Saturday, June 13, 2009

The blurness of strangers

Made an NLB book run with June. Once again, they had people taking care of the North so our assignment was three locations in Jurong West.

The first drop was almost rejected outright. Apparently, the girl had asked for DVDs but we only had books in our bag for her. The second was to a blind lady with kids. She had asked for audio books, but as far as I could tell, there were both normal books and a few kids' CD-ROMs in her bag. Fine, her kids could use the CD-ROMs and someone could read the books to her, but no audio books like she had asked for? Our last drop was to a kid who selected three books out of the eight we had brought for him. He seemed to only like sports-related materials but had no idea what to do with the Photoshop manuals and novels that were also in his bag.

Three drops, three problems. NLB needs to establish better, or perhaps more specific communications with their disabled clientele. Perhaps next time we could teach them to use CARL for locating specific materials that they would want rather than rely on the blurness of strangers to make choices for them.

Er... no, we didn't choose the books, they were already pre-packed for delivery, in case you're wondering.

Party on, NYeDC!

09 J2 Seniors make a grand entrance to their Farewell Party.

This must be the longest party ever organized by the Drama Club. In a 7-hour marathon session, we bade the J2 Seniors farewell and then we hosted the "Timepieces" post-production party for the cast and crew of Drama Night 2009.

Perhaps the plan was too ambitious. We ran into problems of overcatering due to a number of last-minute no-shows, plus keeping the crowd entertained with party games proved quite a toughie. People were mostly interested in eating, chatting and finding their own entertainment among themselves... sounds familiar?

Credit to the J1s, though, who soldiered on till they were quite worn out, playing host and running the programmes, then late at night after all the festivities were over, working out the accounts until Security came up to chase us all home.

The J1s and the Club need a morale booster after this. Perhaps a little brainless entertainment or a little team-bonding exercise in Term 3 would do them good. I've seen them able to work hard, now I want to see if they can play just as hard too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lazy Thursday

It's good to have some money coming in for a change. I picked up two cheques, one to reimburse me for Drama Night expenses; the other a refund of my premium on a cancelled insurance policy.

I also discovered the real reason why on one Saturday some weeks back, this odd-looking fellow was measuring previous M2 in the parking lot. Apparently, the guy who rear-ended me earlier this year wasn't happy with the amount my insurance company was claiming against him and he requested an independent investigation. Fortunately, the investigation was in my favour so today I was summoned back to my workshop to sign a release paper acknowledging the conclusion of the case.

I remember that day... I had the impression it was the OTHER guy being investigated by HIS insurance company, so I cooperated fully with the investigator and his measuring tape. If I had known I was the one being investigated... well, I still would have cooperated fully, but perhaps not half as enthusiastically.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at Brew n Groove, hangin' with the Boyz: Anthony, Vince, Weng (hon. Boyz), and a couple of their frenz. We occupied a corner furnished with plush armchairs around a coffee table and discussed Someone's upcoming wedding plans. With several married dudes around the table, we had quite some experience among us to share and entertain ourselves with for most of the afternoon. Nice, lazy Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Out in the sun

Nothing like a little sun, sand and surf to remind us we're on a break. We planned to cycle the park connector to Bedok from ECP. But we gathered a larger party than usual, so what eventually happened was that our intended expedition to parts unknown became more of a social event on the beach instead. With bicycles.

Some highlights: met NBS again. Haven't seen my partner-in-KrIme much since her move up to Head Office. And while she and I were pushing the boundaries of how far we could pedal in a half-hour, the rest of the party took the same time to teach Fen to ride a bike. Fen's a fast learner. By the time we regrouped, Fen was already pedalling quite well. Next lesson for her is how to steer to avoid obstacles.

We regained our spent calories at Fish & Co, Parkway Parade. It's been quite a while also that the whole lot of us have had a meal out. After today, our party will split and scatter ourselves around the world on our various vacation plans. Me? No money, nowhere to go. I'll enjoy my staycation right here, thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Print vs Digital

One topic that we like to discuss in GP is the viability of print media in today's digitally networked world. Both concepts require quite a lot of unpacking. Print media generally refers to mainstream print, which is a decent working definition, but "today's digitally networked world" is a bizarre, amorphous beast to pin down and study for an adequate compare-and-contrast exercise.

Fortunately, this Wired article might offer some help in the matter: "Eighteen challenges in contemporary literature". Or maybe not.

Monday, June 08, 2009

More to life than just Sims

A mental checklist of all the media that have passed through my perusal this past week, just so that I can assure myself that I haven't Simmed myself to death and have actually done other things as well.

Let's see... while waiting in line for two hours on "Let there be Sims" Day, I finished Pratchett's "Nation" which I have been slowly digesting for the longest time. "Nation" isn't a difficult book to read, but trying to find time to read whole tomes has actually been a problem this year.

On the same day commuting home on public transport I also finished Gaiman's "Coraline" in graphic novel format. Had to get that read before the movie opens in the next few weeks. And I began "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" allegedly written by Austen and Grahame-Smith. It's a fanfic mashup of the classic Victorian tale set in an alternate universe in which the Bennett girls have been trained in the Shaolin arts in order to combat the plague of the undead ravaging the English countryside; but in the meantime they also have to get married to eligible bachelors as Victorian society demands. The amiable Bingley and the insufferably haughty Darcy come to mind, if only those damned zombies wouldn't keep distracting the girls from their domestic destinies. It's a fanfic all right, though I'm not sure if it's been written by a fan of Austen or a fan of zombies. But it's hilarious, nonetheless.

Got my movie fix yesterday from "Blood: the Last Vampire". Woohoo! Non-stop fighting at a breakneck pace filmed manga-style for maximum excitement. Wouldn't you know it, but the story is viewed from the perspective of a character called Alice who in keeping with the Traditions of Alice gets her world compeletly turned around and no one can say for sure what's real and what's fantasy any longer.

And today it was "Angels and Demons": a scavenger hunt through the Vatican to prevent the seat of Catholicism from being vaporized by an anti-matter detonation. The conflict between science and religion feature strongly in this movie, though the premise isn't as controversial as it was in "The DaVinci Code".

It's almost enough for me to confess, "forgive me Father, for I have Simmed". But looking at this list, I have to say that's not all I've been doing.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hangin' in Sunset Valley

If anyone asks, tell them I've been out of town for the last few days. Sunset Valley, to be precise, doing my best to maintain some semblance of a work-life balance, yet keep my people happy and moving towards achieving their life-long desires at the same time.

Yes, I'm the type of player that wants to see his Sims succeed in life, that they are fulfilled and accomplished by the time the Reaper comes for them. A boring, safe, predictable way to play "The Sims 3", but it's still challenging nonetheless. For someone like me, it's easy to grind a Sim upwards towards a career-oriented goal (but it's still a grind, nonetheless), but I had problems with someone who wanted more wealth than she could possibly earn on the career track alone, and major problems figuring out what to do with another who wants to make and keep 20 friends all at once -- and simply 'cos that's so not me, I haven't a clue.

There is only one way I can see to get rich in The Sims 3 and that is to marry or move in with someone who's household value is vastly superior. If anyone knows of a way to earn pots of Simoleons by some other means, please inform me at once. I'd like to try other pathways than the obvious. But marriage was how I managed to move from my initial pokey little house to the multi-storey mansion on the hill next to a graveyard (and its resident ghosts) -- the very lap of Sim luxury itself.

I think I can pride myself on my overall guidance of my Sims in their lives. Too bad I can't say the same for myself. Better cut my virtual vacation in Sunset Valley short and get my real life back on track again...