Friday, March 31, 2006

Wander, wander about

I can't remember if I have done the following test before.

Life seems nothing much to offer for now. I am feeling tired. I won't mind just wandering about in peace, to see what fine things life might have to offer.

Then at the end of the day, all I ask is to have a nice cosy and quiet place to retreat for a good night of rest.

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

Do you envy me?

People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday is Music Theory Day

It is nice to know that I was properly taught so as to have my foundation in harmony well laid. After a seemingly arduous study of basic harmony for the past three months, my tutor now starts to get me to attempt Grade 6 past-year exams questions on the topic of harmony.

Compared to what I have previously done for my previous music theory lessons, those Grade 6 past-year exams seemed comparatively easier to do.

I was told that I would soon move on to study on the topics of two-parts writing and melody writing. It seemed that my music theory tutor is an ardent supporter of William Lovelock's works. Previously, he got me to study harmony using William Lovelock's First Year Harmony. Today, he asked me to get two books by William Lovelock too. I am looking forward to learning something new. Sometimes, it is nice to learn things the longer way, but the more effective way.

The 1018th

The universe begins
In all directions
Where should one head?

What are one's gifts?
Are there to be discovered?
Or to be nurtured?
Or a combination of both?

How does one evaluate?
So as to be fair?

That the signs of weariness were just from
the challenges of heading in one's dreamt directions
Not because one is heading the wrong directions

But wrong directions,
Who is in best position to be the judge?
Can't one just merely take U-turns and longer routes
Just to make the journey more enriching?

Kunstemaecker has missed this



June wrote an article on Yesterday.sg titled Art and religion to describe her visit to two of the ten galleries of the Asian Civilisation Museum.

Her post reminded me that I had intended to show Kunstemaecker to this museum when he was in Singapore last December for I have a feeling that he might like the exhibitions in it. A pity that the time was not on our side to show him to this very museum. I remembered that socialpest, myself and Kunstemaecker were at Boat Quay on Kunstemaecker's first day in Singapore. This meant that we were very near this museum.

Would you like to know how the museum looks like inside? Then don't hesitate, check out June's post for rather exclusive photographs of the Asian Civilisation Museum. (I say the photographs are exclusive because the museum has rather strict rules about taking photographs inside the museum's exhibition galleries. June is a privileged lady to be able to take those photographs.)


Asian Civilisation Museum, Empress Place. At night.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Question 1016

I just noticed that this will be my 1016th post. If I were to write each of my posts on this blog as a question that I pose to this world, this shall be my question number 1016.

Was there a time when you fear that you would just live each day like a routine?
Not with much directions.
Where you have things to be heard,
But this world cannot hear the frequency that you thrives in?
Nevermind about that then, you try to make yourself heard.
But there is this doubt whether anything has been compromised?
Then the fear strikes,
That one day, in attempting to be heard,
One forgets one's true frequency.
How should one find oneself back?

Presenting question number 1016.

It's still decent enough

Yesterday, I wrote about the S$40K eye-candy, which is a Italian-made, master-crafted double bass.

Tonight, I practised on my husband. It has been a while since I last practised on him. My boyfriend, the double bass that I usually play at the orchestra, seemed to have gotten more of my time than my husband for this month.

Work has been piling quite a bit and there were many times when I would returned home pretty late. It did not seem considerate of me to play the double bass after 11 p.m. especially when I am living in high-rise flats. Anyway, I was feeling too tired to concentrate on practising. Admittedly, I could have used a practising mute. However, while I have a practising mute, I prefer not to use one. I love my husband's real voice, not his muted voice. Maybe I just have to learn to get used to his muted voice.

Tonight, I practised a simple F-sharp major scale. I also went through the first and second movement of the Marcello's Sonata in G minor (transcribed for the double bass). Playing the double bass can be quite a physical work-out. Imagine that it stands at about 2 metres in height. Furthermore, if I were to stop the notes on the fingerboard, the distance between each semitone would be about 1.5 inches apart. If you were to play a keyboard instrument, imagine your fingers having to stretch that much in order to just play a semitone. Won't playing a double bass be a physical work-out?

Actually, my husband sounded quite well today. I surprised myself when I found that I had managed a greater ease of doing vibrato on my husband. I don't really need the $40K eye-candy actually. Even though it obviously should sound, and does sound, better than my husband. I think at my level, I could well settle for a double bass within $10K. That would have met much of my current needs?

