Thursday, March 29, 2007

For the elite!

I want. Very badly!

Don't care if the chipset remains the same. I want a new black console, a new black wireless controller, a new black wireless headset and, best of all, a new 120GB detatchable hard drive! Say goodbye to puny 20GB hard drives for good!

Retailing at US$479.99 (S$728.40), the newly-announced (yet speculated for months now) Xbox 360 Elite is Microsoft's answer to the PS3, which was only recently launched in Singapore this month. $728 is slightly cheaper than the $799 you'll have to cough up for the PS3. But if you're still stuck on which one to get (apart from the obvious solution which is to get both), try reading this article here for a clearer picture of what you get when you open that box. And I'm talking about the packaging here!

Do bear in mind, however, that console exclusitivity for games is now becoming more controversial an issue. It just isn't economically viable to just stick to one console anymore, and third-party game developers are starting realize that as long as the more games they sell, the better it is for them. So for those of you who were willing to part with $799 for a PS3 becuase of exclusives like MGS4 and FF XIII, take heed! The rumour mill has been working overtime of late, brimming of very LIKELY possibilities that these games will head over to the Xbox 360 sooner or later. CAPCOM has already made Resident Evil on Xbox happen, with the pending release of RE5 on both PS3 and Xbox 360.

And what better than a nice, shiny, black Xbox 360 Elite to play them with. : )

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Klazz Brothers

Here's a little something to whet up your appetite to forage into the world of classical music! Back in 2005, the Klazz Brothers, well-known for their ingenious treatment to other completely different genres of music, released a 14-track CD detailing their expolits into incorporating salsa into your run-of-the-mill classical music. Working with the München Rundfunkorchester, what they ended up with was an amazing blend of what you would aptly call "symphonic salsa"!

So if you're in the mood for some commonly heard Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky or Brahms with a tangy twist, this is just what you need presribed. You can download their album here in individual tracks. Useful for house parties, inspirations for jamming (a string quartet should do fine for an orchestra replacement!) or just grooving to Mozart for the first time. Very highly recommended stuff! Cuban música tropical or German classicisim? I'll let you decide.

Download links are only available till 2 Apr due to server constraints. Shift + click to open links in a new tab or window.

P/S: Check out Mandy Moore's Crush. It's a great song too! : )

Monday, March 26, 2007

In all fairness.

Came across something rather thought-provoking that someone posted on Arts Comm, so thought I'd share. (Shift + click to open in new tab or window.) 73c per hour?! Just the thought of it is pretty daunting. Would you work for 73c an hour?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fish teeth that'll hook you!

I was trawling through the internet when I came across this article (Shift + click to open in new tab or window) about an anti-rape device -- very thought-provoking! What say you ladies? Of course I completely concur that no rapist deserves to live, but will it be the herald of an open gateway for revenge?

Viva Verdi was a fulfilling affair; it was really enjoyable to be actually part of an opera concert for once. I managed to meet ex-classmates from LaSalle-SIA, Bingling and Tang Jia who were playing in The Philharmonic Orchestra. Sitting at the chorus stands looking at the musicians deftly doing what they do so well, makes me regret a little as to why didn't I pick up an orchestral instrument back then when I had the chance.

Managed to snap some pictures with Charles' camera phone, no thanks to my inability to remember to bring my camera now that I actually have it working. Will post 'em online as soon as I get them from him.

After the show JCT & myself met Albert and we went down to meet some of JCT's friends at Brewerkz. I guess everyone was in the mood for a good drink; we polished of two towers in very quick time. Some people got really sloshed, but I ain't saying who! (Cannot balance while standing on chair, hor!!) After which, I somehow managed to struggle up after four hours of sleep last night for another lunchtime ALD gig at OCC. It was good to play with Feri again! Remember, we'll be starting our Feri & Jon Acoustic and Live World Tour soon! : )

Friday, March 23, 2007

Through Fleeting Visions

Plunging into the depths of closeness
Looking for that moment to thrive
Feeling the onset of vertigo
This strange feeling of having to dive

The swirls never seem to come to a stop
These moments all a blur
Like a never ending tours en l'air
It never halts, and never concurs

So freedom and choice beyond good taste
Whose call is it to make?
Does he entwine his lips and lose his words
Or savor this foretaste?

