31 Dec 2012

Reboot

Here I am, just a little more than six hours away from January 1st 2013 in my time zone.

It's really nothing more than a roll over onto the start of another year, but we see it as something much more meaningful and monumental. At the basic level, it's proof that we've survived another year without wiping everything out.

But what we more commonly talk about is how the first day of the new year signals the cleaning of some slate. It's as though the addition of one more day somehow presses a button, and suddenly you become pumped and ready for the challenges that await in 2013. And somehow all the grudges that you held up until the very last femtosecond of 2012 just magically vanish.

Honestly I find that a bit silly.


26 Dec 2012

Christmas: Epilogue

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She liked Christmas a lot. Not just because of the presents, but because she got to meet Santa, and hear the carolers sing, and have fun with family and friends. In fact, the presents were the least of her concern.

This Christmas was supposed to be pretty similar to the previous ones she celebrated. It would always start with her running down the stairs towards the Christmas tree, where she would find a few presents, neatly wrapped and gingerly placed beneath it. She would tear through the wrapping to uncover the gift she received, as her parents happily snapped away with their camera, capturing those precious moments of joy and excitement.

However, this Christmas was noticeably different.

"Hey Daddy! I found something on my other present!"

"...Other present? You sure you didn't mistake it for mine or Mommy's?"

"No, it has my name on it! See?"

This was quite strange indeed, for Daddy had secretly bought only one gift for her. He counted the boxes underneath the tree... strange, there is one extra!

"Um, honey? Could you come down here for a moment?"

Mommy trotted down the stairs. "What's wrong honey?"

Daddy quietly explained the situation to Mommy, while the girl was holding up the extra gift at different angles, trying to find out what was inside.

"...I only purchased your gift, darling. You told me that you were responsible for buying the book–"

"–which I did! Yet that box looks like something much larger than the book I got for her! What's going on?"

"Mommy! Daddy! Can I open this up nooooow?"

The couple stared at each other. Mommy sighed.

"Alright honey, you can open it up."

"YAAAAAAY!" And the girl ripped the outer wrapping into countless shreds, revealing what was underneath...

25 Dec 2012

Christmas Night

Ding! Roger's phone produced a musical chime as it rested on the dresser.

He didn't need to check the phone to figure out what the chime was for. He set an alarm to remind himself of tonight's event, which he had already been preparing for during the week. Finding some proper clothes, searching for an appropriate present, thinking of fresh conversational material to work with... it had been such a long time since Roger attended a party event with other unfamiliar guests. He dared not make a fool of himself.

A little dab of the cologne here and... done! He looked proper in his suit and tie, hair in place. Nothing wrong in the appearance department, though it looked like he put on some weight in his face... or did he actually lose weight before?

It still felt weird to Roger, going for an event that he had been invited to on what seemed like a whim by a fresh face. Maybe Dominic was one of those people who went through a dramatic life-changing experience that left him with a hyper optimistic view on life? Then perhaps he'd still be happily content with the bottle of wine Roger would bring along to the house. After all Roger had absolutely no clue on what Dominic might like, apart from... well, Christmas itself really.

Finally Roger was ready to set off to the glittering house, still dazzling thanks to the decorations he helped Dominic put up not too long ago. Although it did look like he added extra touches to the exterior, because it seemed like the house grew younger. Odd.

But that wasn't the only odd observation.

There was a crowd of people gathered in front of Dominic's porch, looking eager to get the party started. Apparently all the other guests were already here, but they couldn't enter. What's going on?

24 Dec 2012

Christmas Eve

"All right, guys. This is the final song of the night! This one is for Madison!"

The crowd cheered. The build-up began, with the intense bass and kicks getting more rapid, and the synthesized melodies growing in volume. 

And as the drop came, the dancers on the floor exploded into their freestyle movements. Nobody was made fun for their quirky muscle jerks. This was the time to let it all out and immerse in the music.

The technicoloured lights pulsed in time to the pumping beat. Everyone was getting hot and sweaty, but nobody cared. They were lost in the melody and rhythm, just what they came here for. The night was still young. 

"...and that's all from me! You've been a FANTASTIC crowd! This is DJ Rick signing off!"

The exhilarated crowd whooped in appreciation of the great performance Rick gave, as he handed the decks over to the next performer lined up for the adrenaline-hungry audience. 

Finally he could relax! Rick quickly went to the restroom for a quick change and freshening up. Boy was he famished after hours of spinning at the decks! But where could he find a place to eat this late at night?

He checked the digital clock on his smartphone: it was 15 minutes after midnight, less than 24 hours before Christmas arrived here. Maybe there was still a 24-hour diner around here...

23 Dec 2012

2 Days to Christmas

"'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la laaaa, la laaa la laaa!"

Sure he may have looked like some bumbling idiot singing that out loud. He didn't care though, because he had the right to enjoy the season to the fullest. C'mon, it was the time of giving and spreading joy! The stifling clothes and scarf won't deter him from expressing his feelings physically!

He wouldn't have known this joy if he hadn't met a certain classmate in college who would become one of his best friends. That friend had such an optimistic outlook on so many things in life, it gradually infected him like a pathogen. And he liked it: so many of his worries became easier to deal with, and his life turned a full 180 degrees from that point.

As he skipped merrily along the pavement, garnering even more stares from puzzled onlookers, the merry fellow pondered: where was that friend now? After being in the same classes for so many years, they ended up separated since graduation, and he couldn't find the address of the new house. It would be quite a bizarre coincidence if they should meet now...

...hang on. Was that the friend? He could almost certainly recognise the person... what the heck, he took the chance to be flat out embarrassed in public (as though he wasn't embarrassing himself already with his prancing and fa-la-la-ing). 

"YO SNOWY!"

22 Dec 2012

3 Days to Christmas

"Bah, it's the same stupid Christmas specials again!"

The old woman sighed and turned off the TV. The holiday was just getting too stale for her now. The same old shows, same Christmas songs... the novelty was wearing thin. With the freezing weather making gardening impossible, what else was she left to entertain herself with? Knitting? There wouldn't be anybody to appreciate her half-hearted attempts anyway. 

Maybe she should have learned to use the computer and surf the Internet more proficiently, but it would take her really long to get used to the so-called "user-friendly interface". More like "youth-friendly", she thought. How did those whippersnappers make sense out of the strange pictures and rectangles? Seeing her son doing an Internet search was already like watching an alien operating foreign machinery...

The point was, she didn't want to be cooped up in her home any longer. Perhaps some fresh air would do her good and lighten her spirits.

And so she found her way back to the streets. She might be old, but she was still fit as a fiddle and sharp as a tack, which she attributed to taking long walks like this. She was searching for the bistro restaurant where she met her to-be-husband (bless his soul) for the first time, and was later proposed to a few years after that. The same restaurant had taken in her kids as new customers, and following them her grandchildren too. Now if she could find the exact same table that she and her husband liked to sit at...

What do you know? Still virtually unmoved from its original position. Wait... was that... it can't be. Was she hallucinating??? But there's a man sitting right there who looked like her husband from the back! How could that be?

"Excuse me..."

21 Dec 2012

4 Days to Christmas

"And what would you like for Christmas, little girl?"

"Um... I really want a nice little doll with pretty hair and a pretty dres— wait I already have those! Er...  I guess I want a huge floating castle in the sky where there are lots of colourful clouds around that I can jump on and there are princesses and princes and a king and queen that live inside the castle, and I can ride with them on magical unicorns that leave behind pretty shiny rainbows beneath their feet, and I can just sing and dance and play with them forever and ever! Yeah!"

"Wow, little missy! That sounds like quite a tall order... I'll see what I can do for you! Ho ho ho!"

"Thank you Santa!"

"Okay that's all! That was the last one! No more queueing until tomorrow! Santa needs a break!"

