Sunday, May 31, 2009

再談男女關係之間的許諾 / More Thoughts on Commitments in a Man-Woman Relationship

As a follow-up to my May 30, 2009 blog post "「五年之後 ...」 之【八卦文章】: The Five-year Commitments of Jon & Kate Plus 8", here are some more thoughts on commitments in the context of man-woman relationship.

The purpose of my last article is to stimulate discussions on making commitments. I try hard not to pass judgment on the good/bad of hard/soft commitments. The following two examples will illustrate my point:

(1) Hard Commitments
I am not against people parting ways if a relationship has become violent or abusive. In fact, the reluctance or inability of some battered spouses to leave their abusive partners is well analyzed and documented in numerous social studies and criminal prosecutions. In many cases, the spouse (usually a woman) is being held hostage because of her devoted commitments to the children and the relationship (or whatever is left). From an outsider's point of view, her hard commitment might have shackled herself to a sinking ship with little chance of survival.

(2) Soft Commitments
I have no issue with couples making soft commitments and living together as opposed to rushing into saying the marriage vow "Till death do us part". In fact, common-law relationship is becoming more and more common (no pun intended) and institutionalized ever since the enactment of Canadian laws to recognize and protect people's rights in the relationship, shared properties, children, etc.

Thus, there is nothing inherently good/bad about hard/soft commitments. My point is that people need to establish an understanding as to:

(a) Whether a commitment is hard, soft, or somewhere in betwn;
(b) Whether a commitment is the means to an end (e.g. happiness in life), or vice-versa;
(c) Whether a commitment is fair and transparent (Not all commitments are equal. In making a bacon omelette, the pig is more committed than the chicken. The latter is only "involved" in the relationship.)
(d) Whether the motive to commit is genuine and in good faith (as opposed to say 騎牛搵馬 and renege on a commitment when something/someone more attractive comes along; or in some cases, 騎牛得牛 and feel bitter getting stuck with an ox/cow).

There are no hard and fast rules about making commitments - only common sense, good judgment, and the foundation of mutual trust in a relationship.

(Photo Credit 攝影图片: My collection of masks / This one is from an artist living in Venice)

My other blog articles related to Jon & Kate plus 8:

* Jon and Kate plus 8: 十年的婚姻 / Jon & Kate Plus 8: Ten Years of Marriage

*「兩週一聚 (十五): 五年之後 ...」之【八卦文章】/ 「2weeks1gather (#15): Five Years Later ...」【The Five-year Commitments of Jon & Kate Plus 8】

Other Related Links: (for the romantics :)

* 畫家: 古斯塔夫 克林姆 / Artist: Gustav Klimt (Part 1 of 7) 吻 / Le Baiser

* 聽海 (四) / Beyond the Sea (4)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

「兩週一聚 (第十五期): 五年之後 ...」之【八卦文章】/ 「2weeks1gather (#15): Five Years Later ...」【The Five-year Commitments of Jon & Kate Plus 8】

I was among the 10 million TV viewers who watched last Monday the seasonal premier of "Jon & Kate Plus 8", a reality show that follows the life of an American couple plus their eight young children. I am not here to speculate whether Jon has an alleged affair with a teacher, or Kate their bodyguard, but rather to examine the issue of keeping long-term commitments.

Five years after the sextuplets were born, the couple appears to be less committed to their relationship, even though they had a renewal of marriage vow in Hawaii not that long ago. So, what has happened to "Till death do us part"? Does every couple just go through the motion during a marriage ceremony? Why make a commitment when we don't actually mean it?

In my opinion, people's lack of commitment happens in everyday life. How often do we find people making a "commitment" and then trying to back out of it later? "Sorry, I couldn't make it because I was busy, I ran out of time, I was misled, I ...." You know what I mean because we have done it ourselves.

So, instead of making unfulfilled promises, we should be realistic and face the fact that most of us will continue to make "soft commitments", the fulfillment of which is subject to future changes in circumstances, including time, places, people, resources, wimps, impulses, etc. On the other hand, "hard commitments" do exist, although they are rare and far in between. The instinct of a mother bear to protect her cub is a good example (of course, I would expect some readers to challenge me with the "nature vs nurture" argument).

Thus in closing, I would venture to say that nine out of ten commitments are "soft" and that people make unfilled promises not because they intend to lie, but because they have no concept of hard vs soft commitments.

