Wednesday, November 30, 2005
They sure give so much coverage for the SEA Games as a form of encouragement and a way for us at home to support! 1 hour! I couldn't ask for more!
Oh yes, in 1 hour, i am able to see every single movement detail of a wushu exponent, i am able to learn the little itty bitty techniques from a taekwondo match, i can critque the sprinting techniques of a sprinter, i can cheer the swimmers all the way, i can silently whisper go-go! to our snooker-ians, and scream and jump as i watch our sprinters pound on the track, i can stay attuned to take note of the opponent's weaknesses and strongpoints in a badminton match, i can also watch my archers in action for ALL THEIR EVENTS: men, women in compound and recurve!
YEAH PEOPLE YEAH!
All in ONE SPANKINGLY GOOD HOUR!
ABSOLUTELY BRAINSMASHINGLY TOTALLY MINDWRECKINGLY GOODASMOOSHINGLY WOOONDDDEERRRFOOOOLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sheesssshhhh. Here's an open letter that i just MIGHT edit and send. *ROAR!*
Would you be so kind as to up the number of hours of screen time? It IS the SEA Games you know and our nation is interested, aren't they? We've got legions of young and impressionable minds out here waiting to be inspired and, and we'd LOVE to see our heroes in action.
Yours truly... (truly annoyed)
p.s: the only thing that i'm pleased about is that the 1 hour occurs at 6pm, and not at some unearthly morning hour when everyone's still meditating horizontally.
Monday, November 28, 2005
(Jo brandishes her compound bow in the air proudly, as she prepares to go for a long overdue shoot at the jurong range)
Sister: "More like from the dust".
Shooting went well today, though i had to bring down the poundage of my bow lest i burst a brain vein when i draw it. Grouping was good at 18m (distance used in indoor shoots), though in all honesty, i think the improper target sheet wasn't a good enough gauge of how consistent my form REALLY is.
Ok, that was just some rubbish post to update this place. Might edit or strip it down. *yawn* I'm awful sleepy. Am gonna shut down, right about... Now.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
C'mon, archery is doubtlessly a garang looking sport, and if i may further say so, it also looks real atas, therefore somehow that made-up model, with that photoshopped-to-perfection sort of image didn't quite cut it to look very fitting and if anything, looked quite lame and poseurish. And hur, did you see the way she was holding it like some musical instrument in the article, think: cello or double bass?
(this isn't to say that it cannot be poetic looking/interpreted as some sort of art too)
But, bleargh, I say. Let our National archer, B, (who was in the article) pose for the front page! He would do the bow and the image of archery a lot more justice. What's with the female-dominated-cover-page mentality.
About time i got back to training. Sundays at the range and other extra days, it will be, when the outdoor competition draws nearer. Yoo hoo, youth folks at the A.C.S, are you with me on this?
I've finally gone for a lock chop, but i can't say i look any more different than before. It's just a shorter and marginally neater version of my previous do. And yet still, i need to blow dry it straight.
Now, to dye it. Brown head or red head. *cocks a brow*
My Gem has so graciously offered to bleach me some streaks. Ah now, isn't he sweet. ;-) The only problem is, that i CANNOT FIND HAIR BLEACH, and i will not go to a hair salon because my pockets seem to be...
Hm. What pockets.
And finally, the thing he greeted me with this morning that i shall openly reciprocate here:
A Happy 2nd to us, this cheery, sunny, blue-skyed and white clouded day with the gorgeous rainbow sunset that wrapped up our day and now this post, on a short but sweet note.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
One cheery weekend day, my folks and i went to Clementi and before i got to witness exactly how it was driven, this little vehicle from some era chugged itself into a parking lot and out hopped an elderly couple. I was astounded because: HELLO?! No DOORS? Not scared anyone will steal stuff (if there's anything worth stealing?) or not scared they hot wire it ah? Hm. Then again, i don't know how this thing works, so, yeah. Maybe got force field to protect it one.
