Monday, April 30, 2007

To Synth

I've always avoided using the string sound whenever i'm playing the synthesizer for service (basically because i don't like the fake sound). But what makes it hard for synth players like myself to fully use the capabilities of the synth in the auditorium is the lack of opportunities to be able to play around with the sounds.

So anyway, the topic of "variety of sounds" came out during last week's debrief and i felt a little indignant. Because i think that while the people-up-there feel that we are free to experiment, there are the elements of communication, subjective tastes in music and personalities that can come in the way of creating One Unified Complementary Sound.

There's also the thing about taking risks, making mistakes and all... And i guess we'll just need to be at the mercy of the amount of forgiveness and understanding from leaders and the band in the midst of trying out what they tell us to.

As i'm sitting here editing my essay, i'm listening to my library of contemporary christian music (and other stuff) with a more specific goal of listening out for what the synth players are doing.

My main question at the moment is:
HOW on EARTH do they switch from sound to sound so fast while filling in, in the appropriate places without missing out a beat, all within the same song and without causing the song to sound empty during the pockets of time used to change sounds?

While another concern is:
I get the feeling that people are not ready to hear the voice of the synth doing its intermittent bursts of effects, albeit using pretty cool sounds. Well, will never know till i do something out of the ordinary eh?

I think that level of deftness will come with familiarity and more practice (both of which i'm not getting). Hey, lets be honest about it, yeah. I think i'll certainly aim to come at a time well before sound check.

But my one last, and actually the most important concern is:

Though having a range of musical styles and variation can help being fresh vibrancy to worship, i don't think we should be too hung up over technicalities. You've got to admit that with better music, people may fall into the trap of paying more attention to the music than to God Himself.

We need to know when to quit being obsessive and pay attention to the real spiritual issues at hand that we may be blind to by our thoughts that we "are doing all right" in our playing and leading. What the ground experiences may not be what we think they're going through. That said, i think the congregation also need to know when to take a step back to recognize that the music is only a tool to help in encouraging worship, and not out there to fabricate a holy-airy-fairy feeling of worship or to create some kind of wannabe rock concert. The music shouldn't really matter, in actuality.

Ok, done muttering for now.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Uncensored poopy post

After watching Dr Dolittle, i was inspired to post this... You know, this whole animals-are-smarter-than-you-think kind of thang. But then... Please bear this in mind... if you've just eaten or drunk something, do NOT scroll down. I'm warning you, all you people with weak stomachs, you'll REGRET it if you do. Move away to another blog before it's too late!

I debated about whether i should post it but i thought: ah, what's a little poop gonna do, we see it every morning... PLUS, this ain't no ordinary poop! This is amusement only for those of you who aren't squirmish about excretion.

Hm... i've already revealed what it is...

Jed's so smart, he knows that "s" is for "shit" and he even underlined it for us:

(Congrats if you didn't throw up)(Sorry, Fiona Xie)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

randomology again while essaying

The first thing i'm going to do after my exams this sem is to get some (more) exercise gear, namely: bike/gym shorts and running t-shirts (not tank tops, i've got enough of those).

I've discovered once again how effective the running plans from the polar personal trainer website is. Unfortunately, i think you can only access this feature if you've got a polar (heart rate monitor) watch though. In about one plus month after following the program to improve and maintain my fitness, i can feel the obvious benefits reaped from the way i feel when i go for my daily runs.

The only thing i'm not liking is the pain both my knees are giving me, which is why i make sure i warm up before attempting to run. Think there've been times when i've over exercised, and one of the main reasons why they hurt today is because of the poor treatment of my knees back in my secondary school days... Days of doing high jumps and other assorted sports without the proper procedures to take care of my joints.


God, please allow Pat's Schoolhouse to say yes to me going in to do my interviews... PLEASE... Either that, i need another preschool to give me the greenlight REALLY badly...


