then i know i’m heaven-blest

It surprises me how abysmally long it takes for me to discover the best solutions to some trivial problems of mine – and often they’ve always been right in front of me all this while. I’ve been learning lots this week, including finding out a most fantastic study spot: it’s right in town, has air-conditioning and huge tables, and doesn’t require any “bargaining chip” (drinks or food purchased in a café). And it gives you “peace of mind” too (I quote Melvyn). I’m quite sure I’ll make really good use of this place in this last week of holidays I’ve got.

I am still highly amused at the events which transpired last Saturday afternoon, Amanda! It’s ridiculous, farcical even, how our flight paths keep colliding. But hey, thank you for being at-the-right-place-at-the-right-time. I don’t mean this sarcastically, but I don’t think that event would turn out a comedy if you weren’t around. ‘Tis perhaps unmanly to say this, but I’d probably have crumbled if I witnessed the event alone, so yeah thank you again. (For more reasons than just being a convenient wall of sorts, in case you thought I meant that haha)

will move on. (:

Dr Ken Clarke today spoke with a most delightful Irish accent! I like how he pronounces all the /o/ vowels /awo/, so “house” becomes “hawouse”. (: But more than that I think his sermon was really impactful, even though it wasn’t anything new. When he asked us to “picture a pair of bare feet” I was overwhelmed, the way I’m overwhelmed at beautiful bits of Lux Aurumque. I’ve been wanting to be impacted by a sermon for a very long while now, and I think perhaps this is the first time it’s happened to me. What does it signify, though, I don’t really have a clue.

Speaking of Irish accents I thought Lena Meyer Landrut was Irish when I heard her over the radio today! But apparently she’s German. Is this what a standard German accent sounds like?

“the only easy day was yesterday”

Yessshh I feel so accomplished today! :D Dashing through the MacRitchie woods today evening with Andrew capped off what was a horridly lazy morning spent on music and videos. I absolutely hate Doing Nothing, just so you know. And the poems we looked at today were simply beautiful, never mind the sexual innuendoes.

you

by Carol Ann Duffy

Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head.
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name,
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.

Falling in love
is glamorous hell: the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger, ready to kill; a flame’s fierce licks under the skin.
into my life, larger than life, you strolled in.

I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone’s face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me

as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

It’s probably gonna be a while before I get to experience the emotions captured in this poem though. (Do I want to?)

Also, I’ve adopted the Navy SEALS motto for my own, because I think it details the kind of life I want to/should be living.

ǝlqıɹɹǝʇslǝǝɟsıɥʇ

I’m glad I (literally) dragged myself out of bed today morning to get to 9am. (: Let’s hope I can keep this up! Also, it was great to see everyone in LYnC again. Going to LYnC does make me feel like I have the strength to conquer this screwedup world I’m in, I think.

In other news, Liangwei asked if there are people who “make you feel sad when you look at them”. The pity- kind of sad, right? Well I can’t remember anyone like that, but there exists people who make me feel grief when I get glimpses of them. I’m not sure if you can picture this, but this grief is to the extent that I’ve concluded that it would be better if I didn’t have to see them anymore. By no fault of theirs, really. I wonder if this makes me selfish.

This message is addressed to no one in particular.

Where are you??

yes my blood is indeed purple!

“Cruel and sodaine, hast thou since purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?” – John Donne, in The Flea

Heh the conversation I intended to have with the medical officer about the taste of my blood being like macha latte ended up being one about Malaysia and its cops (he started it!). I can’t repeat his words here, for fear of them being too incendiary, but how the other soldiers contributed to our conversation made me think that perhaps there really is some sort of a company culture in the SAF that resolves around umm.. Malaysia. I did google what the SAF motto (Yang Pertama Dan Utama) meant though – nothing to do with *ahem-ing* Malaysia, thankfully.

And yes, I got Pes A. :( Which makes me “fit for all combat vocations” (instead of “most combat vocations”). Hehe I am already inventing my sob story on why I cannot join the Commandoes/Naval Divers should I ever get invited for their interview. Not that I’ve got much of a chance being called up for an interview anyway. The IQ test after my NS medical made me feel terribly.. inadequate.

But otherwise I am quite looking forward to going to the army. (: I’ll finally get to live independently (and away from my books, for that matter), and it’s just gonna be me and the big bad world. I know “me and the big bad world” sounds really scary, and indeed it is, but like Maria Dafneros said, I like to be challenged, and how is life any fun if it were smooth sailing? I sound like a masochist now, but I like to think of myself as more of a realist, where the sooner you learn to face reality the sooner you’ll get to conquer life. I’ve been talking to the career counsellor in school (btw she’s a really nice person) about my future educational plans and the information I got was depressing, if I may use a slightly more exaggerated adjective here. It’s an almost vertical climb up to where I’d like to be in the future, and I know for sure that I won’t have anything to depend on to give me a leg up.

Perhaps this is where religion comes in? When one feels so small and inadequate, I think he does long for some higher being to give him strength (even if this is imaginary). And that’s why as an existentialist I endorse religion as my motivation in life.

Not that life’s gonna be very much easier though. Yesterday’s devotional reading reminded me that although “Many times we pray to know Christ better, to have deeper fellowship with Him, and to be more fruitful in His work.”, “We must learn that this prayer will likely result in more of the refiner’s fire, more time in the training camp of His kingdom”. It states that “God’s hand is in even the most difficult circumstances.. This is His chosen path for us, not a diversion from it”. Reading it made me think of another Donne poem, Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God (now isn’t it cool how my A level syllabus has so much relation to my life!) which asks God to “Take me to you, imprison me, for I/Except you’ enthrall me, never shall be free,/Nor ever chast, except you ravish me.” Violent images, yes, but this is exactly what people are asking for when they request for God to take control of their lives. Think about it.

