Monday, December 31, 2007

Maria Sharapova Live!

What a damp squib this turned out to be. Pity the sods who coughed up $180 for nothing. I don't think it sold very well as many people seemed to possess 'complimentary' tickets. The first set almost turned into a walkover, with the Chakvetadze serve particularly vulnerable. Anna found her rhythm in the second set though, as the crowd got behind her to encourage a three-setter. In the pulsating tie-breaker, the crowd broke into two factions: the pro-Maria one who wanted to go home and the pro-Anna one who wanted to see more tennis. Well, after more than 20 points, Maria finally obliged and held her serve on match point to conclude the 94-minute walk in the park.

As to whether Singapore is ready for a ATP or WTA Tour event, I don't think so. Some hecklers were keen to show off their knowledge of tennis players whose fame is only exceeded by their complete irrelevance. Where do Messrs. Federer and Roddick fit in here anyhow? Any they seem to have a propensity to cheer Anna and Maria using their surnames. I mean, that's like saying "C'mon, Wong!" Yeah, that would really spur me on. And to do it when they preparing to serve? Take those people out and burn them at the stake.

The ballpersons were another sticking point. Their pace was glacial at best and they seemed too enthralled by Maria to realise they were there to pick balls fast. At one point they were feeding balls to Anna when it was Maria's turn to serve. If these jokers are the future of Singapore tennis, then I must say there's tunnel at the end of the light.

Finally, I was appalled at the number of people who left early. I mean, show some respect lah, traffic jam notwithstanding. This is not exactly Malaysia Cup, right? And to hear Anna and Maria glibly saying they loved the Singapore crowd just showed their tolerance of Neanderthal behaviour.

I'm just glad I got my ticket free.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Monster House

Flixster Plot: Although no adults will believe them, three children realize a neighbor's house is really a monster. They must find a way to stop the house and save the neighborhood.
My take: Quite OK lah. Watched because of my nieces and nephews.


Flixster Plot: A workaholic architect, who has been overlooking his family in favor of his career, comes across a universal remote that allows him to perform TiVo-like functions on his life, such as pausing events or fast-forwarding over them. When the remote begins creating its own memory and choosing what to fast-forward over, the man sees how much of his personal life has passed him by and realizes the importance of spending more time with his family.
My take: Thought it'd be a funny one. Turned out to be a moralistic guilt trip.


Flixster Plot: As an elite member of the world's fiercest and most highly trained fighting force, Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe thought he was prepared to take on any duty, no matter how perilous or impossible… until he tried baby-sitting. Assigned to protect the five out-of-control children of an assassinated scientist, who had been working on vital government secrets, Shane is suddenly faced with juggling two outrageously incompatible jobs -- fighting the bad guys and keeping house. Replacing his usual arsenal of wetsuits and weapons with diapers and juice boxes, Shane not only must battle a deceptive enemy but wrangle teen rebel Zoe, sullen 14-year-old Seth, eight-year-old Ninja-wanna-be Lulu, as well as three-year-old Peter and baby Tyler -- not to mention their off-beat Romanian Nanny. He's truly a SEAL out of water, and now it's up to this one-time lone warrior to take on the most important mission of his life: keeping a family together.
My take: Scarcely believable, but pretty funny.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Exodus

I sometimes feel like talking to the people who are leaving and hearing from them directly about their reasons for leaving. If anything, this would represent a chance to express my final disappointment in their departure, whether or not my opinion means anything to them. I just need to say it, if that makes any sense. I guess I will wait till after the Leaders' Retreat where I can get a better idea of what is going on. I have learnt to wait for the right time.

My goal is not to persuade them to stay, for that will be doomed to failure. I just look at it as closure for myself.

Just as a reminder to myself, the people I want to talk to are the Powerpuff Girls, Mojo Jojo and their underlings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Exam Results: Yr 2, Sem 1

DCE200: B
DCM200: A-
DED200: A-
DLK200: A-
DSE200: B+
DSM200: A
Cumulative GPA: 4.45 [down from 4.54]

A little disappointed but otherwise pretty good apart from the Bs.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius with bass harmonics & improv.

Monsterpiece Theater with Alistair Cookie

Anyone old enough to remember this?

GEMS Retreat

What a wonderful time we had at retreat. You could see everyone just forging bonds and bulidling friendships with one another in such an environment. A special word for Yewhock, who conducted the games and activities impressively despite it being his debut. Many thanks to Angela and Jackson, who made special effort to come despite prior commitments.

We kept to the budget of $60/head for the retreat [excluding Pastor's gift] and I'm impressed with the proficiency and fluency each committee member went about his/her job, despite a tight schedule and personal commitments.

Of course there's room for improvement, and we'll look into these areas in time for planning for the next retreat.

Finally, I thank God for His providence during the retreat: good weather, wisdom in sharing sensitive issues, willingness of people to help and perticipate... the list goes on.

We now look forward and shift our attention to our ambitious telematch programme on New Year's Day, which we will organise with the youth. Here's to another sucessful event!
Well here we go. All the planning and it comes down to this. I'm reasonably satisfied with the work we've put in as a committee and have also learnt much about the work attitudes of my committee. This will help when I do an evaluation at the end of the year.

Pray for God's hand to move in the retreat. The rest is up to Him.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Terminal

Flixster Plot: Like an airport running at peak efficiency, The Terminal glides on the consummate skills of its director and star. Having refined their collaborative chemistry on Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me if You Can, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks mesh like the precision gears of a Rolex, turning a delicate, not-very-plausible scenario into a lovely modern-age fable (partly based on fact) that's both technically impressive and subtly moving. It's Spielberg in Capra mode, spinning the featherweight tale of Victor Navorski (Hanks, giving a finely tuned performance), an Eastern European who arrives at New York's Kennedy Airport just as his (fictional) homeland has fallen to a coup, forcing him, with no valid citizenship, to take indefinite residence in the airport's expansive International Arrivals Terminal (an astonishing full-scale set that inspires Spielberg's most elegant visual strategies). Spielberg said he made this film in part to alleviate the anguish of wartime America, and his master's touch works wonders on the occasionally mushy material; even Stanley Tucci's officious terminal director and Catherine Zeta-Jones's mixed-up flight attendant come off (respectively) as forgivable and effortlessly charming. With this much talent involved, The Terminal transcends its minor shortcomings to achieve a rare degree of cinematic grace. --Jeff Shannon

My take: Thoroughly enjoyable. Held me in thrall throughout.

Happy birthday to me!

Many thanks to all the people who have wished me. God bless you for remembering! The only thing I want from God for my birthday is to be healed of my eczema. Pray or me whenever you can. =]

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rev James Singh's sermon on Simeon

Here's my two cents' worth on Simeon.

I can identify with the broken hands. God has given me a promise with regards to my healing, but it gets harder and harder to hold on to with each passing day that sees no progress. I have to keep asking God for His strength to pull through and keep believing in His healing. God help me to have a breakthrough. Help me hold on.

Mona Lisa Smile

Flixster plot: In 1953, a time when women's roles were rigidly defined, free-spirited, novice art history professor Katherine Watson begins teaching at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College--which despite its academic reputation, is an environment where success is measured by 'how well' the students marry. Encouraging these women to strive for a more enlightened future, Watson challenges the administration and inspires her students to look beyond the image of what is, and consider the possibilities of what could be--contrary to popular belief.

My take: Pithy, but a little underdeveloped. Not too much to chew on either. Still, a constructive use of two hours.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

10 Commandments: The Musical

Flixster plot: The story of Moses from the Bible in musical form, filmed live at the Hollywood Kodak Theater.

My take: Val Kilmer can't sing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bolton 1-0 United

We deserved at least a share of the spoils, but kudos to Bolton for really getting stuck in, harrying and harassing their more illustrious opponents. Despite dropping three points and getting sent off (which could mean a touchline ban), Fergie will have many lessons to draw from this loss.