I'm glad i've got friends. Church friends, JC friends, Secondary School friends, Uni friends. What would i do without these people? While family members are the people who'll stick by you pretty much no matter what, saying the things you may not want to hear though you need to...

Sometimes, there're just some things you share only with friends because they're your peers and also won't be too quick to pass "righteous" or disparaging judgement. Sharing things with friends provides a different kind of platform to analyse or to just hear out your issues, i feel. That said, don't you wish friends wouldn't be so politically correct at times. (Me guilty!)

At times, i fear that my honesty may hurt or cause a crack in a friendship. But really, if we both value each other, both of us should be willing to understand where the other is coming from when the honest opinions surface. If anything, it should bring people closer, especially when the truth is spoken out of love. Or either that, the honesty should simply be a reflection of the beauty of trust between two people in that they know one another enough to be able to laugh at themselves.


I wonder if the reality of working for the next 40 or so years has hit my sister. She seems so at ease with her working life, as if she is simply coasting along the beaches of Hawaii. She doesn't complain, doesn't show signs of fatigue or disillusionment. Just fine and dandy. I really wonder what going on beneath that calm exterior.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jo walks up to the huge porch of PSA Building and spies 3 automated glass doors that were positioned side by side. She approaches one of them, the one to the right, and was greeted with the operation hours of the doors. She read that the door didn't operate on sundays, and to please use the "main entrance". Great.

So Jo begins to walk around the building, searching for the "other main entrance", visualizing an even grander looking porch with even BIGGER and more embellished doors. Her search brought her around the building, walking by cargo vehicles lots and the carpark, and still didn't see any grand porch.

She managed to eventually find her way into the building through the carpark lift. Since she was way early for dinner, she recced the place from the inside, interested to find out where this "main entrance" was.

And guess what. The "main entrance" was just referring to the automated glass door that was in between the other two. ALAMAK. Wah liew, simi "main entrance".... Blah.

PS: I (finally, and the sentiments were mutual) got to meet Gem's family and extended maternal family yesterday. Laleela~.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Call me party pooper, wet blanket, sour grape, green horn, jealous prude, whatever you like.

But why is it that i get so defensive when a friend of mine gets attached? I get this yuck yuck feeling in my gut. Ahhh, but wait, there's more...

In cases when i've already met the girl/guy, and if the feeling goes away plus i get some good vibes, then i'll feel all right about the situation. I'd attribute my initial feelings to protectiveness and caution. To me, i just want my friends to be with the best (most suited, not perfect) person possible, and not "fall in love" because they haven't been with someone in a long while and the current squeeze offers some kind of giddy love relief, or that the squeeze is a sweet talker, or for any other reason that is just... obviously not right.

In cases when i've already met the couple together, and if i still have that yuck yuck/something-is-not-right feeling, then i think my gut feeling is probably right. From the number of times that my gut has predicted certain things, i think it deserves to be dug out and laid in a museum for people to pay their respects to it. Haha, KIDDING lah.

Other times, the feelings take a while to go away or lowers to a small simmer, and those are in cases where
(1) i try to accept my friend's decision despite my reservations.
(2) the other party changes my mind about him/her.
(3) i've just grown used to it.
(4) i accept that i might have been overeacting.

So..... From now till when i meet the person, i'll hold me tongue, abstain from judgmental thoughts and quell my feelings until proven true beyond reasonable doubt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For a couple of months, i've been having internet and laptop problems... And i'm so thankful that i've got a tech savvy daddy (hey, eet rhymes) who we can count on to fix matters to do with computers. Saves us the trouble of having to call in the technicians who'll charge us moneh.

So it brings me to now say a HUGE thank you to daddy for taking my problems into consideration, so much so that he bought a new router thing (or was it some signal extender, i haven't got a clue) and even a new modem (cos the old one was wonky) so that a stronger wireless signal can reach my room and my lappie can access the internet faster.

