Saturday, December 31, 2005

Make a wish

Look hard into the above picture and you should see many white colour ball-like structures. I heard that these structures are known as wishing spheres. Each of these spheres is supposed to carry a written wish by the people of Singapore. I wonder who gets to write their wish on the sphere and how one gets to do so.

Later tonight, these wishing spheres will form stunning visual arts installations floating on the water (near the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay).

When I was walking about nearby that part of Singapore with socialpest and Kunstemaecker, I remembered Kunstemaecker commented that these spherical structures looked like they were litters floating on the water especially from an aerial view.

I shall leave the final judgement of whether these spherical structures are works of art or pieces of litter to you.


But right now, I am feeling tired.

Earlier this evening, I had wanted to go for a walking tour of the Singapore River but due to not-so-good weather conditions, I decided to push my plans to next year. I keep my fingers crossed that I will get to go for the tour eventually before some unpredictable events of life step in to cause changes in those plans. Not that I am expecting any, but life is expectedly unpredictable.

The footsteps of year 2006 seem so close by now. It sounds so far away, yet it will be approaching in less than three hours time.

Before I digress, I end this post by inviting you to make your very special and personal wish. Think of it in your heart. Say it out silently in your mind. The wish has been made, and I wish that you will find that wish and it will come true.

Have a fulfilling and peaceful year of 2006.

Friday, December 30, 2005

An album full of sad tunes

Compile for me an album full of the sad tunes
That describes the pains and the anguishes
So hard for anyone to be totally free from

Send me tunes that play an entire day
Full of sadness and melancholy
To give a voice to all that vulnerabilities deep down

Let the tunes crush the heart
Push one down into the trenches of darkness
Maybe such darkness may make one feel more alive?

Perhaps with the sad tunes as a contrast
The brighter sides of life will sound brighter?
Then happy tunes may suddenly sound not so superficial

But for now
Let me throw myself
Into that ocean of sad blue tunes.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Circle of bloggers 5

As you would have realised by now, I don't have much photos of fellow bloggers to show you. Msfeline and socialpest have done a much better job in getting photographs of the people while yours truly was too engrossed with capturing landscapes on digital film. You should check out their blogs.

Dinnertime yesterday was the major event of the day. It was the meeting of the bloggers. Bloggers present were: Kunstemaecker, Msfeline, Mistipurple, Pinkie, M., Delfina, Socialpest, Danny and yours truly.

If this had gone unnoticed, I must have been good at covering up my inadequacies. I was starting to feel awkward once there were at least about four other persons sitting with me at the dining table. I wonder if such reaction was normal for a person with a preference for introversion. I am one. I suppose it was normal? I know that if I am in need for personal space, I would do what is possible to avoid saying more than a mere greeting of "hi" if I were to meet friends (even the close ones) on the streets by chance. Pardon me if I were to shun you. It would probably be because I am in need for lots of personal space.

With time to help me warm up, it was simply hard to resist the company of the fellow bloggers and their friendship. Even if I were seem like I was in an uninvolved mode last night. Pardon me, this is part of the process of yours truly trying to recharge.

Post-dinner activity was spent at a nearby cafe. I was fascinated at how Pinkie tried to scoop the servings from the tall glass of chocolately desert. I might have done pretty much the same if I were the one eating that desert. I am quite a chocolate-lover myself.

Enjoying the company even though my energy level was running low most of last night.

The only complaint that I had was the smoke from the cigarettes from the various directions. Please bear with me, I tend to be sensitive to cigarette smoke. In the not-so-good scenarios, cigarette smoke can trigger non-stop coughing in me. Thank goodness it didn't.

If I had been overly zealous, I might have started a quit-smoking campaign on-the-spot. The campaign message would go like this: "Smoke-free lifestyle leads to better health."

Parting always seem difficult. Bid farewell to the fellow bloggers.

By now, Kunstemacker should be in Malaysia, and shortly after, back in his homeland.

(Other related posts: Circle of bloggers - Part 4, 3, 2, 1.)

Circle of bloggers 4

(Continuing from previous posts.)

Am I boring the readers here? But then, when this blog was first started, one of the intentions was for it to serve as an avenue for me to have a constant monologue with myself. I could only say that I am doing my best to write in a way that best expresses myself.

I shall make this post a shorter one in order not to overwhelm.

Msfeline gets the credits of figuring out the way to get to Geylang. We took bus service number 80 to Geylang from the Harbourfront Bus interchange.

We alighted near a durian stall. Our attempts to tempt Kunstemaecker to try one of the durians did not seem to be successful. For the benefit of the non-locals, durian is a tropical fruit with a hard outer husk which is covered with sharp thorns.

We walked about Geylang. Along the way, Msfeline highlighted to both Kunstemaecker and myself the various good eating places along Geylang. Thanks Msfeline.


Glimpse of Geylang

Kunstemaecker requested to return to his hotel room for an afternoon nap. Msfeline and myself made sure that he reached his hotel safe and sound. Afterwhich, we headed for the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.

View from the library@esplanade. I like the way the beams of the windows intersect.

Circle of bloggers 3

(Continuing from the previous post.)

Since we were in Chinatown yesterday, one of the places that yours truly would recommend would be the Chinatown Heritage Centre. I remember being one of the first few groups of visitors to this centre when it was first opened a few years ago.

But now, some of the exhibits are not so easily accessible to the public as compared to when the centre was first opened. I remember that a few years ago, I was able to peep through the "peeping hole" found on a detachable tile located on the one of the rooms on the second level of the shophouses. When I peeped through the hole, I was able to see what was going on along the five-foot way (on the first level). But to be fair, I did noticed a few improvements to the centre's exhibits when I was there yesterday.

Located in three newly restored shophouses along Pagoda Street, the Chinatown Heritage Centre gives visitors an overview of the history of Chinatown and traces the lives of the early Chinese settlers in Singapore.

Take a peep at the replica of the cubicles to get a picture of the living conditions in these living quarters back in the 1950s:

If you wonder how toilets looked like many decades ago during the times when buckets were used to collect human waste, look no further than below:

My recommendation to those of you who wishes to visit this centre: If it is your first time there, it will be good to check out the timings for the guided tours and visit the centre during those times. I have found the guided tours enriching. There is good discounts for POSB, DBS cardholders. Just bring along your ATM cards and that will do.

Not forgetting, here is a picture of Kunstemaecker.

We had lunch at Chinatown area. Msfeline has good taste and recommended a good eating place where we had you(2) ji(1) mian (soya sauce chicken noodles???). Thanks for the recommendations Msfeline.

Believing that it will be a good experience for Kunstemaecker to take the MRT train, we got him onboard one of the MRT trains from Chinatown station to Harbourfront station. We had also wanted him to catch a glimpse of the island of Sentosa.

A pity that because of the construction of the Vivo City nearby Harbourfront and the lack of viewing galleries for members of the public, we did not manage to find a suitable spot to allow Kunstemaecker to have a good view of Sentosa. We only managed to get an obstructed view of part of the island of Sentosa.

But Kunstemaecker has been a very fast learner. When we later showed him a picture of the island of Sentosa, he was able to recognise it almost instantaneously. Shouldn't we give him some rounds of applause?

On our way to the next destination, Geylang, I spoke briefly to Kunstemaecker about Labrador Park. Labrador Park stood on a strategic location located nearby the island now known as Sentosa, and had been used by the British to serve as one of the most important coastal defences on the southern coast of the main island of Singapore so as to defend the trading port.

If you have missed my previous posts on Labrador Park and wish to read them, here are the links:
- Photos taken at Labrador Park
- Afternoon at Labrador Park

We did not go to Labrador Park and Sentosa in the end. There are still many places that I think are worthy to visit so as to understand the history of Singapore and the various diverse cultures in Singapore. For example, the Asian Civilisation Museum, the Kranji War Memorial and so forth.

This section is a hint to attempt to tempt Kunstemaecker to consider visiting Singapore again. (And also to invite other bloggers to consider visiting Singapore. But I must emphasise that I don't work for the tourist promotion board. I just happen to have an interest in walking about places in Singapore.)

