What is power? What is your power? When I think of power, I think of:

  • the power that someone exerts over another person, especially at work
  • destructive powers
  • “strong” and “hard” powers

But, what about “softer” and gentler powers. For example, the power to heal, the power to inspire. Wait a moment. Let’s explore the definition of power.

According to Merriam Webster, power is defined as (the short and quick version):

  • : the ability or right to control people or things
  • : political control of a country or area
  • : a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations

See! I am right. It is the ability to control people or things. To direct things towards your outcome. Incidentally, I chanced across the following definition of power in Oxford dictionaries: “The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way.”

Now, now, now. That’s a much broader definition of power, isn’t it? “The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way.” Based on this, wouldn’t people that are typically seen to be “powerless” as powerful?

An analysis of the anatomy of a marriage proposal

[Note: this post is still a work in progress. It will be revisited at a later date.]

After watching more than 4-5 hours of marriage proposals on youtube, I felt qualified to speak on the various elements of a proposal which includes:

  • Location: at a public place or at home
  • People involved: just the couple or involving others
  • Planned or impromptu (most of the proposals on youtube are planned, which explained why they are captured on video in the first place)
  • The classic kneeing down on a knee or not?
  • The ring (this can be a very hmmm complex topic)

Before popping the all-important question, the proposer may include any one or more of the following (and indeed you can do it any way you like):

  • Spoken or written words. My favourite proposals are those which involved placards.
  • A dance or a few dances. Flash mobs are very popular. They can be engaged professionally apparently.
  • Music – bands, choirs, singing, instrumental
  • Art – painting, wall art, art installation
  • Video
  • Website

I didn’t know that …

I didn’t know that watching marriage proposals (on youtube) can be so addictive. They are heart warming, very often times deeply moving and beautiful moments indeed.

Here’s a selection of the ones that I like best:

For those who are married, how did you propose or got proposed to? For those who are single, how do you intend to propose?

En espanol

No se que los videos de las propuestas de matrimonio en youtube son muy addictivas! Son reconfortantes, muy emotivas, y para mi, son las momentos tan preciosos de la vida.

Hay dos que me encanta mucho:

Los casados, como tu pareja le propuso? Y los que todavia no se casaron, como vas a proponer? La suerte contigo!

Review on RTE National Symphony Orchestra concert “Nordic Giants”

I attended a concert by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra yesterday. The programme for the night was:


Friday 23 January 2015, 8pm

National Concert Hall

SIBELIUS Finlandia [8′] 

GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor [31′] 

NIELSEN Symphony No. 2, The Four Temperaments [32′] 

HOWARD SHELLEY piano/conductor

I was very drained from work and I believe that clouded my judgment and appreciation of the concert. Also, take my words with huge pinches of salt as I am a musical nob. Here’s my review of last night’s concert.

Shelley’s touch is exquisite on the piano, especially during the second movement of Grieg’s piano concerto.

The orchestra sounded like a chamber orchestra last night. What on earth happened to my beloved orchestra? From the orchestra that created many magical moments for me to this muted and tempered chamber group. Or perhaps it’s the character, style and orchestration, etc of Nordic composers, to sound like that – cold and distant (ok, except for the sanguine movement in Nielsen’s which sounded chippy and positive). So, perhaps it’s not the fault of the conductor, just my exhaustion speaking. However, I just felt that Shelley didn’t utilise the full palette of the orchestra. He didnt bring out the best from the orchestra which seemed confused. Perhaps, there wasn’t enough rehearsals? Shelley said during the pre-concert talk that he doesn’t work with other conductors except for the one, two conductor friends who persuade him to do so. It does make me wonder the reason for it. I am disappointed that the orchestra didn’t create much magic for me today. I look forward to the next one where the principal conductor Alan Buribayev returns to take up the baton.

On hindsight, I finally realised the difference a master and mediocre conductor can make on the orchestra (I am NOT saying that Shelley is mediocre). I watched bits of a youtube video where conductor Karl Bohm was rehearsing with the Vienna Philharmonic on Strauss’s Don Juan – it’s inspirational. I felt that under his directorship, he skillfully and masterfully elicited the sounds that he wanted from the orchestra.

To conclude, Shelley is clearly a very fine pianist. However, as a conductor, his style doesn’t gel with me. This is clearly my personal view as music, which is an art form, is subjective. Besides, people around me were clapping their hands off.

Today is the day where …

Today is the day where I:

  • Finally figured out how to use the bike pump that I purchased more than a month ago. It feels so good when it is hard. The bike tyre.
  • Cycled to Ikea from my place which is about 12 km away and it is uphill on the way to Ikea.
  • Had the Ikea experience which included buying more stuff (hopefully useful) than I originally intended to and had a hotdog and a soft serve ice-cream. The soft serve ice-cream machine is AMAZING. You pop the cone in the holder and the holder goes up, up and away and the machine pops the ice-cream into the cone PERFECTLY, topped with chocolate and strawberry sauce. It is CLASS.

I don’t think I’m going to cycle to Ikea again… not any time soon anyway. 😉