I thought about it and realized that he really did go through all the trouble, for me. Yes, it will benefit everyone at home in the long run, but you see, for the longest time we've been doing without the extras. But because i began having problems and told him about it, he spent the time and moneh and brain cells to give me what i wanted... And maybe to stop me from bugging him about the terribly slow connection. Heh.

Haiya, i'm just really grateful to my dad right now, and i wanted to blog this down to remind myself of the fact that though he can be a bad guy sometimes (hey, families will have their issues now and then ok?)... He still does show his love, and it happens to be in ways like this.

*pleased as punch*


Two tewtelly random things that have made me chuckle like a loony to myself:

1. Women can bleed for days without dying.

2. Charles Dickens. Dharles's Chickens. (c'mon repeat after me!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Just this morning, i thought to myself when i awoke: "I think i can't remember how to use my bow anymore."

And what do you know.

Here i am checking my email, and my club vice president just sent a mass email to the club members to inform us of an upcoming workshop for archers with their own equipment. The goal? "To teach basic set up, tuning, and skill."

Sister: It's a sign.
Jo: hur hur. *sigh*

Friday, April 13, 2007

Am really upset because after two successful normal growths of my upper wisdom teeth, my bottom one is impacted, ie, growing at an angle, and in my case it is horizontal. :-(

This means i cannot escape the pain of either, 1. pulling it out OR, 2. minor surgery (open gum, fragment tooth, take out the pieces, sew gum back) If you leave an impacted tooth alone, you create a crevice that traps food and that may lead to an infection. *sigh*

Strangely as i'm having these wisdom teeth woes, two other people i know are also going through it at the same time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

10 Random short talks

I was surprised by some of my past blogpost drafts. By my way of expression, the things that i felt, some thoughts and feelings that i don't even remember going through. The sad part is that because of the potentiality of public publishing, i wasn't explicit with the causes of my outpourings. So as i read them again, i don't quite get my own posts. Haha. Bleaghhhh to political correctness, which this PG blog is too good at.

If you're wondering about the state of emotional affairs, i'm now in repair mode. Still very fragile, kind of raw, repairing... but very slowly. That said, altar ministers who really listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to the recipient are super zhun man! I was greatly blessed on Good Friday. :-)

Now, i've got a purple bag, a purple wallet and a purple phone. I suppose you could say my favourite colour is purple.

Factory Outlet Shop is a great place to shop if you have the time and tolerance for the other ugly (what-were-the-designers-thinking!? types) clothes.

I wish that some people would be more tolerant of others who are considered different from them. Instead of gossiping, making fun of, complaining, finding fault and behaving like general poots, why not do something more humane like trying to get to know these people. We're all from the same human race after all, so what makes you any better than anyone else?

Fighting many personal wars in my head and heart. Unfortunately, these wars stop me from surrounding myself with good things.

Muscular is me. With regular runs and gymming, i lose some fats but i've effortlessly gained muscle mass (and hence the weight). Oh well.... Guess I should've been born as a guy instead.

Last night, I dreamt about my essay regarding the assessing of depressive and bipolar disorders, as well as buying therabands from SGH. You can obviously tell what my current wants are.

I cannot believe i didn't jump at the chance of buying a digital piano. Well... instead of replacing my out-of-tune acoustic piano with a smaller digital, i'd rather ADD a digital. I would miss the resonance of my acoustic if i sold it off.

Hello XL! Are you voyeuring away? Heh heh heh. Say HI lah!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blessed Easter

"In the heart of Africa, it is related by an Englishman, that a slave procession passed by, and the king called out to a poor slave who displeased him in some little way, ordered his men to put their arrows to their bowstrings and avenge the offense with his blood.

He went up to the native chief and begged for the poor slave's life, offered him a great deal of money and costly bribes, but the chief turned to him and said: "I don't want ivory, or slaves, or gold; I can go against yonder tribe and capture their stores and their villages; I want no favours from the white man; all i want is blood.

