Saturday, April 30, 2005

My wise quote

Kind person
Your wise quote is: "Be kind to unkind people, they probably need it the most" by Ashleigh Brilliant.

Here's my result for this quiz:

You try to look beyond appearance, try to give people second chances and are probably very kind. Understanding is your biggest personality trait, and those you can see through should be grateful. If they aren't already. You detest narrow minded people, because they can't see what's really there. Facades is not your thing and you strive to always be who you really are.

What wise quote fits you?(pics) UPDATED
brought to you by Quizilla

The river at night

Clarke Quay, at night Posted by Hello

Last night, I attended the Annual General Meeting of my organisation as a staff member. The members of the committee were also present.

After the meeting, there was a dinner reception for all committee members and staff who have attended the event. It was a buffet dinner, and the food reminds me of the food I had at Penang, Malaysia. There were (Penang-style) Fried Kway Teow, Penang Laksa, popiah, satay, and so forth. Maybe my friend, Mystic, who travelled with me to Penang last year may like the buffet for nostalgic reasons?

After the dinner reception, I headed for the Robertson Quay, which was nearby. Robertson Quay lies along the Singapore River.

I travelled along the Singapore River and decided to attempt to figure out the names of the bridges along the river. I thought that it would be interesting to do so as every bridges along the river has its own name. Bridges were functional in that they link one side of the river to the other, and I suppose that was why people took the trouble to name the bridges?

The first one that I came across last night was Robertson Bridge. Next was Pulau Saigon Bridge, and then Alkaff Bridge. I personally like the design of Robertson Bridge. I tried to take several photographs of it, but none of them came out satisfactory. Maybe I needed a tripod to ensure that there will be no "camera-shakes" so that the photograph images will come out crisp and clear.

After the Alkaff Bridge, the next bridge that I came across was Ord Bridge. I find that I quite like the simple design of Ord Bridge, and with the lightings on it, it looked beautiful at night.

The picture above that you see was taken somewhere near Ord Bridge. I managed to find a spot where I could place my digital camera on for support, and that enabled me to hold the camera with sufficient amount of steadiness to be able to take such a crisp and clear image. This was the best shot by far for the night.

After Ord Bridge was Read Bridge. When I reached Read Bridge, I was very close to the Reverse Bungy centre. That reminds me of my friend, Mystic. She had wanted to try the Reverse Bungy. I wonder how she has been?

Anyway, I think I would love living along the Singapore River. It is beautiful at night. If you like riding on a bumboat to view the sceneries along the Singapore River, you could try the cruising on one of those bumboats with Singapore River Cruises.

And if you want more information regarding the history of the Singapore River, you may wish to refer to Singapore River Cruise's website:
Look under "Our River"

Friday, April 29, 2005

Looking forward to a long weekend

The weekend that is to come will be a longer weekend for me. Firstly, I am not scheduled for work this Saturday. Next, 1 May 2005 (Sun) is Labour Day, a public holiday. Since the public holiday falls on a Sunday, one gets a public holiday in lieu on the following day, i.e. 2 May 2005.

So this weekend is a longer one. Hopefully I could find a chance to recharge over this weekend.

Next week shall be a shorter work week for myself. I needed to give myself a little treat. A treat to taking time out from work. Henceforth, next Friday, I will be taking leave from work for a day. Yours truly, the birthday gal to-be ought to learn to take breaks like this to treat herself. Next Friday isn't my birthday, but I thought of taking leave so that I could use that day to do what I would like.

Until my sense of responsibility starts acting up and urges me to think of how to complete those piles of work in the office, I shall simply sit back and enjoy the weekend. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Music in the Park

This is a concert that you could consider. For one thing, it will cost you nothing except your time and travelling expenses. In addition, for those who love nature and music, this concert promises you the best of these two worlds.


The Singapore Symphony Orchestra will be performing this coming Sunday, 1 May 2005, 5 p.m., at the Palm Valley, within Singapore Botanic Gardens. Admission is free. (Sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings)

Programme for the concert is as follow:
ARTHUR BLISS Royal Fanfare
BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9
HUMMEL Trumpet Concerto in E-flat (1st movement), Laurence Gargan on the trumpet
KABALEVSKY "Galop" from The Comedians Suite
ORTOLANI & OLIVIERO arr. Hayman, R More
PHOON YEW TIAN Lover's Tears
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture, Op. 49

This is an outdoor concert, and if you would like, you could bring along your picnic basket and sit down leisurely at one corner of the Botanic Gardens to listen to the music. Since it is an outdoor concert, please bear in mind that the concert is subject to weather conditions.

This is not intended to be an advertisement. This post is intended to publicise the event so to share it with fellow music and nature lovers.

Last Thursday of April 2005

Yours truly has been worn out by the work day. At the end of the work day, I felt my head was spinning. My head simply felt heavy at that time.

Earlier the day, I do not know why, but I felt I was pretty drained just before lunch and during lunch hours. It took me some time before I could recharge. One of my ways of recharging is to be quiet, and allow my mind to rest. This method did take some time before I could see its effects, but it worked nevertheless.

By the way, the colleagues were nice and took some time to celebrate the birthday of yours truly and another colleague just before lunch. I appreciate their thoughts and wishes, and I was very glad that they did not get me to play games or perform an item for them. It has been quite a common practice for the birthday lady or gentleman to play a game and achieve the objectives of the game, as if to entertain the rest of the colleagues. I prefer celebrations kept simple. No frills. But birthday celebrations can be demanding to my energy, so that could be why I felt drained by lunch hours.

Perhaps I have been working quite hard for the day, I felt so weary by the end of the work day that I felt my mind was not functioning well for any more demand. On the way hand, I had kept my fingers crossed that dinner would have bring my mind to focus again.

Dinner did helped my nerves loosen up a bit. I took some time to rest before finding company in the double bass. My favourite company has not failed me, playing on it has helped stimulate my mind and helped me relieve some of my stresses. Playing on the double bass seems to give me an outlet for expresion. I played several melodies from Hartley's Double Bass Solo 1. In addition, I practised certain sections from Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave.

So now, I do not feel that my mind was as heavy as when I left home from work. Thanks to the double bass.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I am the flower

You are the flower.

Saint Exupery's 'The Little Prince' Quiz.
brought to you by Quizilla

I did the quiz above, and it says I am the flower!

This reminds me, if you happen to be my regular reader since day one, you might have read my post titled: The Little Prince's Rose.

Which Polyhedral Are You?

Oh, this quiz says I am plain and boring. Maybe I might be, but it did not matter as long as not one tries to meddle with my affairs and preferences.

I am a d6

You are a good old-fashioned six-sided cube, otherwise known as a d6. Others know you to be plain, predictable, conservative, average, ordinary, and downright boring. You prefer to describe yourself as dependable, honest, practical and trustworthy. People usually know what to expect from you, since you rarely hold any surprises. You hate to make decisions, and if forced to decide, you'll always fall back on how it was done in the past. You always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, and your jokes, while funny, are never too offensive. It seems that you are well liked, but maybe that's simply because there's nothing to hate.

Take the quiz at

Got Myself a Bow Case

I needed a bow case, but I have yet to find the perfect one.

Earlier this Sunday, my friend, Mystic, was kind enough to accompany me to search for a bow case. When I decided to get the bow case from this shop whose name starts with the alphabet "S", I was pretty concerned that it may not fit my bow. In the end, I did not get any bow case on Sunday. Me and my paranoid behaviours.

For your information, the bow case was not the perfect one in my mind. But for its price, the function it could serve and its design, it was worth a buy until I finally find my perfect bow case.

This afternoon, I claimed an hour time-off from work. As such, I was able to leave my office earlier than usual this afternoon. I have brought my bow along with me, and I headed for the shop. Yes, the bow case fits my bow. Maybe I was a little too paranoid on Sunday?