That announcement was the sound of kids' expectations being let down, but to "Santa" it was music to his ears. The man in the red costume and the fake beard finally heaved a sigh of relief as he sunk into the velvet throne he was stuck on for the past hour. Finally he could do what we wanted to do... which frankly he hadn't decided yet, but he was sure it would have to be done far away from children for a while.

He gave a quick wave and smile to the slightly disappointed children who were watching from the sides, and disappeared into the closet backstage. The suit and beard were itching like crazy, and he was so desperate to take them off!

20 Dec 2012

Past Entry 18

28th December 2011

So yet another Christmas has zipped past for me. I'm getting really anxious and worried again. Not only because after this holiday will be school again, but also my last year in Raffles. Most of my memories so far have occurred within those compounds, although I think my memory's starting to fail me. 

After going through 2012, and assuming I do well enough to graduate from JC, I'll be declared an alumnus of RI. Well that was supposed to happen 2 years ago, before the merger happened, but that's a small technicality. And once I become an alumnus, I have no idea what's in store for me after that. Honestly I don't have much of a clue as to what to pursue in the future yet. I used to be so sure of what to study, what job to take etc, but with both pressure and unexpected obstacles taking their toll, I can't place much confidence in coming up with a good plan yet.

5 Days to Christmas

(SCENE: a WOMAN is sitting down on one of the benches located along the side-walk. She is huddling up in her coat, trying to keep her irritated nose under control. She occasionally sneezes, blowing her nose with a piece of tissue. A white-haired tall MAN enters stage left. Just as he walks in front of her...)

WOMAN:
Ahh...AAH...AHCHOO!

MAN:
(gets out of the way) Whoa! You've got a nasty cold there!

WOMAN:
Oh my gosh! I'm (sniff) so terribly sorry! Did I get anything on you? I have some tissues you can use...

MAN:
Naah it's fine, I'm clean. Thanks for the concern! I think you're the one who needs help though.

WOMAN:
Oh don't mind me. This kind of cold usually goes away in a few days... I hope...

MAN:
Tell you what, let me get you a hot drink. That might be what you need.

WOMAN:
Oh it's okay! You don't have to do it for me, I can get it by myself later—

MAN:
Don't worry! Besides I also came to get my own drink too, so I might as well do you a small favour.

WOMAN:
No I insist, you don't have to trouble yourself over thi—

(The MAN quickly exits stage right.)

WOMAN:
Geez... I wish this freaking cold will (sniff) go away soon... I can't miss the Christmas Eve play or it'll be ruined!

19 Dec 2012

6 Days to Christmas

Christmas is inching closer. But he didn't really care about it that much.

He did like the festivities going on: the music, the gift exchanges, the food, he didn't mind all of that. However there was one thing that bugged him.

He was a Christmas baby.

Everyone was always fussing over what to get for who, which places they should go to, what to where, which carols to pick for the door-to-door carolling, but not everybody knew about his birthday. Even if they did know, their own Christmas plans often took priority. And he would be left alone to commemorate another year of his existence in this world.

Once again he lamented this fact as he sat on a wooden bench, admiring the scenery that the park had to offer. It was one of the few places in this district to be shielded from the noisy bustle of the crowd in the Christmas season. As usual he wasn't planning on what presents to get for his friends, but what cake he should buy for himself this year.

His solitary space would be momentarily disturbed by another man who took a rest on the same bench. Interestingly this uninvited guest was young, but had white hair on his head...

18 Dec 2012

7 Days to Christmas

"Please sir, have a heart!"

Just like the others, the man whisked past Rose, treating her no differently from the background scenery.

It was so hard for her to compete against her rivals standing next to their red kettles and ringing their bells, let alone fight with the other numerous distractions in the streets. She was just an insignificant woman holding a metal can, blocking the path of passers-by. But she knew it was something she had to do it for her cause... for her son.

She heard the sound of coins falling into the metal can.

Now who was this donor who looked past the bell ringers and dazzling Christmas lights?


17 Dec 2012

8 Days to Christmas

"Daddy, are you sure Santa's real?"

"Of course, honey. Why do you ask?"

"Then why are there so many Santas in the malls and on the streets?"

"Well... those aren't actual Santas, they're just his assistants. It's hard for him to be so many places at once, so he gets many people to help him quickly spread the Christmas magic! But Santa's definitely real, Jane!"

"Oooooh!"

Phew, another nice save. But how long could he keep this up? Surely she must know the truth at some point in her life. It was already heartbreaking to see her ask the mall Santa for her mommy back the past few years. She still thought Mommy's in the North Pole, where Santa also stays. Truth is, even he had no clue where she went. He just came up with that convenient lie, given that it happened on a Christmas Day...

"Daddy! Is that Santa over there? But he doesn't have a beard..."

Huh? Who was she pointing to?


16 Dec 2012

9 Days to Christmas

[Posted on December 16th]

Err... Hi. Sorry I haven't been writing more often on my blog. Life's been CRAZY. @_@

Christmas is coming soon, and I've been so busy preparing for the party on the eve! You know, the class party I keep stressing over. Of course I'm in charge of it because I'm the class monitor.

There was so much stuff still left to settle: the decorations, the food catering, the entertainment... I was almost on the verge of just cancelling the party because I thought I wouldn't be ready on time! 

But I knew I couldn't cancel it. This party was my final chance to meet him. I wanted the party to be as perfect as possible, so I could impress him.

I was so overwhelmed. What should I do? >.<

I would have just called it quits there and then... but this guy I met today helped convince me otherwise! 

15 Dec 2012

10 Days to Christmas

"That would be seventy-nine sixty, please."

"Okay, here's my credit card."

The queue's getting longer. He better work faster or the boss would harp on him.

"Thank you, have a nice day!"

"You too."

Oh goodness, there doesn't seem to be an end to the line! Some customers were getting visibly annoyed, staring at their surroundings, looking at their watches and phones, humming and hawing...

Gaaah! I wish somebody could just take over for even a few minutes! 

Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to take this job, because he didn't consider the rush of people that would appear around this time of the year. For some reason he completely neglected the near inevitable scenario of the Christmas shoppers flooding the departmental store. His mind was too transfixed on desperately finding a way to earn his living independently. 

Was he too hasty to move out? He was too swamped in the work to have second thoughts now.

14 Dec 2012

11 Days to Christmas

"Yup. It's definitely looking a lot like Christmas."

The giant, furnished pine tree didn't reply back. It just stood as majestically as before, bathing in the attention by the public.

"Where is he? He's already half an hour late! Did he forget our date? Let me call him up..."

She rummaged through her red leather handbag. Normally she didn't wear red, but given the festivities it seemed appropriate to dress for the occasion... or in anticipation of it. Ah! There was her phone. She pressed "1" on her speed dial. Made sense, since he was number one in her heart at the moment.

The winds were getting chillier by the minute.

"We're sorry, the number you're calling is unavailable. Please try again la–"

Darn it, does he even know about the date? The lady grew more and more impatient, pacing around in her red stilettos. Again, to reflect the festive mood. But that seemed to matter less and less, as she was feeling a mix of anxiety and frustration. She could have been hanging out with her "sisters", gossiping and shopping in the newly opened mall down town. Perhaps she should ditch him... yeah. That'd teach him a lesson on punctuality and keeping promises.

"this is wat u get 4 takin ur sweet time gettin here. >:(" And send.

With a flick of her rouge hair she briskly marched her way to the mall. "Hey Melanie? Yeah it's Sylvia. Are you still there? Yeah I don't think my boyfriend's coming, mind if I join you gals?"


13 Dec 2012

12 Days to Christmas

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why..."

Great, the Christmas songs are back again. Just another reminder to people to fulfil the bothersome task of scouring for gifts, and make a troublesome trip to meet relatives. Practically every radio station is blasting out these songs at this time of the year, so changing the channel wouldn't help. But he couldn't turn it off, simply because he needed to be able to listen to the traffic and weather reports.

