Tuesday, 30th March '04
That's All, Folks.
There's really a lifespan to everything, isn't there?
If you stay... If you go...
Well, here we are. The end of another journey. I know it took me ages and ages to write this last musing. It might be the same way I took 3-4 days to write an 8 page essay for my 21st at the end of our term. I didn't want it all to end, but in a way I looked forward to the end. I loved and hated what I did, but I looked on it all without regret. With gratefulness and with pride and respect for myself and everyone else with whom I had made that journey. I took forever to write my parting message, not because I was reluctant to, not because I didn't have anything to say, but because I wanted to say it well. To make sure everything I wanted my friends to know had been covered entirely, so that I could look back on that experience with no regrets and knowing that I had done everything I needed and wanted to do.
And so it is with Secrets From My Room, and the whole TFYE experience.
Look back a year ago... poke around the older Musings from, say, April last year. Like "In The Black Box" or "Rollin'" or "Nat's House". And then move on to "Emily" and "Of RELEN and FITEN". And "My Baby's Got A Secret" and "Skittles". Take it all the way back to "I Love You Like CSB". It's been a while, I suppose.
Despair. Depression. Feeling abandoned. Lonely. Worthless. Frustrated. Worried. Doubting. Vulnerable. Forgetful. Losing self-confidence. Happy. Irritable. Fear of the future. Obsessed with possesions. Meaninglessness. Friendlessness. Fear of being penniless. No one to touch. Loss of psychological power.
Funny how one song, one really obscure and, honestly, weird song can get to you sometimes. But all those feelings, stuff that we all went through at some point in the TFYE / Secrets experience, came flooding in during the last show. It was truly emotional. Hugging Beck alone in the Black Box before leaving for dinner before the last show. Huddled with Aud, Ave and Siti before the 3rd show. Getting the life squeezed out of me by Tasha and Errol in the cramp, dark little props room as the audience filed out after the last show. It was like Errol said... "one year, worked with you on Three, never really hugged..."
And that's where the words just fall apart. All you want to do is sit there, all of us in each other's arms, crying and laughing and chanting "I'm handsome, I'm sexy...", and trying to believe there would be another day of naggings from Audrey, vitamin C from Mei, and individual notes from TC.
Suddenly you wonder why it's 6pm on a Tuesday evening and you're not jolting your nauseating way down to Cairnhill in a freezing cold Bus 143 for rehearsal at 7:30 (warmups starting anywhere from 7pm). Suddenly you have a social life again, you can actually have dinner with your friends. Suddenly you don't fear Improv Hell anymore. Suddenly there's no need to carry Johnson and Johnson's Clean and Clear in your bag to wash errant bits of charsiew off your nose. Suddenly you want to sit at Banquet and eat that same beef noodles at that same rectangular table. Suddenly you'll never need to wait in line and carry out top-speed negotiations for a lousy little pee. Suddenly you'll never suffer the same burning sensation that your eyes go thru after washing face paint out of them for the 5th day in a row. Suddenly TC will never tell you your pants have split in the most insensitive of ways. Suddenly you won't smell Ave's smoke as often, you won't roll your eyes at Errol's lameness, you won't promise Siti to "piss [her] off, ok?", you won't attempt and fail for the millionth time to meet Beck for a mugging session, or get dizzy from flicking your head like a vintage typewriter. Suddenly you go a day without "HORNY HORNY! I want to hump..." being bellowed at you and trying not to laugh, and without telling someone her latex - crow's feet / eye bags / laughlines - look wonderful and that she resembles a bulldog (that's a compliment where we come from). Suddenly you'll never be tortured by Krystal's "scary hairy ass", never hear "NA BEI!" yelled in quite the same way, and you'll never threaten to outline someone's pile of clothes in flourescent paint. Suddenly there might never be another late night bus ride with Weiling, and you might never hop around the rehearsal room with Tasha doing the waltz primtemps. Suddenly you kind of miss wearing that totally-non-absorbent blue costume, and your hands feel empty without a lantern in them. Suddenly even Kylie Minogue's 'Slow', Simple Plan's 'Perfect', and Dishwalla's 'Angels or Devils' become more than just songs of mere pop culture. Suddenly you don't calculate your every word to avoid pissing someone off. Suddenly you'll never vye with your castmates for another TC award. Suddenly you'll never hear go "Huhh! Huhh! Huhh!" and feel indignant at being told your diaphram is exactly where you KNOW your intestines are. Suddenly you'll never dance another 20 minutes non-stop, or incur as much bad luck by handling burnt offerings and funeral apparatus everyday. Suddenly you'll never stop at the Chinese medicine shop and buy another bottle of wheatgrass / chrysenthemum tea / honey lemon water just in case.
