66 | Augenblick

German (n.) lit. “in the blink of an eye”; a ‘decisive moment’ in time that is fleeting, yet momentously eventful and incredibly significant.

I’m finally back here after the hell that was presentation week. I finally feel like all my previous “hells” finally culminated into one blowup week, and I’m not even sure how 5/7 weeks of hell even occurred, but the important thing is, it’s over, and I am pretty much free to do whatever I want. Nah just kidding, I still have term papers.

I actually drafted this post something like 2 weeks ago, but because WordPress and iPhone photos don’t like each other, I couldn’t flip images. I tried everything, rotating on iPhone, rotating on my computer, rotating on WordPress, and nothing worked, until the idea hit me to try the iPhone WordPress app. Ya right? Slow. All these pictures here could date way back, but they’re here now, so enjoy!

Hit Cake Spade with Janice during HBL Week, and I had a really embarrassing moment there. Janice will give me grief for a lifetime with this one scene. All this hubbub started with that transparent cup you see. Usually in cafes they serve cappuccinos or coffees in general with white cups and or large glasses but I swear I’d never seen a cappuccino in a transparent teacup with a transparent saucer to match. Apparently I said “WOW!?” really loudly and Janice didn’t even dare to look at the server. Talk about shame hahaha.

Exciting incidents aside, I finally tried the tofu cheesecakes which were highly raved about. Was it up to the hype? Let’s just say I had 3 slices of cake that day. Just can’t get enough of that stuff. I mean, the fruits are fresh, the cheesecake is not too thick and it’s not very sweet either. Really appreciated the digestive biscuit base and it tasted delicious too! Bought more cakes to share with the family and busted about $80 on cakes alone. Now no one will believe me when I said I never used to be a dessert girl. In my defence, I am still not one, I’m just a cake kinda girl. 🙂

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Janice also ordered a ramekin which was way too sweet for me. This will tickle all you chocolate lovers out there, but I like dark chocolate and this was just sweet. Cloyingly sweet. Didn’t finish this but it was so pretty I had to take a photo of it!

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In most exciting news this week, my Daniel Wellington watch arrived! I’d been eyeing the watch from Justtangy for a few weeks and when Kwerkee had a preorder, I just couldn’t resist. I thought the Classy watches would be too small for me, although the Swarovski crystals were pretty, so I ordered the Classic with two straps – the Oxford strap was from Justtangy and the original Bristol strap. Changing the strap was the first thing I did – I mean, I see no sense in wearing leather to school everyday. Maybe for functions. I really enjoy the Oxford strap though, fall colours like navy blue, royal red and emerald green are my absolute favourites and I really can’t stop looking at the time now. 🙂

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Another event that nearly drove me crazy with happiness was when my little girl Charis came back from Beijing for a few days. She’s really got my me wrapped round her pinky finger. She is really good at manja-ing me, by the way. I can never resist her. Anyway I hope my little one enjoyed her stay. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and I suppose that’s true. 🙂

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Outside matters aside, every day has been really enjoyable with 02. One thing about 02 is that we are all friends. If we bitch about someone, we’ll go and tell that person in their face, sooner or later. We trust each other, and we’re basically classroom hooligans. Asked Ms Juliana during PTN what her impression of 02 was and she said “dynamic”. ORLY? Just dynamic? Nah, we’re basically energy on legs. Whether it’s having class lunch or having unglams posted (cough, Micaela, cough) I really enjoy their company and they make me miss school on the days I decide to, er, call in sick. I hope we preserve this camaraderie until we’re in Year 3 and beyond, because God knows this is hard to come by.

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Also celebrated birthdays with my family this month. 🙂 Here are all the kids in a rare family shot (and probably one of the few that were actually successful) that a family girl like me would cherish for life. Stuffed myself at the Crystal Jade steamboat.. but then again I’ve not been watching my diet these few days.

