Saturday, January 14, 2006

The sun has finally shown us some face after having disappeared behind rainclouds for more than a week. It would have been a great day for outdoor activities, but since June will be unable to bake her fab CNY cookies this year -- her new job's been keeping her too busy -- we went to buy some, like normal people.

Some TV programme June watched recommended Poh Guan Cake House (Blk 531 Upp. Cross St.) so we picked up our nian gao from them along with a tin of love letters. The floor above Poh Guan houses a food court that did very nicely as an alternative lunch venue to the more popular ones at Chinatown Complex and Maxwell Road Market. The Hokkien prawn noodle soup was tasty enough, and though I've tasted stronger, this one held its own quite well. There were long lines at other stalls too, so this place should be worth exploring further when we have the time.

Dropped in on Mr Leow. My contact lenses are way past a year old and my eyes are demanding new ones. Good to know that my eyesight is still stable, and Leow is even thinking of reducing the power a little. Says they'll be ready before the new year.

We acknowledged the sun closer to evening time. Dinner at ECP hawker centre where we got excellent beef noodles from the stall where you have to wait in line for about 20 minutes (or more? I occasionally fell asleep while waiting, so my sense of time is a bit screwed) before you even get to place your order. Then an after dinner stroll on the beach with Q-tip. We have so missed the sun.

Friday, January 13, 2006

June's gone shopping with S-i-L, so what's an old man gonna do on a Friday evening? Why, lots of things! After work I went straight to SAFRA for a little 'secret training,' but the lanes were packed out with screaming schoolchildren, so I took the wisest course of action and beat a hasty retreat. Didn't even stay long enough for my parking to cost anything.

Went home to feed the animals, then still feeling restless I decided to take the longest drive I could think of -- to Popeye's at Terminal 1 -- blasting the i-Pod along the way. Lunch had digested quickly, and I could almost taste that chicken.

Knew I had depleted my finances before leaving the house so a quick stop at the ATM at the airport and... no wallet!

I swear, Alzheimer's is out to get me early. I'd left the house without credit card, NETS card, ID card, Driving Licence; nothing but the clothes on my back. If Alzheimer's had struck then and became full-blown amnesia, I'd be wandering around on the runway before being picked up by the local authorities and kept in a "safe place" until someone thought to come and claim me sometime. Soon, hopefully.

Thankfully I still had my cash card so I could pay 42 cents for parking. Drove straight home to make sure I hadn't lost my wallet somewhere en route. I hadn't. It was simply a case of "left in my other pants." Now I'm just too lazy to go out anymore. Guess I wasn't meant to leave home tonight.

Maybe I can find some cup noodles in the pantry...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We have divided up our training workload between ourselves as of this morning. NBS will be the grown-up of our team and I, the rebel child. How professional.

Tweedledum to my Tweedledumber, really glad to have you on board! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

There's so much going on right now, even pausing to take a breather is a bit of a luxury on campus these days. The work seems never-ending, with people from various quarters reminding me of things yet to be done, deadlines getting close and commitments yet to be fulfilled.

But it's also an exciting time because a lot of what I'm involved with seems really worthwhile, with positive benefits to look forward to in the long run. Apart from KI which is for the most part unexplored territory for everyone, starting up a campus newspaper -- for real, like the Planet, or the Bugle -- has been keeping me awake just thinking of the possibilities.

Yes, it's going to be an incredible slog to get things started. We need to establish our identity, our credibility, and work with a sense of purpose, urgency and responsibility, and our reward is in our increasing readership and in perhaps sparking off intelligent, purposeful debate amongst our students, staff and the community beyond. Wow. Bold, ambitious words coming from a sloth like myself. But there's nothing like getting in on the ground floor and pioneering something new that gives a guy a rush.

Gotta thank Amy who's taught me a lot from her own experience today, and the KI kids for their initial reviews of our news website. We've launched our first issue, but there's still a long way to go before we can even get the design, layout and content looking more professional. In this respect, since both staff advisors and student writers are all co-learners in the news publication business, progress may be slow but hopefully steady as well.

Hope our readers will be patient and not lose faith in us while we work on getting it right.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What used to be "The Red Pill" is now in the process of rebranding. Currently known as NY Connections (or ConneXions), the writers for the now defunct publication have now turned their attention towards more tabloid-style journalism with weekly updates and lots more focus on personalities and human interest stories particularly from within campus. Well, that's the plan, anyway.

We've already soft-launched the inaugural issue and hope to meet our most demanding publication schedule without fail. Let's hope the news coverage will also be relevant and popular with the student body, to keep our motivation (and readership) up. Else, it's gonna be a loooong year.

Finally caught Lion-Witch-Wardrobe, NBS making history with us again by staying up till past midnight. Must say it was doubly excellent of her to join us as she had watched LWW once already.

I dunno. Somehow, reading the Narnia series in my younger days may have been the more magical experience for me. Not that the movie didn't have exciting bits -- like the escape from the slowly unfreezing waterfall or the grand-scale battle sequences -- but the hand of deus ex machina seemed to be working too obviously, making escapes too convenient and victory too easy.

Even Aslan's supreme sacrifice didn't have all that much impact on me since the narration didn't bother to build his credentials much further than mythical being, talks a lot, shouts very loudly. His resurrection being due to a quirk in the interpretation of a pretty in-your-face and literally carved-in-stone clause in the law of Deep Magic was also a bit of a let-down. I expected more of Aslan than just counting on being released on a technicality.

OK. So Lewis wrote the story as a close parallel to the Gospel, but of course it isn't the Gospel else he'd have bred a whole new religious sect, the Narnites, or something. Still, by being so derivative, it only goes to show that potatoes really don't boil twice.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

So much rain. Non-stop since this morning. Wonder if it affected the big civil defence exercise of this morning? Yes, the one announced a couple of weeks ago to be a surprise "attack" on our public transport system, though not TOO much of a surprise to prevent panic. I wasn't using public transport today, so I guess I missed out on the excitement. Well, apart from seeing a squad of Gurkhas armed with machine-guns and their culturally identifiable khukri emerging from City Hall MRT station. Anyone with a 1st-hand account of what was going on in the tunnels at Ground(s) Zero? Inquiring minds wanna know.

June and I were at Sunday service at 9am. It's the 1st time we've entered the new sanctuary since it opened in November. Wow. We haven't been to service in that long, huh? We have been naughty. Anyway, the space is hi-tech cool in design. Lots of glass and steel, with stone and laminated wood to keep things warm. Lots of sharp angles and hard edges, especially in the pews. After a while, I got tempted to use the nice, soft kneeler as a seat cushion instead, but propriety prevailed -- this time.

The cross forming the centrepiece suspended above the stone altar is a nice touch. Contrasting with the rest of the techno theme, the cross is a simple perpendicular arrangement of 2 hewn tree trunks which appear neither processed nor finished; but rather left in more or less their natural state.

And since the new sanctuary is built below-ground, it should be cool and well-shaded enough to be a great place for prayer and reflection during lunchtime downtown. But it's strictly BYOB -- bring-your-own-bible. Too bad I don't work downtown anymore.