1. Gerard Pique is not Premiership material and must be dropped like a hot potato. He makes Michael Carrick look like The Flash and can't win a header to save his life. He was badly at fault for Bolton's goal as he flew through the air to head thin air, the ball dropping kindly for Nicolas Anelka to sweep in. He then repeated his stunt two more times after that, thankfully with no further consequences than to leave Rio Ferdinand hoping that Nemanja Vidic or even Mickael 'Heart Attack Man' Silvestre was there to partner him. He was soon hauled off for Anderson, Fergie deeming him a liability. Move either John O'Shea or Wes Brown to centreback in an emergency, and kick Pique back to Zaragoza.

2. Owen Hargreaves must take the free-kicks from now on. He forced more saves out of the keeper from a dead-ball situation than Cristiano Ronaldo has the entire season. For the record, Jussi Jaaskelainen only had one save to make, though a far-post effort seemed to leave him stranded as it shaved the bar.

3. Anderson must play more games. United only came afire when the enigmatic Brazilian came on. For all of Carrick's vaunted range of passing, it took the ex-Porto man to really stretch Bolton with long passes to the right wing.

4. Carlos Tevez is no Ruud van Nistelrooy and Fergie needs to buy a targetman in January. He missed another one-yard sitter to condemn United to their second defeat of the season.

5. Put the new players through boot camp. Where United's old guard would get fired up from the challenges that were flying in from the likes of Kevin Davies, we saw Patrice Evra, all wrapped up against the cold, complaining bitterly about a strong but fair challenge from the Bolton hardman. Coupled with Anderson and Nani's incessant turf-rolling, this is looking embarrassing.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Wow, it's been three years! And every one of those 1,095 days, I thank God for your patience, tolerance and care. I'm looking forward to the rest of my life with you. =]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sad, sad England

And so England are out of Euro 2008 before it's even started. What strikes me is how apathetic I am towards their fate, despite being an England fan. Mostly it's due to the fact that don't deserve to be there based on their capitulations in the matches that mattered.

And so I now begin the unenviable task of finding an alternative team next year.

On another note, why not Raddy Avramovic for England manager?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Testimonial match for Amara

Yes, we may have played our last match at Amara. The score was immaterial (7-3 for the record), and there was an excellent spirit all around. A little muddy perhaps, but it was tolerable.

I was not supposed to play at all, as my skin is still dodgy, but I played in goal for a while as the teams were numerically imbalanced. Imagine playing in leather shoes, trousers and white shirt, at the mercy of the other team's misfiring strikers. I got through unscathed after 20 minutes.

I'm glad Ben arranged this match. It was important to end the football this year on a good note. A note too for Matthew, who put aside his feelings to join us. He kept dedicating his goals to Samuel by pointing to the sky, till I reminded him that Samuel was still alive, though not kicking.

When we move to Park Mall, it remains to be seen where we can play. Perhaps Fort Canning? I anticipate picking up loose balls won't be fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lady in the Water

Flixster plot: A modest building manager named Cleveland Heep rescues a mysterious young woman from danger and discovers she is actually a narf, a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the treacherous journey from our world back to hers. Cleveland and his fellow tenants start to realize that they are also characters in this bedtime story. As Cleveland falls deeper and deeper in love with the woman, he works together with the tenants to protect his new fragile friend from the deadly creatures that reside in this fable and are determined to prevent her from returning home.

My take: Overly convoluted and incredible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Erik Mongrain - Lap tapping

Ze Neu English

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English'.
In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.
Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Facing the Giants

Flixster Plot: A Christian high school football coach uses his undying faith to battle the giants of fear and failure. In six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never led his Shiloh Eagles to a winning season. After learning that he and his wife Brooke face infertility, Grant discovers that a group of fathers are secretly organizing to have him dismissed as head coach. Devastated by his circumstances, he cries out to God in desperation. When Grant receives a message from an unexpected visitor, he searches for a stronger purpose for his football team. He dares to challenge his players to believe God for the impossible on and off the field. When faced with unbelievable odds, the Eagles must step up to their greatest test of strength and courage. What transpires is a dynamic story of the fight between faith and fear. "Facing the Giants" is a powerful experience for the whole family inspiring viewers to live with faith, hope, and love.

My take:
Learnt a lot from this movie:
1. Life's not just about us.
2. Praise Him when we lose, praise Him when we win.
3. Nothing is impossible with God.
4. Having prayed for something, preparing to receive it takes even more faith.
5. Put in your best: leave nothing out on the field.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ORD loh!

Yes two years ago to this day, I became a civilian. And I've never looked back.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Plot from Flixster: Academy Award®-winning director Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) and the amazing storytellers at Pixar Animation Studios (“Cars,” “Finding Nemo”) take you into an entirely new and original world where the unthinkable combination of a rat and a 5-star gourmet restaurant come together for the ultimate fish-out-of-water tale. In the hilarious new animated-adventure, RATATOUILLE, a rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great chef despite his family’s wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the city of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unwanted visitor in the kitchen at one of Paris’ most exclusive restaurants, Remy forms an unlikely partnership with Linguini, the garbage boy, who inadvertently discovers Remy’s amazing talents. They strike a deal, ultimately setting into motion a hilarious and exciting chain of extraordinary events that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down. Remy finds himself torn between following his dreams or returning forever to his previous existence as a rat. He learns the truth about friendship, family and having no choice but to be who he really is, a rat who wants to be a chef.
My take: Love the animation, but love the storyline more. =]
There's a Linguini in all of us.

I've eaten ratatouille before I've seen it. A delicious vegetable stew at Soup Spoon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Word games

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners.

Read them carefully. Each is an artificial word with only one letter altered to form a real word. Some are terrifically innovative:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people, that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The Bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido: All talk and no action.

13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And, the pick of the lot...

17. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Bourne Identity

Plot: The spy thriller opens as an amnesiac is rescued at sea by the crew of an Italian fishing boat. Nearly dead, he carries nothing but the bullets in his back and the bank account number embedded in his hip. Although completely without identity or background, he possesses an array of extraordinary talents in fighting, linguistics and self-defense that speaks of a dangerous past. In the present he is disoriented and wary as he is propelled into an urgent search to discover who he is and why his life has taken a perilous turn. A Zurich safe deposit box yields an assortment of passports, a hefty load of cash, an automatic weapon and a name--Jason Bourne--with a Paris address. What it means remains a mystery, but Bourne quickly realizes that although he knows no one, there are people who recognize him--and do not wish him well. When he meets Marie Kreutz, a hard-luck German-born wanderer, he makes a desperate pitch--$10,000 for a ride to Paris. Despite her reservations, Marie takes the cash and begins a journey with Bourne that changes her life forever. The trail of Jason Bourne's past snakes from Europe to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where Treadstone, a clandestine operation is based. As Bourne and Marie struggle to stay below the radar in France, all of the stealthy muscle of Treadstone is focused on tracking them and neutralizing Bourne as quickly and efficiently as possible.
My take: Very different action movie.

Maid in Manhattan

In the breezy Maid in Manhattan, a maid in a top-flight hotel (Jennifer Lopez, Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner) chances to dress in a guest's clothes just when a handsome political candidate (Ralph Fiennes, Schindler's List, Red Dragon) walks in. Naturally, he's bowled over and pursues her; he's initially drawn to her gorgeous good looks but soon comes to appreciate her honesty and common sense. Of course, she can't let him know that she's only a maid, and various high jinks ensue--it's all pretty formulaic, but lurking in the edges of this glossy, brainless romance are a wealth of sly turns by Natasha Richardson and Amy Sedaris (as callow socialites), Bob Hoskins (as a dignified butler), Stanley Tucci (as Fiennes' exasperated campaign manager), and many less familiar faces. All help to give Maid in Manhattan the life and texture that has been processed out of the main characters. --Bret Fetzer
My take: Super-cliched.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SOD: Masterlife 1

Guess who's teaching Masterlife 1? Wah lesson plans all over again!