Then he offered one of his men to pull his bowstring and discharge an arrow at the heart of the poor slave. The young man, with the instinct of a moment, threw himself in front and held up his arm, and the next moment the arrow was quivering in the flesh of his own arm. The black man was astonished.

Then he pulled the arrow from his arm, and the blood flowed, and he said to the chief: "Here is blood; here is my blood; I give it for this poor slave, and i claim his life." The native had never seen such a spectacle before, and he was completely overcome by it. He gave the slave to the white man. He said:"Yes, white man has bought him with his blood, and he shall be his."

In a moment the poor slave threw himself at the feet of his deliverer, tears flowing down his face and said:"O, white man, you have bought Lebe with your blood (Lebe was his name), Lebe shall be your slave forever and ever." And ever after he could not make him take his liberty; wherever he went poor Lebe was beside him, no drudgery was too hard, no task too hopeless. He was bound by the mercy of his deliverer as his consecrated servant.

Friends, if a poor savage heart can be won by the wound of a stranger's arm, how about the deeper wounds in those two living hands and feet?"

- extract from the Prayer Vigil Guidebook, COOS. Original source not known.

Lord, you indeed were that stranger who extended your willing arms for me. I don't ever want to forget the history that you made on that very real cross, for all the sins of the world that you bore on yourself that fateful day, your innocent blood that redeems us from the death that we must die because of our sins. That you have already conquered the world, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God once we choose to follow you.

Thursday, April 05, 2007




Monday, April 02, 2007

Old papers

Taking a break from staring at my lappie screen, i took a nice long stretch against the back rest of my study chair.

And i glanced up at my 3 shelved cupboard that still houses all the school work done in my past academic years, mostly from my junior college days, save for one biology file from my secondary 4 syllabus. Coloured files in yellow, black, blue and red, grey, papers chucked in between them in some order of subjects, thick textbooks that were seldom referred to but were there to give a sense of reassurance that information was within easy reach.

All of them speak silently and daily, reminding me (only when i take the time to look at them) of all the toil, tears (<-- seriously) and frustrations of the old, the failures and triumphs.

And i realize that i may very well bring all of them with me till... We'll never really know. Perhaps for as long as i can keep them.

It's too difficult to throw them all away, for sentimental reasons. Though I can't make sense out of whatever i read in them anymore (esp. chemistry) but somehow, these chunks and stacks of papers with my own handwriting scrawled all over in attempts to solve sums and problems, to write logical essays without smoking through them, every dot and scribble - they were a part of my thoughts, and of me, back then.

Mundane as they look sitting high up there above my head as i type my essays to be handed in to tutors from university, these representatives are from one of the hardest periods in my life, emotionally and mentally, will always bring back the nostalgia no matter where i am in life.

With each passing year, i grow more attached to these physical "relics", serving as triggers and cues for me to be able to recollect the memories of those days past.

Why is it that i refuse to let go of the memories of hard times and the things that transport me back to it? Is that a seeming rule that applies to people in general, i wonder.

I guess hard times were when you saw yourself put to the test, to see what you were made of, to show yourself and unknowingly others as well, who you were when situations become pressing and hard to bear. It's during those times when you see yourself stumble through weaknesses, grappling for help or just sticking it through, even growing and discovering new strengths and revelations.

You get to see who among you are the people you can or cannot depend on, and sometimes our search leads us to become jaded, indifferent or even more hopeful. Quite obviously, tough times are never a walk in the park and when we eventually emerge from the shadows, we step out with battle wounds that leave a deep impression, and scars to remind us of the tale, to either tell of or hide it. We come out of it knowing that something profound happened inside of us.

Which is probably why we never, or find it hard to forget tough times. They're somewhat useful bittersweet tools, becoming fuel for anger that continues to burn inside, times we laugh or grimace over on hindsight, the experiences that we look back upon to see how far we've come in our personal growth, the basis from where we glean some of our most intimate lessons from.