When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, July 13, 2002

My mother is being irrational and obsessive-compulsive, as usual. She claims that resting a container that used to contain Caesar salad in it on a CD jewel case will cause the table below to get stained.

I realise I haven't updated the sheet of paper where I write down all the things about her that infuriate/frustrate me for quite a while.

Anyhow, this catharsis session has finished, and I think this episode will trouble me no more, as I've become rather adept in ignoring her. We now return you to our normal programming :)
Microsoft sweeps out Hotmail accounts

"Moreover, some consumers say they suspect that Hotmail has unleashed junk mail from third parties to purposely overload mailboxes and drive subscriptions.

One Hotmail user said he received an e-mail from the service in the last month saying that if he exceeded the storage limit, his incoming messages will be blocked with no explanation to the sender.

"The day after that announcement, my junk-mail folder had suddenly been spammed with the same message at least a hundred times, putting me over the storage limit. This kind of spam never hit me before and has happened a few times since," said Hotmail user Steve Rowley."

Haha! Though I have my suspicions... Hotmail has just SO much spam. I wish I'd not signed up with it in the first place, but inertia and transaction and moving costs keeps me there.

More endorsement:

"I chanced upon this website by a fellow NSF while I was surfing around last night. Yeah, so most of it is devoted to him himself, but there's a quotes page with a section on his life in NS so far that's absolutely hilarious. I'm just glad I didn't wake the folks up with my laughter. :D"

Well. Hey, most of it isn't devoted to me! I protest :)

New, working counter. Yeh. Sitemeter sucks, referrer tracking wasn't available for quite a time.
NB: The following review was actually typed on Wednesday, at the Armour E-learning centre, where everyone is learning either to check their mail or to play Flash games [The guy beside me on Friday had this "Hentai Dating Sim" on his screen for a brief moment] and visit an eclectic selection of eccentric websites. Just as I finished it the review, Blogger went down. On Friday, when I tried to repost it, I found, to my chagrin, that Blogger was STILL down. Gah.

"it was decreed that women shall sing (sic)"

Blandly, in lowercase letters, starts the program booklet to "Dazzle", aka Choral Noon 2002. Except that it hasn't been called that for a while already. And the grammar is wrong. Perhaps a better version would be, "it was decreed that women should sing". Or if you don't like reported speech, "it was decreed, 'women shall sing". The wonders some punctuation can do for the veracity of your mottos. There are actually some errors in the program proper too, but I've decided not to pick on them, at least not yet :)

The only reason why I happened to be the place in the first place was that I did someone a favour by buying up a ticket that her friend didn't want. But I got to write a review, so I am sated. If you're expecting one from a musical perspective, you will be sorely disappointed, as my semi-trained ear is not finely honed enough to detect all but the most egregious of mistakes, and anyhow it's more fun to talk about the more interesting aspects. So content yourselves with a review from a Gabriel perspective. And do bear in mind that while I criticise a lot, I also enjoy my experiences a lot, and not just the criticism.

There was only one relatively plain banner, announcing, "Dazzle". And other screwed up influences were not in evidence - a triumph for those detesting extravagance, flamboyance and above all - screwed-up-ness everywhere?

For once, the MCs were not alumni. This breaks the cliche of always having old girls being the hosts for the evening. Strangely enough, however, not just were the alumni not MCs, they were not even performing. And they were forced to pay $2 more for tickets right at the back, probably because those plotting pricing strategies knew that they'd bite despite the price.

The mics were too echoey, and this was obvious all throughout the first half, and a little distracting. During the second half, when Cinderella the Musical was staged, they all had those funky mics which Hongkong performers love to use, so they can gesture with their hands and strip off their outer layers of clothing. Much better than RV's "The Reluctant Dragon", where the performers had no mics and struggled to be heard.

The most distracting habit of moving with the music is still (sadly) alive and well in the Raffles Guys School choir. If I thought that David was literally the most prolific example, I was wrong as the girl on the right edge of the third row was moving with an intensity that would do the aforementioned one proud. And many of the rest were also enamoured of this bad habit. Perhaps it's done to hypnotise the audience, or lull them to sleep.

