Monday, April 14

March 2008 update

Well, my previous post was lengthy because February was such a busy month! March - was not so.

Mar 1. Went for a play, "Walking Into Doors", performed by the NUS (National University of Singapore) Theatre Studies Society at OldSchool, Mount Sophia. The small space of the room the play was held in gave an intimate feel, which allowed the actors/actresses to relate to the audience with incredible talent and expression.

Mar 2. Visited Popular Bookshop's sale at Singapore Expo Hall 6B. Got quite a few bargains.

Mar 7. Watched Jay Chou's movie, "Secret". The music touched me more than the storyline did. It probably goes the same for another musician - we don't just see movies the way people usually do; we listen to them too.

Mar 8. Went for School of Music + the Arts (SoMA) Open House 2008. I was intentionally there to catch their Career Talk, which featured Babes Conde, the internationally-renowned vocal coach and singer/songwriter/composer/pianist. Having worked with her in a past musical as part of an incidental music band, I was enlightened by her stories and advice that she gave to everyone: to go all out for music, always trying again despite failure. Words of wisdom from a seasoned professional.

Mar 13. I had signed up for Ossia Music School's "Jazz Meets Classical" free talk, in the hope of learning something new - it was some time since I went for any formal music talk. So there I was that morning at the Woodlands Civic Centre, slightly late. The moment I opened the door to the room the talk was held in, my jaw nearly dropped when I saw the instructor speaking to mostly parents with their kids. Was I kidding myself - what kid had I to bring in? And I thought the talk had been for professionals, or at least, young adults. Embarassment aside, the talk was rather delightful, emphasizing the need for an "internal body sense" of rhythm that should be inculcated from a young age (I had been to Yamaha Music School when I was young). The instructor also demonstrated how closely related classical and jazz music were, with live examples on the piano. He even invited a few kids up to the piano to try to improvise in a "call and response" fashion; he would play a simple musical motif, and the child would attempt to "answer" back with another. I fondly recall doing this often when I was young(er) - I'm still young okay! :P

Mar 14-22. I fell SICK. Mild cold I think - I didn't see a doctor - just self-medicated myself and drank lots of water. Things got worse when my computer went down (fell sick too I guess) on March 17, though it was gradually repaired and restored to full health over the next week or so.

Mar 24. Met Tze Lip, my fellow buddy from our school's first musical (Superstar: The Pop Musical - see one of my previous posts) for dinner at Pizza Hut in Tampines Mall. I hadn't met him for quite some time since he shifted to his new place at Tampines East (I'm at Tampines West). Later, he came over to my place and had an enjoyable time singing as I accompanied him on the keyboard.

Mar 28. Went for another open house. This time it was that of the new GAMBIT Singapore Lab at The Adelphi. I had been involved in a summer internship program (Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA, in the summer of 2007 (again, see one of my previous posts for more detail), and now they had established a Singapore branch of the program. I met new and familiar faces, and we had a dinner of pizza and snacks over conversations of our current projects and future intentions. It was good to see them after so long.

Mar 29. Earth Hour from 8-9pm! People around the world were encouraged to switch off their lights for an hour to help save the Earth! Song Hua and I had dinner at Olio (Suntec City), expecting the lights to go off around that time. Apparently, only some lights at the taller office buildings were switched off. Well, dinner that night was awesome! Here's what we had:

Olio Teriyaki Tofu Burger $11.90

Mixed Sausage Combo $13.90

Devil's Chocolate Cake $5.50

Olio Style Brownie $7.50

OMG a brownie served on a hot plate! How cool is that - hot on the outside and cool on the inside (there's ice-cream to go!) Check out the bubbling brownie in the video below:

Well, it was a great way to end off the night with such lovely dessert. Rating: 2 smiles!! =P

By the way, if you were wondering how I can be so anal (read "precise") in my dates for my previous post and this, it's because I keep track of every event in my organizer (can't imagine my life without it - it's like my brain, sorting out every nuance of information that flickers through my mind). Till next time!

February 2008 update

Yes, I know it's a bit late for a February update when it's already April now. I haven't had the time to blog these few months because of certain events/projects taking up my time... I'll briefly go into them here...

Feb 2. After getting my hair cut, Song Hua and I went for this hilarious musical, "Chesty Nutty Bang Bang: The Hairspray of the Phoenix", at the National Library's Drama Centre. As seen on their event flyer, "Welcome the lunar new year with this hamper-full of spoof songs, parody sketches and moments of sheer comic ecstasy! All accompanied by the irreverent musical genius of Bang Wenfu!!" We laughed so hard at their unique brand of shameless movie spoofs - from 881 to Hairspray, from High School Musical 2 to Hostel, from Transformers to The Queen! They even had rapid-fire parodies of TV ads, government rap songs, and drunk driving scandals! Freakin' hilarious! :D Oh yea, I managed to find Wenfu (a famous local arranger) on Facebook too, and I've added him as a friend. LOL, hope to have the opportunity to be mentored by him at some point in the future.