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Flixster plot:
Adam Sandler (Click) and Kevin James (Hitch) team as two straight guys who stumble down the aisle with the best of intentions in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Chuck Levine (Sandler) and Larry Valentine (James) are the pride of their fire station: two guy’s guys always side-by-side and willing to do anything for each other. Salt-of-the-earth widower Larry wants just one thing: to protect his family. His buddy Chuck also wants one thing: to enjoy the single life.

Grateful Chuck owes Larry for saving his life in a fire, and Larry calls in that favor big time when civic red tape prevents him from naming his own two kids as his life insurance beneficiaries. All that Chuck has to do is claim to be Larry’s domestic partner on some city forms. Easy. Nobody will ever know.

But when an overzealous, spot-checking bureaucrat becomes suspicious, the new couple’s arrangement becomes a citywide issue and goes from confidential to front-page news. Forced to improvise as love-struck newlyweds, Chuck and Larry must now fumble through a hilarious charade of domestic bliss under one roof. After surviving their mandatory honeymoon and dodging the threat of exposure, the well-intentioned con men discover that sticking together in your time of need is what truly makes a family.

My take:
This was the funniest comedy I've watched in the longest time. Chuck and Larry trying to act like a gay firefighter couple was pure hilarity.

Monday, September 17, 2007

TP practical

I'VE PASSED!!! 10 points!
This is it. At 1230hrs tomorrow (18 Sep), I will know if I have passed my driving. I don't even know how well I must drive to pass, so I'll just do my best.

A Call for Passion

The concert went well in the end. Though there were a few nervous hiccups, the concert achieved all its objectives. Perhaps another one mext year? =]
PS: Juwita Suwito looked so young and sounded so fantastic!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Snow City!

Went to Snow City with Rosyth's 4 Youthful and had a ball of a time. We made ice-cream with liquid nitrogen. Everyone wanted to go on the slide with me as they theorised that I was heavier and would go faster.
Thanks for the fun, guys!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mastering Money

Continued with session 2 of Mastering Money with Gems after Vincent shared last week. Gems were more engaged this time with group work coming to the fore. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt useful things.

Busy, busy, busy

Ok there's jsut still school stuff left now. Still a lot though.
There's just so much stuff to do for church [2 Mastering Money lessons], school [various assignments & interviews] & computer stuff [setup reformatted laptop]. And so little time. God help me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

World's easiest quiz ... NOT!

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs
7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8) What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange, of course!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Slow-mo popcorn

Slow-mo lighter

Federer Express ... NOT!

Yahoo Fantasy Football 2007/08

We have 24 teams! Biggest turnout so far!
Managed to get 20 teams. Let's see if any more straggle in.
We've got 15 teams and counting, so get on board and let's get the season started!
Hi guys/gals,

It's that time of the year again where the EPL season starts to kick off. Once again, we vie for the title of champion of the Group of Death [4th edition]. I've won the last few so let's see who will challenge this year.

You have been invited to join aaroniemcwonley's Private Group in Yahoo! Sports Premiership.

In order to join the group, just go to the game front page and click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the "Create or Join Group" button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 2498
Password: 4444

Pool anyone?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I hate war

The social studies teacher had just finished a chapter on war and peace.

"How many of you," he asked, "would say that you're opposed to war?"

All hands went up.

"Why are you against war?" the teacher continued.

A bored-looking boy at the back raised his hand.

"I hate war," he began, "because wars make history, and I hate history."

Animal sounds

A group of young children were sitting in a circle with their teacher. She was going around in turn asking them all questions.

First she asked, "Davy, what noise does a cow make?"

He responded, "It goes moo."

The she asked, "Alice, what noise does a cat make?"

Alice replied, "It goes meow."

Next she asked, "Jamie, what sound does a lamb make?"

Her response was, "It goes baa."

Finally she questioned one last child, "Jennifer, what sound does a mouse make?"

She replied, "Er, it goes ... click!"

Moral of the Story

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winder. However, the weather turned cold and he reluctantly started to fly south.

In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth into a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow wandered by and crapped on him. The sparrow thought it was the end. But, the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings.

Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then, a large cat came by, following the birdsong, cleared away the manure, found the bird, and ate him.

The Moral of the Story:
1. Everyone who dumps on you is not necessarily your enemy.
2. Everyone who gets you out of the crap is not necessarily your friend.
3. And if you're warm and happy in a pile of manure, keep your mouth shut.


This is an obituary for Aaron Wong, who died of boredom in an NIE tutorial room after four consecutive hours of mind-numbing teacher talk in psychology and mathematics patterns. On his deathbed, he made it clear that he didn't want a degree awarded by NIE, posthumous or otherwise.

Back at NIE

First day of school. Miss the friends, food and fellowship, but really dread the assignments, atrocious timetables and acrimonious travelling time.
Some of my friends have three-day work weeks and I'm stuck with five. Dang.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Road Trip

Went on a mini road trip today as I went to Rosyth, then tuition, then dinner with Jasmine on my trusty Motachie. Very fulfilling as I realise I will recoup my investment by saving on public transport in no time. Managed to clock 12.5km in just over an hour.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


A unique mix of bumber cars, Artoo-Detoo, street soccer and even pool to form this very addictive game. Took me weeks to get the hang of it. You'll find it'll improve your hand-eye coordination. Read the instructions first before starting.
Try Keyball here.

The Simpsons Movie

Plot from Flixster:
When Homer mistakenly pollutes the river with toxic waste from his "Pig Crap" silo, he causes the EPA to encase Springfield in a glass dome, and must save them before President Schwarzenegger gives the order for the town to be destroyed.

My take:
Full of in-jokes that made it enjoyable, but basically just a longer Simpsons episode with some 3D effects. As Homer put it, why are we paying to watch something we can watch on TV?

Prednisalone paramour

My steroids end tomorrow and there's been little improvement. Have to trust God to reduce the rebound effect. In the meantime, no comments that my skin looks worse, please. Do I look that I don't know? And no suggestions of treatment, too. I prefer to trust my God. Do tell me when things look better, though.
Ah, yes, my good friend Prednisalone again. On 15mg steroids again for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jul/Aug 2007 holidays

Again, I plan for my 1-week hols:

So here's my to-do list:
1. Teach guitar to church people [have identified people; started with Wan Loong, Angela, Amos, Andrew]
2. Meet friends I seldom meet up with [Nat, Samuel, Amy, Chong Kiat TBC]
3. Learn driving [practical test on 18 Sep]
4. Prepare Mastering Money & Taming Your Finances lesson plans & make relationship seminar arrangements for mid-Aug and mid-Dec 07 respectively [in progress; arrange with Matthew]
5. Watch VCDs and DVDs [50 First Dates, Aviator, Boogie Nights, Pulp Fiction, Pursuit of Happyness, Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials, Worms 2]
6. Buy guitar [Epiphone $299 offer at Swee Lee?]

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hell Week

And it's finally over. Finished my practicum with comments of 'outstanding' and 'many good things' coming from my CTs and Principal, but all in all, just glad to learn so many things and get it over with.

I think I left an impression with my students in 4 Earnest & Youthful and Tennis CCA. Some of them were kind enough to give me gifts & cards too! I'll miss them. Hope to see some of them in P5 next year.
Managed to write six lesson plans, so maybe it's worth it.
I'm spending my Saturday writing lesson plans and marking. How sad is that?
What a week it's been, and it ain't over yet. Lesson plan afer lesson plan; 10 in all for this week alone. Plus I've got observations over the next two weeks [three in all] which means I need to plan for a more kilat lesson. Just two more weeks to go! I shudder to think what next year's practicum will be like.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Solo expedition

Went cycling for 1.5hrs, covering 14km while I toured the whole of Sengkang all the way to Jln Kayu. Can't wait to try it again. Also saw a 1m-long monitor lizard. Too bad I couldn't get a photo.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Going Solo

Went on my first maiden solo bike ride. Left the house at 1745hrs to rush to the Hougang Interchange to get my EZ-Link card checked out but was 5 min late. When they say they close at 6pm, they really mean 6pm.

Dejectedly made my way to Jasmine's house for dinner.

