"The happiest place on earth"

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Friday, January 18, 2002

Sigh... just heard from huijun that "Bryan's Brilliant Idea" aka S03B '2001 reunion outing thingy on 19 Jan. facing bad turnout. 5 people confirmed to be exact. Brilliant is Bryan's not turning up, Mala (who first spread Bryan's Brilliant Idea around) not in singapore, and most others are unconfirmed (which means they're waiting to see who else will turn up)....

Mum suggested i go for tennis lessons.

I'm halfway thru "A house for mr. biswas". Light enough reading,

Oh, Joshua 21 monthly concert thingy is in COOS- Church of our Saviour, This Saturday 19 Jan. 8pm. COOS is 5 min. walking distance from commonwealth MRT- alight and walk towards the queenstown market, the church is next to the market facing the main road. There'll be a large crowd there so you can't miss it.

Andrew gan
Most vegetarians/hindus are careful abt consuming gummy sweets, since most have beef gelatine.

Those floral printed shorts must be BERMS !! Erm, triplet was wearing a pair of pink ones... somewhere in OOD photo gallery.

The way Britney spears sings All her songs is disgusting... in her defence she mumbled something about "Southern' gals" in USA wearing crop tops and hot shorts all the time

Have u seen the Ericsson wireles bluetooth headphone thingy? It's really cool! I saw this ITE guy talking on it on the MRT. Has a range of 10m, i think, but handphone is generally left in the pocket so u don't have to mess with wires

Monday, January 14, 2002

The marks the garters left on my lower legs, caused by day-long wearing during the 4 days of range, are still visible. Gah.

Leaving for dinner, then to the ferry terminal soon. The day of MC I took has done quite a bit for my cough. Zhongyong also took MC, and I hope he's feeling better now.

4 and a half days of shit, here I come.

Sunday, January 13, 2002

More backlog:

I'm feeling the pain of the Adult farecard. The 54 from Orchard Road to Bishan cost $1.00, and the 855 home from MacRitchie cost $1.10. Ouch.

I saw this 8 year old boy on the 54. He was wearing a singlet which had "Endure and Excel", and the PTI crest on it. I didn't know the singlets came in such small sizes. Maybe he just ironed on the badge.

So far, quite a few people in camp have asked me about the scar I have on my forehead. Maybe I should tell them it was caused by doing too many pushups. Muahaha.

I went back to RI yesterday to watch the 1urv Affair concert video (the second best choice because the concert was held on the 28th, before my New Year bookout).

RI has sold out. They now make everyone spend $10 to buy those large combination locks a la RGS and ACS, the ones with large rotary dials and which can be unlocked with a master key. Guess maintenance was tired of walking around with the giant set of pliers.

Now they've a String Ensemble. Hurrah! Band band and more band just doesn't cut it.

Uncle Soon Kiat has a new T-Shirt! These say "SKC" [Soon Kiat Construction], on the front pocket, if I remember correctly. While there I saw a bearded girl! She was at the water cooler and when she turned around, I saw that she had a beard atop her feminine features. Gasp.

Raffles Voices:

Some things never change. The choir was as noisy and rowdy as ever. People still like to run around (as I once did) and play stuff on the piano. Cheapo songs are still sung during Raffles Trail to con the Secondary Ones into thinking that "fun" songs are what make up the repertoire. And they had "Listen to the Music" again! ARGH. I"m sick of that piece. Well, actually now they've sold out. I found 4-5 ABBA scored in someone's score book.

When I entered LT3, it was not to the usual noise that customarily greeted me when I returned on previous occasions. The last time I visited was, if I'm not wrong, in June 2001, and that time, as always happened when I returned after graduating, I was greeted with raucous applause and people shouting my name. Now, only those who were in Secondary One when I was in Secondary Four are left. And I didn't get to know them very well, since I stopped going for choir in the Second Quarter of 1999 due to my not being selected for Choral Excellence. So I had, what, 3 months interaction with them. Coupled with my being bad at names... A pity I didn't get to know them better. Maybe when I am free (during block leave, perhaps), I shall return to acquaint myself with the new generation of Secondary Ones as I did in 2000 and 2001, such that people I didn't know came up to me saying, "You're Gabriel, right?" and "You're the one who spoilt the LT3 chair!" [NB: I didn't. I rarely sat in that particular seat].