Maybe it's so-called destiny
Guiding in this world unreal
Or maybe it's just plain fantasy
This undeniable appeal

With all that hope and possibility
Who's safe to be on the receiving end?
Ask him not, for he will say
This love will all transcend

Foolish words to even breathe
That he knows for sure
Yet one day hoping both will find
Within each other the allure

This diamond goes beyond all value
Therein seeking to bestow
Here lies someone to care and nurture
But will it still forgo?

He puts his heart on the trebuchet
Not caring where he lands
Only wishing the songs will waft through
Right past that empty shell

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Midweek Musings

Viva Verdi runs for one night only tomorrow at the Esplanade. Tickets are from $18 to $58. Rehearsals with SLO have been a ball, no thanks to all the lame antics that Jon Tay, Charles and myself come up with. (Charles, don't forget your best friend!)

I've added a new song, Where, by singer Lisbeth Scott, who really reminds me of Imogen Heap. Very nice, short and sweet. Lyrics can be found here. Music is written by one of my most favorite composers, Harry Gregson-Williams. Also, I've added a link at the side to Paul Fusco's narrative photo coverage of the Chernobyl incident. Excellent photos, great narratives and moving scenes. You should really check this out.

Missed Japanese class yesterday for VV rehearsals. Feeling as guilty as hell!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cocktail Straws & Drink Coasters

Another busy weekend! Went to watch Rachael Yamagata at the Esplanade on Saturday; it was thoroughly enjoyable! Bumped into Shannon and his brother after the show. Funny though, I was expecting to see some old familiar LaSalle-SIA faces but I didn't catch a single one! Also, thanks Serene for getting the tickets sorted out. And Sunday was just work. Pretty blah.

Managed to catch Charles at Acid Bar for the first time on Saturday as well. Good stuff, bro! Remember, keep the mic up for your beatboxing the next time I'm there! Don't worry we'll sort out the Rouge Outdoors manager for you should he decide to give you any trouble. : ) After that Clarence, Gina, Carol and me headed down to Kandi Bar for a quiet round of drinks! Photos below.

Carol and Clarence (in bliss!)

One of those photos where you take with shaky hands and wrong exposure
but it just turns out looking cool. : )

Clarence and me raking up the photo count!

That's how we'd look from your point of view after too much alcohol. Or Mary Janes.
And I'm not talking about the cocktail! ; )

Exchanging glances over cocktail straws.

The rest of the evening ended in the decadent gorging of supper at MacDonald's and semi-stripping by the road. Don't forget licking of walls. Damn, come to think of it, the pirouettes were just way too easy! Oh, and exchanging jokes over two tables across!

Tomorrow we'll be bumping into Esplanade for Viva Verdi rehearsals. Can hardly believe concert is coming this Fri! Time really flies. Duh.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cigarette Smoke & Beer Towers

I guess any MDC event wouldn't be complete without some liscentious partying of sorts. So I guess it's no wonder that the debauchery continued itself all the way to St. James' Power House. On a Sunday night no less, where they are "closed for a private function". Always tells you something, doesn't it! ; )

Photos are taken at the post-party party. Get it? Apologies if the smoke or numerous beer towers have obscured any faces.

Clarence and myself! Night just started so we look fine.

Party away! (L-R) Clarence, Shima, myself, Andre & Mariam

Hazy faces through the smoke! (L-R) Louis, Clarence, Aslinda, myself

Actually partying with the SE guys!! Now THAT'S a rare sight!

That's my (wasted) co-host Lynn. Love ya girl.

Karvin actually sober enough to sort out the money for the next
beer tower. Now that's quite a feat!