Even though Singapore is just a small island, please be reminded that there is so much to see in Singapore that a few days will simply be not enough, unless one wishes to be totally overwhelmed with visiting all the places within a very short timespan. (Another attempt *winks*.)

(To be continued...)

Circle of bloggers 2

Hopefully this series of posts will bring back good memories to Kunstemaecker and fellow bloggers.

28 Dec 2005:
Met Msfeline in the morning to meet Kunstemaecker together. As usual, Kunstemaecker was early.

Thank goodness that Msfeline was around to help give ideas of the possible places that we could show Kunstemaecker to. For the rest of this post, let pictures do most of the work of telling the story. We travelled from places to places on public transport.

First stop was the wet market at the basement of Chinatown Complex. The best part I like about the wet market is the fragrant smells of the tropical fruits that were put on sale at the fruit stalls.

Kunstemaecker had wanted to take photo of a few of the frogs that were being put on sale (intended for consumption), but the stall-holder forbid him to do so. Did you manage to imagine a disappointed look on Kunstemaecker's face?

Shophouses at the Chinatown area

I must have been a big-eater where it comes to eating breakfast. I have had my breakfast before meeting Kunstemaecker but after visiting the wet market, I was hungry for more food for breakfast. Thank goodness that there were hawker stalls selling local cuisine on the second storey of the Chinatown Complex.

The weather on 28 Dec 2005 was pretty good for sightseeing.

Here's one of our stops for the morning:

Sri Mariamman Temple

When we were at the Sri Mariamman Temple (an Indian temple), it was about 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. There was a kind of religious ritual going on in the Indian temple. Music was played during the ritual, and I quite like the music initially until it got overplayed. Offerings were being made to what seemed to be the statue of one of the gods. It was an eye-opener for myself. Although I have been to this temple a few times, I had yet to witness such a ritual until yesterday. It would have been better if we had a guide with us who could enlighten us with the significance of that ritual.

After the stop at the Indian Temple, we took a longer route to the Chinatown Heritage Centre so as to avoid a crowd of tourists.

Along the way, I saw what looked like an interesting composition. What do you think?

Circle of bloggers

Continuing from the previous post, Kunstemaecker, is in Singapore. It has been a pleasure to meet him.

After reading about what other bloggers have wrote on the meeting with Kunstemaecker and other fellow bloggers in Singapore, I realised that each of us has different styles of writing and different ways to express our experience of this hard-to-come-by meeting with Kunstemaecker. As such, it will definitely be more complete to read the posts of the various bloggers writing on one similar topic.

Check the links for what other fellow bloggers have written: Msfeline, Mistipurple, Socialpest and Kunstemaecker himself.(more to be added)

27 Dec 2005:
I was to meet Kunstemaecker at the hotel lobby. I reached there earlier than the agreed upon meeting time. It was raining. When I got into the hotel lobby, I saw a gentleman with a familiar-looking face sitting down.

I have a hunch that he should be Kunstemaecker, but I needed the space to settle down, to catch my breathe and to feel more prepared to ask if he was indeed Kunstemaecker. That took about five minutes. The gentleman whom I thought was Kunstemaecker was indeed him.

Pardon me for the delayed response. The space to prepare must have been a necessity for yours truly in my very own world.

Shortly after exchanging greetings and checking out with Kunstemaecker if he has any plan for the day, we headed to see Mistipurple. Thereafter socialpest joined in. Mistipurple played music on the piano for us. What a pleasure to hear her play on the piano.

The adventure to sightsee Singapore followed. Kunstemaecker, Socialpest and yours truly set out on the journey to Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. As we walked along, we found ourselves at the Merlion Park, Fullerton Hotel and UOB Plaza1.

On Esplanade Bridge

If you have probably guessed by now, I am better at taking photographs of landscapes than of people. As such, I regret that I have mostly photographs of the landscapes that we have seen to show you.

Guess where we are? Taking photo of the aerial view of the Boat Quay.

Warning: I tend to slip into auto-pilot walking mode. As such, I am mindful that I might be unconsciously subjecting my travel companions that day to excessive amount of walking. If you were ever to walk about with me, please remind me if I were to be walking too much.

On the way to the dinner place, Kunstemaecker asked about how Singapore became independent. Yours truly isn't made to be a historian, and could only offer him information on this topic very briefly.

However, if Kunstemaecker or yourself wish to find out more, this is quite a good link on the history of Singapore to check out:

Dinner was spent with Kunstemaecker, Msfeline and Mistipurple at Lau Pa Sat (which means Old Market literally). That day was considered the first time that I met Msfeline. She is a nice lady.

Msfeline has posted nice photos of the dinner. Check out her post.

By the way, I like to take this opportunity to praise Kunstemaecker for the efforts that he has made in learning to use the chopsticks. I think he learns pretty fast. It took me about a month to learn to use the chopsticks properly. Cheers!

The post-dinner activity was to listen to the jazz band at Harry's Bar at Boat Quay. That was one of the rare times that you would find me in a bar. The company and the music was lovely (though I would prefer to listen to the music unplugged). Special thanks to Kunstemaecker for the treat to the drinks. It was nice of him.

When the band took a break, I made a brief conversation with the guitarist, RS. He gave me some insights on playing in a jazz band.

Before midnight approaches, we parted for the day.

Thanking the folks mentioned above for their good company and friendship.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Farewell Trade Fair

Hopefully, the noises will be out from my life for a while. Yesterday, while I was walking towards my block, I noticed that almost 70% of the stalls in the trade fair were GONE!

Will the environment become more peaceful? Maybe not. There is construction going on just next to my block of flat too.

The unexpected has became reality. Yesterday, I Met face-to-face with several bloggers whom I have never met before: Kunstemaecker, Socialpest (maybe she could change a nickname, she isn't a pest in anyway), and Msfeline (I had only saw a glimpse of her when I last saw her by chance). Also met with Mistipurple once again.

Stay tune for more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Birthday Greetings

Taken from Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay, Promenade.

The clock has struck midnight. Wishing Xiaofen a Happy Birthday. I hope things are manageable on her side? (Haven't heard from her for a while.)

Evening skies are beautiful. Dedicating the photo above to her. Wishing her a peaceful and meaningful birthday.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Thanks grandma

My maternal grandma gave me a gift yesterday. It is the thoughts that count.

Yet, she shouldn't have. Furthermore, she has long ago realised that I take very little fancy of jewellery.

Anyway, a post to say thanks. My grandma is a nice lady.

Go with the flow

Have you experience times when you wish to be out of the home, but your energy level keeps reminding you to slow down and not push your limits?

That happened to me yesterday. I had wanted to visit the Singapore Art Museum for its Christmas Day Open Day activities in the morning, but was not feeling at my best to do so. In the end, after take to rest and relax at home in the morning, I went out of home to catch the movie, King Kong in the early morning.

So, as Mystic often says: "Go with the flow". It sums up what I did.

I am not a movie fanatic, but I must say King Kong is a good movie. There have been many positive reviews about it that I decided to watch it. The pace of the movie is just right, even though the movie is about three hours long. The storyline, while a fantasy in itself, is coherent and well-delivered. The personalities and characters of the various roles are well depicted too, making the characters come alive.

My favourite characters in this movie are: Ann, Jack and King Kong.

If you still aren't decided on whether to catch this movie, maybe you would like to check out about this movie from:

And for the history fanatic, maybe this URL containing an in-depth review of the 1933 version of King Kong may interest you:

Sunday, December 25, 2005

No just one single source

Thank you for counting with me for the trade fair to end.

When one listens more intently, one will realise that the noises from the trade fair are not from just one source. They are from multiple sources.

As best as my ears are trying to make out of the noises, there seems to be a shop that sells music CDs. It has been playing music at a very loud volume.

Let me attempt to make a good guess of the other sources (purely from my inference and imagination):

There is one stall that has been constantly emitting awfully amplified voices of the salesperson trying to sell his wares and goods. He must have love the sounds of his voice amplified more than a thousand times such that he has chosen to speak through a microphone and amplifier every night.

