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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Retail Therapy

It was a public holiday today (Hari Raya), so Guan Yu and I headed out for lunch after she finished studio class.

We ate at Cafe Cartel, Plaza Singapura:
The menu
 Special offers:

Table 5
 Interior:

My drink
They had free postcards!
The rack of free postcards
The ones I took
 Free flow bread!

 Cute kid on the table next to ours:

Guan Yu
 My insanely huge lunch:
BBQ Chicken Panini on Ciabatta
Close up:
Juicy Stuff
After lunch, Guan Yu and I headed shoe-shopping in Charles & Keith and Mimosa. I bought a pair of awesome heels and Guan Yu got gold sandals. We both bought flats from Mimosa (pictures later in the post!). Benji joined us in Daiso, amongst the HUGE crowd. It didn't help that the corridors are very very VERY small. -_-"

We were at Yamaha after that, cause Benji wanted to get some books:

The place is HUGE 

Book Selection
Ok, pictures of my shopping haul, as promised...

Bought 3 new nail colors from TheFaceShop for a nail design I saw, liked and thinking of trying soon:
From left: Glitter, Dark Blue, Sky Blue
 Flats from Mimosa:
Pretty, no?
 Heels from Charles & Keith:
Super comfortable!
 Necessities from Daiso:
Hanger for small washing, Cotton pads, Sticky notes,
Q-tips and Brush (for cleaning my air-cond filters)
That's all for today!

Cultural Odyssey @ Esplanade Recital Studio

On Saturday, I headed down to Esplanade (again), this time to watch + page turn for Alan's - in his words - first public recital. It was organized by Kris Foundation, held in Esplanade Recital Studio.

Pictures are taken by me unless otherwise stated.

On my way there:

The dressing room: 

Some "Longan" drink that Alan gave me a cup of:
Cute right?
 Camwhore moment when Alan was in the washroom:

The program booklet:

A Cultural Odyssey:

I didn't know they gave credit to the page turner as well!
Cheh~ *flattered*
 Taken by Alan's dad/official event photographer:


From left: Alan, Shu Xiang, Kwan Rui, David, Me
Alan and Miyuki taking their final bows
It was a good concert. Funny moment when Shu Xiang was like: Yeah David, Clarissa plays the double bass right?

Ok see... before the OMM concert, Shu Xiang, David, Hui Li and I were in the dressing room and David was like: you play the double bass right?
Me: ...
David: Eh no, that's a violin behind you. Err... *looks around, puzzled*
Me: Yes, I play the violin...
David: *turns to Hui Li* But she looks like James' girlfriend!
Hui Li: She IS James' girlfriend!
*whole room erupts with laughter*

Next up, shopping spree post!

OMG OMG OMG

Thanks to my sis, I watched this first thing in the morning:


*screams*

I-Can't-WAIT!!!

Castle Season 4, OH YEAH!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Emma

I think I'm in the crazy book-reading phase again.

I've finished Wuthering Heights (with much difficulty) and in the process of finishing Riders, by Jilly Cooper - a very interesting read, if I might add. After practicing, I decided to see (since they produced 6 episodes of "Pride and Prejudice") if BBC had any on "Emma" as well.



And they do.

But they're not half as enjoyable as Pride and Prejudice. For starters, I like Elizabeth Bennet, but dislike Emma Woodhouse immensely. The latter is too full of herself, thinks she's above everyone else and fancies herself a match maker.

Gwyneth Paltrow starred in another movie adaptation of "Emma", so I might try that one later, cause the BBC Emma is so bitchy she's killing me.

More book reviews + post on Alan's recital coming up soon!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

What A Week

Last night: Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 3 and Shostakovich's Symphony No 10 at Esplanade Concert Hall.

Tonight: Mozart's Sonata for Piano and Violin in G Major, Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata for Piano and Violin, Biber's Passacaglia in G Minor for Solo Baroque Violin, Takemitsu's Piano Distance (self-explanatory), Ravel's La Valse transcribed for piano solo, Bloch's Baal Shern Suite for Piano and Violin and Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.

2 amazing programs in 2 amazing concerts.

Music is, indeed a wonderful thing
The Baal Shern Suite is actually a very nice piece, much to my surprise.

I'm very tired now, sorry. Spent last night playing the guts out of my violin in the Rach3 and Shos10; then spent about 2 hours being the official page-turner for Alan and Miyuki's recital tonight. 

Took pictures, some taken by others, so I'll wait till the pics are uploaded and I'll post them then!

Toodles!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Wuthering Heights

If I could sum up my reactions to this book in a few short sentences: Fantastic but disturbing story line. Absolutely hateful and self-absorbed characters. We can relate to them, but their actions are despicable. Inevitably makes you think of "what ifs", which annoys me.

This is the ONLY book I've read whose main characters I hate, yet after I'm done, all that I could think about was: dammit, it's a good book!

