looking for baudrillard, boorstin, or eco?

dare to hope for what is good
instead of what is merely good enough.
Dead in sin | Saved by grace | Living in hope | Walking by faith | Surviving on a prayer

+ sola scriptura + sola gratia + solus Christus + sola fide + sola Deo gloria +

mercredi, mars 31, 2004


I'm now on the lookout for an acoustic guitar for a while now, but so far, I've only met two that I like, but I'm pretty much in love with the Art and Lutherie Cedar - I tried it at Believer Music, and I just fell in love with the sound that came from it - it's got a sound that I like - not too bright (which is my main problem with most spruce tops I've heard), but deep and mellow, with that warm bass that seems to only come with cedar. The mids are there, but not overly so, and it's got a resonance that has got to be heard to be believed. The only other contender for my price range seems to be the Cort Earth 100, but I checked at Swee Lee, and they've only got the left-handed version left, and I'm not so enthused about it as the A&L.

Decisions, decisions.

I spoke to a guy at Luther Music, and apparently the A&L doesn't do very well in our weather. Out of 10 sets, he said, you're lucky if you get one guitar which survives without warping or tonal damage due to water retention from high humidity. He stopped carrying it after one shipment because it just wasn't worth it to keep refunding customers their money, as the warping will occur during the warranty period.

Another problem with the A&L is the lack of space to adjust the action; with most other guitars, the bridge can be adjusted or filed down, and when that avenue is exhausted, the saddle can also be tweaked to fiddle about with the action. For A&L, the manufacturers seem to have made their own adjustments to the truss rod which inhibit further adjustment.

[Further Addendum]
Since I can't decide on the A&L, and am not quite willing to jump through hoops to keep the guitar dry, I've decided to reduce my budget and my expectations, and get a normal spruce guitar. Hopefully one day, I'll end up with one of those ovangkol ones which I daren't even touch right now.

Sngs Alumni @ 31.3.04 { 0 comments }

 Anybody up for charades?

[courtesy of Diana Lee]

If anybody goes to Iraq, I want one of these t-shirts.

[Anybody up for charades?]
Sngs Alumni @ 31.3.04 { }

mardi, mars 30, 2004

 It's like apples and orange monster trucks

To illustrate the depths of mindlessness that some people of my office have sunk to, an anecdote:

Today, during our weekly staff meeting, there was a short discussion on the merits and demerits of using a flyer to publicise events. Zo-card postcards were deemed too small, and A5 postcards (which we have been using) are just slightly too bulky. Flyers roughly 1/3 the size of an A4 paper were proposed. As we debated the pros and cons of this, someone decided to open their mouth:

"Yes, it would be good because there was this man who was on holiday, and he was at V-- Concert Hall asking about concerts during the weekend, and there just happened to be our postcard there just as he was shopping for something to go to. So I think it's very good."

And I'm sitting there, bored out of my skull, mentally burying my head into my hands, thinking, oh dear goodness gracious me. We're not discussing whether or not cards are good or useful - that fact has already been established, SIR. We're now discussing if size does matter, a fact which somehow, you can't grasp, even after 40 over years of interacting with life. How is that even possible that you're still so stupid?

[It's like apples and orange monster trucks]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.3.04 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 29, 2004

 Underage Testimonials

This is what happens on friendster when you have adorable friends below legal drinking age:

"hey! this gal noe her in church. shes damn cool. everything she wears looks good on her. so jealous sia. damn punk too. but yea shes nice! go b her fren :D "

So, punk doesn't equal to nice?

[Underage Testimonials]
Sngs Alumni @ 29.3.04 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 28, 2004

 A Passing

After living a rich and long life (almost 1.5 years), Jack has passed on.

RIP, Jack.

[A Passing]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.3.04 { }

jeudi, mars 25, 2004

 Reason no. #3956380 why I love the writing on Everwood & TWOP

Amy asks, "What is it you like about him?" Laynie says, "He's that guy you'd want to hang out with, even if you weren't dating him. And he's cute, in that kind of way that's sort of like...you know in the movies, that guy you want the girl to end up with that everybody pretends isn't cute but really is?" Can I get an amen? Damn.

[Reason no. #3956380 why I love the writing on Everwood & TWOP]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.3.04 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 21, 2004

 doing illegal

... because I spent the whole weekend watching Everwood (Season 1 and 2), and I find Gregory Smith and Chris Pratt totally hot.

addendum - I cannot believe I just blogged this.

[doing illegal]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.3.04 { 0 comments }

vendredi, mars 19, 2004

 Good guys die

People who go to places to help people always seem to attract the wrong sort of trouble.

