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.