It also seems that many of the stall-holders have brought along their own entertainment sets to play music to entertain themselves, and in hope to attract people to visit their stalls. When the stall-holders can't hear their own set of music, they probably chose to turn the volume of their player louder? I suppose their policy is to fight noise with more noise?

There is this fortune teller (I think) who has decided that no one would be able to hear him anyway if he not did speak through a microphone. As such, he found himself a microphone and have his voice projected loud and clear through the speakers. This must have helped saved his voice from cracking after hours of non-stop talking every night?

I have no clue what kind of speakers were used, but they were so powerful that I could feel their vibrations from where I am staying. I live more than twenty storeys above the ground.

So for now, if you aren't having a headache from reading about these multiple sources of noises, I am having a headache from hearing the noises.

I shall continue to count down.

What's on: Sightings

Taken at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Concourse.

Somehow the objects in this picture remind me of coloured Christmas trees.

At this same place, the Concourse of the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, there will be performances by Handbell Choirs on the evenings of 26, 27 and 30 December. Click on this link for the details.


In case you don't know, there will be a Marina Bay Countdown on 31 Dec 2005, along Marina Bay from 8 p.m.. "At midnight, against the canvas of the night sky, a finale of fireworks and music will welcome the new year."

I wonder if it would get too crowded beyond my comfort level? I tend to lose my bearings in the crowd.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Harmony Exercises

It must have been the late hours of the night. As such, it took me about half an hour just to complete one question from the harmony exercise that I am to work on. It was considered slow because that question merely consisted of four bars and seven notes.

The question required me to add the alto and tenor parts to the given soprano and bass parts. The challenge was that I have to make sure I observe all the various rules when I add in the required parts.

Some of the rules are:
- Avoid overlapping between consecutive chords.
- In using V-VI, the 3rd of VI should be doubled.
- The leading-note should rise to the tonic in the progressions V-I and V-VI

The challenge for me was to check through to make sure that no parts are moving in parallel perfect 5ths and octaves in consecutive chords. Thank goodness that my music theory tutor has taught me a systematic method to check through for this.

The next challenge was to work towards committing these rules to my memory.

Anyway, I shall continue tomorrow with the rest of the questions in the exercise.

Questions for the day are: How did these rules come about? Who came up with them? When? Do these rule help to enhance the quality of a piece of musical compostion or do they stifle?

Christmas eve rantings

It's 10.48 p.m. in Singapore. Strangely, the trade fair has decided to play Christmas songs tonight. It is now playing Silent Night loud and clear. Then another part of the trade fair is playing some pop music. Is playing Christmas songs a sales gimmick, or is it that the folks at the trade fair really wishes to celebrate Christmas day? I don't wish to answer.

What do you do on the day before Christmas?

Do you join in the crowd and the merry-making? Or do you avoid where the crowds are like I do?

Several years ago, I was hosting a group of visitors from Penang with a few other friends. The visitors requested to be at Orchard Road (a part of Singapore where the Christmas lightings are) on a Christmas eve. That was my first and only time at Orchard Road on the Christmas eve. It was simply too crowded for me to feel any joy. It was also very hard to get any public transport back home. I remember having to wait for at least more than one hour to get up a public transport back then.

That past experience was enough to get me to stay away from the crowded parts of Singapore on Christmas eve (and New Year's eve).

It is Christmas eve, and I am feeling pleased with myself for having to finish quite a fair bit of paperwork today. I have been in office for about close to eleven hours since 8.45 a.m. today.

In the morning, I was scheduled for duty to assess and do intake for all walk-ins and referrals to the centre. Four such walk-ins and referrals that I had to follow up. This was considered quite a lot, considering that our centre's offical opening hours today was from 8.45 a.m. to noon. Perhaps people could only afford time away from their work on the day just before Christmas, and then they could find time to seek services from our centre. I have no idea. I am just thinking aloud.

When noon struck, I put aside time to work on the paperwork that I had to shelf aside in order to attend to the walk-ins and referrals earlier the day. Not forgetting, I decided to treat myself to a decent lunch before starting on the paperwork.

I did not manage to accomplish as much as I would like to have. Perhaps I have had higher expectations and targets than I could realistically achieve. Anyway, I am glad that the more important things have been looked into. Given the choice of either going to join the merry-making crowd and to stay in office to work, I have chosen the latter. There will still be quite a lot of work to work on when I return to office next Friday. Cheer me on please.

Many of my clients can get overtime pay when they work longer hours. However, in this job of mine, working longer hours outside the official hours to do paperwork does not grant one any overtime pay. So I figured that the best way to keep myself happy is to work extra hours in office only if I am in a good state of mind and health to do so (so that I treat myself kind enough), and only if I sincerely don't mind working the extra hours even if there will be no remuneration (so that I won't end up grouchy for working those extra hours).

But well, I do feel more relieved that at least the key things that needs to be done have more or less been done. Phew!

Lastly, what better ways to end a Christmas eve post than to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Song for a Rainy Day

Recapitulation: Rainy Days and Mondays

A post that was written about one year ago. Where is the sunshine? I think it only comes after the rain?

Wet and rainy day

Today is a wet and rainy day.

Yet strangely, despite the wet weather, the sounds from the trade fair remains loud. Maybe the stall holders can bear to see the trade fair ending soon? Well, please count down with me for it to end soon.

But hopefully, the weather would get better soon. Wet weather makes me feel down at times, and I won't have the mood to walk much around.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bloggers meeting in Singapore

City Hall building, Singapore

Kunstemaecker will be in Singapore soon. When I started out with blogging, I have never thought that in real life, I could meet fellow bloggers whom I have never met.

Mistipurple is having a countdown on her blog in anticipation of this occasion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Come to a stop

At last, it seems like the noises from the trade fair has stopped for the night. It is going to end soon. I will be pleased to say "bye" to it by then.

On the other hand, the two lifts that serve the apartment block that I am staying in were both faulty tonight. They both stopped working at the same time! It was not good news to reach the ground level of one's block to find both lifts not working. Furthermore, I was feeling pretty tired by 9.50 p.m. in the night from a long day at work. One was faulty and was under maintenance; the other had broke down.

I have no motivation to walk up to my unit from the ground level. I live higher than twenty storeys. I was feeling tired already and have no moods to walk twenty storeys up. Thank goodness that in about slightly more than half an hour's time, a technican came to get one of the lifts that had broken down to work again.

When is the world coming to a momentarily stop, so that what is going too fast could have the chance to stop and slow down to take a moment of breather?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Time draws near

Time is drawing much nearer than one would admit.
Hours of rehearsals have been spent simply to stage a two hours performance.

Yesterday, the orchestra was rehearsing the first and the third movement of Brahms' Symphony No. 2. Brahms' music in my opinion is challenging to play. Technically and musically. Everytime I play Brahms' music, I will make a new discovery or experience of the music. This was the case even when I was feeling pretty tired during rehearsal yesterday.

Yesterday, I was told that the tickets for the orchestra's next public performance are already up for sale. Two months before the concert!

Take a peep if you wish to:

NUS Centre For the Arts
A Night of Enchantment by NUS Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO) with Konstantin Scherbakov
as part of NUS Arts Festival (R&R 2006)

24 Feb 2006 (Fri), 7.30 p.m.
Venue: University Cultural Centre-Hall, National University of Singapore

Sometimes I wish the timing of the concert and the venue could be more accessible. The best way to advocate for and secure better timings and venues in the future is to win the support of audience so much so that the University Cultural Centre has not enough seats to cater to all the members of the audience. Then we might be able to perform at the Esplanade Concert Hall, which is much more accessible in my opinion.

Not want a care

When one is tired by the day
One simply prefers to do without a single care of the world
Working hard
One should deserve a good rest

Revealing what lies behind the shadows

What lies behind the shadows?