Why do I even wanna walk anymore when I've got my bike?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix

Plot from Flixster:
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

My take:
Not the most exciting but I found the storyline thoroughly engaging.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

1,000 posts

A big thank you to all my faithful readers who have seen this blog from its humble beginnings [May 13, 2003] and indulgent posts, to the more interesting content [I hope] we have today. Here's to 1,000 more!

Melissa Theuriau

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thirteen Ghosts

Plot from Flixster:
Cool sets, gory make-up, and frantic energy are given high priority in this glossy remake of William Castle's 1960 haunted-house chiller. The original boasted its "Illusion-O" ghost-viewing gimmick, so this remake's producers--as they did with 1999's The House on Haunted Hill--up the ante on Castle's showmanship by spilling ample amounts of blood, guts, and ghoulish glory. The plot's essentially the same: An impoverished family inherits a luxurious haunted mansion, only this time it's an elaborate, maze-like mechanism of glass, gears, and Latin incantations--"designed by the devil and powered by the dead"--with a cellar full of tormented, undead souls. As the family (including Tony Shalhoub and American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth) enlists the aid of a psychic (Scream alumnus Matthew Lillard) and a ghostbusting paranormal (Embeth Davidtz), this updated 13 Ghosts grows loud and ludicrous, trading shocks for yuks and nuance for nonsense. It's fun, to a point, after which it's just exhausting. --Jeff Shannon

My take:
I like the Resident Evil feel of it, but the rest of it was quite a bore.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Eczema excoriation

I'm getting quite frustrated. My skin was so bad today it felt my whole face had swelled up. It was really scary. I think it was the stress I felt from my first observed lesson.

It's really frustrating as whenever I don't put the steroid cream it gets inflamed, and when I do it peels like mad. I really need a breakthrough.

Football fracas

Yes it happened again.

I didn't lose my temper again but I did walk off the pitch in protest. The reason is simple.

We were playing a man down, but still managed to hold our own, racing to a 5-1 lead thanks to a brace from me. You would agree that we were winning not because we were better, but because we were playing better.

Anyhow, at the beginning of the second half, Matthew, who was on our team decided to swap with Darrell. For what reasons only they know. If it is to correct an unfairness in the teams, I'm afraid they only tipped it the other way. As a result, they went into a 6-5 lead by the end. Our team was demoralised and I felt it was all so unfair how we worked so hard to establish a lead, only for the other team to change a team that had already been decided at the start, and hence secure an unfair advantage. They looked pretty chuffed when they scored the winner, but where's the pride in that?

At that point I walked off not because they won, but more of how the whole thing stank of inequality. And I suspect there were other reasons for the swap then just helping the other team. Let's just say perhaps two people wanted to play on the same team.

I did not shout at anyone, but at the end, I coolly told them my reasons for my walk-off to register my protest and disillusionment with the whole situation. As far as I'm concerned, it may be just a game, but at least let it be a fair game. Who wants to win or lose unfairly?

It's water under the bridge now; I hope they don't take teams that have been selected lightly and frivolously in future.

Went for dinner afterwards with Amos, Kenneth and Teckseng, among others, so everything should be OK. Think Ben should be alright too.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


At least I think that's how it's spelt. Feel some fluid in my sinus, a cavity behind your nose and eyes, such that when I tilt my head down, it causes it to hurt. It's supposedly inflamed and is causing my skin to infame accordingly, in addition to causing my eye to tear. Taking antibiotics and on MC for today.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Plot from Flixster: Our world will be changed on July 4 when aliens make Earth their final battleground in Transformers. As the forces of evil seek the key to ultimate power, our last chance for survival rests in the hands of young Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

My take:
I was torn between giving this one four or four-and-a-half stars. in the end, the cutting-edge effects and Megan Fox pushed this up to almost perfect. The effects were so real that the transition between CGI and real-life scenery was seamless. Megan Fox can't really act and has only one look throughout the movie, but who cares? As Shia LaBeouf put it, "Oh my God!"

I peed next to Harry Kewell!

yes I have a new claim to fame. I was in the same toilet as Harry Kewell. I was next to Amos who was next to Teck Seng, who was next to the Australia and Liverpool left winger. Some of Kewell's pee probably splashed on Teck Seng and vice versa.

Didn't manage to get an autograph but it didn't really matter, though Jasmine was quite affected. Managed to see the whole Australia team dining at Modesto's, Viviocity too, inc. Messrs. Cahill, Schwarzer, Emerton, Viduka etc.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tennis CCA

Took some kids to tennis coaching as part of their CCA at Serangoon Gardens Country Club. Ended up playing with them as they were lacking a player and I must say I was touched by their niceness. They were really sincere about playing with one another and gladly welcome me into their confidence.

Can't wait to see them next week.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Plot from Flixster: The enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.

My take: Great special effects. but its plot, characters and gravitas can't really compare to its comtemporaries.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I got a fever that's stuck with me for the last two days. The higher body temperature has worsened my face eczema but I trust it will recede when I recover. Had to cancel my driving, tuition and can't go for prayer meeting tonight. Sigh.
Hit 38.9C at 4am this morning.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What child is this?

On his trip to Great Britain, George Bush had a meeting with Queen Elizabeth.
He asked her, 'How does one manage to run a country so smoothly?'
That's easy,' she replied, 'You surround yourself with intelligent ministers and advisors.'
'But how can I tell whether they are intelligent or not?'
You ask them a riddle,' she replied, and with that she pressed a button and said, 'Would you please send Tony Blair in?'
When Blair arrived, the Queen said, 'I have a riddle for you to answer for me. Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was this child?'
Blair replied, 'That's easy. The child was me.'
'Very good,' said the Queen. 'You may go now.'
President Bush went back to Washington and called in his chief of staff Karl Rove. He said to him, 'I have a riddle for you, and the answer is very important. Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was this child ?'
Rove replied, 'Yes, it is clearly very important that we determine the answer, as no child must be left behind. Can I deliberate on this for awhile?'
'Yes,' said Bush, 'I'll give you four hours to come up with the answer.'
So Rove went and called a meeting of the White House staff, and asked them the riddle. But after much discussion and many suggestions, none of them had a satisfactory answer. So he was quite upset, not knowing what he would tell the President.
As Rove was walking back to the Oval Office, he saw former Secretary of State Colin Powell approaching him. So he said, 'Mr. Secretary, can you answer this riddle for me? Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was the child?' 'That's easy,' said Powell, 'The child was me.'
'Oh thank you,' said Rove. 'You may just have saved me my job!'
So Rove went into the Oval Office and said to President Bush, 'I think I know the answer to your riddle. The child was Colin Powell!'
'No, you idiot!' shouted Bush. 'The child was Tony Blair!'

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Laptop lamentations

Alas! My laptop has started giving me problems!

1. There's now a very sluggish response to every command.
2. The appearance changes to Windows Classic soon after startup.
3. The sound comes out in slow-motion [no DirectSound driver?]
4. Long bootup time.
5. Super-long Windows disk check.

Have contacted Acer but no reply yet. Help!
Believe it or not, after ten days, Acer has not replied my email.

Music & Lyrics

Plot from Flixster:
Alex Fletcher, a washed-up '80s pop star, has been reduced to working the nostalgia circuit at county fairs and amusement parks. The charismatic and talented musician gets a chance at a comeback when reigning diva Cora Corman invites him to write and record a duet with her, but there's a problem--Alex hasn't written a song in years, he's never written lyrics, and he has to come up with a hit in a matter of days. Enter Sophie Fisher, Alex's beguilingly quirky plant lady, whose flair for words strikes a chord with the struggling songwriter. On the rebound from a bad relationship, Sophie is reluctant to collaborate with anyone, especially commitment-phobe Alex. As their chemistry heats up at the piano and under it, Alex and Sophie will have to face their fears--and the music--if they want to find the love and success they both deserve.

My take:
This was your typical rom-com. Nothing new here. Just a little more interesting with the '80s music premise.