Performed was an exquisite arrangement of "Arirang", a Korean folksong. At times, the flute was a bit hoarse and scratchy, mirroring the rendition, but overall it was quite sleep. However, the part that raised goosebumps was the translation of most of the song (after a suitable first verse in Korean to show their erudition) into English! Not since the days of Wu Yi has such a sacrilege been committed! [NB: Note from Huihui - "RGS choir tries to sing the words of the song in its original language if both the original language and its translated version is present. So for arirang, it's very likely that the score was in english for the other verses...hence the english words."]

The choir's enunciation was not as up to par as previously. Example quotes: "when he leafs me" (leaves), "I heard air force coming up on TV" (F4's) and "Let's strike a dill (deal)". But they're still much better in this respect than most Singaporean choirs. Their musical standard, on the other hand, was much better than the last time I heard them, and they are approaching the standard which got them Best Secondary School Choir in the long lost days of 1997.

After the student conductor had her fun conducting the choir, she ran off to become a score flipper for a time, before exchanging roles with the pianist. How sad. And she was singing from her post at the piano's side. Erk. Worse, she clapped for the choir when they finished their pieces. But worst of all, she did choreography from her position!

The sight of gowned girls playing guitars is, not unstrangely, most entertaining.

After one particularly lively piece, the choristers started fidgeting a lot, talking loudly and looking in all directions. How unprofessional. Though they did manage to smile most of the time, at least from what I could see all the way at the back of the hall.

Instead of getting the alumni in, they wisely invited the RGS Flesh Parade to perform instead, knowing that it'd entertain and impress more people, and attracting a certain segment of the population, since no one wants to look at old women anyway :)

In a sign of her going out of fashion, Britney Spears was mocked by the (most entertaining) temporary MCs, who in my opinion, were actually better than the real MCs. Aww. And F4 was lauded. Not that I care much for boybands anyway, or most modern music, but the zeitgeist of society is perhaps best gauged through events such as this.

An interestingly new item was the result of nepotic influences. Proclaiming a child's voice to be pure and untouched, the temporary MCs ushered in Caroline, a 4 year old girl, the daughter of the conductor, decked out in a ridiculous green gown. After some horrific singing of the gobbledy-gock song from Disney's Cinderella (Put em together and what have you got? Bibbety boppety boo) by her, their words were proven true - a child's voice is untouched by any musical or even linguistic training at all. Of course, the audience clapped along to the singing, vindicating my theory that people clap along to songs to drown out the bad singing, and to keep time for the performer.

As expected, Carmee Lim made an appearance. Even though I'd anticipated it, the sight and prospect of being regaled by her yet again was sufficient to elicit howls of agony from me, which you will be able to hear on the video of the concert above the cheering, since the video cam was across the aisle from me. Worse, she did a duet with Caroline. And as usual she asked everybody to sing along, though no one did, being jaded to her tricks now :) Though I have to say, she has improved. Maybe she has more time to practise now that she's retired. As predictable as Carmee Lim making an appearance, Huihui also dropped by. When I commented that they don't dress alike anymore, they protested that they haven't for a long time. And they said they were very keen to read my review. Hehe.

The Alto 1s tried to burn down the Singapore Conference Hall during their item, walking in with candles. Maybe the management wanted to claim the insurance money. Some of them sound so old, with their rich and mature voices. And the S2s sang the song we used to sing in Primary School! I haven't sung it, or heard it sung, for so long. Versions vary, but the following is what I think was sung on Monday:

"Fill the school with kerosene, falalalalalalalala
Light a match and watch it gleam, falalalalalalalala
See the school burn down to ashes, falalalalalalalala
See what fun we have with matches, falalalalalalalala"

(OT: I found a song in the same spirit. "Joy, Joy, Joy to the world. The teacher's dead. We barbequed her head. What happened to the body we flushed it down the potty and around...and around...and around...")

A handphone symphony was also performed. How original.

During the intermission I saw the female toilet queue. Woah. Oh well.

Yongxiang and Yunxin came to the concert together. I haven't seen the former for quite some time. His face has changed, but he claims it hasn't. This signal officer at nearby 1SIR gets a night off everyday, and books in at 2359. So he was able to view the concert to its end. Oh, and his pay is $1020 a month. Gah. Yunxin didn't wear Hot Pants! Maybe they've gone out of fashion for her for quite a while.

During the interval, I noticed this girl, who I later found out was from VJ, at Sicheng's right. She looked a great deal like my current Sec 4 junior Yong Ping. In fact, I thought she was he at first, albiet with long hair and a lot more pimples than I remembered - and he was quite pimply in Sec 1 already. The resemblance was striking, and it took me a while to realise that it was not he, when I saw the crossed legs and noticed the, erm, appendages.