For this reason of its sheer novelty, it was refreshing to see it stand right out from the sea of the now newer but generally all similar looking cars. Merc to Merc, Nissan to Nissan, Toyota, to Toyota to Toyota (to the power of 100), etc. Couldn't help but take a shot of this one. To me, it looks like a birdlike face with one eye looking down and the other, up. And this, my friends, is probably one of the best meals that lazy bums like myself have been waiting for forever. Maggi and Myojo has never reached such heights of genius invention. We now have... The Dodo Instant Mee Pok! And believe it or not, it tastes NOTHING like what you might expect instant mee to taste like, because though granted it could do with more ingredients, it serves up a pretty mean meal for something that you only need to microwave for 2 minutes.
It even contains fishballs (which are NOT pathetic little freeze dried lumps that measure 1cm in diameter) and the chilli that is already inside is quite good too. I think there was fishcake and veg too, but i can't be sure, please don't hold me on this because i was too hungry to note anything more then what i've already stated. Altogether, not 100% perfect hawker fare, BUT, close enough, maybe 90%. They've got a few other kinds too, like Laksa, but i was recommended this one by the sales girl. (the difference and possibly the downside to this (?) i guess is, is that you need to store it in a freezer or was it fridge, and not a cupboard)
Friday, November 18, 2005
- exceptional lack of respect for life, and the dead. Truly remarkable.
- It's possible for people to compartmentalize their compassion for kin versus the rest of humanity. And it's not simple apathy for them, it's pure murder.
- And they can even sleep on it and get up the next day and do it all over again.
- a reunion with the rest of family might be a stupid OR smart move, depending on which circumstance you can live with, the before and aftermath.
- it's better to be dead sometimes.
- branded, mentally tortured, marginalized, voiceless.
- Wot's a poor little piano man got to do in a war like that. Anyway, you've got to hand it to him (the actual person) and the actor too, Adrien Brody.
- I wonder what God did with Hitler. And don't you think that "Hitler" is such an apt name for a man like that.
- I am amazed at selfless generousity for someone else, even if it means that you'll be left with one less truthworthy thing or person to look forward to everyday, while still staring in the face of death.
- You think that such horrors only happen in the past, that it's poo poo that a bloodbath history can repeat, and that people today are more civilised? Look around you right now, and think again.
- What would it take to ignite yet another world war. And... On whose terms?
- The way He (the Pianist) feels his way around what used to be someone's home (which is now just a heap of debris that represents all the fragments of someone's past), reminds me of how we peruse Anne Frank's private diary today.
- Don't you just love it that a piano can always exist where a single human exists no more?
- Mmm. Music as bribery, buying your way into a stone cold heart. Ok, maybe not bribery. But it sure melted it, if it wasn't bought. Recalls: "You're a Musician?"
- Nice. Music can save your life, and quite literally too eh. Gotta get me a Diploma in one-nah those.
- Bless his soul, that German officer.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Till this day, i wonder what might've happened if i had been exposed to more extra non academic activities when i was a sponge brained kid (now, brain is like a tough and old coral). I was blessed to have had piano lessons and art classes, though the latter was short lived. I pursued the piano, but after a dwelling location shift, the lessons stopped altogether and besides, i wasn't too keen on picking it up again because i didn't appreciate the classical music training (why do we need to be trained based on classical music anyway?).
It might've been a mistake to cease, because who knows what else i could have picked up from the techniques even if classical music was ugly to look at on paper and too tough for my short fingers. (pessimism?)
Other times, i look at myself and think... Why do i have all these muscles for?! Why didn't i pick up/given an opportunity at (whatever sport i liked and was good at) earlier and why wasn't i given a chance to excel? I'm not trying to glorify myself here, but from an objective point of view, i WAS born with more muscles mass than most females and i did/do have a natural advantage in certain sports. Back in school, i've always been picked to sprint, to do javelin and shot put.
No prizes for guessing why. *pokes thunder thighs and bulging biceps* 8-P
And more recently, i had a bout with the archery national team, which in the end didn't fully materialize due to politics and i believe, happened only to teach me humility.
Ah well, maybe in future, i will be using these muscles to carry tons of boxes of medical aid and stuff to people in need... Erm. Ok, i really have NO idea. Aiya, it's all about the timing and God's plan for me, which i need to learn to have no quarrel with but to be obedient and humble enough to listen and obey.
