The organised chaos

What will you remember 2003 for?

In slightly less than 24 hours, the hour will strike and revellers would be celebrating the arrival of 2004. Another year would have passed and we would once again be facing a showdown with our reflections of 2003.

To prevent myself from getting all emotional and teary-eyed then, I have thus decided to do my reflections now. I want to be able to usher in 2004 with a considerably lighter heart (hopefully with the aid of some ice cold beer) and not with the stone that hung onto me for dear life during Christmas.

For one, 2003 will always be associated with SARS. In March, we learnt of this terrible illness that strikes at ease. Schools were shut, examinations postponed and people lived in the discomfort that they could be the next one to contract this respiratory illness. There were those who gave their lives to SARS in the name of duty and courage. And there were those who blatantly flouted the law and broke home quarantine. But despite the cover of fear that we lived in, Singaporeans soldiered on and we became the better for it.

2003 is also the year of the dead. So many talented luminaries passed on, leaving behind their glowing legacy. Most recently, we have cancer claiming the life of Anita Mui. But at least she did not go gently into the good night, she gave it her all and she fought it till the very end. On the other hand, Leslie Cheung would rather go to death in his own way and subsequently took his own life. Katherine Hepburn, too, gave in to death. So did the brilliant intellectual Edward Said. In all, not a very good year.

This year has also been the year of the war. USA attacked Iraq in the name of peace, killed both the Baath radicals and innocent civilians and tried to justify their Weapons of Mass Destruction claims. Finally, their patience (and desperation) bore fruit as the despot Saddam Hussein was captured. Meanwhile, Americans stood firmly behind their President (with the exception of staunch Democrats) as only Americans can. The repercussions of the invasion? Al Qaeda’s wrath unfurled and there were many bombings and attacks worldwide, most recently the two attacks on the president of Pakistan.

Personally, it’s not been a good year for myself. I went through a six-month internship and realised that what I thought I wanted to do is not what I want to do in future. Public relations holds no meaning in my life and I am not really excited by the prospect of it. I do regret my choice of major but well, there’s only half a year to go so I might as well finish it. On a brighter note, another door unlocked itself and I am now entertaining the idea of teaching. Teaching children about the arts and drama sounds appealing, combining both my love for children and the humanities. On the other hand, writing as a career sounds right up my alley too.

2003 saw me leaving my comfort zone as part of a couple and becoming my own single self again. Although it was not without its pain, at least I can hold my head up high and say that I did my best to keep it going. As someone said, it was a case of bad timing but well, who’s to say it was or it wasn’t? Perhaps God. My only regret is that I was never strong enough to draw him out of his unemployed shell and encourage him to go on being the man that he was once. I let him push me further and further away until we both could not tolerate it anymore, did not know what it was that kept us together. If only I had been firmer, if only, if only. Life is so full of if onlys. Now as I walk on alone, I tell myself to be strong and even if my tears fall as I walk, at least I am walking. He will always be someone special and my Christmas/birthday wish is for him to find a job and become the man that he was before, the one that I had fallen in love with.

But even though I lost what I thought was the love of my life, at least I gained more in friendships. People who loved me and supported me, who listened to me, who let me cry and then tried to make me laugh – people like my bestest friends Min and Dawn etc. These are people who will still be walking with me no matter what happens in life and I promise that I will do my best to be the friend that they are to me.

And so ends another year. Cheers to 2004: May it be a beautiful year filled with hope, love and laughter.

So what will you remember 2003 for?

