Sunday, March 31, 2013

Anglo-Chinese Winds: LegACy

Last evening, I attended the concert LegACy, presented by the alumni members of the Anglo-Chinese schools (ACS, ACJC, and the likes), conducted by (none other than) Mr Alvin. This would be my first time attending a concert conducted by him, and it was quite interesting to see his magic being shown through the band, since we hardly perform up to par with expectation (cue deep sigh). To our surprise, Mr Heng and Mr Melvin were performing as well! Mr Mezraq was supposed to perform (well, his name was on the concert booklet) but according to Kimberly, he had another band event to attend to that night, so oh well!

After band ended, we stayed back for quite a while, waiting for Kimberly to finish counting the money collected from various events and I used that time to do a little bit of my cataloging (cue heavier sighs). After that, we headed out eagerly to Balmoral Plaza for our long-awaited birthday feast as Tan Qi's birthday was the next day! Also, we starved for lunch because I got my juniors to rope in with the cataloging hehe. They did have a heavier breakfast in anticipation for this, though.

We ate at Subway, and I fell in love with the turkey sandwich! Turkey on Parmesan Oregano bread, topped with lettuce and tomatoes - no sauces! Yummy and healthy is the way to go y'all!!! Hahaha. 

After filling our tummies with solid food, we went down to Oblong for the much-awaited ice-cream feast! Denise was working at Oblong that day so it was nice seeing her and I got (hopefully) us all church scoops. :-P

Lim Ning saw the advertisement for the 25 Scoops in 25 minutes challenge and showed signs of interest in participating. Hm...that would be interesting to see! Anyway, there was clearly no space for twenty-five scoops of ice-cream for us that day so we settled on three scoops of ice-cream: Rum Rum Raisin, Strawberry Cheesecake and Cookie Monster. After devouring the ice-cream within minutes and agreeing that it was guuuuud, we decided to just sit and talk for another twenty minutes before getting yet another cup of ice-cream! So, round two was Cookie Monster, Spooky Dark Chocolate and Milo Dino. My section really loved the Cookie Monster! Total bill amounted to $14.20 and since it was Tan Qi's birthday, we decided to give her a treat and go dutch between the four of us, even though traditionally it is the birthday girl that gives the treat... Hint hint. Haha!

We left Oblong around seven to give Mr Alvin his bag as he had left it in our band room and forgotten to bring it with him when he left. When we went backstage to return Mr Alvin his bag, I walked past Jing Ying and found out that she was performing for the concert as well! Actually I didn't spot her, but rather she recognized me, haha.

Five generations of bassoonists, with two sets of sisters and one lone wolf. :'-(

Anyway, Lim An came for the concert as well, and we were laughing throughout the concert whenever this group of really enthusiastic supporters sitting behind us yelled and cheered for this guy named Scotty (or Scott). It was really annoying but yet hilarious at the same time.

The band performed really well, both the alumni band and the ACJC band. They played a few pieces, including Arabesque and Japanese Graffiti XI, my two favourites that night! Maybe I am a little biased here but I felt that the MTDC Band's rendition of Arabesque was a little better than the one we heard last night, haha. That being said, ACJC is supposedly the best junior college band in Singapore, judging by the Singapore Youth Festival results and their accolades thus far.

Mr Alvin receiving his Elmo plush toy hahaha

6 generations of SMSB bassoonists, with two pairs of sisters siala

(Jing Wen on the far right haha)

After the concert ended, we went backstage as a section to take photos with Jing Ying. Six generations of St. Margaret's Band bassoonists (sans Yu Rei)! Yes, Tan Xuan came for the concert as well, though she only arrived after intermission. I met the Clementi Town bassoonist, Shoon, as well, and apparently, her senior is in JC1 this year and DSA-ed into ACJC through band! It was really cool meeting people like that as we never did this ~sort~ of thing back in Ms Chong's day. For example, we had totally zero idea of how her students from Nanyang and Fu Hua were like. All right, maybe we did get opportunities to interact with the Nanyang girls, but the relationships formed were not deep and solid enough.

