Wednesday, 20th October '04

But Till That Day, I Said You Got To Keep The Faith...

If ou don't already know, I get a huge kick out of songs and song lyrics. And since today I'm in a very good mood (Jia came to visit, I've finished my Property tutorial - well almost, I had dinner with my juniors at PGP, I have downloaded 3 more eps of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I have had a good long chat on MSN with Ningz and Kai, I have had a little SMS conversation with Bert about his impending BMT), you all get happy lyrics.

This must be the happiest song I know. And wonderfully uplifting.

"Keep The Faith"
-- Michael Jackson


If you call out loud, will it get inside?
Through the heart of your surrender; to your alibis
And you can say the words like you understand
But the power's in believing, so give yourself a chance

'Cause you can climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea
All you need is the will to want it, and a little self-esteem

So keep the faith, don't let nobody turn you round
You got to know when it's good to go to get your dreams up off the ground
So keep the faith, baby, yeah
Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out
Believe in yourself no matter what it's gonna take
You can be a winner but you gotta keep the faith

Gon' keep it brother, you got it

And when you think of trust does it lead you home?
To a place that you only dream of when you're all alone
And you can go by feel instead of circumstance
But the power's in believing, so give yourself a chance

I know that you can sail across the water
Float across the sky, high
Any road that you take will get you there if you only try

So keep the faith, don't let nobody take you down, brother
Just keep your eyes on the prize and your feet flat on the ground
So keep the faith, baby, yeah
Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out
I told my brother how to do the thing right
Lift up your head and show the world you got pride
Go for what you want don't let them get in your way
You can be a winner but you got to keep the faith

Gon' keep it brother, you got it

I know that keeping the faith means never giving up on love
But the power that love has to make it right...
Makes it, makes it right

So keep the faith, don't let nobody turn you round, brother
You got to know when it's good to go and get your dreams up off of the ground
So keep the faith, baby, yeah
Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out

Better stand up and act like you wanna do right
Don't play the fool for the rest of your life
Work on it brother and you'll make it someday
Go for what you want and don't forget the faith
Look at yourself and what you're doing right now
Stand back a minute just to check yourself out
Straighten up your life and how you're living each day
Get yourself together 'cause you got to keep the faith

Don't let nobody take you down brother
Just keep your eyes on the prize and your feet flat on the ground
So keep the faith, baby, yeah
Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out

Lift up your mind before your mind gets blown
Some things in life you're best just leave them alone
Go for what you want don't let it get in your way
You can make it happen but you got to keep the faith

Gon' keep it brother; you got to keep the faith
Yeah, keep the faith
Gon' keep it sista; you got to keep the faith

I told my brother how to do the thing right
Lift up your head and show the world you got pride
Go for what you want don't let them get in your way
You can be a winner if you keep the faith
Straighten out yourself and get your mind on track
Dust off your butt and get your self-respect back
You've known me long enough to know that I don't play
Take it like you want it but you got to keep the faith

Don't let nobody take you down
Just keep your eyes on the prize and your feet flat on the ground

So keep the faith, baby, yeah
Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out

But till that day, I said you gotta keep the faith


big grin

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:04 pm
[2 photographs developed.]


Saturday, 16th October '04

Last Weekend, This Weekend

I know, I know, a rather uninspired title. It'll be a rare occurence, I promise. And I know I haven't blogged in quite a bit... so I'm just doing the quick updating thing, in choronological order, I hope.

1. Weekend started early last Thursday (just before the brownie episode), becuase I decided to be a bum and boycott my single, 45 minute, Friday CLT lecture. To travel 2 hours to go for that lecture and another hour or so to get home after it? No thank you. This will be the second lecture in my university life that I have voluntarily skipped.

2. Singapore Idol was a disaster. Short of Olinda being just fabulous as usual (if anyone but her wins it I'll be convinced forever that Singapore has nothing that can, by any stretch of imagination, be called TASTE). Sylvester grew on me a bit... but is still unforgiven for butchering Bon Jovi's "Always" in the semis. Daphane is one abysmal performer (don't tell me that someone who whines like that can be called a singer), but she has NOTHING on Christopher and Jerry Ong (c.f. to JY for how to use "jerryong" as a verb, adjective and goodness only knows what else). Both had absolutely no sense of tune or pitch. Both were victims of a SERIOUSLY misguided faith in their non-existant vocal prowess. And of course I have to comment on Chinhao / David, whom I spent money voting for AGAIN. He was a bit off, but was definitely credible - albeit while delivering a slightly manic redition of "Johnny B Goode".