Irony at its peak, I tell you.

Right now, I'm completely convinced that 2 people who have the following characteristics should never be together:

Selfish
Ignorant
Vengeful
Temperamental
Narcissistic
Thinks lust = love
Egoistic

Because Heathcliff AND Catherine are all of the above, and look what happened to them. Their relationship had no compromise, no understanding, no care nor affection; only lust and desire. Heathcliff didn't want Cathy to marry Linton because he wanted her to himself, Cathy loved Heathcliff but married Linton anyway because she would be better off (financially and socially), and Linton could provide her with comfort, at the very least - which Heathcliff couldn't. Catherine caused constant pain to the 2 men who loved her; and Heathcliff sought revenge by attempting to destroy lives of the next generation (Linton Heathcliff, Catherine Linton and Hareton Earnshaw).



The other "Heathcliff-Catherine-like" characters in the book:

Hindley Earnshaw
Racist, selfish and barking mad. Hindley always hated Heathcliff, and treated Heathcliff like a servant after Mr Earnshaw passed away. Shortly after his wife death - who, by the way, was the only person who ever loved him - he went mad and completely disregarded his son (Hareton). As a result, Heathcliff managed to trick Hindley into changing his will and leave Wuthering Heights to Heathcliff instead of Hareton.

Frances Earnshaw
Hindley's rather silly and snobbish wife. Passed away giving birth to Hareton. She also hated Heathcliff, and backed her husband in whatever he said/did.

Joseph
The most annoying character in the book. He speaks with a country accent, so it takes some time to decipher the actual words. Eg: Yer sta' aweh frum meh! A' hav nuthin' ter do wi'yeh! (You stay away from me! I have nothing to do with you!). Has no compassion for anything apart from his garden.

Linton Heathcliff
Weak, pitiful, demanding and selfish. He is Heathcliff and Isabella Linton's son, and is exactly like Heathcliff without health. Spoiled and ignorant, Heathcliff uses Linton to secure Thrushcross Grange by forcing Catherine (Cathy and Edgar Linton's daughter) to marry Linton.


Characters with redeeming qualities:

Nelly Dean
The main narrator in the book. She watched Heathcliff, Cathy and Hindley grow up; took care of Hareton in his toddler days; and practically raised Catherine Linton. Very compassionate, caring and responsible.

Mr. Earnshaw
Brought Heathcliff into his home and treated him fairly and kindly. Unfortunately, he died when Cathy and Heathcliff were approaching their teens.

Catherine Linton
Very much like her mother in spirit, but with more sense and is less selfish (due to her father's influence, I believe). She and Linton Heathcliff had a brief spell of puppy love, but after the latter died, and Heathcliff commits suicide, she ends up with Hareton Earnshaw.

Hareton Earnshaw
Due to his father's neglect, he was in Joseph's constant company, which explains his (rather) vulgar language and surly countenance. However, he has an interest in learning, and attempts to read to impress Catherine Linton. It failed the first time - and he was reluctant to start again when Catherine offered to teach him - but eventually they put aside their differences and provided the badly needed happy ending.

You can watch the movie adaptation on YouTube. I highly recommend the Ralph Fiennes one.

Enjoy!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Music - and the idiots who pursue it

It often makes me wonder, how a person can pursue a music degree without the showing the slightest interest in listening to a piece he/she is about to play.

Warning: angry rant ahead.


Chamber music.

So much of it is pure genius. It SO much more fun than playing your own solo stuff. 3 or more people playing together and producing one voice, how much more magical can it get?

But no... 

You KNEW what piece we planned to rehearse, you HAD the score with you, there are TONNES of recordings (of said piece) in the library (AND on YouTube), the piece is so famous you should bury your head in a ditch somewhere for not knowing it...

Best part is, we had to put off rehearsing SO many times because you kept saying things like: oh, I can't rehearse at (inserts random time+day) because I want to practice.

HALO! OUR SCHEDULES REVOLVE AROUND YOURS AHHH??? AND ON TOP OF THAT YOU CAME UNPREPARED!!!

Annoying max.

- end of angry rant -

Tutorials start this week, and it's gonna be full-on for me. My Tuesdays are officially hell-days: starts at 10am, ends at 8pm. *sweat*

Spent nearly 2 hours finishing tutorial homework. Blerrrrghhhhh~

Sleep time!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Scarrryyyyy

The scariest dreams are the ones you remember details of.

Yeah I had one of those last night. It was so real that I woke up crying and my chest felt super heavy. Took me a couple of minutes to realize it was a dream (because the setting was in KL, not Singapore).

It was too darn realistic.

The one prominent detail I remembered was me thinking (wah~ thinking within a dream, like Inception only): did any of our promises mean anything to you?

Very scary thought.

Anyways I'm gonna go practice now. OMM rehearsal tonight!

kthanksbai!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Chewy Goodness!