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If I didn’t get my information wrong, I believe we’re the first and the earliest class in HR to take both presentations and boy, was it a rush. I basically slept all of 3 hours before DBE presentation, and slept 15 minutes for FOM presentation, and mind you these were on Tuesday and Wednesday, not to mention they came after a week in which I only slept 20 hours in total. That will explain the eyebags and the bad complexion. I have no idea why they choose to stuff a project with such a wide scope within one term, but we did it anyway. I mean, we’re used to this right? Business students are used to making miracles with presentations anyway. /sigh/

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More recent shots after our last presentation. I completely have no mood to study for my written papers now that I’m done with my presentations and that’s a really ominous sign. That also says that the picture above is me step studying. On the same day, Claudia and I both turned up in nautical-themed tops, and I discovered how many people in class were into Heirs.. basically about 1/4 of the class is hooked on this drama and we’re basically just catching up to each other’s speeds and trying not to spoil it for the rest.

Having said that, Heirs is a really good show. I mean, it’s rare for me to like a Korean drama because they’re so melodramatic, and truth be told I really go for actors/actresses – if there’s a few people I like you can be sure I’ll be watching it. All these are rather chanced upon because I don’t naturally start watching on my own. I watched Heirs because Eunice recommended it and I was bored after FOM presentation on Wednesday – and boy did I regret not heeding her advice to start after exams. With Chanyoung, Kim Tan and later Hyo Shin, they got me hook, line and sinker. I thought my heart would shatter for Cha Eun Sung’s plight but no, it shattered for Kim Tan’s predicament. 😦 I am now stuck at Ep 16 trying to wait patiently and not buy a ticket to Korea and rob the SBS studio for the remaining 4 eps. Worse still it’s broadcasted twice a week (and I thought waiting for On Call 2 was bad!) and I am not the most patient of people. Which you might have gathered already, from the way I’m speaking like a drug addict would.

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The past few weeks have been tough on me and the people around me. I’ve been easily irritable, although I don’t get angry easily. I keep babbling when I’m tired (because I just can’t shut up, can I?) and that must have irritated the people around me to no end. School wasn’t the only thing to hit, there were a few other things and deadlines going on at the same time as well, but despite being relieved that it’s over, I realized that I don’t really lament my busy days. I lament the days when I’m stuck at home feeling shitty with nothing to do but I don’t complain about the days in which I only have 3 hours to sleep. This amount of activity scares me because I’m never sure how much more my body can take, but the thought of having nothing to do scares me even more. In fact, it frightens me stiff. My time with SRT’s The Young Co. ends next January and other than some personal reasons why I’d be quite heartbroken to leave, I’m terrified that I’ll have nothing to while away my time. I’m currently tossing around the idea of going for another mentorship programme, or taking a second diploma in translation. Let’s see how much I can save, I guess. I quite like the idea of leaving my writing alone for a while and relaxing myself by indulging in languages.

SRT-TYC has been an amazing journey thus far. We concluded our last external workshop with Rikki, touring director of Peter Brook’s The Suit and have one last workshop with Bill on 7 Dec. Our short pieces will be going into production after that and the trepidation and insecurities are doing me no good. Next year on, we’ll part ways and though the industry is small, I’ll have no reason to meet my other lovely playwrights again. Over this year we’ve met almost every week. We’ve exchanged works, talked about insecurities, caught amazing shows together, and I’ll miss them dearly. I’ve grown close to a few of them and they’re all people I don’t think I could be here without. At this point of time I guess I’ll just have to reiterate my own point that every moment is fleeting and every meeting, transient. These are people I’ll continue loving and memories I won’t quickly forget. They’ve started me on a journey that I hope won’t see completion anytime soon, and where it goes from here is my own call. 🙂 It’s always nice to know I have buddies around though. It makes me feel like this is less of a steep cliff, but rather, just an uphill climb.

Exams will be over in a week, and then it’s partying all the way till New Year’s Day. Till the next time, then! x

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65 | Baby Steps.

It’s been one hell of a week, guys.

Last week I said my crazy week was a prelude to a hell week. And I wasn’t joking at all. It was quite literally hell. Every single day I was dragging myself everywhere. I don’t know how my body is coping with all of this. I don’t have the capacity to plan forward any more, I’m just living each day as it comes. Yet though I may complain, I do not regret.

