Thursday, December 29, 2005

Quit Attempt

Attempting to quit, again. I really, really hope it works out this time round. Like what Quan Yifeng said, "I have realized that smoking didn't only help me kill time, but it also help me kill me health. Better to stop". It really struck me as something which did indeed make alot of sense. Better to stop.

Well, I thought this would go in fine as a New Year resolution, but I guess no harm to start two days earlier. Yesterday I smoked only 2 sticks, and today I've completely withdrawn. It's 1:33pm as I'm typing this, so hopefully I'll pull through the day. Earlier just now I finally made up my mind and got nicotine patches. God, they are so damn expensive!

Seven patches (one a day) for $33. I guess it's financially beneficial if you're smoking a pack a day, but for me a pack lasts me three to four days so I don't think it works out as a saving for me. But I guess health is more important than money.

I have four-and-a-half months till enlistment, and with the meagre amount of money that I will be receiving as a non-combat NSF, I hope by then I've quit successfully so as not to even reach out for a stick when I'm in camp. Save money lah. I can't even start to imagine how possible that will be, not to smoke when I've enlisted, knowing all the physical stress that I will be put through considering how inactive I am now.

Whatever it takes, this time I will try my best to quit. No parties, no clubbing, no seating outside when drinking coffee, avoid eating in hawker centres. Whatever it takes. I wish myself all the best.

On a sidenote, if you wish to sponsor my New Year's Eve plans (it isn't very costly, but financial help is always greatly appreciated), please email me at jonathanang@bluebottle.com or txt/call me at 98007875. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gamertag Request

Hey folks! I'm looking to expand my friends' list on Xbox Live. So if you do have a gamertag, please add me! Or text/email me your gamertag. Thanks! My gamertag is Kaeon.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Shame on NKF!

Well, since everyone is saying their bit I guess I might as well say mine. TT Durai, you deserved to be chewed up, swallowed and spat out all over again. Shame on you for innocently laundering money for your own purposes.

Shame on all of us for going around with your silly donation cards when we were in primary and secondary school.

Shame on me for climbing Mt. Kinabalu to raise funds for your kidney dialysis centre in Yishun when I was in Primary 5. (Well, Mt. Kinabalu was damn fun but slamming the ex-CEO is also just as fun.)

Shame on the poor uncle taxi driver who earns only $1,400 a month, sometimes even less, yet puts in $5 of his effort only to see you go to your latest Mercedes Benz. (This was reported in the Straits Times).

Shame on you for taking a lawsuit to SPH only because you were such a coward. Thank God you didn't win.

If I had to decided who was a bigger asshole, Bush or yourself, you would come really, really close.

Thank goodness I wasn't a regular donor to the NKF. Dear all, please pull your donations to NKF if you are currently doing so. If you think Gerald Ee is capable of pulling the NKF out of the depths of shame in such a short period of time as he promised, you are seriously mistaken.

Please support the Kidney Dialysis Foundation instead. You can find out more about them here. KDF is an independent organisation and is not affiliated to any other kidney organisation in Singapore. If it helps, KPMG are their regular auditors! Good on them!

Also, according to their website, this is their fund-raising principle: "Funds are raised based on a pre-determined annual target. This is to ensure that other worthy charities will not be deprived of public funds." In the true spirit of philanthropy, I applaud KDF. Please, support a more worthy cause instead.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Zoo trip!

Went to the zoo yesterday! With Cyn and my family. It was great fun; I hadn't been there for over a year so there was alot of new stuff there, which was nice. Before that it was raining cats & dogs in the north area, and I was rather apprehensive about making a trip to the zoo in that sort of rain, but it slowed down to a negligible drizzle. Which was rather nice and romantic. :)

Anyway, we managed to catch some animal feeding demonstrations, of which the most exciting one was the feeding of the white tigers. Such beauties! They managed to catch the huge steaks of meat thrown to them with pinpoint accuracy; most fascinating. They looked like big versions of our cats at home.

Here are some photos that we took... Not much, partly due to the fact that I have a camera with a terrible zoom function. Enjoy!

Baboon Nation!


Monkey chilling out.


Time for a snort... Er, I mean, drink.


Looking lovely by the reservoir.


Time to air out the armpits!


"Stop! Who goes there?"


And if you look really closely through the fog, you can see two people in the picture.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Life-trashing...

So it's now back to the days of bumming around at home, feeling wasted. Sigh. I really need a CPF-contributing job. It's just so tough having to tell myself all the time that my finances will be fine and stable in the future, while I'm here having to tide through a gig-by-gig job.