[Good guys die]
Sngs Alumni @ 19.3.04 { 0 comments }

 'nuff said, part 4

Hello Kitty USB Hub

['nuff said, part 4]
Sngs Alumni @ 19.3.04 { 0 comments }

jeudi, mars 18, 2004

 Local haunts and butterflies

I caught two movies yesterday, because I quite like the garish pink cinema at Clementi, and because it's $5 on weekdays ($7 on weekends). I saw Haunted Mansion with Vanessa, who's a primary 1 school friend - I've been meeting her on the 8:05 bus these couple of days because her present client is located in Clementi (she's an accountant). We caught the 6pm show, which ended at 7:20, but then she had to go off, so I went and bought another ticket for The Butterfly Effect at 7:15, and kept watching till 9pm.

Haunted Mansion
Verdict: Unless you're below the age of 16, don't even bother. Nothing's new; old plot, obnoxious Eddie Murphy, wife who looks like ghost's dead lover, secrets, and the worst cliché of all: the butler did it. All 1hr20mins of nothing-much-really.

The Butterfly Effect
If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, a tornado breaks out in Hawaii. (or something to that effect, I can't really remember the geography of the analogy.) The title of the movie is derived from the basis of chaos theory, if I remember my Michael Crichton clearly (see Jurassic Park 2 - the book, not the movie). Something about changes in the first stage of evolution having massive effects later, after many years of event magnification. That's what the movie is about - hence the tagline: Change one thing. Change everything.

For some implausible reason (could be that his dad was in a mental institution, and tried to strangle him during one of his visits, but ended up being accidentally cludgeled to death by the orderlys) , Evan (Kutcher) has always been prone to blackouts. When he was 15 or so, he and his friends accidentally killed two people. He blacked that out, and after the ruckus died down, his mother decided to leave town. The kid grows up (into Kutcher with stubble), keeps journals so that he won't forget, and studies psychology and memory rentention (big surprise there.)

On the night that he celebrates his 7th year without blackouts, he passes out (while making out with a pretty hot chick), and flashes back to the horrible events of his childhood. Needing to verify that they were real memories, he looks for his childhood sweetheart Kayleigh (Smart), and asks her what happened. She doesn't want to remember the events of the past, and winds up suiciding. He attends her funeral, then keeps reading his journal - and the same weird blackout occurs, except that he can take over his 7 year old body (or 15, or 18, or whatever journal-age he's at), and change what happens then. He flips back to "real life" - and suddenly he's got designer stubble, and is sleeping in Kayleigh's pink sorority bed - and she's alive and in it.

Of course, things go bad, he winds up in jail, but then he gets his journals out, reads them, and changes some other thing in the past, and flips to a "new" future, one where another one of his pals is stuck in a mental institution. Then he flips to another future where Kayleigh is a hooker, or he has no arms, and on and on. The story finally ends with him burning the journals - everyone's fine, even him, but as Amy Smart shares the credits with Kutcher, it's ultimately a love story: the only future where everyone comes out well-adjusted and with all their limbs intact is if Evan and Kayleigh had never hung out together in the past.

The whole idea of parallel universes (universi?) is nothing new, and so the concept behind the movie is nothing new. I'd still recommend the movie because it's got a lot of background dialogue and loose ends that still give you pause for thought - like the fact that Evan's dad apparently went through the same thing, and got stuck in a world where he had no "journals" to use as his instrument to travel between the different futures. Hereditary insanity perhaps?

I read a review on the movie - I think it was from The Straits Times. The reviewer blasted the movie for being "too slow" - after all, the review argued, the concept is nothing new. I like it because the movie takes its time to spin a proper story - telling a story on alternate realities is never easy, and gets repetitive after a while (can anyone say Sliders?), but TBF hits the right pace for me. It's still a $6.50 show, maybe $7.50, but not $8.50. (I guess those are my ratings for any movies that I post up. $6.50, $7.50 or $8.50. Pretty self-explanatory for the Singapore audience.)

[Local haunts and butterflies]
Sngs Alumni @ 18.3.04 { }

mercredi, mars 17, 2004

 why i blog rubbish most of the time

this is the reason:
jaded: you are only 23? and so many questions. just enjoy life as it unfolds. growth is never ending

[why i blog rubbish most of the time]
Sngs Alumni @ 17.3.04 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 15, 2004

 100 years - Five for Fighting

I didn't realise that the song that Julian posted on his blog a long, long time ago was the same song that's been spinning in my mind for the last couple of days. The song's sentiment has been resonating for a while within me, and to hear it spun out beautifully in a song... it just feels like a picture being sung.

