Monday, 29 September 2003

my life has become a sudden cycle of neverending stuff to do...

1. am still in the process of packing 75 boxes of college promotional material to be sent to the States. Doesn't help that there are very specific instructions as to how the boxes should be packed. You need a degree to know how to pack those things!

2. from a college where nothing happens, I am now in an institution where more than one interesting news event is happening in which I have to write an article about

3. have an assignment due for counselling class this thursday. hadn't realised the deadline was this near. ended up spending the whole of yesterday writing my assignment. at least it's done.

4. I NEED A JOB FOR NEXT YEAR!!!! Have been furiously sending in my CVs and filling up application packs for organisations all over the place...still haven't heard nothing back yet. Is my email working??

Have a filming session this evening. Haha. Sounds like a famous movie star. It's some church thing and they needed some extras and are paying £30 each. Hey, sounds like easy money to me to sit around for 2 hours pretending to look intelligent...

Wednesday, 24 September 2003

Kind of long, but it's worth it. A rather accurate depiction of the Christian walk...brought tears to my eyes.
I finally watched the Phantom of the Opera in a London West End theatre yesterday afternoon. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had my hesitation initially because I had fallen in love with the original soundtrack by Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. I was afraid I would be disappointed since this musical would not be performed by the original cast.

Far from it.

I was astounded, caught breathless, amazed, enriched and utterly awe-struck. The cast was fantastically talented, the props and costumes lavish, the songs and music perfect. What more can I say except that it was well worth a mere 15? And because the theatres were so small, as all London theatres are, even though I had a grand circle ticket (the 2nd cheapest ticket available), the actors weren’t mere dots in the distance. I could actually see the expressions on their faces. And I strongly believe that is the way it should be with theatre shows. Kept to a small number of people and yet accessible to the common man (and woman).

The musical was everything I imagined it to be and more. Having read the original story, listened to the soundtrack countless times, and exposed to various marketing/promotional items, I thought I had gained a pretty clear picture of how the musical would be. I was so wrong.

The sets were far better than I imagined it to be. The two scenes that impressed me the most were when the Phantom brought Christine to his home far below the opera house, how the stage director created a very realistic impression that they were descending into the depths and rowing through a lake, and of course, the famous chandelier scene.

The direction was fantastic. At various times, it honestly felt like we were part of the audience in the opera house in which the Phantom haunts. The Phantom terrorised us from behind, from above, from everywhere. It was an extremely rich experience, a truly magical moment and literally a dream come true for me.

Thursday, 18 September 2003

there are some perks to this job. i leave for Cornwall tomorrow morning with 89 other students for a weekend retreat at the Adventist campsite in Chapel Porth. The best bit of it all is that in exchange for being a photographer, I get to go on the trip for free! Woohoo!

really looking forward to visiting Tintagel, the believed birthplace of my dear King Arthur...yes, I am obsessed with the King Arthur legends. How can anyone not be?? (ok, don't answer that question)

right. time to get back to work. i am actually really busy today. surprise surprise.

Wednesday, 17 September 2003

i am working in a mad house. less than 15mins ago...

1. my boss and another colleague were doing a strange aerobic-dance routine to this really lively Mexican music

2. my other colleague was pottering around with a jug of milk looking extremely lost

3. my computer crashed 3 times in a matter of 3 hours

you can tell we get a lot of work done in this office...

Monday, 15 September 2003

isn't technology just fantastic? have been offline for the last few days coz the internet crashed, and now even though I'm able to surf, MSN messenger is somehow not responding to anything i do.

recently took up a counselling course. one of the few perks of working here is that i get to attend a class for free. And since the counselling class fits perfectly into my schedule, (one evening per week for 3.5 hours) why not? So after 9 months, I'm studying again. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep away from study for too long...

attended a rather interesting talk on Saturday afternoon. Did you know that the Seventh-day Adventist Church actually has a representative in the UN? Dr. Jonathan Gallagher came by to give a talk on the UN and Religious Freedom, have to say it was rather interesting. On top of it, the office in New York takes on interns every year, the next one starting in March/May 2004. Guess who is considering it?

It's not just the reputation of the UN, it's the thought of working in an environment where basic human rights are fought for, where I will be able to stand for what I believe and share it with the rest of the world. It's working for my beliefs without compromising my principles. Only's a volunteer position again...can I really afford it?

I'm tired of living on a volunteer stipend. I want a career. I want a proper job with real money. I want to be able to get my own place, live the life I want to live and not be dependent on the mercies of some institution that refuse to part with a stipend that's rightfully mine, a stipend that hardly pays for anything in the first place.

