72 | élan

(n.) distinctive and stylish elegance; impulsive, confident ardor

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I can’t actually remember the last time I posted here at a time other than the twilight hours.

It’s still a rather busy period for me but I’ll keep this a little more concise. Just wanted to drop an update because of Chinese New Year and the dozens of other things going on (at the same time). It’s driving me mad.

The week of my birthday I was down with laryngitis and hated it so bad. I don’t know if it’s because I came to poly or something else, because even now when I’m working my ass off, I still feel absolutely happy to be here, so it was painful for me to miss school because of an illness. It’s the environment perhaps, for someone who cannot stand mundane, routine things, poly is basically a dynamic, energy-filled bubble to be in. Of course with 02 around.. there’s never even a quiet moment.

Shortly after my birthday, I went to TANGS and treated myself with the birthday voucher they gave. Wanted to get a Minkoff which I’ve been eyeing for the longest time but Doorstep Luxury only stocks it at Robinsons Heeren. Will be going there to check it out soon enough though!

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Mushroom Superga!

I’d initially had my sights set on the Cotu 2750 in Black but I decided that it was too mainstream and opted for something else. I’m happy with this colour: it’s cute, and I’ve been comfortable trotting around in this pair because of the excellent arch support. In other news I am also kicking myself and tripping more often because my old Rockports used to feel like air but this pair’s heavy. Then again some close friends reassured me that I’d trip even if I were barefoot so.. I guess.

Celebrated Claudia’s and Janice’s birthday with the class on 30 Jan, and here are the photos –

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Janice looks the same height as us.. ahem.

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Pretty Claudia! 🙂

And as always, a mad camwhoring session always ensues:

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We took it even further and had a private birthday celebration (with candles) for the December baby Micaela, Jan babies Iffah & myself as well as the soon-to-be 18-year old Eunice!

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We celebrated Chinese New Year at home that evening with a comfortable dinner but it wasn’t absolutely fantastic because my mom refused to cook dark sauce chicken – her best dish – on the account of it being black. Frankly though, I don’t care if I have bad luck for a year if I have dark sauce chicken every morning. That stuff is dope.

Second day, we headed to Grandma’s place, and here’s my FOTD, very shamelessly.

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Lipstick: YSL 12 Corail Incandescence

Got to see my always beloved grandma and torture her by taking one thousand and one photos insisting that she pose nicely. She gives me this long-suffering sigh every time I do it, as if to say, “This girl has tortured me for 18 years and she’s not even close to stopping? Damn..” Well no, Grandmama, I’m going to continue it. 😉

Also got to see my little furkid! Always a furkid even if she’s close to 7x my age in dog years now.

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She was excited because so many people were around!

She was so happy that we were all in the house and got a bit mad excited. Bought her some cookies and she showed me the wait command that I’ve been trying to teach her – you know, the one that requires imba self-control on their part. She’s such a good girl :’)

Not much went on except that I had my cousins come over on Saturday and well, although we’re not close it was good to see them! Nothing beats having so many people you know. Of course, I’m an ambivert so this is just the extrovert speaking.

Thereafter we headed to Godma’s house for lo hei which is like the highlight of this year’s CNY. So much good food, company and.. gambling. Had a mahjong session where I struck it lucky and even better – banluck in a big group! I think it’s much more fun like that, even if almost every time I got banluck, the banker ran off with 15 points. 😉

On Monday the others came over to my place for erm, financial recreation. Mahjong the whole day, then banluck, KFC and brain games. I really don’t know what I’d do without my friends from school. Life would be disconcertingly quiet. Mic also made splendid cheese muffins which had pearls on them (they nearly broke a tooth) and they were so delicious.

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Introducing the people who always itch to meet and play!

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Fraser, bc she’s one of the closest seniors and she’s so lovable.

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Cynthia, and even I find how close we are now a pseudo-miracle. 

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Micaela with her pretty puppy eyes. I know what gets you now, Eunice.

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We look very similar I think, everyone gets us mixed up.

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The guys – Ben and Yuanchen! 🙂

This concludes all the merry-making that went on during the new year. Once I began school, things went awry.

On Wednesday, I went to collect a Rebecca Minkoff Bailey Card Case that was a splurge for my birthday. Guess what? The next day, I lost it on the way to the MRT. I don’t even know how. The second best part was that even the temporary card dropped out of my pocket on the MRT. Sigh. That was one dreadful day. Practically $100 flew with my ez-link and cardcase so if anyone finds it please return it to me!

Other than strange misplacings such as these, schoolwork has been picking up. We’re nearing project submission and final week, which is never a really good time. I stayed up till 5AM just this Thursday to finish up DBE and Gen Ed, and concussed for 15 hours till this morning. That’s because I have way too many things going on at any one point of time – schoolwork, Korean, translation, writing, driving, friends. Last year, I used to plan dozens of days in advance but now I’m reduced to taking it one day at a time. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that it’s hard, you know? Even when I know why I chose to bring all these into my life there are nights that I can never really justify the pressure placed on me. It’s not fun waking up feeling like emotional crap knowing that you can’t take it out on anybody, there’s going to be even more shit heaped on you throughout the day and then coming home knowing it begins again a few hours later. Or, you could adopt my mindset and tell yourself that however shitty a day is a new one dawns in a matter of hours, so don’t fret. That’s been my cure lately. Oh and also, more hugging than is necessary.