So, I got myself a double bass bow case today. Now I hope I would be lucky to find an affordable, ideal bow case for myself soon. Wish me luck please? Thank you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Thoughts on Memorizing

An article worth a read

I came across an article titled Thoughts on Memorizing by Ruth Slenczynska through Waterfall's blog.

While it is intended for pianists at the intermediate to advanced levels, I thought it was worth a read for ideas about memorizing music, and on practising. Enjoy.

Here's the first paragraph of the article for your preview, please read on the full article:

One of my more frustrating moments as a music teacher occurred when a fine student to whom I had given a memorizing assignment said, "I tried my best to memorize this music but it just wouldn't come!" Thinking back to my youthful student days, my teachers always decided when and what they wanted me to memorize, but never told me how. I had to succeed in this determined effort alone. By speaking to many teaching colleagues I found that few, if any, had a working technique for memorizing music above the elementary level where ear, eye, hand coordination plus a smattering of harmony are encouraged. After that introduction, all instruction on memorizing ceased.

Here is the URL to the full article:

Monday, April 25, 2005

Walking along Singapore River

Singapore River, near Boat Quay. Posted by Hello

If this photograph looks dull, it is just a reflection of my current moods.

Anyway, this photograph was taken when I was walking along a short stretch of Singapore River with my good friend, Mystic, yesterday.

One must appreciate the clouds and the waters for giving a melancholic feel.

The double bass never fails

I could not tell when it has exactly started, the double bass has been my most loyal companion when my spirits needed a little lift.

Reflecting, I realised that I have been playing the double bass more regularly ever since I started practising for the ABRSM Grade 7 Double Bass music examinations. At the beginning, it took discipline to get myself to practise. Lately, I find myself trying to seek comfort and solace from the double bass. It did not seem to fail to lift my spirits a little when I feel low and moody. Playing on the double bass has also given me a sense of achievement and satisfaction, and these seem to put some smiles on my weary face.

It seems that when I have feelings and thoughts too abstract for me to clearly and easily articulate and express, it was through playing the double bass that I could find a way to relate and to express myself.

Instead of wasting time lamenting that I sometimes find myself struggling to communicate my innermost thoughts and feelings to people around me, I shall just simply celebrate the double bass for being one of my dearest friends and companions. Thank you, double bass.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Coping with disappointments

After the breakfast, Mystic and myself went around shopping for double bass bow cases. I am not being generous if I keep singing praises of Mystic, she is just deserving of praises. She was so kind she kept me company.

I want a black colour, hard-case double bass bow case, preferably meant for keeping a French-design double bass bow. In addition, I prefer that it comes with a shoulder strap, and ideally a place to keep a rosin.

We went to several shops. One shop did not have the kind of bow case that I would like. Another shop did not have double bass bow case available at all.

Mystic said I might have been being difficult on myself by imposing so many conditions that had to be abided upon for my purchase of a double bass bow case. Her words were probably very true, but they did not help me in any way to ease my feelings of disappointments and frustrations when I could not find a satisfactory double bass bow case. I was at some point in time so disappointed and frustrated that I could almost feel my eyes going wet with tears. It was quite difficult to have to decide on a double bass bow case when choices were limited. I was confused altogether by the decision-making proces. I had to get quiet time by requesting to walk down a long lane just to simply allow myself to cool down and think of what kind of double bass bow case I would eventually get for myself.

When I finally decided on one particular shop because I called and the stocks have came in, we travelled to the shop. But I think Mystic had probably perceived that I was losing focus on my priorities when I requested that we could visit the Perankan Food & Craft Fair held at the Asian Civilisation Museum (Empress Place). I had heard about the fair, and I wanted to gratify my curiosity by visiting it today. So we did visit it and spent about fifteen minutes there.

When we finally travelled and reached the shop that sold the bow that I finally decided to get for myself after a lot of difficult deliberations, I might have been overly paranoid by fearing that the bow case may not fit my double bass bow. My bow was slightly wider at certain sections as compared to the regular bows, and for some reasons, I felt that the bow case was a little too narrow at certain parts to fit my bow. In the end, I decided not to buy the bow, but would visit the shop another day with my bow to do test-fitting. I did not bring my bow along for I did not want to carry it about for today. Mystic felt it was an unwise decision.

I think I must have tested Mystic to her limits? Actually, it was not my intention to test her. If you were to give me the benefits of the doubt, my seemingly difficult behaviours were a result of my idiosyncracies. Perhaps those behaviours were also manifestations of my disappointments and confusions.

Maybe today had not been a right day to display my disappointments in front of Mystic? I realised that today, she had her own disappointments to manage too. Yet, she still managed to stay patient with me and my idiosyncracies. Could she accept my apologies please?

Starting the day with a splendid breakfast

This morning, I met my good friend, Mystic, for breakfast at Conrad Centennial Singapore Oscars Cafe & Terrace.

I won't be doing Mystic's sincerity any justice if I were to try to conceal how touched I have been by her attempts to make the occasion as special as possible. The breakfast today was meant as an early celebration to yours truly's 26th birthday. I must have been blessed to have found a friend in her.

On my part, I suppose I did owe her some apologies for being possibly one of the most difficult friends. I took quite a long time before I could decide where to have breakfast. Conrad's Oscar's Cafe has great breakfast, and I have been there twice and loving the breakfast each and every time. Then again, as if eating too often at the same place would kill me, I had thought that I could have breakfast at some place other than Oscar's Cafe.

So dearest, kindest and most sincere Mystic took the time and trouble to find out the menu of the breakfast of several other restuarants and cafe. She called me on the phone last night to give me a presentation of her findings. I was very touched by this gesture alone, though it did not help stop me from being insistent about having walnuts and fresh fruit juices in the menu. Then it had turned out that I would still prefer to trust Conrad's Oscar's Cafe for serving the nice walnuts and fresh fruit juices. After what had seemed like ages of deliberation on my part, we finally settled for Conrad's Oscar's cafe as the venue for today's breakfast.

I was worried that I might have been rather difficult for insisting that I prefer breakfast to lunch and dinner. Mystic, in my best understanding, is never a morning-person. For her waking up early for today's occassion, I could not help but to appreciate her sincere gesture of friendship, and sing lots of praises of her.

When I saw her early this morning, I was pleasantly surprised that she looked energetic for someone who is not a morning-person. I wonder what kind of preparations she might have gone through the day before to help ensure that she could start her day with such energy.

Breakfast at Conrad's Oscar's Cafe had been splendid. We both had the international breakfast buffet at the cafe.

My first course was the cereals. I added walnuts, raisins and milk to the cereals. I love the cereals and the rest of this course simply. Yummy. I love walnuts, especially the nice-tasting versions that the cafe served.

Both Mystic and myself also decided to do some cheese-tasting while having breakfast. There were at least more than six kinds of cheese available at the buffet. We took very small portions of at least six kinds of cheese and sampled it. To go with our cheese-tasting endeavours, we also added crackers to our plates. Some cheese tasted not as strong for our palate when we sampled them with the crackers. Cheese-tasting was fun, especially when one has the company of a friend. I think I must have been too fascinated with the cheese-tasting affair that my excitement was picked up by a lady who sat close beside us. Mystic told me secretly that the lady was rather amused by how we had behaved when we were sampling the cheese.

Later, we tried other items on the breakfast buffet's menu. The scrambled eggs item was nice. It had a texture that made it appetizing for my taste. I like the potato coin too. The smoked salmon was of a pretty good standard. There were quite an interesting variety of bread available, and it would have been perfect if there were some assistance to help toast or warm the bread. Actually, the breads aren't cold, it was just that I wished they were warmer. Yes, me and my fussy requests.

The fruit juice is one thing one should try. One could request the counter staff to help mix and blend different fruits for oneself. I must say that the fruit juices are considered fresh. I found the fruit juices refreshing, and they definitely make healthy choices.