I was looking through the website of this local pianist, Chester Tan, last night. Apparently he's done quite alot for himself -- he has released two commercial albums, one of which is the 3-CD set Piano Spa CD collection. It comes in really big packaging so it's not easy to miss.

He's been jumping onto the music bandwagon since the 80s (nowhere in the website are we told how old he is), and has done local musical productions, music arranging, a little sound design here and there, and basically everything except teaching. Well, I'm sure he does a little teaching but it isn't mentioned on the website.

So here's what we have: local guy, very musically inclined, hardworking, but at the end of the day? Who has really, really heard of Chester Tan before? Even I myself stumbled onto his website by accident. No offense, he is definitely accomplished, but at the end of the day is that enough? It's no secret that the royalties you earn from COMPASS is barely anything. So what to local musicians want to achieve at the end of day?

Even I myself am still finding that out. In the meantime, I hope I get my big break, otherwise I'll be picking up an employment application form for Singapore Airlines in two years' time.

Oh, by the way, you can visit Chester Tan's website here.

Monday, December 19, 2005

DOE

That's it, I've received it. My date of enlistment. Think I'll stick to it this time? Haha... It's on the 21st of April. Six months after my original date of enlistment.

Christmas is round the corner! It's been a hectic week of Christmas shopping, but I've nearly done it all. Yesterday even Causeway Point was crowded. So much for escaping to heartland malls, eh. I've got everyone's gift except for the most important one: Cyn's gift! And to be honest I'm still clueless as to what to get!

Anyway, I spent the whole day indoors today, watching DVDs and backing up the stuff in my laptop 'cos I'm going to reformat it. And let me tell you, it sure is a damn hassle!

Oh, I watched King Kong last Thursday. Another long, epic one by the master Peter Jackson, only this time with added flair which comes in the likes of giant cockroaches and T-Rexes. It's funny how ever since Jurassic Park, no other dinosaurs on film have ever looked that good. And mind you, Jurassic Park came out a long time ago. The dinosaur in A Sound Of Thunder looked ridiculously fake, and even King Kong's dinosaurs just doesn't seem to cut. Looks like Weta could take a few tips from ILM after all.

Well, for all you folks who are still caught in the Christmas shopping crunch, all the best jostling and pushing your way through the crowds! Till then, have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

SQ is finally over!

It's finally over! The SQ run has ended, and it has been a terrific one! Many thanks to everyone who allowed me to play their songs for them, all beautifully written nonetheless by my very good bro Darren Ng. It's been wonderful getting to know you and working with you. We WILL do this again soon, ya! Don't forget our grand plans for our recital publicity poster. Heh heh.

Anyway, it was back to teaching for me today, so I didn't manage to get my completely off day yet. But I managed to sleep in! Oh and tonight I finally got around to popping my FF XII playable demo disc inside my PS2! Ooh, it was damn exciting! Very good stuff. Can't wait till the game is fully released next year.

Tomorrow's schedule is going to be teaching again, then meeting up with Serene for a quick jam session before heading down to the airport to send Leigh back to the UK. Ok, getting sleepsy already, but still have some work to settle before I turn in. Will update soon!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Aeon Flux

Finally, another update! I've been really busy with Snow Queen, so please forgive me, but we've only 7 more shows to go! So if you haven't watched it yet, please take action and get your tickets now. You have till Sunday to do so!

It's been an absolutely busy week for me this past week. Last Thursday I was at the gala premiere of Aeon Flux, which, by the way, is only a so-so movie. I was expecting much more senseless killing and martial artsy stuff but instead they decided to work on adding more plot holes into the story.

That aside, the premiere was abit LC, if you know what I mean. They served pink punch during the cocktail reception. Of all things, huh! And the goodie bag was quite a laugh: a flimsy A4 folder, a pai kwa A4 sized poster, and a handphone strap. Uhh... that's it.

On Saturday Cyn and me attended a charity fundraising concert which featured the Australian acappella group, The Idea Of North. We had a blast! TION is an excellent acappella group, and you should really go check it out. We bought all their four CDs after the show. Good stuff!

The next day we went to watch Chestnuts, which was quite a blast as well. Very funny stuff, but only people in the theatre circle will fully appreciate everything, so I didn't really catch everything but it was good enough! It runs till Sunday as well, with matinees on the weekend, so be sure not to give it a miss!

We started our first evening performances for Snow Queen on Friday onwards, so it's been a long day everyday since. Ok, gotta rush back to the Esplanade for the evening show now... So, till then!