Sunday, 26th December '04
Christmas Christmas Time Is Here...
This has been the most Christmassy year I've had in a long time. Funnily enough, it didn't revolve much around presents and the like... presents were pretty much a sideline issue for me this year. So were things like cards received and the idea of Christmas Cheer and so on. Hmm. I must be growing up.
Growing up, perhaps, enough to realise that the Christmas spirit doesn't mean perfection. Enough to not completely lose it when the evil ghost of Christmas shopping descended upon this tiny island causing people to flock to Orchard road and other shopping hotspots and therefore creating UNBEARABLE transport conditions. Today (as has been the case for the past two weeks worth of MRT rides), I found myself squished up against the door... my cheek a mere inch from the door window. I had to face the side because my nose was too long and protruding (and by all standards I have a short nose) to face forwards. Somehow that didn't faze me.
And I was also blissfully contented with the Christmas haul this year - even though, as usual, no one gives me anything that I can really see myself using much this year. Short of that incredibly cute eyelash curler Gnet got, heh. But she already knew I was much enamoured by it, so that may not really count. I mean, I appreciate everything I got and all the effort that went into it, but somehow it was a case of oh-if-I-like-it-fine-if-I-don't-I-don't-need-it-to-make-me-happy. I'm amused, though, that perhaps for the 4th or 5th year, Mich and I got identical pencil cases. Are we going to use them together, again, girl?
I was also surprised at how warm and fuzzy I generally have been feeling the past few days. I think I did my cards very well this year... apart from the overseas people, everyone got theirs in good time. I also expected to feel cranky and lonely (read: boyfriend-less, haha) this Christmas - such being the usual effect of watching too many American shows that involve couples at Christmas - but surprisingly, I didn't really give a shit. I think I can attribute that to a talk with ZH and Gerri at the Scotts Baoger place... indirect, but very perspective-gaining.
Smubs were amazing dinner company two days back... one of the coolest dinners ever. Bert actually cooks fried rice pretty well and Gnet's (or rather, Gnet's maid's) kebabs were yummy. Mum's turkey (I'll call it Mum's turkey since no matter how much I tried to help, I always wound up doing bangla work... chopping mushrooms / chestnuts / turkey liver making garnishing etc. and never any real cooking) was really good too - if slightly unorthodox after Dre created little spring onion "coconut trees" in an island of mashed potatos. All this was in honour of the missing Babs, mind you. It was lovely hearing Luk's and Dage's voices on the phone again after so long too... miss them so much... Lucas is the sweetest, calling us all the way from Ireland! And Dage woke up early just to wait for out call... Babs... well, the time was just too off. I just hope the water thing isn't getting to her... we spent a significant portion of dinner talking about how we would cope with water shortages like that... I mean, you must sweat a lot in the desert, and if you can't bathe, well... *shrug*. It's funny too, how Gnet's house has REALLY become this Smub headquarters... we use it like our own house nowadays... we know where the spare blankets are kept, keep toothbrushes in her guest bathroom. It's rather heartwarming!
I suppose I should also mention the 7 hr 40 min Dungeons and Dragons game that Ben, Dre, Bert and I played. Oh, the guys had to keep saving my little "Rogue Halfing" ass, and it was an absurd amount of time to be staring at a TV set frantically pressing buttons with our thumbs, but oh well... . Ben was this insane creature the whole time too... he keep yelling strange sex-related terms at odd intervals something like this:
"Wahh... ORGY OF MONSTERS!!! Arrrgggghhhhh...."
"Gimme BURNING HANDS, man! Orgas...."
And THEN, he came up with strange names for unknown monsters. Without going into detail, it will suffice to say that around the 5 hr mark he started to yell "UULUULUUULUUUU!" everytime the "undead" creatures appeared. And then Andre started to echo him.
If Dage were there, things would have been even more havoc.
On a more sane note, family dinner at Aunt Angeline's place was pretty decent too. Andrew now has this incredibly lovable (and rather huge) Golden Retriever called Duchess. Mind-bogglingly obedient (but then again I grew up with Rio, the dog whom the vet says had "one character"), with thick curled eyelashes (so pretty on a doggie) and a nice thumpy tail. It's a dog that's very very comfortable with it's position at the bottom of the pack. It'll hang around and let the kids play with it and then walk up to someone, stare adoringly, and lick the person's elbow or fingers. Needless to say, I just melted.
