Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weeks End

Here is this coming week’s repertoire. I utilize the term repertoire because everything has just been so meticulously planned out and there is no room for anything else. Let’s see, Exams end-Shopping-Packing-Shopping-Packing-Movie-Moving-Goldfinger gig-Moving-Airport-Flight-Incheon-Flight-Singapore-Sleep-Sleep-Sleep. And Mr Tan’s birthday of course.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing all of you and if anyone wants anything in particular from this part of the world, e-mail before it’s too late.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Socrates, standing upon death’s kneel, refused to relent against his convictions.

The laws that confine me to this state are unjust, but they are the laws of Athens. Without Athens, there isn’t me. My father, from whose seeds I came forth, will not have married my mother, if it wasn’t for those laws. If it wasn’t for these laws, and wasn’t for this state, I wouldn’t have the rum in my belly or the intellect I possess which I acquired through learned education. What is me is given to me by Athens, and as such I am beheld to the laws which emanate from Athens.

So my dear Crito, even if my death shall bring you a bad name for not doing your part as a friend, for not injecting the necessary convictions within me to plot my escape and make mockery of these laws, I shall stay, albeit reluctantly, to await the next day when the cup of hemlock is laid before me. I shall drink and partake of the hemlock, as this is the will of Athens. For if the laws are transcended, what do we make of these laws, and what then do we make of Athens from whom these very laws emanate?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Econs Paper went pretty ok, I think. Although I was constantly invoking the god given art of smoking my way through with pretty much most of the questions, and everyone knows what that enterprise usually forebodes. But I think, I should take comfort in the knowledge that I could actually have fared a lot worse than what is about to come, given that I was still trying to figure out how to proof Savings=Investments via the National Accounting mechanism like 5 mins before the commencement of the exam and had no idea what it meant like 5 hours after the whole exam even though I answered a question relating to that. That was Econs for me. Furthermore, I bask in the knowledge that I will would henceforth, cease having to see the world through random numbers and excruciating mathematical formulas and hypothetical models for the rest of my academic life. Amen to that.

Anyway, that excruciating experience aside, I was watching this really funny impersonation of George W Bush by Will Ferrell. It is freaking hilarious, with Jon Stewart actually 'interviewing' him and asking him about the wind down of his presidency and all.

Yeah, it's smoky burn out time you no good microfiche!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vivaldi Four Seasons Summer Presto 3rd Movement by Sarah Chang

I think this has to be one of my favorite classical pieces, somehow or rather, it just brings the opulence of the renaissance and the baroque era to life with it's depictions of summer time. Well and can there be any better person than Sarah Chang to play it (Can't belief I missed her performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the VSO), but she's just lovely and she brings in the enthusiasm, pomp and intensity that are so essential in this piece. Enjoy.

Anyways, how are exams? Truly, I wish it were over already.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


It's officially the end of the semester, and exams are up. Although I used to be vexed during this period in past years, there is a certain sense of calm this time round. It began, I belief with the realization that there is only so much one can study or for that matter, attain a certain grade due to the aforementioned effect. Furthermore, the grades from the term papers and mid terms came back, and I'm pretty happy with all of it. I guess knowing that, sort of takes the steam out of the whole equation.

That said, we are also getting ready to move out. Harpreet and the rest of the gang have been frantically looking for a place to put up. It is kinda sad moving out and going our separate ways (not to that effect), but I guess sometimes it works out that way for everyone. The new arrangements will benefit us in one way or another and in the long run, only will we realize how much we've missed without each other's company. However, this whole time has been a great experience, though it was far from rosy, but at least I've know realized how difficult and complicated it can get living with individuals other than your own family members. It takes a shit lot of tolerance on your part, and also on the part of your room mates. I guess I've come to realize it's not just about oneself in life, one has to take into account the aspirations and attitudes of the people around you, for things to work out. I'm glad we've met with some measure of 'working out'.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ave Verum Corpus

Today during the 11am High Mass at the Cathedral, the choir sang Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus for the offertory hymn. I was kinda surprised as I had not looked at the hymn sheet for the day and I always thought it was only meant for the feast of Corpus Christi - which is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. But irregardless of when it is sung, under whatever circumstance, the hymn just simply ascends you into the highest heavens.

