Friday, November 18, 2005

Last night we were at the Singapore Conference Hall to support Ivay who was playing trombone for Thomson Jazz, of which she is a member. Me and June with Amy and Yee haven't much of a clue about music of this nature, but Ivay's a friend and her musical ability is worth our appreciation.

Don't know enough to comment on the music, but it was refreshing to be entertained by a local band that really enjoyed what they were playing, without getting too caught up in delivering practiced perfection (the S'porean malaise). The music was high energy stuff, played with full confidence, and as far as my untrained ear could tell, the band played well together; and they were having fun!

Boppin' heads, swayin' shoulders, tappin' to the tempo when the music calls for particular instruments to rest, then picking up the beat naturally on cue shows the musicians are into the music and not just hangin' around waiting for their turn to play. Even C Smith, guest conductor for the Big Band segment, couldn't keep still, dancing to the music and switching from bass to bongos and back to conducting with fluidity.

The jive band segment (in which Ivay played) introduced a vocalist, Y Atienza, with a rendering a 3 bluesy numbers, one of which was "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," which rang a little bell in my mind because it seemed to me like the answer to a question someone asked some time ago, but I cannot now recall who had asked the question, nor what the question even was. *shrugs.

Shame-facedly confess that immediately after Ivay's performance, we slipped out during the interval to watch the late screening of "Goblet of Fire" in J8. The book was a whopping 700+ pages long, so the movie focused on the more exciting SFX driven parts and still it ran way over 2 hours.

Because of its comparative brevity, the movie had some abrupt scene changes that made me think I was missing bits. What might have been a highlight of the movie, the Quidditch World Cup matches, was skipped over. There is a shot of the expansive stadium, the introductory fireworks of the Irish and Bulgarian teams, the flypast by uber-athlete, Viktor Krum, and on Fudge's cue to begin the match we cut straight into the post-match euphoria and the senseless attack of the Death-eaters. Even the roles of the Hogwarts profs became relegated to that of comic relief, with perhaps 1 significant scene each if they were lucky.

Still, it kept the excitement factor high, with lots of action to make the 2+ hours breeze by without feeling the strain. And, wow, the kids have grown up.

Wonder if there are any continuity scenes shot but deleted that will make their way into the DVD?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Spent the evening at the vet's. Q-tip appears to be limping a bit, favouring her right front paw and trying not to put any weight on the left. We tried examining her, but there's no sign that she's in pain or anything. Pressing on different parts of her paw yields no results; she carries on like nothing's bothering her. So we brought her to the professionals for a more expert opinion.

Very crowded this evening. A long line of pets and their owners spilling out onto the sidewalk from the clinic doors. And a little bit of drama with an irate pet owner who was unhappy with the diagnosis she got based on a faulty x-ray machine scan of her dog. She was so unhappy she called in the police, 3 of whom arrived and hung around the waiting area with the rest of us and likewise hoping to be called into the consultation room soon. They waited about a half-hour, all the while reminding the complainant that it being a civil case they can't barge into the doctor's office as and when they like. I'm not sure even they knew what they were supposed to be doing in this situation, other than perhaps taking a statement from the vet's side of the story. Other than that, I think they were prepared to make it up as things went along.

Eventually, we all got seen -- even the police. The doc observed Q-tip's limp and found nothing visibly wrong with it; more likely to be a sprain than a fracture. So we'll observe Q-tip for another few more days and then see how . But the vet also identified Q-tip as FAT and in serious need of a proper exercise regimen and a scaling of her teeth; for which we made a Monday morning appointment. Anyone know of any slimming centres for overweight dogs?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

June joined our lunch crowd today, an unprecedented occurrence. She's taken 2 days off work to train with the college petanque team under ze French Master to improve her game. Good to see how serious she is with her training. Hopefully, we'll start beating people in doubles competitions soon, else our morale is going to remain in the dumpster.

Speaking of low morale, my training was at Plaza Bowl in the late afternoon and it was such a struggle to get my scores above 120. Amy pulverized me in our first 2 games with scores of 130+ and 140+. While I can be proud of her progress, I'm also terribly annoyed and frustrated with my inconsistency. Yee did well throughout, so next year the Phoenixes and Dragons are going to be very strong competitors in the college tournament, and Pegasus is in trouble 'cos I haven't found anyone likely to partner me for the doubles event who can adequately replace Anthony. JY, Chief of the Winged Horses, a little help please?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Anthony's letter finally arrived and it confirms that he's leaving us for greener grass. After all the uncertainty, it's a relief that we now know once and for all.

To send him off we took him to dinner at Sunset, next to the Seletar airport runway, for the "leaving on a jet plane" feeling. No special programme, just eat, drink, yak, torment NBS; the way we've always been.

We? Here's the guest list:
Yee (in alphabetical order, more or less)
All to wish him well in his new posting and to say we'll miss him. Or not, for some of us :P.

Vince and NBS tried out bridge and Yee showed us the German variation which is more complex, takes longer to finish (17 rounds!), and requires pencil-and-paper to keep track of the score. The game's intriguing, but it does sort of cut the 4 players off from existing company, and vice versa.

And because of the uncertainty of his posting, we held off buying Anthony's farewell pressie. Maybe he'll get it in the next few days?

No photos. Forgot my cam again, haha.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Between June and myself, we couldn't come up with a name for our petanque doubles team, so HB put us down as "First Timers." Guess that's better than "Old Timers." Anyway, our tournament began reasonably well, going down a fighting 13-2 against one of the better pairs in the competition. That is, they consoled us with the fact that scoring 2 points off them was no mean feat.

Our second (and last) game saw us competing against 2 cute little boys who knocked us out 13-7. A couple of terrible errors early in the match put them far in the lead and our poor pointing finished us off.

By 1100 we were left with nothing to do so we took off and put in more 'blading time on our own.

On a roll. Posted by Picasa

Banking clockwise Posted by Picasa

Everybody invariably gets a shot like this. Posted by Picasa

On guard. Posted by Picasa

Oh yeah, thanks, Anthony for meeting us a Bish Park to return the water bottle which we had accidentally left behind at the petanque courts!