Screwed Up Girl unleashed her IPW survey on everyone. I was too slow, but I managed to save Yunxin at least. But then she got angry at me, not least because I was so zealous in my protection that Screwed Up Girl somehow dropped her bag. Oh well.

Cinderella the Musical was written, composed and produced by the choir girls. And it was not bad too, and of a respectable length. Well done. Though sadly I couldn't stay to see it end (I left when Cinderella went to the ball) as I had to proceed to my camp in the middle of nowhere. Of course, they had to add their own touches to the story, but they mostly worked well - the Stepmother was humanised, and some of the reasons for her seeming unthinking cruelty were explored. I sense the influence of Literature!

During some of the songs of the Cinderella musical, I heard two voices singing. Pre-recorded singing? Maybe they should have stuck to lip synching.

I left at 9:50pm, and that was already pushing it a little (though I still booked in on time in the end). The only reason stayed so long was because someone claimed that she was paying $10 just to see Cinderella's gown. Indeed, it was not bad, but definitely not worth $10! It looked like a glorified wedding gown, and it was probably just borrowed from somewhere, in fact. If they'd made it themselves - now then that would be impressive.


I used to refer to the conductor of the RGS choir as, "The Woman So Lousy That No One But RGS Wants Her". Of course, this was totally in jest. Of course, this is obvious too, but one always needs to cover all one's bases when posting on weblogs.

My SIM card can only store 85 entries. Most people's can hold 250. Grr. I should get a new one.

I've this evil plot involving using my school smartcard (RJ was selected for the pilot scheme) as a student EZ-link card. But apparently the conductors will now walk around with card readers. Or something to that effect.

Huihui tell me that the AV technician we all know and love from VCH jumped ship in July 2001. He now works at the Singapore Conference Hall.
Nobody's posted in quite a while.... ah well. Gabriel's quite free.
I've been spending too much time in school... went back 4 times this week. That's as much as an average rj student!
Went back on monday with gabriel to collect a level cert and yearbook... went back on wednesday to see teachers, and drop by rmun opening ceremony. (Couldn't go on tuesday for clubmeeting- was canoeing with albert and tiffany) ; went back thursday with sarah and jiaming and finally met jeremy..... yay! And went back again today (that's saturday) for APM rehearsal... huihui were around, so i dropped by RMUN (guess what... they were running around doing the AV thingies for the crisis video!!)

Also trying to finish reading C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian (a biography of the writer) which doesn't seem to be working since i'm mudding on astaria now...arrrgggh just wimpied out twice because i wasn't looking at the screen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

The L-Space Web: Songs
Lo - the infidels flee the wrath of Om

(To Lo, he comes with clouds descending (Helmsley) - English Hymnal no.7 and one of the greatest tunes in the book)

Lo, the infidels flee the wrath of Om,
See them scatter in their fright!
Thousand thousand hooves of iron
Put the wicked hosts to flight -
Om is mighty (x3)
Burn the world in Om's true light.

Let the false gods gibber error,
Still the Turtle moves its pace
Cause of endless exaltation
To the children of Om's grace -
Burn the heathen (x3)
Stamp the sin from off their face!

In the pits of the Quisition,
Hear the sinners' screams and cries;
Praise great Om, who made us mighty,
Shout his glories to the skies;
Purge the faithful (x3)
Till the word of falsehood dies.
Met crystal for the first time!

The L-Space Web: Songs (Terry Pratchett "Fanfiction")

Wouldn't It Be Nice If Everyone Was Nice

(sung to the tune of "It's a Small World")

If we all were friendly
I'm sure you would agree
That the world would be a better place
For you and for me
And if everyone was kind
I'm sure no-one would mind
So let's all be nice

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice?
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice?
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice?
Let's all be nice.

Being good to people
Is lots of fun
And it makes a difference
To everyone
And a smile is a frown
When it's turned upside down
So let's all be nice.

Repeat chorus ad nauseam.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Andrew Gan's forsaking of that 13 year old might be due to his fascination with:

"midnight, moonrise;
wild roses and a hint of storm..."

Hee hee.

The real PJ girl is jealous that there's only one quote from her in Improve Your English. Aww.