3. Singapore Idol results. CAN YOU TAKE ME OUT AND SHOOT ME NOW?!? I was actually upset by the whole bloody affair. Very upset. Why? Singapore kicked Chinhao out. WTF? When there were "Chrissypoo", Jerry Ong and Daphane to lose? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD, MAMA? There are a couple of lessons to be learnt here, I suppose, one of them being that you should never sacrifice a whole semester of law school to bank your career on a competition that is controlled by the popular vote of a nation of deaf monkeys. Another lesson perhaps, should be learnt by Freemantle Media and the whole Idol franchise. Please, DON'T grant Idol licensing rights to countries where the population size and cultural mentality of the country is unsuited to (i.e. way too immature) to handle the responsibility. Statistically it's a bad (no, terrible) move - and excuse the academic exercise here - because our sample size is simply too small. Without dredging up A-level Maths Options all over again, the logic is undeniable: the influence of a small pool of "church friend voters" (which explains how the critically acclaimed - everyone who claimed to watch him was critical - Jerry Ong jerryonged his way through to the next round) and "stupid bessotted teenybopper voters" (to explain the admittedly quite cute Chrissypoo) is just too huge on the small sample size. Add to that the fact that apart from Ken Lim, the judges chosen to chair the whole affair are inarticulate, and as biased as heck... and that these judges are prominent people in the local music scene... well, you can see why our local music scene, in a word, sucks. It is honestly shameful, the kind of people we're putting through. At this rate, when World Idol next comes around, I will not dare to say I'm Singaporean for the sheer fact that we'll probably have chosen for our IDOL, an annoying, tone-deaf idiot with no personality. Singapore Idol is a farce, I tell you.

4. DE Chalet... only went in for a couple of hours to drop off the brownies, sort photos (ack!) with Mel and Daniel, and lick at Ben and Jerry's after Eunice, Meishen and Yijie came. Fun, although I was still pissed off at Singapore Idol. Mel and I spent a couple of minutes bitching about the results though.

5. Went swimming on Saturday with Ave (who still refuses to actually SWIM sleepy ). Got decently tanned, and I want to go again! Swimming rocks... and we had an interesting time sloshing at the side of the pool and getting tossed around by the "Lazy River".

6. Ballet Under the Stars later that night, with Ave, Siti and Aud. Maybe this whole episode should better be known as the "Asian Food Picnic", heh. confused It was way fun, we should do this again sometime. My second batch of brownies made their appearance, and Siti's mum made this potato/egg dish. Ave's spicy tofu was surprisingly well-received and Aud filled us all up with all the prata, rice, and chicken we needed. It was great! Except that we sat on a slope and I kept sliding down the hill... and it was so funny to see the angmohs and their huge wicker baskets lined with checkered cloth, and that they were eating angmoh-ish things like bread and butter and grapes out of real plates and drinking wine out of wine glasses... Aud's quite taken with the baskets now, I gather. They looked like they came right out of an Enid Blyton book. Before the show we also ran into Jeffrey (!) who, quite amusingly, was sitting outside the toilet building freaking out. First thing he said when he saw me was "Eh ,very scared leh!". Sigh. Scared what scared... this time he's actually working with professionals. But it was interesting to know that even people with this much experience still get pre-show jitters. And then the show itself... well... first item, the African Labarena was a little strange, but grew on me as time went by... I liked the solos... second item, Jeffrey's choreo of Last Watch. I'm expecting a few eyebrow raises here, but I'll go out on a limb and say it was a little boring. Still had a bit of the Jeffrey flavour, but not much. In fact, it was almost fullout classical, and the pas de deux went on too long... the programme blurb was incomprehensible and he was trying to be cheem again. Third item, The Lost Space - I really liked this one! Started out slow, and then proceeded to get wierder and wierder. I like wierd! The music was great too... some percussion thing, and the choreo was exciting and WIERD! smile I was surprised I liked it, though, I'm not usually a fan of ethnic-fusion things.

6. With Sunday came tech class and I managed to make my lazy-assed way down. Zaini's new choreo is Zaini-er than ever... haha. plain And there was so much scooping and flailing movement that we were slapping each other right left and centre in the CFA Dance Studio. Ouch. The next morning Liang Ying, Liang Wei and I kept moaning about aches and pains and how we were convinced we nearly killed nearby dancers - especially during this "aeroplane, attitude turn, turning jump, double chaine, double pirroutte" sequence from hell.