We also shared a serving of muesli together. I added sweetened pears, apricots, and walnuts to the muesli. It pleased me when Mystic said she like the muesli and the mixture that I had added to the muesli. I personally think that the muesli tasted lovely. This cafe serves nice muesli.

We had several other items. I find the miso soup nice too.

Overall, today's breakfast has been memorable. The food was of a good enough standard for a breakfast lover and critic like myself.

I probably owe Mystic a thousand "thank-yous" for the treat to such a splendid breakfast. It was nice to start the day with such a lovely and satisfying breakfast.

It was so good, then the thought of it was able to feed me through the afternoon, and I skipped lunch altogether for today. I have a feeling that my mind was unconsciously telling myself that no lunch would beat today's splendid breakfast, so I did without lunch today.

Thank you Mystic, for the breakfast, and more importantly, your friendship and all your sincere gestures.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Aching and Tired

Today is the day that I am scheduled for Saturday work duty. It was rather disappointing that two of my clients did not turn up for session. If I were to look at it differently, I could say that their missing of the sessions gave me time to catch up on paper work.

The work day on Saturday ends officially at 12 noon. I went out of the office to buy lunch and brought it back to the office. I had lunch in office, and to keep my ears entertained, I played a recording of all the four of Brahms' symphonies. I had to wait till 3.30 p.m. to meet a few colleagues to set off to a venue to organise a talk there. My centre's director was the speaker for the talk.

So today was a long work day on a Saturday.

Right now, my right shoulder and neck are aching. They have been aching since earlier this week. The aches make me feel more tired at the end of the day.

Anyway, the consolation is that despite the aches, I was still able to play relatively well on the double bass. I played most of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. on the double bass, and my intonation had improved a little. I had wanted to play more than 60 minutes, but I realised that my mind was feeling tired to be productive, so I called practice a day.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a pleasant day. I will be spending some nice time with my good friend, Mystic.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Cello World

Thanks to the "lucky star", I had won a pair of tickets to Singapore Symphony Orchestra's concert held tonight. The title of tonight's concert was: Stars of Asia Series: Cello World.

The programme for tonight's concert was as follow:
  • WEBERN- Passacaglia, Op. 1
  • ELGAR- Cello Concerto In E minor, Op. 85
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV- Scheherazade, Op. 35

My thanks to Emily for being my company tonight.

My ears could not quite appreciate Webern's Passacaglia, Op. 1, but it was fine in that my ears did not perceive it as noises. I used to take a module in the university that is related to contemporary (art) music, yet my ears have not being well adjusted to truly appreciate atonal and serial music.

The Elgar's Cello Concerto was worth waiting for. It was good. I think the cellist did a good job with her tone and good technique. Here's a quotation from the Washington Post on the cellist tonight: "Hai-Ye Ni sounded like the youthful Yo-Yo Ma... a technique that simply took no account of difficulties... with a beautifully controlled cantabile line, soulfully expressive...she ran brilliantly through all its obstacles." I think this description is close to being apt.

Being someone who do not have the luxury of having a library of recordings of famous works, tonight was my first time listening to the entire Elgar's Cello Concerto, from the first movement to its last. I think it is a good piece of composition, and it was a good experience listening to it live. For those who wish to read out more about this cello concerto, here is a link:

The orchestra also did well playing the Scheherazade. There was some slips but overall, the orchestra had performed well, and I enjoyed myself. I realised that I was able to stay awake (in fact I became more awaked) despite having quite a tiring day when Scheherazade was played. Maybe this is my body's way of telling me whether an item was good enough or not.

Tonight was also the first time that I sat in one of the stall seats of the Esplanade Concert Hall as a audience. Most of the time, I would purchase the cheaper circle seats. Thanks to the lucky star, I was given the opportunity to sit in the stall-seat areas. In terms of the view, it was not the best of seats. I could not see the woodwinds player well enough from my seat today. Then again, I quite like the way the orchestra had sound from where I was sitting tonight. Emily commented that the orchestra sounded "raw", but I won't mind this "raw" sound. It somehow sounded more natural and real than the sound from the speakers that I would often hear from the circle seats.

I am glad that I went for tonight's concert, and I thank the lucky star for this opportunity. I felt that tonight's concert sounded better than the concert that I had attended last Saturday. Thanks to Symphony 92.4 for the tickets too!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

What is Your Life Path Number?

What you see below was my result. I wonder how far those who know me would identify with the result?

I agree that I have ability in some form of art form, and the fact that I can be moody and tend to retreat. But I am not sure if I make a good conversationalist. I have been preferring to have my own personal space of late, and I hardly initiate conversations of late.

Your Life Path Number Is 3


Your Life Path is one that emphasizes expression, sociability, and creativity as the lesson to be learned in this life.

You are among the entertainers of the world, bright, effervescent, sparkling people with very optimistic attitudes.

You possess the most exceptional creative skills: normally in the verbal realm, writing, speaking, acting, or similar endeavors.

The lesson to be learned with a 3 life path is that of achievement through expression.

The bright side of this path stresses harmony, beauty and pleasures; of sharing your creative talents with the world. Capturing your capability in creative self-expression is the highest level of attainment for this life path.

You are warm and friendly, a good conversationalist, social and open.

A good conversationalist both from the standpoint of being a delight to listen to, but even more importantly, one who has the ability to listen to others.

You are always a welcome addition to any social situation and know how to make others feel at home.

Your reative imagination is present, if sometimes latent, as the you may not be moved to develop you talent.

Your approach to life tends to be exceedingly positive, and your disposition is almost surely sunny and open-hearted.

You effectively cope with all of the many setbacks that occur in life and readily bounce back for more.

It is usually easy for you to deal with problems because you can freely admit the existence of problems without letting them get you down.

You have good manners and seem to be very conscious of other people's feelings and emotions.

Life is generally lived to the fullest, often without much worry about tomorrow.

You are not very good at handling money because of a general lack of concern about it.

You spend it when you have it and don't when you don't.

On the negative side, a 3 may be so delighted with the joy of living that the life becomes frivolous and superficial.

You may scatter your abilities and express little sense of purpose.

You can be an enigma, for no apparent reason you may become moody and tend to retreat.

Escapist tendencies are not uncommon with the 3 life path, and you find it very hard to settle into one place or one position.

Guard against being critical of others, impatient, intolerant, or overly optimistic.

Typically, the life path 3 gives an above-average ability in some art form.

This can encompass painting, interior decorating, landscaping, crafts, writing, music, or the stage, or all of the above.

You are apt to be a happy, inspired person, constantly seeking the stimuli of similar people.

Your exuberant nature can take you far, especially if you are ever able to focus your energies and talents.

Behind the trees

Behind the trees. Posted by Hello

I feel like sharing this photo with you. Hope you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lucky Star

Luck seems to be on my side for today, at least in the morning.

My usual weekday routine on the way to work is as such: I will tune in to the Symphony 92.4 FM, until I reach my office. Even if I were to meet any of my colleagues by chance on my way to work, I will still prefer to have the ear-plugs in my ears so that I can listen to the radio station via my radio receiver. Symphony 92.4 FM is a classical music station dedicated to playing the best ensemble of instrumental and orchestral music, operas and operettas, Broadway hits and scores of movies and TV theme songs.

This is my way to attempt to start my day right with good music. As such, I have not much room for too much unnecessary conversations with others during this period of time when I travel work. It may help make people feel less rejected by my apparent lack of interest in being involved in a conversation during that period of time if they could understand this period of time as sacred time to start my day with a positive note.

Anyway, today the lucky star was with me. I listened to an interview of Ni Hai Ye on the air. That made me quite interested in listening to Singapore Symphony Orchestra's concert this coming Friday. The reason being that Ni Hai Ye will be playing Elgar's Cello Concerto In E minor, Op. 85 during the concert, and I would like to hear it. In addition, I quite like the other item in the programme, which is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Op. 35.