I heard 'blazer', not just once, but twice!. No 'brazer'. Yeh!

They used an iBook for the presentation. Nice. Yummy. Mmm.

People are still eating the disgusting Yupi. I tried it once and was neutral towards it. Until, that is, I looked at "Ingredients" and discovered that it contains Beef Gelatine! Eee. Sweets and confectionary should not contain meat. I wonder if vegetarians or Hindus know about what goes into their Yupi...

1urv Affair video:

Note: 1urv stands for 1 United Raffles Voices. It's quite interesting and the person who thought it up has quite good perception :) How sad am I? I'm reviewing a video! Gosh. And I'm probably much worse than all of the performers. Oh well, the benefits of being an observer as opposed to a performer.

The camera didn't like the lights. Everyone had a white face on camera. And Jasper, when he came out to sing, held his arms in front of him raised for some reason.

Fake conversations between emcees to explain things to the audience suck. They're contrived, fake and irritating. And the surfeit of corny jokes was irritating! I suppose corny jokes are "safe" because you won't offend anybody. Except those who hate corny jokes. And the most commonly heard MC line of all time is - 'Sit back, relax and enjoy'. No comment.

Of a total cost of about $1700, they made a grand profit of ~$130. The money is supposed to go to Afghanistan, but 90% will be lost to corruption, so.

Why do people like to sing along to videos? I can never understand. Maybe they are trying to relive the night. And they keep jumping parts for convenience! Tenor to alto to tenor. I refer to Sicheng, who was sitting behind me, here (Are you there? Jumping parts is irritating!). When we did Listen to the Music last time, there were *always* wannabe Tenors singing along at the part which went, "Listen to the beat and the sound of the city, listen to the rhythm of the street. Listen to the radio playing on a Saturday night." [NB: I'm listening to the 1997 RI and RGS choir version of the song and I find that RGS sounds rather sleazy :)]

Cheapo songs were also sung during the concert. The alumni sang Kiss The Girl. This is terribly common and a staple of male A Capella groups. And Joshua gave some girl in the audience a flower (now, where've I seen that trick before? :) )

They also did "Geographical Fugue", last attempted in 1998 at "A Musical Concoction 3". I daresay they did better than RV did in 1998, though there was rushing, and someone was visibly beating tempo on his thigh! The one we did in 1998 at VCH was atrocious... The tenors came in almost 1 bar late at the end! Jennifer Tham must have been very pissed that night.

BEATS (A Bunch of Enthusiastic and Atrociously Tuneful Singers) has really gone down in standard. They used to be better. They performed "And So It Goes". It wasn't very tight, and there were numerous early entries, but then comparing them to the King's Singers is terribly unfair. Or maybe I'm suffering from the "good old days when a bowl of noodles cost 1 cent" syndrome [My classic retort to this is that "those were also the days when you earnt one dollar a month".] - the past always seems better and bad things about the past are forgotten and only the happy times are remembered.

They also sung The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Argh. Yet more cliched songs. It's actually not a good idea to do this song, because everyone knows it and even those without musical background, ability or talent can tell if it's done well. BEATS did quite okay, though for some reason they kept changing the tempo.

When the alumni came back in, they did the Banana Boat Song, complete with the giving out of bananas and antics with bananas.

What concert would be complete without a rendition of "Listen to the Music"? And so it was sung. And as usual, people clapped at the wrong place. Oh well.

Final song: The Institution Anthem. "Specially arranged to thank the school". I didn't really see the logic behind that. Oh well.

The encore piece was "Auld Lang Syne". As often happens, Ms Chaing started conducting from her seat. I think it's unconscious. But then the choir usually needs it. In 1998, when we did Les Miserables with MGS as the finale of "A Musical Concoction 3 - ReVolution", we rushed, notwithstanding her conducting. In 2001, when they did Les Miserables with RGS as the finale of "Music's Alive" (which sounds suspiciously like "Dragon's Alive", the name of the 2000 RI choir concert), they rushed too, even though Ms Chaing was valiantly conducting from her seat.

