Saturday, September 04, 2004

It was a strange experience sharing my blog in an impromptu show-and-tell at an IT course I attended today. The course was about how to create a website for our Civics Tutorials and there was some sharing on getting resources to help maintain the site and other materials to help our students with their study and other needs.

My show-and-tell was unplanned and haphazard and I doubt anyone else but the instructor knew what I was talking about. On hindsight, I should have focused on showing them how easy it was to create and maintain a blog page using the WYSIWYG and html interfaces, and how all the other plug-ins fit into the Template editor as simple lines of html coding. But, as usual, my mouth got away from me and I just showed them the various features of my page without telling them how it was done, which was why they were there in the first place. Maybe next time K decides to teach the course again, I'll offer to co-instruct with her and do it right (if she'll have me back again!).

My page is too unfocused to be a proper CT web page, but I don't mind experimenting with it. Hence, I'll try install a calendar in the sidebar next to remind us all of what few important dates there are left in this year. Let's see if I can do that right now...

Edit 01:
There. Calendar up and running. Not quite what I expected, though. Still have to click the button on the sidebar to see it. As best as I can figure, I've uploaded the prelim timetable, though I won't vouch for accuracy. It's an experiment, after all. Feedback to me what you think of this facility. I'll update the calendar with other important dates if you think it's useful.

Dropped in on Pris. She was looking tired and it was sad to see Her Voraciousness on drips for a change. Found out that Yan is in hossie too for asthma. Might drop in on her tomorrow; Yan, be warned!! Must nag y'all again to take good care of yourselves. How worrisome...

Friday, September 03, 2004

That's it! The last day of formal curriculum for our current JC2s. Time is now yours to manage and though there are still some common exercises for you to work on and we're still around to help you out right until the last minute, you really are on your own. Enjoy the September study break next week and 3A2, please look after your health. Too many of you are falling sick at such a crucial time. Work as you must, but it's important to have adequate rest and a proper diet as well. So much to nag, so little time...

Me, I'll be around for personal coaching if you feel you need it. Call me and let me know when you want to drop by so I can schedule my time accordingly. That, and I'll be doing my best to conserve my own energy for the next mad round of marking prelim papers. I've maxed out on invigilation duties so my marking tme is going to suffer badly. This deadline is unalterable, though, so good luck to me.

Started my destress protocol from this afternoon with a long, leisurely lunch with Vince, Cara, Amy and Anthony at the prata place. Coincidentally, we all wanted some kind of byriani today, except for one order of Maggi mee goreng. It rained heavily and we had to run from table to table to find the best seating to avoid getting splashed. The noise on the aluminium awning was loud, though no more so than the noise of hand tools coming from the bike repair shop immediately next door. We were determined to have a nice lunch so we resolutely sat and ate and yakked until our other committments became pressing and unavoidable. Unfortunately for Sarab, I kept him waiting through lunch before I could attend to his administrative detail. Sorry, dude!

Finally caught AVP tonight. As with the first AVP comic book series (and in the Alien movies), the main character is a tough, resourceful woman who survives the ordeal while others around her fall like flies. Feminism isn't an issue one would expect to pop up in a genre like typically male dominated science-fiction but the Alien franchise is full of women's issues.

The movie was exciting though limited by the artificial environment of an isolated island in Antartica thousands of miles away from the next habitable landfall, and buried under 2000 feet of permafrost. So the implications of this earth-shattering secret from ancient history doesn't hit the world with any impact at all. It's like observing a tempest in a test tube, and then going away knowing a little secret that noone else in the world is likely to share, or even believe.

Aliens take the form of their host bodies. This fact was established in Alien 3 and in AVP. I was just thinking, wouldn't it be unfortunate for an alien if it's host was a bunny rabbit or some other fluffy small herbivorous mammal? Oh, the complexes it might have to live with, growing up with it's bretheren who had picked their hosts more sensibly. OK I'm getting silly here.

Quote of the day: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," Alexa Woods in AVP

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Had a weird dream. I dreamt I had woken up at 8:10am and I was in a panic 'cos I was missing a class at the U that started at 7:50am. Then I woke up for real and I got into a real panic 'cos it was almost 7am and I was late for real. There was no way I could make it from home to campus in time for 7:25am assembly but I still managed to arrive just as assembly was ending, so I guess I didn't miss much.

Disturbing that 3A2 is so under the weather. Fever and other ailments have ravaged my CT. Pris is in the hossie just after 'nette came home. Various other absences blamed on some bug or other. Time to take precautions like not sharing food and drink, which sounds anti-social but considering that goodwill isn't the only thing that's being passed around right now I think it's good advice. Apart from prepare for the prelims, please take the coming hols to rest and recover.