Sometime ago, I played on a $7.5 K double bass. It sounded good enough. The harmonics were clear and the tone was sweet. If I were to pick on its faults, that would be that it has yet to be seasoned. As such, it lacks the voice of a seasoned double bass. I think a realistic upgrade would be to a $7.5 K double bass and not the $40K master-crafted one.

Nevertheless, I shall dream that one day I would have enough disposable income and have gained mastery in playing the double bass, such that owning a master-crafted double bass would not be a luxury, but simply a natural thing to invest in.

Meantime, my husband is decent enough and I shall learn to be contented with him, at least for a while.

Talking about cemeteries



Victor shared about his cemetery tour at Yesterday.sg. This is the URL:
http://yesterday.sg/detail/cemetery_tour_a_walk_back_in_time/

It is an interesting read. Click on the URL.

By the way, if you like to know about heritage and museums in Singapore, do check out Yesterday.sg. I have contributed a few posts to that blog and if you were to vote for your favourite posts on that blog, you may stand a chance to win some prizes from the contest. So, it is a blog that you should check out.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The $40K eye-candy

If you were by at Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay's mall lately, you might have noticed a double bass standing in one of the shops.

This double bass is Italian, master-crafted. The friendly person at the shop told me that the double bass is made from seasoned material. It looked pretty nice, and it sounded much better than my husband (see the picture right below). It should better sound better. Afterall, it cost 16 times more than my husband.

The person at the shop was nice and invited me to play on it. Take this as a fling then. If I have all the money in the world to spare, I might consider this eye-candy over my husband.

Then again, logically speaking, unless I have that kind of money to spare, I am unlikely to have considered buying such an expensive double bass at this point. I have no need for another double bass so as to speak, although a better double bass would help make playing more easier for me. Furthermore, I might feel that I am not a good enough player for it as yet. Then again, if I have such a nice eye-candy as the potential new husband, I might be inspired to play much much better?

Bear with my senseless ramblings. I needed to write some nonsense in hope to cheer myself up. Would the wild dream ever come true? I am just doing what I know to work slowly towards it. But a lifetime is very short. Very.


My husband, the double bass  Posted by Hello

Nothing much to blog

There is a tired feeling, and there isn't much I have in mind to blog.

It is not artist's block.
It might have been a sense of tiredness.
Something that could cripple one.
Hopefully all these would be temporary.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Test for the day

I chanced upon this test when I was at Daphne's blog.

If you are feeling too bored, take some time to try this Quick and Painless Enneagram Test.

I did this test just for fun. I don't know if you should believe all that it says.

***
The test says that I am the Romantic, (A Four).

Romantics have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

* Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
* Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
* Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
* Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
* Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being a Four

* my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
* my ability to establish warm connections with people
* admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
* my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
* being unique and being seen as unique by others
* having aesthetic sensibilities
* being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being a Four

* experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
* feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
* feeling guilty when I disappoint people
* feeling hurt or attacked when someone misunderstands me
* expecting too much from myself and life
* fearing being abandoned
* obsessing over resentments
* longing for what I don't have

Fours as Children Often

* have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
* are very sensitive
* feel that they don't fit in
* believe they are missing something that other people have
* attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
* become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
* feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Fours as Parents

* help their children become who they really are
* support their children's creativity and originality
* are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
* are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
* are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Sunday, March 26, 2006

From Singapore to Britain

This has caught my eye when I was walking along Citylink Mall: http://www.bestofbritain.com/.

Hopefully luck would be on my side and I could win a trip to Britain.

Listening: Dvorak's Cello Concerto

I am listening to: Antonín Dvorák's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in B minor, op. 104. Conducted by Sergiu Celibidache, played by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Jacqueline du Pré on the violoncello. This is a live recording.

My preference is to listen to concerts live. But this recording was just as good for my ears. It seemed to have brought me back to history. Music, that I might otherwise not have heard.

The shield


Taken from Read Bridge, Clarke Quay area, Singapore.



Shield me from the noises
Hide me away from the blues

Lend me your colours
Let me paint
With my brush and palette

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Senseless post



Skies are dull
Body is weak
Not make sense
So be it

I like pizza

I got to know of this quiz while I was at Jane's blog. I like pizza.

Pepperoni Pizza

Robust and dominant.
When you go for something, you go full force.
You tend to take control of situations easily.
And in return, you get a ton of respect.


Pepperoni pizza is nice.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Double bass delights

Thanks to Emily for the information, I got to know of the exact time of the Double bass Junior Recital held earlier today at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

It was only this evening did I realise that the term junior refers to third-year students of the conservatory.