Fortunately he didn't have to endure that much longer, since he had finally just reached his house. No more of that pop drivel assaulting his ears as he waited in a traffic jam! Eagerly he entered the warm toasty building, changed to looser clothes, and just lied down on the couch. The hot bath and cocoa drink would have to wait for a while.

...was that a tapping noise?


12 Dec 2012

Christmas: Prologue

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was slumped on the cobblestone ground, sobbing. She couldn't care about the world around her anymore. The snow, the lampposts  the wind... all of it just meaningless now. She just wanted to be alone, just fade away and disappear.

She was denied of her wish when a mysterious tall man came along. She wanted to run, but she had already run all this way into an unknown place, and her body was too tired to move. She wanted to scream, but the cold air was too much on her throat. And nobody else would be able to hear her anyway.

"Are you alright, girl?"

11 Dec 2012

300

No I don't mean the movie, I mean the posts milestone I've just attained!

How about that? I'm not boasting that I've managed to churn out 300 entries of pure gold, because frankly not all of them are like that. But if anything it could be an indication of my persistence and dedication to this site.

Then again many other bloggers would have already hit this number much earlier, due to their higher frequency of posting on their sites. So actually having 300 posts isn't too huge of a deal. If this blog somehow hits 1000 then I'd be qualified to make a bigger celebration out of the number of posts.

Actually I thought of putting this off until tomorrow, when the date will be a nice 12/12/12, but then I already had something planned on that date, and double posts will seem weird. That's why I'll do the 300th post today!

So what did I learn 300 posts later?


7 Dec 2012

La Fin et le Début

Well I finally got started on this darn project that I set myself up for. And I decided to go in a slightly different direction.

I initially thought of doing 12 different stories, all of which will be tied together on Christmas Day. Then I felt that it'd be a bit too troublesome to make each one a story. So really now each of the twelve days before Christmas will have a chapter instead. That way I don't always have to give a small story. But everything will come together on Christmas Day still.

While that was going on, I also briefly checked in on the online Twitter feed. Apparently I chanced upon the #noir12 hashtag, where people's tweets would flash up on the "tweetboard" situated over there in real time. From what I gathered looking at the tweets, I thought that the people there were really... bored.


5 Dec 2012

Preparations

So I've given a little bit more thought into this kinda insane plan to start out 13 original Christmas-related stories, posting them one on each day starting from 12 days from the holiday. On Christmas day itself I could tie them all together into some finale. I might just start on the first one afterwards... or tomorrow... or... later. I think.

Others are also making preparations right now, including those RI(JC) students that decided it worthwhile to attend an expensive and glamorous dinner event to enjoy last moments with friends. Searching for suits or dresses, arranging transport, hiring grooming services... it all adds up to that one night where they get to make their best physical impressions on onlookers.

Perhaps some are taking this thing too seriously, as though it's the last time they'd see each other again. Well sure it's the last time they'd be together as 17/18-year-olds still lingering in their post-exam euphoria, before they seemingly get shoved into another stage of adulthood. Still, it's not like the batch, let alone the class, can never ever meet up again in the future. We wouldn't be together as classmates anymore, but we can still keep in touch as peers. With many social channels like Facebook and Twitter, it's been easier than ever to maintain contact.


30 Nov 2012

Past Entry 23

May 24 2012


Just wrote another message to myself today.


Well, that IS what I usually do for all these Past Entries already, but this time it was an instruction by our form teacher during lesson: she'd keep all these "messages to the future self" in sealed envelopes (assuming she wouldn't try to peek inside) and pass them all back when we're done with the 'A' Levels exams so we can read what we have to say to ourselves. After all, who knows us better than us? It'd be the most appropriate choice to make us congratulate and console ourselves, to let us see how much we've changed throughout the arduous journey in our academic pursuit. Even a few months can make a drastic difference.


But I thought that I've been doing these kind of messages to myself already, and if I do the same here it wouldn't be that much unique than for others, apart from the fact that the Past Entries are typed out and stored online, while this message is handwritten and preferably read in private. So I decided to take it a bit further...

28 Nov 2012

Past Entry 17

December 11 2011


Finally I've been able to observe a lunar eclipse! Last night the sky around my area was fortunately cloudless, which allowed my dad and I to observe the event clearly. He even got to take photos of the moon as we stood near one of the state land plots beside the Compass Point shopping mall. Turns out the whole phenomenon stretched for more than a few hours, so it turned out to be quite a neck-straining and leg-tiring experience staring at the pale scarlet disc above our heads.


Definitely a much better experience than the first lunar eclipse of 2011. That was sometime in June when I wrote one of the Past Entries (I think the 12th Entry) while waiting to go out with my dad to the Singapore Science Centre. There was a movie-screening event held there as public member anticipated the start of the eclipse. Unlike last night, the first lunar eclipse was supposed to be observable during the wee hours of the morning, about 1am onwards if I recall. 

26 Nov 2012

Looking Forward, Glancing Back

The transition is almost over. Just three more days and I'm done.

No longer will I have to don a school uniform ever again. I will for the first time actually start working next year.

Is it exciting? Not terribly, knowing that office work can get boring, but at least it's better than what I could have ended up doing instead that would be much worse. Is it scary? I guess it'll feel kinda bumpy getting to adjust to the changes, but it's not totally intimidating. Besides there are reasons that discourage me from being stuck as a JC student for any longer.

Meanwhile I know that currently a significant portion of RI JC students have one event on their minds: the graduation night. Set to a "noir" theme and supposedly the best way to celebrate surpassing the 12 years of education. I've mentioned earlier that I'm definitely not going for an event that pressurises students into spending lavishly on looks and cosmetics just to try to impress others like a peacock flaunting its tail feathers. The batch nominations for Mr/Ms whoever it is aren't such a big deal either. I wouldn't remember who would be voted as a great dancer or a funny clown or a charming person, and I wouldn't need to remember anyway. 

Well maybe I'd be curious about whether the so-called best dancer does end up doing anything dance-related as a career, or whether the class clown goes out to become a world-class stand-up comedian, or whether the Prom King actually ends up having success in romance. But that'd be too much effort to monitor each winner's progress throughout life.

18 Nov 2012

More Spontaneous Rambling

It's close, but not quite near enough to "feel" it yet.

Just four more afternoon papers to go. I'm two thirds of the way there.

Sounds like a small thing to deal with, but that's not the case at all. Rather I think it's quite dangerous to start feeling all relaxed and end up compromising on studying too much. This ordeal's far from over. That's the reality. Doesn't mean I can't chill out a bit, just that I can't completely neglect this.

Still, I'm kinda glad I'm nearer to the end. It's satisfying to see the application of the accumulation of years of learning and studying, but I wish it didn't come with such heavy weight on the outcomes.


12 Nov 2012

We now interrupt the examinations for a brief rant

I'm at the first pit stop of this demanding race. This was never meant to be a continuous marathon, but still the rest is more than welcome.

"Oh but shouldn't you take this time you're given to revise for the other exams?" Hold your horses. I of course will do that. For now I rest. I still have three days before the next paper.

But for now I can bid farewell to Maths and GP... well it's more like sending it away for a while on a vacation because it's inevitable I'll meet both again in some form. These are the topics that seem more or less indispensable to many people of various occupations. 

4 Nov 2012

Almost Free

I just want to get lost after these blasted exams.

Maybe not physically, because that could cause problems when I go missing and cannot be found.

I mean more of getting my mind lost. Set it free for a bit. Put it back in discovery mode. Let it wander around, with no pressure to hardwire exam-crucial information into my head for quite a while. 

I just want to learn new things, doesn't have to be skills, can be snippets of interesting information that may or may not be related to what I've learnt already. Perhaps I'll be able to comprehend the meaning / usefulness of past ideas better, or extend what I know into fresh new concepts. That's what I prefer: seeing old things in new lights, and even discover new things altogether.