Monday, July 08, 2002

I went back today to get my RJ Yearbook and A level cert. Originally I was going to go with Julian, but he was incommunicado due to camp duty and a flat handphone battery (hasn't he heard of chargers?), so I went with Bunny (and now Turtle) Killer instead.

On meeting Bunny Killer, I got poked by his spiked hair. Ah, the poseur streak in him has been exaggerated by his time spent in the decadent fraternities of Melbourne! Not only was his hair horribly spiked, he had a pair of expensive looking sunglasses around his neck, and he was wearing a shirt that would've been a Hot Shirt if it'd been a touch tighter. Such was the poseur look that he got picked up! But more on that later.

We had lunch at Black Angus, which offers a good set lunch. Reasonably priced, especially when compared with the horrific dinners. But we, or maybe just I, overestimated and ordered the Wild Wild West Onion, a third or so of which we ended bringing home.

My favourite Pioneer magazine writer took an MC today so he could go for a CAP gathering. Gah.

When we arrived in RJ, we went to visit TS 20. Indeed, my Commander poster is still there. Hell, the notice from last year about timetabling changes is there too. So much for an updated noticeboard. On the aforementioned poster, I wrote something to the effect of "I was here" and posted my website URL. Pity that the Commander quotes are all gone now, though. I also saw 2 photos on the wall, one of which had Yortsin in it!

If TS20 was bad, the Geographica board is worse! Looking at it, I saw some very familiar looking photos. They were of the Early 2000 Ghim Moh newspaper collection, the one where Andrew and I turned up half an hour before it ended, but got our Community Service hours for anyway. None of the people in the photos are in RJC anymore! Gah.

When we went to the staff room, we found Ms Ho (Poh Fun) there. For once, she wasn't wearing a skirt! Of course, she started talking to us, and bought us drinks. Inevitably, part of the conversation digressed into a GP discussion :)

Ironically, the Pepsi vending machine in the RJ canteen doesn't sell Pepsi. The washbasins on one side of the canteen have been redone. They are now covered with purple material (how fitting).

There were many people wandering around wearing their secondary school T-shirts. Luckily, there were no teachers around to give white slips. Then again, they wouldn't care, so.

We saw our RV juniors practicing their pieces for an Afternoon of Poetry and Music (20th July, which is one day after Andrew leaves - aww). They all look so shaggy and scruffy. Wilfred now looks like a drug addict. Yechao was wearing a Warcraft 3 shirt, and he was very proud of it. Maybe I should design a PONG shirt! And the junior I don't know looks like a horse (no offence), albeit of a different species from the horse 2 years older than me. So, coincidentally, I have one horse 2 years older than me and one 2 years younger, of opposite genders. And both are/were in Evil Cult and their Secondary School choirs. Yeh.

I'm happy to get my yearbook, and even my (dismal) cert but they've managed to make mistakes again. Where last year, CWC took over the Biology Society, this year the Astronomy Club and Raffles Players were totally left out! And to make it worse, they didn't even print enough Yearbook supplements, so presumably only those who were in those 2 ECAs will get the supplements. So, in the annals of history, it will be as if those 2 ECAs never existed!

There was a pinata in the shape of a ball in the Concourse. I would've whacked it but I didn't have a stick :)

Exiting RJC, I tripped over an orange mesh fence thing, and I uttered a louder than normal shriek, which was, in fact, on the highe end of a shriek. Returning to RJC because we'd not enquired about the students' directory that we'd paid for last year, and passing the same orange mesh fence, Andrew stepped on a wooden cuboid which hit me. And I shouted loudly this time. Must be my bad luck with that fence. And when we asked about the directories, we found that they were not available because Mr Leong hadn't given them to the office. Maybe it's an evil plot to get us to come back often.

Ghim Moh McDonald's has a "No Dogs" sign. Well presumably it's "No Dogs", because the sign has a "No" sign over a dog. Are dogs forbidden because they are haram? :0 In a unrelated matter, the float I got from that establishment had ice in it. Evil!

