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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 +

samedi, mars 31, 2007

 Cambodia, here I come!

I am going to Cambodia on a community trip with my crusade gang in June, and I'm very excited about it. It's a lovely country, with a terrible history.

I can't wait to go there! Myanmar will have to be pushed to either late in the year, or next year. But I'm planning a trip to Israel, so Myanmar might have to wait till next year...

Interested in similar trips? Let me know.

Libellés : , ,

[Cambodia, here I come!]
Sngs Alumni @ 31.3.07 { 0 comments }

mardi, mars 27, 2007

 Dream invasion

Lots of things to say, insufficient headspace. I leave you with another picture of the horrific bedsheet (which just got changed.)
You've not tried nightmares still you've slept on the red, yellow, green, orange, purple hamtaro.

Libellés : ,

[Dream invasion]
Sngs Alumni @ 27.3.07 { 0 comments }

vendredi, mars 23, 2007

 Sponsoring a child + travel plans

After much hemming and hawing and ignoring the starred email in my gmail account, I've finally put my money where my mouth is and have started sponsoring a child under World Vision's child sponsorship programme.

I've thought about it off and on for the last year or so, and the one thing which I was afraid of most was defaulting on my payments due to an uncertain paycheck flow. I decided to take the plunge anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to see that World Vision (whom I've already had a good impression with anyway) does address this in their sponsorship literature - it's okay if you need to stop payments, you just have to tell them. There's no judgement involved, and somehow, everything leads me back to another common theme which has been running through my life - the seasons that exist in our lives. (But that post for another time.)

My kid was born on the same day as me, except 19 years later. That was my selection criteria - girl, born on my birthday. My ex-colleagues in the office were riding me on my "egocentric" selection criteria, but my defence was that some of THEM picked their kids because they were "cute", so how much more un-scientific was that? Her father's dead, her mother's remarried, and she stays with her grandparents. She's still in kindergarten, having failed one level.

I'm hoping to visit on the third week of June, and I welcome anyone who wants to join me for a quick jaunt up north. I promise it will be nitty, gritty, and educational. What more can anyone ask for in a good trip?

I'm serious about the invitation to come with me to visit the kid and the project area that she's in - you know how to contact me. And if you don't, there's always the private comment function.

Libellés : ,

[Sponsoring a child + travel plans]
Sngs Alumni @ 23.3.07 { 0 comments }

mercredi, mars 14, 2007

 Veronica's Birthday: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Some of my oldest friends are from secondary school, and this year's the year MOST of my "high school gang" from St Nix celebrate our 12th year of knowing each other (since Sec 2 or 3!) Given how hard it's been for us to meet up on a regular basis, since we're all such "important" and "busy" and "unavailable" people, I've decided that this year is the year where I'm planning nonsense birthday escapades for Veronica, Cheryl and Kristine.

Veronica, being (ahem ahem) the oldest, has the dubious honour of being the guinea pig for my first VERY SUCCESSFUL experiment. The aim of the game: to hopefully watch the worst movie possible, and give Ronnie a night to tell her other friends and colleagues about.

We were supposed to meet at City Hall MRT. Ronnie was to pick from a pre-selected list of movie theatres (it eventually wound up to be just Cathay or Plaza Sing) from a hat - including places like Suntec, Lido, YANGTZE (!!!), Bugis etc. We would then make our way to that movie theatre, and watch the closest-timed possible show to our arrival. If there was more than one movie showing, we would pick the WORST POSSIBLE ONE. E.g. if "The Pursuit of Happyness" was showing, as well as "I'm a Cyborg but It's ok", we'd watch Cyborg.

I was terrorising Ronnie throughout the entire week with random messages and promo pictures of Cyborg, until she was (ironically) sort-of looking forward to catching it. But lo and behold, on the day of her birthday, she picked CATHAY, and she was the last to arrive at about 7.27pm, making the closest movie time 7:50pm, making the closest movie that we would watch being... PRIMEVAL.

That's Ronnie and Kristine on the right, looking completely freaked out BEFORE we looked at the movie switchboard.

The movie was a b-grade movie, so of course it was gloriously bad. Three white men (two British, one American, just in case you think the West was one monolithic imperialist institution), one token black man, and one skinny girl. And one huge, computer-generated crocodile. Yay! Cheese ensues, of course - people die, corruption, girl almost gets raped, croc eats people, bad moralising happens, like: "We are the reason for this monstrosity. War. Our rivers run deep with blood and bloated bodies. That's why Gustav (the croc's nickname) happened. It's developed a taste for human flesh."