(Yes, that was an exceedingly long and parallel-sentence-structured paragraph, even demolishing the boundaries of artistic liberty. Forgive me, I'm on a rampage. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!)
Suddenly, you feel somewhat lost. You want to keep all that you've had with you because after investing the whole of yourself into this for the past 3 months, you don't know what else to do. Personally I've drifted from some friends, I've lost the chance to keep staying in NUS and missed a bunch of events that are normally central to a law school / KR life. You just don't know where to go from here. North, South, East, West?.
Maybe we'll meet up when we're old, and remember that 64 years ago, it was also a full moon.
Because there is change afoot.
During my individual closure session with TC I told him that in a way I didn't mind it ending. I learnt a lot, I grew a lot, but I was tired. And we talked about the secret I shared with him, and how, well, after everything that's gone down, it was time to move on. I guess what I got out of that session was affirmation and honesty from him and it felt good to be appreciated for what I'd given to the show. So, yeah, I wasn't bawling at the end... I was comfortable with moving on. I'd done what I came to do, I'd done enough to make my director, SMs and castmates proud, and that was really all me or anyone else could ask for. In that sense it was a "... you ready? Ready." moment.
Somewhere at the end of February I told Liang: "You know what? I think I'm actually going to miss those clowns." And at least since then I'd been storing up memories of them all, even in the moments I was irked with some... I guess that's the good thing about having had a close experience with the 21st - I learnt to anticipate the change, and I was prepared for it.
Be with the changes and at same moment cultivate amicability. Spaciousness. Emptiness. Awareness. Clarity.
The pre-show togetherness sessions were always things to remember... the last one in particular causing us all to lose it totally. I guess it's the most intimate moment the Secrets family has ever shared, and I will still curse TC in jest for saying he's finally run out of improvs and then coming up with the most heartrending one ever. Out of respect for the sacred nature of the whole ritual, I don't quite feel I can blog it down, but I think it's something that we'll all remember for the rest of our lives. Personally I feel Beck summed it up the best when she said "Don't touch my feet. I refuse to say goodbye. I will not tell TC that I may not see him again. I want to see him again. I want to hear my individual notes. I will tell him that he's the one that should be thanked." We might not have ever really known him as a friend, but I can say that he's someone I've come to respect and look up to a great deal. Especially after the way he's respected our secrets and half-counselled us on them. And to have him do for us what he did that night... it just felt wrong, I felt underserving - as Biblical as the whole reference might have been. There were 12 TFYE members. It was just too much.
It's the same for Audrey and Mei, a simple "thank you" didn't seem enough to do justice to what I really wanted to tell them. I hope they see this Musing.
But yes, it has ended, we'll have to find our ways back to our own lives. Ma, it's complete. It won't be terribly easy, but we'll do it somehow. Yet, somewhere deep inside, I'll always look back with some fondness on point A.
May it be so.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Monday, 22nd March '04
Things We Can Learn From A Dog
Aww... Mum just got me a present! How sweet... *is happy*. She got me a couple of those motivational posters, and even though I've seen this particular one before, I think it was a timely reminder to me. You know how these signs just seem to fall right into your lap just when you need them most? They're all so significant, and the last three are especially pertinent.
I'm stressed, I'll admit. *tears hair* No matter what happens within the next few days, at moots / at Secrets / at school / at home... everyone deserves the best I can give them. But on to what I was really blogging about:
Things We Can Learn From A Dog:
* When loved ones come, always run to greet them.
* Run, romp and play daily.
* Be loyal.
* Never pretend to be something you're not.
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
* Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
* No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout.
* Run right back and make friends.
Words of wisdom from a doggie... isn't it wonderful that someone actually managed to think all this up?