The one thing that has been keeping me sane are my theatre dates. I am living from one theatre production to the other because that’s the way I stay motivated. Just this Friday I -ahem- left class early to go for a theatre production – Art by Yasmina Reza, produced by Nine Years Theatre. After watching Enemy of the People and now Art, I really feel like Nine Years Theatre is the company to watch out for, the one company I would love to work for. I’m really very thankful to Nelson, the director, who patiently answered my questions after shows.

One thing before I start telling you why Art is an awesome show though, a quick note to all students watching shows: can you guys please keep quiet? I know your school subsidized these tickets, it’s probably even free, but for us we are paying audience members. Please at the very least display some theatre etiquette. I don’t want to name schools but it was highly annoying when audiences are shifting in their seats throughout the whole show, and when it’s at the Recital Studio, one person moves, the whole row moves. I rocked back and forth basically the entire show! Also, is there a need to laugh whenever the actors cuss even mildly? When they stand, when they sit, you laugh. When they talk, you laugh. They stumble over their lines you laugh. Someone even shouted a response extremely loudly to a rhethorical question during the play. HELLO?! Have some sense! I am very supportive of schools bringing their children to the theatre but hey, this is not the right way to watch a show.

Now that that’s done with, Art is a splendid show. If I had to pinpoint a success factor I’d say it’s the actors. The feel that they gave me was, in Chinese, 游刃有余, I felt like they never even hit the depths of their acting prowesses. Their acting transformed a potentially tiresome play into a riveting one. I am not a huge fan of Yasmina Reza’s writing style, but the way she writes conflict is definitely, non-negotiably skillful. The difference between this and God of Carnage (which I hated) was that the conflict was much less contrived. I felt like in God of Carnage they could bloody well have walked out at any point of time and ended the conflict (realism, right?) but in this one I felt that it was less contrived – the conflicts stemmed from the character’s personality and was thus more organic. I’m guessing wildly here, but it worked. It threw me a variety of emotions – I felt my heartstrings tugged when Yvan was caught in the middle of a rapidly digressing friendship, Marc’s obnoxious self was completely unbearable, and respect for Serge grew the more he stayed calm in this conflict. It was also pretty comical and I’m guessing that making audience members laugh when the characters portray fury, anguish and deep betrayal is no mean feat. See what I mean, these actors are at the top of their game!

More than all of these, Art pulled the rug out from under me with regards to my notions of friendship. What are the foundations of which our friendship is built on? Why do we continue to see each other? What did you see in me, and I in you, that made us become friends? What do you do that I object to? What would I do if you bought a grand white painting for 200, 000 francs? What would I do with you in a conflict? Are there any things that I wanted to say but never got around to saying? Also, with regards to Art, I’ve begun to come to the conclusion that yes, art is always subjective. Art is what the viewer interprets of it. If I say a blank white canvas has a million rainbow lines and thus is touching, then so it is (to me). That’s my insight for now, I’m sure it’ll be challenged soon enough.

I have only watched two productions of Nine Years Theatre but they are fast becoming a season-ticket company, meaning, a company that I will buy season tickets for. Simply because the work they produce is of such high quality. I think Nelson as a director is very sensitive to character, in the sense that he understands a character well and can portray it to the audience in a way that is both simple to see while the layers and complexities of the characters are not compromised. The production team seems to be the same one at Enemy of the People and they are a force to be reckoned with. I loved the simple set (don’t I always) because they seem to create magic out of the simplest of props. Oh, what I would give to be able to volunteer with this company. 😦 Thank goodness I managed to get tickets for this!

On a more personal note, after having been out of theatre for some time, I thought the passion might have died off. After all when I first started in SRT’s Young Co, many people thought it was one of my newest fads, and there were also moments of insecurity, but then again, it was because I wanted so badly to do well. But now I realize that there never is a “do well” in theatre. It’s all about the process of creating a work from scratch, collaborating with a bunch of other talented people who are just as delighted as you are to be in a creative space, and working through kinks, problems and having fun together. If I may say so I used to be arrogant when it came to theatre, but I’ve resolved to take a humbler attitude. Just being able to participate in theatre is a joy in itself – I don’t need to be the one working on it or writing it. Just partaking in an art people spend hours pursuing, being part of a message to be conveyed, to be touched and connected in soul with is beautiful. This is what I am in theatre for isn’t it, not to have my work on the stage but to be connected with and to connect with. I am starting over, and this time I am doing it different.

My next show is on Saturday, after the Nine Years Theatre dialogue in the afternoon. I’m going to watch Yue Opera and I’m not sure how I’ll find it, but I’ll let you know. Also, my theatre budget is projected to exceed $1k this year, and I’m not surprised. Ah, the joys of going to the theatre – it always feels so much like home.

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