31 Oct 2012

Dead Echoes

Clink... 

Clink.... 

Clink...

The sounds echoed throughout the house. He brought it upon himself and he knew it. The previous owner was more than eager to sell it to him at a low price. She appeared pale and tired that day... probably had to deal with the same predicament during her stay. Still, he desperately needed a place to live and would have taken the deal anyway.

What was causing the racket? Doesn't seem to be anything electricity-related, since tonight's storm knocked out the power. And he didn't think any appliances he owned would produce that odd noise anyway... was it loose metal? 

No way he could tolerate this any further, just as he had valiantly attempted to endure for the past couple of weeks. This time, tonight, he WILL investigate this. Even amidst this blasted power outage.  

And on a Halloween night, of all nights.

28 Oct 2012

Test

I've re-realised that the 'A' Level examinations aren't as big as they tend to be hyped up to be.

I mean I kind of knew that I shouldn't make too huge a deal out of it at first, but I got swept up with the rest by the pressure and stress, along with the unnecessarily high standards I ended up setting for myself. But a little change in perspective reset my focus, armed with a stronger belief than before.

First of all, I don't think any of my aspirations require straight A's. I've probably already said that I would very unlikely find myself in a situation where I'm mostly cooped up in an office, stuck with a huge workload and with little rest even on non-working days. Lawyers and doctors are out, to mention a few. Where my tendencies lie, grades may not be such a great determining factor in future paths. I can prove myself worthy and valuable through other means!

Secondly, I also realised that I may have put too much weight on the 'A' Levels as a final escape from exams and from boring lessons forever. This of course is a false notion. Not just on a technical aspect that I'd likely still have to attend university lectures and tests, but also that I can never escape from tests or lessons even after that.

20 Oct 2012

Nowhere and Everywhere

If this post sounds like a long weird rambling, I'm trying to get myself unstuck from the limbo I'm currently in.

To be slightly more specific, it's like my state of mind is stuck between a few states, not leaning to any one.

I really don't know why, of all times, I get into this odd emotional/mental stagnancy. I feel I should be focused and worried about the exams creeping (not so) slowly with each passing second, yet I also get this unusual sense of comfort and ease, as though it's already over and I don't need to care about this any longer. And yet another part of me is urging me to just have a lot of fun and indulge in whatever leisurely activities within my comfort zone that I can get my hands on, rationalising that beyond this point of 'A' Levels, life would get more drab and rigid. Contrastingly, some part of me also knows that I can make my own fun and play after these exams too.

12 Oct 2012

Why?

Why?

Not just what, but why?

That's the message brought today during the Farewell Assembly in RI for the Year 6 students. Behind every action there's a motivation we should be aware of. Behind every means to an end, there should be a justification for employing such means to this particular end. Nothing should be committed to without being clear on the reason by such commitment. Do we really know why we're doing what we're doing at the moment?

And frankly, I've been tossing this around in my head for quite a while now. (Well actually I've been tossing around different interpretations of this question around, but I'll deal with the intended question here.) 

We seem to be getting more and more conditioned into diving into stuff while leaving questions for later. Okay, we may ask ourselves why we'd do such things, but would probably settle for answers that sound fine for now. "Why do I want to join this CCA? Because my ex-classmate is in it." "Why do I want to take this subject? Because I guess I feel alright in it." "Why do I need to get really good scores for the 'A' Levels exams? So I can get a job." They may be correct, but they all sound vague and superficial. Some even resemble clichéd adages periodically mentioned by others who went through a similar experience. Yet they don't seem to highlight on the inner personal desire being addressed by making such a decision.

30 Sep 2012

The Lady In White

Ah, mon cher. I was afraid you'd be late. Still as beautiful as always.

Why don't you come out like this more often? It's such a pity I don't get to see you dressed like this all the time. Let your radiance show! I certainly don't mind. 

I'm not sure why, but you like to keep toying with me. Just when I'm having the most out of our pleasurable meeting, you slip away again into hiding. On some nights you don't even turn up at all. Why is that? Are you afraid of something or someone? 

Still the quiet type I see. And you're quite hard to read. Why are you so tight-lipped? Are you so paranoid of spilling any secrets? No matter, I'm not here to get you to divulge anything, just simply want your company.

24 Sep 2012

Deviant

"Wake up son! Today's the big day!"

...?

"Don't you remember? It's your birthday! You know what that means?"

"mmmhm... I get a cake?"

"That's right! I left it on the table! It's your favourite type of cheesecake!"

"But I don't even like chee–"

"No time to waste! Quickly get changed, we can't take a birthday family picture with you in your pajamas! Hup-hup!"

She seems unusually excited... what's going on?

...

16 Sep 2012

Why Do I Blog?

I've already told people on why I started this blog. In fact it's even spelled out neatly in the "About Me & This Blog" section. But just in case you're not viewing this post on site, or somehow you can't access that section, here's a brief overview: I fractured my ankle 4 years ago, and ended up homebound for quite a bit, not being able to move around much. Out of boredom I thought I might as well set up a personal blog to satisfy said boredom, and also because I seemed behind the social trends as seen by the other blogs set up by personal acquaintances years before. 

Admittedly things came out a bit clumsy for a while, because I had no clear clue on what to blog about. Blogs I've seen talk about personal events, some showcasing personal photos of themselves with friends at events, some talk about their secret crushes in school or complain about strict teachers and their homework loads. I think I tried too hard to imitate them, and eventually decided to just – well, go along with it. Just whatever comes to mind really, because there really is no reason to force myself to meet audience demands by moulding every single post, like how a pop music producer forces himself to go with tried-and-tested formulae when crafting songs. 

2 Sep 2012

Writing A Blog Post

I arrive at the main Blogger site.

I check in a bit on how the blog statistics have changed: number of views, sources, where readers come from and what browsers they used (unfortunately a majority still used Internet Explorer), and if I'm lucky, whether people have left a blog post.

Then I decide whether I feel like posting something up. Hmm... "yeah, I don't want people to think this blog is dead", or "there's this idea in my head I want to get out before it dies!!!", or "somebody's saying something stupid/clever on the Internet, let me acknowledge and explain his or her stupidity/genius".

So here I am, with the post editor open, its blank white canvas tempting me to fill in something. So I try...

25 Aug 2012

noitcelfeR

.tssP

Huh?

.ereh revO

...where are you?

 !uoy ot txen thgir m'I .ekas ssendoog rof hO

...but there's nobody around me at the mome— oh. 

23 Aug 2012

Past Entry 22

March 23rd 2012


Alright! The third out of three Entries I've generated in one day. That's a new record for me! Why have I decided to let this post publish at this date? Because this is also around another important time of the rest of this year: the preparation for the big boss battle at the end that could be a life-changer. 


I've just had a "talk" with my own self from an even further future, whose short-term fate is pretty dependent on the actions that I take at this point in time. The self from the even further future is emerging out of NS (hopefully) and about to (again hopefully) go into a preferred university to study preferred courses and pursue preferred diplomas/degrees. And the choice that he makes will depend on what he's eligible for, which is in turn affected by how well I'll do in the boss battle here. I've reassured myself just how damn important this final year is, and am reminding myself again here as an extra motivational boost.

20 Aug 2012

A Night of Excess

"So... are you going for Grad Night?"

Such a trivial question, that demands a simple answer, and yet weirdly enough bears unnecessary weight on the answer. Well I can safely say that my answer is no.

Don't immediately take this as a case of sour grapes though. While it's true that I didn't go for the Secondary 4 batch dinner, I do not hold any biased unfounded grudges against the content of the programme. I just simply didn't feel like going, that's all. It's also true that I'm not someone who typically goes for events like this and joins in the inevitable conga line on the dance floor, or fights to get into photos that'd be uploaded onto Facebook later.