My other blog articles related to Jon & Kate plus 8:

* Jon and Kate plus 8: 十年的婚姻 / Jon & Kate Plus 8: Ten Years of Marriage

* 再談男女關係之間的許諾 / More Thoughts on Commitments in a Man-Woman Relationship


Related Links:
本期『兩週一聚 2weeks1gather』出題博客是
For other articles with the same theme "Five Years Later ....", please visit the "2weeks1gather" website:

"Jon & Kate plus 8" Wikipedia
Photo Credit 攝影图片: 美國 TLC 電視臺

Thursday, May 28, 2009

攝影皆作: 女人的背影 / Photo Story: Woman Entering a Voodoo House


(註解: 新奧爾良市 New Orleans; 爵士音樂 Jazz music; 女巫 priestess; 「伏都教」 Voodoo 西印度群島和美國南部等地某些黑人中流行的巫術信仰)

Photograph 攝影圖片: I took this photo just as the woman in the white dress was about to enter into a Voodoo house in New Orleans. This Voodoo temple is run by a priestess of Cajun origin. I will show you in my next article, what it was like once she stepped inside. (Please click to see enlarged photo)

**** Please read the conclusion of this story: 【攝影皆作: 伏都柔魂 / Photo Story: Voodoo Apparition】 ****

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update re Robot Cops: I have been cleared !!!

All right ! Back in business !!

Blogger's Robot Cops

By incorporating too many links in one of my draft article, I have inevitably triggered Blogger's Robot Cops to mark this as a "spam blog". I have put in a request to Blogger to remove the stigma. Please ignore the warning (if it shows up) when you visit the lotusandcedar site. I should be in their "whitelist" in less than two business days.

Lesson learnt: Do not incorporate more than say 12 references / links in one post !!!


Monday, May 25, 2009

2009年春季渥太華馬拉松賽:長跑訓練 / Ottawa Running Marathon May 2009: Long Distance Training

在2009年5月24日,我完成了由2003年開始的第十二個馬拉松賽。如以往一樣,我是沒有 DNF (Did Not Finish),但這次成積卻未如理想,主要是因為在秋季和冬天的訓練期間去了摩洛哥丶古巴丶和美國紐奧連斯旅遊丶大快活,功力失修退化。


五月馬拉松是我這業餘「損手」今年第一個賽事,之後是七月加拿大國慶的Run for Canada 10 K,九月的加拿大陸軍半馬拉松賽 Canada Army Half-Marathon Race,和十月的渥太華秋季全馬拉松 Ottawa Fall Colour Marathon。我是有信心完成所有賽事,能夠cross the finish line,但時速快慢就在乎這個夏天的訓練恒心了。再者 .....

『Hello! Yes, speaking. 怎麼? 阿「乜水」想拉隊七月去蘇格蘭? 我又去呀!!! ....』


Related Links: For a marathon account of my epic marathon journey, please see:

* 11th marathon (written after the race): 2008年: 馬拉松丶半馬拉松丶10K賽跑 ∕ 2008: Marathon, Half-marathon, 10K Races

Sunday, May 24, 2009

滿地可的唐人街: 攝影图片 / Montréal's Chinatown: Some Photographs

這是在五月十七日与合唱團往滿地可演唱時, 在唐人亍 Chinatown 攝影的几張照片。據我所知, 加拿大以溫哥華和多倫多的唐人亍最大, 滿地可我相信是居第三位。由於法語在魁北克省佔重要地位, 故此很多唐人亍的商人都懂說中丶英丶法三樣語言, 而法律对招牌告廣亦有語言規限。

根據「維基百科」: 加拿大統計局報告在2001年, 蒙特利爾有52110華僑華人,占人口總數的1.5%。 ... 滿地可市區人口大部分說法語或者英法雙語。其中大滿市區法語裔人口佔67.8%,英法以外語裔18.4%,英語裔13.8%。英語裔和其它語裔大部分集中在蒙特利爾島上。

在加拿大全國, 魁北克省是最充滿歐洲風味的一個省份, 如攝影图片所示, 滿地可唐人亍亦是一個充滿中國歷史和文化的地方, 各位網友如果來加東探訪, 一定不要錯過這個值得旅遊的好去处。

Related Information: Photo of downtown Montreal from Wikipedia


* "Montreal"

* 【滿地可 / 蒙特利爾)】

Saturday, May 23, 2009

瑤族舞曲: 安省海外華人青年交響樂團 / Dance of the Yao People: Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (Ontario) OCYSO

The Music

The piece entitled "Dance of the Yao People 瑤族舞曲" posted on my YouTube account ( ) was conducted by Mr. Chuen Tam 譚全指揮 and performed by the Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (Ontario) OCYSO 安省海外華人青年交響樂團 on May 16, 2009 at the Dominion Chalmers United Church in Ottawa. The performance was part of a three-city (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal) concert tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of OCYSO.