The double bass junior recital today was given by Tran Duc Minh. A pretty good recital. Now, I wonder how long it might take for me to play as good as him. Three or four solid years of practising and getting regular tuition from a tutor?

Thanks for the warm water

Recently, the quality of my life has been dependent on the quality of the air. The air has been poor lately. With that, the quality of my life could easily be inferred.

Strangely, some fair amount of warm water seems to alleviate the intensity of the coughing. I'll take this chance to thank HP and Emily for helping to get me warm water on different occasions. Yours truly was probably suffering from the coughings to have remembered to get oneself warm water. Little acts of kindness count. They help relieve the coughs.

J S Bach's Anniversary

Thanks to Waterfall, I got to know that 21 Mar 06 is the anniversary of the composer, J.S. Bach. I like his music.

To make this post short, this is one website you could refer to for more about this great composer: http://www.jsbach.org.

Happy Birthday, J.S. Bach.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sorry, no good post

The headache strikes
The cough still lurks
I might just be waiting for the end to come

Super long working hours
Have been attending to all kinds of emotions
Hurt, pain, disappointments, betrayal, fear
Simple joy, hope and triumph

So there are satisfactory moments
Down ones too
But not enough to make up a good post
Because the headache now lurks too

Monday, March 20, 2006

The lucky caller

I tune to the radio station Symphony 92.4 FM almost every morning on my way to work. Good music can nourish the soul.

There was a call-in contest this morning, and the good news is that I am the lucky caller who won a pair of tickets to the upcoming concert performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The last time that I have won a pair of tickets to a concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall, I was given very good seats.

I think I will like Borodin's Prince Igor: Overture. It is nice. Russian music I might like the Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 too. I am looking forward to the concert.

Now, I would have to check if I could find someone interested to catch this concert with me. I suspect that I might have gotten so used to listening to concerts on my own that I might have put the skills of inviting people to join me for concerts quite aside. Life now seems like a series of relearning again.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A spot to watch the world pass by


Singapore River. Posted by Picasa


I don't know why
The world's getting noiser
I only ask for a peaceful spot
To look out and ponder

A spot to watch the world pass by
Hurriedly, people may walk their lives
My pace is simply uniquely mine

On the steps pondering


City Hall, Singapore Posted by Picasa


Stood on the steps
Looking up and pondering
Conjuring fantasies, more so dreams
Yet the external world seems to only believe in what now exist
Not in possibilities
So the dreams hide in the darkness
Only waiting for that time
When they are strong enough to be realised as realities

What's New in Singapore: Hua Song Museum

In case you have not been reading one of my favourite blogs, Yesterday.sg, I shall attempt to introduce you to a recently opened museum, the Hua Song Museum, located next to Haw Par Villa, Singapore.

To quote from the museum's webpage:
Aptly named Hua Song, which means "in praise of the Chinese community", the museum offers visitors the chance to appreciate the spirit of adventure and enterprise of the early Chinese migrants around the world, who made countless sacrifices, seized opportunities amidst adversity, showed great fortitude and industry to make good in their adopted land.

I have yet to visit the museum, but I am very keen to. Meantime, please sit back and read the following posts by layyoong and June on their visits to the Hua Song Museum. Their posts contain nice photographs that offer you glimpses of the museum. Check it out. You won't regret that.

- Hua Yu Cool
- Newly Launched Hua Song

And if you wish to visit the place, check this link for visitor's information.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friday evening get-away



Last evening, I visited by The Art House. This very building used to be the former Parliament House.

Built in the year 1827, this building was designed as a private residence for a merchant by the name of John Maxwell. Upon its completion, the building was instead leased to the government to be used as a Court of Law. Please check this URL to find out more about the history of building: http://www.theartshouse.com.sg/history.html

There is a relatively peaceful cafe located within the premises of The Art House. It has a pretty nice ambience. The Earshot Cafe - Singapore Books, Music, Film is not just a cafe, it is also a unique shop that showcases Singapore books, films and music. If anyone would like to search for Singapore works, this is one of the places that one must visit.

Last evening when I was there, I got myself a mudpie ice-cream and spent some time at the cafe. A pity that it was not playing any music then. That would have made the experience perfect.

The address:
The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane
Singapore 179429

Friday, March 17, 2006

Virtual Winds Ensemble



Yesterday, I have put up a series of photos taken at the Esplanade's Forecourt. Now, here is to welcome the wind players onboard to join the ensemble.

I would like to find out the creator behind the above beautiful exhibits. Aren't they beautiful?

Blow our hearts out.