There are a few reasons why I don't want to go for this graduation night event. The first is that is SO. DAMN. EXPENSIVE. $85 is ridiculous, and that's already the lowered price! Well some may say that being together with your friends in your most glamorous form while celebrating your triumph over the last 2 years of JC might be priceless, but I personally think it's a little too much. Not all students of RI(JC) are affluent enough to afford to go for such overhyped events.

12 Aug 2012

What Does Your Heart Beat For?

The first time I heard that question, I immediately thought about the blood rushing through the many vessels in my body, enriching parts of my body with oxygen and nutrients while transporting away waste... then I realised it's a figurative question. Silly me.

That's the divine question posed to us by our school as part of National Day celebrations, the message being to feel proud of our country, as well as the school itself.  So of course the ideal answer to what my heart beats for is supposed to be Singapore and/or Raffles.

I'd like to say that, but that doesn't completely encompass what else my heart beats for.

9 Aug 2012

Past Entry 19

9 February 2012 (...well almost 10 February :P )


No particular reason why I'm doing this now, other than I'm running out of Past Entries at the moment. 


J1s are kinda fresh out of their orientation honeymooning period, feeling really fired up and ready to take on new challenges...sort of. I overheard 2 J1s saying they were extremely sleepy during all the lectures. Pretty soon they're gonna be zombies again, and that could happen even before Project Work unleashes its energy-sapping fangs.


Timetable's getting a new change from next week onwards, and the oh-so-precious 2 hour "protected time" block at the start of every Monday is - wait for it - GONE. No more sleeping in later on Sunday nights! On the other hand, Monday also ends earlier because the periods get shifted back accordingly.

1 Aug 2012

Re: "No hope for the world"

Well this is going to be interesting!

This is a first for both me and for another blogger, because I'm actually replying to her blog post. And I'm certain she hasn't had a long post response before. For some reason I've been getting these urges to write more on my blog lately, so in a way this is also a way to curb the cravings. This is totally not just a way to boost traffic to my site by associating my blog with a relatively more popular one. Totally.

As for the post in question (which I suggest you read the relevant content within if you hadn't already come from there), it's not merely just a senseless rant about how the world sucks as you might imply from the title, because there are good points in there that don't reflect well about human behaviour. And if people who have the power to make a difference are screwed up, how could you expect the world to survive much longer, let alone become a utopia?

Now I'm not disagreeing with her on all counts, because it's totally a fact that the world must end eventually. What I'm suggesting is that the fate of humans may not be so bleak as to expect apocalypse within the millenium, let alone the century. So here's my little dose of optimism, saying that the world isn't really that doomed.

(This sounds really weird when closely compared to my own cynicism in the previous post)

31 Jul 2012

Patriotism Declining?

Flags bearing the crescent moon and five stars have sprung up in front of housing flats. Banners with "47th Happy Singapore Birthday" printed neatly on them have been hung on lampposts. It's the sign of a sweeping wave of national celebration... but is it as hyped up as it used to be?

Understandably back then, fresh out of separation from Malaysia, the atmosphere was tense and the future was filled with uncertainty. Could a small island country really survive against its much larger neighbours, let alone the rest of the world? How could the hopes that the much revered Sir Stamford Raffles put into the nation all crumble and disappear at this point? So the country struggled, dealing with obstacles after obstacles before us, making sure Singapore lived to see another year. 

And each anniversary of Singapore's independence was both a poignant reminder of the hardships the people had to cope with, but also a positive indication that progress was made and at least we weren't faltering just yet. The locals that decided to stick through the rough times were grateful that things were improving. 

27 Jul 2012

Olympics Again!

Well how about that! Four years have flown by since the Beijing Olympics, and now it's about to officially commence soon in less than 7 hours in London! At least this is one of the more spectacular and enjoyable reminders of the relentless pace of Father Time's forward march.

How about that? It doesn't seem like too long ago, but that means an almost 4 year gap between this post and the other one featuring an on-the-fly report of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony! I still remember when I avoided using capital letters probably because I saw other blogs that just stuck to small letters, and I wrote in a really disorganised and chaotic way. Not to say I've completely mastered the technique now, but I'm certain I've improved.

This time I'm not sure if I'll do a live report of this opening ceremony though. At least back then the live telecast was at a more comfortable time-slot since the time-zone gap is smaller. Now for a ceremony that I can only begin to watch at nearly 4 in the morning here, I probably wouldn't bother with that. Still, I might change my mind later and do it again for nostalgia and as a way to keep me alert throughout the telecast...

22 Jul 2012

Change

Yes I've made some changes on this blog, in case you haven't noticed. Thought of putting it off until after I'm done with the 'A' Levels exams, but I thought it'd be way too long and I'd probably forget to do it by then. So there!

Actually I thought that of all times, now seems like one of those appropriate moments for radical change. This feels like a turning point.

All around I see school events wrapping up to bitter-sweet conclusions; CCA competitions against other schools, last musical performances, final committee meetings, and so on. Even simple things like lectures and tutorials and other lessons are wrapping up, shifting gears into revision mode. If anything, now's the time to implement personal changes.

15 Jul 2012

Choose Your Death

How do you want to die if you could choose?

Strangulation? Drowning? Shot to the head? In your sleep? Freak accident?

Sounds like a question that a psychopathic killer might ask a hostage. And it probably is. But this question has to have an answer sooner or later, even if we're not being asked with a knife pressed against your throat or a gun pointing at your forehead. 

We don't ask this to ourselves so explicitly. We always obsess ourselves over how we want to live our lives to maximise satisfaction, but never how to die. Actually we indirectly plan our deaths to some extent, tweaking the chances of a certain type of death from occurring. By eating healthier we reduce the chance of us dying from heart disease or stroke. By staying off crime we're less likely to die from a gunshot or from execution. Most of us though, we all plan to do specific stuff that we want to do, the things that make us happy and fulfilled, so that we can die a less regrettable death.

8 Jul 2012

Who Needs Friends Like These?

I've always known I wasn't ordinary. I didn't seem to get into common stereotypes, like the hyper sports kid or the nerd-like bookworm or the charismatic cool kid. And I still don't.

Not that it was bothering me too much to think I should force myself into a certain stereotype. I just kinda accepted it, because I knew it'd be way too much hassle for me to undergo a major overhaul so quickly. I suppose the only big change I imposed on myself was to control my impulses; I think I remember being more emotion-driven in my behaviour. 

Now I just find myself becoming less attached to people. That alone sounds like I'm heading towards the future of a miserable loner, but that's not what I'm doing. I know that I cannot survive in this world if I completely shun away people; strength in numbers and mutual support are obvious benefits. But I have also learned that too much of emotional investment in other people is also not a good thing either, for a few reasons.

1 Jul 2012

The Man With Too Much But Not Enough

The world had seen his brilliance, felt his presence. He had power, money and fame as one of the richest tycoons in the decade. He had a beautiful loyal wife with lovely children. He had gained so much... almost too much some complain. 


And yet, he feels that he does not have enough.


What was he missing? Thomas pondered as he stared past the full glass window panes into the distance, admiring the hustle of tiny car lights zipping along roads. The pitch darkness of the night made the dance of the car fireflies even more mesmerizing. They did have to go home since their shifts are over. They have their own commitments back at home, shows to catch up on, sleep to catch up on, families to catch up on...


Is that what I'm neglecting? Thomas frowned in thought. He had all the material wealth that'd turn a crowd envious, but maybe he wasn't rich enough in the family love department. I've been away from home most of the time, so I hardly interact with my wife and kids, not to mention I haven't seen my other relatives in a while. Perhaps I should make up for that. 


And with the newly seeded plan in his head, Thomas finally exited his exquisite private office and was the last to leave the 50-floor headquarters building.

24 Jun 2012

Fighting the Beast

The beast still stands, bruised but not broken.

I haven't exactly fared much better either. The scars refuse to fade.