The year has been that stressful for all of us. The hip-hop crew gave me a souvenir coffee mug bearing the inscription: "I'm not over the hill, I'm still climbing, and that's why I'm tired all the time." Thanks for giving me a reason for my fatigue. Getting tired trying to keep up with you is worth sweating for.

Gave up AVP tonight for Singapore Idol. I will catch that movie someday, I just don't know when. Idol contestants not so outstanding this week. They all look like they have worked hard at their shot tonight, they've all got decent voices, but nothing that I can imagine a true star might have. Tough fight tonight then, though I can't really care who moves on to the next round.

Fragmented entry. Hate when this happens.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Day of rest. A timely one too, physically exhausted as I was. Too many late nights, too many early rises. Sound familiar? I'm glad I could use today just to unwind.

Woke up at a luxurious 7:30 a.m., in time to bundle Q-tip off for her quarterly haircut, then it was just me and the cats. Got bored after a while so I met June for lunch at her workplace. Wanted pasta, but Fiestamama's had a pretty standard and limited pasta selection. Went for the daily set instead.

According to June, the restaurant doesn't get very good business. Can't imagine why, though. Servings are generous and the food is well-presented, looking like it has been prepared with a lot of care. And reasonably priced, too. The set lunch comprised a brothy chicken soup, seafood/fruit salad, beef medallions for the entree, an odd Thai sweetcorn-red ruby dessert, and coffee or tea; and all for $9.90 before tax. Perhaps one thing that might keep customers away, though, is that the hot beverage arrived at the table first instead of last, which could offend purists and etiquette-mongers; or perhaps their choice of rap music to accompany lunch might have had something to do with it. I'm not sure which.

Planned to go watch AVP tonight, but got held up at mom-in-law's where we celebrated my nephew Shaun's 1st birthday. M-i-L went through a lot of trouble cooking up a festive dinner menu and by the time we blew out the candle, it was too late to catch our movie. Nvm. Tml we'll try again.
What a great Teacher's Day! Judging by the publishing time of this entry, you can tell I didn't have the chance to blog yesterday. So many other things keeping me occupied.

The 'workout' crew debuted our hip-hop number -- the one we've been working on since June. People said nice things about the item, and from my own perspective, it felt good, performance-wise, mistakes notwithstanding. Well, cheers to crew members; Staff: Cara, Jong Yann, Lynnette, me; Students: Hasif, Ramzi, Jane, Jasmine; guest breakdancers: Daniel, Leon; Choreographer, Chief make-up, Solo and Boss: Shyadina. Thanks, everyone, for your patience, committment and belief in us, and for imparting just a little bit of your talent to us, keeping us one step further from premature aging.

Photo time!

The crew showin' a little 'tude Posted by Hello

Celebrating a great experience Posted by Hello

For more pix of our backstage and post performance antics click here. 3A2, hope you don't mind me using our Webshots account to host these pix that aren't exclusively ours. And thanks for the boxers! Could be the start of new wardrobe trend for me. Love the colour too!

Lunched at Country Manna (Gardens) with Thad, Anthony, Cara, Mel, Amy and Shahida. Someone couldn't resist the cheap Tiger. Too bad yesterday was the last day of the promotion period though.

Had to get costumes ready for staff dinner. The theme was "Movie Night" and our table had the idea of going as Hogwarts School. NYeDC, honestly, we both came up with the same idea, though independently of each other. Because of your item in the concert, it took some soul searching before we agreed to proceed with our plan even though it might have been misconstrued that we ripped your idea off for ourselves.

Dinner was standard 8-course Chinese at the Royal Plaza Hotel, same location for the last 3 staff dinners. Same routine of presenting long-service awards to staff of the 3 schools, same compulsory speech by a rep of our SMC. But our table (No.9) rocked! We made off with the prize (memo pad holder) for the movie title identification puzzle with the only perfect score. We won 3rd best dressed table (a handy clothes peg basket), and 3 of our table members; Yee, Cara and me along with Agnes and How Wie won the movie trivia quiz (a cool water bottle). So in terms of dinner games, NYJC, in particular, table No.9, came out tops. We're definitely sitting together again next year!

Making magic at the Teacher's Day staff dinner Posted by Hello

The Hogwart's table with 2 guest Olympians Posted by Hello

More photos!

Phew! Almost done. Went for after-dinner drinks with Vince, Anne, Cara, Amy, (a very tired) Anthony, and were properly introduced to new PE staff, Victor and Chew Ring. Weng popped by to wish us a happy Teachers' Day too. Long day, but a lot of fun. Thank you, everyone.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Finally, it's showtime! Came home late from the College's Teachers' Day concert rehearsal and am now thoroughly sweaty and exhausted from the experience. Part of the reason why we ended so late was because of the scheduled power outage while the construction workers did something with the circuits in the new building. The outage occurred later than scheduled, and hence, all our other plans got pushed back. Spent a long time hangin' out backstage before it got to our turn. It was great to finally get a chance to chat and gossip with our crew. It's all been work, work, work so far and it's nice for us to interact with each as friends now. We ran our item once and >phew< no need to repeat.