A sense of feeling that the world is dark.
No more light as yet. Nothing is found.
Searching. Yet, no find.
Lost. Lost. Lost. Yet will not be forever.
Perhaps there are some hints of clues.
No confirmation of any kind. Not even anything close enough.
Remote is the word.
Far yet from the world of bliss.
Yet the search is founded upon the faith of a discovery, where the journey is supposed to be the best part of the story.

See beyond the shadows.
Dream one's wildest dreams.
Take confidence that what lies beneath,
Will be the truth one is seeking.
That what lies behind the shadows,
Is stately enough to make one feel as if in a fairyland.
A fairyland where dreams really do come true.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

In the dark shadows

I must have been a run-away lady. Running away from the noises. Running away from what does not seem to fit me as yet. Even if it means that I have to wander around without an aim, without a single plan, so be it.


Yesterday, I took out my sketchbook with the intentions of finding something to sketch. I left home, on a brief run-away attempt. I wandered, until I reached the Singapore Art Museum where I caught the exhibition titled Gao Xingjian Experience. I hope for some guidance to better understand his works.
His use of the Chinese ink displays a level of mastery.

Here's the synopsis of the exhibition that I have extracted from the official website:
This exhibition will provide Singaporeans an opportunity to see a practice stemming from Chinese ink painting influences and European (partic. French and German) philosophical and literary ideas that influenced Gao’s thinking. This exhibition is held from 17 Nov 2005 to 7 Feb 2006.

But I left the Singapore Art Museum without a single sketch. The slight drizzle yesterday could have dampened my mood to sketch. When one was more prepared to sketch, the dark evening skies came by. I usually don't sketch in the dark for I could hardly see what I am sketching. So there was no sketch that was done by the end of the day.


Yet there must have been an urge to find a way to portray a sense of being in the shadows. Sketching would have taken a bit more time to capture this, so instead I took the photo that you see right above. In the shadows, but looking out for some light. Where is the light? It may be very near, but is yet to be found.

Which is the winner?

Which is the winner?
Is it the irritating noises from the trade fair?
Or is it the focused sounds from my keyboard?

The noises have left my mind uninspired
Weakened my physical body from facing my daily trials

Yet hardly they have weakened the need for self-expression
Finding a voice through the keyboard

If I could trust
That the typing on the keyboard
Is as if a form of meditation
That will lift one away from the worldly noises
Then stay focused on one's expression
To free one's inner voices to the external world

Yet the future is uncertain
Which shall emerge the true winner?
No certainty of one's full return
But for now, the typing will go on.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blog Break?

There are not much inspiration and motivation to write a post when the environment is not conducive. I think taking a blog break in the near future is very likely.

Feeling so tired, I just want to peaceful place to sleep.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


About 45 minutes of this evening was spent in the music theory class. It felt satisfying to be able to grasp the concept taught today.

After the class and back at home, I was trying to read in advance what will be taught in the next lesson. However, I was left baffled.

I admit that I don't have a good foundation in music theory. While I have passed Grade 5 Music Theory, but I was largely self-taught. I only started studying for Grade 5 Music Theory a month before the exams. To be able to pass it was good news to me then.

Now that I am taking Grade 6 music theory lessons, I could see how helpful a good foundation in Grade 5 Music Theory would be in enabling me to understand some of the concepts taught in class with greater ease. I could only wish that with some good guidance and diligent study, I would be able to figure out what has left me baffled.

These are a few of the concepts that may seem easy to some others, but have baffled me:

- No part may leap any augmented interval, i.e. augmented 2nd, 4th, or 5th.
- A part may leap a diminished 5th provided it is followed by a note within this interval.

My questions: How can I learn to recognise intervals that are augmented 2nd, 4th, 5th? What is a leap? What does it mean by "within this interval"?

If I can't figure these out before next Thursday, the consoling thing is that I can ask my music theory tutor. But it will be great to be able to figure things out before then.

However, living life out isn't as easy. Who can I really ask when I am baffled? But then, everyone around me can serve as a teacher at some point in time, perhaps?


Grey skies
Dark clouds
Noisy surroundings
Pressing one in

One's feeling blue
One's mind is heavy
Peace has not came
One's place not yet found

Should one have surrendered?
At times feeling like giving up
Yet things not truly grim
But moody life feels

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Much darker than this

Imagine the skies much darker than what you saw on this photo, that shall be the view of the night that I saw earlier tonight.

Recovery isn't coming easy

Drained is the feeling. I am uncertain if it could be due to the noises. If it was, recovery hasn't been coming easy.

Evening was spent at the library@esplanade listening to the music of Vivaldi. Afterwhich, I spent some time reading at the same library. The library is relatively less crowded on a weekday night, and I enjoyed having the chance to enjoy the peace that the library offered.

Later, I spent some time alone at the Pacific Coffee Company cafe nearby. I tried to read several pages from a book on Music Theory, but I did not spend more than an hour there. Somehow the wooden chair that I was sitting on did not entice me to stay in the cafe for too long. I left after finishing a cup of Zen Mango tea and Oreo Cheese Cake. The Oreo Cheese Cake was not up to my liking, it could have been better. Somehow, the cake's texture is too dry to be satisfying to the palate. The tea has a nice fragrance, I won't mind drinking it again.

The breeze from the night has been very inviting. Little wonder to find me back at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay to catch the night view. But one must have been feeling so drained such that even the comforting breezes have failed to take my tiredness away. The mind just felt heavy. One feels as if in a pressure cooker where there's nothing meaning to look forward to.

As such, one has yet to recover even though one has had a few good hours of peace this evening. How does one recover from the blues and the noises?

Screaming "Tired"

The morning was spent selling flags.

For the benefit of non-local readers, the flags I am referring to are not flags that are hung on flag-poles. These are actually small-sized stickers about the size of a regular stamp. The purpose of selling the flags is to solicit for donations for the charity that one is selling flags for. Every donor who puts money of any amount into the donation bag will be entitled a flag.

Midway the selling of flags, I was already feeling hungry. Anyway, continued to go around selling flags until it was the designated time to stop. To those who have donated to the charity that we were raising funds for, thank you for your kindness and generosity.

After lunch, my colleagues and myself headed for office. Feeling quite tired. Last night, I stayed in office till about 9 p.m. In one way, I was trying to escape from the noises from the trade fair. In another way, there is a lot of work still to be done.

Today is Wednesday, but there is no rehearsal this evening. As such, I will be free for the evening. I am now thinking hard of where to go for a pleasant dinner, most likely alone, and then have a peaceful evening before I return home to face the trade fair's noises. Pardon me, I am not very tolerant of noises!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Flag day

Tomorrow morning, I will be out selling flags on a Flag day that falls on a Wednesday. It has been a while since I last sold flags. If you do see me around, just greet me with a smile.

Of course, you are most welcome to give a donation to the organisation that I will be raising funds for.

JY's non-friendster blog is back

As the title says it. JY's blogger's blog is back into action. I wonder how she has managed to resolve the issue of seeing squares and Chinese characters? But anyway, welcome back JY.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Feet are tired

I have been walking most of the afternoon and evening. The mood is getting more and more grey. I do not know if the colours of the skies this afternoon have played a part in causing the mood to turn to a pessimistic hue.

If there is one good thing to say about today, it is that at least I could have some moments of peace and quiet today. But when I allowed my feet to return home, that feeling of peace and quiet is once again being intruded upon.

Life has felt as if there is nothing quite much to look forward to. I wonder if a storm is coming on its way to sweep me away?

Excuse me please, I am feeling lost and aimless right now.

Dominican Oboist

Please join me to congratulate Dominican Oboist for the fruits of labour that she has reaped on her first year anniversary as an oboist.

I admire the hard work and passion that she has put in in learning to play the instrument well. Good going Hilda. Wishing you all the best in your endeavours.

A matter of character

I was walking along the Esplanade Park with J last night on our way to Victoria Concert Hall. Yours truly love walking and sightseeing. I felt glad that even though the previous Supreme Court building is now no longer in use, it continues to be lit up at night. I look forward to the day when the previous Supreme Court gets refurbished into a world class art gallery. It is a building with character.