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Saturday, 20th March '04
No, I'm not going on one. I've just returned from one, actually. =)
Hahah, just last Thursday Tasha and I were sitting outside the MPCC worrying about how the HECK we were going to get through today's nine hour nightmare reheasal. Turns out all the woring was for nothing. We were going on yet another field trip (well, after one run and few start-stop tweakings). Think Ave and I were a little too pleased at our own "wheaty-ness" in calling this the CTC Holiday. CTC, the tour agency; Chong Tze Chien, director; geddit, geddit?
Today was the last practice run ever. Like, EVER. It was both exhilarating and frightening and oddly satisfying. For me, I got hit by a slight wave of nostalgia... and I thought back on how we all started with auditions in the rehearsal room, the bitch-fights and the first showing, the rush and the second showing, the change of facilitator, the photoshoot, the directing and the third showing and Serena telling me how far she's seen us go, the clean-up with Ave, the secret-revealing and the first field trip, the numerous improvs, the lost charaters of Ying Ying and the Invisible Man and "Vuluture" (spelling error fully intended), the improv-hell and the critcism day, the endless rehearsals, the fatigue, the press conference and the excitment of seeing some of us in major (and very minor *chuckle) media publications, more bitch-fights, and now the last field trip for closure. It's been a lot to go through with a certain group of people and even if I may not know them all as well as I should and don't necessarily love them all to death, the bottom line is that this has been my largest and most invested-in performance ever. And looking back on the journey, I can't help feeling a sense of bonding with my castmates and everyone who's been a part of this journey with us, especially people like Serena, TC, Audrey, Mei, Caroline and Sharon who've put up with all our shit and nonsense all this time.
On Monday we'll move into the Black Box and I hope it'll give us all the new energy and inspiration we need. Runs have been hugely improved, but our energy and ability to focus have been extremely sapped after the 25 rehearsal hours this week. And thus I was also thankful for the change today in going for that CTC Holiday.
Starting off from TNS, we hit the gaudy shops of Chinatown to find old people to observe (you'll understand when you see the play!) and TC even found me a subject to inspire my Cheena Ghost character (read: "You have to be that sweet, ok?"). Umm, I'll try. After the Chinatown romp, it was off to Boon Keng to visit the studio apartments there. I think it gave Siti and I something to think about for our scene at the end, and so I was really glad we had this chance to do some real character research.
And then guess what? On to Beck's playground - THE PLAYGROUND (for those who'll get to see Secrets and understand). More improv-hell. It was quite simple improv for the non-humans, and I think I threw myself into the role of Krystal's hard and cruel mother with a bit too much gusto - if there is such a thing. Possibly my best improv ever, and it wasn't even to build my own character *sniff*. The rest of the improv I don't quite know what happened, since the non-humans (Fit, Wei, Errol, Jo and I) were sequestered and only brought out when we were needed to facilitate the humans. But I think the overall improv worked very well to give some closure to the Secrets journey and to give the humans a better idea of their character history.
Secrets opens next week. Here's to us.
And yes, to satisfy Limz and all the other curious folks, here our our Secrets press publicity stuff:
My interview is actually on the left but they put my picture on the right. Wah liao. This is the kinda thing that's only supposed to happen to losers. And before you get any smart ideas about getting them to correct it, Limz, it really doesn't matter.
Ave, Beck and Siti respectively doing the major publicity stuff in Life! Weekend. Article was written by no less than Debbie the 22nd! =) No fair, I get the first interview, but they get the cool the-whole-world-sees-it one. But these girls really deserve the publicity, *hug*. And they look good...
Alright then, have spent unhealthy amount of time on this, so off to search for something to back up my policy arguments for the moots! Night y'all.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Thursday, 18th March '04
Speak Now - Or Forever Hold Your Pee
I've never known anyone as easily self-amused as I am... have been chuckling to myself at the title of this musing ever since it hit me (in the toilet, no less).
Today has been a day of unmentionable bodily functions. Before our first full run of the moots this morning, it occured to me that nervousness and sheer bad luck might result in me having to visit the little girl's room in the midst of the moots. What then? I can hardly envision myself going "May it please the court, my name is Koh En Ying, and with Your Honour's leave, I would like to excuse myself to the washroom", and standing up, making some gesture to the baliff, bowing to the judge and then backing out of the moot court. So salah.
Anyway, my dear moot partner Liang had the perfect solution to my "what if I need to go?" question - DON'T.