Karvin, myself and Jon Tay (naturally!) drawn to the gold goodness like
fruit flies to a rotting fruit! Cheers guys!

Wai Fong getting into the dance groove ala CHINGAY style! ; )

Mariam wailing out for her next glass of wine (which is long overdue)!

Once again, thanks Selwyn for the pictures. I'm still looking out for more, so if anything picture-worthy crops up I'll put 'em up here! So sick of this whole issue of having to rely on others for pictures. But those days are over! I've got my camera back!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

MDC D&D 2007

Yes, finally laid my grubby hands on the photos from MDC's D&D yesterday! Thanks Selwyn for the pictures and taking the trouble to putting them on a CD. Feast your eyes! This first bunch of photos were taken at Gallery Hotel.

Keep a lookout on your Singapore Girl for the evening, the gorgeous Swang in his red Singapore Girl kebaya! Carol & Emma, if you read my blog, I'm sorry to have you traumatize you with such decadent photos of your cousin. ; )

The Singapore Girl and his legions of fans. Ok, well, specifically just Jon Loh
and Chee Hang!

Two musicians and two singers. (L-R) Vince, Selwyn, Toshi & Charles

The brave participants of the food trail game! (L-R) Yutaki, Jeremy, Mark,
Jessie, Zaini & Clarence

We actually managed to get Maj Tay to dance!

I'm the one missing from the potent "quadfecta"! Jon Tay, Len, Selwyn.

The Singapore Girl serving her onboard customers!

Participants for the Body-2-Body game! (L-R) Ian, Shao Wen, Justin, Noor,
Mariam, Shima

Fion -- Our sailormoon for the evening!

Lynn & myself counting Gabriel's stickers for best-dressed award.

The after-dinner party. Tim, Swang & Albert.

And the Singapore Girl has officially gone off duty!

Will put up the photos from Power House soon! P/S: Gina, told you army socks were comfortable! They're even good enough to be used as fake boobs!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Because I am

Maybe that was all he really wanted
The memory of her keeps him haunted
The longing comes from an endless source
It's unstoppable, this driving force

Questions left hanging, a muted sigh
Knowing nothing's answered when it's goodbye
But this blind faith just pushes beyond
Hoping for the very day of some response

With a deep gaze he looks intently
Perhaps wishing things could be done differently
Yet he's content for the moment being shared
Still what happens next, he's not prepared

The realization of being really in need
Is it any different from just plain greed?
Or maybe it's something else he won't admit
Yet all of him is longing to submit

The path henceforth is clouded with mist
Yet strangely still he continues to persist
Swimming desperately looking for shore
Only because she means so much more

So what's this that is spinning and weaving
Placed in a state of constant believing
Impatiently waiting for it to unravel
This tapestry of love, the long road travelled

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Flowers Aglow

So I walked into office one day last week and guess what was sitting there: a flower pot. With dancing flowers. Case in quote:



And for some strange reason I just could not stop laughing at that! It was like as though the flowers were spewing funny pollen. Ok that was lame. But just check out the fake bees on the flowers! How could they not get to you??

Ok, I've uploaded a couple new songs up here. Josh Groban's new album is serenely beautiful. Glad to see that he's retained much of his style and haven't lost his touch at all! The other new song is the theme song for Attention Please (yes, the dorama starring Ueto Aya and Nishikido Ryo) which the VE guys were all so crazy over not too long ago, eh?

Yeah, Toshi. Don't you miss those days where we would just camp in the Resource Room and watch doramas the entire day? Attention Please, Kurosagi, 1 Liter of Tears, Song to the Sun and all that jazz! And not forgetting fawning over Erika Sawajiri every single day. Remember how Shannon ask who cried and so many hands shot of the air? Haha, classic!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why should I?