What Type of Writer Should You Be?

The cough is getting quite bad that I don't quite feel like writing much. For the fun of it, I tried this test, and it says that I should be a poet. How does this sound to you?

You Should Be A Poet

You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let light drive away the darkness


I dedicate this to SA, who plays the drum



Earlier this Monday, I was at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay to attend a concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). That was a gala concert featuring Lori Maazel and the SSO. I did not quite enjoy the Violin Concerto, but I quite like the rest of the programme, including the encore. It was one of the better SSO concerts that I have heard.

After the concert, I was attracted to the outdoor displays placed at the Forecourt of the Esplanade. The lights looked beautiful against the darkness of the night. I like the theme too: Musicians.

Search for the display of a double bassist. I really don't agree that that particular display is that of a cellist. I heard someone said it is a display of someone playing a cello. Cellist or Double bassist, please just sit back and enjoy the photos of the displays.

Imagine an ensemble playing music in the darkness. Music fills the night. Let the light drive the darkness away.

I don't know about you, but I was fascinated with the displays. I love the contrast between the lights and the darkness. A self-disclosure: I am biased, I prefer string instruments to wind instruments. You can probably tell so from the photos.










The pianist looked so focused.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Discomfort and More

The hip pain is back. Strangely, the hip at times hurts even when I am sitting. I wonder why?

It is not timely that the air in Singapore has been pretty bad lately. There seems so much pollution in the air. To be honest, the air isn't really so awfully polluted. But in my standard, the air is too poor for me to live in comfort. Poor air triggers the cough, and the cough is such a horrible one. It feels as if one day, my chest might rip apart from the cough, and my head might burst from the vibrations from the cough.

But if you would like to read a happy post, I could write about the double bass lesson today. I went through some orchestral excerpts for today's lesson. I've played the melodic and harmonic minor scales, and they were still a little shaky. Playing scales seem to be easy on my boyfriend than on my husband (the double bass at my home). But I will most likely be using my husband for the music exams. To be fair, he does have his own merits.

After the lesson, a few of us went celebrated Emily's birthday. It was a belated birthday celebration, and we celebrated it over a simple dinner at Munchie Monkeys in NUS. The food was reasonable good for its price.

Right now, I am feeling tired. The hip pain and the cough still comes on intermittenly. How does one make the discomfort and pain go away?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reading about Heritage




I don't quite feel like writing much lately. Instead, I have been spending some time reading about Singapore's heritage from Yesterday.sg.

Some interesting articles on the above-mentioned blog include:
- Take a walk down Little India: Heartland of the Indian Community
- Vanishing Scenes of Singapore - Part 5 (My Primary School Days)
- Only living reminder of Singapore River: Bumboats

I have also wrote a few articles on the above blog. See if you can find the articles I have written.

In addition, refer your friends to visit this blog, and stand to win prizes (Please read the terms and conditions to see if you are eligible to take part in this).

Short and Untitled

Feeling drained from the day. I just ask for some quiet time to myself to recharge. I won't mind some quiet company.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend of Work

If last week was a weekend of indulgence, this weekend was a weekend of work.

First of all, I am pleased to inform you that I have completed the four questions that my music theory tutor has assigned me for the week. If music theory exams were open-book exams, I would have scored pretty well. Now, I have to learn to remember those music harmony rules and guides by heart, so that these would be at my fingertips. Bear with me if you were to see strange numbers and roman numerals pasted on my walls. Those would be meant to help me remember the rules.

Next, much of weekend was spent checking through the Chinese dictionary, the English-Chinese dictionary, and on doing some thinking and research. I had to go to my office to get these done. If not, with the cough and the coughing, all that I can think of when I am at home is to rest and sleep. It's work that is official in nature.

After working so much on a weekend, I decided to treat myself to this exhibition titled Power Dressing this evening, at the Asian Civilisation Museum (Empress Place). That was my second time to the exhibition, and I suspect that I might have caught glimpses of the curator of this exhibition when I was there this evening.

My experience this evening was much better than my previous one, even though I had decided to focus on viewing just a few of the exhibits due to time constraints. It seemed that my appreciation of the textiles have greatly been enhanced after attending the talk, Power Dressing Up!, last Saturday.

Then I treated myself to Japanese food for dinner to reward myself for doing so much work on a weekend. I like the soft-shell crab, but somehow, I must have ate my dinner far too fast, I felt quite there was a lot of "gas" in the throat area just now.

I keep my fingers crossed that tomorrow would turn out fine, and things would be within my ability to manage. Have a good week ahead folks.

