Arts & Entertainment

One up for the Singaporean Choristers

The boyfriend has gotten his letter published in the ST Forum!

While I was not surprised that he had intended to write in to highlight our plight, given his straight-talking nature, I was awed that the editor ran the letter in its entirety.

It’s time the local choral scene gets the attention we deserve.
Kudos to him for having the guts to write what we all feel.

Photography

Facets of my Choir Olympics experience

Finally uploaded all the photos of Germany.

As I was going through them, there was a slight sense of time displacement. It was almost as if the event happened many moons ago, instead of just two weeks back.

Choir Olympics 2004 ~ Hamburg: Sightseeing at Hamburg charts our journey from Singapore to Hamburg and the two days that we spent there.

Choir Olympics 2004 ~ Bremen: The Sights & Sounds of Bremen showcases Bremen, outside of competition.

And lastly, Choir Olympics 2004 ~ Competition Days is everything to do with competition. This is a fun album, and shows us in our costumes at our very best and worst.

Miss the weather.
Miss the independence.
Miss the lifestyle of singing, shopping and sleeping.
Miss the excitement of competition.

Press coverage of VC at the competition can be found here.

What’s Playing on iTunes
3×5 from “Room for Squares” by John Mayer

Everything Else

The Mundane Lives of Singaporeans

Due to the fact that I actually have a Saturday free, I decided to meet up with my cousin for lunch at Paragon. Soon after, our caffeine withdrawal syndrome kicked in and we decided to grab some coffee at Coffee Club Xpress. Just as we were happily sipping our drinks and bitching about the noise pollution created by some tone-deaf band blasting nearby, our lazy afternoon peace was disturbed by a siren wailing.

Intrigued, we watched as a fire engine maneuvered its way through the jam packed road and stopped…..just a few metres from where we were!

“Must be somewhere upstairs,” my cousin declared. We went back to our drinks and moved on to bitching about selfish Singaporean motorists who refuse to give way to ambulances and fire engines.

Suddenly, one more fire engine chugged its way past us. And another. And another. And another.

And they all stopped at the Paragon taxi stand. Five shiny, red fire engines! With serious-looking firemen alighting from them!

By this time, a crowd had gathered and many were pointing at the opposite Cairnhill Plaza. The tables near us were instantly emptied as their previous occupants hot-footed to the roadside to gawk at the sight.

“What if something major is happening near us and we don’t have a clue?” asked the cousin. I shrugged. This is Singapore. What exciting thing can be happening?

“Go and see leh,” said the cousin. Being younger (and having had a free lunch), I acquiesced and made my way through the crowd, which was made up of camera-toting and finger-pointing shoppers by then.

I looked across the road. No sign of smoke.
I looked upwards. No sign of smoke.
I looked across the road again. No sign of suicidal individual.
I looked upwards again. No sign of suicidal individual.

I walked back to our table.
“Nothing?” asked the cousin in surprise. I shook my head. We decided that it was a ridiculous situation to drink coffee in and promptly went off for more shopping.

The next day, there was a picture in The Sunday Times, entitled “Fire fails to put a dampener on shopping trip”. The small accompanying text said: “The (small) fire (at Paragon) was extinguished by the sprinklers before the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived at 4.50pm. The cause of the fire is not known.”

The organised chaos

In the mood for love

It seems that the blogging community is recently caught in a flurry because two of our members are waiting for the rice to cook in the rice cooker!

How exciting!
Wait a minute, it doesn’t involve me. So why am I so excited?

I suppose it’s because their budding love stories remind me of how it used to be with the boyfriend and I. They remind me of the things we used to do.

The first movie we ever watched was the Japanese film, Love Letters. He drove me to school for my A’levels exams after I had shifted and would need to journey for more than an hour. He bought me mango sorbet ice-cream when I was stuck in school mugging. He would page me silly messages, back in the days when I had an alpha-numeric Memo Jazz pager. I would sms him, using Internet Messaging (which he had to pay for because M1 charges $0.10 per message). He would pick me up and send me home, no matter where I was.

In the end, he picked an auspicious date to “propose” to me. We were standing on the Sheares Bridge, looking at fireworks and waiting for the countdown on New Year’s Eve. And at the stroke of 12, he whipped out a ring and popped the question, “Will you be my girlfriend?” (cue orchestral music)

And now, it’s been four and a half years since that moment when I said yes. Of course, I know now his extremely unromantic reason for choosing that date. It’s not because of the fireworks or the significance of it. It’s simply because it’s an easy date to remember and he would not forget our anniversary.

Through these past five years, we went through a lot. We split up last August and then reconciled a short four weeks ago. I never really spoke about what happened and I am thankful that my dear friends did not push me for an explanation. They merely asked if I was happy and when they saw that I was, accepted it.

I received a pleasant surprise last Sunday when he showed me all the things that I had given him in the course of our relationship. What was even more astonishing is the fact that he had kept all my email to him, almost 800 of them. And as I stood there, watching the monitor, I couldn’t help but cry.

For the ten months that we had wasted.
For all the keepsakes and email that I had discarded, in a bid to clean up my life.
For the tears that I had shed and times when I just wanted to hide in bed and not face the world.
For this second chance that we have and the happiness that we have now.

