Archive for March, 2006

Music and the Christian

28 March 2006

Today I was walking home from band with a band mate. I’m not particularly close to him, but we talk once in a while. He suddenly asked me, “Are you Christian?”. I was like, “Why?”. He said I seemed to have some ‘Christian aura’, but he guessed that I wasn’t. He said I lacked ‘responsibility in my music’. I was wondering what the hell he meant. Predictably, he was referring to my lacklustre performance during practices. He advised that I should get more practice. And he’s right. I think I should.

Wow, so there are people who think that Christians are responsible and not screwed up. Laudate Dominum!

I try to be a good Catholic boy, but it’s hard. Oh, I gave Pei Suan a Green Scapular today. It’s her birthday gift. I’m glad she accepted it. Domine, fiat voluntas tua!

Music is good for the soul. It is a work of art, a good recreation. He, who sings, prays twice.

It seems like Baptism confers this so-called Christian aura. Can we label this ‘aura’ as ‘grace’? Certain sects believe that Baptism does not confer grace; they believe that it’s simply an outward sign. Fools.. It’s not merely their faith that keeps them from harm but their baptismal grace. The best part is that they don’t even realise it. Those confirmed are even more powerful, for they are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Sounds good eh? If only everybody in the world made use of their graces, then the world would be a better place.

And Legion. Legion is, sadly, becoming a pain in the neck. Another guy left us on Saturday, so now I’m left with 1 over aged chairman (me), a cynical vice-chairman, and a secretary who is taking O levels this year. Excellent. Not to mention that our recruitment has been postponed repeatedly. I must carry it out next week, or it will be the end of us.

It’s highly likely that I will be appointed as a Curia officer. I wish I could refuse, but the same question comes back to haunt me every time: If I don’t do it, who will? I’ll possibly join the adults group, though I do not relish the thought of having to listen to aunties preach for several hours during their weekly report.

I want to play my own music, but God chooses different songs for me. How can I refuse?

To Thee, O God, my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul, and why dost thou disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.

I will play his music, though I do not know how to read the notes, nor count the rhythm. At least I have a song.

Truly a man is finished when he has no song in his heart.

I hear you call my name, Lord,

And I am moved within me.

Your Spirit stirs my deepest self.

Sing your songs in me.

Novena Dilemma

3 March 2006

If you go to Novena on Saturdays, you will find that on your way from the MRT to the church, there are many hawkers along the way. And when I say ‘hawkers’, I do not mean the ones who sell food. Instead, they sell other items.

You must be thinking, ‘What hawkers? I thought there were only beggars?’ But you see, these people are not begging for money. They are providing a service. At least, this is the way I see it.

Typically, the moment you leave the MRT station, the entrances are noticeably infested with dozens of students carrying tin cans for flag day. As you go up the escalator and exit the glass door, there is a man on a wheelchair selling Big Sweep tickets. Just before the newspaper stand is a busker who plays the guitar.

Along the path can be found can-carrying students. There is this blind man who peddles tissue. 4 for a dollar. He sings Marian hymns while hawking his wares. So he’s like holding the nightstick in his left hand and holding some plastic packets in his right, while singing ‘I hear the bells, of Mary’s Ave ringing. Joy to my heart, like angels’ voices singing..’

Towards the bus stop can be found more innocent students. On a bad day, you can see some commercial entities who carry charity work for commission. You know, those guys who ask 10 dollars for a ticket? Capitalistic bastards.

At the foot of the staircase is another blind man with a middle aged woman, presumably his wife. Formerly he used to sell Tai Sun Peanuts (2 packets for a dollar), but now he sells pens. The lady carries a NYP Open House 2006 paper bag. Last Saturday I didn’t see the man and his wife. Instead there was a new arrival; a middle aged woman peddling tissue. 4 for a dollar.

After you go up the staircase, there will be another middle aged woman along the path. She has white hair and glasses. She sells tissue, 4 for a dollar. Pleas sound out from her, ‘Please help me, please help me.’ On some days she gives you more packets at the same price.

What is the problem now? We have 1 big sweep man, 1 busker, 3 tissue sellers, 1 peanut/pen man and wife, X number of flag day students, Y number of con jobbing money hijacking profiteers.

Are you going to help all of them? Ok, its all right not to pay the busker if you think his music sucks or his strumming is lousy. It’s also all right not to entertain the machiavellians. We can also assume that we will only donate to one lucky student, most likely the convent girl with the shortest skirt. So that leaves us with 1 big sweep man, 3 tissue sellers, 1 peanut/pen couple, 1 flag day student.

Are you going to buy 12 packets of tissues, big sweep tickets, peanuts or writing instruments, things which you don’t really need? Yet if you help them they will be so thankful.

What a dilemma.

The importance of listening to instructions

The other day I was on my way to the SWS Percussion Ensemble concert. I asked Christopher how to get there, so he sent me the exact directions to the place. Instead, I looked at the map at the MRT station, and as soon as I saw the words ‘community center’, I ran off in that direction. Unfortunately, I had missed out the words ‘Buona Vista’. Argh!! I ran all the way there only to find out that, there was no building!!