So in short, it’s either I face the big bad world myself, and (possibly) get screwed, or I let God challenge me (rather painfully) by taking charge. You know as much as I love being challenged I also like to win, and I’ve got a feeling choosing the second option gives me better odds at winning in life. I can’t say for sure if I made the right choice, but given my situation now I think this is a rather logical choice, is it not? (:

 I am dashing through the Macritchie woods tomorrow morning!

all hail jarret mao huang!

Delegates, you guys are just wonderful (: (Apart from the plates lying around the amphitheater on the first day!) Heh I know I said “HRC is the most castrated council” because of its complete lack of power to do anything, but hey that meant that we could have so much more fun :D Like passing notes on behalf of delegates with stuff like “Hey what are you wearing for DnD tomorrow? x)” and “Will you date me for DnD? I’m rather charming y’know”.  acting all stern and deadpan and having absolutely no knowledge of counterfeit notes being passed around.

I hope no one was traumatized!

You know to be honest initially I didn’t think I’d end up loving RMUN this much. Before RMUN it was just going to be a “go in, do sai-kang (slang for mundane work), get out” affair. But these three days of busy-ness gave my life a kind of purpose and drive that I like to think I thrive on, and the sudden cessation of busy-ness after each day ended left me feeling rather empty of sorts. (I hope I made sense) To put things in perspective, if every day of my life were like RMUN, I’d be a much happier person. I think.

No, really. Won’t you wish life were like this if you got to do this everyday?

  • Acting all important and stern on the chair while using the Internet on your computer.
  • Listening to the delegate of China speak with his quips and Mao-isms. (Ave Liang if you’re reading this do know that this amounts to an endorsement of your ability. Be very proud)
  • Concocting fake notes x)
  • Reading the stuff some delegates pass around. (Like the giant Spongebob Libya drew for France, and the tic-tac-toe game Norway started with Gabon)
  • Being bribed by the SNGS kids with gummy bears to pass their weird notes around. (If you guys gave me coffee I would do an even better job, I reckon!)
  • Being seconded to the DnD comm, which is by far the funnest comm in RMUN, I think- with the exclusive pay-per-entry “Directors’ Lounge” and all! (Wan Ting and gang, good job!)
  • Having ceiling fluff fall on you as you try to set up the lights, and then having a Physics RA kid show you why Arts kids should never try to set up lights.
  • Having the Japan delegate try to use a pick-up line on you, and getting disturbed that he was trying to pick up a (mistakenly identified) ACSI kid.
  • Playing a MIC version of Uno Stacko with your little finger because all your other fingers are bigger than the tiles.
Or maybe I’m just weird. ;) But anyway HRC and DnD comm were lots of fun to work with, and I couldn’t have got a more fantastic bunch of people to spend RMUN with. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever get to work with you guys again (unless I get retained or something), but hey don’t be a stranger and do say hi when we pass yeah. (:
~

“phantom messages”

Due to the nature of my personality I’m not very keen to endorse Hamlet’s inclinations to leave everything in Fate’s hands.

Hamlet Act V Scene II (Extract)

HORATIO

You will lose this wager, my lord.

HAMLET

I do not think so; since he went into France I have been in continual practice: I shall win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill all’s here about my heart: but it is no matter.

HORATIO

Nay, good my lord,–

HAMLET

It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of gain-giving as would perhaps trouble a woman.

HORATIO

If your mind dislike anything, obey it: I will forestall their repair hither, and say you are not fit.

HAMLET

Not a whit, we defy augury: there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all: since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is’t to leave betimes?

Now I wonder if it was very out-of-character of me, the way I dealt with a certain phantom message I received just a few days back. (Phantom messages, btw, are SMSes with *some text missing* or inaccurate sender/timestamp info that occur when my phone freaks out – this happens usually when 2 messages arrive simultaneously) Instead of contacting the sender to request a re-send, I just put the message aside, reminding myself that if I were meant to read it the message would sort itself out (most phantom messages resolve themselves after a while). Well apparently the phantom message eventually erased itself after 2 days.

And it’s not that the sender’s someone I’m unfamiliar with. In fact, for a while I thought we were pretty close friends.

So why my response? Do you think it contradicts my philosophy of always fighting for the things I want in life and never succumbing to the forces of Fate?

In other news, Coldplay’s newest single Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall is out! I’m still trying to like it though. Perhaps it’ll grow on me like how Violet Hill did after the final album for Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends was released.

As of now the song’s just forgettable.

i made the 10k dean’s list!

Sundown is over! (:

Now will you please donate to me! Ok Rachel and I are paired with this granny whom we visit regularly under The Humanities Initiative, which runs the Adopt A Grandparent Scheme (AAGS) with the Toa Payoh Care Corner. A few of us from Humanz thought that going for Sundown was a good way to raise funds for AAGS (it’s a long-term partnership you see, and the Care Corner does need money to run all their programmes/purchase resources etc). So yup here are my race stats to prove that I went for Sundown and worked (really) hard for this! (Passed 533 runners apparently heh) If you’ve got some cash to spare, and think we did a great job, then please do contribute- me and the folks at the Care Corner will be immensely happy. (:

Otherwise, I think there’s something really therapeutic about running in near-total darkness (for the half/full marathon runners, at least). It does mess with your mind quite a bit, but more than that I think it does help you focus on yourself and your run, when other distractions are removed. Jiayi I think I am beginning to understand what it means when “running gives me strength”, but I still can’t see how anyone can keep this up everyday! Perhaps I will, soon.