Plot by Flixster:
In the midst of the Persian-Greco war, Spartan King Leonidas leads his army of 300 soldiers into battle against the invading Persian army during the Battle of Thermopylae. According to legend, their valor and sacrifice inspired all of Greece to unite against the Persian foe, leading to the origins of democracy.

My take:
As Kenneth put it, how many ways can you kill someone? It was interesting initially, but kinda petered out at the end. Even King Leonidas couldn't see this one-trick pony to the end.

Will you marry me?

I finally popped the question at 1830hrs on 13 Jun 2007 at Swiss-Garden Damai Laut resort. Of course I know the answer all along so that probably helped calm my nerves and the whole thing went without a hitch. Jasmine and I are officially engaged to be married, and we are looking at mid-2009, during the June hols.

Well there was ONE hitch. The bedsheet that was laid on the sand, together with candles and bowls of water etc, were left behind by us, thinking that Angela, who helped me arrange it, would clear it. As a result, it was left until the night, when we went with flashlights to retrieve them. They were soiled, but thankfully still intact.

The curse of forgetfulness

I seem to have inherited the curse of forgetfulness from Jasmine. Here's my catalogue of misdemeanours, some of which I've forgotten to include:
1. Left my POSB debit card in ATM machine. Thank God it was retained by the machine.
2. Forgot to bring ANY T-shirts to Church Retreat.
3. Left my bass behind at the dining hall at Church Retreat, later retrieved by Ps Tony.
4. Left my cap and sunglasses in my room after checking out. Winnie helped retrieve them.
5. Left my bag containing my passport in the main hall. Eric helped retrieve it.
6. Left my charger behind. It was irretrieveable as I've only just realised it. Thankfully, my sister's MP3 player has the same charger.
The blessing in all this is that no damage was done despite my forgetfulness. Must learn my lesson.

Church Retreat 2007 at Swiss-Garden Damai Laut

I won't be updating this blog next week as I'll be at Agape's Church Retreat in Swiss-Garden Damai Laut, Perak, Malaysia. There should be some exciting developments there.
This Church Retreat will always be remembered for it being the TOW Aaron Proposed [winks to fans of FRIENDS], as well as for TOW Where Many People Received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but there are many alternative titles, should you see the glass as half-empty:
1. TOW All the Flies in Malaysia Came to Visit: There were flies everywhere! In the rooms, dining hall, main hall's stage, coach, etc. Truly made dining and everything else a regrettable experience.
2. TOW the Food Sucked: Not one dinner or lunch at the resort was the food good. The only meals I truly enjoyed was the final dinner at a seafood restaurant 30 minutes away [where everyone yam seng-ed us], and the final lunch, where we discovered a cheap Marche.
3. TOW with Coarse Sand: The sand was so coarse, we had to wear shoes to play beach soccer. And believe it or not, one of the pitches was just behind the archery gallery, meaning we had to dodge arrows as well as opponents.
4. TOW the Journey Never Seemed to End: We literally spent a 24-hour round trip travelling there. If we go somewhere nearer next year, perhaps we could enjoy the campsite more. I'd settle for a nearer, slightly more expensive campsite. We passed time telling lame jokes, playing card games, playing Polar Bear, sleeping, making people break codes in games we created, etc.

So all in all, it could've been better but it could've been worse.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gangs of New York

Plot by Flixster: Plot: In 1860's lower Manhattan, the Five Points section is a dark, teeming corner of the city known for vice and chaos. Into this frontier of lawlessness arrives the young Irish American, Amsterdam Vallon. Amsterdam is the orphaned son of the slain Priest Vallon--once chief warrior of the Dead Rabbits gang that rallied the Irish immigrants of the Five Points. After 16 years in a "House of Refuge," Amsterdam has returned to the Five Points to hunt down his father's killer. His target is William Cutting (aka "Bill the Butcher") who has since become the merciless new leader of the neighborhood and detests the newly arrived immigrants. Each year, on the anniversary of Priest Vallon's death, the victory is commemorated with a celebration--with invitations handed out by way of the Butcher himself. Amsterdam's plan is clear: to lie in wait and slay his father's killer. While waiting for that night, Amsterdam works his way deep into the Butcher's inner circle, a world of alternating honor and cruelty from which he can only hope to escape. But the closer he gets to Bill, the more he falls under his spell and becomes conflicted--playing the role of the man's surrogate son while keeping the true secret of his past in the shadows. At the same time, Amsterdam meets Jenny Everdeane, an enigmatic pickpocket whose fierce independence fascinates him. When details of her closely linked past with Bill the Butcher emerge, the relationship between the three intensifies. Amsterdam's fight for family honor, freedom and the woman he loves ultimately collides with a pivotal moment in New York and American history: the 1863 Civil War Draft Riots. This uprising, fueled by new Americans like Amsterdam, will have repercussions that will spread through the Five Points to the halls of Government and beyond, and reveal a tenacious spirit in the city that endures.

My take:
One of the scariest and most enigmatic villains I've ever seen: William Cutting aka Bill the Butcher played so convincingly by Daniel Day-Lewis. He killed the priest (Liam Neeson) who started an Irish uprising on his turf, and sixteen years later faces his son (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has conned his way into the Butcher's confidence, much like in The Departed. Still this is watchable mainly for the cruelty and unpredictability of the Butcher.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

Plot from Flixster: Ruthless casino owner Willy Bank never imagined that the odds were against him when he double-crossed Danny Ocean's friend and mentor Reuben Tishkoff, putting the distraught Reuben in a hospital bed in critical condition. But Bank miscalculated... badly. He may have taken down one of the original Ocean's Eleven, but he left the others standing and, worse for him, gave them a shared purpose: to take Bank down on the night of what should be his greatest triumph--the grand opening of his new casino, appropriately named The Bank. Their strategy is twofold. First, they will ruin him financially by turning the tables on the precept that the house always wins. But, that's just money. The knockout punch will be to Bank's personal pride and joy: his reputation as the only hotelier who has earned the Royal Review Board's Five Diamond Award on every single one of his hotels. The plan is elaborate, dangerous and damn near impossible... but there are no limits when it comes to one of their own.

My take:
A vast improvement over Twelve, but doesn't quite hit the unique heights of Eleven. More of a techie's indulgence with the manipulation of advanced security systems and pure probability. The plan was too hitch-free to be engaging, and the audience was in on it all the time. You don't really want to know the ending when you read a book do you? Ditto.

Har gow heaven!

Enjoyed delicious har gow and siew mai at Crystal Jade, as well as a Starbucks java chip frappucino with some kapo-ed hot chocolate. No side effects! =]

Friday, June 08, 2007

Peanut pandemonium!

Had a peanut pancake at Mr. Bean yesterday, again with no side effects. Hallelujah! Praise God!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nutella nonsense!

Enjoyed Nutella sandwiches for the first time in what seems like an eternity. No side effects too! Hallelujah!

Exam results, Yr 1 Sem 2

Just got my results and didn't do as well as the first semester, although I didn't expect to anyway. Have to thank God for getting me through a tough semester, though I felt I should and could have done better.

DCE100: B- [thanks to be not following instructions in SBA]
DCM100: B+ [could've put more effort in Lesson Plan]
DLK100: A- [could've worked smarter for group editing work]
DSE101: A+
DSM101: A+
Cumulative GPA: 4.54 [dropping from 4.83]

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mango madness!

Went for a dinner buffet at Straits Kitchen, Grand Hyatt yesterday and had a really super-full dinner. Almost had a heart attack when I saw the $48 bill.

Anyhow, I prayed before the buffet that I would truly be able to enjoy the buffet without worrying about after-effects. And so I ate everything except the prawn noodle soup, which is the last frontier for me, but mainly because I didn't fancy the spicy soup. I did load up on durian ice-cream and mango pudding though, among other Malay [can't remember], Chinese [Buddha Jumps Over the Wall!] and Indian [chicken tikka!] delicacies, with no side effects whatsoever. When I did feel a bit of an itch coming on, I prayed immediately to remind the devil that he had no power over me.