Arts & Entertainment

Ode to Aragorn

Oh my darling Aragorn
The noblest of kings to be born
He’s so strong, brave and manly
That I find myself loving him totally

Although he seems in need of a shower
He is still my heart’s desire
Curly wurly may be his messy hair
Still better looking is he than Lego-less fair

O he is so manly and rugged
And definitely not at all a fagot
Whether wielding his sword or atop his horse
He shows everyone who’s the boss

There seems to be no other
Who can ever be braver
In the face of danger
Instilling courage in those who waver

He knew he was to die challenging Sauron
No, this man is not a moron
But he ploughed on selflessly
Believing Frodo’s cause was more important than he can be

And yet he is no male chauvinist pig
Though his devoted love Eowyn seeks
Kindly he rejects her affection
For Arwen Evenstar is his only passion

If ever were I to marry
It could only be he
For who could ever take his place
Aragorn Elessar, so full of grace

The organised chaos

Christmas Blessings

Christmas is supposed to be a time of love, peace and faith. And so, you can imagine how it was for me when I didn’t feel any of the above. Somehow, the magic of Christmas did not reach to my soul and friends just can’t seem to fill the emptiness that I felt within.

Thankfully, in times like these, I can always rely on the backbone of my life – my family. I took off for a couple of hours to spend Christmas with my mother, godmother, godsisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and two nephews whom I adore to death. And I mean it with all my heart when I say that when all else fails, one’s family will still be there for you.

I went to my godmother’s place with a weary and heavy heart. For the past few weeks and in the days leading to Christmas, I had felt old and laden with troubles. But once I got there, there was simply no room for gloominess – the house was filled with love, warmth and laughter. The darling of the family, two-year-old Dylan made everyone laugh with his antics. Six-year-old Markus and his motormouth rubbishing everything was ever so amusing. They are my cousins’ children but in my family, we “share” the children. Hence, Dylan and Markus are not only their mothers’ sons but also everyone’s grandsons and everyone’s nephews.

And so, the veil of dreariness was lifted and sunshine once again filled my heart. I am reminded again of how lucky I am to be born into such a wonderful and loving family. As a taxi driver told me once, families nowadays seldom feel the need to retain familial ties and it is indeed a blessing that my extended family enjoy our time together.

I hope that everyone had a Christmas as meaningful as mine and have faith in love, when all hope seems gone.

Merry Christmas.

Arts & Entertainment, The organised chaos

The Return of The King & I

No no, it’s not the sequel of the famous show The King and I. It’s more of a reference to the show I have been waiting for one whole year and my journey back to the Internet world.

Aragorn, the manly King!

Yes!!! I can’t believe I have finally caught the last instalment of LOTR after so long. *sobs* Although I thought that the pace was a little too fast for my liking (it did feel as if director Peter Jackson was running out of time), it was nonetheless a fitting end to a trilogy that had woven itself into the audience’s hearts and minds.

As usual, Lego-less was given the chance to do some acrobatics and flung himself here and there without disturbing a single light-coloured follicle on his head. Tsk tsk, as if. He did look very pretty though, at Aragorn’s (ahhhhh!!!) coronation, with that little braid at his forehead. And at that moment, I would have given anything to be in Arwen’s place.

Personally, I preferred Aragorn as the Ranger than King of Gondor. His hair style was rather weird during the last battle scene, kind of like he wanted to straighten it but changed his mind half way and then decided to tie some of it up. Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!

My wish for Christmas this year – a chance to watch the LOTR marathon! Failing which, a manly Aragorn would do nicely, thank you.

Up in freezing Genting

Yes, for the past week, I was up at the Mount Gloom, with my nose and ass threatening to drop off due to frostbite. It was freezing (to me) and even my chic trench coat did not manage to protect me from the bitter cold. At least I had the chance to wear it without looking like an idiot.

Anyway, I was up there helping Nelson with the 21st Century International Choral festival. We really worked our butts off, waking up before 7 and going to bed after 12 almost every night.

But it was a pretty interesting experience, working on the other side of the scene for once. And this event really opened up my eyes, it showed me that the Singapore choral scene has really developed rapidly and Chorale is the one that has been left behind. I can safely say that even NUS Choir and the Vocal Consort are miles ahead of us.

It really pains me to come to this conclusion that we have really not made much improvements while other choirs have improved in leaps and bounds. And what is worse is that there isn’t an authoritative person/body in Chorale who can assess the situation and do something to solve the problem. Sometimes, I wonder what the executive committee is there for, it seems to me that they are now merely there to do logistic and administrative work. In that case, who is going to do the job of looking forward and preparing for Chorale to move on? Are they interested?