A lot of incidents contribute to this post.

[My going to Vietnam and seeing the UNDP headquarters for Hanoi.]

[The constant wondering about my job, and what I want to do.]

[A very close friend taking the very difficult decision of leaving her job of 2 years, and going to Hillsongs College in Australia to train to be a music pastor.]

[Meeting David, Leon and Amanda yesterday night, and David telling me about the availability of scholarships to the UK for International Studies.]

[My mom overhearing a conversation today at the petrol kiosk:
gf: "Eh, wait, I want to buy this magazine."
bf: (exasperated) "Buy for what? Waste money only."
gf: (whiny) "Haiyah, I bored mah."
... and after she related it to me:
me: "That's what happens when people don't have anything to do."
mom: "Not like you, huh? You need more than one life, the way you're going."]

[TalkingCock.com's Modest Proposal on how to boost Singapore's birthrate, and it's actual feasibility.]

[Today's Sunday Times' Tan Tarn How article on how, due to modern medical technology, we get a 100% boost in our life expectancy, living up to 90 years old, when the average a couple of centuries back was 40 years old.]

One of those other things is the constant question: why am even bothering to work so hard, to do what I don't really have to do? I don't have to pick up another book and cram facts into my head, and be tested on them. I don't really have to work out there in the world helping people. I don't have to agonise so much over my job, and money, so long that it's enough to pay the bills, who cares?

[Beckett's old chestnut about dying the day we are born.]

Every time I get to feeling this way, God just seems to know what to say. I was reading my daily devotional material one morning, just mulling over this problem, and the lesson for the day was to constantly challenge yourself, because that allows us to grow in faith in God. It stated that it is human tendency to zero in on the nearest comfort zone, and park ourselves there forever, where we are secure, and can handle all problems. But when we can handle our own problems, then there is little space for God to work in our lives. Miracles need space to happen, God needs a little bit of our virtual desktop space to move - which is why we should always 更上一层楼. It's a scary step up, but it's either that, or stagnation. Even if you're not a Christian, the principle still applies - growth (be it personal or spiritual), or stagnation.

[Carpe Diem, Seize the Day, courtesy of Dead Poet's Society]

[A good friend calling me "larger than life."]

I don't know why, but I do feel this great urgency to make the most out of what I have, and to just go out there, and live life. 100 years, that's all we girls - at best. (guys, you're on your own there.) There are so many things out there to do - and I'm not talking about the lack of things to do in Singapore on a weekend (there is no cure for that particular malady.) Places to see, things to learn, mountains to climb (or at least admire from a view, since I'm not particularly athletic), people to meet, people to teach, people to help. It's all about people, for me at least, because I believe that's where God's heart is, and that's where I want to be also. It's an abstract concept for me now though; it's hard to believe that you want to help people when all they do is treat you like dirt and try to rip you off whenever they can.

[Me in Vietnam, meeting these two Italian guys who were biking for a month - like, on BICYCLE - from Hanoi into China.]

This job isn't a career. My fingers have never been on the pulse of the local classical scene - and I don't think it ever will be. I love the arts in Singapore, I quite like the stupid tension between the authorities and the (so-called) "artistes", and I like the way that things have been growing and going in recent years - I mean, come on! The Old Parliament House is now The Arts House! I like that I'm working and doing semi-arts administration, but where it's going to go after a while is anyone's guess, and God's decision.

I also cannot envision being a worker drone. I don't want my weekends spoilt by working half a day on Saturday. I don't want to be stared at like I grew a third eye when I tell colleagues that I would like to backpack around New Zealand for 2 weeks, or go to the Philippines to build a house. I don't want to constantly feign that I'm so impressed and dying with envy with your new miu miu shoes, or prada bag. I also don't want to be told when and how many children I should have - only someone who has gone through hours of labour to birth me has that right.

100 years to live - and I've already used up 23 of those "growing up." What's it gonna be?

[Dylan Thomas's Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light]

Five for Fighting - 100 Years

I'm 15 for a moment Caught in between 10 and 20 And I'm just dreaming Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment She feels better than ever And we're on fire Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you Time to buy and time to lose 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 33 for a moment Still the man, but you see I'm a they A kid on the way A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment The sea is high And I'm heading into a crisis Chasing the years of my life

15 there's still time for you Time to buy, Time to lose yourself Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...

I'm 99 for a moment Dying for just another moment And I'm just dreaming Counting the ways to where you are

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you're on your way
Every day's a new day...