So when the presenter announced that there will be a pair of free tickets given away to the first caller who calls in, I took my phone and wanted to test my luck. I got in. This was the third time I got in this year. The lucky star seems to have shone on me. There was definitely a grin on my face when I realised that my call had gotten through. I am thankful that luck has been on my side.

Hope some of the light from this lucky star shines on you too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

News from Singapore: Integrated Resort

For those who are interested, this post attempts to provide some news from Singapore regarding the decisions to build two integrated resorts in Singapore.

Click here for news from Channel News Asia on the decision to build two casinos.

Click here for the speech by the Prime Minister on this issue.


I am feeling rather stretched by work for quite some time. I try to manage this feeling by ensuring that I get refreshing breaks during the weekends. That helps. Practising on the double bass helps too.

Then again, it has came to a point that my body is feeling physically tired such that I felt I needed a rest and that I was too tired to practice productively.

The past few practice sessions on the double bass has been productive to some extent, yet I observed that progress has been slower than I used to be. I thought that was part of the normal process of practising: that there will be times progress seems negligible. But there seems more to it. I just needed to give my body the rest it would need so that I could rest and recharge from the hectic workday.

It is so strange, there is so much work to do already with more than "x" cases on my individual caseload (allow me to keep it confidential). Yet, I feel that there seems to be lack of appreciation that this load is going to get much more than I could comfortably manage. I already hold one of the heaviest caseload at where I work.

If I only had to manage cases and no more (then again, if this has been the case, I may be bored from the lack of variety), I might just have enough time to manage. However, there are paper work to be done after almost every sessions with my clients, and there are programmes to conduct and to plan for. These add to the load and stretched me to my maximum. Maybe I should be thankful that I am still able to preserve my sanity thanks to my dear double bass and my interest in walking about.

Anyway, for today, I will have to depend on taking time to rest to preserve my sanity.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Walking about: The airport

I quite like the airport. I like the open spaces there. I like it being quite spacious.

It took me about an hour to reach the airport from my home. Anyway, I decided I shall just go there and I must try the buttermilk biscuit from Popeyes. The last time that I was there, I tried the buttermilk biscuit and I love it. I love the smell of it, and the taste of it.

Anyway, this post is about walking about the airport, so here are some photographs that were taken yesterday:

Taken from the Viewing Mall, Terminal 1. Posted by Hello

Sculpture by the late sculptor Ng Eng Teng. Posted by Hello

Arrival Hall, Terminal Two. Posted by Hello

Terminal Two, Departure Hall. Leading to the MRT station. Posted by Hello

Reaching the airport. Posted by Hello

On the way from airport to the city. Posted by Hello

Yummy Buttermilk Biscuit

I was at the Singapore Changi Airport yesterday. I was not at the airport to welcome anyone, nor was I there to bid anyone farewell. I was simply there for an excursion, to walk about.

On the right, the Singapore Changi Airport's control tower. Posted by Hello

The weather yesterday was not good for photography, so I could only make the best out of the not-so-good weather.

I had lunch yesterday at Popeyes alone. Oh, I simply love the buttermilk buscuit. It goes well with the maple flavoured syrup. Yummy. I love its texture. I won't mind being treated to Popeyes' buttermilk biscuits.

The coleslaw from Popeyes was good too, in comparison to the fast-food chain, KFC. The chicken is alright (I am fussy about the way chicken are done, you see). The fries are fairly nice. What is wonderful is that I simply love the buttermilk biscuit.

My order came with one buttermilk biscuit. I would have wanted another biscuit, but I told myself about the law of diminishing returns (not that I understood much about it) and I refrained from taking more than my stomach could hold.

If you are tempted, you may wish to try it for yourself. Of course, I cannot guarantee that my taste will be similar to yours.

To close this post, here are the details of Popeyes:
Opening hours : 24 hrs
Telephone : 65464616
Facsimile : 65464616
Location : Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 1, Viewing Mall Central, Level 3
(correct as of 18 April 2005)

Even the description of this fast-food restaurant sounds appealing:
Our customers love Popeyes' distinct menu items! Popeyes never fails to whet the appetite with New Orleans Spicy and Louisana Mild chicken served with our signature red beans and rice, Cajun fries and fresh buttermilk biscuits.

Through careful research and testing, Popeyes offers a variety of great testing, Popeyes offers a variety of great tasting menu selections. Most importantly, we make sure our food is always fresh, high quality, and delivered to our customers with the flavour they crave.

Popeyes Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Difficult Me

I had a telephone conversation with my good friend, Mystic, this evening.

Maybe it was poor timing to talk to me today, I simply found it pretty difficult to know what exactly I wanted, and I could not make up my mind on a several issues of our discussion. Mystic fedback that I was being difficult today. Maybe I had been. I am.

I shall be thankful that Mystic had been extremely patient with me when I have been difficult. I think most others would have wanted to struggle me. I have a sense that she had probably wanted to "vomit blood" while she was talking to me earlier this evening. Maybe she did want to struggle me? I think one day I will be infamous for being someone that most people want to struggle? Then again, I guess if anyone were to withstand my being difficult and still remain patient and sincere, I will be touched. And of no surprise, I was with Mystic.

Maybe it is hard not to be difficult at times when I live in a conflicting world. In a world where I do not exactly know what I want, but still have some vague idea what I do not want. That is the struggle that I am facing, and please forgive me if I had projected my struggles onto you by appearing difficult.

The Daily Vegetable

I came across this blog titled: The Daily Vegetable, and I found it quite interesting.

This is just the blog for vegetables-lovers like myself. Ok, I must admit that I do not necessary like all vegetables, but in general, I like to have vegetables in my diet. There are several interesting posts that I find useful.

The URL to the blog is:

One more photo to share

Off balance Posted by Hello

Maybe my experience last night over the security keeping my bag temporary had left me a little upset such that I lost my balance?

Not quite. This photo was taken more than half an hour before the start of the concert, before I realised that no large bag was allowed in the concert hall. I thought the structure of the Esplanade looked quite interesting at this angle.

Day versus Night

Forecourt of Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay Posted by Hello

Night-time, forecourt. Posted by Hello

I was at the Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay. Here are two photos taken at different times yesterday. The first was taken before 7 p.m., and the second was taken at about 9.40 p.m.

Last evening's concert

Last night, I attended the concert presented by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

The programme for the concert was as follow:
  • Charles Ives Central Park in the Dark
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor"
  • Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82
The concert was generally alright, though I felt something was missing. Perhaps it is because I could not fully appreciate the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, I found it a little lengthy and less appealing as compared to its second and third movement. The orchestra sounded somewhat restrained while playing the piano concerto. Somehow, a spirit of spontaneity seemed lacking.

Then again, the concert was alright. It was within expectations though not beyond.


The only thing that I was a little upset about was the new ruling by Esplanade Concert Hall. The staff there told me the Concert Hall does not allow people to bring large bags or baggage into the hall. I was carrying a haversack last evening, and I was told that it was considered "big". I saw ladies with hand bags just a little smaller than my haversack and those were allowed. The staff told me that this is a new regulation by the Esplanade. Then the security took my bag and kept it at one corner, and gave me a tag with a number. I was told I could redeem my bag from the information counter with that tag, during the interval or after the concert.

It must be me. I do not feel safe leaving my bags with others. Furthermore there was no proper locker available I could keep the bag in. I feel quite uncomfortable about having to leave my bag at the security. It was not small, but I could not say that my bag is so bag that it could pose as a threat to the safety of others. Certainly, any discerning person would have noticed my face turned black and I was grieving over having my bag taken away from me, even though it was temporary.