Here are some info about the piece of music, according to Wikipedia:

"Dance of the Yao People" was originally composed in 1952 for western instruments by Liu Tieshan 劉鐵山 and Mao Yuan 茅沅 who had been inspired by the long drum dance 瑶族長鼓舞歌, a form of traditional festival music of the Yao people of southern and southwest China. The original music was premiered in Beijing in 1953.

Subsequently, the music have been arranged by other Chinese conductors and composers so that it can be played by traditional Chinese instruments. The work is in several sections, some slow and some fast. It begins in 2/4 meter at a slow tempo, moves to 3/4 meter, then returns to 2/4 meter in a faster tempo for the finale.

In the late 20th century, the song was used as the basis for several pop songs, in both China and the United States. The first 18 notes of the 1998 song "When You Believe," as recorded by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, are based on "Dance of the Yao People," although the Chinese composers of the original work were not credited.

攝影圖片 Photographs:

These pics of the Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (Ontario) OCYSO 安省海外華人青年交響樂團 were taken during their performances in Ottawa on May 16 and Montreal on May 17, 2009.

Related Links:

* 安省海外華人青年交響樂團: 音樂總監,指揮譚全先生 / Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO): Maestro Chuen Tam, Music Director and Conductor


* "Dance of the Yao People"

* 【瑤族舞曲】

* "..... The Yao People 瑤族 is one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. The population of the Yao people is approximately 3.1 million; most of them are in China (2,640,000) and Vietnam (470,000)...."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

安省海外華人青年交響樂團: 音樂總監,指揮譚全先生 / Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO): Maestro Chuen Tam, Music Director and Conductor

On May 17, 2009, I went to Montréal to participate in the third performance of the Overseas Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra (Ontario) 安省海外華人青年交響樂團 OCYSO's three-city tour to celebrate its 10th anniversary. After an exciting afternoon performance at the Monument National Théâtre, local dignitaries, event organizers, as well as members of the OCYSO and the Ottawa Chinese You-in Chorus 悠音合唱團, went to a local restaurant to celebrate success.

Unbeknown to Mr. Chuen Tam 譚全, Music Director and Conductor of OCYSO, his friends had also planned a surprise birthday celebration for him at the banquet. Just as the main course was finished, a mini brass "band" showed up with trumpets blasting. Being caught by surprise, Mr. Tam was greatly moved when he was presented with a painted portrait of himself and a personal message from the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. He was roundly praised and applauded by dignitaries and friends alike for his tireless efforts and undivided dedication to promote classical music in Hong Kong / Canada and to groom the next generation of Chinese-Canadian musicians.

*** Please also see video clip of the celebration posted on YouTube at: ***

(Update: Please see my next blog article on "The Dance of the Yao People" performed by OCYSO , with link to my YouTube video)

My other blog articles on classical music:

* YouTube: Nabucco "Va' pensiero, sull'ali dorate" / YouTube:《拿布果》“飞吧!思想,乘着金色的翅膀!”

* Nabucco "Va' pensiero, sull'ali dorate" / 《拿布果》“飞吧!思想,乘着金色的翅膀!”

* 【室內音樂: 安吉拉赫威特 丹尼爾穆勒斯科特 / Chamber Music with Angela Hewitt and Daniel Müller-Schott】

* 【室內音樂: 大鍵琴〔鋼琴的前身〕/ Chamber Music: Harpsichord】

References / Related Links:

* OCYSO's 10th Anniversary Concert Program in Montréal May 17, 2009: "Sino-Montréal 蒙城華人報網上版" )

* Bibliography of Mr. Chuen Tam 譚全: A short description can be found inside the program booklet of OCYSO's 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert Tour (Toronto / May 2; Ottawa / May 16; Montréal / May 17, 2009)

攝影皆作: 落淚無痕 / Photo Story: Adult Mask


Thursday, May 14, 2009

旅遊路易斯安那州暮日下的沼澤 / Sunset Tour of the Louisiana Swamp

在2009-05-01晚上,我參加一個旅行團,坐汽艇(airboat)夜遊離New Orleans新奧爾良巿45分鐘的一個沼澤。導遊那條平底船約十八呎長,可坐六個乘客,因汽艇是靠空氣推動,所以在草叢丶濕泥丶淺水中都可以行走自如。可惜那部在船尾的「大風扇」非常嘈吵,所以行船時每人都要戴上護耳罩。