Feb 3. Played games @ Settlers' Cafe (Central) with Cheryl, Joanne and Yaoguang, my juniors who went on the SMIT Study Tour to US as well (see my earlier post about the tour). Much like Pit Stop Cafe, Settlers' Cafe has so many games you can't find in the market; some of which are specially imported from overseas! And the rates at Settlers' Cafe are really reasonable, going per table per hour; the more people play, the less it costs everyone.

Feb 7-8. Chinese New Year! A trend was observed of gradually decreasing "ang bao" (red packet) collection, against rising inflation. The collected sum was still triple-digit though. GONG HEI FAT CHOY!

Feb 11. Went for my National Service (NS) medical check-up at the Central Manpower Base (CMPB) at Depot Road. Pending my blood test report and my rapid pulse of my heart, I was given a provisional PES (Physical Employment Status) D and was told to come back again on February 26.

Feb 12. Back to the wild! After a hearty Subway lunch, my diploma course classmates and I went cycling at Pulau Ubin. Peixia hurt her knee when she fell from her bike while going down a steep slope, but it was fortunately just a minor abrasion. As the auburn evening sky darkened, we chatted over dinner at the famous hawker centre in Changi Village, renowned for its traditional yet delicious food. Then it was home sweet home. :)

Feb 14-16. Took a Standard First Aid course at Emergencies First Aid & Rescue with Cheryl. It was sponsored by our school Singapore Polytechnic, so we didn't have to pay a cent. The usual price's $115/$75 for students, by the way. :O We learnt about CPR, bandaging, treating burns, and more. After a final practical and theory test on the final day, we were awarded a 3-year certification in Standard First Aid (certificate and card).

Feb 16. After many days of "pleading" by Bastian, the organizer of my school's Annual Dinner & Dance 2008, I finally relented and attended the event. The theme was "Very Vintage", and the place was Meritus Mandarin Hotel. The food was not too bad; and I got to meet some familiar old faces there. :)

Feb 18. The "LONG-DREADED" day on which I officially lost my teenagehood status. The original plan to celebrate my 20th birthday with a steamboat dinner at Marina South had to be changed because the entire area had turned into a "ghost town", the shops having been closed/relocated, and I would expect, to be demolished as well. This was due to the construction of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort nearby. It was a melancholic moment as I contrasted all the steamboat dinners, bowling games, and kite-flying that I had had there in the past, with the upcoming integrated resort that promised a new experience. It wouldn't be the same; that old feeling of eating your hearts out, with an open field and the city skyline in the distance. We headed over to Pasta de Waraku (a Japanese casual dining restaurant) at Marina Square after some deliberation, and ended the day off with two games of bowling. I don't wanna turn 20! I still look young and I want to stay young too, okay!

Feb 20-21. Performed for Punggol Cove & Periwinkle RC's (Residents' Committee) Chinese New Year Dinner at Orientus Resort Singapore, a new holiday resort located, of all places, inside the Seletar East Camp. =.=" With my keyboard, I accompanied my friend Nic, who sang and played the guitar. After that, Nic kindly gave me a lift to my class chalet at Aloha Loyang (since it was on his way), where I arrived, fatigued after performing, past midnight. We had a BBQ on the second night (February 21), and after a series of adrenaline-driven games, we walked over to the garden maze and playground at the nearby Pasir Ris Park. The next morning, half of us were half-dead, as we checked out of the chalet.

Feb 23. My good friend Song Hua brought me out for my birthday dinner at Indochine Nude Restaurant in Wisma Atria. The soft, cozy ambience of the restaurant attracted us to it. The food, though pricey, was thoroughly delicious - the chocolate brownie with ice-cream dessert at the end being the star to wrap up the night. Thanks for the dinner Song Hua! ;)

Feb 26. Went back in the morning for my NS medical check-up, and I was given PES B (fit for most vocations). Oh well - I'm still aiming to try for the Music & Drama Company (MDC) though - it's the only thing I know how to do!

Feb 27. Received my final semestral results through e-mail. I was neither shocked nor disappointed; I kind of expected my results to tally with the effort I had put in for each module. Here they are: Cumulative final GPA: 3.866, semestral results: 3 'A's, 2 'Distinctions', 1 'B+', 1 'B'.

Feb 28. I finally read Charlotte's Web, that best-selling children's book about a spider that saves the life of a pig. I turned into a child again as I flipped and pored over the yellowed pages of this classic.

Feb 29. February 29 of the leap year 2008! No, I didn't catch The Leap Years though, but Kungfu Dunk instead (my brother had passed me a complimentary ticket for it). After the movie, I went over to witness the opening ceremony of my school's BIRTH Graduation Show at VivoCity, where soon-to-be graduates of the Diplomas in Creative Media Design and Interior Design stole the limelight with a runway show, amidst an exhibition of their works.