Ave verum corpus,
Natum de Maria Virgine,
Vere passum, immolatum
In cruce pro homine,
Cuius latus perforatum
Unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
In mortis examine.
Hail the true body,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Truly suffered, sacrificed
On the Cross for mankind,
Whose pierced side
Flowed with water and blood,
Let it be for us, in consideration,
A foretaste of death.
An Utterson

I think this is what I've more or less ended up with, after a decade of adolescence, as so aptly described by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was
never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in
discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and
yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was
to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye;
something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but
which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner
face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was
austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a
taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theater, had not
crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved
tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at
the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in
any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. "I incline
to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my brother go
to the devil in his own way."

Yes, I've become an Utterson, with some variations.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Blood Sport

I remember rather vividly one November evening sometime in 1990 ( a long time ago) where I stood in front of the television watching a peculiar scene on TV. It was a scene which I had acquainted off from one of the many cartoons I’ve watched in my then young life – of blazing laser neons and spaceships, very bad guys hell bent on wreaking havoc, only to be put down by the almighty hero, who saves the day and rescues the planet (I believe Captain Planet was the first pop cult environmentalist, not Al Gore). But, it was only a few years later, where I realize that the scene which got me captivated that faithful day was in fact, real. This time, a 12 year old me stood in front of the same television set (we were pretty poor back then) watching the same scene repeat itself in surreal rapidity. For the same images which were imprinted in my young ‘clean slate’, stared back at itself six years later. It was yet another war, another flash of explosion consuming it’s natural surroundings and the countless number of lives it took along with it. Even then, I never understood the full complication of that moment.

Now, I’m 22. War, has now become a staple part of reality. I know and am taught to know that war is a consequence of man’s diverging ambitions and for one, it is just inevitable as long as men walk the face of thee earth – the globe trotters are we. Many took this realization by subscribing to a brand of cynicism called reality. I became creative, I choose idealism. But one can’t help but feel undone by the many vicissitudes that culminate from this search for an answer, for a greater meaning or purpose to this all. For it usually contains an ascension to the tumults of intellectualism, but stood at odds from those who choose the realistic alternative.

Then I remember again how it all happen 15 years ago. How grandma struggled with the new gadget which she was so fascinated over, she tried pressing the numbers she now learned would alter the scene on the screen, but to no avail. For the same daunting scene reappears, afflicting itself upon my young fragile mind and she knew it. Some years later after she died, the same scene reappeared. This time Dad had that gadget in his hands, unlike grandma, he knew it’s mechanics inside out. And unlike Grandma, he turned the volume up. ‘This is it son, war.’ You could almost hear him say that, in the most matter-of-fact manner it can be pronounced.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Now, I found out the reason why we were actually evicted was down to someone living below us actually complaining that we were too noisy. Apparently, we were so rowdy that we have cost the landlord to lose a tenant - who apparently in a fit of rage moved out because he or she could not take our nonsense anymore. Furthermore, a total of three warnings were issued to us, warning us of our transgressions. Unfortunately, we never received these warnings. Which makes for three possibilities. One, we lied. Two, the landlord lied. Three, no one lied, and it was just by some chance that two pieces of paper slipped under our door just went missing on it's own accord. I guess chance has a way of working itself out to the advantage of those who possess the necessary resources to claim chance for their own. This episode, is a reflection of this bitter reality. Although this realization has filled me with a sense of injustice and seething rage, I know fully well that this is an end we can't turn around, at least not yet.

To that individual who took the last post literally, no I'm not going homeless, because you would see me in Sunny Singapore soon enough.