Tuesday, May 13

April 2008 update - 1 month to NS!

I know it's quite late already for an April 2008 update, but there's just been so much going on in my life - which equates to an enormous amount of blogging to be done (if I were to blog about every single thing, which I fortunately don't). I have exactly 1 month of freedom left from today, before I enter National Service (Physical Training Phase). Sadded. Well, here's briefly what I got involved in, in April...

4 Apr. Singapore Polytechnic Theatre Compass chalet at Aloha Changi Biggin Hill Bungalow A - a secluded respite from the hustle and bustle of urban city life! My diploma course junior Melissa and I were invited to the barbeque by our lovely lecturer Wendy Ng, who wanted to thank us for our involvement in the various past projects of Theatre Compass. May I highlight the wonderful honey-BBQed chicken wings that night! Absolutely sedap (delicious)! Later that night, Theo (our vocal coach Michelle's husband) brought 12 of us daring kids for a tour of the nearby (haunted?) Old Changi Hospital. It didn't help very much that our group consisted of 13 members and the date was 4/4/08. =.= Some of the odd things that happened over there: 1. Theo detected some "cold spots" in certain rooms of the old hospital and decided not to bring us into them - it was really spooky as his video camera's battery level lowered significantly every time he brought it past the "cold spots". / 2. We were trudging along a walkway on one of the higher levels of the building when we all heard the eerie sound of a distant choir of kids singing - it sounded as if it was from one of the lower levels - goosebumps! / 3. Theo himself claims he has a "third eye" and can see spirits, he himself having died in a motor accident and then minutes later brought to life again. He mentioned seeing a woman in a white gown at the end of one corridor (many people died at the hospital during World War II). / 4. Things got really spooky when not just one, but two members of our group did a role-count halfway through the tour - both admitted having counted 16 people instead - double coincidence or three more guests to our entourage? / We eventually met another group of student "ghost-hunters" but decided to continue with our own course of exploration. Later in the wee hours of the morning, on the way down the hill to the main road outside, we met several cars of (apparently) police officials going up the hill - perhaps doing a routine check of the area for illegal immigrants/activities, or maybe having some clandestine meeting? Whatever it was, they stopped and asked us what we were doing, and smirked at our view that the place was haunted. As for me, I do believe in ghosts and spirits, and the notion that they are just as afraid of us as we are of them. That's why I chose not to be afraid but instead showed respect for the place and whoever inhabited it - nothing significant happened to me, besides an increased heartbeat and the goosebumps. Tired out as we reached home (chalet), I caught a few hours of nap before heading home to prepare for the next day's hectic event...

5 Apr. Gig: Launch of the ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) Card @ Junction 8, organized by Temasek Junior College as part of the Singapore Kindness Week. Cards were handed out to members of the public in a bid to promote a spirit of awareness to the less fortunate around us. I accompanied several of my polytechnic musical friends (Esther, Melissa, Wee Kiat, and Syed) on the keyboard; we performed "Close To You", "If You Can See Through My Eyes" (an inspiring number from our polytechnic's 'Superstar: The Pop Musical' that we were all involved in), and "I Will Survive". You can listen to a 'live' rehearsal recording of the songs here. The guest star for the event was Paul Twohill (finally got to see him 'live', though I did catch him briefly at another event at the National Museum - not that I'm a fan of him).

11 Apr. I attended a Navy Careers talk at the SAF Careers Centre @ Depot Road - for a free Eng Wah movie voucher and a delightful, exaggerated (may I add government-sponsored) buffet spread. After the event, I had already boarded a bus back to Redhill MRT Station and was thinking why the bus's EZ-Link reader did not beep when I got on the bus (not that the bus driver noticed, as the bus was crowded). That's when I realised that my EZ-Link card was MISSING! I immediately got off the bus at the next stop and trudged back thinking whether the staff at the visitor registration counter had passed me my EZ-Link card when I returned the visitor pass and locker key (for my camera handphone). He apparently HAD NOT, even denying my claims at first that I did indeed return everything I was supposed to at the counter minutes before. It was only after verifying my identity and searching through their collections that they found my EZ-Link card, left behind in their drawer. Good service indeed. *smirks* They didn't even bother to apologise after returning me my card, as if it was my fault.