我趁著天色未漆黑之前,拍攝了几張路易斯安那州沼澤的大自然丶大青蛙丶和小鱷魚的照片,在這裏貼上給各位欣賞。如果您想看一條12呎長的鱷魚錄影,懇請參看我昨天貼在網誌上的YouTube視頻: "旅遊路易斯安那州的沼澤: 短吻鱷 / Alligator-watching in the Louisiana Swamp"

Related information:

* 维基百科: "... 短吻鱷(學名Alligator),屬於鱷目的短吻鱷科。其英文名alligator源自西班牙語el lagarto(意思:蜥蜴)。這名稱是早期在佛羅里達州的西班牙探險家和定居者命名的。... 現時只有兩個國家有短吻鱷,就是美國(密河鱷)和中國(揚子鱷) 。中國短吻鱷更是瀕臨絕種,並只生長在長江沿岸的淡水地區。... 大多數的美國短吻鱷棲息於佛羅里達州Florida和路易斯安那州Louisiana。據統計,僅在佛羅里達州,就有超過一百萬隻的短吻鱷。美國也是世界上唯一個同時擁有短吻鱷科(alligator)和鱷科(crocodile)的國家。美國短吻鱷一般居住在淡水環境,例如池塘、沼澤、河流和濕地。 ..."


Photo credit: "Airboat" picture is from Wikipedia; all others are mine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

旅遊路易斯安那州的沼澤: 短吻鱷 / Alligator-watching in the Louisiana Swamp

The video was taken during an airboat ride in the swampy bayous 45 minutes from New Orleans 新奧爾良, Louisiana, USA. Other than the noise (ear protectors were provided), it was an enjoyable sun-set tour of the wetland where alligators, frogs, bugs, eagles, and other creatures carved out their existence. The 12-foot alligator in the film was not too interested in greeting tourists in a noisy airboat. Apparently, he (the gator) was eyeing a female near by.

( )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

兩週一聚 (十四): 英雄 / 2Weeks1Gather (#14): Hero

(幕一) 在那山移地動的戰鬥声中,成千上萬的軍隊都在屏息定氣,等侍那一觸即發的訊號。三分鐘丶二分鐘丶一分鐘,突然,雷聲隆隆丶電光閃閃!! 『衝呀!』『殺呀!!』『十八年後又是一條好漢呀!!!』像洪堤崩块一樣,吶喊的勇士們一湧而上,他們都知道在這群精英壯士中,大部份人都会在此戰役陣亡,但為了下一代,犧牲是英雄好漢的本色。在熱血沸騰的年青人心中,溫柔鄉何嘗不是英雄塚!!!

(幕二) 城外的戰亂声是逐漸稀疏了,在燭光搖動的影子之下,兩個婦人坐在廚房中黯然無聲,偶爾的鎗聲打破了室內的沈默。良久,那年老的女人低声說:『家嫂,家叔知不知道妳身懷六甲的事?』那做媳婦的下意識用手按着隆起的肚子,噤口微声回答:『他不知道 ...』『唉!這個胎是來得不合時了,現在香港淪陷,憲兵隨街拉俘,妳一定要保護丈夫,照顧家計,我替妳打了這個胎罷。』熱淚從媳婦的臉上流下來,按着肚子的手突然痙攣,下體感到一陣冰冷。

(幕三) 英雄緊抱著那打顫的女人,她面色蒼白,身体已虛弱不堪。糧食短缺,再加上敵人在食水裏放毒,他們這幾個月的生活真是不好過。所有入城的戰士都陣亡了, 英雄是遺一的生存者,保護女人的責任就全放在他身上了。毒藥在他倆的身体內發作,他双眼視覺漸漸開始模糊。『抱緊我罷!我們一定不要放棄生存!!』英雄和女人互相擁抱著,他們的細胞和靈魂融合在一起。

(幕四) 太婆用盡了所有方法,無論是三姑六婆煮泡的濃湯苦藥,黃綠医生特製的絕種神茶,但總是打不下媳婦的胎兒。女人的肚子一日一日地脹大起來,紙不能包火,家叔遲早是会懷疑。太婆望着媳婦那蒼白無神的臉孔,嘆一口氣說:『人漚仔,妳漚仔,為什么妳就是這樣麻煩!!』懷孕的女人聽後,心酸了,在家婆不在的時候,对着肚子說話:『我就是不想要你,但你還是要來,既是如此,從今以後,我們就一定要互相倚靠生存!!』六個月之後,受盡折磨的家嫂生了一個瞎眼的嬰兒。