For too many times we've exchanged mutual blows, both to achieve our own individual aims. For me, this victory would earn me opportunities that'd help me gain more standing in society, but for the beast, its purpose seems ambiguous; it seems to want to help me accomplish my goal, just like for many others, but it doesn't want to give in so easily.

I'm getting tired of this battle, and I'm starting to see less meaning in this fight. This victory isn't supposed to mean everything to me, but many people pressure me to treat it as such, justifying by saying that those who have beautifully triumphed in similar matches have enjoyed great things later in their lives... which would have been great if so many people hadn't raised the bar so high.

18 Jun 2012

Fatherhood?

Today has seen a lot of Father's Day wishes all over the web. Some to show how awesome they are, some to express gratitude to their patient guidance over so many years, some to lament on how they could have spent more time wisely with their fathers. Some dads even got the nice gifts like ties, spatulas, power drills, watches, cameras etc.

And this made me wonder: will I ever receive such gifts and wishes in the future?

Usually I don't think that much about what lies ahead, but today it just struck me as something important. Will I ever want to be a father? Taking care of my own child/children and watching him/her/them grow up and accomplish stuff? Sound pretty darn ambitious, especially when factoring in all the costs involved. Are the benefits really worth all the effort? All the more this makes me feel even more appreciative of my own parents who willing made such a huge commitment!

14 Jun 2012

Revisit

This all seems familiar to me, yet pretty different this time round.

I'm about to take my FTCL piano diploma exam in slightly less than 14 hours from now. I've done what I could. This time with higher standards, and no scoring system that I can check against to see just how well I've done. At least that simplifies things; I just need to focus on passing well, disregarding how "well" I will do.

As I'm here typing out this entry that I'm not entirely sure how to fill out and to wrap up neatly at this point, I recall the time I was preparing for my ATCL exam... while recovering in that clunky blue plastic cast around my leg. I'm the only person in my immediate family to ever get something fractured, let alone two fractures. (The first one was when I was really really young and I couldn't remember much about the arm injury) I was also in front of the same computer, also blogging the day away when I wasn't either practising the piano or doing holiday homework.

10 Jun 2012

Things I Have Learnt from Using the Internet


  • If you search online hard enough, eventually you'll find it... except for solutions to some computer problems.
  • Whatever software or file you are looking for, there's a free version of it somewhere... be it legal or otherwise.
  • Take everything you see on the Internet with a pinch of salt. Some content requires bags of it.
  • Trolls are everywhere. It's how we deal with them that's important.
  • Do some research before putting up comments or posts that'd very likely make you sound stupid.
  • Online news sources can be, and usually are faster than television broadcasts or the same news. Whether they're reliable is a different matter altogether.
  • If I can't watch a live event on TV, the Facebook and Twitter feeds give decent accounts of the event that I can refer to!

3 Jun 2012

Resumed Service

...and we're back! Okay, I am back.

So. The June... er... "holidays", or as I call them, "school-less days", have commenced. And you know what that means... right? Well for primary school students NOT taking PSLE, it means holiday programmes and vacations and fun and games and stuff! For secondary students NOT preparing for major exams like 'O' Levels, it means hanging out with classmates and having BBQ dinners and shopping together and fun and games and stuff! For JC students, and anybody else preparing for major exams, it's basically a time period for recuperation and revision and restructuring of the body and mind. Oh and extra project work for JC 1 students. Have fun!

I've also got other things on my mind too, like my piano exam. Again. And I'm clearly not alone on this, seeing two other people I know on Facebook also getting ready for ATCLs. I remembered that my ATCL exam was in a way a miracle come true, being inflicted with food poisoning and yet somehow keeping it all together and getting a distinction, which definitely still blows me away! Although if you had been looking through my older blog posts you would have already known about this.

20 May 2012

Kitty

There she goes again, acting without care.

Her moderate pace as she meanders between the tables; the nonchalant expression on her face while other people stare at her; the occasional faint calls for attention when she gets lonely; that's what defines her.

Not everybody likes her; some repay the apathy received, a few avoid her like the Black Plague, but for the most part she's a loveable celebrity. And she has rightfully earned the well-deserving fame with her sweet looks and approachability. Some have tried many times to speculate just what goes on in that head of hers. Wondering about who all these strange people around her are? Thoughts of strange things that the average human cannot grasp? Or just a pure incorruptible mind that focuses on eating, sleeping, playing and exploring?

18 May 2012

Past Entry 20

March 23rd 2012, about 12 pm


Well FINALLY I get to write yet another Past Entry! WHOO! I can't really remember when I did Past Entry 19, but I know it's been a looooooooooooong time. And I specifically waited until this very date to do this, for two reasons. One is that today I finally get to break from the string of Common Tests which I'm pretty certain I screwed up along with everybody else. The other is that... well... this date is *sort of kinda semi-related* to when this post will be published. 


And when will this post come up? Well on a very special date and time to me. Because on that very same day and time 4 years ago I put up the first post on this blog! I still sort of vaguely remember that time, when I just thought of setting up the blog because 1) I was extremely bored while being stuck at home with a broken ankle in a clunky plaster cast, and 2) so many of my classmates had blogs on their own, and I thought of trying it out. Who knew that even after 4 years I'll still be using the same blog? 

13 May 2012

Oh Mother!

Instead of giving a personal super detailed account of my relationship with my mother (which I think we'd both agree would not really benefit us in any way) I'm going to put up some quotes related to mothers. After many generations after generations of procreation, wouldn't you think people would know a lot about motherhood by now?

Children are the anchors of a mother's life. 
– Sophocles


The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother. 
– Napoleon Bonaparte


A good mother is worth hundreds of schoolmasters. 
– George Herbert


If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? 
– Milton Berle

6 May 2012

DJ Play My Song!

Well I've been having quite a bit of fun around in plug.dj!

Wait you say what's plug.dj? Well I'm glad you asked!

You know turntable.fm? Basically a site where people can host rooms and share music they like with others in the same room, essentially becoming a DJ to an audience. As they term it, a social music sharing platform.

The catch? It's US RESTRICTED, due to copyright issues. Obviously it's quite a bother to the rest of the non-US citizens... which you can tell is a much larger majority. There's where plug.dj steps in!

1 May 2012

Blogger's Block

Hmm... I guess I have some free time before going to bed. I do need enough rest for school, but it's still considerably early!

...oh why not. I'll put up another blog entry even though it's not the weekend. Sure. I guess it'd be pleasant to provide willing readers more to read from my blog. It's not like I'm force-feeding them with my thoughts, right?

Well then, what to talk about... er...
uh...
hmm...
...

29 Apr 2012

The Joy of Sorrow

"How to be happier in X simple steps!" "A happier you guaranteed!" "Happiness makes the world go round!" It's not surprising how feverishly we pursue happiness in our world today, and not merely because we like being happy; "studies"* have shown a boost in our immunity system, slower ageing, less risk for high blood pressure, and other lowered likelihoods of contracting ailments can stem from an improvement in overall mood. *(not fully confirmed, but these rumours still circulate the media a lot)

If happiness is so wonderful to experience, it'd be natural to completely shun away from its polar opposite, sorrow. Depression itself can be classified as a mental illness. People prefer happy endings over sad ones. Nobody comes up with a book titled "How to be sadder in X simple steps!" and sells millions of copies... or at least I don't know of such an instance yet. The proportion of people that like to indulge in feelings of sadness or anger are seen as "abnormal"; look how often the emo/goth kids get teased! 

Or are we also foolish for choosing to not even look sadness in the eye? Why are we so afraid to be sad or angry? Most of us have been conditioned to "look on the bright side of life" and "smile even when it hurts".  Is this correct behaviour?

22 Apr 2012

Earth Day!

As if an hour isn't enough, and it probably isn't, we have dedicated today, the 22nd of April, to be Earth Day, as a way to promote environmental movements in the world! Don't be mistaken, Earth Day actually pre-dates Earth Hour by more than a few decades! Earth Hour started in 2007, while Earth Day began in 1970!