There're so many things i want to try. A new sport, a new skill. But each time i voice out such a desire, i'm told: Don't be a jack of all trades and master of none. Concentrate on one area and be good in it.
Guess it's not just me who curbs my own growth, huh.
I believe that there is wisdom in that, however, i also do think that it's myopic if one were to take that as 100% true and follow it religiously.
I believe that one should be given chances to find out where the talents lie, and you cannot do that by concentrating in one area and hammering at it like your life depended on it. You need to feel around, try out the basics of an activity, see if your mind and body feels comfortable when immersed in doing something.
It's when people give themselves ample opportunity to experiment, when their horizons begin to broaden, where the mental, physical and emotional aspects of the human being is refined. You sharpen your psyche, you attune your body to deal with the rigours of various physical demands, and better still when you are able to fuse these aspects into one, as you allow interaction and application between the two.
And you wonder why some people are so well rounded, and i don't mean in physical shape.
Of course this is not limited to *learning something* per se, but you might include something like overcoming a personal struggle or fear, doing something out of your comfort zone or coming to terms with old ghosts and skeletons in the closet, etc.
I don't want to wait till the day my mind fossilizes, when my finger curls into gnarled claws, when all my money is spent on family expenses, when i come of age where there's a high chance that my eyes fail me, when my strength is close to zero, when my heart cannot take bungee jumping,... (you get the idea)
I don't want wait until i am an old, stinky, slobby dog with severe incontinence before i begin my quest to quench this thirst of curiousity. The exploratory and dare-to-do journey must begin, as i turn the knobs (and maybe pick the locks) and step through the many doors before me. I surely hope that the doors have Exit signs when i turn around to see them from the inside, in cases when and if i have to turn tail. But most of all, in my journeys, as i step into the enticing worlds that beckon to me beyond the door frames, i want to discover and be revealed THE path.
And if i do venture onto treacherous grounds, boggy sandpits, deep dark jungles where no light reaches...
:-) I know i am not alone.
When you are in a tough situation, don't ask God to help you "GET OUT of it" but rather, ask God WHAT you can "get out OF IT".
As i look back on some of the events in my life, i've come to the conclusion that i have been greatly crippled by my pessimism.
Times when i say, "Ah, it can't be done" or, "Ah, it's not there", and other non positive and defeatist attitude kinds of statements, someone or some thing will come through, showing me that i was wrong and that it's NOT impossible. And often times, i have had to eat my words and swallow my bitter ball of pride and tell myself that next time: Pursue the matter more, you! Or you'll never succeed while others will.
Pessimism, is this mental cancer. I refuse to call it "My" mental cancer, because i refuse to make it mine, to attach it to myself for life. No. That is not what anyone should be declaring and if you've taken pessimism to an unhealthy level, i suggest that you shouldn't continue living in it, relating yourself to it as though you've resigned yourself to being controlled by it and limp in its clutches.
But it acts as a double edged sword as well. One edge that serves to protect you from taking far fetched, crazy risks that might kill you, and as said above, the other edge serves to bite you back in your posterior.
That said, but as i've witnessed for far too long already, it stunts a person's growth and not only does it stunt one, but it can also tear down a team of people. I think that the pessimism should be shrunken down - Shrunken down to a size small enough for it to be your servant, rather than something that is your master.
So get this:
Being a pessimist limits our vision, curbs our sense of self confidence in our capability to take on seemingly iffy challenges and risks, keeps us in a safe little pen that will over time become stale and barren. For all you know, there're just about a hundred things you CAN DO, but all you ever did, was stay on the safe side of the river, preferring not to venture out on new and possibly better pastures as you discover what you are good at and are able to accomplish.
I think our attitudes towards the paths ahead should take the form of:
Come on, think a little further about the "what ifs", the probability of what IF i can do it. Imagine what i could learn if i took the chance. Take a step forward on to that stepping stone. Looks slippery, i might fall, but let's give it a go. Now take one step, ah hah, and another... And another...