15 there's still time for you Time to buy and time to choose Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

[100 years - Five for Fighting]
Sngs Alumni @ 15.3.04 { 0 comments }

samedi, mars 13, 2004

 On Vietnam

I can't post up pictures from my trip yet because I haven't got the time to write it all down, but it'll come up soon - I think it'll also be on recklessfaith, like my europe trip.

What can I say as a preview?

The place is lovely, but really dusty.
The people are nice and friendly, but also out to get your (US) dollar.
The food is good, but might give you diarrhoea.
The backpackers are cute, but cute, and cute. (serious as a heart attack.)

[On Vietnam]
Sngs Alumni @ 13.3.04 { 0 comments }

 In just three days, you too, can have a new life!

Yay! Chinese works. Although who knows what I'll need it for - like I'll suddenly 心血来潮 and post in chinese? Get real.

Anyway, I'm back from Hanoi, Vietnam, and am busy catching up with work. During this week:

(A) The percussion concert, entitled "水" was cancelled, because one percussion student decided to go home and not come back. He was doing fine in school, but I think he counted his eggs, and decided that even though he was progressing in his language, he wasn't going to be able to do very well when it came time for everyone to bite the bullet and do the elective and cross-faculty modules. It's a pity, because I was rather looking forward to it. Now it's just part of a Noon Recital.

(B) I totally shot my budget for the month of Feb to pieces:

French class - $311
Guitar class - $207
Pants - $72
Spending money to Hanoi - $200 (dad paid for the airticket)
Having the time of my life: priceless $790.

(C) I have been accused of:
1) having the ugliest blog that an infocomm student could have;
2) always using different variants of the colour green, and am hence boring;
3) not updating;
4) having one of the most impersonal blogs around.

Well I've never been much for the baring of soul in the presence of any man
I'd rather keep to myself all safe and secure; in the arms of a sinner I am
Could it be that my worth should depend
By the crimson stained grace on a hand
And like a lamp on a hill Lord I pray in Your will to reveal all of You that I can

Jennifer Knapp, Martyrs and Thieves, Kansas

[In just three days, you too, can have a new life!]
Sngs Alumni @ 13.3.04 { 0 comments }


试试看,可不可用华文post 。

Sngs Alumni @ 13.3.04 { 0 comments }

jeudi, mars 04, 2004

 A Reason To Hope 4 Mar 2004

Campus Crusade for Christ, NUS

A Reason to Hope
First performed on 4 March 2004 at NUS, LT13
written by LMA

Christian, just rediscovered God, attempts to share Jesus in a non-confrontational manner

Old friend of Justin, life’s all about having fun to him.

Yong Fu
Believes in good works, and influencing people to be good people

Unsure of where her life is going, acts like it doesn’t matter, but deep down, it really bugs her.

Person giving testimony.

Galvin’s girlfriend, quite materialistic, is with Galvin because she thinks that he can provide her with the material things in life.

Galvin’s sister, just wants to get out of Singapore.

Questioner, skeptic, semi-foil to Eeleen.

Scene 1: Interview Clips Part 1

Scene 2: Simone, Simone
(Stage dark. The tinny strains of The Everly Brothers “Dream” in the background, as if playing on radio. Spotlight on Simone, sitting at Stage Left, writing in a diary, amidst throw pillows and stuffed toys. Cosy, comfortable atmosphere. Music fade out to background, but not silent, just very soft. Curtains closed. Simone does NOT need a mike for this scene as her words will be pre-recorded.)

Simone (voiceover as she writes): Dreams. Dreams… when I was in Primary School, I watched this documentary on doctors on Channel 12, and I wanted to be a scientist, and discover the cure for cancer. Then came secondary school, where I discovered that the ultimate dream of fitting in – especially with the boys – was more important than the cure for cancer. (small derisive laugh) Imagine that. Boys more important than cancer.

(looks up from writing, thinks, then starts writing again as voiceover continues.)

You know, during those times, you don’t really think about what’s up ahead. As far as I was concerned, there was always something else to do – another exam, another school, another GCE ‘O’ level, another GCE ‘A’ level, another school holiday to look forward to at the end of the year, another dream to dream…

And now, I’m in NUS. In the Arts Faculty. Far, far away from my original dream of curing cancer. I used to dream so big – now all I dream about is just graduating, and getting this whole education thing over and done with.

(looks up, pensive, build up for the next line, very loaded)

I really wonder sometimes, was I controlling my dreams, (pause for dramatic effect) or was it the other way around?