Both J and myself thought nothing much about the new Supreme Court that is now in use. It lacks character in my opinion as a Supreme Court of the republic. I do not know if the fast pace of modern life has gotten into the architect. The need to do things fast and within a limited time has seemed to kill the inspirations required to design a building with character that would highlight the stately nature of the Supreme Court.

I am proposing that the way forward now is to slow down our pace and attempt to reflect on what matters most. The fast pace of modern life has its setbacks, and I find that this is being reflected even through some of our current works of architecture.

For your comparison, below are photos taken of the current Supreme Court and the previous Supreme Court.

Current Supreme Court

Previous Supreme Court

Which do you prefer as a Supreme Court?

I am biased, I like the latter more.


At times I wonder, whether I have been a most distant friend in the eyes of my friends? I have found it so difficult to share my inner thoughts and feelings, especially verbally. Someone once remarked that she finds me very hard to know. If the lack of sharing makes one seem distant, I am perhaps caught in that predicament.

A remark made by someone else makes me think. She said sometimes she does not know how to relate to me for I tend to get too diplomatic. I don't know if I am really as diplomatic as was said, but I at times find myself having difficulties relating to the world around me. At times, it feels like more sharing of one's views may make one feel more misunderstood. Maybe this has somewhat contributed to the feeling of being out of place with the rest of the world.

I do not assume that people can read my thoughts. However, not having such an assumption does not mean I am motivated to share my thoughts verbally. Please take it that sharing myself verbally tends to make me feel more vulnerable. I prefer the context of sharing whereby there is a lot of space for introspection and reflection. That context tends to expect a pace slower than the pace of today's modern world.

Yet, the external world demands that it knows part of me. It demands the players to share themselves even if it means at a superficial level. Over time, I suspect I could have developed a persona to relate with the outside world. A persona that is still part of me, but it can hardly represent most of me at all.

This post is not a post to state in definitive terms a view of mine. It is a post of exploration, exploring how one could relate better with the world.

Knowing that not sharing has its risks of making relationships superficial. I say words of gratitude to the people who accepted my need for space and privacy. I seek their forgiveness if I have seemed distant at many points in time. I ask to be guided to learn how to relate to the rest of the world better without sacrificing that need for space and privacy.

Stopping the blues

It is past midnight. I am taking time to enjoy the peace and silence that the night has to offer. I hope this would help stop the blues from making me slip down further.

Late afternoon was spent at the library listening to Baroque music. I seem to have an affinity to libraries lately. They offer the solace and peace that I have been seeking.

Met J for dinner this evening. I am trying to figure out why J was said to have a "I want to eat Crystal Jade's look", but I soon decided that it was more important to enjoy the dinner with my friend, J. If I am not wrong, we ate at Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao. The Xiao Long Bao was alright, but I think that the eatery at Neil Road serves better Xiao Long Bao. Nevertheless, it was a good dinner because of the company of a good friend. The food was satisfactorily and I like the pastry that J had ordered.

I thank J for bearing with me and with my strong need for space tonight.

After dinner, we took a stroll to the Victoria Concert Hall for the concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The concert is a Christmas Concert titled A Chopard Christmas with the SSO. The stroll was pleasant. It was a stroll that took us to walk along the Singapore River, and walking along the Singapore River often brings me good vibes.

The concert felt uplifting. Hopefully its effect would last to help stop the blues.

Anyway, I particularly like programme after the intermission. The orchestra played orchestral music with a sense of jazz in it. The double bass of the principal double bassist was connected to an amplifier and I love the basslines he played. He has a steady and solid sense of rhythms.

When it came to the last item of the concert, the audience was invited to sing along with the orchestra Christmas carols. J has a good voice and good sense of pitch I must say. While she sang along, I was trying to figure out how to sing while at the same time listen to the nice orchestration. I finally decided it was too difficult to do two things at one single time, and I decided to focus on listening.

The concert ended with balloons coming down from the circle seats. It was a pleasant surprise.

An enjoyable concert. No wonder tonight's concert was a sold-out! Thanking J for her company. I was in need of some company to shift me from being stuck with the blues.

After the concert, J and I parted for the night. I walked along the stretch of the Singapore River along Boat Quay. The night along the river mesmerised. It felt peaceful to walk under the stars tonight. I walked for as long as my body could bear with, before finally taking a bus home.

Tonight, I must have been blessed to have enough moments of peace to stop the blues from multiplying themselves.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Transverse flute and more

Simple American raised a good question which I shall attempt to provide links to answer. He asked what a transverse flute is, and this is the very same question that I asked my music theory teacher.

In short, transverse flutes are side-blown flutes where the player holds sideway to play (as opposed to recorders which are end-blown flutes). Until c.1750, the term flute referred to the recorder.

For more about the transverse flute, please click on the links below. Pleasant reading.

Past midnight

It is past midnight, and finally the sounds from the trade fair has stopped. It ought to be.

It is now Saturday. Half the night has passed.


It was no more than 48 hours ago when I attended my second music theory class. It was an individual lesson. My theory tutor was relieved and probably pleased that I have managed to find and to bring to class what was supposedly a not-easy-to-find book: William Lovelock's First Year Harmony.

The second music theory class started with going through the first few pages from First Year Harmony. The tutor went through with me about the concepts of major, minor, augmented and diminshed triads. The later part of the class was spent learning about music from the Baroque period. I felt enlightened to be able to understand the basics of what those figured bass in Baroque music had meant.

Part of my homework was to find out what a transverse flute is. I think I have found it out. Learning music theory can be quite fun. It takes me out of the routine.

The world is getting out of touch from me. Yet it did help to look for some positive things to talk about.


If growing up is likened to the process of metamorphosis, then is it inevitably painful? Yet moments of joy it could lend, for that hope of taking flight.

How does one grow and not be resentful?
How does one work towards taking flight while not losing sight of what matters?
How does one learn to bear with the pains long enough to see the fruits of the process?

When the night turns dark, how does one find strength for renewal?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Where's hope?

What is there
To live for
In life?

What is it
That propels one forward
To face each new day?

When the darkest hour strikes
What brings that gleam
of light?

When one lets out
A cry, silent
how could it be heard?

Dark fantasies

Write no more
Distance oneself
In sought of solitude
Dark fantasies reign

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hidden behind the trees

The building in the foreground is where I usually have orchestra rehearsals. This is how it looks after the renovation.

Yesterday, we rehearsed Mozart's Magic Flute Overture and the first movement of Brahms' Symphony No. 2. I think I need more practice to master Brahms' Second Symphony.

This place brings fond memories to me. I spend much of my undergraduate years practising here. This is what I call nostalgia.

Fatigue catches up

As the title says
Weariness is the experience of the day
Energy all used up
Mentally and physically

Peace is an luxury item
Now not being granted
Rest, one may wish
But a havoc is stirring
Hardly any space to rest
Maybe the world will blank out soon

Peace is disturbed

I do not know if it would annoy readers to yet again write about how the noises from the trade fair has disturbed my sense of peace. Yet it still has been doing so without fail.

I could only learn to bear with it, and assume that there are people out there who may have benefitted from its existence. Those people who have put up stalls at the trade fair depend on good location (and the flat I am living in is situated on one) for livelihood. People who enjoys shopping count on the trade fair to have convenient shopping. People who loves the local concept of the night market (Pasar Malam in Malay language) looks forward to the trade fair for nostalgic reasons. The list may go on if I were to attempt to list more.

Yet, I have found that I do not benefit much from its existence.

Firstly, I do not enjoy listening to noises that I could not make any sense out of. Every night, the trade fair emits sounds that I would rather not have heard. Last week, it gave the "thump thump" sound. Tonight, I could hear the voices of people trying to sell their items over the loudspeaker. At times, I could hear voices of people singing.

Secondly, I am not a shopper. I shop for a functional reason and not for the pleasure of shopping. Except for a few occasions whereby I was tasked to buy some food from the trade fair, I hardly shop in it. Most of the time, I would just simply walk past it without spending much time to shop. The truth is, the senseless emission of noises and sounds from the trade fair have deterred me. All I want, is peace.