Things didn't get better at TNS... either it was me just getting stressed and hence beginning to think everything was funny, or else, it was just really that weird. After warm-ups and everything I went to change. A little background info: Mixed Blessings was having its third-last run tonight. And mind you, everyone was waiting for me to go change. By virtue of my fragile costume, I cannot change before warmups like everyone else. Anyway, the main toilet was reserved for the guests, so had to use the staff toilet. AND DID I PICK A BAD TIME. I basically crashed right into the Mixed Blessings pre-show pee session.
So there were Daisy and Natalie hanging around the office (which is right next to the staff toilet) and I thought that was just what they were doing - hanging around the office. So I attempt to push open a cubicle (no go, one had Subin in it and the other contained Rosalind), and get chided with a mock-stern "Eh, there's a toilet queue you know!" Whoops, sorry Daisy.
And when Subin comes out Natalie goes in, which leaves me and Daisy to whinge about how the toilet queue can get so bad there's actually a sofa outside the toilet so people can sit and wait. Rosalind comes out and Daisy lets their SM cut the queue. And I started getting this feeling like if I didn't get my over-sized butt into the rehearsal room quick, TC and Audrey would make char siew out of me. *sigh*
As I sit there (minding my own business... not), I am also treated to a conversation between Daisy, Rosalind and their SM about how guys should put up their toilet seats to avoid sprinkling them, with the poor SM valiantly assuring them that he's the seat-lifting kind... by which time we ALL knew that Rosalind's brother and dad aren't... Yeah. I didn't need to know that either.
Finally Daisy goes in. Alright! I'm next. Sat on sofa next to Subin who was huffing away (i.e. doing breathing warmups) and crossed my fingers in the hope that Daisy's business wasn't, well, big.
And just as I think I should be going in soon... Rajesh emerges from the black box:
Rajesh: (somewhat urgently) Is there a toilet queue?
Me: (slightly cranky) Yeeesss...
Rajesh: Are you next?
Me: (crankier and not caring about the weirdness of daring to be mildly insolent to a GP / Lit tutor at TJC) Yyessss...
Rajesh: Are you having a rehearsal?
Me: (I know what's coming, your show starts in 5 minutes, this is your last chance to pee before you're sealed in the black box and I'm going to have to let you go first, @*&#$(Q*) YYYEEEESSSSSS...
Rajesh: (puppy dawg-eyed) Can I go in first, I -
Me: (completely resigned to my fate) Ooookkkaaaayyyy...
And this exchange took place real quick, with no silence in between lines whatsoever.
Such is the stuff life is made off.
Other than that, rehearsal went on as usual, and it's been getting lots better recently. On a side-note, won what Ave calls the "TC Award" - teeny little tikam toys that he and Rydwan somehow laid their hands on. I still haven't the foggiest what a TC Award is, but the next rehearsal's went to Beck and Siti. Am guessing it's a very hollow little Oscar. Haha. Like kidnergaten, isn't it?
At least I didn't have to pee during any of the runs! =)
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Saturday, 13th March '04
Perhaps Eminem puts it down best:
"It's like my mother always told me... ... Goddammit you little motherfucker, if you ain't got nothing nice to say than don't say nothing."
He has this terrific way of putting things into words so simply. Honest, I mean that. I can't usually agree with his language (and hence I self-censor) but there you go, the essence of it, really.
But here I am, putting things somewhat not-very-nice things to say down on the world wide web. I know some people do it unabashedly, childishly and distastefully and I will not comment on how rude that can be, but hey! Freedom of speech, yeah? You have every right to do so.
An therefore so do I.
A privelleged few have actually heard me use the words "social retard" in the flesh, and that means I've probably vented to you (or you to me), in the effort to keep all of us nice to these very difficult people we run into everyday.
But WHY BOTHER sometimes? Out of a sense of decency most of us have? Even towards people who can seem very much like the scum of the Earth? Personally I know I try to hard to be "everything to everyone" (I don't know who sang that song), and most of my gang of commiserants (is that even a word?) are nice tolerant people. But _aiyoh_, there are some people who just make you want to shove a red-hot poker up their rectums and leave them to writhe in the pain and misery of barbequed fecal matter. Yes, my dears, you do NOT want to mess with me today. Am in a very murderous mood.