(Blackout as the song continues and ends. Simone exits stage right. Props to move offstage.)


Simone’s voiceover + Everly Brother’s Dream (should be recorded already)

Diary, pen, Beanbag, stuffed toys, floor lamp.

Simone should switch on the lamp. No spotlight. The lamp provides lighting for this scene.

Props should be on stage already at this point.

Props move

Scene 3: Sesame Street
(Sesame Street song comes on. Cast run onto stage from various places in the audience. Need proper enunciation of words to ensure clarity. Sing, as per normal.)
Sunny Day - Sweeping the clouds away!
On my way to where the air is sweet!
Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to (say) Arts Canteen? (look/act confused)
(say) How to get to Arts Canteen? (look/act confused)

(Galvin with a map, lost, trying to follow directions, cast follows him around)
Take the lift, everything’s still okay
Walk straight, AS1 then turn left (throws up his hands and map in despair)
All I want to do is eat
Is to eat some yong tau fu!
Is to eat some yong tau fu!
<<Guys refusing to ask for directions>>
(cast lines up in a queue, looks like they’re having fun in a conga line)
Sunny Day, sweeping the clouds away!
On my way to the Arts Canteen (stance of the cast changes, which changes a conga line into a long queue line, Galvin at head of line, holding up name of stall)
Tell me why must queue so long
Queue so long for yong tau fu!
Queue so long for yong tau fu!
(cast run in a ring twice, and exit STAGE RIGHT)

Punk Ska Paradise Orchestra cover of Sesame Street.

Lyrics to be projected one line at a time on powerpoint.

Galvin to have map/stall name in hand already. Sunglasses.

Fran to have sunglasses.

Faith to have a fan to fan herself.

Eeleen on the phone.

Justin to have headphones and bopping to the beat.

Yong Fu to just sing and snap fingers.

Grace to act like surfer girl and just rock with it.

Scene 4: At Arts Canteen
There are four tables altogether, with four seats at each table, like how the chairs in the arts canteen are arranged – one table, four chairs. Grace and Faith spread themselves out over the seats and start talking, while the guys are to one side..)

Galvin: (powerfully, mock theatrically, gestures towards the audience as if beholding a wonderful panorama) At last! We are here! Come my friends. The yong tau fu is waiting for us! (gestures to where the “stall” was while they were lining up)

Justin: (shaking head) Brudder, brudder. Go for holiday to England, come back means must so drama.

Yong Fu: (Breathes in the air like it’s fresh from the mountains) Hey, but he’s right man. After all these years… (pauses in mid-thought) well, after all this two and a half years, at least – no more SFI, no more IPPT, no more SOC! Now, there is only…

Galvin: (Cheekily) Tau fu?

Yong Fu: (Deflates) No lah! Now there is only… (hands on Galvin’s shoulder, turns him around to behold…)

Galvin: (pulls away from Yong Fu, mock angry) Oei! My sister is at that table okay! You bio her must ask my permission one you know!

Justin: Aiyoh, you people ah… (walks over to Faith and Grace) Hello! Holidays how? Got go anywhere or not?

Faith: (to Justin) Hey yan tao! Haven’t seen you in so long… Did you miss me?

Justin: Still have that crush on me, I see. I know, (preens hair, like L’oreal shampoo commercial) because I’m worth it!

Faith: (mock appalled) Aiyoh! Is this what army teach you?

Grace: (knowingly) No lah, he born already like that one. Ask my kor lah, last time when they were in Primary school together, wah, both our families headache only…

Galvin and Justin: (indignant, TOGETHER)
Galvin: Aei, I wasn’t so bad okay! It’s always he get me into trouble! (points to Justin)
Justin: Oei, last time I always get into trouble because he is the headache one! (points to Galvin)

Grace: (to Galvin) Ha-na, ha-na you. Ask mummy. She will tell all your stories and adventures to everyone and anyone who is interested.

Galvin: (ironic, finger wagging to Grace) Woman. You will speak when I command you.

Faith: Aiyoh, domestic dispute! I go and buy good first. (gestures toward Galvin and Grace) You two, brother and sister fight finish then call me okay? Make sure you clean up the blood first. What do you all want to eat? (digs for wallet)

Yong Fu: Yong tau fu! Anything also can, just no sea cucumber.

Justin: Me too.

Grace: I go with you, I don’t want to argue with my (sarcastic, makes air quotation marks)大哥” here.

Galvin: Oei! You better buy food for me ah!