Thirdly, while images of the trade fair may remind me of the times when I was young and was brought on a few occasions to a trade fair to play games, it was not quite nostalgic to be in one now. I did not remember myself enjoying being in a crowd even when I was much much younger. The most I could appreciate is that my parents took time to bring me to a trade fair. Maybe the novelty of the fair has helped me bear with the crowd then? Then sadly, I could say that trade fair has seem to lose its novelty on me.

One more month, and I could so gladly say bye to the trade fair. Hopefully there are really a lot of people who do benefit from its existence, even though I don't. If not, I will question very strongly why anyone would want to set up a trade fair in the first place. Why set up a white elephant that is of not much benefit to people and yet brings in so much disturbance?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mosquito Bites

*Scratch* *Scratch*
Mosquito bites make one feel itchy, won't you think?

I do not know where the mosquito came from. I must have very limited awareness of my external environment at times such that I could not even tell when I was bitten by the mosquitos.

I write a mundane post for I am not in my best frame of mind to write a post with much depth.

A warning to Kunstemaecker who is coming to Singapore, he should consider bringing insect repellent when he visits the tropics.

I wonder if I have gave him a great suggestion? But then, would he ever get a chance to use an insect repellent if he were to stay in a hotel with air-conditioning facilities?

Finding of the day

Regularly, the professional social workers and counsellors in my department will get to read articles related to the social service. These articles are being circulated and each of us will take time to read them.

Today I read one article on an Email Befriending Service.


Finding of the day, the Samaritans of Singapore (commonly referred to as SOS offers an Email Befriending Service. This is intended for people who are troubled or in distress. It recognise that there are people who may prefer to write than to talk.

The email address for the Email Befriending Service is:

Hopefully, sharing about it on this blog will give this service some publicity that it deserves. More important, may this information be a useful resource.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Low tides

It is the time of the low tides
The river bed unveils its face
The evening lights reflect onto the water
Signaling night is falling near

What happened to JY?

I was trying to read JY's blog today but when I entered the URL, I could only see a blank page.

When I have tried to log into Friendster this evening, it seems to be giving me problems too. I could not even access the Friendster's main page. There seems to be no clue what has happened. I hope JY is alright?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Away from the noises

The evening sun and the trees. Taken at National University of Singapore's campus.

This photo was taken after rehearsal this evening. I did not quite spend much time observing the subject-matter before I took this photograph.

Anyway, the campus was pretty quiet on a Sunday evening, and I could hear the rustling sounds of the leaves. How pleasant these sounds were for the ears as compared to the loud noises from the trade fair.

Rehearsals keeps one away from lifelessness

Orchestra rehearsals have resumed. The first orchestra rehearsal after the recent exams-break (for I play in a university orchestra as a graduate member) was on 1 Dec 2005.

It may seem poor choice to have decided to miss the orchestra rehearsal on 2 Dec 2005, but the other alternative that I had finally chose to attend was rather obligatory and only happens once a year. On hindsight, I would have definitely prefer to attend the orchestra rehearsal, yet if I were to choose again, I would still have chosen the other alternative as it was the most appropriate choice to make under the given circumstances.

Today, the orchestra rehearsed the first and the last movement of Brahms' Symphony No. 2. Although I still struggled to get the rhythms of certain passages and to play certain passages in tune, I have enjoyed the rehearsal. Brahms' music is so much easier for me to relate to than Sibelius' music. Maybe someone should sponsor me to a trip to Finland so that I could better appreciate Sibelius' music?

Rehearsals seem to inject a little life into me. Hopefully in about two months time, I could play Brahms' Symphony No. 2 well enough. I find it a challenge to play Brahms' for his music tends to be difficult both technically and more so, musically. I was told that the orchestra's upcoming public concert will be held on 25 February 2006. That sounds fast-approaching.


For now, I am in a process of considering whether to sit for ABRSM Grade 8 Double Bass practical exams next year. I don't feel quite fully ready for playing scales, aural and sight-reading yet. I also don't know if I could muster enough energy to practise with the heavy workload in office. Then finally, I would need to find a piano-accompanist too. I am just having these thoughts in order to make sure that the plan in mind is reasonable and achievable. I think I know my answer.

Meantime, whatever life that rehearsals may inject, it is simply for those moments during rehearsals. That sense of life seems not enough to sustain one till the rest of the entire week. Anyway, when the feeling of lifelessness do come, maybe one should look within too for strength other than look outside oneself?

Retreat to a world of my own

Isolation becomes an option on the mind when one's world is continuously bombarded by noises. The noises from the trade fair still continues. I am waiting for the end of the trade fair to come. That will be sometime in the end of this month.

There seems no fit for one in this world. Isolation and melancholy will lend the quiet company to one until one feels more sane to deal with the noises again.

On the side note, I have found a rather nice and cosy place to retreat this evening. On a Sunday evening today, the library@orchard was quiet enough and not too crowded. It gave me space to retreat to a world of solitude. It took me away from the noises, for who would dare to make too much noises in a library? That would be too inconsiderate s thing to do in a library.

It is nice to relax and unwind by drinking a cup of beverage from Cafe Galilee which was located within the library. There is not many people this evening at the library, so I took advantage to enjoy all the peace and quietness that the library could spare me. Well, it wasn't all silence, there was nice piped-music that had lent music to my ears while I drank a cup of milk-shake at the cafe.

I must have been blessed to find that the music booths which were normally occupied were available today. After finishing the milk-shake, I went up to one of the music booths and listened in to Chinese pop songs sang by Fish Leong. The music booths play music from a selected list and one could choose between classical, asian pop, pop and jazz music. I chose classical initially but realised that it wasn't playing the kind of music I was expecting, so I chose asian pop in the end. While listening to the music, I tried to enjoy the serenity that the library has to offer.

Right now, I am wishing for quiet company. Too many thoughts on the mind, but too much noises from the external have added to the confusion. A quiet company may lend the needed sense of support for one to find strength to face the loud and confusing world.

Be my quiet company please.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thanks Caracola

A word of thanks to Caracola for listening in to my frustrations earlier this morning. After the conversation, I went to check for the time differences between Spain and Singapore. It was 7 hours of difference if I had figured it right. Then, I realised that it must have been an hour past midnight for her in Spain.

I thank her for her kindness and time. A photo that I had recently taken, dedicated to her:

Singapore River, near Boat Quay. Preparing to start a dragon-boat race.

I thought that slanting the camera horizontally will give more interesting lines. What do you think?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Approaching Night

A quiet place for respite.
A luxury in a busy city.
But watch the world going slower.
It can help the heart feel more at peace.

End it all

"Thump thump thump"
The above describes the sound from the trade fair. Noises must have travelled up and have been amplified. Silence is what I need now to recharge and to heal from the pain and aches, but silence is a commodity that is now becoming a luxury.

Perhaps people thinks that the noise will help fill the emptiness? Perhaps people think loud sounds mean fun. At times I do enjoy the occasional blasts from brass instruments of the Western symphony orchestra. Those blasts make the music complete or make important highlights to the music. The beauty that loud sounds may give is totally absent in the loud noises that I was exposed to today.

Except for the drumming performance that I had watched this evening, most loud noises tonight had introduced hell to my already painful experience. It is "the time of the month" and I was experiencing what seems to be menstrual cramp and a low blood pressure. I could hardly gauge my way around places with clarity on a few occasions. Silence is what I need. But it was not available to me. Back was aching so badly for a moment in time that I had wished that the end of my world could come soon. For coupled with it was a headache. It did not help that I was in a place with lots of loud music. Until it was so unbearable that I had to find ways to exit.

It did not help that the trade fair near my home still roars the same "thump thump thump" noises. I am finding it hard to keep sane at times. I am just trying to focus on blogging to distract myself from the thumping sounds.

The noises must have been here to put myself to tests? Or the noises be around so as to remind me that I have low threshold for noises that make no sense to me.

Strangely, it is raining now but the trade fair continues to emit this "thumping" sound. End it all, the noises. For I fear if they don't, I will be the one to lose my sanity soon.