What Color Green Are You?

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.
Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.
While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.
Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.


Does this sound like me? I could only know that I have yet to find someone who is quite like me.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Heritage and more


CHIJMES


I have a strong feeling that one of my blog friends, Mistipurple, would like this photo. As such, I shall dedicate this to her. In addition, I hope to share this photo with all who have came by this blog.

A simple post has been written to complement the above photograph that I have taken during one of the recent weekends. If you care to find out more, please visit Yesterday.sg and read: CHIJMES today and in the past.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Violent cough

I am starting to cough violently again. Could I blame the recent sore throat for leading to the cough?

I am feeling as if soon I would cough till my chest would hurt and my lungs would collapse. My throat is feeling awfully irritable. It is such a pain to live with the cough. I could only beg to be spared from it soon.

I shall see the doctor again tomorrow.

Can't get to sleep

It is not jet-lag. Neither do I suffer from permanent jet-lag. The fact is that I have woken up in the middle of the night having troubles sleeping.

Perhaps there are too much things on the mind? I reckon it was because of me feeling unwell. There is this irritable feeling from the throat. When will this come to an end?

So much is going through the mind, but I now have almost no motivation to speak. This is how being ill can affect me. It is as if the voice has been robbed away, hopefully temporarily.

Please lend me your quiet company meantime. I don't find it recharging to be active with the activities of the outside world now. I needed to retreat to an inner world of quietness and solitude to recharge. Perhaps the irony is that I too need to feel connected with that outside world despite needing solitude. So now, my fingers shall become my voice and the bridges that brigde.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Progressing to Second Inversions of Triads

This evening is music theory day.

**
Prior to the lesson, I realised that my younger brother and his team members were competing in the Cheerobics Finals at Toa Payoh HDB Hub. As such, I stayed nearby the competition venue to have dinner while watching the competition. I did not manage to get a good view from where I was, but at least I have got some glimpses of what was going on. Toa Payoh HDB Hub was full of people today, and whatever good spaces seemed to be taken up already. Last year, I had managed to get a better view.

I did not get to know the results of the competition as I needed to attended the music theory lessons by the time all the groups in the open category had performed their items. I wonder who has won?

Perhaps what is more important than winning is the fostering of teamwork and challenging oneself to greater heights. A competition is simply a game, where the rule sets that there could only be a set number of winners. In life, the game may be different. Winning could take on a different definition. Instead of being compared against others, one is compared against oneself?

Meantime, good work brother! I know you have put your heart and soul into this.

**

Anyway, I have progressed on to study the Second Inversion of Triads for today's music theory lessons. It seems that I have been spending most of my music theory lessons studying the subject of harmony.

When I was studying the chapter on Second Inversions of Triads on my own, it just seem so puzzling. I almost felt like giving up halfway, when I was studying on my own. However, with the help of the tutor, what had seemed so confusing has started to make some sense. Hopefully, I can start to apply what I have learnt about harmony onto the repertoires that I will be playing.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Learning can be delightful

I am feeling awfully sick now. It is that feeling where one feels like throwing up, but has nothing to throw up. Nausea? I don't know. It may seem wrong to attribute this feeling to me being car-sick after the taxi-ride back home.

8 Mar 06 would probably end in a dreadful way for me, but I love those delightful moments found within. This evening, I had lessons with my double bass tutor. He seemed rather tired today, I hope he is alright? Whatever it was, his lesson was still enjoyable and inspiring.

Learning can be fun. I went through Marcello's Sonata in G minor (Transcribed for the double bass) this evening, and I was interpreting it in a way that I have never done before. Yet, the interpretation sounded nice, except for my not-so-prefect intonation.

In addition, I love the part whereby my tutor guided me to do a vibrato on this F note on the double bass' G string. That felt as if it was one of the best vibrato that I have done on that particular note ever since I have started playing the double bass.

A pity that I shalln't write more. A general sense of lethargy is now urging me to enter Dreamland soon. Good night.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Recollections: Experiences with music

JY's post titled: Jack of all trades, master of none - past and current interest (VI) speaks quite a bit about her experiences with music through the years. It tempted me to make a quick attempt to share a bit of mine.

If there are gaps, could I leave you to fill them up with your own imagination?

Meantime, please read it at your own expense. You cannot expect much from an ailing lad, can you?

- As a young child (somewhere between 3 - 6 years old), I vaguely remember playing with a toy piano. I did not play on it regularly. It was not my favourite toy.