All in all, it was a great night, and I really would love to join the ACJC band as its culture is very...appealing. :-) I definitely would miss having band practices after I graduate from the band as well, sigh, how time flies!

iPhone 4 camera's quality oh well!

Thank God It's Good Friday: Running Man

On Good Friday, I participated in a Running Man-style activity organized by the Navteens with Genevieve! We were in a team with Carolyn, Yi Wen, her two friends Amanda and Niki (sp?) and Esther. However, Esther was busy at a school camp and could not join in the games with us. :-(

We met at T-Junction and set off to VivoCity from there! It was a crazy times running around from station to station and competing in games and fulfilling quests. At the end of the day, our legs were really sore and we were sticky and dirty from all that running around! I had fun and well, it's a good way to exercise and meet people at the same time!

Carolyn, Yi Wen, Gen, Jinwen, Amanda, Niki

The uncle sitting opposite us was totally judging us when we took this hehe

Monday, March 25, 2013

SYF Showcase Preview 2013

Today was the SYF showcase preview for parents for the Choir, Strings Ensemble and Symphonic Band. I just wanted to mention something that I found really cool. So, Ms Chang informed us that the preview would commence at 7pm and refreshments would be rolled out at 6.30pm, so I told my parents that they could just come at 7pm. However, the performance started at 6.45pm and just before we started (band was the opening item), I prayed really hard for my parents to arrive right on time. Well, guess who pushed through the double glass doors upon the first few notes of Sarabande? Yes, praise the Lord indeed! This is one of the few times I really felt my prayers being answered by God and well, I just feel so thankful to God. :-)

All that being said, the acoustics in the hall were not that great as the hall was very echo-y. Hence, the articulation and all was not very clear. With people not looking up at Mr Alvin, the whole performance was rather messy and overall, a disappointment, which was written clearly all over Mr Alvin's face. I really hate it when I let people down, and so even though I thought I didn't play too badly, the poor performance also kind of dampened my mood. :-(

Oh well, at least we can learn from the mistakes we make now, and make sure they don't repeat next Thursday! Here's to a hectic and stressful week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy birthday, Jun-bin! 2013

Today is my brother's birthday and we celebrated it with a day of good food! As it was National Breakfast Day (is there such a thing?) today, McDonald's was giving out free Egg McMuffins and being the kiasu Singaporeans we were, we headed straight to Serene Centre's McDonald's first thing in the morning to get our hands on those yummy fatty muffins. Of course, I did not eat any McMuffin as I am off fast food, but I got some for my brother who was still sleeping at home.

While I had Chinese intensive lessons, my brother invited a few friends over to play with his new video game (groan). When I reached home, the little kids were (thankfully) gone and I was greeted by a freezer filled with frozen seaweed chicken, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and ice-cream. Oh my goodness...and the little ones had a Pizza Hut regular-sized pizza to boot. These kids can sure eat a lot!

Prawn Aglio Olio

Garlic bread

Beef lasagne (meh)

We went to Bukit Timah Plaza in the afternoon for a late lunch and capitalized on Pizza Hut's weekday lunch promotions (1-for-1 and Student Meals). Normally, I would have been totally against Pizza Hut but seeing as it was my brother's birthday...(cue more groans). However, the prawn aglio olio and garlic bread was very good! Strangely, we went to Pizza Hut and did not buy any pizza.

Lazed around the house for the rest of the afternoon after spending an hour and $46 printing the poster for tomorrow's microbiology competition. A0 size is really big!

Headed out to Tony Romas for dinner and that's the only reason why I feel so compelled to blog about it before I forget the loveliness of dinner!!!

We went to the outlet at Suntec City as the one in Orchard was really crowded. Suntec City is currently undergoing a renovation so it was less crowded and more peaceful. :-) The restaurant was really big and spacious and about one-third full when we got there. We ordered the Tony Romas Baby Back Ribs, New York Strip and the Rib Eye and Fish Fillet Combo as we had a coupon that offered us three main courses for the price of two.