Maybe mommy was right to say that i should do more housework. Hey, if it helps me lose some
Saturday, November 12, 2005
*ahem* Very cute.
I still stand by my preference for teaching adults, but ok, i fear children less now. I beg you, oh powerful chewbaka like things, pray not to tilt the balance and break the sanctity of peace as it presently is on a precarious level of achieving equilibrium...
Ours was a tiny little booth, not more than just perhaps 11m by 3m or 4m or so, with two target boards plastered with 2 of the 122cm in diameter target faces. (which, for your information, is used for targets 70 metres away)
Wonder if i can take some photos to share. I should be going back to help on sunday again. Oh, and there's this food fare next door. Ok only if you like to sample food.
Lah dee dah. Oh and S.O. has told me that Art Friend has made their debut at Taka! WOOHOO! And i is also a friend of Art Friend now, because i has signed on as a member. Art Friend, you is my new friend, i lub you.
Oh, imagine all the things i can make for occasions with the whole vast array of materials. Yes, i shall attempt to be more original with my gifts. You lucky end year birthday babies, you.
Friday, November 11, 2005
The big (erm, well, not sure how big, but bigger than our booth, that's for sure) occasion being held is the Asian Children's Festival, at Hall 6A, 11th of Nov to the 13th of Nov, till 9pm.
And we, the good people from the Archery Club of Singapore will be there to look cool with our bows and arrows, to also psycho impressionable young children as well as entice kiasu parents into believing that archery is a very very beneficial sport for their little sponge brains.
Which shouldn't be hard because archery IS a darn garang sport. So come on down man! Can come and boost your ego (think: suave and smooth Legolas) and you can be surrounded by our futures of tomorrow, happy and excitedly screaming kiddos! Oh, Life is so bright and beautiful!
The bad news: Shooting does not come free lah. We is non profitable organization, one.
Good news: Today, I will grace the booth from 4pm onwards.
Ok, enough shameless advertising.
Coach Joline, out.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Mom: "Ok, ok."
And in my childlike ignorance, i had always thought that it would materialize, even though time and time again, i was disappointed. I can't really say that i've grown out of that stage that wished for a miniature stove. Because... I've been wanting a mini wok for the longest time and NOW, i've got one! Whee!
It makes cooking with a wok a breeze because it's lightweight and takes managebility to new heights. I love my new mini wok.
And this would be its virgin dish. Fried... Erm, i believe, they are french beans. I think.
For mom's birthday, we got to dine at Yuki Yaki, a japanese cook-your-own-dinner-on-hot-plate thingy over at Marina Square. Each table is equipped with a hotplate covered by aluminium foil, where you fry your meats and the other assorted raw food, while next to the hotplate, you'll have an in-built pot for soup if you fancy a soupy meal. I believe you have a choice of 3 soups: Tom Yum, Herbal Chicken and Fish. I made a waiter slip and fall when i covered the restaurant's floor with my drool. Everything looked soooo tantalizing (at the parents' table, picture below) :
And then what's extremely cool about this place (that sets it apart from Seoul Garden) is that once you're done with your hot meal, you can ask a waiter or waitress to clear up the aluminium foil and to cool the hot plate down... And you don't just cool it down so you don't burn yourself, but they turn it down so low that you can now make... ICE CREAM... (that is not ice cream, just so you know)
Before the plate is ready, there'll be a thin layer of ice, which means that the plate is now cold enough for you to begin making your dessert. That little creature was drawn by my god brother using the ladle meant for the ice cream. The poor dude had to wait quite a while for my sis and i to be done eating before we could all begin on the ice cream making.
So what you do is, you pick out a flavour from this assortment of "ice cream mixes" that the restaurant has stocked up in a refrigerator and then you pour it out onto the sub-zero plate. Now watch your goo turn into ice cream! No, not true. It takes some skill to make your ice cream look like ice cream. God brother made his and it turned out as ice chips (next time i show you when Blogger is not so irritating).