On people:

Quick notes. Frank and some others can still scream. Hurrah!

And yangyang looks totally different. Face, looks, height, everything. No wonder I didn't manage to locate him in RJC last year. And he's much less irritating now.


I saw the *longest* floral printed shorts ever. They were up to the knee. My perception of the world has been radically altered! The rock upon which my whole existence is based has eroded! The cornerstone of my mind has crumbled! I need to rest and compose my self.

*Wanders off*


Now that I've scared off some people who doubtless believe that I've gone mad (I've always said I'd come out of Slavery Dead, Broken or Crazy), a few last scribblings.

The way Britney Spears sings "I'm a Slave for you" is really quite disgusting.

And there's something that really irks me about those disreputable people you see by the road or in front of shophouses selling things. The ones who have a microphone around their heads and who tout their product, demonstrating how good it is. Maybe I just don't like the head-mounted microphones, because I get shivers down my spine too when I see Chinese pop performers with those earphones on.

It appears that Jessica Tay is in the army too, in the "Reserve Forces". But she only has to do it once a week and 1 weekend a month.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy has started! Due to combination of lack of time, laziness and forgetfulness, I missed the finale of Power Rangers in Space - Countdown to Destruction. Apparently it's quite good. Ah well. Lost Galaxy looks interesting, and the budget has visibly increased. It looks less cheapskate now.

In front of me now is a packet of "Wang Wang" small buns. The small white things with a brown top. To my horror, I have spotted a Halal sign on them. Then again, with Tuck Lee Icework's Halal Ice, I think we had already hit the bottom. Maybe I shall make my own brand of the small buns, one with a little lard inside (lard does wonders for Chinese confectionary I tell you).

A final, indulgent thought:

Societal influence is evil. In movies, books and fairy tales (where people live 'happily ever after'), life is portrayed unrealistically. Humans are fickle and unpredictable creatures who change their minds moods and feelings constantly and the changes can be very swift.

Therein lies a central flaw of marriage, because in the heat of the moment, people pledge their lives away and many live unhappy lives, not divorcing because of peer and societal (ooo, divorce is against "Asian Values") pressure and "for the children". One cannot predict the future any more than one can predict if a radioactive nuclide will decay in the next time interval. People change, we move on.

Slavery is evil.
hm the bio lecturer who mentioned gabriel and dropping bio must be mr. nah. He always starts off the year telling the J1s to drop bio, then spends the next 2 years asking his students repeatedly "why do you still insist on taking bio" while distributing test results

More Photos up (including prom!)
The perils of infamy:

"Upon closer inspection, the person who submitted that Bugzilla entry mentioned earlier is none other than Gabriel Seah , the infamous former RJC student who used to haunt the school's forums until they were taken down late last year. That guy scares me... And it's a pretty good thing I don't know him in real life."

Dubious honour :)

The VJC review is up on JC Guide, and it's quite "high class" too :) I kind of like the author's style.

I've learnt some things about VJC :) I didn't know that Lee Phui Mun would wash the toilets if she was free!

Purple Raine

"Today, I had tution again, and the fragrances from the ppl's hair infront and to the side of me really irritated me. I love the scent, but it makes me hungry and overly emotional, thinking about all the people I noe who smell nice, and what they usually smell like, and being totally unable to concentrate on E Maths and A Maths. Girls just smell so good.... mmmmmmmm". Err. Kenneth you have a sensitive nose.
Delayed bookout post (because of going to the doctor and a busy night yesterday):

Restored Post

4 weeks are over! 25% of BMT has passed. Whee. Though it was probably the easiest quarter... Ugh.

I need a belt. My pants are loose. Hell, half the platoon needs a belt. Maybe someone will go down to Beach Road and buy some for everyone. Ken said he'd buy one for me if/when he goes to buy a replacement rifle cleaning kit.

They expect conformity and uniformity from us (stand by bed, short hair et al) but they themselves aren't that uniform. For example, everyone conducts warmups differently - some omit the hip flexor and some say "thousand" instead of "one thousand" while others start "one thousand" and then continue "thousand" (Okay, so I'm being picky). And at the 100m range, we're not supposed to bring our rifles into the toilet (it's probably too dirty).