The waitresses were very accommodating (we changed seats thrice lol) and even offered us a free brownie with ice-cream upon learning that it was my brother's special day!

Upon ordering, we were given a complimentary half baguette and a cube of garlic herb butter. The bread was soft but nothing to shout about. The butter was all right, but not as good as the one from Strictly Pancakes!

The three main courses arrived together - rather considerate, especially if customers are ordering individual dishes. When the waiter presented us with the steaks, he asked if we would like to check if the steaks were done well enough. How nice, I thought. :-)

The ribs (with Original BBQ sauce) were fantastic. We ordered a full slab and I had five ribs! Licked 'em clean to the bone I did. The sauce was just the right mix of sweet and spicy, so easy to lick up without feeling sick! The steak was not bad as well, though I would have preferred them to be done medium-well instead of just medium. Nonetheless, it was juicy and delicious.

We were given a choice of six side dishes, so we ordered everything except for the rice and coleslaw. That boils down to mashed potatoes, baked potato, french fries, ranch sauce beans, broccoli and corn on cob. I loved them all, especially the mashed potatoes, baked potato and baked beans! Both the potatoes were drizzled with cheese sauce and bacon bits, and baked beans are just one of my all-time-favourite side dishes! I went so far as to eat the baked potato skin with chilli sauce, and it was so good!!!

Tony Roma's Baby Back Ribs, FULL SLAB OH YES.

Glorious ribs with baked potato and mashed potato. Look at those bits of crisp bacon and golden cheese!

New York Strip with French Fries and Ranch Sauce Beans

Rib-eye steak and Fish fillet combo, with broccoli and corn on cob.

After the meat massacre.

Happy birthday lil' bro! :-)

Needless to say, I was sad when the meal came to an end...I'll miss feasting like this because I really need to start my diet proper soon (tomorrow sigh which never comes) (no it will I promise) (sigh pie)

Friday, March 15, 2013

La Symphonie d'Amis

Last night was the La Symphonie d'Amis concert by nine Singaporean secondary school bands, namely St. Margaret's, Presbyterian High, Clementi Town, Geylang Methodist, Gan Eng Seng, Compassville, Zhenghua, New Town as well as another school which I cannot as of now recall. It was held at the Singapore Conference Hall and it marked my sixth time performing there! As each school only played about two pieces, I did not encourage my parents to attend as the ticket was quite expensive and it didn't seem very worth the money just to watch us perform for less than ten minutes! So I didn't sell any tickets but apparently my band mates were selling tickets like nobody's business. Ah well.

It would be my last concert with St. Margaret's Symphonic Band as the only hurdle left now would be the Singapore Youth Festival competition in April. The past four years have been rather turbulent, with its highs and lows. I was also a part of the "transition" period which I believe has a great impact on the evolution of our band culture. Comparing our band under Ms Chong with us under Mr Alvin, I would say there is a big big big big b i g difference. It is quite hard to adapt to the new band culture, especially after three years of getting used to the more...I would say relaxed band system. I'm glad, however, that that has changed because I can now honestly say that I am proud to tell people that I'm from SMSB. :'-)

Anyway, the concert went really great, and I enjoyed every single minute on stage. There is an almost magical feeling about performing on stage which really makes the hours of toil and sacrifice worth it.

Update: SYF is on 4/4, 12pm, band number 62!

Sang Ah

Untidy hair and tired faces

Hipster hair y'aw!

End of Term 1/Sang's house

Can you believe it? A quarter of the academic year is gone and we are left with only seventy-five per cent of the year to prepare for the O-Level examinations. Just the thought of the impending doom gives me the shivers. That aside, I'm sure most of us will be looking forward to our one-week break before the next hectic term resumes. However, I, for one, would very much prefer the usual school curricula to the "holidays". During this short week, I have so many things on my plate! A microbiology competition I'm hardly ready for, band camp, Career Day, Mother Tongue intensive lessons and not to mention catching up and revising school work! The future seems bleak but life goes on.