Other articles in this series:

已報名的各路英雄: The Man、Haricot、readandeat、南杏、小巫、Sherry、周游、chili mom、Hevangel、Zero、火羽、HumptiDumpti、Petit Melon、… 陸續有來。年5月15日第十四期英雄/

Saturday, May 09, 2009

支加哥奧黑爾机場: 來也怱怱,去也怱怱 / Chicago O'Hare Airport: Life is Always Such a Hurry

I was in Chicago's O'Hare Airport rushing btwn gates to make my connecting flight. Still I stopped and snapped a few pictures as people were running all around me. Is life always such a big hurry? I barely had three seconds to reflect before people pushed me back into the moving crowd. The space where I was quickly filled up.

I held on to my three seconds.


Updated (May 12, 2009):

More info abt Chicago airports can be found at

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Responses to Your Comments with Thanks !!!

"「兩週一聚(十三)」之【世界覌的演化過程】 / 2Weeks1Gather #13【Worldview...":
Gwenzilla / 新鮮人

"My Responses to Your Comments (UPDATED May 5, 2009...":
Xiao Zhu

"猜字謎 / Chinese Word-Puzzle"
新鮮人 / the inner space / Xiao Zhu

"旅遊古巴攝影圖片系列:雙體風帆遊艇 / Cuba Travel Pictures: Cruising...":
JessiCa / Michelle / 啤酒花™_J / 新鮮人/Exile / Gwenzilla

"人貂相遇 / When Man and Mink Crossed Path":

「兩週一聚(十三)」之【世界覌的演化過程】 / 2Weeks1Gather #13【Worldview - An Evolving Process】


(一) 月是故鄉明

我是在香港廉租屋邨長大的亍坊小童,多年前單人匹馬,初來埗到這個陌生的西方社会,最初言語不通,又沒有与「鬼佬」打交道的經驗,所以在日常生活方面,都是在華僑圈子之內打滾,主要糧食都是在唐人亍「果仔舖」買的乾濕雜貨,一日三歺不是煑「公仔麵」,就是自己下厨炒快捷丶妥當的廉價餸菜,例如鳮翼丶冰魚丶火腿等。在感情思維方面,無可否認,人非草木,誰屬無情,有了思鄉病,又斷了一段情,当時的心境就像紅線女唱的【昭君出塞】一樣:『... 身在胡边心在漢 ...』,世界覌当然是『月是故鄉明』了!

(二) 外國的月亮

由於父母在港入息不高,縫在我褲頭的銀両有限,所以在亞伯特省Alberta讀大學的時候,每年暑假我都会拼命做工,力賺下年的學費和洗用,七十二行中,我洗過「大餅」restaurant dish washer,亦做過舖鉄路的工人railroad gang labourer,在鋸木廠「拉柴」的勞工,紙廠見習的學生工程司等。九月開課後我每星期也有一兩個晚上要在唐人歺館做收拾碗碟的「巴士仔」bus boy工作,以彌補通貨膨脹帶來的短缺。我雖然捱得辛苦,但卻很喜欢這边对勞工階級的侍遇丶保障丶和权利。無可否認,這個社会比較上是友善和尊重人权,白領藍領,一視同人,沒有香港豪富的白鴿眼,官僚的狗眼看人低。在青年人的理想世界覌來看,外國的月亮又似乎是比較圓!

(三) 同一個月亮

大學畢業之後,我受僱在加拿大北部某鑛產公司,做銅熔鑄爐copper smelter丶鋅精煉廠zinc refinery丶和環境保護部environmental protection的工程司,之後南下安大畧省,替好几個較大的机構工作,担当了科技丶環保丶人事丶管理等不同職位。由於工作範圍擴大,接觸的人漸多,旅遊見識增廣,再加上生理丶心理的成熟,無可否認,個人的世界覌又隨著歲月的磨練而改變了。現在無論我在世界任何一個角落,夜欄人靜之時,我舉頭看到的是同一個月亮,還是那么圓丶明丶美。


Related Links:

* 愛情的分叉路 / What could have been .... ?

* 花開堪折直須折,莫待無花空折枝 (三) / Reminiscing in Front of a Closed Door (Part 3)


Please click below to read other articles from the same series:

* "2weeks1gather" official website:
Related Posts with Thumbnails