Guan Yu and I had dinner at Clementi yesterday evening before the former head home and I went off to OMM rehearsal. During dinner, I was telling her about this awesome cream puff place that James and I had previously tried and loved, so we paid a visit after our meal (at Ajisen Ramen).

Tip: yes, their name is Ajisen "Ramen", but I'd recommend you try their hot stone rice/bento sets as opposed to their ramen because Guan Yu didn't like the latter much.


Anyways, the star of the evening:

CHEWY JUNIOR!

I had oreo craving so I got the Chocolate Oreo:
To-Die-For
 Absolutely drool-worthy stuff:
Chocolate Madness
For dainty/meticulous eaters (like me), use cutlery to eat this because it's a guaranteed mess if you just bite into it. But if you're okay with that then, enjoy licking the cream off your fingers!

Visit their website: HERE!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Comparison?

Rant - I realize that it doesn't pay to compare yourself with other people you only make yourself feel miserable striving to improve should only be for your benefit not anyone else's - end of rant.

Was a very happy day yesterday cause I had a good lesson, and good practice - luckily my finger didn't end up bleeding like the day before:

Third finger from Left
Bought cereal + milk so I had that for supper last night. Dunno why I'm always feeling hungry these days. I smell the monthly nightmare coming.

Oh well...

The parents, aunt and Wee Qin are coming down in September! Gonna catch Lion King @ Marina Bay Sands and Leonidas Kavakos in Masterclass + concert! 

How much better can life get???

Dinner with Guan Yu at Clementi later, then I'm headed off to the other side of Singapore for a rehearsal with OMM. Come watch! Concert's on the 26th of this month:


For more details, visit: HERE!

kthanksbai!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

This Ain't Gonna Be Pretty

Wuthering Heights is NOT a book you should read before you sleep. 

Emily Bronte must have had some pretty dark thoughts in her head to churn out such a dark work in her day and time. And people thought Jane Eyre (written by her sister, Charlotte Bronte) was bad!

I'm not joking when I say 50 pages a time is a maximum for me, more than that and my head will just explode with frustration.

With badly written books like modern chick-lit, I usually force myself to finish it in one sitting because I want to get it over and done with (instead of leaving it unfinished and waste my money), but this is not the case. It's a well-written book, just that it's a pain to read more than 40-50 pages in one go!

It strains at my sanity just reading one page, seriously. It is NOT a book you read for enjoyment.

Unless you enjoy books in which characters drive themselves (and the reader) mad.

From now on, I will only read the book in broad daylight. If I read it at night, I won't be able to sleep a wink cause I'll be thinking about it and wake up the next morning feeling like a zombie not unlike this morning

Ok he's not a zombie just my favorite among the 7 dwarves LOL but I was doing that (yawning) the whole day!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch/read something useless to clear my head for the night.

日本語

Taking Japanese 1 this semester.

Half-regretting it after attending the first lecture this evening. -_-"

I'll spare you the minute details, but the professor's idea of romanizing Japanese words are confusing. Like sometimes, at the end of a word/phrase, you have おう, which is "o" and "u" respectively, but he writes it as "oo" in English letters. So when I'm reading きょうし, it's "kyoushi" but he writes it as "kyooshi". 

And at one point of the "orientation" - he was just reading from the powerpoint presentation, and I'd read it already - I took my eyes away from the screen to reply an SMS when I thought I heard him utter a random sentence in Japanese. Startled, I looked up only to realize his English pronunciation just sounds like Japanese. LOL! When he says I-V-L-E, it sounds like "eye-vee-aery".

*yanks hair*

Oh well, I survived, regardless. 

I'm in the midst of reading Wuthering Heights now and I must say, it's a very trying book. I'll do a book review of it when I'm done (shocking that I haven't finished it yet) so yeah...

I've got to practice in the morning (tomorrow) before lunching with Guan Yu, attend conducting class and rush off to teach so...

おやすみなさい!
(Good night!)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Books Books BOOKS!!!

Muahahahahaha~

As mentioned before, I was desperate for reading material (and I'm starting to wonder if I spoke too soon) so I went to Vivo this afternoon (after lunch with Guan Yu + Claudia) to buy some books, some stationery, a pillow case (from Esprit ok), and bread!

 Full Scap paper (cause I'll need it)
Full scap paper also from esprit O_O
Left: Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Right: The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom

Yes, they're both from that BBC must-read list. I wanted to get "Gone with the Wind" as well, but they only had an adaptation. So I'll wait. 

Now this compulsory purchase is the one that made me wonder if I'm biting off more than I can chew:
Japanese 1 Textbook
On top of the above book (which is already quite thick), we still have to get ANOTHER textbook, a "Translation & Grammatical Notes" book, a "Hyojun Mondaishu) - I don't even know what the heck that means, and a Kanji book. *faints*

+ 5 HOURS OF TUTORIALS PER WEEK!