The staff told me I could take out my valuables from the bag and then leave the bag with the security. I must have been paranoid, I had left my digital camera in the bag before the interval, and I spent about a few minutes while listening to the first item of the concert worrying about it. So, to help myself feel better, I went to redeem my bag during the interval and took out the digital camera from the bag. The staff must have been a little as paranoid as I am, they repeatedly though me that there should be no photography in the Concert Hall. Of course, I know. I just wanted to have my digital camera with me.

Then I asked one of the staff if there are lockers available in the Esplanade. I was told that there will be. Anyway, I started to wonder if there would be sufficient lockers to cater to everyone who needed one when the lockers are installed.

Anyway, the more I think of it, the more I felt having the lockers may not necessary be as helpful as I would like them to be. There may be times that I have to bring my double bass bow and bow case with me to attend performances at the Esplanade, and I doubt the regular lockers would be of any use. When that happens, could I tell the Esplanade personnel that the bow and the bow case are valuables and ask if I could bring them in? I noticed a few folks had to leave their violins and violin case with the security. I think I would be totally upset if I were to be asked to leave my double bass with the security. I won't be surprised if I get so upset that I will ask for a refund. Anyway, I don't think I would have brought a double bass to catch a performance at the concert hall in the first place.

So maybe for the meantime, I should try to use a smaller bag everytime I attend performances at the Esplanade Concert Hall. (I am not sure if Esplanade Theatre has this regulation about not allowing large bags too.)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Worth listening

After 80 minutes of practice on the double bass earlier this morning, I decided to treat my ears to music.

Actually, I had to return two CD albums that I had borrowed from the library by today. So I decided that I should spend some time listening to them.

It is a pleasure for the ears to listen to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, conducted by Valery Gergiev, performed by Wiener Philharmoniker.

I don't know if this is the right way to describe my experience of listening to it, I just like the energy from this piece of work. It feels like a depiction and release of one's inner struggles. That is just my personal experience. I shall leave the analysis and interpretation to the music experts.

The orchestra that I am playing in will finally be playing this symphony, complete. This is something worth looking forward to.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Needing a weekend to recharge

This week has been a busy and tiring one. There seem to be a lot of things to be done and yet I have only one of myself.

It is a relief for me to realise that weekend is here. I hope having weekend of break would help me recharge.

I am looking forward to listen to tomorrow's concert. I will like to listen to Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor", which is one of the programmes for tomorrow's concert.

Meantime, I shall just allow myself to rest and laze about. I am so tired now that I do not have any plan for this weekend except to attend tomorrow's concert. Weekend, a break that I need.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Playing double bass energise. Using computer strains

My astigmatism seems to have worsen, and I blame it on the computer. Actually, I should also take part of the blame. I should have learn not to look at the computer screen for prolonged period of time. Then again, sometimes, I can be so focused on getting things done on the computer that I get "glued" to it and the monitor screen.

Using the computer also seems to strain my neck. It must have been my posture. Before today, I had placed my office's computer at a rather awkward position that I could not face the computer's monitor squarely. So I decided to adjust and shift the position of the monitor this morning so that I could face it squarely. I hope that change of the monitor's position could help reduce the strain on my eyes and neck.

While using the computer strains, playing the double bass energises. At least for today, playing the double bass did energise me.

I was pretty tired after work today. I ended the day in a very tiring manner. Two long and back-to-back sessions right at the end of the day. Then I chose to stay in office after the official office hours in order to write one of my case recordings. Time seems not enough at the workplace. I hope for more time to take short breaks to reflect and to recharge.

Anyway, after I left office this evening, I took dinner when I was nearby my neighbourhood. After dinner, I took an evening walk. Maybe the walk could have helped relaxed me a little.

At about 8.45 p.m., I practised on the double bass. I played some double bass exercises from F. Simandl's. Then I practised the Marcello Sonata in g minor again, and also took time to practise a passage from Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave. I tried to practise the passage that uses the "crab technique". It helped to play at a slower tempo to get the intonation right and to familiarise my fingers with the passage.

At the end of the practice, I felt good. I felt my mind, fingers and arms had a good workout. The practice had left me with a feel-good feeling. That is why I say playing double bass energises.

Anyway, that feel-good feeling seems to have subsided. Blame it on the computer again. I used the computer to write my blog and to surf the internet, sometime after the end of my practice. So I should learn to remember to take breaks after about 30 - 40 minutes use of the computer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Double bass sectionals

This evening, I attended the double bass sectionals. Strictly speaking, it was rightfully not considered a sectional because only half of the double bass section or less was present.

Seriously, I am not sure if it was a good choice on my side to have arranged for a double bass sectionals today. Today actually falls within the exams period for most undergraduates of the university, so one of the double bassists chose to revise for exams instead of attending the sectionals. I can't fault him, his occupation is a student not a double bassist. At the same time, we have a double bassist who is also a undergraduate whose exams period was just over (he is student of the "exceptional faculty") and so he could attend today's sectionals. Only time will tell if this was a good choice.

Including myself, there were three persons who attended today's sectionals. We went through Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave. Thanks to Emily for providing the scores, we were able to have sufficient sets of scores of Fingals Cave for the sectionals. Special thanks to her for travelling about three hours to and fro home just for this one hour of sectionals.

Our tutor went through the entire Fingals Cave with us, though we went through it at a tempo much slower than the original. Reflecting, I suppose his main purpose for this sectional was to help us to get the gist of playing Fingals Cave and to help us work out appropriate fingerings and bowings for it. With those, then we would be able to practise more effectively on our own, to eventually play Fingals Cave at its original tempo.

He demonstrated to us how to use extended fingerings, and the "crab technique". If I descibe it correctly in the brevity, the "crab technique" is a fingering concept and technique. Now, that is something to practise.

He also suggested fingerings for a set of sequences, and it took me quite a while to finally figure out. My stand partner for today, Emily, had figured the sequeneces for that set of sequences way before me. I am not sure if it was because I find it hard to visualise the concepts within a short span of time, or was it because my eyesight did not allow me to see his demonstration clearly enough? Maybe it was the result of the long day?

Every minute of the sectional was well-spent. I spent most, if not all, of the sectional, trying to work on the Fingals Cave. Although I had practised it on my own on several occasions before the sectionals, I was humbled by the fact that there was still so much more to be learnt and worked on during the sectionals. While it has helped that I had practised prior to sectionals, I felt quite a bit inadequate still that my intonation need to be improved upon.

I know practice, practice and more practice helps. At the same time, will anyone be able to advise how I could practise so that I could more effectively work on and improve on my intonation? Could someone please advise?

Anyway, sectionals was time well-spent I think despite that I have to spend more than two hours to travelling from work to sectionals and from sectionals back home. If playing the double bass during sectionals can be considered a practice, then I have practised one hour (actually, it was slightly more than one hour) today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Lessons to learn

I met with a challenging issue at work today. Though it is not related to my clients or my cases, I shall decline to elaborate much about it here.

I think some lessons I need to learn are:
  1. I should ask others to allow myself to have more time to think through before I vocalise my final decisions.
  2. I can be quite soft-hearted and I need to be aware of it.
  3. I may need some time to process through to try my best to communicate my intentions as accurately as possible, so as to reduce the risk of having my intentions perceived wrongly.

Special thanks to Mystic for listening to me and my challenging issue. It helps to get the issue off my chest, and allow me to think aloud and work out more effective ways to manage similar situations in the future.

Personality Types and an emerging community

Hi all, if you are familiar to my blog, you will find a new link to a blog titled: Type Blogs. Credit goes to Marla Swoffer and company for making Type Blogs possible.

You are invited to join in the community. To find out more, simply visit:

To find out your type, you may try out this Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test.

Of course, you may seriously want to consider getting a qualified MBTI Administrator to administer the test and help you in the process of determining and understanding your type.