Last week was range week. Official reveille timing: 4:30am, which means people set their alarms for 3:30am or 3:45am, and we slept at 1am one day and 12am on two others, since the fall in time was 4:40am (thus do they find time to give us our "7 hours of uninterrupted sleep"). Actually, ironically, the 7 hours of sleep are one of the safety guidelines for range days, but it is on range days that we get the least sleep. What can I say? We are one of the slowest companies that the sergeants have seen (then again, they probably tell that to all of the companies).

The first day of range was incredibly boring - we were not allowed to sleep, talk too loudly or read, not even the newspapers that were brought along. The other 3 days were better, but we weren't allowed to lie on the floor and sleep (ahh the luxury of doing so! Tis greatly refreshing). It's very irritating, because most of our time at range was spent stoning, but we went back to the bunk very late.

We're actually checked for empty cartridges before we leave the range, but I'm sure anyone who is determined and ingenious enough will find a way to smuggle them out.

We had "night" firing during the day, when it was still bright. What can I say?

Some people with a master eye opposite to their master hand (eg left master eye and right handed) brought along eye patches. It really looks quite dumb and I'm glad I didn't get one. My shooting still turned out fine - 17/24 for the day shoot.

I wonder if the noxious miasma of gunpowder fumes is poisonous. Maybe that's why my cough still has not gone away after 2 weeks.

Running even short distances in Standard Battle Order is tiring. I hate to think of what it would be like running in Full Battle Order.

Tonner suck. They really really suck. The buses are much better.

Marching from point to point is stupid. It is slower than walking and so it wastes a lot of time.

I'm getting pimples from where the chinstrap of my helmet touches my chin. Ouch.

My physically more able buddy dislikes the mental part of training too - the ceaseless rush, punishment of everyone for one's wrongs, the rigidity of the system. If we could give up, I think most of us would. "The system is very fucked up" - Someone. People are punished for little or no reason - even for smiling!

Slavery really does mature people a lot, it is true. The sergeants and officers have a bearing and an air - they are more mature than the recruits who are older than them. But then Singapore women still complain that Singapore men are childish, immature and chauvinistic, so I suppose it's not full maturation. Indeed, it might make many immature in certain ways, or if not, at least more testosterone-driven / dicky / chauvinistic.

I'm still holding out against the temptation (though it's not very great) of going around topless or swearing ("shit" is the worse I've ever used).

Echoing is evil. It is noisy and the different tempos and entries of the shouting ensure that the original message cannot be heard clearly, to say nothing of the mangling of the message due to its being passed on - the Broken Telephone game anyone? And some pranksters are fond of echoing wrong messages. Because of echoing, I almost got one Guard Duty (luckily I was forgiven!) because of turning on the white lights in the training shed during range.

"I need intelligent reading material" - Jiaxiang. I think and hope that keeping the weblog alive will do something to stem my mental decline :) As will my bringing along of the Economist: [Officer on me reading it during range] Shit, you're a man, you read this sort of magazine?

More evidence of the desperation of NS guys: The mating of 2 monitor lizards attracted no small amount of attention.

Various events so far have proved the truth of that old adage : "You can do anything in NS, just don't get caught".

V. Ambiavagar is dead. We'll never see him at RI Founders' Days (all 4 of which I religiously attended for some reason) again. Sigh.

Apparently there's a "Ninja" company. That's if we heard the company name correctly. That must be the stupidest company name ever.

On Saturday morning, I had another injection. It actually went very well. I wasn't in tears before it, or even after (Note to all: Please don't give me any crap about "NS has toughened you"). Perhaps the medic was being very careful after I asked him to be gentle.

I saw and talked to Sing Pou and he was in Kilo for one week for his "Residential Course". Apparently they *don't* get to learn rifle shooting, and it's just propaganda lectures and more propaganda lectures. The PES E people don't even have to swing their arms when they march. (...)

Booking out and walking to the Pasir Ris MRT station, I saw a familiar group of people walking by. I guessed that it was 3S05B, and sure enough, Gilbert called out my name (and remarked that I looked burnt). That class is very enthusiastic about class outings.
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