Thursday, April 24, 2008

Laptop Bricks

Ok, so check this out: my old Presario 2500 is so slow and laggy now, it downloads internet content faster than it can load it. That's how jialat it is right now. Plus, it's so damn thick and heavy that the common saying in this household is, if one of us went to war with it and used it to hammer enemy soldiers, it would actually work. Right, random fact.

Anyway, I've been clocking up some really serious time on Lost Odyssey -- 5 to 8 hours per night, to be exact. To add on to that, my body clock has completely screwed up. Now, I go to bed at 6 or 7 in the morning and wake up at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Talk about living in different time zones, man. I experience so little sunlight in a day I'm almost a licensed vampire.

Which is why I'm still up at this unearthly hour, updating my blog and surfing around aimlessly on Wikipedia. No joke, that day I was still reading about the Mandlebrot set and the Lorenz attractor at 7am. How random is that! Surprisingly though, I managed to fit all that new knowledge into my head, so you could say that was rather productive.

Well, LO awaits, but I think I'll crap out if I have to deal with any more targeting rings or GC levels. So, that's it for the night (or morning) I suppose. Time to get some shut-eye and resume my endless RPG worship tomorrow! Oh wait, one more last random fact: can you believe Pokémon actually triumphs Final Fantasy (which is ranked 2nd) as the most popular Console RPG to date?! That's ridiculous!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Music & Drama

Glad to say I've finally obtained my pink I/C after all these years! Well, two years to be exact. But trust me, I could barely contain my excitement when my chief clerk was rifling through her drawer where she keeps all our I/Cs until our time is due. I went down to MDC today to finally settle my clearance as well as collect my COS.

I must say, though, even though there has been much trials and tribulations (that's just a nice way of saying there was tons of shit to handle), I wouldn't want to serve my NS anywhere else other than MDC. Truth be told, if I were posted to some combat unit, I wouldn't even know if I'd still be playing the piano or singing right now. Especially if I had to stay-in, and not being able to work or teach. I think I'd just die!

So, I'd like to thank the good Lord from the bottom of my heart. For giving me these terrible eyes so that I could be bumped down to PES C, and for granting me the only posting I ever wanted for my NS. Before I enlisted, I did mull over the dreadful thought of not being able to do what I was currently doing once I was called in. Thankfully, everything has worked out pretty well.

It was good to hold on COS, service transcript and pink I/C in my hands. Not so much because I have finally ORD'ed, but more towards reflecting on how fast these two years have flew by. Two years of memories than I will cherish for a long time to come, especially MDC's trip to Rockhampton. In fact, if I weren't starting school in September this year, I would definitely request to tag along this year if MDC is going.

Well, seems like the next stage of my life is going to come in a 2-year block as well -- my MA in Music Therapy course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama will last over a duration of two years. I am looking forward to that, I must say. Seems kinda poignant, doesn't it. I'm moving from on Music & Drama to another Music & Drama. Seems to be the only two things occupying my life lately, actually.

Well, I guess my riotous life in MDC is very well-summarized in pictures in my Facebook album 'MDC Madness Mania'. I still browse through the entire album every so often to recollect all those fun, crazy and bittersweet moments that we've encountered. We all had our fair share of laughter and tears and fights over our own two years; I'm sure Jon Tay can attest to that!

Well, we're all headed our separate ways now. Deon is off to Berklee, Jon Tay is off to MSM, Joel went off to Melbourne, Ben is joining me in London... And the list goes on and on. Soon new guys will come in, and we will all be just whispers of the past, old MDC alumni. I just hope the legacy of my magazine lives on in MDC. I'm sure those who know what I'm talking about will concur! Haha!

Well, enough on the reflections now. Time to look forward. Before I go, here's a hilarious photo of four horses. I kid you not!

They hexed our beer to make us act like horses!

Yup, I think all those name-calling on Monji has started to take effect. She makes the best horse faces around town these days, let me tell you. Aww... just kidding, babe. You know how much we love to make fun of you. See you soon!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Homecoming Affairs

I'm back! And I'm doggone tired. These long flights aren't really my cup of tea! As (bad) luck would have it, I didn't get an aisle, or even a window seat on the way back. Had to sit in the middle again; how harrowing!

I managed to catch three movies on the way back: Sweeny Todd, No Country for Old Men and 27 Dresses. Yes, yes.. A musical movie, a gritty film adaption of a novel and a rom-com all in one sitting. Well, how's that for diverse! Sweeny Todd was really quite entertaining, although I don't quite fancy Sondheim's tunes and lyrics as much as his ability to even come up with a musical about a serial killer!

London was not much warmer then the last time I was there two months ago. Seems uncharacteristically cold for spring, I must say. This is it, our global weather is going completely haywire. I hope I'm not in the generation where ozone layer depletes or something! The interview and auditions went fine, I'm pleased to say.

There were 6 interviewees during the group sessions (I think there are 10 applicants in total for my course for this batch), and would you believe it, three are actually Singaporeans! Including myself, of course. Now this is definitely a milestone, especially for a course like music therapy. Hooray to local presence, I guess! The practical auditions went very smoothly, thankfully. That was also because the school kindly allowed me to use their practice studios to practise on the two days before my auditions.