And then there is the politicking involved. I came up with an idea of having an Orientation Camp in January and am hence willing to organise it. But am I supposed to, since I am not in the exco (due to the fact that I will go crazy when stressed so beware *smirks*)? There will be some people who will think that I am trying to usurp their places, trying to go beyond the boundaries of my duties, trying to ingratiate my way into exco (duh).

So, should I or should I not?

The organised chaos

Expired

Sometimes, I really wonder if I have the energy to go out and do the whole socialising thing all over again. As I sit on my bed just thinking about getting to know new people and starting new friendships, I get a headache. In fact, I don’t really want to think about it.

I know this is the wrong attitude but it got me thinking: Do human beings have an expiry date?

Sure, I am only 22 but it feels as if I am 22 going on 70. I feel as if I am way past my sell-by date and am going to be chucked into the bin sooner or later. What’s worse is that I don’t think I will really put up a fight if I really get trashed somewhere.

Why am I suddenly so tired? Is cynicism setting in? Or is it fear that’s stopping me? Why has my confidence taken such a dive into the dark and murky depths?

As I walked through the streets today with my best friend, we both realised that of all the men we saw, we fancied none of them. We did not see a single man whom we felt we could or wanted to connect with, let alone lust after. We were just not interested. In short, as Carrie would say, there was no zsa zsa zsu.

But then again, Min explained that to connect with someone, you need to first want to connect with someone. Was I pulling myself back into a shell so that I could avoid doing the social round? Or could it be, as she pointed out, that I needed someone exceptional to draw me out of my vulnerable and reticient shadow? To her, I wouldn’t and couldn’t settle for anything lesser – I needed someone really special in order to get through my insecurities to truly get to me.

Maybe this is so.
Perhaps I just need to gather the least remaining shreds of self-belief and start anew.
And I could then fight my impending expiry date.

The organised chaos

No oral sex please, we are Christians

Well well well, it seems that after the big hooha over whether oral sex is legal in Singapore or not, the next big institution has decided to come up with their point of view. The Church.

Let me first point out that I am not against Christianity or any religion in general. I respect religious people and I respect their faiths and beliefs. But I do feel very strongly about people who overstep the boundaries of the private and public realm and preach about things which are baseless and inane.

In this article written by a presumably husband-and-wife team from Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, the writers proclaim that oral sex is perverse. Their charge is that firstly, by indulging in oral sex, women are deprived of natural sex and hence, not allowed to have their pleasure. In addition, women dislike the taste of semen in their mouths but are forced to endure it because they are persuaded by the men.

What I would like to point out is that it seems that for most people, oral sex and sex are complementary, not mutually exclusive. For some, oral sex is considered foreplay. And then again, there is the matter of taste. Oral sex is like asparagus – some like it and some don’t. It’s too sweeping a statement to say that women do not like oral sex.

Another point that they made is that the use of our mouths is specifically for eating and not for perverse acts such as oral sex. Also, as homosexuals are deemed to perform oral sex, Christians would do well not to copy such acts.

I never expect to read such religious bigotry in this age and time. Sex is an intensely private and intimate matter between two people, it’s not up to individuals to decide that they are in the capacity to preach about what’s right and what’s wrong. If two consenting adults, married or otherwise (but let’s draw the line at adultery), are happy with whatever arrangements they have, then nobody should have the right to encroach into their private realm. There is a time and place to be religious and fervent, this is not it. Rather than frown over such trivial issues, the Church should do what they are supposed to do – go spread some love. Feed the orphans. Talk to the Muslims/Buddhists/Hindus/etc about religious co-existence. Campaign for AIDS patients in the Third World countries to have access to cheaper medication. Reach out to disabled people. Oral sex simply pales in comparison to the more urgent issues that dog the world now.

Disclaimer: I am not against religion. I believe in, and respect, all religions that exist in this world. I am definitely not an Atheist. Amen.