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Inner European

I did this little test, and here's my results. Oh yes, when I was younger, Italy was the dream place that I wish to go.

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.

You show the world what culture really is.

On the way: Maintenance & Repair

I heard good news this afternoon. The news is that approval has been given for the double basses of the orchestra (those that have been identified to need maintenance and repair) to be sent for maintenance and repair.

The maintenance and repair of the double basses will help the instruments to serve the orchestra well for a longer period of time, and prolong their life.

Special thanks to M.C. for helping to make this possible. Thanks.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

SEA Games 2005

This morning I read an article on one of the Chinese newspapers, and was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the articles featured one of my friends. She is practising diligently in the sports event of her choice, in hope to be selected to represent Singapore in the upcoming SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games).

Here's wishing her all the best. All the way!

If I am not wrong, SEA Games will be held in the Philippines, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 10, 2005.

Zips and bow cases

In one of yesterday's post, I wrote about a faulty zip on one of my bow cases. This afternoon, I went to the music shop which I had gotten that bow case several years ago. I asked if the shop does any repair for the zip, but I was told such a service was not available.

My mother said about a decade ago, she had approached a shop to help her sew a new zip to replace a faulty zip on one of her handbags. A decade ago, I wonder if that shop still existed? Anyway, to play safe, I shall just not pin too much hope on that shop.

I wonder who on earth can help me repair that faulty zip? The rest of the bow case is still working fine, but with a faulty zip, there is a higher chance that the other zip will also fail one day due to overuse. By then, the bow case will be of not much use when I need to have a case to put and bring the double bass bow from places to places (e.g. home to rehearsals).

The person at the shop told me that it is likely due to the design of the bow case which had increased the chances of the zip going faulty after a number of years of use. Furthermore, I use the bow case pretty often.

Hopefully, I could find someone who could replace or repair the faulty zip for me. At a reasonable price of course. But looking at the structure of the bow case, I am not sure if it would be easy to replace the zip. I could only hope for the best to come.

Anyway, as I wanted a hardcase bow case to carry a double bass bow for practices and rehearsals very soon, I spent some time at the shop to select a bow case. In the end, I decided to get a bow case that could fit two French bows. I did not like the texture of the exterior of the bow case, but its interior was alright. It did not have a zip, the bow case is fasten with a latch. A pity it did not have a compartment to put a rosin. It took me quite a while to finally decide on getting it.

Actually, I would prefer a hardcase whose design looks similar to the one with the faulty zip. Yes, the case works with a zip. At least I like its colour and the texture of its exterior better. Furthermore it has a compartment to put a rosin. The pity was that the shop did not have existing stock. The stocks for that bow case would probably only be sent to the shop on the coming Wednesday, and I was not quite keen to wait till then to get a bow case for myself. But I guess I could return to the shop on another day to get my preferred bow case, if I can't any other better and reasonably-priced ones. Such is the woes of a double bass player in Singapore. There seems very limited good quality double bass related products to begin with, let alone reasonably priced ones. Maybe I am wrong, and I would be happy if you could correct me.

Whatever it is, to comfort myself, I told myself that the bow case that could fit two French bows may come in handy if I were to travel overseas. Afterall, I have been intending to look for a bow case with such a function. Then I could bring two French bows overseas, so that at least I could have a spare bow at hand in case of any unforeseen circumstance. Otherwise, I could bring one bow overseas and then buy a bow when I am overseas, and still have the space in the bow case to bring both the two bows back. Yes, it was not the perfect bow case, but it was functional. At a price of S$35, it was still quite a reasonable buy despite the fact that I don't like the texture. Maybe it is just a matter of getting used to the texture and the colour of the exterior?

Now I realised how much thought could be spent on just getting a replacement bow case.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

9 April 2005

It seems that I might be at risk of getting sick. I did not feel well today, and slept till close to 9 a.m. This was unusual for a morning person like myself.

The pace for the earlier part of the day was slow. I merely took time to surf the internet, read some online articles and read the newspapers. There was no mood to wish to go anywhere. Hoping to rest and recharge, I took a nap in the afternoon. Possibly, I was not really feeling well. As such the nap that was taken was longer than I had wished to. It was more than two hours in duration.

As if to preserve my sanity, I decided I needed to take a walk outdoors in the late afternoon. The weather was not ideal for photography, but would still do fine for someone who needed a breather.

I travelled to library@Esplanade to return the CDs that I had borrowed last week. Then I went to Marina Food Loft for dinner. I met some of my orchestra mates there. I supposed that they could be there because they needed to eat dinner before they head for the Esplanade. Maybe they are involved in the Sound of Music production? Talking about the Sound of Music, I have yet to get the tickets. The available tickets are considered quite expensive for me. Of course, catching it live will still be a worthwhile experience, but it seems I may have to give it a miss.

I took my walk around the area and went to explore the new developments of Marina Square. Most of the constructions and renovations were incomplete, so I decided to head for Suntec. There, I treated myself to the Brownie Cheesecake from Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf. I like the crushed walnuts at the top. That is me, and my liking for walnuts. The brownie layer was nice, though I felt that the cheese layer did not go well with the brownie layer and the crushed walnuts. Somehow, the cheese layer bored my tastebuds after several mouthfuls of it. Anyway, the cake was still nice in general. I am just being critical. Maybe the cake might have tasted better if I had fruit tea to go with it?

By early evening, fully aware that I should not overstretched myself with excessive walking, I headed for home. Furthermore, I felt I needed to practise. For the coming Monday and Tuesday, I will have to work till pretty late in the evening. On Monday, I have arranged to make a homevisit to a client's home with a colleague. On the coming Tuesday, I have to work till 9 p.m. because I have been scheduled to do night duty. This means I will only have today and tomorrow to practise before my sectionals on the coming Wednesday. Actually, I won't mind using a double bass practice mute to allow me to practise late at night. However, I figured that I will be very drained from work on the coming Monday and Tuesday such that practice late at night may not be productive.

Thank goodness that I had sufficient energy and self-discipline after I had reached home, and I practised at slightly before 9 p.m. I spent about half an hour playing a few of the exercises from F. Simandl's New Method for the Double Bass. Then another half an hour going through Mendelssohn's Overture: The Hebrides (Fingals Cave). I was quite pleased that I managed to come up with a fingering that will make it easier for me to play one particular passage without having to sacrifice the quality of the sound. One hour of practice in total today.

It was quite a bother to the mind to realise that one of the zips of one of my bow cases has become redundant and will no longer serve its purpose. Basically, the zips will help me close the bow case which I use to keep my double bass bow. The good thing is that the other zip of the bow case is still working. I keep my fingers crossed that it will still serve me alright for some time. Anyway, I am used to faulty zips, it happened three years ago for one of my other bow cases, when both zips could not work. I am clueless to repairing faulty zips. Maybe I should learn how to repair faulty zips.

So that was my day. I took two pills of Vitamin C today in hope to increase my body's resistance to illnesses. I hope that might help. I wish I could stay healthy.

The Fifth Anniversary: 8 April 2005

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary that this double bass became mine. It was my 21st birthday present from my mother. It was officially delivered and sent to me on 8 April 2000. Anyway, at that time, my 21st birthday was still a month away. As such, I supposed it was an early 21st birthday present.

Time flies. It sounded better now than when I had first bought it. About half a year after I had it, I took it back to the music shop to do some work on its bridge. That has made playing a little more easy. But in retrospective, maybe I should also ask for some work to be done on its nut.

Korean strings sounded not pleasant for the ears. They sounded bearable but not appealing. I am glad that I had changed the strings to Helicore orchestra strings last year.

The best thing about it is that I like the way its lowest string (the E string) sounds. It gives a warm and nice bass sound.

Anyway, there was no major celebrations held for this anniversary yesterday. I merely practised on it.