7. Sunday night and I GOT PGP!! Was estatic, to say the least.

8. Spent the whole week cleaning up PGP room and moving in bit by bit. Attempted to actually study, of course.

9. Thursday night and we've come full circle to talking about Singapore Idol again. This time the whole thing was a DISASTER. Only Olinda did brilliantly, singing Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" with all the oomph needed. Taufik was surprisingly credible, doing Earth Wond and Fire's "September". I think the best thing about Taufik (much as I called him a useless coconut earlier on in the show) is that he can actually dance quite decently. It's very strange to watch the rest of the contests trying to sing disco songs without moving. Or, in Maia's case, dancing like a pole dancer. And just when I thought Chrissypoo and Jerry Ong could sink no lower, they did. This Christopher person has an incredible knack for picking songs WAY out of his league. At some stage in the competition he tried to sing a Josh Groban! How misguided can one get? This time he sang a song called "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and Dick Lee's simple rejoinder was "you make me feel like vomitting". Rude, but accurate, really. And Jerry Ong simply forgot this was a singing competition. All he did was talk into the mic, wave and smile affectedly to the audience, and then wave and smile somemore after the judges gave him comments to the effect of "I don't know what the hell you're still doing here". It also amazes me that the judges continue to praise Daphane up to the skies when, really, her performance was about a mediocre as mediocre can get. Sylvester was a huge disappointment that night as well. Sorry man, I know you want to get the rocker thing going on, but to not put any effort into your disco night is just plain arrogance. He sang with no heart, no spirit and no effort whatsoever. His body language screamed "you know what? I don't like disco, I'm just not going to even try". Disgusting. And THEN one last rant - Asian people cannot say the word "boogie" with out sounding spastic. Worse still when they try to say "boogie woogie" - it's hair-raising. But for some reason almost every song sung had the word "boogie" in it somewhere.

10. Friday night. Idol results: Jerry Ong will jerryong no more. Like, THANK YOU!

11. Saturday morning. Have been blogging for the past hour. Is now time to float some charges (um, if you don't get this, nevermind).

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:08 am
[9 photographs developed.]


Friday, 8th October '04

Yum Yum Yum

Ah, my brownies rock. What a day for me.

Verdict: Betty Crocker is better that Pilsbury's... chewier, richer, better topskin texture. *chomp*

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 06:10 pm
[2 photographs developed.]


Doughboy's Out

Doesn't look quite as good as Betty, right now. No nice topskin, and he's bubbly round the edges. The edges, by the way, have not pulled away from the sides of the pan as cleanly as one might hope. BUT his toothpick was clean (3rd try) so I took him out lest he burn and become, well, Black Boy.

Given the vast number of entries posted today, I should probably note that readers should be reading from the BOTTOM of the home page. If not, well... you'll be watching my brownie opus unfold backwards.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:32 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Take THAT, BBL! *makes rude hand gesture*

Yeeha!

Betty looks perfect. Shiny and brown on the top with the right flaky topskin texture. Toothpick inserted 2 inches from the side came out clean FIRST TIME! *does a little jig of joy*

Doughboy still looks a little deflated. Didn't expand (or dry out) as fast as Betty. Inserted toothpick in equivalent spot and it came out dragging along all a whole lot of little new friends made. Bunged Doughboy back in the oven for a couple more minutes.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:25 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


I Fell Asleep. Err...

And therefore it took me this long to get to this point.

Ok. Did all the pre-heating of oven and mixing of stuff just right (if you ignore the fact that I forgot how to convert Farenheit to Celcius and had to make a quick trip to the computer to check that up on the internet). Realised that I have also probably forgotten how to convert Celcius to Kelvin. What, plus 273? Something like that? What does it matter anyway?

Dumped Betty Crocker into the over on 180 degrees (CELCIUS!). She started expanding pretty early on. Perhaps she's been eating too many of her own brownies.

Dumped Doughboy (Pilsbury's the name, but I like to call him Doughboy) into the oven 20 minutes later. If my maths hasn't deteriorated to Limin-esque standards, that would mean that both should emerge, crispy and chewy, in 25 minutes, at the same time. With a LOT of luck.

Maybe now would be agood time for an intermission so that I can tell you about my bad brownie luck (henceforth referred to as BBL). Well, my BBL is baaaaddd. Since I was in primary school I have not made a single decent brownie. Previous attempts have included extremely undercooked brownies that leak out their inside when cut, burnt brownies (a result of trying to avoid the results of the session before), and perfectly done but extra-ultra-uber-damn-motherfriggin'-sweet! brownies guaranteed to shoot your islets of langerhans straight to hell and give you diabetes in a day.