While Earth Hour is a fun way for the masses to participate and feel involved in helping the Earth, Earth Day has a network that has been, and still is taking on larger missions, supporting various projects including Healthy Schools Act and No Child Left Inside. It's not just an hour of taking action; it requires volunteers' full dedication towards assisting our home planet in many ways, from protection of endangered areas to raising environmental awareness in youth to funding of conservation parks.

15 Apr 2012

Red or Black?

So here's a nice little puzzle that I stole from the Internet and tweaked a bit:

You and a friend have been asked to play a slightly interesting game that is all about luck.

There are 2 rooms next to each other, separated by a soundproof opaque wall. There's a nice little slot that both of you can access, and in there is a standard deck of 52 poker cards, randomly shuffled.

Both of you are supposed to go into your respective rooms, and upon a signal draw a card. Then you have two options for your guesses: red or black. What you and your friend must do is guess the wrong colour of the other person's card, i.e. if your friend's card is a red one, you should guess black. Problem is, you can't see each other's card, and there's strictly no communication allowed between the two of you.

Journey Through the Wikis

I'm bored.

And you know what?

I'm gonna try something I've never done before! Not drugs!

I'm gonna leap into the featured article of Wikipedia, click an interesting link within that article, and do the same for the subsequent articles, and see where we land up!

Alright, today's featured article is about... the Galápagos tortoise!

Letsa Go! (you just heard this in Mario's voice)

8 Apr 2012

Sleep

.....oh crap. It's that late already?

I seriously better head to bed now. Can't go to school feeling like a half-dead drunk zombie.

Hang on I have to sort these online things first! I can't sleep knowing I've left these undone!

*few minutes later*

...Alright. Lights out.

*click*
*plop onto bed*

Well. This is it. My eyes are shut, the windows are open just right, the door's closed. I should be drifting off unconsciously into dream land soon...

...I said soon...

...

...Now?

1 Apr 2012

Last Words

I don't really like to end things that I've been attached to so tightly and for so long. And that itself is a very rare occurrence. 

I've been with this blog for... wow, almost 4 years already. I never expected, on the day I first created this blog, that it would carry on for this long. A fancy whim while stuck at home with a broken ankle in a cast. Yet it has seen me through good times and not-so-good moments. It has also followed me throughout a few landmark milestones of my life. 

I only wish that it can see through even more milestones that lie ahead for me.

25 Mar 2012

Youth Lacking Drive?

Darn. I've blitzed through the exam blindly, and the past 3 days doesn't feel nearly enough for me to recover from the recent events. To be fair it is already one more day than the usual weekend, but still I don't feel rested enough. Maybe I'm getting more and more desensitised to breaks?

So once again I'll be pulled back into the mundane routine of school, and back on track in the quest to prepare myself for the vanquishing of the beast known as the 'A' Level examinations. But before that I might want to watch the finale of Singapore Talking, the issue being youths in Singapore today lacking drive and the reasons behind it. Pretty much what I've observed too, so I'm kinda curious. But first is the ongoing So Fake finale too, shedding light on counterfeit edible goods. Yick!

18 Mar 2012

On Pirates & Papers

So here I am, whiling away what some deem as precious moments that could be spent on revision. Instead I am simultaneously typing out this entry and watching "So Fake" on TV. Pretty scary knowing that the cameraman could be caught any time while spying on the pirating activity. And possibly even get physical harmed. Certainly makes the next few days of common tests look slightly less serious and threatening.

And seeing black markets for pirated CDs reminds me of the effects of implemented price ceilings, whereby a persistent shortage is created and there are always customers who cannot get the good because of lack of supply by the producers. In this case there may be a few people who take advantage of the situation by buying up a LOT(if not all) the stock, then reselling it at a much higher price in the black market. This unfortunately goes against the intention of the price ceiling, which is to keep prices low in the first place!

That's a unique trait of humans; we have been, and still are, finding ways around obstacles, whether for good or for bad. Our ingenuity is both a gift whose usage should be encouraged and extended, but also a troublesome annoying trait to deal with when things go out of control. The pirated CD retailers and counterfeiters are pretty cunning with their techniques to avoid detection by police raids, but police are also getting smarter in the fight against piracy.

11 Mar 2012

Marching On Ahead

And I've made it past the first school term of 2012. Lovely. I usually say that time really does breeze by too fast, but strangely enough this time I didn't feel it. I didn't feel the sudden disappearance of time in the blink of an eye. Does that mean I planned my time better this time???

I'm like about half an hour before entering the 5-day lesson-free period. I don't count the weekends because they aren't really affected by this so-called school "holiday". And truth be told, I know that no matter how hard I prepare during this period, it's unlikely for me to ace the first Common Test. Really, some of the tested topics were covered somewhere in the midst of last year. There's a lot more room for error in this case.

The journey so far is gradually wearing me down mentally. Primary school was such a blur; secondary school was, to put it briefly, the shift into higher gear; JC suddenly thrusts us into a drearily long marathon, constantly pushing us from behind. Even when secondary school introduced longer school days compared to primary school, I didn't feel that tied down. It's only in JC that I actually feel the drain of energy.

4 Mar 2012

Singaporean Values

FINALLY! After enduring for one extra year, I'm free from the burden of Mandarin! Most would expect that from here on I'll completely segregate myself from the language because I hate it so much. On the contrary, now I get to view the language as something of more value other than a way to fulfil prerequisites for university admission. This need not be the end of the relationship, but the improvement of one!

Meanwhile I recently read about an interesting survey that Straits Times conducted; about 500 people in Singapore were surveyed on how they prioritise personal values out of a list of 20. Results showed that honesty came out on top, followed by kindness, gratitude, fairness, forgiveness and empathy. At the bottom were curiosity, appreciation of beauty and excellence, creativity, spirituality, and courage. I don't really remember what were the other values in between, I should check later...

29 Feb 2012

Why the Extra Day?

I think most of us would have known that this year is different from most years because it's declared as a leap year. As far as we know, that means we get the extra day in February. But why exactly do we need to do this every four years?

Certainly it isn't meant to confuse people all over the world using this system, nor is it deliberately meant to short-change people in various ways, for instance having to work an extra day without pay in Australia! The short answer is that the standard year, or the time it takes for Earth to complete one revolution around the Sun, is roughly 365.25 days. If we don't add in the extra day, the calendar ends up losing one day every four years, which is bothersome.

However, the truth is we don't always add the extra day every four years! And why is that?

26 Feb 2012

Bracing for the Future

I feel pressure again. I'm already entering the 9th week of the first school term. It's really scary knowing how fast time goes when you don't want it to speed up. The exams are creeping up on me again. And speaking of exams, I'll be getting results for two subjects that I took last year soon. Even more things on my mind...

This final year is really a crux in my life(but not the only high point). It's the year where some important things head towards resolution. This is the final year I'll be in a school uniform(and transition into another one), and the year I'll be taking a piano recital diploma exam again. Probably the last piano exam I'll be having for quite a while because I don't know if I'll be able to pursue further in it. To prepare for a piano degree? Hmm...

19 Feb 2012

Poison

The Internet has fallen sick and I can’t do anything about it at the moment. Luckily I remembered I still have this nifty program called Windows Live Writer, that I downloaded as a safeguard against such problems! So I can safely plan out my blog post first while offline, before publishing it again when the Internet connection’s restored.

I’ve managed to get a nasty pimple below my belly button that somehow developed into something worse without me doing anything to it. How does a place on my body that hardly comes into contact with anything get infected??? The last time I had a boil was probably a few months ago… I already had it the worst in primary school when they just popped up over the years on different parts of my body; my nose, cheek, chin, arms, thighs and knees. So I was surprised that it actually made a comeback only now.