(Grace and Faith exit stage right, leaving Yong Fu, Justin and Galvin at the tables. They lounge around as the girls leave. Galvin starts flipping through 8days, while Justin flips open a ring file and starts flipping also. Both do so aimlessly, as if not really seeing what they’re flipping through. Yong Fu is just staring into space, stoning. They sit in companionable silence for a while.)

Yong Fu: (dreamily, shaking his head, regarding his friends) I can’t believe it.

Justin: (puzzled) Believe what?

Yong Fu: (matter of fact) That we’re in NUS. After so long, this is the final lap we have to run before we go into real life.

(Francesca and Esther enter from stage left)

Galvin: (disbelievingly) Are you kidding me? You mean you still living in a dream world ah? This is real life man! Anyway, what’s the big deal? It’s not like you’re the only one here. 5000 other students in the arts faculty alone, okay! (slight pause) What’s so good about NUS anyway? I wanted to go overseas to study. (grumpy)

Justin: Is it? Then how come you didn’t?

Galvin: (makes hand action signifying money) No money, baby, no money.

Francesca: Galvin has no money? (toward Galvin, jokingly) Sorry dear, I think we have to break up.

Justin: No lah, we’re just talking about how he wanted to go overseas to study, but didn’t go.

Eeleen: (Indicating Galvin) Oh… so that’s why no money lah. How come never be like this guy (pokes Yong Fu) and take scholarship? Which scholarship did you take again ah?

(At this moment, Faith and Grace re-enter from stage right. Grace is carrying a red small plastic bag, while Faith is carrying a red tray with two plates of fries on it. Grace is carrying four bowls of yong tau fu. All cast are on stage.)

Yong Fu: (strikes heroic pose) Teach. Do something worthwhile with your life.

Faith: (arriving at her seat, places a plate of fries in the middle of a table) Nah, bought two plates of fries for us to share. Is the war over?

Francesca: What war?

Galvin: (feigning ignorance, pretending to be very 天真) Yah, what war? Iraq war over already.

Grace: (mock-annoyed) Aiyoh, you ah. Lucky I got lecture now, or else must listen to some more of this nonsense.

Yong Fu: No lunch?

Grace: Ta-bao-ed a sandwhich. (holds it up) Bye guys.

All: Bye!

(Grace exits stage right, leaving Justin, Galvin, Yong Fu, Faith, Francesca and Eeleen on stage. They sit and arrange themselves, and start to pick at their food. Justin says silent grace. Awkward silence as the rest of the characters are unsure of whether or not to start eating their food first or wait for him. Finally, Justin looks up, says a soft “Amen”  and picks up his utensils, and carries on the conversation.)

Justin: Eh, what modules you all want to take this sem?
(uncomfortable short silence)
Yong Fu: Eh, since when you start doing that?

Justin: Saying grace? Since December.

Eeleen: For what?

Justin: (as if it’s self-evident) Thanking God for the food?

Francesca: (amused) Thank God for what? It’s not like he cooked the food for you.

Galvin: (to Justin) Yah lor. Unless the yong tau fu uncle is your god… What happened to the officer from OCS who make recruits cry one? (clasps Justin on the shoulder)

Justin: (shrugs) Well, it’s just something I do as a Christian. Not to sound cheesy, but I just think that the vegetables couldn’t have grown without some help from a higher power whom I believe to be God, so I’m saying grace to thank God for giving me this meal.

Faith: I thought you Christian for so long already, how come now then I see you so holy holy one?

Justin: Dunno why also. Just that last year when we came into NUS, I didn’t get ANY of the modules I wanted. So I was quite angry with the NUS CORS system, and also angry a bit with God lah, cos I believe that He’s in charge mah, so since I’m Christian, I thought everything in my life should be steady, so why I kena such crappy modules? I complained to my mother, then she tell me to read my bible and see what God says about my situation.

Yong Fu: Since when you read bible one?

Justin: Got lah… so anyway, I opened my bible, and the first passage I read says that God knows the plans he has for me, and the plan is to give me hope, and to give me a future, and if I pray to Him, He will listen to me. At first I thought the verse quite , it’s too much of a coincidence. But the passage also said that if I sincerely seek God, I will find Him.

Faith: So easy to find him one meh?

Eeleen: Then what happened?

It kinda calmed me down lah, knowing that God has a plan for my life. So I just continued going to church, and started talking to God by praying lor. (uneasy pause as all the cast look at him, some thoughtful, some skeptical)
So, what modules you guys taking this sem? This kind of thing must plan early one, scally cannot graduate then really die.

(uneasy pause. conversation picks up a little uneasily, but the group manages to slip back into the rhythm. Start picking at their food again.)

