Song requests

Filed in Entertainment Ind., MusicTags: ,

Question of the day.

If you had the opportunity to see me perform, which songs would you hope to hear me sing? If you're reading this on my personal blog or on the AliveNotDead site, leave a comment. Otherwise, you can email your wish list to me at hokwokwing dot hk or me at gregory dot hk. Please include the song's name and the artist's name where applicable.

English, Mandarin and Cantonese songs are obviously fine. If you have a favourite Italian, Spanish or Japanese song, you could send those to me as well. No promises though ;-)

The simple life

Filed in General, LifeTags: , , , ,

My life for the moment is very simple.

I get up in the morning and take our kids for their morning walks; two walks, five kids at a time.

I have breakfast and feed the kids.

I then do my vocalising (singing) exercises. I visited Peisha again in L.A. in June July this year for two-and-a-half weeks. During that time, I studied twelve lessons with her and performed one cabaret. The lessons were all recorded on my MacBook Pro, and I now repeat them almost every day. When I visited her this time, Peisha taught me a new (and tough) vocalising technique, one that I wasn't ready for back in 2006 when I first studied with her. This new technique seems to be producing a very significant difference in my singing voice and I'm enthusiastic about where it'll take me. The vocalising part of these lessons takes anywhere from half an hour to forty-five minutes. Believe me. That's enough. Any more would be very difficult to handle.

After vocalising, I vacuum the flat. With eleven kids, there is a plentiful and continual supply of hair, so daily vacuuming is necessary. Vacuuming typically takes about an hour to complete. While I vacuum, I study a new language via my iPhone. Around two years ago, I purchased Mandarin and Indonesian language courses from Pimsleur. I studied Mandarin at the Chinese University several years ago, but without using it, I've forgotten most of it. I purchased the Pimsleur Mandarin course to help me get back up to speed. I purchased the Indonesian course because I wanted to learn the language of our helpers. I was so impressed by the Pimsleur courses that in December of last year, I purchased four more courses; Japanese, Hebrew, Persian (Farsi) and Italian; but it wasn't until August of this year that I actually began using them.

I chose to study five languages simultaneously. People, even close friends, question my decision to do this, believing that studying multiple languages together will be confusing. I chose to study them all together because I believe that becoming familiar with a language requires time. The more time you spend with a language, the more familiar and natural it will become. Your mind requires time to analyse and adapt to the new language. That doesn't happen overnight. I also believe that one will not be confused when learning multiple languages even if as in the Pimsleur case, the subject matter is almost identical. The brain is a lot smarter than that. Admittedly, there are times when my immediate response to a Pimsleur narrator request is not in the language I'm learning, but a reminder from the narrator and I'm back on track again. Time is the key.

I rotate the languages, keeping a record of which language and which lesson I've completed in my iPhone (courtesy of OmniFocus), trying to complete a new lesson for each language at least once every two days. That's only possible if I complete three lessons a day, so vacuuming is not the only time I listen to a Pimsleur course. I also listen when I'm driving (which requires extra concentration because the act of driving itself requires its fair share of attention), and when I'm exercising. I'm hoping to be conversant (obviously not fluent) in these languages within three years.

In the afternoons, I go to the local karaoke to practise my singing and research songs. A typical karaoke session for me runs for one-and-a-half to two hours of almost nonstop singing. Believe it or not, that's actually physically exhausting.

Then it's off to the gym for a workout before picking my wife up at work.

Home again, and it's time to take the kids out for their evening walks; two walks of course.

If my legs aren't injured (my left calf muscle is currently recovering from a serious injury), I'll finish my day with a short run (listening to another Pimsleur course all the while).

My life is simple, but it sure is tiring; both physically and mentally. I've never been so tired. It'll be worth it though. Fit, healthy, singing well, and conversant in five, six or seven languages. That'll do.

But, as Albert (one of my good friends) so aptly noted back in my uni days, I am very much a 大隻講 (big talker) so don't assume that I'll actually complete any of these lofty goals until I've actually completed them.

By the way, did I mention that I'll be one of the MC's at this year's Vancouver Miss Asia Pageant in December?   ;-)