Next stop: Joo Chiat hei mee!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Our first football game of 2007

Thank God for the wonderful weather we enjoyed yesterday when we played football.

Before the game I was just believing in God that I would be well enough to play and suffer no side effects.

Firstly, He gave us very good weather: breezy and cloudy.

Secondly, I had a pretty good game, and I wasn't feeling that itchy throughout.

Finally, one day on, my skin hasn't acted up at all.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of prayer, even for something as trivial as a football game.

Anyhow, Teckseng scored twice to give us the lead, then the other team pulled one back before Ben scored the equaliser.

Everything was good-tempered, which was all we could've wanted.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shrek the Third

Plot from Flixster
Plot: When Shrek married Fiona, the last thing he had in mind was becoming the next King. But when Shrek's father-in-law, King Harold, suddenly croaks, that is exactly what he faces. Unless Shrek (with the help of his trusted companions Donkey and Puss In Boots) can find a suitable King for Far Far Away, the ogre could be stuck with the job. The most promising candidate, Fiona's cousin Artie, an underachieving Medieval high school slacker, proves to be more of a challenge than they bargained for.

My take
Just for making me laugh so loud when Donkey and Puss switched bodies. Priceless. Full of LOL moments, this one.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End

Full of the usual thrills and spills with excelent CGI but otherwise, the convoluted kept me turning aside and asking my rather more intuitive half if she knew what was going on. Since she didn't, I surmise that half the audience didn't have a chance either. In any case, bring on part four!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Safety on Ubin

Just read in the New Paper today that FM93.3 DJ Dennis Chew got into a very bad biking accident on Pulau Ubin. He broke his jaw and fractured his arm. He probably pressed his front brake instead of his back and flipped over.

So all the more we have to be careful when we're there.

I also think those of you who are keen to take some photographs can take your camera along and take photos of nature etc.
So ironic. For all of my foreboding, it was yours truly who got into the biggest accident after all. Went down a slope too quickly, my back brake didn't catch well enough, hit the hump and flew off course towards the beach, hit the kerb and damaged my front wheel, flew off my bike to the ant-infested beach where my bike landed nicely on my right arm. If it sounds bad, that's because it was. And yet God protected me and I ended up with only a few abrasions. Amazing. I believe that was God's way of telling me to ride carefully, seeing how He gave a near-accident earlier on another down-slope.

God is indeed looking after us. He gave us a brief shower when we prayed for some, found CK when we prayed after he got lost etc. God is truly amazing.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Power! Power! Power!

Adapted from Hughes, S. (2007, May/June). Power! Power! Power!.
Every Day with Jesus, Wed 30 May.

Acts 2:2-3
"2 Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them."

Acts 1:8
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth."

Romans 15:18a
"I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me."
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the believers in the form of a mighty wind. We sing songs like Wind of God, asking for the wind of God to blow in the church and in our lives.

This bestows power upon us to do great things for God; yet, this is nothing to boast of, since God has given this power to us.

He gave us the power of utterance [Acts: 2:4], vision [2:17], conviction [10:44], continuance [2:42], love [2:44], unity [2:1], contentment [2:41] and addition [2:47].

But remember: this power only came about after ten days of prayer. Let us pray steadfastly for His power.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Global Day of Prayer launch

In the end, two days took their toll. Jasmine and I were both not feeling well after insufficient sleep because of Saturate and early morning practice the next morning. We came at 8am and finished by 930am; we should've come at like 830 lor.

Anyway, Jasmine became feverish and literally had to nap in the National Stadium, and I had to be her pillow-cum-face sponger. I was feeling unusually itchy and so couldn't focus on the prayers at all. Was particularly irritated at a speaker's amazingly chiong hei description of post-event traffic conditions. Put those in the bulletin, for goodness sake! No one wants to pay attention to hear you ramble on! And he went on to refer to the hearing-impaired and mute as "deaf and dumb". How un-politically-correct can you get?!

Saturate worship conference

The last night was AWESOME! Just felt the move and touch of God like I've never felt before. Just felt so in sync with God and felt His love. God reiterated His promise of healing to me again. Prayed for my family present and future, my skin, Jasmine and so much more. Will blog more when at a less unearthly time.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Question: If a durian and a coconut were to fall on your head, which would hurt more?

Question: Would you stir your coffee with your right hand or left hand?
You are in a game show on television. On this game show the idea is to win a car as a prize. The game show host shows you three doors. He says that there is a car behind one of the doors and there are goats behind the other two doors. He asks you to pick a door. You pick a door but the door is not opened. Then the game show opens door that you did not pick to show a goat (because he knows what is behind the doors).
Then he says that you have one final chance to change your mind before the doors are opened and you get a car or a goat. So he asks you if you want to change your mind and pick the other unopened door instead. What should you do?

Are the odds of you winning the car higher, lower or the same if you change your mind and pick the other door?

Where'd the money go?

Three men walk into a restaurant for a set lunch. After their meal, they each hand over $10 to the waiter, which was the price of the meal. There were no additional charges or taxes. The owner was feeling rather generous that day and decided to charge the three men only $25, instead of the usual $30. So he instructed the waiter to return $5 to the men. The shrewd waiter thought it was inconvenient to split $5 equally among the three men, and decided to pocket $2 for himself. He duly gave $1 to each of them. Since the men eventually paid $27, and the waiter took $2, what happened to the missing dollar?
This one still had me stumped momentarily three years on. Who can solve this?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Global Day of Prayer Day 10

Topic: Extending the Blessing of Christ [for promised blessing among all His peoples]
Concerning: hunger, warfare, gangs, corruption
First, praise God for who He is, what He's done and what He's going to do. Spend at least 5-10min doing this, in tongues if you can. Then, we start our prayer. Try to claim God's promises from verses you know or have heard.

Adopt a position where you have been given authority by God to claim things in God's word. We are not minions and savants that we must meekly ask God for everything. In His word, God has already GIVEN us some things that all we need to do is claim them! Pray like you are a warrior of Christ tasked with taking down the strongholds of the evil one. Be forceful and aggressive with the devil as you can expect the same from him. Don't let him off lightly in your prayer. You can expect him to try to retaliate, so ask also for God's protection as you pray in this manner.

For the Glory of Christ:
Father, You say in your word of the prayer of Jabez as well as Your promise to Abraham, that You'd bless Your people abundantly.

We believe that You have only good things for us and so we want to claim all this in Your name. Bless Your children abundantly, that we can be an impact for You in our community. It is patently wrong that Your children should live in subsistence when we should be able to "export" Your blessing to people all around the world. Open the floodgates of Heaven that we might be a conduit to bless others.

Reveal Jesus Your Son to the world, that the world might hear of Your Name and believe on You. Raise up evangelists and missionaries to reach those who have not heard Your gospel, but most of all, imprint the Great Commission on the hearts of Your people, who should realise that evangelism is for all of us, as we can't wait to share the Good News we have received to others.

In doing so, I proclaim that churches of the world will not work independently, but learn to put aside doctrinal differences to come together as a united body of Christ, believing in Jesus Christ the Saviour, and work with You to impact the world for Your glory.

For the Blessing of the Nations:
May Your Holy Spirit touch the lives and hearts of our governments and authorities. Though they may be secular, we banish the scourge of corruption from the face of the Earth. It robs Your people of the money they need. Corruption and sin has no place in authorities that have been instituted by You and we condemn, rebuke and cast it out in Jesus' name.

Elevate God-fearing Christians to key positions in national governments and world organisations, that we can impact the world in a greater manner for You. The devil should have no place in the running of Your government and we cast him aside in Jesus' name.

As Your gospel permeates the Earth, shouts of praise will burst forth from every corner, praising You for who You are and the salvation that You have given to us through Christ Jesus Your Son.

In Jesus' mighty name I pray, Amen!

NB: Guys, feel free to add your comments and prayers!

Spiritual poliomyelitis

Adapted from Hughes, S. (2007, May/June). Spiritual poliomyelitis. Every Day with Jesus, Fri 25 May.

