Tuesday, December 30

For auld lang syne...

For auld lang syne, my jo, For auld lang syne, We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne.

I'm back to blogging these last two days of the year, after realizing that I've only blogged like 9 times this 2008 so far... Haven't blogged for at least half a year already!

I guess not many will read this (or even constantly read my blog at all) due to my frequent absence and laziness to blog. But for the few who are concerned or curious at all about what's been goin' on in my life thus far, I'll do a brief update here - you can always ask me more on MSN Messenger when you see me online (or rather, on "Busy" status, as I am almost perpetually)... alright, I'll bring you back in time to......

13 June 2008. I enlisted into Yankee Company of BMTC (Basic Military Training Centre) School One as my mandatory National Service (NS) began for me... besides my folks, my friends Lloyd and Leslie travelled with me by ferry to the offshore island of Pulau Tekong, the all-too-familiar place where most recruits spent their first few weeks of military life at. The whole enlistment process took just a few hours, and after bidding farewell, it was time for this recruit to start getting used to this "army" lifestyle... the shaving of hair, the discipline and consequences, and the regimentation of the drills and our turnout/bearing. It was tough initially while I tried to adjust my mindset and my body clock (waking up at 5.30AM was not part of my routine prior to this) to fit the demands of the system. Even if I was mentally prepared, I did not prepare myself physically/medically, resulting in some chest pains and shortness of breath during the initial physical exercises. A few days later, I was given "Attend B" (light duties), and eventually got my OOT ("Out-of-Training") status merely a week later. You see, the Medical Officer (MO) saw that I had several cardiac appointments coming up which would interfere with my regular training - so he went for the OOT. I wasn't really expecting the OOT - got slightly upset that I would have to recourse BMT again. Half a month later on 2 July, I was OoT again - this time, "Out of Tekong". Thus ending my rather short BMT (it was supposed to be 13 weeks, including the PTP - Physical Training Phase).

As for the rest of my military life so far - this past half a year (which vocation I'm in, which camp I'm in, how I feel about it, etc.) - I'm obliged NOT to blog anything about it here, unless I want the Military Security Department (MSD) to come down hot on my heels... you can ask me in private if you're curious. (There's still a limit to how much I can share with you even then - especially when it comes to sensitive information! Shhh!=)

Let's not go into all those mundane army talk... meanwhile, in my civilian life (or what's left of it in these 2 years)...

5 July - Happy Birthday to Naomi! With camp friends from TICE Eco Camp 2008 (see my previous blog posts about it)

26 July - Performed on the keyboard with a band at the 80th Anniversary Community Dinner (Roland Restaurant, Marine Parade) of The Assemblies of God of Singapore. Had the chance to play two solo pieces for Guest-of-Honour Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports. I'm still trying to get (any) photos that were taken of that night's performance.

9 August - Happy 43rd birthday Singapore! Part of the cast and crew of my polytechnic's drama production of J. B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" gathered at our producer/lecturer Wendy's place for a day of feasting, fun, fireworks, and friends! The view of the fireworks was especially good from her top-floor unit near the city - my camera didn't capture it that well, though...

23 August - Caught up with Song Hua (then sergeant-to-be) over dinner at Curry Favor/Moon River Cafe @ Stamford House. I had this Stuffed Mushroom Curry Katsu Combo ($18.90) with miso soup... not too bad but not the best I've eaten :P

24 August - The Grand Finals of Music Express (飞乐时空) 14, a Chinese song writing competition, were held at NTU's Nanyang Auditorium. Congratulations to songwriter/vocalist Jasmine Lim, whose song "Reila" won the "Best Arrangement Award" in the Finals! (She was also the vocalist for my song which entered the Finals.) The following photos are of the live interview during the show with my lyricist Yanxi and I, a segment of the programme booklet of us, and our performance band, respectively.

9 September - My army friend Shawn Poh's 22nd birthday - celebrated loyally by a bunch of guys mostly in No. 4 uniform at the Seoul Garden (Bugis) buffet restaurant! (Too bad we didn't take any photos though; most of us came direct from camp, so we couldn't bring a camera along.)

4 November - Barack Obama FTW (for the win)!

29 November - Accompanied several vocalists on the keyboard at Music for Hope 2008 - a charity performance @ The Heeren Shops. Performed 12 songs non-stop for an hour... this was after several months of weekly practice with the vocalists - you can view the videos of our rehearsals and the actual performance here.

5 December - "Get Naked" - my musical friend/polytechnic schoolmate Natasha's 21st birthday party at Grand Copthorne Hotel. There were friends, food and fun throughout the night... =D you can view what went on behind closed doors here and here. A must-see for the wannabe saboteur!

6 December - Met up with Song Hua and Vincent to visit Ben & Jerry's Chunk Fest. It turned out that the queues for free ice-cream were amazingly long, so we ended up having dinner at Billy Bombers @ The Cathay and then catching the movie "Cape No. 7" - I liked its simplistic yet deeply romantic soundtrack. Later, we managed to catch local premier a capella group "Vocaluptuous" at one of their Christmas gigs at Paragon. Go Simone!

7 December - Another TICE Eco Camp 2008 reunion outing - it was a pity that only Lloyd, Veronica and I could make it... we still enjoyed our "wanton mee" and desserts at Bugis, though. Lloyd and Veron had just come back from their holidays in Malaysia and we fervently discussed the finer points of travel - made me long to get out of Singapore so much (well, further that Pulau Tekong =.="), cos' I didn't step out of the country this 2008... and I'm not expecting to in 2009 too, because of NS (yes, I could take overseas leave, but there remain other uncertain factors to consider).

22 December - Caught the sold-out final show of "Another Crazy Christmas" by Dream Academy Playhouse @ Suntec Theatre. Many thanks to Natasha for her extra ticket! With a live band and lots of singing, spoofs, and parodies, the brightest stars of the Singapore theatre scene lighted up the night with an explosive alakazam! Local Broadway Beng Sebastian Tan crashed the Christmas party, performing his trademark Hokkien song, while Guest stars local premier a capella group "Vocaluptuous" performed a few of their popular numbers, to much cheer. Simone, the only female vocalist in the group, was my lecturer back in my polytechnic days; I worked with her on the sound design for our school's production of J. B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls". "Vocaluptuous" has recently been gaining popularity in the local scene, with more appearances both on TV and radio, especially during this festive season.

27 December - Singapore Polytechnic's Superstar the Pop Musical 2nd Anniversary Reunion... I organized this informal event to provide an opportunity for the cast/crew/band of the musical to gather and catch up with one another once again... many thanks to all those who came, and for those who could not make it, many apologies for choosing this particular date too! =X will see y'all at the next one, yeah? See if you can spot my lecturer (and local singer-songwriter-lawyer) Mr Jimmy Ye in the photo below! He was the Artistic Director for the musical, and wrote its songs and story too... *Hint: he's in the most (only?) outstanding outfit!*

After the event ended at about 11pm, a group of us headed down to Tango's Restaurant & Wine Bar @ Holland Village to chill out and catch up with each other - amidst pizza, wedges and jokes!

Well, it's been a fairly enjoyable year, this 2008... I still feel that 2007 has been the best year of my life so far though. I think I'll do up my resolutions tomorrow... and on this final note...

Happy New Year! May 2009 be a fantastic year for you and your family, filled with opportunities & dreams come true! To my dear friends - take care and keep in touch! =) Cheers to all!


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