe the solar eclipse happens on 11/13 and the earth blows up on 12/21.

Fringe Opening Theme

Fringe Poster So I’ve been watching a new TV series called: Fringe. Pretty good series so far. As someone mentioned, it was like a mix between X-Files, House M.D., and Heroes. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as all 3 combined, but it’s been entertaining.

Anyway after watching the first episode, the opening theme music / soundtrack / song has been gnawing at my head. It sounds so familiar as if it was on the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t place my finger on it.

So weeks later, after watching my 4th or 5th episode, it finally pops into my head. It reminds me of the Music from The Inner Life of a Cell. You watch the clip here: BioVisions.

Not exactly as close as I had expected, but my mind somehow linked these 2 musical pieces together. And the theme of the accompanying video and 3d animation are pretty darn similar too!