Francesca: Uh… I’m not too sure. It’s really hard to choose. And it’s so confusing! GEM, CFM, UL, exposure modules…

Eeleen: (cuts in) Yah lor, so many exposure modules, expose here expose there, later my CAP score exposed then really kena exposed!

Yong Fu: Just choose what you want to do lor! So easy.

Faith: Where got so easy? You anyhow tikam tikam one meh?

Eeleen: Somemore the modules which sound interesting also sound very hard, and the boring ones sound even harder. Anyway, nevermind lah, year one only, try here try there then later then decide what I want to do.

Francesca: (to Justin, skeptical) You mean you can plan so far ahead? I haven’t even decided on my major, and you want me to think about the rest of my life? I think it’s only after you try the exposure modules will you have an idea of what you want to do.

Justin: Yeah, but what are you working towards?

Eeleen: I think I prefer to 走一步, 看一步.

Justin: But with all the 一步 here and the 一步 there, where do all these little steps take you? Do you have anything you really die-die want to do?

Eeleen: (shrugs) Dunno. That’s why I came to NUS mah. It’s cheaper than overseas, so I don’t need to spend so much money while trying to figure out what I want with my life.

Galvin: Not for me man! When I was digging trenches in the army, I told myself I definitely want to earn more than the stupid person shouting into my ear. I plan sui sui already. Going to graduate from BizAd and take over my father’s car business. That means lotsa money, losta cars, and lotsa hot (babes…) (mouths the word as Esther cuts in)

Francesca: Hey!

Galvin: (changing direction of word halfway)…hot… hot… hot wheels! I love hot wheels!

Yong Fu: (laughs) So much for your “dreams” huh? Come on, brother. Let me show you the error of your ways. (strikes heroic pose again) Teach. Do something worthwhile with your life. Mould the lives of the next generation.

Eeleen: (sarcarstic) Wow, and this time you actually said it like you actually did mean it.

Yong Fu: (dropping the act) Actually, I really do. I really believe all the corny songs – (sings) I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, you know? I really think that the greatest thing a person can do is to be a good, upright person, and show kids how to 做人. My dream is not so glam like Galvin’s one, but it’s still quite solid right? (strikes heroic pose yet again) Teach. Do something (everybody starts groaning here) worthwhile with your life…

Faith: Aiyoh, enough of your nonsense lah. (throws tissue paper at Yong Fu)
Please, enough of your rubbish.
Tolong lah.

Eeleen: Aei, but seriously, do you guys have a plan or not ah? I mean, just now she say (indicates Faith) that we tikam tikam choose our modules and just relak and enjoy life, but sometimes I’m a bit worried that I don’t really have a plan of what I want to do later.

Faith: Like, after school ends?

Eeleen: Yah. I mean, I don’t feel like this all the time lah, but sometimes you know, I wonder, where is this all going? It’s like this checklist that all Singaporean babies are born with – you know: Primary school – CHECK! Secondary school – CHECK! Poly or JC – CHECK! NUS or NTU – CHECK! Then nah (gestures) take your degree, bye bye, have a nice life. Then we’re standing outside the door going “So what’s next on the list?” Dream husband, dream car, dream four-room HDB flat, 2.4 kids to make the government happy?  (pause, for the next line is loaded) What really drives us?

(Cast freeze. Blackout. Cast exit stage left.)

Seven to eight chairs, two long tables, two long canteen benches, projected pictures of the arts canteen at the side of stage.

Table has a couple of magazines, and Grace and Faith’s bags and files over one.

Sandwich, red tray, two plates of fries, four yong tau fu bowls and utensils move from STAGE RIGHT to ONSTAGE

Grace exits STAGE RIGHT.

translation to be projected. White on black.

Translation to be projected.

Cast and all props to move OFFSTAGE to STAGE LEFT.

Scene 5: Interview Clips Part 2
(Crew uses this time to clear the stage for the dancers.)

Scene 6: Dance – Craig David
 (dancers exit stage left)

Scene 7: Life Proposals
(Cast comes in from stage left and assumes neutral stance. Simone comes in from stage right and starts writing on her diary again. WITH A HAND-HELD MIKE THIS TIME, as she needs to share her testimony. As if continuing her previous scene. Cast is in neutral position, standing with hands front holding their boards, feet apart, head down to hide their faces. Lighting preferably spots on each individual person. Dido’s “Life For Rent” plays in the background. Spot on Simone. Music fades to background again as voiceover starts.)