So what to me makes a social retard? A social retard is a cumulative thing, a combination of factors that work together to make a person truly intolerable. Mind you, we all exhibit these qualities in some degree or another, yours truly finding a good number in herself. But the socially inept person just exhibits all these in their respective extremes and with no apology (even worse, with pride), and refuse to learn to correct their mistakes. The best part? The social retard has the nerve to complain about other people showing these same flaws.
So here goes my synthesis on the elements of the social retard: (if this sounds disturbingly like a case judgement, you may be right!)
1. They have a LOT to complain about. They're self-righteous and judgmental.
2. They give unsolicited comments about the most unimportant of things. They don't treat the person they're talking to like a PERSON, but more like someone to put down to hide their own pathetic insecurities. They fail spectacularly to abide by Eminem's mother's advice, basically.
3. They attempt to parasite themselves on other people's friends. Sometimes they try to poach them.
4. They don't just attract attention; they attract attention. I say this last bit with the full effect of eye-rolling and sliding inflection.
5. They honestly believe the world revolves around them and their insignificant problems.
6. They blame the trouble they get into because of their own lack of social appropriacy on everyone but themselves.
7. Alternatively, they attribute it to a discrimination of a certain class of people to which they belong, never once realising it might just be them.
8. They victimise themselves and think the entire universe is out to get them (read: why does everyone hate me?).
9. They think they are everything to everyone.
10. They take every kind gesture towards them as either a profession of everlasting friendship or love.
11. They're basically presumptious.
12. They think they're being extremely cool when they bitch or make childish insults. Normal people do this with a sense of moderation and a certain intuition about when enough is enough. Social retards don't.
13. They get jealous easily and, in the interests of truth, quite futilely.
14. They don't take no for an answer.
15. They are too cowardly to tell people outright what they feel about them, and go through grapevines and anonymous messages to do it.
16. They make you feel sad because everyone has to try so hard to be nice to them. It must be a terrible way to live a life.
17. They refuse to accept that people are different and that their view of the way the world is isn't always the way things should be.
18. They inspire people NOT to bitch about them behind their backs, but rather to discuss their flaws with cold analysis and pity. And to stuff red-hot pokers up their rectums, of course.
19. They will probably take this entry very personally and start sending this writer hatemail, hence proving this writer's point.
Whee! One trait for every year of my existence and experience with the 6 social retards I now know.
[2 photographs developed.]
Monday, 8th March '04
I Love You Like Char Siew Bao!
Last weekend of Hell Month is OVER!!! *whoops in delight*. About time we had a rest, even our tutor has gone slightly wonky - when your tutor sends you an email expressing confidence in your memorial-churning-out abilities and encouraging you to stun your opponents and ending off with a zany war cry (read: "woohoo!"), you know it's time to worry. Both for your own mental health and that of the abovementioned tutor.
Was in severe heck-about-it mode this time, so the old 'just whack' philosophy kicked it. Wrote a load of bull and it's now ten minutes till submission closes and I never have to worry about the Civil Law Act and its effect in rendering purely oral contracts unenforceable.
You know what that means? You got it. Woohoo!
But this relates in no way to that curious sounding title I have put up there. The Secrets cast (and anyone who watched Sorrow) will find that sentence structure vaguely familiar, though (Cf. I love you like pat thai; I love you like Sunday; I love you like Golden Mile). But let me just outline my exciting and un-memorial-based life this last weekend, and all will be revealed.
Friday was a major bum-day, and instead of going back to my hall room to commence romancing my memorial, I wound up at Fong Seng romancing a mushroom and cheese prata (Sidenote: if I ever tell you I love you like mushroom and cheese prata, it ain't half bad. It probably means you taste pretty good but are a tad on the pricey side). Went for Repro meeting and spent a good hour and an half talking "male-rooster" with the gang. Considered (very very seriously) skipping the Hockster (fond nickname the guys have given the lecturer) lecture, but guilt and pure En Ying-mugger-toadiness got the better of me. And therefore was amoung the 40% that turned up. Regretted it halfway through the lecture of course, as I always do. But that was probably my own fault for not reading (so what's new?).
Met Kai for a quick snack before going to the Such Sweet Sorrow Gala Event (as much as you could call snacking on buffet beehoon and sotong balls a gala event, heh). Had a great time catching up on life, and discussing friendships and relationships just like the old days. Very very nice. Then made our way to VCH and met up with the Secrets gang before going in.