Ezekiel 37:6b
"I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD."

Psalms 20:7-8
"7 Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we depend on the Lord our God. 8 They will fall down, but we will stand firm."

1 Corinthians 11:29-30
"29 For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead."

We need to do our daily devotion, or we are like the valley of dry bones: Everything needed for life is present, but nothing happens without the breath of God. This only comes with sensitivity to God.

We must learn to depend on God and not our own strength [the Psalmist's chariots and horses].

Finally, disprespect God at your peril. Whether in Holy Communion, prayer or ministry, God takes it seriously. All the more we should give God the utmost reverence and respect.

Kaka thanks Jesus

I saw a picture of Kaka in The New Paper praising God after his victory. Let's follow his example and praise Him in good times and bad.

Practicum posting

Went there for induction today. Everything was hunky-dory, but as my soon-to-be Chinese-teaching colleague succinctly put it, "let's wait till we start working and then we'll know". Words of wisdom indeed.

Principal was impressive, school grounds even more so, but I could tell straight away that expectations are high at this school. Confirmation came when the P said that she deliberately left space in our timetables so that we would take the initiative to find periods from other teachers to teach their class. Like, what?! If I were a full-fledged teacher, I wouldn't really like pesky trainees meddling with my class' grades! Especially when you're expected to do so well at Rosyth. Still, I think I can do it with God's help.

The children seem normal enough, though I heard they are smarter and richer, and by design more spoilt. So therein lies the challenge to manage the classroom rather than manage them academically..

The school building itself is a masterpiece. Canteen and hall on fourth floor, indoor basketball court, music Centre of Excellence, two staff rooms, heritage centre, etc. This place really blew me away. Pity it's so far.
Was supposed to find out tomorrow, but found out this evening that I'm posted to Rosyth School in Serangoon for my five-week practicum. And they changed it from 3+2, meaning three weeks of observation and two weeks of guided teaching, to 2+3. That may not sound like much, but it's 20 lesson plans man!

Was really looking forward to returning to Punggol, what with my ex-students and colleagues there, but I guess it was not to be.

On the bright side, I get to experience a new school; according to Jasmine it has some gifted students, so I get to learn from the best. She said maybe I was head-hunted. Ha! I wish. Could be true though, cos I did do well in NIE. But theory and praticum are two totaly different things.

I'll contact the school tomorrow to find out when I need to go down. But really it's quite far from my home. It'll probably take me at least 30 min to get there. No joke when school starts at 7am.

I don't know anyone there, nor are any of my friends posted there. Touch and go lor. Ironically, Jonathan got posted to Xinmin, Jasmine's school, and Angelica took my place at Punggol.

Pray for good supervisor and CT, both from Rosyth and NIE. As well as a sympathetic principal, though I heard otherwise from Aishah.

Here's where it is. Far out man.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I will laugh!

Went to Maggie's place so we could pray together for my healing. Jasmine was there too, of course.

What followed was an amazing time of fellowship, sharing and learning, full of the richness of God's word and truths. Not to mention a great dinner!

I realise now that there are so many things about God that we don't understand and that we've only scratched the surface. Through my daily devotion and prayer, I hope to know God in a deeper way and for Him to reveal His word for me through his Word.

I also shared quite a bit about my life for the first time, my frustrations and setbacks, my victories and God's deliverance. It felt really good to open up.

Towards the end, after we had finished praying, Maggie said she had a word from God about me. She said simply that I would laugh. I had to check myself. "I will what?" I asked, not believing what I had heard.

"In days to come, you will laugh. Laugh at your enemy, at your eczema," among other things, she explained. Unfortunately, "in days to come" is an indefinite adverbial of time. It doesn't literally mean days; instead it means "at some time in the future". And so I don't know when my healing will come, but I know it will come sooner or later. Pastor Koo had corroborated this yesterday. Maggie did warn that God gives us a word sometimes to prepare for spiritual attack. But God's grace is sufficient for me.

As I've shared recently, I am now at peace, because I am comfortable in my own skin. Pardon the pun. But what I mean is that I know that whatever happens, God is in control. Good or bad, He's in control. And I know He will come through for me, as He has promised.

As God (not luck) would have it, Joshua and Benjamin called me up and said they wanted to meet. So they cycled over and though we did not spend long and I spent most of the time scratching from sweat and mosquitoes, I stayed long enough to encourage them both and give my testimony. I'm sure it spoke to them, else God would not have arranged it as such.

As I type this, I am preparing to go to my practicum school (Rosyth School). And I feel a little less nervous knowing my God is going with me. I believe He will let me excel there, eczema notwithstanding.

I wait eagerly to laugh loudest, longest, and last. Muhahaha! =]

PS: Manfred has his own drum set!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How to pray

Just to share a few thoughts about prayer. Was having dinner with Pastor today and we shared a few things we learnt about prayer.

He said the greatest blueprint on how to pray was the example led by Jesus aka the Lord's Prayer.

A simpler version of this is the ACTS method:

In these four categories are all you need to start your prayer.
We ask God for things, confess our sins to Him, thank and praise Him for who He is and what He's done, and intercede for other people's needs. That's basically prayer in a nutshell. This is derived from the Lord's Prayer, which I reproduce below. May this help you in your prayer life!

Our Father, which art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

This can be found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The GDoP video mentioned this that shows how important prayer is.

Intercession is holding the hand of God and holding the hand of the one you are praying for. You are the link between God and the person you are interceding for.

If we don't pray, that person is denied the chance to touch God.

Milan's superstar remains grounded

by Andrew Downie of

SAO PAULO, Brazil - He is arguably the best football player in the world, his brother plays in the Serie B and is as religious as he is, his father is still friends with his son's old teammates and his mother makes exceedingly good cakes.

Those are just some of the things that help explain the phenomenon that is Kaka.

I watched Kaka come through the ranks at Sao Paulo. I watched him establish himself with Milan and Brazil. And I've watched him grow, both physically and mentally, to become one of the best in the world today.

During that time I've spoken to his friends, his family, his teammates and his coaches and no one has a bad word to say about the Milan midfielder.

Sometimes people don't want to criticise other players because they are afraid to stick their necks out or because they don't want to sound nasty. But the people who speak about Kaka do so with a real earnestness. Everyone seems to think the world of him.

That includes the youngsters who were with him when they came through the ranks at Sao Paulo. Kaka was different from most of the youngsters trying to make it into Sao Paulo's professional ranks. Many, if not most, were poor, dark skinned, came from broken families and lived far from the club's training ground in the impoverished suburbs of South America's biggest city.

Kaka was white, well off, had a stable family life and lived in the same Morumbi district where the club has its home. And as such he and his family were adopted as surrogates for many of Kaka's less fortunate teammates.

'Their family helped people who didn't have the money or time to go home,' Juan Maldonado Jaimes, one of Kaka's former colleagues, told me a while back. 'They took them to their house, to help them pass time. We'd play video games, play football, eat. Some players went there even when Kaka wasn't there. It was quite a close relationship between the players and the family. They are lovely people. His mother would make sweets or bake cakes.'

That stable family life is evident in the comportment of Kaka's father and brother Digao, who plays for Rimini in Italy's Serie B. They both look like Kaka, especially Digao, who is tall, pale and has the same toothy smile. (Digao is currently training at Sao Paulo while recovering from a ligament injury.)

Most noticeably, however, they are both impeccably mannered. As the saying in Brazil goes, the son of a fish is a fish. It means like father like son and Kaka is indeed like his father.

Engineer Bosco Izecson brought up his son to be a good Christian who values honesty and hard work. Although much attention is paid to the fact that Kaka is one of Brazil's few middle class footballers - and Kaka freely admits he does not fit the established stereotype - his father played down the wealth disparities and said he has tried to instill universal values in his son.

'What is important is their honesty and their character,' he said in discussing his outlook on life. 'Everyone wants to get on and better themselves. We lived our lives that way and Kaka has too. People helped us and we try and help people.'

