Thursday, June 29, 2006

3 big things happening tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my passing-out-parade. After 4 momentous years, I'm a little sad to leave, at the same time happy. A riot of emotions, perhaps. Also, tomorrow is Marist Youth Day. Shan't talk anymore on what it is, since I've already done so in a previous post. Finally, tomorrow is my Chinese 'O' Level Oral Examination day. Not too confident about getting a good grade, but I'll try.

Until then.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

School starts tomorrow. What a bummer. And true to my lazy personality, I still haven't touched any of my homework.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm posting this because I've got a little free time, and because I'm tired of looking at my own old posts =D.

This is pretty much some random post. I love reading. Many people do, and I'm one of them. I could dawdle on on how reading nourishes the soul, provides an oppotunity to gain knowledge etc., but I wouldn't, because I would be a hypocrite as that is not why I read.

Me? I read for the fun of it. For the story, the plot twist at the end. I read to give myself a respite from this world, an avenue of escape from the stress of life. Sometimes it's wholly inapproprate; I'm known to spend my studying time reading a book, which of course leads to me getting crap grades.

Personally, I don't exactly like reading those so called 'self-help' books. No reason why, I just don't. I like reading novels, though nowadays I'm more into short stories and funny stuff. I've just finished reading 'Teacher Man' by Frank McCourt. Not bad, I must say, but I'm not a critic, so if you're looking for a review, I'm not going to say anything here.

Some of the books I've read recently in no particular chronological order (this is just an excuse to make my post longer haha): The Five People You Meet in Heaven (fantastic) and Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, Stories We Could Tell by Tony Parsons, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde (this is a good one, it is, rather bizarre at first but good anyhow), My Fried Leonard by James Frey (also pretty good), and a few others.

Some random pic of my collection in a random post:
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Okay there. I've done my duty and Argentina will probably win the World Cup, a befitting random ending to such a random post.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The first good news of the week is that I've managed to bring the swell on my foot down. It still hurts, but not with the my-foot-is-going-to-burst pain. That can't be bad, but then again it isn't good news after all, since such a stupid incident should never have occured in the first place.

Couple of things I'd like to change in my life right now. First off would be my shitty attitude towards studying. I never study, honestly, and it's going to have to change if I'm going to score well at the end. Hell, I haven't even smelt my holiday homework, I don't even know where it is. Am I going to do it? Maybe, I don't know.

I'm also well aware that my blog design sucks. Not that anyone has said anything, but if I don't like my own design, how would others? Well okay so it isn't that bad, but it's a little to describe it...poser? for my liking. Doesn't reflect myself at all. So yeah, if I manage to drag my lazy ass off do actually do something....

On another note, today is Fathers' Day! Went to church in the morning, headed off for lunch after that. We were supposed to go to some hotel restaurant for a buffet lunch or something, but we hadn't made any reservations and the place was packed. So, my dad originally wanted to go have steamboat buffet over at Marina South, but as you should know, it was closed and we ended up eating just normal hawker food over there. Not that it really mattered, of course, but that isn't what I want to talk about here. Now, even if you've been to Marina South for steamboat before, most of you wouldn't have noticed the new pier all the way at the end as you'd have to take a right turn instead of a left. Anyway, back to the pier itself. It's a new one, a relocation of the closed pier at Collyer Quay. Extremely idyllic, fantastic scenery, as you can attest from the viewing gallery they built on the top floor. Some photos:

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A pic of the outside of the pier itself. Pretty cool architecture, if you ask me.

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Going in just a bit, we have the arrival/ departure/ waiting areas

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Pics taken from the 2nd floor

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Viewing gallery on the 3rd floor! Didn't capture all of it though.

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Picture taken from a peer over the edge

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One of the pathways. I realise that I'd forgotten to take pics of all the boats moored in the pier themselves =( Well I guess you'll have to make do.

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If you turn behind, you can see the city skyline!

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The ring is the end of the single road leading to this place.

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A pic taken from just down the steps a little.

The view's totally great, and coupled with the unceasing strong sea breeze you can feel from the viewing gallery, it's perfect. For what I'll leave it to you to decide =D

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My foot hurts. It hurts so bad. The pain, the pain. Always keen, always present. Oh, it hurts. It hurts. I can no longer walk properly now, always with a limp, always with my foot at an awkward angle. Like a warden that never sleeps, the pain is always there, making its presence known, never allowing me to forget it. Just the slightest of pressure is enough to elicit a piercing agony, and I am never inclined to experience that pain.