- Sometime between age 6 - 8 years old (but I can't remember exactly when), my maternal grandmother rewarded me with an electronic keyboard for doing well in my studies. I remember that I would try to play some familiar tunes on it by ear. Several years later, my younger brother actually went on to take up keyboard lessons. He eventually went on to take up organ lessons and keyboard lessons.

- At age 13, I needed to take up what was known as extra-curricular activities, and I decided to join the Chinese Orchestra. Perhaps because of my taller built, I was recommended to play the double bass. I went along with it. It was one of those instruments that I did not have to buy in order to play. Did not want to strain the family's finances then. I learnt the double bass under the guidance of one of the senior members of the Chinese Orchestra.

It was stressful at the start, for I was expected to learn enough of the instrument in less than half-a-year's time so that I could perform on stage then. In the Chinese orchestra, it was rare for someone who is only Secondary One to have the chance to perform on stage. Maybe my instrument that I had chosen was rare then? I remember spending quite a lot of my time playing in the Chinese Orchestra during my secondary school years.

- Age 19, I joined the university's Symphony Orchestra. I did my mini-research before attending the symphony orchestra's orientation. I was enticed by the idea of having a double bass tutor to guide me along. A week later, I had to sit for an audition in order to gain entry to the orchestra. I won't dare to share with you how many notes I have played out-of-tune in that audition. I was nervous, admittedly.

- I am now learning Grade 6 music theory. Hopefully, I will be prepared to take the Grade 8 Practical exams in double bass in about five months time.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Health is precious

Get ready for PY's whinings: My throat felt sore, and I felt lethargic. I saw a doctor today. He prescribed antibiotics for me and a few other medications. I wish for more health.

This is the ironic statement perhaps. For yours truly who has yet to see the value in what would lie in that unknown future, I have actually asked for health.

Health is precious, and as such, I wish you good health.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Intrusions

I badly needed a quiet place. To think, and to reflect.

It did not help that I am not living alone by myself. I have to learn to bear with the noises from the television. I do not need the television, but my parents do. I do not need it to be at such a volume, I could hear what was on the television clearly so long as I pay due attention to what was going on on the screen. But perhaps, my parents needed the volume to be louder.

The sensitivity to sounds may have serve me well when I am playing in the orchestra. However, it did not help when it made me feel that the noises from the television were intruding into my personal space. I have yet to develop the capacity to form a bubble glass around myself to shield me from the noises. If you know how, please enlighten me.

The agony of shopping

It was hard to convince oneself to be out when one isn't feeling that well today. My throat felt rather sore this morning. For lunch, I have made deliberate attempts to eat more servings of vegetables. I hope that would help boost my body's immunity up.

After lunch, I headed for the East part of Singapore to get an accessory for the double bass. I did not have much problems shopping around for double bass stuff. Yet I do find myself feeling agonized shopping for clothes. If you could some patience, I would overwhelm you with my agony later in this post.

I had went to the music shop where I had bought my husband, the double bass. The purpose was to find out if the end-pin could be taken off the instrument. I am hoping to put a double bass wheel onto my instrument whenever I need to move it about. In order to do so, I would have to take off the end-pin and replace it with the wheel.

Now the problem is that I suspect that in order to help prevent the accidental loss of the end-pin, the end-pin on my instrument was made in such a way that it cannot be removed even when I unscrew the screw of the end-pin unit. At the back of my mind, I would like a suitable wheel to fit my instrument. To do so, I have to remove the end-pin. Otherwise, I would have to consider buying a double bass case (preferably light enough) with wheels on it. Wheel or case, the idea is to help make transporting the double bass about places easier and more effortless. I hope I could resolve the issue of transporting my instrument about somehow.

***
After I have purchased the double bass accessory, the time was too early for me to return home. I must have wanted to run away from the noises from the construction site nearby my home that I just wanted to be out.

I ended up at Marina Square Shopping Mall. Since I needed a pair of trousers, I decided I shall check out the stores. It felt like an agony. If not for the necessity of getting a pair of trousers, I might have just walked out of one of the stores halfway in my selection. First of all, I have to find something which is made of a material that I won't mind wearing. Next, I have to find something that looked good on me. Then, I would have to make sure that it fit me. I almost wanted to cry in the process of shopping for clothes.

Furthermore, I was tempted by the promotion (if I were to buy two pairs of trousers, I would get 50% off the second pair) to get a second pair. That meant that I have to go through the entire process not once, but twice! Furthermore, I find it hard to be decisive about what would make a good buy. I wonder why some ladies would think that shopping is a form of therapy. At least, it is not quite the case for me. Shopping for clothings seem to be more a necessity. While I was making my selection, I had wished that I had a friend with me. But that idea was almost immediately dismissed, I might have just overwhelm any potential company with my feelings of agony.