And now, I can’t help but feel overjoyed that Ash and Fur are taking a stab at love.
For Fur, because we have all been asking the same question, puzzled for four years, “Why doesn’t Fur have a boyfriend?”
For Ash, because I know what she has gone through and I truly hope that the kitten (hee hee) will be good for her.

Because both of you, as do all of us, deserve nothing but the best.

What’s Playing on iTunes
Fall To Fly from “Corrinne May” by Corrinne May

Geek Girl

I like the new iPod!

!(imgleft)http://static.flickr.com/31/49020333_10ee99ed0d_s.jpg!
My list of objects of desire just grows longer and longer.

For now, the must-have is this – The fourth generation iPod. It has not only lost some weight but also gone for a mini makeover, with its user interface similar to that of little sister, the iPod Mini (available in five yummy colours). Gone are the four buttons below the screen, having been replaced by the click wheel design. But one thing it has retained is its snowy white shell, rendering it a perfect match with my baby iMac.

Not convinced?
Here’s a look at the most gorgeous thing on my wish list currently (birthday present for me, anyone?). Picture shamelessly pilfered from the boyfriend (I mean, he’s better at Photoshop).

Unfortunately, just as soon as this beautiful vehicle of music has been released, word came that Singapore’s Creative Technologies has unveiled their newest gadget to rival the iPod – the Creative Zen Touch.

As a former lecturer used to lament, whenever Singapore tries to boast about our so-called “entrepreneurship” spirit, the first person we would mention is Sim Wong Hoo as he is one of the few belonging to this rare species. I applaud him for his innovation and go-getter attitude, traits that are absent in many Singaporeans nowadays. But blatantly copying the iPod idea seems to be a little pretentious to me.

“Creative plans to change all that with its Zen Touch player, which will look and work much like its widely-praised competitor: it comes with a pearly-white casing and touch-controls.”

Hmm, whatever happened to creativity then?

What’s Playing on iTunes
Lazy Days – Leona Naess from “Music From the O.C. [UNOFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK]” by Various Artists

Photography, The organised chaos

Just Graduated

Had a tremor of trepidation before I stepped up onto the stage.
Worried about how I would walk, whether I would trip and fall, whether I would look poised and happy.
And then before you know it, the moment was over.
I had made my way down that red carpet (gracefully, I hope), smiled and received the empty folder masquerading as my degree certificate.

Thoughts?
Nothing much. Just pleased that the day had finally arrived, that I could finally make my mum proud of me. I was a 19-year-old girl when I went into university and look at me now. How different and yet still the same.

Somehow, things have come a full circle. Was with the boyfriend at the beginning, split up with him in the middle and now, he’s the man standing next to me at the end. How ironic life can be. But I am glad for everything that has happened. It made both of us grow and I am as proud of him as he is of me.

One of the best things that ever happened in my school life is the formation of the blogging community that I am proud to be part of. I am so glad to have shared the day with them, because they certainly made it more fun!

Presenting my gorgeous friends (thanks to Howe Yang for the pic) –

The photos are out and can be viewed here.

What’s Playing on iTunes
Extraordinary from “Liz Phair” by Liz Phair

Arts & Entertainment

Victoria Chorale – The Perfect Blend

I love Victoria Chorale.
No words can ever describe the joy I feel at singing with people whom I love and respect.

Participating in the Choir Olympics 2004 in Bremen has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only did it give me a sense of purpose, it also allowed me to feel, all over again, my passion for singing. And to me, passion is something that is necessary to drive one forward in life, a motivating factor in one’s life. In fact, I would count the second and third placing that we got in Folklore A Cappella and Open Mixed Youth categories as even more rewarding than the degree which I will be getting tomorrow afternoon.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I had suffered a heartbreak four years ago in Linz, Austria, when we barely scraped two silvers back. As Nelson said, that humiliation is something that we will never ever forget. And now, triumph is sweet as we hold our heads proudly and declare that we are Olympic Gold medalists. We are second to none in Asia, and second only to the best in the world. Yes, Victoria Chorale is one of the best choirs in the world and let none of us ever forget that.

One last thing – I love the Altos! All of them – Ah Tong, Bimbo Dawn, Sandy, Grace and of course, our SLs, Bimbo Joyce and Jiahui. All of them are dear to my heart and I have enjoyed every second of sectionals with them.

May Chorale forge forward to better times ahead!

The organised chaos

Hello from Bremen

Location: Bremen, Germany.

Weather is really cool here. It keeps raining but when the skies are clear, it really is beautiful.

Am very happy with Chorale’s results so far. We topped the qualifying rounds for the two categories that we competed in and are actually in the finals. It’s been a long wait.

Am talking nonsense now…..lack of sleep. Our hotel room seems to be infested with ghosts making tonnes of weird noises that nobody else hears. Or are we hallucinating? Hee. But the lifestyle here is great. All we do is eat, sing, shop and sleep. No worries, nothing. How I wish my life can be like that all the time.

Miss home a little, but mostly it’s the food and the people. First thing I am going to get when I get off that horrendous flight is to grab a pipping, hot cup of teh tarik.

Alright, tomorrow morning is the finals for Folklore A Cappella. Wish us luck in getting that Olympic GOLD!