This was a rather interesting plant i saw outside an Italian restaurant, it has holes in the leaves but they weren't caused by caterpillars. Mom had a double dinner birthday treat this year, so it was from Japanese cuisine to Italian that we got to savour. Cantina, is the name of the Italian restaurant, tucked away in a quiet spot along with a couple more non-local food restaurants together with an odd ball cheena looking furniture place that was shut (if i don't remember wrongly) within the Greenleaf housing area (i think).
Ok, that was a dessert that we bought and shared among the 6 of us, an orange skin shell that was filled with orange sorbet ice cream. Yummmm. Since we are a strange bunch of people, we found nothing else better to do than to find ways to mutilate what was once an innocent dessert, poking holes into the skin and whatnot (this is not the only bo liao photo).
Till next time, pictures of monkeys, i believe.
Friday, November 04, 2005
And that's what someone told me: "We're going to get fragmantalized." But strangely, he said it with a grim smile on his face. Maybe that's because we knew that if we do die, we'll still see one another, but just in another dimension.
As a group of us lay down together, closing our eyes tightly, praying silently, we waited for death. "God, please make it a fast one." I uttered, to the agreement of the others around me. I was prepared to be flung around and shredded into a million ribbons by broken debris, for all i wanted was a death that was fast and with little suffering.
But oddly, as the hurricane howled through the building we were in, nothing happened, and we opened our eyes to find each of us all in one piece.
On the streets, we ran helter skelter and I held Jed tightly in my arms after finding him alone and lost a little earlier. I saw the hurricane coming and i knew i wanted to die. And yes, dumb as it sounds, i stood in its way, waiting to be buried by the huge amount of sand and debris that it was carrying. The force of it hit me and buried us, but rats, under all that, i was still alive and breathing. I hadn't died yet! I managed to clamber out from my failed sandy grave but to my horror, found that Jed was injured on one of his forelegs and was limping.
And that point, i turned to my dad who also managed to climb out from the debris and i asked him: Dad, should i let Jed go? (meaning: should i leave him because we couldn't afford to nurse him in such a crisis)
In that moment of anguish, i knew i had to let him go and i began to cry.
I opened my eyes to see my partially dark room, as daylight snuck in. And true enough, i awoke to a stuffy nose and hot tears springing from both my eyes and felt them stream liberally down my face.
I told you i was morbid.
Anyway, i let mom in on this dream i had the night before and she brought up the article written about a prediction that someone made about Singapore and Malaysia getting hit by a tsunami too.
It doesn't do much to comfort me to know that this same person had also predicted the Thailand tsunami.
I have very mixed feelings and questions about this. Ranging from:
- How big would the tsunami be? How far in would it reach?
- How prepared is Singapore? In terms of taking the predictions seriously and in terms of infrastructure?
- Will telecommunications hold? How can we reach our loved ones after the crisis has struck?
- How much time do we have left, IF it happens?
- Can i handle seeing death strewn all over the land?
- How can i reach out to my friends in Christ's love? I cannot bear the thought of losing them.
- how prepared AM I? (mentally, emotionally and spiritually?)
I have no reason to worry about myself, because i know who and where my faith is placed in. Though I fear death in the sense that i fear what happens when i my biological heart stops:
- What does the spirit do when it no longer resides in my body? Does it like, get sucked out into some much-spoken-about dark tunnel?
- What would i be able to see? How would i feel? Would i be able to feel anything?
Apart from that, it's really the people around me that i worry for. About losing them, or seeing them suffer, held captive, tethering between the living world and the dead.
Worse, losing them for all eternity to the one of this world.
As it is even without some natural disaster, other disasters are already taking place and there is so much to be done for others. Broken families, torn relationships, even those under stress at work or at school, wounded souls and hearts, lost, angry people, people in dire straits but still trying to find something to hang on to, to survive.
But what am i doing? I am so ashamed of myself, for i am just merely sitting back, looking concerned, feeling sympathic, but not moving in prayer and offering some practical help out of love. Such insane hypocrisy on my part.
I write this not to dishearten or to implant seeds of fear, but i write this as a reminder that there is a world out there, outside of our own little bubble of both pleasures and struggles, that implores and begs for help and healing. And we the ones who can, to some degree, give it, should, in whatever ways that we can.