Now I'm home, there's still a few things I need to prepare for tomorrow's programme. I'll just work on that now, and hopefully get to sleep soon. Big day ahead!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

June needed help preparing sandwiches this morn. We both woke up late, no surprise there. Bird flu meant no egg mayo from us, and we suspect is also the cause of Tony's absent bee hoon as well. People had to make do without two breakfast favourites, but hey, hope the chickens get well soon.

New guy preaching in today's service. A very energetic American who couldn't stop bouncing around and delivered a schizoid message. I suppose it was innovative having someone on-stage for a brief role-play during the sermon, but keeping him there and talking to him from time to time, referring to him sometimes as himself and sometimes as his role-play character, while at the same time talking to the audience(i.e., us) gives one the idea that, yes, at times there can be too much innovation. His message: hardship is God's way of refining us, and that there is a greater purpose to our lives than is obvious to us right now. Solid message, he just has to work on his delivery, in my humble opinion.

Had dinner at S.T. Restaurant (coffee shop, actually) bro-in-law, Irwin's, treat for the family. Food took a while to arrive, but the rice and dishes we ordered turned out to be pretty good. No, I won't do a coffee shop food review, though. Spelling the names of the dishes is already quite a pain.

On the way home, I received a distressing phone call from a concerned parent. Sad to say there is a confirmed case of dengue fever in 3A2. Around this time last year a number of staff and students went down with dengue too. Hope this isn't the start of a new epidemic. 'nette, please recover quickly.
Finally a weekend to do some fun, crazy stuff! I might have started the day attending a lit course at NIE, but I turned it down thinking I had already signed up for another IT course instead. The course I signed up for is actually going to be next week, so I found myself with a blank on my calendar for a change.

After breakfast I went to chop my hair off then went to see Mr Leow about a new pair of contact lenses. About time for a change as I've been wearing my current pair for well over a year already. Good to know that my eyesight is still stable and I don't need bifocals yet. Yes, Leow tested that too. June got her eyes tested as well, but only out of politeness. I don't think she's in the market for optical prosthetics right now.

It was so crowded at Taka that June's okonomiyaki hopes were dashed when we couldn't find a place to sit and eat. We had to settle for a snack of tako balls and Beard Papa cream puffs instead, which we ate on the hoof.

Met Cara and Jong Yann at Far East Plaza for some coordinated shopping. Anne tagged along for a quick lunch but left immediately after. We needed things to wear for Teachers' Day, especially since our annual dinner with the Chung Chengs and our SMC this year has the theme of "Movie Nite." The girls ran around 77th Street but considering that we were buying stuff that we weren't likely to wear too often again, it was too expensive.

We focused our attention on Lips Enterprise which carries an eclectic range of mix-and-match costumes and accessories. Most patrons, apart from ourselves, sought costumes for some theme party or other and I think a couple of them discovered they would meet each other tonight at the same do. Shock! Horror!

We didn't find exactly what we wanted at Lips, so we moved on to Cheeks Enterprise, Lips' sister store. Here the sales staff were extremely helpful, and quite amused at attending to us, trying to educate us in the 'proper' wearing of the hip hop look. She was very patient as we tried on tops, bottoms, hats, erm... and the girls tried on some assorted bling bling as well. Lynnette couldn't join us today so we bought her her set by proxy. We eventually carted away a bunch of quite reasonably priced stuff, and I hope it'll all pass muster with our boss, a certain Miss S_.

After getting most of our gear, we went to the basement for a quick snack. June and I got a sundae from New Zealand Natural Ice Cream. Double chocolate, Macadamia Supreme and English Toffee topped with whipped cream. Then we left Cara and Jong Yann to continue shopping while I went to check out the Comex at Suntec City Convention Centre. I bought a TDK Internal DVD-RW for $149. Lots of people lined up for this bargain, but I bumbled onto the line just at the right time, when new stocks were just about to be released. It was meant to be :)

Kenny Roger's Roasters for dinner. The chicken is tender, juicy and wood smoky like it's supposed to be, and the chickens are Brazilian so no fear of avian flu, but I think it's the side-dishes that give the outlet its appeal. Love the corn bread and mashed potatoes.

Wandered around Carrefour to round off the evening. Nothing much there except Snapple at $1.35 a bottle reduced from $2.20. Kiwi-strawberry.

Cabbed home. Installed new hardware without a hitch. Now blogging. Zzzz...?

[Is it just me, or is Blogger getting very slow?]