So, given its sentimental value, it is hard to just sell it away if I were to get another double bass. I still have a way to go to be able to afford a dream double bass. Anyway, this double bass that I have been having for five years have served me fine, and I could still make do with it for the moment.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Not the best practice but I did fine

The week has been tiring, and the good news is that weekends is here.

When I got home from work, I took time to settle down. Then I decided not to spend too much time on the computer or the internet. I got ready my instrument, the double bass, and started practising.

Trying to catch up on playing scales, I spent close to an hour playing the Bb major scales and the g minor scales. Possibly playing along with a recorded piano accompaniment from Don Hermann's Accompanied Rudiments Course. My playing sounded alright, though the quality of the tone that I had produced was no where near fantastic. Sometimes, I wish I could have the luxury of time and resources to have more lessons with my tutor, then I might be able to refine my posture.

During the lesson earlier this Wednesday, my tutor corrected my posture for playing detache bow strokes. I tried to practise this evening that but I felt the results are yet to be satisfactory. I hope I will figure that out with time.

Later, I took a break. After the break, I spent about half an hour practising the first and second movement of the Marcello's Sonata in g minor on the double bass. I managed to get more acquainted with the fingerings, but I felt I could still improve on the intonation. Yet, in general, I played this sonata better than when I had played it about a month or two ago.

Tonight's practice was not the best, but I supposed I did fine. Hopefully the next one would be better.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The annoucement this afternoon

This afternoon, I had to present a case to the professional team as part of our office's weekly case conference.

After my case presentation, a few colleagues took turns to update all the rest of the colleagues of some new information. Later, my centre director said she has something to announce to the rest of the team, and she did.

I wonder how things would be like in the future to come? It looks like there will bound to be major changes in the office. There's an air of uncertainty hovering about, it seems. The best I could do is to move on and move forward, and hope that things will work out eventually for the better.

Anyway, I reckon I shall write no further. It did not seem appropriate for me to reveal more. The annoucement seemed unexpected for most of us in the office.

The Great Piano-Practicing Pact Log

For those who plays a musical instrument, you may wish to check out Waterfall's post titled The Great Piano-Practicing Pact Log.

Waterfall invites everyone who plays an instrument to find her weekly practice log post. Participant of this pact log will enter his/her name, the date, and the number of minutes he/she has practiced for each day by typing this information in the comments section.

Book Meme

I saw this book meme at Waterfall's blog, and was pleasantly surprised that I were to receive the "stick" from her. Now it sounds like some relay.

Pardon me if I don't have an impressive list. Lately, I have been spending more time practising on the double bass and going for walks than reading.


You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I have not read Fahrenheit 451. I searched for Fahrenheit 451 using Google and realised that in this fiction, firemen start fires in order to burn books. I don't enjoy being burnt and so I won't want to be any book at all in Fahrenheit 451.

(On 9 April 2005: Apologies. I got to realise that this question means to ask which book would one want to be committed to someone's memory. Anyway, I can't think of an answer that I am satisfied with. Maybe a short and simple fairy tale? I am not sure.)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I don't usually read fiction books as much as non-fiction. Anyway, I don't remember having a crush on any fictional character.

The last book you bought is:
This book titled Handling common problems in children, if I remember the title correctly. It is a hand-book for parents to learn ways to manage various misbehaviours in children. To clarify, I have no child of my own. I have bought the book to add it to my library as a reference book to serve the needs of my work. This book will serve as a handy professional resource.

The last book you read:
I can't remember. But I think it was some self-help book that I had borrowed from the library. It was quite an alright read, but not impressive enough for me to remember its title. And it was quite a few months ago. Lately, I tend to read articles, newspapers and short sections from books instead of reading an entire book.

What are you currently reading?
I'm trying to read a few books:

Essential Ear Training for Today's Musician. I think I will take some time to finish it, because there are quite a number of exercises in it that I will have to gradually work through.

The Inner Game of Work. I have started on it sometime ago, but have yet to finish it. I have not touched it for the past one month already. I am still waiting for the momentum of reading this book to build up again.

Vanished Civilizations. This book contains many chapters. Each chapter writes about a vanished civilisation. I read this book from time to time, each time reading one or two chapters.

A pity newspapers aren't meant to be included in this list. I read the Chinese newspapers everyday.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Am I to be on the deserted island by sheer accident, or is it by choice of my own? Anyway, here are my choices:

1. I will take a book that will help teach me survival skills on a deserted island. I am quite a pampered city dweller and I needed such a book to adapt to conditions on a deserted island. Unless there is at least a three-star hotel on the island equipped with all the necessary hospitality personnel and the necessary facilites. By the way, I wonder who would have written such a book in the first place?

2. I will bring a book that will teach me how to sketch the landscapes on the deserted island. I have learnt how to sketch trees, it will be good if I could learn to sketch other things. I will surely bring my sketch book! Is the sketch book considered a book? If it is, then I would rather bring my sketch book. An empty one preferably. I make sure I have the necessary drawing tools. For me, it's drawing pen and pencils.

3. I will take MBTI Manual. It's about 420 pages in total, and although I have read all of the essential chapters, I have yet to read the optional chapters. I would like to spend my time on the deserted island reading the manual from cover to cover. Then at the end of my stay on my island, I would probably be very knowledgeable in the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

4. Maybe Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. Quite a short and simple read with short chapters. Yet each chapter is filled with insights that I found quite helpful. Reading this will help keep me sane on a deserted island.

5. Dr Morton's Double Bass Technique: Concepts and Ideas. I have been reading certain sections of this book from time to time, but I have yet to complete the book. I would tend to read those section that I needed to borrow ideas from. I suppose it would help if I could take this to a deserted island so that I can spend time reading through and reflecting on the concepts and ideas. Of course, it will help greatly if I could beg to take a double bass along with me to the island. Then I can practise and try out those techniques.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why:

*long pause*
Emily, Dinah, and Mistipurple.
I think among my potential readers for this blog, there are higher likelihood that these three may read my blog and be willing to respond to the questions on this book meme? I may be wrong. Anyway, I shall just try my luck. I won't be disappointed if they don't respond.

I know I can't pass it back to Waterfall, for sure.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Awfully tired

Today was a tiring day. I started the day already feeling quite tired. It was probably because I slept pretty late last night. I remembered it was close to 1 a.m. when I landed on my bed to rest.

It was Wednesday, and it was the day when I would facilitate a group programme for several children. Somehow, I felt a little drained today.

Anyway, I took time-off from work this afternoon so that I could be early to prepare for my lesson with my double bass tutor. There was a heavy rain when I was on my way to the venue for the leson. It was such an inconvenience to travel about in a heavy rain.

Lesson was great. My tutor prompted me to do play some exercises from F. Simandl's New Method for the Double Bass. Later, we worked on the Marcello's Sonata in G minor. I wish I could one day develop the kind of musicality that my tutor possesses. Somehow, I feel inept that I seemed to lack in a natural sense of musicality and a good inherent sense of rhythm. The best thing I could do is to make up for my lacking in these through diligent practise.

At the end of the lesson, I asked my tutor about his teaching at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. In the conversation, I was told that most of the double bassists at the Conservatory have been playing technically challenging double bass concertos even before they had entered the Conservatory. A feeling of inadequacy seems to lurk unconsciously in me. I have still quite a way to go to reach the level of those conservatory students, it seemed. Hopefully, good consistent practice with time would help me get somewhere close.

The lesson was overall filled with lots of learnings. I learnt some ideas about how to play the sonata better. My tutor also gave some good suggestions about the fingerings that I could use for this sonata. Now, to consolidate those learnings and bring them to a greater height, I would need to continue to practise. I am contemplating the thought of asking for a piano accompanist to play this sonata with me, for sheer fun of playing this sonata, when I am more ready. Wonder who would be free and keen to be the piano accompanist?