I think I might have not been so overwhelmed with the task of making my selection of clothings if the shop were to play classical music. Classical music seems to soothe my mind, and helped me be less indecisive. However, I suspect it would be rare to find shops that play my preferred kind of music in this society that I live in.

In addition to shops playing classical music, I like shops with good air ventilation and generally peaceful ambience. These seem rare to find? But these might help me feel better from the agony of shopping.

Cubicle Life



June Wong wrote a nice post on the Chinatown Heritage Centre, Singapore. Her post reminded me of my visit to this very centre with Kunstemaecker and Msfeline sometime in Dec 2005. I have also visited this centre with a few other of my friends on different occasions.

To read June's post, please visit www.yesterday.sg to read the post titled Cubicle Life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weekend of Indulgence

I am hoping that some reasonable amount of indulgence would help me to feel better living in this world. I am hoping to be in sync with myself again.

Last evening, I met SH after work for dinner. We ate at a restaurant serving Japanese food, Sakae Sushi. I confess that I recently have a fond appetite for soft-shell crab and sashimi. As such, my orders include that of a bowl of sashimi salad (which was served with tomato pulp) and a plate of soft-shell crab.

Then we decided to spend some time at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay to enjoy the sea breeze and to catch one of the outdoors performances.

Much later in the evening, we decided to stop by this ice-cream cafe, Gelare, for desserts. I quite like the cookies & cream and green-tea mudpie that I had there last evening.

***
This morning, the construction site near my flat was making far too much noises than my ears could bear. That had made me shelved off my plans to pratise on the double bass. In the end, I went out.

For lunch, I had sashimi again. The Koh Japanese Food at the basement of Bugis Junction Shopping Centre's food court proved to be value-for-money.

Perhaps its reasonably good tasting food and the value-for-money serving have won me over. For the past weeks, I have been patronising the branch of Koh San Japanese Food located at Toa Payoh HDB Centre's Koufu food court on Thursday's evening when I had to be in Toa Payoh Central for my music theory lessons.


Central Library


After lunch, I visited the Central Library. I browsed through a book on the topic of the Kings and Queens of Britain. Much later, I attended the talk titled Power Dressing-Up!. It was a pretty insightful talk. I had went for the related exhibition titled Power Dressing at the Asian Civilisation Museum some time ago, but it did not make much sense to me. Admittedly, I did not quite know how to appreciate textiles as compared to paintings. The talk this afternoon has helped me better appreciate the significance of the exhibits that I had seen. I intend to revisit the Asian Civilisation Museum again.

As if one talk was not enough, I decided to walk to the nearby Singapore Art Museum to catch the public programme titled Walking Tour-St. Joseph's Institution and Bras Basah. The first part of the programme was delivered in the format of a talk. The speaker was Han Tan Juan, veteran journalist and long-time researcher of folklore and the history of Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. He spoke in Mandarin. I found myself gaining much more understanding of the history of the Bras Basah's area after the talk.

Since this is supposed to be a weekend of indulgence, I ended up deciding to catch a movie. Alone again. Pardon me, the handwriting analysis could be right that I can be a loner. Thanks to the good reviews and the strong recommendations from SH, I decided to catch the Brokeback Mountain. The pictures were well-taken. There were several parts where I did not quite figure the underlying symbolism. The music was quite beautiful. The actors acted well too.

Admittedly, maybe indulgence might have to end soon. Weekend's ending. Furthermore, I am feeling as if my throat is getting sore of late. The hip pain still strikes at times and I find myself walking quite carefully in order not to aggravate the injured ankle.

Coincidentally, I met Msfeline by chance again much later in the evening.

Meantime, I wonder if I could still be as indulgent tomorrow. My throat is obsviously feeling sore now.

For SA



It's 4 Mar 06, and it is Simple American's birthday. I figured that he quite like sceneries of Singapore River, and shall share one with him.

Happy birthday. Thanks for your wise words and kind thoughts.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ankle injury

I think I could have twisted my right ankle while walking about my office this morning. Now my right ankle appears swollen, and has a tinge of "hot" sensation.

I had previously injured my right ankle pretty badly about more than eight years ago. That was the worst for I could hardly walk for a day. Thereafter, I had sprained it again on a few other occasions. All these, I figured have made my ankle more prone to injuries.