After that was a quick bite and drink at Timbre before heading home - but not before Ron was sabo-ed to down her 1-pint of Erdinger to a strange chorus of "happy birthday" by random strangers.

Two stray thoughts on this escapade:

1) The first, on AFRICA.
Africa is always depicted as a beautiful land of savannah plains, yet hopelessly corrupt and mired in poverty and bloody wars. I've thought of going there to do work, but I am coming to realise more and more that perhaps I'm not wired to think that way - outright corruption is so alien in Singapore that it is a huge blind spot in my street smarts radar.

2) The second, on PERSONAL HISTORY.
People have asked me why I was hoping that Ronnie would pick a crappy movie to watch, instead of watching Happyness, or 300, or something else "good". I think that personal histories and anecdotes bond when a mock-painful experience is shared. Who shares about how good "Braveheart" was over conversation? Who talks endlessly about how good watching "Gladiator" or "Million Dollar Baby" was? Answer: nobody. Good movies don't make good conversation topics, unless you're talking about issues. Bad movies, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of fish. You can bitch about bad movies to anyone, for any length of time. I've provided a public service to the next guy Ron dates by giving her a conversation topic - the movie, or her insane friend (me!) who forced her to watch a crappy movie on her birthday. Imagine the amazing response to "so what was the last movie you watched?" I rest my case.

Libellés :

[Veronica's Birthday: Be afraid. Be very afraid.]
Sngs Alumni @ 14.3.07 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 12, 2007

 Random photographs

There are an infinite number of interesting things and titbits that
can found in our little city-state, which further underscores that
civilization isn't found just in our geography; it's in our people. I travel
and explore the world because I find it a fascinating place, but I will
be the first to admit that Singapore is one of the more fascinating
places to be... all the more because I have greater access to
strange places and people simply because I am local...

One of Dali's sculptures that was outside Borders last year. I think I
saw itb when I was in London last, and it's strange to see something
I associate with "overseas" sitting comfortably in front of the familiar...

This is my friend Tony on the left. Yes, that IS a bunny suit.
Yes, he IS Singaporean. Yes, this is recent. He's 40+. Go figure.

This picture had me giggling - "Look, moomoo, that's where
compact disks that are abandoned and orphaned go to!"

Rie and moomoo obviously thought I had gone round the bend.
(CD = Civil Defence)

I was pleasantly surprised to see the colourful
ebay sign in Chinatown. They're along Neil Rd.

Some "alternative brand" cereal at Mustafa. Not even Kokokrunch,
Honey Stars and Fruit Loops are spared the piracy! Stop the madness!

[Random photographs]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.3.07 { 0 comments }

samedi, mars 10, 2007

 Soul2Soul: The Last Gig (in this tour, at least)

Held at Far East Square on a balmy Saturday, the band rounded up their Victim, Villian, or Valentine? 2007 tour with a well-attended performance, hosted graciously by Covenant Evangelical Free Church (CEFC).

However, if you're back here wanting to read another comprehensive review of the band's gig, I'm sorry to disappoint; there's not much left to say because the band's performance was pleasantly consistent through both gigs. This may or may not be a compliment: is this their peak, or can they (paraphrasing Believer Music's slogan) Take It Higher? (free advertising for moomoo.)

That being said, I am glad that the change in venues didn't mess with the band's ability to perform - the other gig was a more intimate affair, while this was a larger, more public one. Environmental changes often throw a band off-balance, but there was none of this for Soul2Soul: score another point for professionalism!

Photos from Soul2Soul's Victim, Villian or Valentine? Tour 2007 are located here.

I was trying to take individual shots of everyone, but I think Audrey can only be photographed nicely from an overhead or over-shoulder angle, due to the drums. I was also trying to get an artistic shot of Jason's fingers on the bass, but alas! The camera angle and my zoom lens were not great.

Note also IMG_6391, which was supposed to be an artistic shot of Joan, but it turned out very CMI.

The random shots of the ceiling glass? I was aiming for (yet another) artistic shot showing the band from overhead, but I don't have the SLR with me today, and the light/aperture settings for my Canon G2 (it's a DINOSAUR) are very limited. I hope one of the official photographers managed to capture a good shot of the reflection; it would have been a very nice picture, had I pulled it off.

