Friday, July 29, 2005

Grim tidings indeed, as anticipated from the news we received last night. College started the day with one member short. One of our students had passed away and that fact alone is already hard to deal with.

At 16, that just isn't the time to go. What does anyone know about life at 60, let alone 16? It's all potential lost: the sights that will never be seen, the journeys that will never be taken, the love never to be found... and this 'never' is the extreme absolute that we try our hardest to deny whilst we live and write GP essays.

I didn't know her personally, she was just another face in the crowd to me. But people I know knew her and their grief was mine as well. As with Mim, and John, another space in our hearts has hollowed out with the passing of this little girl. And perhaps it's harder because she was a student. I may not have known her, but still, the pain of her loss is nonetheless tangible to me because she was one of us.

Condolences and prayers to her family and friends; those who loved her.
Last chance to vote for our college blogsite. As it is, we're just barely in the running for the Grand Finals numbering 5th in position in the latest rankings. Our blog may be disorganized and may lack a clear focus, but it has content that deserves an eyeball at least. StrangeFae's mad rants lack polish and subtlety but her enthusiasm in letting fly on her topic du jour is quite amusing. Anyway, I think so.

Today's the last day to vote so if you are feeling charitable to our cause and like our schtik, voting procedure is as follows:

Grab your favourite cell phone and follow the instructions here. Thanks for your support!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I must be more competitive than I thought. I'm mad with myself for achieving my competition 3-game average of 140 pinfalls today. To maintain one's personal achievement levels in a competition should be considered a satisfactory performance, but at this level this kind of average simply cannot make it. It's doubly annoying as I've been able to turn in much better scores during practice but when it really counts I go back to "normal" again. And today, I was struggling to maintain too. Bad stuff.

Talked with Amy and we agreed that this week is full of negative energy. Just look at my last few entries, scripted right out of blahdom. Worse things are afoot, but I'm not exactly sure what's happening. Until I get a better handle on things, we're all just going to have to wait in suspense.

Meantime, here are a couple of useful quotes from The Island:
"Just because you want to eat the burger doesn't mean you want to meet the cow," and "Humans will do anything to survive" and the not-so-subtle hint that Microsoft owns the world. Hmm... pretty much sums up the whole movie. Don't get me wrong, I liked the concept, the action and the eye candy (Scarlett Johansson... yummy) but the was just this one thing that I couldn't buy. It's bad for human beings who want to live to kill clones for their spare parts, but it's ok for clones who want to live to kill human beings who are after them, at least the movie biases the audience that way. Shouldn't we look at killing as killing? The double standard seems unfair, but hey, it's just a movie, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'm usually immune to the effects of caffeine but I may have overdone it today. 2 cups of machine-brew for breakfast, 1 hand-poured teh tarik at lunch (the mutton byriani was fabulous at this run-down looking coffee-shop on Hill Street, BTW) and immediately followed by a large brewed Nescafe 'cos NBS and I were early for class and wanted to kill time without wandering aimlessly downtown like lost souls. Result: a small headache while Mark continued lecturing on logic and argument construction.

Later, I discovered caffeine crash: a state of extreme drowsiness once the stay-awake effect has worn off. zzz...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I suppose there will be days when one is too tired, too lethargic to do any more than just curl up in bed and plough through a thick book. Days like this remind us that life isn't a laugh-a-minute and that rest is just as meaningful as activity. Considering what's coming up later this week, a day like this is a day to be grateful for.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bowled at CSC now that the lanes have reopened again. Don't see much improvement, but anyway... Amy confirmed her 100+ average against all of us, though it must be noted that Anthony was without his regular ball and shoes today. She's throwing good first balls, and it's time to work on her spares. Ha ha. Easier said than done. We're not that great at converting spares, ourselves. Guys, it's time to lower Amy's handicap.

So after yesterday's insanity and today's training I'm physically tired. Various muscles aching all over the place. A spot on my left foot starting to hurt too. Comes and goes but this time it's making it's presence felt a bit more intensely. Tempted to get it x-rayed to see what's going on under the skin. No more training for me till the big game on Thursday. Must give myself time to recover.