Facets of life through different faces
People you meet in so many places
Not knowing when you'll sing your last song
To that someone you've waited for so long

Everyone claims to be able to write
Using their heart and not by sight
But how many can really have such a mad rush
Of wanting to write with nothing much

So, what really lies beneath that face?
Or are you just treating it like another race
Make up your mind now and stick to it
Otherwise just close your eyes and let it be

The strange longing never seems to cease
Wishing you could be there whenever you please
But not everything will go down any smooth
Only because someone just refuses to move

So how will it end, will somebody burn?
Or find that thing which you've always yearned
Have a bit of faith, I hear you say
Soon matter will come out of the grey

But the funny thing is I've tripped and fell
And it's right down there where'd I love to dwell
To what limit will you abhor?
Cos something just keeps me wanting more

Get on with it, this daily life
Full of love and care, hate and strife
But what if I promised to push that aside
And leave these heartstrings here untied

Now do I hold this back and put on a grin
Think all's OK while the the whole world spins
Or do I reach out and make for it
Hoping at the very end, nobody weeps.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Banana & Eggplant Smoothie

Banana & eggplant smoothie, I say again! For the uninitiated, this is actually a fantastic concoction of fresh banana and eggplant, with carrots and tomatoes, add on a dash of lime and ginger, and top it off with mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Such a drink has ACTUALLY been made. But unfortunately, I never got a chance to take a photo of it! (For those of you who were wondering, the final product color is a smattering dark grey.) It was to the opening drink for the food trail game that Deon and myself came up with for this year's MDC D&D which was held yesterday. Honestly I'm still stuck in a today-is-Sunday mood. My weekend went by like a crazy blur (didn't even have time to update!) until I kinda lost track of the days. Last night, Leonard, Lynn and myself holed up in one of the hotel rooms at Gallery Hotel where we had our D&D, and that was after some drunken debauchery at Power House MDC-style. You know where this is going!

Oh, I actually won a rice cooker, of all things, at yesterday's dinner lucky draw, but Fariz needed a rice cooker more urgently for his new place so I swapped it with his electric kettle. Hot! Haha.. He has both of those very trendy appliances now though, 'cos I was so tired at St. James last night I left it behind unintentionally. You should've seen us stack a rice cooker and electric kettle on the bar, though! Hilarious!

Oh, I did a ALD wedding at Burkhill Hall again over the evening. I've done weddings there before, but I never got to take a picture of that gorgeous place. Here're some shots:

Perfectly manicured lawns..

The solemnization table.

Aisle-walking in greenery

That's our little corner.

This is where you surrender your ang pows!

Very nice place to consider if you wanna have a small-scale colonial style wedding. Those photos only show the lawn area which is right in front of the hall itself; the Burkhill Hall is a huge 2-story colonial building (which might have been a residential house) with the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the lawn.

On Friday Clarence, Gina, Vincent and myself headed down to Loof for drinks. Clarence nearly misled us into leaving by saying there were no more seats left, but that lazy bugger just didn't check properly. We managed to get one of those nice bed settees at the back to lounge in! A couple of bottles of wine later, things got crazy as such:

If you look carefully, you can see Vincent's left foot in the bottom right corner! That's Clarence getting all catty. Bro, don't kill me for this pic! Haha!

That's Clarence and Vince about... 60% sloshed!

Observe the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple amongst all the red wine? Chey!

Caught in the act! Gina snooping around Clarence's phone.. Sneaky!

The night ended in MacDonald's for supper (like, unhealthy, right??) and people being pushed and bags being thrown into ankle-high water! Well, Clarence and myself will be playing at Wala-Wala tonight for three sets till 1am, so come down and chill out if you can! I'll post D&D photos (NOT glamorous, forewarned!) once I get a hold on 'em.

Still waiting for Olympus to tell me my camera has been fixed. Hello? It's been five working days!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Conquering steep climbs..

Today we had our show at CCPS. I'll just go on record and say that I've never seen so many pink bags at one time before. Almost every single girl there was carrying a pink schoolbag ranging from Strawberry Shortcake to Billabong to even Barbie. You'd think pink was the standard issue of the school!