So I ran across this overhead bridge. It was a messy affair.

I found the building at last, but I was almost late for the concert. It didn’t help that I needed to take a dump badly. But I manage to make it in time. (for both cases)

Post Examination Activities

All Your Micro Are Belong To Us!

The last paper, Medical Microbiology, ended on Thursday(2 March 2006) at six thirty eventime. The mood at the end of the paper was one of relief and jubilation. A few of us went to Cafe Cartel at Bishan. Those present were: Josephine, Rayson, Dominic, Elicia, Christopher and I. Arden and Allison went to Ajisen. The food wasn’t too bad though it was rather pricey. They went to see a movie. I forgot what show was it. Josephine and I decided to go home instead.

I went to school on Friday to deliver a birthday gift for our Geo Council VP Rosie. Some of us bought a book for her the week before. It was on offer, so heh heh heh… I passed it to Wen Xiang who passed it to her. She liked it very much. I met Joshua later in the day. We went to see Munich at PS. It was a great film. It’s full of blood and gore. My kind of movie!

I heard some distressing things from Angeline regarding the actions of the Eastern Bloc. Eh Angel, it may not be what you think it is. You should ask her yourself.

Still, was there a need to run away? Can’t we all live in peace? Absolutely distressing.

I should follow Clement’s advice and ignore these idiotic happenings. But I can’t help it, it’s so fun to study how people do things. They can be so unpredictable. They are shallow, basal, and selfish. They do not know what is going on. Just another example of a lack of moral courage, that is so prevalent in society these days. Oh well, we are all sinners in need of redemption…

So I simply choose not to get involved. I shall just stand by the side and observe.

On Saturday I went to school for Percussion sectionals. My skills are still quite bad. I need to bolster them up before the next concert. The last one was just disgraceful. I went for 4 PM Novena after Band.

On Sunday I went to church in the morning and had lunch with my family. I met Angela at City Hall to discuss about Legion’s year end camp. We discussed for several hours.

I went to Dominic Bung’s house for the class BBQ. Strange they call it a class BBQ, when some of them are not there. Anyway, it was great fun. There was lots of food, and drinking. Oh no… there goes Lent..

More drinking the next day. We went to visit Asia Pacific Breweries. Interesting place. I was actually trying to recall what I studied in Bioprocess. The machines are fascinating, in a way. The last stop before we left was the tavern. Free flow of beer for half and hour. I just had a Tiger and peanuts. Rats, I would have taken the Guinness if I knew that they had it.

Dinner was at Race Course Road. We took a really long bus ride to get there. The venue was a coffeeshop. Arden recommended the ‘la-la’ noodles. ‘La-la’ is a kind of shellfish that smells like shit. We ordered several plates of noodles together with some fried fish and pai kwok wong. It wasn’t too bad.

Tuesday to Thursday was spent slacking… I did have band practice on Tuesday night and Geo Council meeting on Thursday night..

On Friday I watched Gundam Seed Destiny on YouTube. I went to IHM together with my parents to attend Mass and Stations of the Cross. Hmm, they have Mass in the parish hall instead of the sanctuary. It seems like it’ll take a while to fix the damage from the fire.

I went to the NTU open house on Saturday. Goodness! That place is damn big!! I got lost in that place.. I went there specifically to take a look at the new life sciences school.. Very impressive..

Sigh, I’ll have to work like a dog to get there..

On Sunday I met Angela, Pet and Robin at City Hall to discuss about the end year Legion camp. Angela and I suddenly realise that it will be extremely difficult. We are having to ask ourselves basic questions, some of which I cannot even answer. I ask for your prayers for the Legion recruitment camp in June and the end year camp in December.

After the meeting I went for the Singapore Wind Symphony Percussion Ensemble concert at Ulu Pandan. That place is really ‘ulu’! I was literally running all over the whole place. I will detail this event at a later date. I have something interesting to share.

Well, the concert was really great. Sigh, I don’t think I could do something like that unless I practised for another hundred years. Oh well.

Today we started the Final Year Project. I shall detail this later as well.

Quiz

Four jobs you’ve had:

Promoter at IT Fair 2004
Conman selling charity tickets
Secret Agent of the Inquisition
Infidel Hunter

4 Films that you can watch again and again:

never took note

4 Places in which you lived:

Potong Pasir (I was born here)
Siglap
Hougang
Seletar

4 TV programmes you never miss:

don’t watch TV

4 Places you’ve been on Vacations:

Kuala Lumpur
New York
Sydney
Seoul

4 of your Favorites Dishes:

dark sauce breaded pork chops with potatoes
butter crab
corn soup with pork, eaten with light sauce
French Onion Soup, extra garlic bread please

4 Websites you visit daily:

Sgforums.com
friendster.com
wikipedia.org
catholic.org


Pages

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