Comps being allocated right at the back and at the side was not quite fun *sigh*, but one really shouldn't complain when they are COMPS. Thought the show was quite decent, very TNS-y, and I did enjoy the R+J references and found them quite smoothly worked in. I did wish it was a bit more developed, still, the three stories explored (Devi / Utt, Ladan / Laleh, Adrian Lim / Cat Tan) tended to come off a little one-dimensional at times. The show might also have assumed a little too much of the audiences background knowledge and I know I found myself explaining the Adrian Lim story ( my story coming from the Court of Appeal judgement) again on Saturday. And as is TNS tradition, a slight bit too abstract and depressing for my taste. The "backstage" scene was a nice touch though. All the curtains were lifted to reveal the bowels of the backstage area, and Sean (director) and cast members adlibbed a rehearsal. Amusing to say the least, and Pern Yau is hilarious.
Bummed around at the reception with Kai and the Secrets people after the show, ate beehoon, indulged in minor celebrity-spotting (ELDDS senior Beatrice Chia and NUS Theatre Studies founder Mark Richmond) and took photos of ourselve and some of our dates. It's a good thing HP carries her camera everywhere =). But I have nothing to say about TC's photography skills.
Saturday was another run around Singapore day, and started with me waking up late (again!) and cold-shouldering my memorial (again again!) )despite personal resolutions made to the contrary. Also ignored my working-itself-into-quite-a-frenzy conscience and then started off for TNS. Arrived for a short rehearsal with Beck and Siti for the publicity show at Bugis Junction and then the make-up trial began. I actually think I enjoy latex more than face paint, but face paint is easier to remove. Was quite impressed by actually getting made up by a real make-up artist... normally I just cobble things together and hope it looks alright, but Hazlina seemed to know exactly what she was doing. Will have to wait for HP to upload the photos of this! Then, after haunting everyone at TNS and attempting to salvage the royal mess Errol made of Beck's latex (not his fault really, the brush was really horrible), we cabbed down to Bugis for the show.
Walking aroung Bugis is makeup like this is no joke. Everywhere you go, heads turn. It's like being a celebrity with none of the glamour status. I mean, it was amusing and all lah, it being for only a few hours, but imagine living a life like that forever. It's honestly no wonder people like Micheal Jackson have gone a little round the twist.
So we hung around the stage area to avoid being too conspicuous, and one by one the Mixed Blessings cast came up to kaypo our makeup. And you'd think we'd be more interested in their makeup, since it was done by Toni and Guys. Then the show ran, quite normal and road-showy, and Siti was even more amazing than usual - which is saying something! And while we were removing the gunk off our faces in the toilet, the whole queue of ladies were staring and cringing as Siti ripped off the latex... it looks quite cool when it's in the half-on-half-off stage... Freddy Kreuger-ish. Muahaha.
Went home and met Mich and went to watch Sorrow. Again. Had "you're here again?" hurled at me by Su-lin, Sharon, Caroline and Sean, much to the amusment of that cousin of mine. But this time we had way better seats, and proximity really made a heck of a lot of difference, as I was telling Sean. I enjoyed it so much more this time round.
By the time I got home my memorial was suffering from a severe lack of attention and grovelling on the floor somewhere hoping I would start giving a rat's ass about it. As you might imagine, I didn't.
Sunday came. Felt really terrible about kicking my poor memorial out of my life for so long, so kissed and made up, and spent a nice morning snuggled up under the covers together. But I will spare you the sordid details *wink wink*. (Note to self: this "romancing the memorial" theme is going a little too far"). By 3.30pm I was back and Bugis and wondering if I dared to go and join the Mixed Blessings cast and the Festival Fringe crew at the stage area since, in all likelihood, no one would recognize me without all the paint on my face. Decided to wait for Siti and Beck.
Sunday's show was really quite crappy. Everyone was kind of in this chin-chai mood and Daisy was even like "no makeup today? Aiyah, it isn't worth it anyway". Incidentally while everyone on Saturday kaypoed our makeup, on Sunday everyone kaypoed our lack of it. Was mildly miffed that our play will soon be recognised as the "one with the made up kids".