Meantime, there's a half-blood prince awaiting my attention. Let's see how far I get this evening.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"He floats through the air with the greatest of ease
This mad inline skater; fear puts his mind in deep freeze.
Taking off feet first, he lands with a thud
Bruised, battered and bloody, his face in the mud"
Xmac (1965-? well, not for much longer if this keeps up)

If ever I thought I knew anything about inline skating, today proved to be a most humbling experience. Fine, I can roll forwards, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. I can stop on a dime with a spin and a flourish. But only on flat straight pathways like those on ECP.

Sembawang Park proved to be an unforgiving tutor with its seemingly gently rolling slopes and generally clear pathways. Then you have this mad geezer on ankle wheels thinking, "hey, no prob, I've done this before."

People know. They know it the instant they see someone on wobbly wheels. They clear the path. They grab their children, tricycles, strollers and their maids and head for high ground. Then at a safe distance, their eyes fix on the fireball careening down and through the location they had just vacated seconds ago. Seconds later, said fireball makes its inevitable impact with Planet Earth, lying there in a crumpled heap while the crater created on collision smokes silently around him.

He laughs as he picks himself up again, though internally he'd rather say, "F@*K!!!" There are children present after all.

He gets up, appraises the new damage to his person and rolls on, hoping to learn what to do the next time, but he never learns.

This event repeats itself several times in the space of maybe 20 minutes. Then finally, after muscles start cramping, lacerations start to sting and a sudden rainstorm washes the blood off the footpaths, he decides it's probably best to go home, defeated.

First off, I'm supremely grateful for the armoured protection I wore, especially my combination gloves-wrist guard. I could have had shattered my forearm on my first fall if the plastic guard hadn't been there to take the shock. I wasn't wearing elbow guards so my elbows are nicely scraped now. Hao lian, lah.

But my last fall to Earth must have been my most spectacular. I flew down a slope knowing I had to brake but muscles refused to respond to mental commands. At the bottom of the path before it slightly slopes up again was a stone bench, and I suddenly imagined the consequences of crashing into it at the speed I was going. The fear made me totally lose control and my legs went completely out from under me sending me into a double-drop kick without a target to break my fall -- except for the stone park bench. In mid-air I mentally prepared myself for impact and somehow or other landed on my butt on the footpath in front of the bench, missing it. I was afraid that I could still spin toward it but I had come to a complete stop (my guardian angel works overtime for me *silent thanks).

Maybe I should just stick to the safe but crowded pathways of ECP. Or take inline lessons. Hmmm...
Another late entry. Drama Club did its thing at the Library @ Esplanade Open Mic show along with items presented by another set of performing groups. I guess I've been influenced too much by Tina, but I really couldn't stomach what the other groups were doing. The first group presented a literary thesis on Lee's 'Mockingbird' -- someone's interpretation of the text rather than the text itself. It was didactic, pedantic even, it was plodding, anal and literal, and it was performed by a bunch of 10 year-olds whose parents must really have been proud. I suppose I should be more generous and appreciative of the effort, but I guess it just wasn't my thing.

The other group, thankfully, focused more on the text of 'Dog in the Night-Time' but it still subscribed to the notion that emoting=shouting. Drove me up the wall, particularly since the performance space is so intimate, the audience capacity so small and the amplification so loud. Decided to leave before the end to preserve my auditory senses for another few years.

Our piece was merciful to the audience in that it was just a short reading -- 10 minutes rather than the 30 we were allocated. Some texts are just not written to be read aloud, as Mel quickly discovered during rehearsals. In 'Tangerine' the atmosphere and location are way more interesting than the story of Nick and his standing around and just looking at things. So I decided to make it a movement piece in which the camera lens focused on the background and left the foreground action (of which there was actually very little anyway) blurry. Our kids could have been sharper and more decisive with their movement details, but they delivered and the audience sometimes got our gags, which is gratifying.

Maybe that's the problem with the other groups, they took things and themselves too seriously. But then they could always say that we didn't take things seriously enough too. Which is the more preferable? Me, I go for enjoyment. We could have used a few more rehearsals to polish, but I think what we have is a script that's worth preserving and recreating for another audience at another time. Open Rehearsal Performance in Sept? Must ask Tina.

Amy and Yee, thanks for dropping by to give us your support! Your timing was absolutely spot-on!