Having a pint at the Exchange Bar.

Well, of course it wasn't just work and no play. I managed to meet up with Angus a couple times during my trip for drinks and food. That dude's hair is so long now, it ain't funny! But wait till you hear his story on how he got scammed £390 by an Italian man named Mark Anthony.

Ah well, you can read all his adventures in London (and the EU!) here on his blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pressing Forward

Part 1 is done. Phew, a moment of relief, at least. Part 2 commences tomorrow at 10 in the morning. I have three separate interviews; talk about thorough! Gonna be a tad touristy today and head down to the London Dungeon later. That's sure to take my mind off things, so that's good. Hope it's fun!

Maybe a little more alcohol tonight should soothe the nerves. Haha! I'm just (half) kidding.

Dawning Moments

Shouldn't have gone for drinks out with the gang tonight. Now I'm really worried about my audition tomorrow. Oh God, please, help me out this time. I really need this to work out! 10am it is then. I will not oversleep.

Coffee & cake at Knightsbridge.

Met up with Monji today, we went to Patisserie Valerie before dinner. Terrible attitude among the staff, and the service sucks to the core. Don't blame us just because we ain't French! Cakes look better than they taste. But at least the coffee's good!

Ok, time for bed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dæmons & Planes

The flight here was just plain horrid -- sometimes the only reason why I keep taking Qantas and BA is to accumulate frequent flier miles. Really. To start off, I couldn't get an aisle seat. Okay, that really isn't BA's fault, I guess. But they could really do with making their seats a little wider!

Next, we were stuck in the plane on the ground at Changi Airport for an hour because the a/c for the rear of the plane (that's us poor economy class folks) completely wasn't working. That's right, step on to BA where in in-flight sauna is not optional! And finally, when we took off, the a/c still wasn't working, although the captain did come on the PA to say that it would take about an hour in the air before everything would return to normal.

I don't even want to go on describing how harrowing it is to sit in a cramped seat with virtually no ventilation available. Oh, the long-suffering travelers we are! I managed to catch two movies en route to London -- The Kite Runner and The Golden Compass. I quite enjoyed both, actually. I was actually quite drawn to the dæmon concept in Golden Compass, whereby a person's soul resides outside the body in the form of an animal called a "dæmon".

I also managed to catch a video of Mika live in Paris. To be honest, I absolutely hate electro pop, his whiny voice and his mop of a hair, but I gotta admit his songs are damn catchy!

Audition dawns tomorrow. Make it or break it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Muted Finale

Black Orpheus is finally out. Thanks much to Sumardy, who helped us record, engineer and mix the entire thing!

Today was my last official working day at the office. Ironically, I stayed all the way till 5pm proper before leaving on my last day -- something which I must admit I don't do all that often! Reason being was, I had to practise for my audition repertoire, and that was enough to take up most of my day at work today.

The rest of the VE guys left way earlier, leaving me and Albert (of all people, can you believe it!) behind because Albert also wanted to get some practice done too. On a different note, I've finally settled on my audition repertoire, which is quite a relief for me in many ways. Now all that's left is to practise like a madman and try to hone everything to perfection.

Today, I also had to undertake the arduous task of packing up everything I've accumulated in the VE room over the past two years and bring them home. And whilst doing that, I started getting bittersweet memories of all that time spent in that cosy practise room. Didn't help that I happened to, coincidentally might I add, put some really emotional Brooke Fraser music on. Suddenly my entire NS life was flashing in front of my eyes like those slideshows you see at weddings of the couple growing up.

Ok, enough talk for now. My flight is tomorrow and I've not packed a single bit. Hope I don't lose my check-in luggage in T5, man. Better pray real hard! Alright, I really should go. My fingers should be on another keyboard, not my laptop's.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Miles Accrual

And off to London, I'll be. Leaving on the night of the 12th, Saturday, and back on Friday evening, the 17th. I'll be going for my admissions interview with GSMD, and I am so unprepared. Simply too caught up with Lost Odyssey and Assassin's Creed everyday! Better get something done.

Need to fly off to Woodlands to teach now. I'll groan to myself on the way out.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Records of Late

I've been holed up in recording studios as of much lately, mainly with Iskandar's NDP project with the VE guys & Jacintha; as well as the demo that Xiao'an, Evan, Deon and myself have been working on in MDC itself.

The four of us have formed an impromptu quartet of sorts, namely guitar, bass, drums and keys. We just finished recording Black Orpheus on Thursday after nearly six hours of multi-tracking in the MDC recording studio. We did a take of it last week, but that was with a whole lot more instruments and that turned out a bit messy.

The tracks are in post-production now, but I'll definitely post it up when it's finally done. I'm also quite looking forward to hearing out the We Are Singapore acappella arrangement is going to end up sounding. That one was done over three separate sessions at Pavane, at will be used for this year's NDP 2008. The VE guys will be onstage with Jacintha for that item during the NDP itself as well.

Iskandar has asked me to perform for NDP as well, but that's in August and I'm not really willing to say yes it yet. Especially since after I've done two consecutive NDPs with MDC! But, of course, if the price is right, I'll be glad to take it up.

Anyway, I used the bathroom scale the last time I was at Pavane -- I've ballooned up to 72.5kg. The horrors!!