Offer me the quiet company that I would need please.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Music soothes the pain

The day had not started well. I was feeling pain on my forehead and tummy area. At times, my sense of orientation had lost a bit of focus, making me knock into tables and chairs which I normally don't knock into. This is those times of the month when the female hormones must have swung.

I was trying hard to stay sane while attending a presentation that one of my colleagues was giving. The pain and discomfort was bothering me. My way to cope is to stay indifferent to the external world, as much as is possible. But it seemed to have led to misunderstanding, which I was too drained to even bother to clarify. Let me be.

I am sorry that I am inclined not to explain myself in many situation. In that kind of situation where I am feeling not at my best, I would need to be given the luxury of a whole entire day to enjoy the silence and quiet company of the listener before I would feel more safe and energised to share.

The thing is that I realise I tend to give patronising comments when I am feeling drained. Then explaining myself further may not lead to more understanding, but may pave the road for more misunderstanding.

By the time that it was approaching lunchtime, I was getting concern whether I could walk safely to the nearby food centre alone for lunch. I must have lost my mind to think that I would not need help to get my lunch. But at that time, some sense of quietness was all I wish for. With some effort, I had gotten my lunch from the nearby food centre safely.

The lunch and the rest after the lunch has helped me regained enough energy to travel to the university for orchestra rehearsal. I had taken time off from work in the afternoon to attend the rehearsal. Today is the first day of the four-day music camp that the orchestra was holding. A pity that I could only be there on the first and final day due to other commitments.

No more Sibelius' symphonies. Instead the orchestra was rehearsing Brahms' Symphony No. 2 which I could relate more easily to. The music must have helped soothe the pain a little.

Double bass sectional was held at night. I am glad that I made a good choice in forgoing my music theory class to come for the sectional. Forgoing the music theory class meant that I need not have to rush down to Toa Payoh after the orchestra rehearsal and I could be there for tonight's sectional, which was likely to be my last double bass sectional for the year since my tutor will be flying overseas very soon and won't be back in Singapore until early next year.


Right now, it is getting very dark. I am simply writing and hoping that writing could be a form of therapy. The feeling of walking a long stretch dark tunnel seemed to be stronger much of the earlier part of the day when the physique is not in good shape.

On my way home, a thought flashed to the mind that growing up has its challenges, and sometimes those can hurt. If there were any way one could comfort oneself, is to know that those challenges are also meant to help one grow wiser and more resilient. Perhaps the trick is learning to bend before one reaches the breaking point?

One could only hold on to the faith that in the finer things in life, one may be able to find the solace needed to walk each day with strength. Music is one of those finer things, so is visual art.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dark shadows

The shadows lurk
Fine no more

Until the end is reached

Drown oneself

The noises from the trade fair is back again. As to why it was located so near a residential area, I could only attempt to guess that it is because that way, the fair will be more accessible to the residents.

For yours truly who is now in great need for peace, I shall waste no time to figure out why the fair was located where it is now. I need all energy I could muster to stay sane in the face of the intrusions of the noises.

As such, I am plugging earphones into my ears and listening to music. I am now listening to Mahler's First Symphony played on the player.

I would rather drown myself in a tragic sounding piece of music than to face the noises from the trade fair. The latter will bring no value to my soul and mind.

Letter D

Deviation and Dullness.

Seeing the world from an oblique view.

Plunge no further
Lift oneself up
A world out of balance
Is in search for equilibrium


Please be kind on me if you do see me, my head has been spinning and aching much of the day.

I was attending a seminar today to learn more about case-management. The trainer has so much to share and much of his sharing is pretty substantial. I do not know if it was information overload that has caused the head to spin and ache. I doubt it was simply information overload. It was quite good to be learning new perspectives of looking at case management.

I hope the headache will go away. A mind clearer makes one feel better.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Last night's movie

Last night, I had the pleasure to be invited to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My friend, XH, got the tickets for the movie.

She sat with a group of children whom she had volunteered to supervise for a programme held yesterday. I hope she has had some fulfilling moments with the children.

Yesterday's show was the first Harry Potter movie that I have watched. It was alright in standard. The visual effects were nice. However, I felt something lacking in its emotional content as protrayed by the actors/actresses. Maybe I had expected more. Pardon me, I felt in no position to comment further, because I am not a keen movie-goer nor a loyal reader of Harry Potter books.

Anyway, watching the movie was a break from the routine, and a means to understand what makes Harry Potter popular with many people out there. Thanks again to XH for the invitation.

The rain has brought about some peace

The rain has served some functions tonight. I did not like the wet floors that it has contributed to. However, one good thing that came out from the rain was that I managed to get some peace and tranquility tonight.

The trade fair has quieten itself down by 11.20 p.m. tonight when the norm was midnight for the past nights.

Thank goodness. This gives me some space to recharge.

I am aching almost all over. My mind is feeling heavy and feeling tinges of pain. My legs are aching too, and I don't know if I had overly exerted my legs too much. My arms are feeling some strain. I could not imagine how worse it would have been if the trade fair had continue to emit noises like it had done for the past nights. If not for the quiet moments, I fear I might have just explode from the intrusion of the noises tonight.

Thank goodness for the quiet time I could now enjoy.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I am just waiting

I am just waiting
For the moment that midnight might strike
That rules would set the noises to lower their voices
And allow the night to calm down

I am just waiting
For the moment of peace
That could comfort me to slumberland tonight
Then my turn to rest will come

I am just waiting
For a life-string
That could keep me sane
And urge me to stay in this world

I am just waiting
For that time when darkness may come
There is still enough light within oneself
To lit the path ahead with nice sparkles

Thump Thump

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.

But these aren't from my heart beats. These are intrusions to my quiet space. Noises that I can not make sense of.

I could only falsely believe that some people indeed could earn a livelihood from the noises churned by the trade fair that has been set up near my block. More so, I shall try to see that there are people, unlike myself, who find it entertaining to be at the trade fair. Please forgive me that I could not. I desire an environment away from noises. Thank goodness this trade fair is only temporary.

The night is beautiful and its silence is meant to be enjoyed.

Now the noise has intruded and I find it hard to get the peace that I need in order to chase the aches on my fingers and arms away. The noise is giving me no sense of peace for me to heal from the aching. If this noise persist till tomorrow, I fear I might die not from the aching, but from intrusive noises!

Should I leave the intrusive world?

All I want to do now in this world is to sit down quietly and watch the world go by, sketch for some moments, and observe the beautiful lines of Nature.

But watch out! I am now pretty irritable. All that could be done is to try hard to find ways to soothe myself down.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


The Cenotaph, Esplanade Park, Singapore.

Getting darker.


I checked up The Little Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus and it says that the definition of the word cenotaph is as such: tomb-like monument to people buried elsewhere.

The Cenotaph was erected in memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War (1914-18). A dedication to commemorate those who died in the Second World War was later added on the reverse side of the monument.


I often feel solemn when I am near the Cenotaph. On some days, the Esplanade Park in which the Cenotaph is located offers me the respite from the noises of the city. Peace. Building a world of peace is perhaps one of the best gifts that we can give to the future generations?

Noises, please silence yourself

I prefer quiet places with lots of spaces. Lately, I have been put to a test. Just a few days ago, there was a huge trade fair that started operations very near the residential building that I am living in.

This trade fair is temporary, but it will be around for at least a month, until just after Christmas. Every night, the trade fair seems to come alive. In the morning, most of the stalls may not be ready for business. When afternoon comes, the temporary site gets livelier. Then after 7 p.m., it gets very crowded.

The thing is sound travels up, and so I could hear the sounds from the many speakers that are placed in the site of the fair pretty clearly. This is so especially because I live in a flat unit pretty high above ground level. I am just trying hard to ignore the background music. Gosh, I could only hope for midnight to come and then the noises will quieten down.

What an intrusion that I have to bear with. I have to tell myself that this is only temporary.

And about the crowd, like I have said, it can get very crowded by 7 p.m. I need space and at the sight of a congested pathway, I will do whatever is within my means to detour.