In this borrowed time that we've been spending with our various chases, it is still possible to pour out compassion and to lend a hand, with no strings attached and to give freely without boundaries, from our hearts.
It is so easy to talk passionately about helping but it's such a huge challenge, even a barrier, for a hard and prideful hearted person like me to walk the talk. God, i need a heart that is softer, humble, not afraid to look stupid. A heart that is genuine, and not self seeking. A heart that bleeds for others, and not for myself.
I smile when i see some of my friends... For there is a glow about them that is indescribably beautiful. It is the kind of beauty that does not fade and age with wrinkles and does not depend an ounce on physical looks. But it's a beauty that arises from taking God, His ways and His heart, seriously. With that kind of devotion to reverence, this beauty is everlasting.
And so... I shall end this by saying something rather anticlimax lah, but i really mean it:
Kudos to those who have been and are taking active steps to love those within their reach, be it friends, family members and even strangers. The Lord knows your heart and sees your every deed.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
*ahem, cough* Anyway, i've got here some photos from the day that we spent together, before the Gem had to go to a nearby foreign land.
And so the day begun with the Gem coming over in the morning to my place to cook up a storm with me. Ok, not. We are not exactly kitchen virgins, but neither are we Martin Yans so well, before actually deciding on what we'd be making, we just coughed out a rough list of foodstuff that we wanted to get from the supermarket. And so we made our little journey down by foot to the newly renovated Cold Storage at some destination that sounds a bit like a fusion of "Lolita" and "Jelly".
Halfway through grocery shopping, we decided to make pasta. To snip the long story short, here's the final product, the result of our combined powers of culinary prowess. *Ahem* Introducing pasta with scrambled eggs. All right, i admit you cannot go too far wrong with pasta. It's a simple concept, it's a low stress level dish PLUS, i have got to say that my Gem is easy to work with in the kitchen. Boy, am i one lucky girl. And i finally got to see how he cooks his "JFE" *wink*. Extra pasta's in the Pyrex:
We skipped down to Lau Pa Sat after my keyboard lessons for dinner and gosh. I'd much rather eat the cancer causing barbequed food than the sorry Korean set meal that i bought from a frazzled and agonized looking aunty. And i couldn't help but down two helpings of the high-in-demand teh tarik. It's good stuff, can? Don't you look at me like that. How often do i get to drink the stuff anyway?! Well, ok, that's not me in the picture, obviously. ;-) I was snapping away, capturing his various facial expressions while he spoke, and was pleasantly surprised that he wasn't shy around the camera. Goooooood. That bodes well for me. *hiak hiak*
Having had our fill, (oh yes indeed. Satay and teh tarik on top of the "main dish" makes a happy belly) we took a stroll down to the "park" that is the home of our white stoned lion-fish, famously known as the Merlion. Can't say that it's the most beautiful thing i've ever seen and i reckon it might also be that i've never seen it from a tourist's point of view (then again, do tourists think it's an intriguing mythical animal? Or an ugly lump of stone.), plus, i suppose i've been surrounded by too many ugly versions of it since i was a kid (think: those deformed looking merlions as keychains), so, shocked and in awe, i was/am not.
It was drizzling already but that didn't stop us from satisfying our trigger happy photolust. So off we went to do our own thing, which is something i love about us - Sharing the same interest but also being able to give each other space to wander around enough to accomplish our own agenda when we want to. This is a shot of the blue waves that Merlion sits on:
I took a few more photos, but Blogger was like doing a marvellously prompt job about uploading my photos that i had so much fun waiting and getting "page cannot be displayed" that i thought i'd give it a rest. So, this last one's of the bridge, connecting the "park" to the Esplanade.:
Our day didn't quite end there since we wanted to spend as much time together before he leaves for the foreign land, but we took too many gory, mind-messing photos that it would be cruel of me to subject you to such mental trauma. Hence the lack of end-of-the-day photos. Ok, so i DO have one decent one... but since it has my face in it, that alone counters all molecules, atoms and electrons of decency and therefore, it shall be kept in the recesses of Adele's (my lappie) memory for private viewing only.