12 Apr. In the afternoon, I went for Channel U's SuperBand auditions @ Toa Payoh HDB Hub with a band I had just met recently over the local SOFT.SG music forum. The live crowd of hundreds of people and fans made the atmosphere lively even though it was raining. I even happened to meet Yuan Jie, Ryu, and Arif, my diploma coursemates who were helping out in the event as sound crew/stagehands. It was finally our band's turn to perform, in front of the cameras and the crowd, though we didn't pull our audition song (够爱 by 东城卫 & a Chord) off as good as we had hoped. The judges commented that our delivery/arrangement of the song could have been more creative, and that the lead vocalist had to watch out for his high notes. We didn't get through, but it was a good experience :) Here's a group photo of our band, 疯林岳:

Later that night, I met up with Song Hua at Changi Airport's Terminal 1 to welcome Bastian and the rest of my course juniors (Cheryl, Ginny, and Joanne) back from their overseas internship in China - coincidentally, they had taken a transfer flight back through Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific flight CX711 - the very same flight I had took during a school study tour to Hong Kong in 2006. It was good to see them back again after 9 weeks. Song Hua and I then caught "The Bucket List" at Golden Village (Tampines Mall), a movie about 2 cancer-stricken patients coming up with a list of things they wanted to do before they "kicked the bucket". The touching movie (and film score) reminded me of how precious time was, encouraging me to spur on even in the face of difficulty. Which reminds me of my favourite quote: "Measure life not by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." - a maxim which I follow in my daily life, treasuring every fleeting moment of it.

15 Apr. Had an interview at Mastereign Academy for a freelance music teacher job. It went better than I expected, as they were impressed by my CV and performance experience, the only thing holding me back being my 2-year National Service commitment. Still, they've got me registered on their freelance teacher list, and I hope I can have a chance of working with them soon - perhaps in 2 years' time.

18 Apr. Met my diploma coursemates Peixia, Meijun, Clef, Yuan Jie, Boyuan, and Louis to collect our graduation gowns for the upcoming Graduation Ceremony. The appointed supplier, Serangoon Broadway, was thankfully a short walk from the nearby Potong Pasir MRT Station. The rental fee for the gown was $76.75 (including a $50 deposit), tearing holes in our pockets. The staff there even relentlessly tried to persuade us to purchase "graduation portrait packages" at 20% off the usual price - still beyond what most of us could afford, they ranged from $110 for an individual 8R shot to a whopping $2080 for a family 60R shot. Whoopi(Goldberg)! Of course, none of us got "conned" to take such a pricey shot just for a (measly?) diploma. We then went for dinner at Ajisen Ramen (Plaza Singapura), where I ordered a set of Crayfish Ramen with Baby Octopus and Iced Lemon Tea (total of $16.30). More holes in my pocket (I'm waiting for the return of my $50 deposit when I return the gown after the graduation ceremony).

19 Apr. Had lunch at Breeks (Marina Square) with some Theatre Compass friends (Kamesh, Nuraini, Sabrina, Feroz, Hamidi) and Wee Kiat. I ordered a Seafood Aglio Olio, a Brownie with Warm Cheese Sauce, and Lemon Tea. We all also shared a Mixed Safari Platter (with buffalo wings, waffle fries, etc). Total price for me: $15.

22-23 Apr. "An Inspector Calls" - a school play in which I was involved in as sound designer. Look out for my next post about it!

25 Apr. Lollipop! Party @ Ministry of Sound (MOS), a back-to-school party organized by Singapore Polytechnic's OOPS! Magazine. The cast and crew of "An Inspector Calls" (AIC) were on the priority queue, so we didn't need to queue at all to enter the venue, unlike the hundreds of eager student clubbers outside waiting for their free entry (with their Singapore Polytechnic admission card) into the venue. Many of them did not manage to enter as the club was already full! Lucky for us AIC people, we not only got in quickly but also had a VIP buffet area, along with a free drink coupon, catered exclusively for us (and the other VIP guests, including our avid supporter, the Principal of Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Tan Hang Cheong). Sad that the party lasted only till 9pm, as the MOS staff had to clear the place to re-open to the public at 10pm. Spot me in the photo below!

29 Apr. Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day! The worldwide event saw snaking long queues for a free cone of ice-cream. I went to White Sands Shopping Centre @ Pasir Ris, hoping for a free cone too, but decided against it, as the queues there numbered hundreds of people - mostly school children who had finished their lessons! The lengths of time people sacrifice for a free ice-cream cone - I guess I'd rather buy it (at its exorbitant price) myself. It currently costs about $12+ for a pint of it here; I got it at US$4 over in Boston! I could have gotten 2 pints there for the price of 1 pint here. Thankfully, I had already savoured quite a few pints of it over in Boston last year during my 9-week internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (see one of my previous posts for more information). =)


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