On a lighter note, "backstage" hanging out was quite different on Sunday. It was really quite strange. I mean, on official business Audrey and TC are usually pretty serious. Well, at least TC lah. I don't know if it was the Sunday vibe, but EVERYONE was a little off today. We had too much fun doing up our hair for the show and, I swear, TC was giggling like a schoolgirl when he whiped out a stick of sparkly pink lipstick for my cheek colour (anyone else troubled that he carries that around in his bag?). Me, Beck, Siti and Audrey kept making up ridiculous lines in the vein of Sorrow and going: I love you like char siew bao! I love you like my lantern! I love you like my rag! I love you like Cockroach! And then TC stoned around muttering "I love you like Sunday" to himself, and eventually came up with the weirdest ideas I ever heard from him, including having me do front of house in the whole ghost get-up and tap-dancing to welcome in the audience. And then he and Audrey started getting these very odd ideas about playing tic-tac-toe with the lipstick on my face... Mind you, not once did we hear either of them telling us to focus or get into character or anything. Beck, Siti and I were very entertained, of course, but it WAS puzzling. Do adults REALLY treasure Sundays this much? And it was also damn funny when I accidentally put my finger right into the lipstick on my face and wanted to borrow Siti's rag to clean it off. At first she wouldn't let me... not until I reminded her "but dirty!". Muahaha.
The actual show was just like that lah, Siti was damn good as usual, and I didn't see how Beck's performance was. But as my mic-karma would have it, the curse of mic 1 eventuated... on ME. *sigh* No amount of voice projection would have saved me when it completely failed to work and started triggering off those shrill feedback squeals. That was rather lousy, but the sight of TC mock-scolding the mics person and pouting and swearing never to shop at Bugis Junction again was funny enough to make us all forget about it again. Like I said, he was in a really unusual mood.
After that, well, I went home and had an intense night with the memorial that ended at 4am. Yawn.
Well, guess that's it then! Off to pia criminal tutorial now (like Yun Song says: don't [I] ever give up?). Oh oh, just one last parting shot which popped into my head as I was filling in the title...
Who dares to mess with us will be char siew
Who dares to mess with us will be char siew
Neh nee neh...
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Thursday, 4th March '04
And Again I Say Rejoice
I've never been too articulate about religion. Today I'm going to try.
Yesterday was quite a special day. A senior of mine got diagnosed with lung cancer three weeks back, and to save everyone the agony and to probably give herself alone time to make her peace with Him, she only started to let her closest friends know last weekend. For most of the other people who knew and liked her, who appreciated her being around but never really knew her intimately, we only got the news yesterday or the day before.
And we had a sort of prayer session for her last night, as she went for her operation to remove the tumour. There was only a 20% chance of success, and of course everyone was worried. So yesterday's session was a gathering of faith, the Christians and Catholics, and a few friends of hers from other denominations, just meeting to pray for her, for faith, for confidence, for peace and for everything it would take to get her and her family through this.
Like I said, I've never been a hugely enthusiastic Christian myself. Heck, I don't go to church because I'm lazy and because I don't like Christians when they're trying to act in a Christian capacity. Most of the time I've just felt out of place and I spend the time counting down to the time I could leave. Most of the time I roll my internal eyes and the palm-raising, wierd accented prayers and songs and seemingly-illogical, or could-be-explained-by-pure-coincidence testimonies. I do believe in my way, I guess, I don't know if it's His way, but it's definitely not the traditional way that most other Christians I know do.
But truly there was something special about last night, and I'm glad I turned up for it at the expense of a Secrets rehearsal. For the record, I was feeling apprehensive of my choice. I mean, look, there were people who were counting on me to go to the rehearsal and play my part, and then there was someone I only knew for a few months embarking on a life-changing operation. I didn't quite know who I had a duty to, and being the incorrigibly pragmatic person I am, it seemed an obvious choice. I'd say my prayers, then go for rehearsal, right? What's the point of missing my rehearsal when all I could give my friend by going for the service was to sit and mumble words to myself. It wasn't like I would be actually DOING anything for her in real practical terms.
I don't know why lah. I might not even go as far as to say He spoke to me or anything. But there _was_ a form of calling, a kind of impulse that might have just been triggered when another senior told me to "just try [to go] lah, it's really for a good cause". Anyways, before I knew what happened I had gotten hold of Mei and explained why, if it would be alright, I wouldn't be at rehearsal that night. Maybe I was just subconciously living that thing that I'm supposed to be doing in acting, going with the flow, trusting my heart over my head, throwing rationality to the wind.