Anyway, I am feeling tired and hope to rest for the day. Please forgive me if I had seem to write in an uninteresting tone. I might have temporarily lost interest in all things due to sheer tiredness.

The Gifted Student

I found a link on one of Waterfall's posts that led me to a post titled The gifted student.

It is worth a read. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Wet evening

I attended the concert titled Conservatory Orchestra Series Rachmaninoff's Second earlier the night. It was alright. I congratulate them for a successful concert. The turnout was pretty good, and it seemed that the management of the conservatory was pretty pleased with the concert.

I wish I could be on stage playing one of those double basses. I think the double basses will love me and sound loud and clear with me. Please pardon me if I had sounded overly confident. It must have been the effects of the night. Anyway, I will love to play Brahms Symphony No. 1 once again. The only comforting thing is that I had heard it just a few hours ago at the concert.

Anyway, I think I was rather tired from work. As such, there were several moments when I could not keep myself fully alert to listen to the music played in the concert. So to be fair, I shall not be too much of a critique for this concert.

As the title of this post suggests, the evening was a rather wet one. It rained on my way to the concert venue. Just before I went to the concert venue, I went to buy tickets for the Singapore Arts Festival. There was this Red Carpet Promotion for all Artsfest Club members and I was one. The discount was one thing that draws, but more importantly, it was the priority booking.

Meantime, I shall end the post here. I keep my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a day of fine good weather.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Night of Mendelssohn's music

Tonight shall be a night of Mendelssohn's music, and hopefully music will soothe some of my inherent feelings of sadness and melancholy.

Yesterday, I loaned a CD album titled Mendelssohn, Complete Symphonies, Overture: The Hebrides conducted by Walter Weller and played by the Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra. I had only one week of loan for this CD album, so won't it be good idea for me to start listening to it soon?

The opening of the "Italian Symphony" sounded full of energy that it caught my ears and seemed to moved away some of the gloom in me. I am no music expert who studies music to interpret this work accurately. I could only share how my experience of listening to the music. So here is it.

The night is short, just like life itself. I have only managed to listen to the Italian Symphony and Overture: The Hebrides, Op. 26. I look forward to play Overture: The Hebrides soon. It sounded nice.

The Blood Parrot at home

Technically speaking, I am no owner to the fishes at my home. Firstly, I was never the one who have requested to buy them home. Secondly, I do not change the water in the tank for them.

I did not start off feeding them. Strangely, with time, I took the effort to make sure they were fed. Would feeding them make me an owner? I don't see it as such, but I suppose that I would have some stake in the fish being the one who helps to feed them.

The Luohan fish passed away a few months ago. I was no owner of it, but I had helped feed it when it was alive.

Now I have to prepare myself for the eventual demise of one of the Blood Parrot fish. One of them seem to suffer similar fate as the Luohan fish that had passed away. This Blood Parrot fish has not been able to swim upright. In fact, many a times, it is lying upside down. It makes me a little sad to see it like that. But I have no clue how to help it. This poor fish is full of injuries on several parts of its body.

It was only when I surfed the web just to find out exactly what kind of species those fishes were that I found out they were Blood Parrot. It was news to me that Blood Parrat were man-made cross-bred fish. For more reading, you may like to visit:

No mood to close this post, so I shall leave it as such.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


My mind seems to be in a state of turbulence lately.

The pace out in the external world seems faster than I would have preferred. Many a times I tried to center myself. Sometimes I was able to be successful in centering myself; At other times I rock between the states of turbulence and peace.

How does one quieten the turbulence within? That seems to be an art in itself.

I sometimes wish I do not have to bother with the world out there, and could just go at my pace. Meantime, I could only try to find some value from the rocking from this state of turbulence.

Today's journey

Taken from roof top of Esplanade. Posted by Hello

If you have guessed it, I was at the Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay today.

I woke up pretty late today, at 9 a.m. I figured that it was because I had a bad sleep last night.

The weather this morning was rather dubious. There was hardly any sign of the irritating haze, and the skies were of a fine blue colour. However, the clouds seem to indicate that there will be a rain later the day.

Anyway, I did not want to stay at home, for fear I will get awfully bored and depressed. So I left for Lau Pa Sat. It was once a wet market. Now, it is a place for good food. I had lunch at Lau Pa Sat.

Interior View of Lau Pa Sat. Posted by Hello

Thereafter, I continued my journey. I stopped by Clifford Pier, and the Merlion Park. I did not bring along my sketch book today. I have no mood for sketching today. I took out my camera and tried to take some shots. The shots were not up to my expectations yet.

Next was Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay. I visited the library at the Esplanade for loan of some recordings. Prior to that, I went up to the roof-top. The sunlight at that moment was pretty good for the kind of effects that I had wanted. I took several photographs up the roof-top.

Before I left the Esplanade, I approached the Box Office at the Esplanade to check if there was still any ticket left for the concert Conservatory Orchestra Series Rachmaninoff's Second. I was not able to purchase the ticket to the concert online from SISTIC. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise that I could still get the ticket today from the Box Office. Thank goodness that I had tried my luck at the Esplanade's Box Office. I am looking forward to listen to Brahm's Symphony No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 when I attend that concert.

After the Esplanade, I walked towards the Singapore Art Museum, but did not visit the art museum. Afterwhich, I continued walking. I thought walking may help me get in touch with myself more, but it did not do much help. Anyway, I took it as a form of exercise for myself for having walk from Prinsep Street to Albert Mall to Bugis Junction. Then I took a bus back home. Midway the journey home, it rained.

There seems to be a lot of thoughts running through my mind subconsciously, but there were no appropriate openings to air them to the external world. Firstly, the thoughts are subconscious ones and I have no clue how to express them the way they should be. Today's walking has helped a bit in that it gave me some peace to get in touch with the subconscious thoughts, but somehow it was not easy to get in touch. I should give things more time.

(To view some of the photos that I had taken together, please visit my other blog, and read the post titled: Walking about on 3 April

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Wet Day

The accumulated effects of a busy week has left me feeling rather tired at the time of writing.

The weather was rainy when I woke up this morning. If not for the thought that I would be meeting someone to view a few double basses in the late morning, I might have continued to catch up on my sleep. In a tropical country like Singapore, somehow a rainy morning seems to make it cooling for one to continue lying in bed.

Met Dinah and Emily at a taxi stand. We met the manager there of a music shop and he drove us to a warehouse to view the double basses. The double basses were considered value-for-money for its price. They would have been great for folks who have tight budget and are looking for a double bass for a beginner. A pity that these instruments may not be the ones that we were looking for. We needed something that would better serve our orchestra's current needs.

After viewing the double basses, the ladies and myself went for lunch. We had Korean food. The day continued to be wet throughout.

In the afternoon, I visited my maternal grandmother, and took time to catch up with her.

When I got home, I was feeling pretty drained and tired. I had wanted to practise, but I decided I needed a rest.

Hopefully, with the rain of today, tomorrow will be a clear day. Then, usually with a clear day, the weather would be good for photography.

Friday, April 01, 2005

30 March 1853

Thanks to Waterfall for reminding me that 30 March was the day of Van Gogh's birthday.

Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favourite artists. The title of this post reads his date of birth. There is a website that I recommend you to check out if you would like to find out more about Vincent Van Gogh. It is:

Talking about Vincent Van Gogh, I happen to hear this song titled "Vincent" by Don McLean when I was returning to my office after I had lunch this afternoon. This was a song that I won't mind listening, and in fact I had wanted to get myself a recording of it, but have never got down to doing so. It was a pleasant surprise to have found it by sheer chance. The song was recorded on a compilation CD album, and the album was affordable and reasonably priced. Being tempted, I bought a copy of the album. Yes, I must say I have a liking for melancholic tunes.

If you would like to view the lyrics for Vincent, please click here.