I wish that the person who had planned the layout of the site of the fair could have planned it such that the walkways at the edges of the site could remain as wide as it had used to be so that people who do not wish to visit the fair could walk easily past it. Every night since the fair has started, I have to make detours (and that means going into the site of the fair) in order to walk home from the MRT station without being stuck in the crowd.

At times like this, I can appreciate that silence is golden. Space is valued.

Degeneration of the physical body?

Last night, I met Emily for dinner. We had dinner at Carl's Jr. at Marina Square. That was my first time eating at Carl's Jr. The burgers tasted nice, I like the sauces and the generous servings.

It was so nice of Emily to bear with me when I was suffering in pain from indigestion and a poor stomache last evening. My digestive system hasn't been feeling well for the pas week and pardon me, I still have to work hard in acquiring the habit of chewing my food more diligently. Thank goodness that the pain went away by the time that we attended the concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. I have learnt that my secret medicine to lessening the feeling of pain is to find a quiet spot to recharge. That works most of the time.

I personally like the rendition of the First Symphony of Mahler as compared to Mozart's Symphony No. 29. I think Mahler's Symphony would sound better if it were played live, but this is simply a personal opinion. The orchestra sounded more coherent and together last night compared to many of its previous concert. This coherence could have made it possible for me to be attentive throughout this symphony which last almost an hour. Bravo! I think Edo De Waart has conducted the orchestra very well for Mahler's Symphony No. 1.

The double bass solo for the third movement of Mahler's First Symphony was something I (and perhaps Emily) was looking forward to. The fingerings that the soloist had used were so much more challenging than the one that I had chose to use for my music exams. The double bass solo was well-played and did not disappoint.


The mind was heavy when I got home last night. Could that be another sign of degeneration? This morning, I woke up and found my mind still pretty heavy. Pardon me, but I have not drunk any alcohol nor caffeine, where could this heavy feeling come from?

Strangely, the mood is that of gradually disassociating myself from the rest of the world...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Quotable Quotes: On Failure

It is near midnight in Singapore, I am listening to one of Chopin's Nocturnes, Nocturnes op. 9 nos. 1 & 2.

Somehow in this moment of the night, a thought came to me, that I am to an extent fearful of failure. I don't know if this could be because the environment around me is aversive of failure?

Very aware that one is fallible and vulnerable, and that life is full of risks of failure. Total avoidance from failure is not possible. Yet, noticing that one walks the steps involving major life decision carefully in hope to cushion as much of the hurts from the perceived notion of failure. But could this measure end one up in a state of being overly cautious? Hence lose the joy of being spntaneous in life?

And if failures are necessary the paths to learning about life, and if learning from the failures help one understand the elements of living better, how could the culture be made such that failures are perceived more fairly?

Or is there a function for societies to be aversive of failures?

But I guess what I do really fear is that the hurts from suffering a perceived failure could be so strong that I would be staying down for longer than I could find strength to pick myself up alone.

Before I end this post, I'll like to share three quotations taken from The Quotations Page.

Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.
- John Keats, English lyric poet (1795 - 1821)

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
- Beverly Sills, US opera singer (1929 - )

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.
- Mary Pickford (1893 - 1979)

Cheering the team

27 November 2005 marks the official opening date of the 23rd SEA Games. SEA Games stands for the Southeast Asian Games. The 23rd SEA Games is hosted by the Philippines.

I send my words of encouragements and cheers to all participants of the SEA Games, in particularly, the participants from Singapore. Cheers to sportsmanship!

Here's the official website of the 23rd SEA Games:

Living high-rise

The view from a high-rise flat.

For the benefit of overseas readers, the structure in the foreground is one of the MRT stations in Singapore. Many MRT stations are built underground, but this one is built above the ground.

By the way, if you know of high-rise buildings in Singapore that offers an interesting and nice view, please let me know.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Too much?

Too much thinking about how to do work effectively
Such that one's mind is left tired and the body drained.

Is there a better way to go about doing things and realising the vision?

Now what I need is peaceful time to restore my energy, to find the hope to steer me on. Would be nice to have a good company thereafter, but this may seem a luxury?

Sometimes I wonder, when I would be stretched beyond my limits such that I would reach my breaking point.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Theory Lesson

Today marks my first formal individual theory lesson.

I don't know know why, but I felt pretty drained and stiff after the work day. My lesson was held in this area which I would refer to as Toa Payoh Central. I saw sculptures by the local sculptor, Ng Eng Teng, and was tempted to take a photograph. In the end, that tired feeling won over and I didn't.

Toa Payoh Central has changed quite a bit. I have been to Toa Payoh Central a few weeks ago, but I had not roamed to that part of Toa Payoh Central that is near the library. The last that I have been to that part of Toa Payoh Central was probably about a year ago.

I was early for my lesson and decided to wait at the benches of the music school for my lesson to start.

My tutor was K.. It must have been customary for the tutor to start the lesson by seeking to understand the student's background in music. That took a couple of minutes.

Theory lesson felt good overall. I got to revise notes Music Theory Grade One before going on to learn about Baroque music. There were some learnings. It is fun to learn.

Now, I have the task of looking for two books which were not available at the music school. K. said that he will be teaching me harmony for my classes, and I am looking forward to this.

The theory lesson helps break the routine a little. It did help bring some life to a soul that has been feeling a little down lately.

Calf's aching

Aching. If I am not wrong, that part of the leg that is aching is the calf. That part of the let just below the knee. I don't know why, but both my calves having been aching since the afternoon. I could feel a strong pull on my calves when I start walking.

No idea what is happening. My gosh, could this be the early signs of tissue degeneration? But I shall be mindful not to think that a catastrophe is drawing near.


I should be chewing a little more. I realised I haven't quite spend my time chewing on the food that I eat in general.

Lately, I have been feeling that my digestive system is giving me signals that I should be chewing my food more. Otherwise, it would be my stomach that would have to do more of the job of digesting my food?

Remind me to chew a little more when I am eating please.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Navigating through life

I wonder if people in their twenties have as questions as I have about life? Are my questions normal questions to have? How did people who have live past their twenties manage with these questions?

Is there a framework, that helps one better navigate through life? Is there a framework which while does not guarantee no failure, but would allow one to become more resilient, stronger and more compassionate with experiences?

People seem to make a subject out of Maths, Science and etc. But there is this common subject that everyone seems to have to take without much awareness. The subject of life. It is compulsory. Is there a function to it? Is there a reason to one's existence?

What is one's place in this world? Is there one? How does one find it when one is unsure what it is?

Not wise to understand the intricacies of life. Feeling that there is no guide to follow. And so has to walk the paths unknown to carve a feasible path for oneself.

Perhaps all is a walk of faith, that some of the answers shall gradually be revealed?

Lend me a comforting ear tonight

Boat Quay, Singapore

The tides, up and down.
The sounds of water goes according to the rhythm.
Hear the sounds of the night
To discover what is within

What are my gifts?

Bear with me as I have lots of questions coming up everyday.

I was at Tonia's blog and came across this post on discerning a call. I am not a Christian, but I like to believe that each person has special gifts unique to himself/herself. This post makes me think deeper.

(For part I and II of the related posts by Tonia, please view The Book Notes--Water-Walking, Book Notes Part 2-Comparison, Fear, and Comfort.)(New Post: Book Notes Part 4--Honoring Your Raw Material)

I wonder what are my gifts? I am still hoping to discover. Many too much conditioning from the world has left me unclear in deciding what are imposed perceptions of my gifts, and what are my natural gifts?

Anyway, while trying to find my gifts, let me list some of the things I think I could do. But abilities may not necessary be gifts? If you could help me, you could share with me your observations of my gifts (more for people who know me personally, I suppose?).

- I can find my way around, especially with a map
- I can read a simple script even if it were turned 180 degrees around
- I can play the double bass
- I can sketch
- I can think of things from more than one perspective

and more?

I would think that if someone could shed light on me on the bigger question: How does one discover one's gifts and niche?, I might be able to be empowered enough to discover my own gifts for myself.