Category Archives: John Ong Living

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I have a new definition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

It all started with the sweetest little gift that Bruce gave me – CD mix just for me.

Bruce is very good with customizing song mixes for a certain someone or occasion. This time, he made me a collection of songs that he knows I would enjoy. Some, I know ahead of time, some I don’t.

This is a busy week for me. Monday night after work, I went to a singing rehearsal. By the time I came home, Bruce is already in bed. But I found a CD on my school bag. So, after getting some work done for the next day’s class, I went to bed too.

Tuesday morning. I popped the CD into my car stereo, and there it is, “Hey Ya” by Outkast, which he bought from iTunes. We don’t do illegal downloads. I’m a musician myself, I can understand why that is so wrong. Then there’s a series of my other favorites. I enjoyed listening to all of them from home to work, which was about eighteen minutes. 

Tuesday evening. I left work around five to drive up north to go to school. That’s another 30-minute drive. The CD is still going. All my favorites. I arrived. Went into class. Finished the first class, and I packed to go to another singing rehearsal. I had to skip my second class for this rehearsal (the one which was suppose to be on Sunday, and due to the ice storm, it was postponed to Tuesday night). I went into my car, took out my sandwich, and preparing to take care of my dinner on the drive to my rehearsal. 

Now, by now, I am already a little tired and stressed. I just sat for a quiz. Skipped a class. Starting my 45-minute drive to my rehearsal. Hungry. And missing Bruce because I haven’t seen much of him since Sunday.

From my stereo, came the warm cuddly sound of the ukulele. Then the gentle humming of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole a.k.a. “IZ”, delivering one of the most heartwarming version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (mixed in with “What A Wonderful World”).  

Tears started to roll off my eyes.

I don’t know if I was stressful, or if it reminded me of the sweet commercial, missing Bruce a lot, or just the sweet old sound of “IZ” and his companion ukulele, or perhaps, the combination of everything. I just couldn’t stop crying.

I know I was going to be late, I kept driving, and kept munching on my sandwich, while I was balling away.

Then, this came to me. 

“Somewhere over the rainbow. Somewhere in Kansas, I found my true love. My life is so much prettier and colorful with him around.”

It really IS pretty over the rainbow.

I love you baby.

11-inch Disappointment

It all started last Friday with the prediction of an eleven-inch snow fall. Then on Saturday afternoon, it turned to perhaps an inch of ice and three inches of snow.

To some people it?s good new, some ? disappointment. Apparently there were some warm air from the south moving up to us, and we ended up having some ice, an not much snow at all.

My cousin was expecting a heavy snowfall, and was expecting to have fun out in the snow. Especially that her boss told her that if it snows like they predicted, she doesn?t have to in to work. She was a bit bummed by it.

Because of the warm air, the icy street isn?t too bad. Salts and sand took care of the road. In fact, I heard in the news that they were using salt water, brine, to treat the streets. Sadly,and strangely, that made me think of making a turkey. Perhaps Bruce would like that too.

My rehearsal was indeed canceled. I found out about right when I was scraping my car. Since I was already out, I ended up scraping off some of the ice on the driveway.

To me, as long as the street is safe to drive, I am cool with it.

Ice age

So, here it is again. The ice age is back.

Less than a couple of months ago, we had a very bad ice storm. I was home sick that day. Yet still hoping with a whole day of sleeping, I might be able to actually go to school that night and sit for my test. And this is a test, not a quiz, so it was a big deal.

Around 3-ish that afternoon, I was getting ready to get out of bed. Turned on the TV, and there?s wintry weather warning flashing on all the network stations. Didn?t look too good. Weather forecasters were saying that the time it would start to sleet is around 9 to 10 PM. Great, that?s the time I need to be driving back from school.

I grew up in Malaysia. The closest thing to this kind of weather was in my freezer. I used to play ?winter wonderland? in my freezer. But yes, that was the closest to wintry weather. Naturally, driving in that kind of condition would really stress me out. I have had my shares of spinning cars. Breaks won?t work if you?re sliding on a sheet of ice. I hate to be out of control.

I just had a bad feeling about driving to school that night. I just know something is going to go wrong. I also know that my teacher is probably not going to let me re-sit for the test. She?s been a tough teacher all semester long, good, but tough. But when Bruce comes back, I finally decided not to go to school. I emailed my teachers, and rationed myself into thinking that my life is much more than my grades.

At 10PM, yes, sleet was slamming down hard. There must have been about half an inch of ice encrusting my car by the next morning. My car door was sealed shut. I had to hit it with my fist until it started to crack. Took me about 30 minutes just to get into my car. I went to work the next day. Road was bad. My normal commute is 20 minutes. That morning, it took me about 45 minutes.

I thought that would be it for this winter. Oh, was I wrong.

It all started with possibly 10 inches of snow. I don?t mind that. In fact, it was kind of nice to have experience that. Midday today, forecast changed to possibly one half to a whole inch of ice. Then snow piled on top. This time only around 4 inches.

I don?t see anything yet. It?s 1:17AM Sunday morning. It?s suppose to start sleeting early Sunday morning. Anytime now maybe. Oh well, I just have to find out tomorrow. If the weather forecast was right, the peak of the ?ice age? is around 5PM. How convenient?

I have a singing rehearsal tomorrow. Guess what, at 5PM. I am not sure if it is going to get canceled. I need the rehearsal. But I don?t need to drive out in the ice. I hope it gets canceled. [fingers crossed]

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year to all of you.
Happy Chinese New Year to all of you.
We have only a few more days before the festivity ends.

Happy Chinese New Year to all of you.
We have only a few more days before the festivity ends.
No worries, Chinese people always have more celebrations to look forward to. Always have more excuses to eat some more.

ASL Playing Cards

It’s been a while since I get so active in almost everything I do.
I will be having a solo concert in November. And prior to that, I have a recording session and a performance at a fund-raising fuction in October. I am also actively involved in the Deaf community. I am very busy working on an almost impossible deadline, on a customized playing card design in ASL.

Here’s a sneak peak.