I just hope it heals soon. Maybe in a few months, maybe never.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Got a couple of bad news to announce, unfortunately (or fortunately, if you dislike me).

First off, the electone exam didn't go too well. I thought I had it all coming, I had a ton of ideas for my 5-minute beforehand preparation improvisation piece, my repretoire and arrangement pieces were all well prepared, it seemed like I would almost definitely pass the exam. Funny thing, nerves are. The moment I stepped in, in was completely downhill. My improvisation was crap, the piece I was supposed to play had a couple of slip-ups and no expression because I'd forgotten to check the volume dial to allow me to use the expression pedal better beforehand. In addition, I don't know why or how it happened, but my right calf muscles decided at the very moment I started playing to not listen to my brain and start spasming uncontrollably. Because my right foot was on the expression pedal, and because my calf was contracting and relaxing like my lower leg was having an epileptic fit but without the eyes rolling over and tongue biting - since legs don't have eyes and tongues and other parts - I couldn't make the volume loud and soft when it was supposed to be, and my performance was totally static, with mistakes to add insult to injury. It didn't help that one of my examiners was my ex-music teacher, which only compounded the nerves problem which I didn't know I had till I started. Even my hearing, which I was guaranteed to get an A sucked totally. Now the only thing I can do is pray I pass.

Bad news #2. Now if you've seen me in the last couple of months, you'd have noticed that there was some 'ulcer' or growth or something like that on my lower lip. If you haven't seen me in the last couple of months, then I have no idea why you are viewing my blog in the first place, unless you are just passing by. In any case, read on. As I was saying, there's this funny lump on the right of my bottom lip, which has been there for a few months already. You won't really see it if my mouth is closed, only when I talk, eat, smile or do anything that involves opening my mouth, and I have to say it's an honest fucking bloody pain in the ass, or in this case lump on my lip. It's damn fugly, and doesn't do anything postive for my looks, which were never good in the first place. It all started with my accidentally biting myself hard on the lip, I think. There was blood and there was pain, and of course the subsequent ulcer whenever you accentally bit your lip or tongue, but I'd never thought it'd be anything more than that.

Well anyway, today my mom brought me to the doctor, and the moment the doctor muttered the words "oh dear", I knew that the prognosis wouldn't be good. How bad, I was immediately about to find out. The doctor asked if I'd accidentally bitten my lip and I said yes. He then asked how long the lump had been there."You have a granuloma" I was told. What the hell that was at first of course I didn't know, but generally when a doctor tells you that you have some ailment which has some stupid weird name, it's never good. The doctor - a seemingly nice enough person for that matter - went on to explaing what a granuloma was. Apparently it's caused by "trauma to the lip" and is "something like a tumour, but not cancerous". This results in a "proliferation of cells" which cause them to grow abnormally, resulting in this shitty thing called a granuloma. I was then told that it was harmless, and I had two options:

1) Leave it alone and look like I was born with some fucking growth (my words, not his)


2) Go for surgery

I didn't like whatever the word "surgery" would portend in terms of costs, but I don't want to look like this for the rest of my life. The doctor referred me to a specialist and the cost is going to be in the $400-$500 range. WTF. 5 cool benjamins for a bloody bite? And it's going to be an operation under local anasthetic, so if I want to have this damn thing removed, I've to check into hospital for day surgery. $500 can almost buy me an Xbox 360, man.

What a fine way to blow off some cash. Arrgh.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Originally wanted to blog about my stay over at Chin Hao's house on Friday to watch the World Cup, but I'm too lazy now. Besides, it was last Friday. Suffice to say, it was a weird evening in which we had a "BBQ" at 10pm, and an evening filled with booze =D. Not 99.9% proof vodka, of course, just the standard 5+% content. I'm not against drinking alcohol, because I don't really care too much for the taste anyway, but it's just a bit of fun every now and then. Here's a pic:

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And another one, with all the bottles nicely lined up:

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Like I said, I don't mind alcohol, but if anything, you'll never see me touch drugs or smoke. Why people decide to pump their lungs full of smoke and get lung cancer, or spend all their money injecting themselves or taking pills is beyond me.