Shows that PINK is indeed hot. ; )

But I guess this is it. Really, finally, THE last show for VE in it's current outfit. Hell, Toshi even went by his word and took back our clothes rack from the studio. Shows you how determined he is trying not to come back anymore! Come Saturday, it'll be new faces and hopefully new members too. D&D is just round the corner, come Sunday. Hope all the planning and deliberating will bear fruit. Still have yet to meet up with Lynn and finalize emcee script, and most importantly still haven't managed to settle my costume!

I've uploaded the rest of my Chingay photos to this online album on Shutterfly. Ok, eyes are drying. Time to crash.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pickled Sushi

In case you need reference to something so simplistic and beautiful..

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow,

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow

So then I took my turn
Oh all the things I've done
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
D'you know you know I love you so
You know I love you so

I swam across
I jumped across for you
Oh all the things you do
Cause you were all yellow

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh what a thing to do
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
D'you know for you i bleed myself dry
For you i bleed myself dry

Its true look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine
Look at the stars look how they shine for you
And all the things that you do

Had my first Japanese language lesson last night. Not too bad! But still, plenty to learn and revise within the week. Conversational greetings and 15 basic alphabets were the agenda of the day, but that sure is taxing anough!

And to prove the fact as to how long I've been out of touch of going for class, I totally forget to bring and stationery (save for a pen, thank goodness!) and had no writing materials whatsoever. Gosh.

Hajimemashite! Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu. ; )

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Viva Verdi

Went for my first SLO rehearsal today. Pretty daunting.

I've been involved in opera productions before, but always as someone behind the piano. And I liked it there. Never imagined I would be doing the singing though!

Since VE was being temporarily disbanded, the remaining us three have been attached to SLO to do their upcoming concert, Viva Verdi, which runs for one night only at Esplanade on 23 Mar. Ironically, I ever did SLO productions (as a pianist) in the past before, but I absolutely loathed it because of who used to be in charge of SLO. But thankfully it's being helmed by someone really good and capable right now, which is good. Not naming names!

Well, anyway, speaking about VE, it seems that fate has decided not to break us up so soon. We've just been added with one more show (which I'm sure the ORD personnel will be seriously hoping to be the last!) for Thursday! At Canossa Convent Primary School. Looks like we'll be doing our Fire song and dance sequence for one more time! Also, just found out this morning at work that we have a new batch of fresh recruits coming for audition on Sat. Usually we would be slightly picky, but VE is so desperate right now we'd probably just take anyone decent enough. Well, fingers crossed. I hope we find a good (or even better, a few) replacements on Sat.

Ok, need to get some shut-eye. Just taught 5 full hours of theory today, brain almost fried. And there's theory again tomorrow. Bah!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Randomly speaking, RAIN loves cyborgs.

March Madness has really started. What a crazy weekend it has been for me, and Sunday isn't even over! Friday morning was AEP show at Pioneer JC.. it was the last school show for 3 out of the 6 VE folks, so we had a good time doing the traditional onstage sabo for Mark "You-Never-Gave-Me-A-Chance" Su and John "I-Feel-So-Old-Here" Khoo. Haha!

Well, since we were already intending to let loose on the show, coupled with the fact that it was an early morning show, things got quite out of hand. But in a good way. Although it did, at some point of time, start to resemble a Taiwanese variety show! Charles, while doing his usual beatbox tutorial plug after the end of the show, piped in, "If you want to see videos of me online, please visit beatboxerstitch.blogspot.com to view them!" Talk about sexual innuendos!

Friday night was my usual night at Balaclava. Things were slight rusty for Little Black Book because Kewei & myself took a one-week break the week before. Yesterday the VE had another show, this time at the Armed Forces Career Experience 07 at Marina Square. Toshi got sabo-ed this time round, although his was pretty mild!

Well, gotta rush off for show soon.. Today also got ACE07 show to do. And after that, I gotta teach at 6pm!! Weekend burnt!