The kids (my nephew, Marc, and nieces Amanda and Andrea) also put up this skit called "The Brave Ant". I couldn't make out what the heck was going on, and the production aspect was terrible, but hey, they're little KIDS. But they're at least carrying on mine and Mich's legacy pretty well. When we were their age we had this newsletter that we made everyone buy... hurhurhur ... and now the kiddos have graduated to theatrical productions. Well, every generation finds new ways to inflict itself on the adults, doesn't it? But back to the show review. I loved the little ants feelers they made (green wire around hairbands). The murder scene was decidedly strange (macabre isn't it, that the kids wrote this storyline involving the Brave Ant being revered for killing this Queen who did nothing wrong). The coronation of the Brave Ant as King was also incredibly cute... and Mich and I looked at each other and went "Return of the King!". Well, at least the production went more smoothly than last year's! Last year's involved Marc and Amanda getting into a real-life fight onstage. "The Brave Ant" was followed by a "Koh Idol" segment in which the same 3 kids pit themselves against each other, all singing songs from Abba's "Mama Mia!". I voted for Andrea... she's damn adorable singing the titular track. Maybe we'll get singer in the family! We haven't had any singing people since Alvin and even he didn't do anything that serious.
Tonight my Mum's side of the family came over for dinner too... nothing very remarkable lah... everyone sitting around watching Huan Zhu Ge Ge. Not my idea of Christmas dinner, but oh well. Another excellent turkey, though.
And my Christmas experience wouldn't be complete with out a mention of Sleeping Beauty on Ice. I had a pretty good time, and the standard was pretty decent, but not up to what they were touting it as. All the reviews said the performances were flawless, but I dunno... I guess I'm ngeow. The whole affair being touted as an Olympic skater standard thing, I expected a more demanding repetoire from the entire cast. So far, they were very good, but not jaw-dropping. Choreography fell a little short, lacking variety in lifts, jumps and spins. There is really a limit to how many times I can watch single axels and a hand-to-butt lift without wondering of this was really a world standard skating show.
This was what they promised:
"In The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, The Imperial Ice Stars will perform stunning skating feats on the theatre stage, including triple flips, triple toe loops, double axels, death spirals, camel spins, Bielmanns, triple throw axels and spectacular lifts..."
No triple flips
No triple toes
A number of double axels (the male chorus members large have very tight axel air positions! Nice! But no female doubles.)
A good number of camel spins (text-book perfect ones from the Messenger - he really stole the show... he was awesome)
A good number of death spirals (but not competition standard. I think a lot were performed by singles skaters, and too many boot edges scrapped the ice)
Couple of Bielmanns (not enough, nor well sustained)
No triple throw axels (I was VERY DISAPPOINTED with the partner-assisted jumps. You're not allowed to do single partner-assisted axels! Come on!!)
Specatucar lifts (um, ok lah, but some lifts were definitly overused, and there were hardly any hand to hand lifts or lasso lifts).
In short, not up to the standard they promised. Sigh. But watch the show anyway for the show stealers Carbosse and Messenger. The pairs item as Carbosse dies is really good, and Messenger gives us the only triple jumps (2 axels in succession) of the show. He also does this amazing death drop (Boitano would have been proud), and forward and back sit spin combination (he just keeps switching back and forth endlessly). The chorus skaters are very good too... very precise. Lilac Fairy has smooth dancing steps, but otherwise is superflous - she can't jump and does a grand total of two really slow back spins. *sigh*
Again, I love the Messenger dude. Now if only his footwork weren't so awkward.
I'm tired. Off to bed now.
[2 photographs developed.]
And do you notice the pencil cases always come from Lily and Andrew? (Barring the one you bought for me.) Haha I think they've systemised it so they won't have to worry every year. Just pop into OP and that's that. (Every case *has* been from OP, hasn't it?) Yeah I'm gonna use mine -- long overdue replacement for that cheap case I got from Popular!
The Queen did nothing wrong meh? I thought she was supposed to be vaguely evil ... yeah my whole family thought Andrea was the best too. Girl's got a future, LOL.
I've been feeling strangely warm-n-fuzzy too. Thought it was the release from A's but who knows? Could be something in the water.
hey babe..missing u here in the rock..and no i do not have any water shortages here at all..in fact i have never drank more water in my life..those were all just figments of kai's imagination..and i dotn care..next tiem u have a stayover u must call me..and i know this is embarrassign but could u email me ur hp numbers as well so that i can message u? and i am only 1.5 hours behidn ur time now anwyway...i miss u guys..i really wish i was there at teh christmas dinner..sigh..... shall buy more pressies for u all to make up for it..take care of urself!
miss u like crazy