That is not to say that Kaka has not had his problems to overcome. He suffered from a bone deficiency as a child that made him small for his age. He was two years behind his peers in terms of development and it was only his skill on the ball and his quick thinking that enabled him to play competitively with boys his own age.

'I saw him play as a kid and he was so small and thin but I could tell he had talent so I picked him out to play,' his former coach Milton Cruz told me. 'But he wasn't strong enough at first, the ball was bigger than his legs! One time he wanted to take a penalty and I wondered if he would have the strength to kick it all the way to the goal! He caught my attention, though, and he has shot up since then.'

Once he did cement his place in the Sao Paulo junior side he suffered another potentially crippling setback that helped shape who he is today. At age 18, Kaka jumped into a swimming pool while on holiday and fractured his spine. He didn't know how bad the damage was at the time. A local doctor told him he would be OK and he was back playing football three days later.

Kaka told his coaches about the incident but assured them he was fine and it was only after a couple of days training they realised all was not well. They could see he was holding back and sent him for more detailed tests. They showed he had fractured his spine. Every move he took during those days since the accident - including heading the ball - could have rendered him tetraplegic. And yet he survived.

Kaka puts that down to his religious beliefs - he is an Evangelical Protestant in a country that is overwhelmingly Catholic - and friends and family say his quick recovery from the accident helped him affirm his faith in God. It is not for nothing he celebrates every goal by pointing to the sky and thanking the Lord.

However, Kaka and his family are well-balanced enough to know that life is a lottery. Players need talent but the ones that do well in life, not just on the field, usually know they are very lucky to be doing what they do - and to be paid huge sums for doing so.

Scottish football writer Hugh McIlvanney once wrote that Jock Stein was a living negation of all those arrogant young men who persuaded themselves 'their largely fortuitous ability to kick a football or volley a tennis ball or belt out a pop song or tell a few jokes more acceptably than the next man is actually evidence of his own splendid mastery of his fate.'

I thought of McIlvanney's quote last week when talking to people who know Kaka. It seemed particularly apt bearing in mind the words of Milton Cruz, his former trainer.

'He's centred,' Cruz said of his best-known pupil. 'He doesn't think he's better than other people, he doesn't think he's special. He's humble and polite.He simply has a broader vision of the world. Kaka is the young man any father would love to have as a son.'

Trying to be punny

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a childcare centre, where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools, sometimes they take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
We'll never run out of mathematicians because they always multiply.
The professor discovered her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
The dentist and manicurist fought tooth and nail.
What the definition of a will? It's a dead giveaway.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hotel California [Eagles] cover

Wah I so wanna learn to play this song.

Learning bass/guitar

I taught Amos a little bit of bass today after practice. He seems to have the rhythm part as he just follows the kick, but we have to work on the notes, scales and fingering. Then Agape will have another bassist!
I'm quite astounded by the progress Amos is making. He seems to have grasped the concept of notes pretty quickly and is able to find specific notes, although he takes a while. He's also learnt to mute the bass, use more than one finger to pluck the strings, and can press the frets hard enough. Now to get him up to speed. Will work on him every Thursday after practice.
Started class with Wan Loong too. A little distracted but otherwise the interest is there. Started him off with a song he's interested in, Linkin Park's In The End. Interest is invaluable when teaching children. It makes learning so much easier and faster. He knows four chords, the names of the strings and how to read tabs. Now to work on changing chords quickly, notes and chord composition.
Andrew seems to be interested in joining the band as a guitarist and bassist! My prayers have been answered. I'll have to work with him on Wednesdays before ALG, or on Thursdays if he's joining us.
I'll work with Angela whenever I'm at Jasmine's place. Although there might be 'slower' progress. Just kidding lah. =]

Now and Forever by Richard Marx

Whenever I'm weary
From the battles that raged in my head
You made sense of madness
When my sanity hangs by a thread
I lose my way, but still you
Seem to understand
Now & forever,
I will be your man

Sometimes I just hold you
Too caught up in me to see
I'm holding a fortune
That heaven has given to me
I'll try to show you
Each and every way I can
Now & forever,
I will be your man

Now I can rest my worries
And always be sure
That I won't be alone, anymore
If I'd only known you were there
All the time,
All this time

Until the day the ocean
Doesn't touch the sand
Now & forever
I will be your man

For All You've Done by Don Moen

I normally don't like Don Moen songs, cos they're a little old-fashioned, but this one really spoke to me in church today. Well, actually we didn't even sing it, and God spoke to me while I was on the way to the washroom.

He assured me that He was in control despite my eczema, and that He still wanted the best for me. He also assured me that He would be glorified in this situation.

And so this is my prayer to Him, believing in my healing and submitting to His superior will.
For all You've done
For all You're going to do
We give You thanks
And lift our praise to You

We give thanks
We give praise
For we know
That all things work together
For our good
We give thanks
We give praise
For by faith
We know Your grace
Will see us through

For all those things
That we don't understand
We come by faith
And place them in Your hands

Even if we stumble
Even if we fall
You will not forsake us
You are King and Lord of all
Lord of all

Submitting to Leadership

Pastor Koo spoke about this in 1 Corinthians SOD class today, and it spoke to me again.

Sometimes we may disagree with our church leaders. I know I have. The question arises: Why should we do something we disagree with? For all you know, the leader might be wrong?

The answer to this is simple:
The leader CAN be wrong! Because we aren't perfect, leaders have every possibility and right to be wrong. However, as a subordinate of a leader, it is my job, serving in the ministry, to submit ot leadership.

God says in His Word that every authority on Earth and in Heaven has ben instituted by God. This means that bosses, governments, church leaders, parents etc have all been chosen by God. If we disobey them, we disobey God. Unless obeying them results in direct contravention of God's law, we should submit.

If the leader is doing wrong in the Lord's eyes, it is not your say to punish him/her. Rest assured, God is in control of the situation and will deal with it accordingly. Many mighty men of God have fallen under discipline from God.

God is always in control.

Global Day of Prayer Day 5

Topic: Pursuing the Peace of Christ [for relationships to be transformed]
Concerning: racism, poverty, violence, crime
First, praise God for who He is, what He's done and what He's going to do. Spend at least 5-10min doing this, in tongues if you can. Then, we start our prayer. Try to claim God's promises from verses you know or have heard.

For the Glory of Christ:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lord, You say in Your word that we are one body in you, and you say that in 1 Corinthians that you cannot stand division in the body. So, Lord, we commit the body of Christ onto You, both here in Singapore and around the world.

We believe that Your church, when standing together, can be such a mighty Earth-changing agent for you. I pray you remove hostilities deriving from doctrine, custom and other beliefs, and infuse a spirit of peace into your people. Let us realise that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the devil. May the Church of God stand united against Satan that we might be stronger by doing so.

Then, people around the world will see you move through us so powerfully and clearly that they will be filled with awe.

Let us not focus on petty human differences, but instead focus our eyes on the common goal, which is to win souls for Your Kingdom. That alone is more important than our serving preferences.

For the Blessing of the Nations:
I also want to pray for your blessing and anointing upon your people. You say in Your Word that You have plans to prosper us and not to harm us: plans to give us a hope and a future. Lord we believe and claim this, but at the same time, let our head not be turned by material things, lest we hunger after that instead.

I pray we realise the importance of giving to you and storing up treasures in Heaven. Increase our genrosity in giving to You, that You might bless us even more abundantly.

Help us also to give to the poor and the needy. Help us realise that one reason why You bless us so richly is so that we can bless others in turn, by being a conduit or vessel for You. Use us mightily to help those around us through our generosity.

We also believe you are the all-powerful God, above any force Satan can throw at you. In this, I pray You bind the forces of corruption of the evil one, for example, terrorists who kill in the name of religion. I pray that Your will be done in all the wars and conflicts happening around the world, and I know that anything that happens has been orchestrated by You.

We believe You are the God of relationships and trust You will prevail in all these situations.

In Jesus' mighty name I pray, Amen!

NB: Guys, feel free to add your comments and prayers!