Simone: I think maybe it’s time to think of a new ideal for myself, something which I want to do, something I want to start working towards. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a treadmill, running and running, but going nowhere. I always thought I was ambitious, but being ambitious without a dream is like the difference between speed and velocity. Velocity has a definite direction, somewhere it’s heading towards, whereas speed just moves without aim. What direction is my life taking? Or is everything just random chance and coincidence? I wonder how other people deal with this problem. (assumes a pensive, thinking posture, freezes.)

(From neutral stance 1, cast  step forward, deliver their lines, and then step back into neutral stance 2. Those who have boards hold up their boards with two hands to show to the audience when they return to neutral stance 2.)
(LIGHTING: From now on, all cast members are to have a spotlight from above. The stage is dark at first. Just before Simone speaks, her spotlight goes on. That is her cue to start talking. Just after she ends, and when Faith is scheduled to speak, Faith’s spotlight goes on. That is Faith’s cue to start talking. Etc. Spotlights do NOT go off when the actor stops speaking.)

Faith: (steps forward) (as if invigilating a test) Please submit your life direction proposal. (steps back)

Francesca: (steps forward) Proposal for life direction: graduate, get married, become tai tai housewife, and have 2.4 kids. Preferably do all of the above with my darling Galvin.  (steps back. Holds up word: “TAITAI”.)

Simone: (walks over and inspects her mounting board) Tai-tai. Sounds like a good option, but I don’t think I like playing mahjong all day. It’s not like I’m getting my degree for nothing. I want something more… (freezes)

Galvin: (steps forward) Proposal for life direction: take over family car business, build an empire, and earn lots of money and have lots of fun with lots of babes… (steps back. Holds up word: “$ $ $”.)

Simone: (walks over and inspects his mounting board) Hmm… the 5Cs. That’s just too clichéd for words. Yes, money’s really important, but is it important enough to become the be-all and end-all of my life? (freezes)

Grace : (steps forward) Proposal for life direction: escape from family car business and migrate to Australia. Become surfer girl at Bondi Beach. (steps back. Holds up word: “SURFER GIRL”)

Simone: (walks over and inspects her mounting board) Hmm. I can’t swim. Next! (freezes)

Yong Fu: (steps forward) Proposal for life direction: (sings) I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside… give them a sense of pride… (says) You don’t need anything or anyone else, you just need to make sure that you all 好好做人 ! (holds up placard that reads好好做人)

Simone: (walks over and inspects mounting board) Hmm. Very noble, but what does好好做人 mean? It’s very lofty, but it sounds like my life now – what direction is this teaching people to 好好做人 going to go towards? (freezes)

Eeleen : (holds up her hand in the air) ‘cher, I cannot pass up today because I dunno how to do, I ask my tuition teacher, she also dunno how to do. (she does not have a board)

Simone: (walks over) This sounds a lot like me. Not sure about how what to do, and where to go. (talks to Eeleen, who does not respond) I’m not sure how to do the assignment too. (freezes)

Justin : (steps forward) Proposal for life direction: I want to study Language semantics and structure, and I hope to go to someplace where no one has gone before, to meet a tribe which nobody has seen before. I want to learn their language, and translate all 66 books of the bible into their language, so that they will know about God’s plan for their life.

It’s quite a huge plan that I have, but I wouldn’t call it a “life direction.” I have some sort of direction that I would like my life to take, but I think ultimately, I want to leave my direction in life to God. I believe that there is a divine plan for my life, and I believe that my 70 years of life on this earth is a gift from God. That means that my life is not really my own; it’s sort of “on rent” from God… and I believe that God’s own son, Jesus has paid the rent for my life.
(Holds up blank mounting board and marker. Pause.)
My life direction is up to Him.

Faith : (steps forward) Time’s up. Please put down your pens, write your name on your answer scripts and tie them together. (pause) You may leave now. (Cast leave STAGE LEFT, but leave their mounting boards behind on stage, where Simone continues to look at them.)

Simone: (looks at the various mounting boards, picks them up, and leaves via STAGE LEFT.)

Props should be on stage already at this point.

Diary, pen, Beanbag, stuffed toys, floor lamp move from STAGE RIGHT to ONSTAGE

Simone should switch on the lamp, but this switches to general lighting as she says her last line.

Cast should enter from STAGE RIGHT, where their mounting boards should be already.

General lighting to be switched on.

Translation to be projected

Scene 9: Dance – Life For Rent (Dido)

Scene 11: MC/Closing

Libellés :

[A Reason To Hope 4 Mar 2004]
Sngs Alumni @ 4.3.04 { 0 comments }

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