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.