Aaaand, I'm having my electone exam tomorrow. Some stuff still needs a lot of work, but with any luck, I'll get the grade. Will blog once it's over and done with. Here's to my graduation from music school! I'm getting my Grade 6 qualification by the way, just one grade below teaching level. Not that I want to teach music, though.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The SPFNPCC Badge presentation was yesterday, and in some ways I'm glad it's over. I seem to be rather pessimistic, don't I? But judging from the fact that all among the 98 recipients yesterday night who have blogs will be squealing about how happy they are, I'd guess this would be a breath of fresh air, don't you think?

You know, they say that the SPFNPCC badge is the most prestigious badge an NPCC cadet can get in his term as an NPCC cadet. That's not how I view it, however. In some aspects, not getting couple of other badges, along with not making SI really smarts, but I knew it was coming anyway. One ignominious failure in the limelight after another doesn't exactly reflect well on my resume, does it? But I never was one to love the limelight, I always prefer working behind the scenes, which is why few people actually know what I've done. Oh dear, I'm digressing again. Okay, back to topic. Coming from the best unit in Singapore, I have a fierce pride in the standards of our unit, which I'm very sad to have to mention are falling. The 1st class drill badge, which is given out very freely in other units, is marked very strictly in ours, and only 3 people in my squad got it. I'm not one of them. Not that I would have it any other way, as in the unit dropping to so low a level as to give it to almost everyone, of course. Also, obviously having the Best Unit Cadet badge from the best unit in Singapore is the apex of it all, but I didn't get it either. I'm neither here nor there, it seems.

Whatever, anyway here are some photos which were taken =D


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Photo taken with my parents after the badge presentation ceremony

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From right to left: A grinning Marcus, a pouty Jing Feng and me

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A shot taken of my tribute poster

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Me and the poster. Oh, and the certificate too

Ok that's it. I'll blog more if I remember I missed out anything.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I apologise in advance as I'm going to be really acerbic and acrimonious in this post. If you don't want to read racorous and strong language, don't. I've already told you.

Our result for the .22 revolver shooting competition was totally fucked up. I dislike using profanity in my posts, but I can't stress enough how bad it is. Last year, out of the 2 teams we sent, the lower one scored 546. This year, the teams scored 405 and 453, which is simply bullshit. I just don't understand why the hell we got so low. Was is because of faulty guns? But even if that was so we wouldn't have people scoring 63 out of 180 points. Foggy goggles? Maybe, but even I can't see the where my shots land on the damn target when I'm shooting. Complacency? Bad luck? I don't know, but it's eating me up. I take full responsibilty for it though.

What makes matters worse is that NPCC HQ, for some unknown reason gets officers who can't even count the number of holes in the bloody target, and officers who can't even key in numbers properly into a computer to be in charge of recording scores. Total bull, and luckily for myself I spotted a mistake in the female officer's counting, or else I'd have gotten a bloody eight points less. That's not all. Apparently 2 of my team members from my team were confused as why their scores reflected 10+ points less than what they counted, another member from Wee Han's team also had the same problem and Wei Bin asked me why his score was a couple of points less as well. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I learnt to count and write numbers in kindergarten, so I don't understand how these shitty mistakes could have been made. What happened immediately after that was that Wee Han, Wei Bin and myself went to ask the two officers to edit the scores, but only Wei Bin's and the guy from Wee Han's team's score was corrected, as the two members from my team only told me their scores had problems after the officers edited Wei Bin and the other guy's score. Got a scolding for that, but was really pissed with the fact that it was their bloody fault in the first place. Also, I don't know how the hell it happened, but it seems my gun had magic, because for our NRA target we had twelve rounds, and my scoresheet showed fourteen shots fired. So instead of a 157 points I got a 160, because the officer added one exta shot to the 2 points and another extra to the one point. Wanted to report the error, but then we weren't allowed to change the scores a second time.

Thankfully, the UOPA criteria has been changed, so the .22 revolver competition isn't going to kill our 8 year Gold, but it totally sucks not to have a team trophy 2 years in a row. Last year it was because Hao Bin and Nigel got sick for the finals, and this year it's because the score's shit. The only good thing is that we'd probably have 2 Individual top 10 shooters from our unit this year, namely myself and Julian, a Sec 3 from the other team. He got 147, and I got a 160, which gives me a high chance to becoming the best shooter in Singapore. Last the the top individual had a score of 162. Am I happy for myself? No, not yet, maybe not ever, because my 160 didn't do shit for the team score.