As mentioned earlier, Andrew got picked up. Due to his poser look, he attracted some attention. While we were in McDonalds, he noticed 3 girls looking furtively in our direction and giggling. When we exited the joint, I noticed them too, so while I made a call, I sidled forth such that both of us were in view of, and could view, the girls. They continued glancing not-so-stealthily and laughing. I wanted to go in and ask them what was so amusing, but Andrew ran off away from their view, and I only caught him when we were past the ATM beside the Soya Bean outlet. I tried to drag him back, but he resisted. Then, 2 of the girls ran out of McDonalds laughing. I went to ask them why they were so consumed by mirth, and they said that their friend, the one in a red shirt, liked Andrew. We were both very amused. A while later, when we'd crossed the road to part ways, the same 2 ran across to us and accosted him again. Apparently their red-shirted friend found Andrew cute, and wanted his handphone number, but they were disappointed when they found out he didn't have a handphone. In a typically Singlish tone, they kept saying their friend was "very good one". On enquiry of their age, they claimed that they were 31. When we said we were 19, they said we were 91, so. And when I told them that he was going back to Melbourne on the 19th, for some reason, they said Sydney was better. And so Andrew turned down the attentions of a 13 year old! :)

I need new shoes. My black dress shoes have gone missing, and I don't need track shoes to go to school anymore, so I'm free in my choice of footwear.

I saw a man with a tie riding a motorbike. How out of place.

I was pronounced chipmunky and intimidating today. Oh well.

Of course, my mother had nothing better to do, so when she looked at the RJ Yearbook's scholars section, she said "your name should be here". (...)

My brother-in-law and sister are going to London soon for 9 months (I think) to pursue post-tertiary education. So, among other things, I'll have no one left to fetch me to my camp in the middle of nowhere at night :(

I let someone sell me a lone ticket for a concert later. And it's free seating. Bah. Maybe I can sneak to the back and sit with Screwed Up Girl and friends.
I hate doing dirty work for NDP. I did medical cover for yet another technical rehearsal on Friday, presumably in case anyone was deafened by the overly-loud music, and medical cover for ticket distribution on Sunday.

I shiver to recall the time, long ago, when I was a gullible kid, taken in by the propaganda and brainwashing of all this "nation building". Erk.

On Friday, perhaps to atone for the last time when they underfed us, the powers that be granted us 16 boxes of Pizza Hut food packets, for 5 people.

Apparently we only do NDP cover when the person in charge is our Commanding Officer. Gah.

Listening to the pre-recorded choir, I think that the one used for NDP is probably the one used for SYF too. They're probably the ACJC one, since they sound JCish, enunciate their words properly and have no cheena accent.

The medics are always the last, or almost the last, to leave the site they're covering. Grr.

School kids have to learn the spastic "fun dance" too, says Andrew

A thought: Someone might one day, make judicious modifications to the National Anthem, like what I did with the NYPS school song. Hmm.

On Saturday, we booked in again to go for TDC (Ticket Distribution Centre I think) cover. Arriving at where we were supposed to wait, we ended up stoning for more than an hour, which meant our sleeping time was delayed by at least an hour. In the end we slept at 3:50am and woke at 6:20am. Well done, SAF. At least I got to sleep on my stretcher though.

Some people started queueing up from 1+AM. I don't understand why they want to see this so much. You've to pay me to watch NDP!

I was quite disturbed for a time because I got scolded by the 46SAR medic because he thought I was "showing attitude". I've no idea why he was so upset, because I really don't think I was.

Near the end of our long stay in Delta Sports Hall, there was a commotion from outside. Going to check it out, I saw a lot of fat Malay women behind the barricade. I still don't know what that was all about.

I recently noticed that the toilet that the medics use, and presumably, all the toilets in my unit, have a motion sensor, such that the lights turn on when you walk close by. Ooo.

Sentai music! Why do Japanese singers all sound the same?

Sunday, July 07, 2002

NOW ON !!!
FROM $3.00


@ Price Club Pte Ltd
19A Tannery Road
Tel : 67466011
Opening Hours : 11 am to 7 pm
(Daily & Public Holiday)

Gasp, andrew would go if tannery road were nearer his house. As it is, the last time he went down there (for the U2 warehouse sale that was nevertheless wunnerful shopping- so many good bargains, andrew picked up a red tank top, 3 shirts- burnt orange, lavendar, reddish-brown) but he took almost 2 hours to get there.
Just talked to David Thian, prompted by Screwed Up Girl's horrifying description. Of course, she was being overly dramatic (as usual).

I haven't talked to him since last year, actually. I don't talk to him all that much, but when I do, it's always for a long time.
I'm back from Pulau redang, Terengganu! Wuz Absowutewy Wunnerfoool!!

hurrying off to unpack, bathe, wash stuff, develop photos,
Andrew gan
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