Something that struck me about the gathering. Everyone was always smiling. It was like there was His presence there, there was a sense of calm that settled on the room as we sang racously, feet stomping and hands clapping, glorifying His name. A feeling of peace as we examined various Bible verses to remind ourselves how to pray, with humility and confidence and faith, in Jesus' name, and that we had to first cleanse ourselves of sin because a righteous man's prayer holds much more authority. And after three hours of devoting ourselves and my senior to his guidance, the strange and perhaps "incorrect" feeling of excitement and looking forward to the SMSes her sisters were sending to update us. It was, to quote Luke (another senior, not the Biblical guy), "the faith to look death in the eye", and the confidence that His will would be done.
The operation proceeded in two stages, one to remove a brace that supported her ribcage since a gymnastics injury. The second stage would start after the session, and that was the one to remove the tumour, the one with only a 20% success rate. And the first part finished more than an hour ahead of time. I can't explain how it was, we prayed in stages, we were just chucking all thoughts of practice moots and contract tutorials away and giving ourselves to Him, and it just got easier and more "secure" feeling with time. And when the news came through it was like... woah? I'm not quite sure how to say it.
Then Evan, Joyce and Luke shared stuff about my senior, how she was so at peace and always smiling, and having so much faith in Him that she wasn't fearful at all, and that she was even going to school and handing in her assignments and not letting the whole affair affect her life because she had given it all to Him to handle. It was amazing to see what faith could do. And we gave thanks for the opportunity had given her to be closer to Him and for us to see the work He did through her.
And normally I hate evangelism. I hate the way it's carried out in church, I think a lot of times people are just swept alone with the emotion of the moment, and a lot of the reasoning that they give first-time believers for converting are some of the most logically falacious assertions I have ever heard. But when Luke invited the non-Christians to join us in the Sinner's Prayer, I couldn't help but feel this was what it was all about. It was like the first time in my life I felt an evangelism was going right. None of the melodramatic exhortations of the priest, none of the pretentious raise-your hand, stand-up junk. Just this perfectly ordinary fella doing what he knew his friend would have wanted, and sharing the joy and forgiveness we've found in our salvation. Still, we could all feel the peace He gave, and even if we didn't know how the second op would go, we had joy and we were sure of His love. It was amazing how much grinning and laughing was going on during such a poignant moment.
So after it all we left, we went home, we prayed more, we left it to Him. And although this is both the most and the least important thing about this entry, she's alright. He brought her through, the operation was a success. Praise the Lord.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Monday, 1st March '04
Ah yes. Week 3 of Hell Month is over. One more weekend with my Final Moot Memorial and I will have a two week "pseudo-respite" before the moots.
In the meanwhile, I have found a really beautiful sappy song. Either I am growing soft, or John Mayer has quite an influence. Actually at the rate I rave about the dude I think it's the latter. But really, I haven't ever heard an artist who puts such lovely ideas into such simple words, and whose songs I relate to so very very easily. And the neat things about indie releases such as these are that they are so very raw and unadulterated... unlike commerically produced albums. Speaking of which, I have also realized why Jason Mraz tends to remind me of John Mayer and John Mayer tends to remind people of Dave Mathews. SAME PRODUCER.
I just remember that time at the market, snuck up behind me and jumped on my shopping cart.
And rolled down aisle five.
You looked behind you to smile back at me; crashed into a rack full of magazines.
They asked us if we could leave.
Can't remember what went wrong last September. Though I'm sure you'd remind me if you had to.
Our love was comfortable and so broken in.
I sleep with this new girl I'm still getting used to.
My friends all approve say "she's going to be good for you".
They throw me hi-fives.
She says the Bible is all that she reads, prefers that I not use profanities.
Your mouth was so dirty.
Life of the party, and she swears that she's artsy.
But you could distinguish Miles from Coltrane.
Our love was confortable and so broken in.
She's perfect, so flawless. Or so they say, say.
She thinks I can't see the smile that she's faking, and poses for pictures that aren't being taken.
I loved you, grey sweatpants. No make-up, so perfect.
Our love was comfortable and so broken in.
She's perfect, so flawless. I'm not impressed. I want you back.
Now doesn't that just make you want to cry? And yes, if anyone wants to get me the "Any Given Thursday" DVD, you'll be very much appreciated.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]