I wish my feet have their own radars and do not need to rely on my eyes to watch their steps. Please bear with me if you see me so sullen.

Yesterday once more


Yesterday.sg is officially launched! This is a blog about heritage and museums in Singapore.

I have contributed a few posts to this blog, and if you would like to support me, please visit this blog.

My posts on Yesterday.sg are as follow:
- See you later, ACM Armenian St
- Labrador Tunnels
- A Singapore River Tour

Here's the catch, from now till 31 March 06, you can either blog, participate in the quizzes, vote for your favourite posts or tell your friends about yesterday.sg to win prizes! Check this link for more information.

Still working on First Inversions

For the past few music theory lessons, I have been working on the topic of harmony involving First Inversions of triads.

I have tried to read in advance Second Inversions of triads but it did not make any sense to me. My music theory tutor assured me that he will go through Second Inversions with me to make sure that I will understand the materials.

Music theory is getting challenging.

Exit

Take me away from this world
I am feeling stifled
Here I don't belong
Momentarily cheers do not last long

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Dead Russian Composer Personality Test

I found this when I was visiting Waterfall's blog: A Sort of Notebook.

I quite like music by a few of the Russian Composers, though not exactly Stravinsky.

If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Igor Stravinsky.

Known as a true son of the new 20th Century, my music started out melodic and folky but slowly got more dissonant and bizzare as I aged. I am a traveler and a neat freak, and very much hated those rotten eggs thrown at me after the premiere of "The Rite of Spring."

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test

The city of Singapore

One can gain a greater appreciation of the city of Singapore when one visits the Singapore City Gallery.

Read about a post on a visit to the Singapore City Gallery: http://yesterday.sg/blog/comments/the_city_that_happens_to_be_a_country/

For more posts related to Singapore's heritage and museums, check out: http://yesterday.sg

I have been to the Singapore City Gallery about more than three years ago, and I have enjoyed that visit there. I wonder if there is any change to the gallery now?

Handwriting Test

Emily pointed me to The Handwriting Wizard Self-Test.

Let me attempt to share with you some of the analysis of my handwriting:


- PY is very self-sufficient. She is trying not to need anyone. She is capable of making it on her own. She probably wants and enjoys people, but she doesn't "need" them. She can be a loner.



- People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, PY doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

- In reference to PY's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When PY slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project. She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. PY can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

- PY has difficulty making decisions. Her mind changes constantly. She lives in an emotional tug of war. PY could be described like a thermometer. Today warm and friendly, yet tomorrow she may be distant and cold, not wanting to be close to anyone. Some research indicates that people with a severe variety in the slant of their handwriting have an inability to tolerate sugar and are suffering the side-effects of too much sugar in their diet. If moods swings are a reoccurring issue, investigate the diet. If PY encounters a situation she cannot handle she frequently pulls into herself. She feels her emotions are secure if she is withdrawn. When she has solved the problem she can be very outgoing and again need other people's companionship. Some see PY as very moody, but it it would be more accurate to say she has two complete personalities that she chooses depending on the circumstance. This type of person is often hard to understand because no one knows what personality she is exhibiting today. She may not be bothered by something one minute, then the next minute become upset at the same thing. It is very difficult to pin down PY's emotional expressiveness.

- PY will be candid and direct when expressing her opinion. She will tell them what she thinks if they ask for it, whether they like it or not. So, if they don't really want her opinion, don't ask for it!


I do agree that my moods swing badly when I take too much sugar. The part about me being self-sufficient sounds accurate.

I'll leave it to friends who know me to assess how accurate the handwriting analysis is.

Received my card

I have finally received the Friends of SSO (Singapore Symphony Orchestra) card that I was waiting for. I wanted to get hold of it so that I could take advantage of the discounts and privileges.

It is a great pity that Friends of SSO no longer get discounts at the Conrad Centennial Singapore's Oscar's Cafe. I love the breakfast there. If the cafe grants me a 15% discounts on its breakfast and allow me to take photos of the food there, I will do a special feature of its delightful breakfast buffet.

The consoling thing is that the card allows me to get a 10% discount on regular-priced items at Kinokuniya bookstores. That gets me tempted to buy books from Kinokuniya over a few other major bookstores.

More importantly, as Friends of SSO, I can get priority notice to Singapore Symphony Orchestra's concerts and events. I could also enjoy discounts to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's concerts. SSO does sound nice for several of its concerts.

To be a Friend of SSO, check this URL out: http://www.sso.org.sg/page/id/61