(ps to chronic lurkers: my comments aren't working because the company just got sold, but you can leave comments on the spanking new cbox on the right.)

Libellés :

[Soul2Soul: The Last Gig (in this tour, at least)]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.3.07 { 0 comments }

 Delineating Space to Breathe

SCHOOL. As the end of the semester approacheth, my time is getting tighter. Essays are looming, and the exams have (again) moved from being a vague concept, to a notion, to an every-threatening thunderstorm of reading flurry.

DEBATES. One set of kids are doing well in debates, the other set is just making me disappointed and very angry at their attitudes towards it. And it's not how conventional wisdom would inform the situation.

CHURCH. Cell has taken a turn for the better, and I am learning and thinking better than I've ever done before. Mun Fai and Eileen are a good duo to have, and they are pushing us closer to a better understanding of where we stand with regard to the knowledge of Christ. Though the distance frightens me, the knowledge of it reassures me - knowing how much I don't know always reassures me. For therein lies the discovery of a starting point...

WORK. While rewarding, it is frustrating to be paid so terribly badly for doing so good a job. I find myself struggling to remind myself that there are bigger things at stake this year; i.e. my school work, which I must complete by the end of this year or it will be ridiculously embarrassing. And the opportunity to meet so many interesting people is something that money can't compensate for, nor is the privilege of putting that big fat organisation name down on my resume. But the obscenely gross underpayment for my (quite objectively speaking) fantastic work is simply demoralising, to say the least.

FRIENDS. Every bit of me that isn't going into my school work, regular work and coaching, is going into meeting friends for lunches, dinners and suppers. Though not everyone appreciates the effort that this costs me, I feel the urgency to meet people this year for some reason.

There's a storm I feel brewing in the horizon, and it is a strange wind that is blowing my way, methinks.

I'm not sure if it bodes well or ill.

(Photo by http://wvs.topleftpixel.com)

Libellés :

[Delineating Space to Breathe]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.3.07 { 0 comments }

 Sexy, sexy, sexy

Vanity Fair APRIL 2003: "ALPHA LIST" Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Ewan McGregor, and Matt Damon.

Sexy, sexy, sexy. Except for Tom Cruise, who should be erased. No, not from the picture, from the EARTH.

Libellés :

[Sexy, sexy, sexy]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.3.07 { 0 comments }

mercredi, mars 07, 2007

 Baudrillard passes

A moment of silence, please, for the passing of a great thinker; one who inspired the name of this blog.

RIP, Jean. We'll miss you.

Libellés : , ,

[Baudrillard passes]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.3.07 { 0 comments }

mardi, mars 06, 2007

 Drawing and Painting Fantasy Beasts by Kevin Walker

A while ago in May 2006 (that's what the camera dates it as), I was browsing through the art section at Kino, and I was fascinated by this book by Kevin Walker.

"Bring to life the creatures and monsters of other realms", the subtitle proclaimed. In it was a comprehensive how-to on drawing stuff like dragons, wraiths, trolls, elves, fairies, right from line-drawing to full on oil-on-canvas instructions.

The funniest thing I saw in the book was this section on how to draw "completely imaginary creatures". While this meant creating a non-conventional monster, it looked out of place beside drawings on other imaginary creatures, like trolls and fairies.

My favourite section? The dragons, of course. Always the dragons. (The pic on the right is by my favourite HP artist, Marta of ArtDungeon.)

Libellés : ,

[Drawing and Painting Fantasy Beasts by Kevin Walker]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.3.07 { 0 comments }

 Jan Švankmajer

I highly recommend watching the film clips of Jan Švankmajer that are available at YouTube. I've only watched "Breakfast", "Lunch" and "Dinner", and I'm simultaneously grossed-out and yet intrigued by his use of stop-motion animation.

Freakee-weakee stuff.

Libellés :

[Jan Švankmajer]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.3.07 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 05, 2007

 Happy Chinese New Year!

I know this is late and beside the point, but Happy CNY everyone!

Pretty decor this year - I really like the
huge cherry blossom trees. Here's a picture
of the fireworks going up in strings of smoke.

Fireworks upstairs too!
And many, many people.
Many, many, many many people.
People Mountain, People Sea.
People everywhere! Madness!

[Happy Chinese New Year!]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.3.07 { 0 comments }

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Stuff I'd Like
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Taj Mahal
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