13 Feb 2012

Love Conquers All

Valentine's Day is creeping around the corner, and that means the surge of confessions and dates... and maybe proposals. Love is in the air, whether we like it or not. It's the day when couples get a special day to put in extra effort to strengthen their relationship, and for some singles to go forth and seek for the special soulmate. Unfortunately for those "Forever Alones"... just endure like I will.

However it'll also be another day to remember a legend who has recently passed; Whitney Houston was a superstar who has a whole repertoire of popular songs, including the legendary "I Will Always Love You" featured in the movie "The Bodyguard". Having dealt a battle with drugs, she passed away at the age of 48, right before she was due to perform at the pre-Grammy party. So in the midst of Valentine's Day, you can expect the aforementioned song, along with her other love songs, to sky-rocket in terms of dedications. Probably see her album flying off shelves too.

8 Feb 2012

Past Entry 16

December 8th 2011


It's been quite some time since I've written the last Past Entry. I've been recently reminded to continue the Past Entries after seeing two pop up on my blog within days of each other. I really wonder if I could have chosen a better name for these Past Entries? Blasts From The Past? Sounds too cliché. Forgotten Pages From The Chronicle? Way too long and fantasy-like. Well nobody else has voiced their opinion on the name Past Entry yet so I'll just go along with it like I've done for the previous 15!


I suppose I could schedule this to be published two months later because that date happens to fall on a unique date, at least to me and a certain somebody close...

5 Feb 2012

The Various Types of Youtube Commenters

Sure Youtube is a great place to put videos to enjoy. A major source of entertainment in this century so far, it's brought about billions of videos to the web where others can watch and laugh/cry/rage/be confused etc. But what fun is it if the posters who upload the videos can't interact with the viewers themselves? That's why the commenting system is another part of the magic. Of course after years of experiencing this, the generic patterns in popular comments start to surface. So here's a list of the more common ones:
  • "FIRST!!!1!: This commenter aims to be first to comment on the video. No one knows for sure why, but most speculate the reason to be a random sense of satisfaction and achievement gained from knowing you were the first comment on a (possibly soon-to-be viral) video. Of course his actions tend to be met with remarks like "Nobody cares" or "So?". Other times it starts the chain of ranking, where others scream out "2nd" or "4th" or "56th" for the heck of it. Note that the "FIRST!" guy isn't always successful at timing, and may land a later spot. That usually triggers even more comments on what a failure this commenter is.
  • "The commenter above/below me is X": Another one that may cause reactions or approvals from the crowd, depending on what the attribute X may be. If for example commenter A says he thinks the video sucks big time, then commenter B above him may say "the commenter below me has absolutely no sense of humour" or some other similar insult. Sometimes magic happens when a "commenter below me" comment becomes a top comment, while a "commenter above me" comment gets second place. E.g. Top comment: "The commenter below is a complete liar." Bottom comment: "The commenter above me is an honest guy." PARADOX!

3 Feb 2012

The Story Continues

Istoria: In the broad sense of its meaning, a story or a tale. More commonly used in the context of paintings, where the painter must, with subtle details, depict a complex narrative.


...more or less what this year's orientation theme in RI for the Year 5s means. Not sure if this really IS what the orientation leaders were trying to bring across. Maybe just the "story" part, not the painting.

For 4 days the batch of 2013 endured fatigue and bad weather, strengthened familiar relationships and forged new ones, and are finally released from their quest to save the day and restore peace to... whatever it is they were tasked to save. I'm sure all participants are relieved (and perhaps disappointed to some extent) to see the conclusion of the orientation programme. And coming from someone who generally dislikes orientation programmes, I don't know why I'm really doing this post. Perhaps to congratulate the orientation student leaders and other assistants for sacrificing precious lesson time to assimilate the Year 5s? There's no way I'll give up something so BIG just to do that.

One of the first things the newcomers had to learn is to forget about past rivalry between schools. The battles between RI and its other rival schools are now discarded, and now everyone works together and plays together as a new unified Raffles. Doesn't mean total abandonment of roots to their respective secondary schools though, NOBODY advises that. Too many precious memories attached.

29 Jan 2012

Late Night Bloghopping 5

...Yep. Haven't done this in a long time. Just suddenly had the random thought of doing this again. So here goes...


  • The Clever Sheep: A blog with an appropriate header picture that describes a clever title. His posts tend to revolve around learning and Creative Commons, most of which I believe our teachers and other professional coaches in Singapore should be reading!
  • Growing Dreams: Shows the not-so-ordinary life of a woman with a few kids, having transitioned from newspaper article writing to nursing, and interested in improving health care within the community.
  • CLAS Villanova Uni Blog: A special blog meant to disseminate info about the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova University... wonder why my school doesn't have such a blog? Then again with a Facebook page(inactive) and a regular email newsletter there's probably no need to...

24 Jan 2012

Awkward

...erm... yeah...

...so, where are you from?

Hello? I said where are you from?

Oh, you're from there? Huh.

...what? No I wasn't making fun of you! It's just... I knew someone from there once.

20 Jan 2012

Past Entry 15

25 September 2011


Well hello there. I've just witnessed the finish of the Grand Prix race here in Singapore. Vettel's not confirmed champion yet, so things are still intense. Also I've just written a really lengthy post, partly in a sort of practice in preparation for the GP promotional exams in less than 2 days time.


Speaking of which, how will I do for the exams? Will I get promoted to Year 6? Or will I screw up really badly and have to retake an entire year from scratch?!? That's what I dread, because that would mean having to deal with the same boring topics all over again, and tackling the stupid PW segment one more time!!! Well even if I DID pass the promotional exams, that doesn't necessarily mean I'll also pass the HMT 'A' Level exams. Well if I pass the HCL promo exam there's a good chance I'll be fine later, but I'd never truly know what could happen. And retaking HCL is almost as dreadful as retaking PW, because next year the HCL syllabus will change dramatically! That would be a headache for me to re-digest the newly formatted information.

16 Jan 2012

The Dragon Cometh

Once again Chinese New Year is approaching again. Being the only Chinese-related holiday that's celebrated in Singapore as a public holiday, a lot of us are excited. Or at least supposed to be. With four more days to the long weekend for Singaporeans, most of us are getting things planned quickly; applying for off-days to extend the break, finishing off work before the weekend, doing spring cleaning and planning for reunion dinners etc. 

This year would also be the year that Chinese couples may try to conceive a child to earn the prestigious title of the parents of a "dragon baby". And also the year where there'll probably be a surge in students taking PSLE near the end of the year.

9 Jan 2012

One More Year

Yup. One more year of education coming up. More specifically my last year in Raffles Institution if things go smoothly for 2012. And to "kick things off" there was the Homecoming 2012 event that occurred today. You know, the usual "it's so great to see you guys again" speech, the other "do your very best and enjoy your final year here" speech, the music performance, the montage of photos/clips to remind the batch of just how wonderful/terrifying 2011 was...

One unique thing that happened was the so-called class breakfast where classmates would sit together in the canteen with the CTs. Except we didn't actually eat breakfast with the CTs; they just met us and gave a quick few announcements before disappearing off. The rest of us just lingered around in the canteen, while the somewhat-average performers on the temporary stage in the canteen performed simple renditions of popular songs. Never bothered to queue up for the food as the line stretched out pretty long.

1 Jan 2012

2011 + 1

Welp. We made it. Humanity has survived another long(short to some) year on Earth. Thankfully we haven't been wiped out yet.

Well technically the other side of the world hasn't reached 2012 yet. That's when I engage in one of my recent traditions: witnessing the New Year Ball drop in New York. Thanks to the wonders of technology I won't be needing to teleport over there or buy an emergency flight ticket, but instead watching a live stream of the event. And I get to interact with others online in the chat room too!

Unlike previous years I'm currently not at home at midnight of the first day of 2012, but I'm with my family at another countdown dinner at some country club. Might be better than cooping up at home watching the TV while surfing the net. Or not?