Although truthfully speaking, I would rather be volunteering with the UN office than here, and I have been asked to return for another year...

Wednesday, 10 September 2003

why do people change? why do we have this constant shifts in personalities, thoughts, ideas, principles that almost always ends up with lost friendships or bittersweet tears? we move on, and suddenly, when we look back, we realise we have left key people in our lives behind. Either because they have remained where we left them, or have taken a different direction altogether.

Walking the path of life can be so lonely sometimes, dotted only with temporary fellow travellers. You want a relationship to remain, to stay constant, but the only thing that is constant is change. And no two people ever go through the same change...

today i mourn the loss of a dear sweet friend. not because he has left the land of the living, but because he no longer is the person he used to be. it breaks my heart to see him now. he used to be so caring, so thoughtful, so sweet. He still is I guess, coz when I'm with him, I still see glimpses of the old him. But he is now on a different pathway of life...a path where only the toughest survive, a path where even friends put each other down instead of support, a path where one hides behind a mask of sarcasm, cynicism and general meanness just to avoid one's own unhappiness...

Monday, 8 September 2003

My weekend at Portsmouth was absolutely boring. First off, it was some kind of church conference meeting, so I got a whole bunch of pastors and important church workers sitting around in an auditorium congratulating themselves on increasing church membership, planting more churches, etc. etc. Which in itself is great, don't get me wrong. It's good to hear that the church is growing and that people are being converted and that church leaders are doing a great just isn't my cup of tea. If there's one thing I learnt from my weekend, it was that I don't think I'm made for working for the church. Going for conferences like that will kill me.

Pat, bless her heart, realised I was bored out of my wits and gave me Saturday afternoon off to wander around Portsmouth by myself. I loved it. Been too social lately and to be able to walk around a strange place by myself, where nobody knows me, where every corner I turn I see something new was a fantastic experience. I really felt revived, after beeing surrounded by familiar people and faces 24/7 for the last few weeks, it was great to be by myself.

Unfortunately, Portsmouth wasn't a terribly scenic place....the harbourside was alright, nothing special and the whole area was too industrial for me. The only highlight was probably Charles Dickens' birthplace, but the main problem is....I DON'T LIKE CHARLES DICKENS. And I'm saying this not because of who he is, but coz I just don't understand what's so great about his books! I've read books with far better imagery, language and plots....his stories are just too.....convenient.

Friday, 5 September 2003

i'm going to Portsmouth in a few hours!!!

Was just asked yesterday evening if I wanted to go to Portsmouth to do some promotional work for the College over the weekend. Hey, free transport, free accommodation, free food...all I have to do is stand there, smile and answer questions...A free weekend at the beach. Why in the world would I say no?

Wednesday, 3 September 2003

Rick Warren - The Purpose Driven Life:

You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it…God prescribed every single detail of your body.

He deliberately chose your race, the colour of your skin, your hair, and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the uniqueness of your personality…God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident.

God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose…Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It’s all for a purpose. Most amazing, God decided how you would be born. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. It doesn’t matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom “you” he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you.

While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin.

I've always wondered why I was born in Singapore and not Europe or something like that. More often than not, I have wondered why I was born the race I was. I wasn't happy because I wanted to be living in some Western country since that is where the mass media is at its most developed and most interesting...and yet, everything was God planned. Why am I dissatisfied with what God provided for me?

My blend of Asian and Western influence, coupled with my passion for writing and the mass media has a purpose. There is a reason why I was born the way I am (sarcastic, cynical and all), in the environment I am in...I will no longer wonder why, I will no longer complain. I will no longer be afraid as to what my future holds. Or at least I'll try not to.

I am content. I am at peace.

Tuesday, 2 September 2003

guess what!?!?! after more than a whole month, I got my write-up on Paris done!!!

Disclaimer: it's reallly long, so don't attempt to read it unless you have the time to do so! You can read it here.

Monday, 1 September 2003

i got a postcard from orlando bloom today. it was a Pirates of the Caribbean promo postcard with his photo on it. this is what it said:

Dearest love,

I am lonely at sea, the water here is tasteless & the girls on board are too dark. It's terrible without you...I fear I shall dehydrate...

missing you terribly,

love, Orlando Bloom

written in pink pen, and filled with love heart shapes no less...strangely, it had a Singapore stamp on it...

*sigh* I'm in love....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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