Archive for November, 2005

Advent Child: Not your average Final Fantasy

Veni, veni, Emmanuel

captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.
Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

First Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2005

Today is the beginning of the Advent season. What is Advent? Advent is the 4 weeks before the Nativity of Christ, aka Christmas. It is also the beginning of a new Church year. During Advent, we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

During this time we are reminded to:

1) Prepare ourselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,

2) Thus to make our souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and

3) Thereby to make ourselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.

We can do these by taking part in the penitential services that will be held in the coming weeks. At the same time we should genuinely re-examine our lives and see if we can make a beneficial difference to the lives of those around us.

Do we buy that packet of tissue from the blind man on the street? Christ says that the least we do to our brothers, the least we do to Him.

Can we at least try to make peace with our enemies? Christ also says that we must love our enemies.

A new year lies ahead, shall we make a fresh start?

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel!

Prayer for Courage

I realise that many of us are in need of faith and courage. Perhaps we have difficult decisions to make, or difficult situations to deal with. In any case, let us ask the Lord in our time of need, for happy are those who run to him for protection.

Prayer for Courage

Dear God give me courage, for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.

I need courage before men against their threats and against their seductions.

I need courage to bear unkindness, mockery and contradiction.

I need courage to fight against the devil, against terrors and troubles, temptations, attractions, darkness and false lights, against tears, depression, and above all fear.

I need Your help, dear God. Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.

Console me with Your blessed Presence and grant me the courage to persevere until I am with You forever in heaven. Amen.

Long Vacation

You must have been wondering what I did during this vacation. So let me share with you my experiences.

4 October 2005: First and last day of work

I went to do this job which involved going to peoples’ doorstep to solicit donations. Damn, the pay really sucks. There was no basic, and only commission. Oh, bonus if your performance is consistent. Sounds easy enough?

No!

I went to Bedok with another two guys. They were older than me. We went to two blocks of flats. Out of 50 units, guess how many tickets I sold?

Four!

Fricking four!

Bloody grumpy Singaporeans. There was this woman who asked me to get lost without even opening the door. Then there was this cynical old man who asked us to go get money from fricking NKF. Well, the charity I was soliciting on behalf for was some Presbyterian half way house. Apparently they have too little manpower to conduct fundraising, so we were contracted to do it for them. We get a cutoff of 25 dollars for selling $150 worth of tickets. The other client was the Catholic Welfare Services. They were raising money for some girls’ home I think. I’m kind of shocked that CWS has to resort to this kind of marketing tactic to raise funds. Aren’t the donation envelopes at Lent enough? Bah.

In any case, I sold 13 that day. Not even enough to claim 25 dollars straight. It was a bit of a waste, but I ran out of time to sell the remaining 2 for the quota. I decided not to come back the next day. I did however, learn a few things.

I learnt that a smile is very important. If you don’t smile at the customer, you can forget about getting any sale from him. Also, don’t forget to KISS. That means, Keep It Short and Simple. That’s self-explanatory.

I also learnt that my spoken Mandarin is terrible, and dialect practically non-existent. This was the only work I had this vacation. And I wasn’t paid for it. Bleah.

I am linguistically crippled.

7 to 9 October 2005: Polytechnic Forum 2005, Subtheme One project, Flea Market

I decided to take part in the Polytechnic Forum, since I was given the opportunity to. I figured that it would be a good experience. Anyway, my group spent 7 October preparing our goods for the flea market. It took the whole day.

8 October’s sale took place at Far East Square. Crappy location. We had to take some backlane. We made a paltry 13 dollars that day. 9 October’s stall was at China Square Central. The location was better. Needless to say, sales were a hell lot better. We made close to 200 dollars. I think it was due to the better market research we had for that day. Advertising too. Not bad. It was fun!

11 to 14 October 2005: Polytechnic Forum 2005

It was held at Sofitel Palm Resort in Johor. Plenty of pranks played and jokes told. Clement didn’t come along because he had to look after his mother. Well, his mother seems to be better now.

This lecturer said, ‘The Flea Market is a mirror of our economy.” Well, I think that Poly Forum is a mirror of our parliament. The Poly Forum has revealed some good insights, a must for all who want to investigate politics. The discussions were so political, in the context of my own subtheme. You should have seen the SP people, against the TP people, against the RP people. I postulate that political process works in such a way that people always try to insist on their view, without attempting to accommodate the opposing view. Since when do you see the Opposition working with the Ruling party? It was rumoured that there was this guy who was from the Youth PAP. Don’t tell me that the Poly Forum is a recruitment exercise for our future masters and overlords?

Well, in any case it was great fun. A lot of funny things happened. I and a few of the guys went swimming and we spent most of our time telling each other racist jokes. Then there were plenty of prank calls circulating around. The following happened to my roommate Simon. We were waiting for our room service.

Simon: Hello?

Room Service: Hello Sir, this is room service. Can we re-confirm your order one more time?

Simon: Okay.. Two Beef burgers, two Nasi Goreng…

Room Service: I’m sorry Sir, we don’t have any more Nasi Goreng. We have the rice, but we don’t have the spice (lol wtf!)

Simon: Err… okay?

Room Service: But Sir if you really want it I can come to your room and cook for you!

Simon: Wah, so good ah!

Qamarul (our group mate): Eh Simon, it’s me lah..

Simon then swears at Qamarul over the phone for the next two minutes.

LOL!!

15 October 2005: One night out

I went out with some of the poly forum people. We had steamboat at Marina, and then we went to play pool at Orchard. We had coffee at Swensens’ at Crown Prince Hotel (I think?). We spent a lot of time there talking there. Among the topics discussed was that of religion. Somehow the topic of masturbation came up.

A: Eh Ian, you got wank or not?

Me: No!

What kind of a question is that?! You don’t ask people things such as these?!

A: Why?

Me: It’s a sin!

A: You know, a study says that 99 out of 100 guys wank. And…

Me: And what?

A: ….and 1 out of 100 are liars.

Me: ………

Goodness! Well I guess this is how the world works.

Then there was the topic of Mega-churches and evangelism. One of the girls says she’s gone to CHC, FCBC and NCC. Another guy went to some church with his friend. There was some kind of skit and then everybody starting crying (What the?!). He looked around and saw that everybody was crying except him. What did he do? He pretended to cry. Haha, I found that funny. Anyway, this guy is very interesting. He is a magician. He deals with card tricks, coin tricks, and rope tricks. Very fishy tricks.

One thing’s for sure, there are plenty of people pissed off with evangelism. It’s rather sad.

Some of us went home after that. The rest spent their time walking around town. We settled down at the Kopitiam food court opposite SMU. I took the 6.30 am train at City Hall and went for 7 am Mass at Risen Christ. Reached home at 8 something and slept at 9. I did not wake up till eventime.

24 to 26 October 2005: MB0406’s class chalet

What a riot! There was plenty of drinking. We had the chalet at the government bungalows, Aloha Loyang. Great fun. We had mahjong, PS2, and DVDs. We didn’t have a barbeque this time. It was too much trouble the last time.

We celebrated Camillus’ and Christopher’s birthday.

29 October 2005: Yvette’s wedding

We went to SVDP at 10 am to conduct the rehearsal for the choir. It was a group of 10 people, mostly consisting of my brother’s friends. The wedding Mass went well. Not many people.

The dinner was at the M hotel. The food was good, but the wine was bad. I should have stuck with the beer. The guests weren’t very enthusiastic. When it came to ‘Yam Seng’ time, it was relatively quiet. Sigh.

Well, that sums up most of it. Now I have to worry about the next term. Grrrr……


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Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us