The organised chaos

25 years and 3 days

The birthday came and went, without much pomp or fuss.
Midnight arrived, received a whole bunch of messages from friends, which continued well into the day and the next.

I remarked to Trevor about how it felt so low-key, so non-anticipated, as compared to years before when I would be really excited, like a child given a jar full of Kit-Kat. Maybe it’s because I am finally reaching the age where birthdays are just not that important anymore. Or maybe it’s because I am currently gainfully unemployed, starting each day at 12pm. Weirdly enough, I did not blow out a single candle, nor tasted a single slice of birthday cake.

“!(imgecenter)http://static.flickr.com/39/86458095_b78c1d3b62_o.jpg!(Min and Me)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/86458095/

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself. I met up with my oldest friend in the world the day before the big two five, and had dinner in Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge on a rainy and miserable Wednesday night. We have been pals for the past 12 years, having started our friendship in the choir room of our alma mater. I remember how, during a musical that the choir had put up in Secondary 2, she was playing the character of a fisherman clad in a white tee and some sarong. Inexplicably, her white tee shirt became really grubby and dirty. I had made a joke out of that and from there, our everlasting friendship was sealed.

Anyway, we both had delicious set dinners at Royal Copenhagen at the second level of Takashimaya. Costing $19.90++ each, I enjoyed a giant helping of rack of lamb cooked in lemon thyme gravy while she had the mini sandwiches set. Did I say they were delicious? They were awesome. I loved my rack of lamb, I wanna go back again.

“!(imgleft)http://static.flickr.com/37/86458097_e73baa4809_m.jpg!(Royal Copenhagen)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/86458097/

Because it was a cold and wet evening, the lounge was relatively empty and quiet, which was nice. I have been there during tea time during the Christmas period and the noise level was just too high, especially due to the small, enclosed area. The ambience was cosy and comfortable, despite the freezing temperatures, and I loved eating out of the quaint chinaware that is Royal Copenhagen’s trademark.

The next day, I had dinner with the boyfriend. We played the guessing game again, with him choosing a surprise venue for our meal. But then again, because I am such a smart girl, I knew exactly where he was taking me to, hur hur.

And the secret location was….Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt! It’s like a little Singapore encapsulated in a restaurant – you have a wide variety of local-styled food (think laksa, chicken rice, popiah etc) served in a buffet setting. Thumbs up for the great service and nice ambience. Foodwise, it wasn’t excellent but good nonetheless. We ate till we couldn’t walk. I love buffets. And him too, as an afterthought. Oops.

I want to add a shoutout to my friends, who very sweetly gave me a huge ang pow for my present! Exactly what I wanted. And asked for. Yay to Trevor! And to my sista who bought me this really funky bright pink pair of Nike track pants.

So nothing breathtaking, just simple nice evenings out.

I’m in my mid-twenties. ARGH!!!

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]

Arts & Entertainment

Stefanie Sun Live in Concert

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/37/86460060_b3fa231a69_m.jpg!(Sun Yan Zi live in concert)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/86460060/

If not for the free tickets that were given to my cousin, I would never have thought of going for Stefanie Sun Yan Zi’s live concert held at the Indoor Stadium.

Astonishingly, the songstress who is billed as Singapore’s Pride did not manage to fill up the whole stadium, with certain sectors full of gaping holes. But to her credit, she had thoughtfully constructed a stage that was open 360 degrees, which meant that she had to sell all the seats in the stadium. But it just felt a little sad that while she had managed to hold sellout concerts in Hong Kong’s Coliseum, she couldn’t accomplish that in her home country.

45 minutes after the stated starting time, the diminutive singer finally emerged from under a veil of translucent screens, belting out Feng Zheng, one of my favourite songs. While she definitely possessed enough lung power, she somehow seemed to overdo it and sounded as if she was shouting instead of singing. The terrible sound system did not help, as it ate up her words, especially during the faster tracks. As my cousin, who is not familiar with her music, pointed out, if the organisers had not been flashing the lyrics as she sang, nobody would know what the heck she was singing about.

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/41/86460059_6e7fcdf661_m.jpg!(Stefanie Sun Live 2006: Songbird)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/86460059/

And therein lies the problem of the concert. The sound engineering was not flattering to her fast songs, and those were definitely her weaker points. I mean, most people listen to her because of her poignant and tremulous ballads. She had established herself as a singer, five years ago, with Tian hei Hei and from there, her path was laid out for her.

Indeed, she shone during the ballads, with her unique mellow voice conveying raw emotions ranging from despair to resignation to hope. When she moved on to the faster songs, her dance steps lacked conviction and her voice sounded hoarse and nasal, as if she had gone on stage without proper warm up and then had overdone the singing. Eeps.

Her stage presence reminded me greatly of Corrinne May. Both seemed rather shy, and lacked the showmanship that many other performers have perfected. And yet, those worked in their favour for every word that they say, every banter and every comment seemed sincere and honest, rather than staged.

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/37/86460058_484fc475cf_m.jpg!(Yan Zi playing the piano)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/86460058/

At times, she seemed forlorn on the stage when bereft of the presence of her 12 hunky male dancers (as billed in the synopsis in Life!), the flashing lights swallowing up her petite frame, more so during the ballads. Suddenly, I felt a sense of inexplicable sympathy for her, a young woman whose every move is being scrutinized by the whole world. She may have chosen that path but somehow, it seemed sad that her relationship, when it started and ended, was splashed out across the papers.

Guest performers F.I.R and Tanya Chua (surprise!) were wonderful, drumming up the crowd to a new high. Tanya’s friendship with Stefanie is rather touching, their rapport and admiration for each other evident in the two songs that they sang together.

The concert was entertaining but it lacked the “oomph” that I had experienced in my previous two Jay Chou outings. But it did feel nice supporting a talented local artiste who had made good elsewhere. Nothing spectacular, though overall a good performance.

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]