To end the term on a happier note, the school organized a Sports Carnival today. I have an abrasion on my knee and was thus unable to participate in the activities planned so I took joy in sitting by the bleachers, finishing up Chinese homework and talking to my 4E3 friends. How exciting. Fearon lost so badly today but honestly, I don't really have the energy to care any more. I just feel so sucked out of strength. (I have a terrible sore throat now and my voice do not want to hear it)

After school, we collected our progress reports for the term and most people broke into tears. Half the students from my class (and we are the supposedly "top" class) failed three or more subjects! Fortunately, I was not part of this half, even though English massacred me so badly. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed with my results but I do believe that I will do better next term. I guess it's just a great challenge to juggle all my commitments and fulfill all my roles successfully. I'll get the hang of it.

Frosted Chocolate Malt

Banana Split

Afterward, Jamie and I went to Sang Ah's house to just chill out. We stopped by Swensen's for ice-cream to celebrate the end of term, but it seemed more like a reason to pig-out and be sad over our devastating progress reports. We had two ice-cream sundaes for only $9.90 due to a special student promotion going on! We ordered the Frosted Chocolate Malt as well as the classic Banana Split. The ice-cream was really good but maybe it filled us up a tad too much.

Left to right, clockwise: Kimchi, long beans, Korean pancakes, beancurd, cucumber.

Having our spirits lifted, we went on to Sang Ah's house, where her mother prepared lunch for us. I felt a little bad as I felt as if we were inconveniencing her mother but I guess Koreans are really nice and hospitable people. :-) It was my first time trying authentic Korean food and I must say, I am already a big fan of it!

Sang Ah's mom made kimchi, kimchi pancakes, cucumbers, beancurd, long beans, vegetable soup as well as brown rice for us. The kimchi pancake was so good, I ate at least five pieces! Each pancake was filled with lots of cabbages and I really loved it! I can't even describe how good everything tasted. After the meal, I felt really full but not as bad as the jialat feeling after buffets.

We went to the gym to burn off our calories for a little while and then headed back home, where the stress begins. Woohoo.

I just want to say, I am really grateful to have friends like Jamie and Sang Ah. Despite being in different classes and all, we still manage to click together and be good friends. :'-) LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH (I know you'll be reading this hahaha my ardent fans :'-))

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Carpenter and Cook

After eight hours of band today, travelling home in the cold bus on a rainy Saturday afternoon can really dampen ones' weekend mood. That's why the little perk-me-up after dinner (at the newly renovated Fei Siong Seafood restaurant mm yummy) at Carpenter and Cook was the highlight of my day, gastronomically. My mother, brother and I were undecided whether or not to sit down and chill for a while with a pastry as we were quite full from dinner, but in the end, it's the weekend after all! It's time to loosen that belt and eat good food. ;-)

We ordered the passionfruit meringue tart which was, according to the waitress, their best-seller. True to her word, the tart tasted heavenly. It's been a while since I last ate passionfruit, or anything passionfruit-flavoured for that matter, but after biting into the tart, I absolutely love passionfruit. The cream and meringue is not too heavy, so you don't really feel the intensity of the sin you have just indulged in. The tart base is also firm and not crumbly nor pathetic like most other tarts. Think of a shortbread-like casing filled with passionfruit cream and meringue. The tart was gone in less than five minutes, and I have no regrets - it was worth every calorie.

Carpenter and Cook is a little cafe that is quite hidden from the main roads. It sells pastries such as tarts, quiches, muffins, scones and cakes, as well as antique (vintage) furniture! We saw this cool-looking typewriter going for $800, wow! The interior decoration of the cafe has a very British feel to it, making it a great place to escape sunny, hectic Singapore city-life for a nice chat with friends over delicious (though dangerously fattening) pastries.

Terrible panoramic shots of the cafe.

Carpenter and Cook
Tuesdays - Fridays: 12pm - 10pm 
Saturdays: 10am - 10pm 
Sundays: 10am - 7pm 
Closed on Mondays
19 Lorong Kilat #01-06 Singapore 598120
6463 3648