So for the girls watching Ballet Under the Stars, and the folks attending the Dance Ensemble Cast Party, good luck!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:17 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Play That Funky Music, Brown Boy!

Haha. Above line was something shouted by some audience member to Arvin during the return concert. Mildy funny, in a semi-racist sort of way smile, hee.

Return concert was a blast. I mean, of COURSE the bands weren't perfect, but they were certainly more than halfway decent. Great repetoire, and Ziliang and Arvin can really sing... which is ALWAYS a good thing. Sigh. I think I've been Radiohead-converted. Plus, they actually had variety. Sam is a creepily good magician, and Zhiqian and Bernia and Julia really did have the Chinese singer thing going on. If Julia would just remember her lyrics.

And was I super-impressed with the effort Liangwei, Zhu and the rest of the class comm put in. Compared to that awful sham we came up with last year, wow!

But I'm here, really to avoid starting to read my cases again *retch* and to blog, by way of distraction, about my brownies. I'm cooking for potlucks again, and I decided I was sick of cheesecakes. They're not the cheapest things either. What the heck, I'm going to be lazy and use instant mix brownies.

I haven't even really started on those either, but I'll be back to report throughout the course of baking. Real time updates, people! You'll know the minute:
(a) something goes wrong and I mix in the wrong things and hence start screaming hysterically,
(b) the oven shortcircuits - it has happened before and now mum insists i wear Dad's rubber surgical gloves whenever I tweedle the dials,
(c) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(d) I burn myself withdrawing said toothpick and swear colourfully,
(e) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(f) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(g) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(h) I wonder why I'm such an impatient little twerp sleepy
(i) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(j) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(k) I worry that my brownie is going to have a LOT of obvious holes in it,
(l) I poke the toothpick in and it doesn't come out clean,
(m) I decide that I will cut up the brownie and eat the holely bit myself,
(n) THE TOOTHPICK COMES OUT CLEAN! CLEAN!!!
(o) I fight with the tray and can't get the bloody thing out,
(p) I wonder why the brownie tastes too sweet and manufactured,
(q) I decide to just shove it and bring it to the potluck.

oh OH! Maybe I don't have to update you anymore. Will only update if the predictions turn out to be wrong. rolls eyes

Right, now one more thing. If you've had enough of brownies and brown boys, check out some brown girls! Yes, the refugees cum prostitutes that keep unceremoniously throwing up their skirts. My "The Next Wave" pictures can be found here. More specifically, and these links show the image view (not the thumbnail view), there are the full dress rehearsal pictures taken by the official photographer, and the happy shots that mysteriously satisfied appeared in my camera.

You can probably find links to other photos, most notably the Bangkok pictures and the Presentation photos there, but I'll link each album individually someday.

Enjoy! I'm off to lunch.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:07 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Monday, 4th October '04

It's About Time

So I got inspired by a nice long conversation I had today with couple of friends, and I got into the mood to blog down one of the wisest songs I've ever heard on the subject. I like it because it's light and hopeful, and gives the subject the most frank yet un-jaded treatment I've seen in a while.

I guess in many ways this is for all the singles who have been subject to many well-wishing friends entreating us to do something about our love lives, while we all know it's not that we don't want it, but it's just not coming. And we know better than to rush it. Don't get bitter, dears.

"It's About Time"
-- Jamie Cullum


Walking down to the water's edge where I have been before.
If I don't find my love sometime, I'm walking out that door.
Some may come and some may go but no one seems to be the person I've been searching for, the one who's meant for me.

Biding my time, trying to find a heart that's lonely.
Looking for her, my love my one and only.
Maybe I'll dream, tonight, about the girl who'll be coming my way.
So I'll take this chance and celebrate the day...

When I'm making my way through an open door, I've got some love and so much more and I'm ready to make someone mine.
Making my way through an open door, I've got some love and so much more and I'll find her, 'cos it's about time.

You try too hard and it feels just like you're running on thin air.
Why does luck happen by surprise if you don't really care?
The past is gone, the flames are out from fires that have burned.
New ideals and different thoughts from lessons I have learned.

Got the feeling this could take a pretty long while - to find that smile.
Put my faith in another piece of good advice - well, I tried that twice.
Waiting for, a little something more, to inspire, take me higher...

And I'm ready to make someone mine.

I'm making my way through an open door, I've got some love and so much more and I'll find her, 'cos it's about time.

It's about time.


en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:30 pm
[2 photographs developed.]