The whole week was filled with academia, projects, writing and language classes. Oh, and the unforgettable Singapore Writer’s Fest 2013, but we’ll get to that. The constant exhaustion peaked on Wednesday when I stumbled home after my playread at SRT and asked, “Why the hell do I do this?” Existentialist crisis, I know. I’ve always told myself that I don’t naturally have enough discipline, focus and aptitude to license any slacking and so I work two times harder to be where I want to be and occasionally I just ask if that’s really what I want. To subject myself to this kind of insane schedule just to be able to pursue my dreams. I guess there is really nothing else I want to do with my life. Someone reminded me  to think back to my initial motivation for pursuing theatre and I realized that there isn’t. I dabble in poetry as well. Language and words just flow in my blood, it’s not something I can distance myself from. All my writings come from a rather primal need to catalogue my world, to process the insanity, atrocity and blessings around me. It’s a visceral, burning need for me to write so I can deal with.. life at large. I can run, but I can’t hide.

I was very happy on Saturday because I got to meet one of my favourite people in the world and go for my very first Singapore Writer’s Fest! Imagine, a $15 pass (which I felt was pretty justified after the first workshop) and you get to attend so many events. I attended a panel discussion with Desmond Sim & Alfian Sa’at, two of my local favourites, as well as attend a rather entertaining discussion on Singlish in Literature. I was enjoying myself until lo and behold, my phone’s display decided to die on me.

I am not someone who can’t live without my phone. In fact, after the initial disbelief (it is a 2-month old iPhone that’s only been dropped twice, and the second time was on a pillow) I was enjoying the rest of the day being uncontactable. I’m not saying I enjoy dumping people on their asses but I’m beginning to realize that people are just throwing me their own problems without thinking of how to resolve it themselves. So I told all of them to settle their issues themselves until my phone was fixed, and left it at that.

In the evening we got to attend a poetry event, which took us around Biennale exhibits while poetry by heavyweights such as Aase Berg, Ng Yi-sheng and Cathy Park Hong were being performed. And boy, it was a beautiful event. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it quite as much with the distraction of my phone. There is a certain familiarity about being in a world shrouded in words and language that calms me and gives me strength. I felt so refreshed by the end of the night! A most memorable day indeed. 🙂

The next day, I headed to get my phone fixed and thank goodness, Singtel gave me a one-for-one exchange! I don’t know how much more difficult it would be to get through e-learning week without my phone. I think the guy at the counter must’ve been amused when he saw the delight on my face, because I honestly felt like I’d struck gold.

In the afternoon I left Korean class early to meet FD, and we headed for another panel discussion where Anthony Chen, Heman Chong, Park Young-ha and Kuo Jian Hong were discussing the utility value of art. Interesting proposition but probably not so for me, because if I didn’t think art was useful I wouldn’t be ready to dump a life’s work into it, would I? Furthermore, I am not a very rational person when it comes to choosing between passion or stable living. I am still very adamant that I will give up all for my art, or you could also say I live with rose-tinted shades. Hmm.

Went to the main pavilion to ask if there were still tickets for Jung Chang’s workshop on Monday (and I was so desperate sigh! Unforunately, there weren’t any left) but the consolation came when I went to the shelf and found two books of Jung Chang’s that I’d been searching for extensively to no avail: Mao, the Unknown Story & Empress Cixi. Now, if you haven’t guessed already, I’m kind of a ancient China geek, and Empress Cixi, Wu Zetian as well as Chairman Mao will always be enigmas to be. So I forked out $42 (with discounts from festival pass!) to buy these two books which total about 1.8k pages of beautiful history chronicled –

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We then proceeded to grab more books at Esplanade Library. Oh, the two of us, we’re unstoppable, really.

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In conclusion, despite it being a very draining and rough week, I have felt very very loved indeed. My friends have been there every step of the way – calming me, making coffee for me, making me laugh, loving me, encouraging me – and I’m charmed, thank you very much, I’m charmed indeed. 🙂