*breathes*

I have a phobia for buying textbooks because they are a HUGE waste of money if/when the teachers/lecturers don't use them. But I'm reassuring myself that my sis can have the books after I'm done with them anyways. O_O

Random: when I was in Vivo, this promoter lady approached me and shoved a jar of dead sea salt in my face and was like: YOU WANT TO TRY? MAKE YOUR HAND VERY SMOOTH WAN! Before I could come up with an excuse (like I'm not interested), she started rubbing the salt on my hands! -_-" So, while pretending to be interested, I went over to the sink of the promoting booth and hurriedly washed the stuff off. After that was done, I told her I'll think about it, but she wouldn't let it go! To be honest, I was getting a little annoyed because I just wanted to buy my stuff and get back to PGP, so I just told her I'm late for a dinner date with a friend and walked away as fast as I could. 

If the product actually works, not so bad la... the area (of my hand) that she applied the salt on started itch and turn red after awhile. Ish!

I'll end the post with a pic I edited using Instagram:
Yeah I'm obsessed, so sue me.
First lecture tomorrow. *prays hard*

Sunday, 14 August 2011

UTown + Fruit Paradise @VivoCity

Guan Yu and I were at UTown, NUS (supposedly) meeting Jeremy for dinner, but after waiting for him to unsuccessfully park his car, we decided to eat elsewhere (car park wasn't ready yet, like wtf?).

Anyways, Guan Yu and I were bored so...

People playing frisbee *pout*
 Jeremy dropped us off at Vivo after dinner and we + DZ were at Vivo for Fruit Paradise!

DZ's Black Forest:

My Strawberry + Mango:
Pretty no?
 Didn't take Guan Yu's cause hers looks pretty much like mine. O_O

Peach Nectar Tea:

Yumm...

As you can probably tell, the pics are edited, using an awesome App I just downloaded called "Instagram" (recommended by Guan Yu cause I was telling her how I can't be bothered to manually PS (photoshop) every single picture.

I didn't manage to go book-hunting yesterday cause I decided to practice since my teacher called on Friday to tell me there's major on Sunday. -_-"

But I'm going later (IF) major goes well. =D

Updates later!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Reading List?

Stole this from Lina's BLOG.


Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety. Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.


I've added my own commentary as well!

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen     (LOVED it)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien     (Pretty darn good)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte  (Most read)    (A classic)
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling    (I've read every book at least 5 times)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee     (Will buy the book sometime soon to finish it)
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte     (Ok that's it, I'm going book-hunting tomorrow)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens     (Great book)
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott    (A bit idealistic, but a girl can dream, no?)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare     (I realized all of Shakespeare's male leads are a little bit gay)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy    (Too darn wordy)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adam
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll 
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens     (One of my first Literary reads)
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis     (Didn't like it)
34 Emma – Jane Austen     (Loved the subtle sarcasm but not the female lead - Emma)
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen     (Your typical love story just with more sophisticated English)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis     (Didn't like it)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden     (I liked it so much I read it twice in one sitting)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery    (I reckon every girl should read the whole series)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbon
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen    (Not my favorite of Austen's)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding    (Book-hunting!!!)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens     (How can anyone NOT read this??)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle    (His works actually make you think)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton     (I grew up reading these)
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare     (I hated it and felt Hamlet was secretly in love with Horatio)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl    (Every kid's fantasy)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


I've completed 18 of them (eh but the Harry Potter series should count as 7 right?), and read excerpts from 6. Not bad eh? *cheh~* I've read 2 of Jane Austen's works thanks to A-Levels (Pride & Prejudice, Emma) and bought the rest because I liked her style of writing. Owe a lot to my mom for exposing me to novels at a young age... she used to read Disney stories to me before bedtime LOL.

Which reminds me... I should pay a visit to the bookstore soon. 

Vivocity it is tomorrow!!!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Blog-O-Fever?

3 posts in a day. I must be crazy.

Just finished my 2nd practice session of the day and realized that I haven't talked about my new blog skin.

Yea I changed it. The previous one was too... bleh. I dunno why, I'm not good with this kinda thing. I even changed the font multiple times cause I couldn't find one that was quirky yet not frigginimpossibletoread messy.

Header still needs some work.

*         *         *

I've been itching to play the guitar. Weird, I know. Hopefully I can get my dad to restring that 3rd guitar we have at home thatno-onetouches and bring it over next month, cause I've been dying to play an instrument that's not the violin/piano. Guess it's because I had been playing it - the guitar - quite a lot back home during the summer break.

I blame my sis.

Bye!

Funny + Good Looking + British Accent

Best looking comedian EVER!

Michael McIntyre. *faints*


Check out his videos on YouTube!

His WEBSITE.