Friday, July 30

I am beat!

The Tekong recce thing was a wake up call on how much more I HAVE to improve man...Started out much of the 16km run pretty strongly, but found myself struggling to keep up with the main pack by the last 3km...

After the run which roughly ended by 11am, I went around BMTC to look for old pals. Managed to talk to Shaun Yoon and Jon Lee for a while... Iylia and I went to Whiskey and found Irwin and Aozhi there. They were watching the School of Rock DVD in the Company office. Ha. Had Lunch with Iylia, Irwin and Man Tse.

When we got back to mainland, I got quite annoyed that the bus that was supposed to pick the cadets up didn't show up. In the end, we sent back the cadets with Hotel wing, who happened to be returning to SAFTI. We called the bus company and they told us the bus that Joel (our team manager) had booked was only coming at 4pm! Furious with the obvious cock up in transport arrangements, Iylia and I called to cancel the bus since the cadets had already gotten on the bus with Hotel...

On my way home, I got a call from a frantic Joel to say that the bus we canceled was actually meant for another wing coming back from Tekong. ARGH! So I had to scramble to ask Iylia to book the bus again, which thankfully, was still possible...phew. My heart stopped for a while there man. Thank God nothing much came out of that... Would hate to think a whole wing of cadets are stranded at the ferry terminal due to my actions.

The MC thing for Kezheng's function is tomorrow. Gotta teach a lesson in the morning first and then pick up a suit from Jeremy. Hope it fits!

Thursday, July 29

Thx for dinner last night Jumpy! Had a good time of dinner and pool at Bukit Timah Plaza. Our pool skills seem to have detiorated from last time, we were missing open shots like...ARGH, how could we not get those in!

Rushed down to camp early this morning for IPPT. Had to get here by 7am, but as usual, things NEVER get started on time, and we only kicked off at 730am. Sheesh. Wasted 10 bucks on cab. But it's ok! Cos' i'm now 200 smackers richer with my IPPT GOLD! YAY! Been putting it off for a while so I'm glad I got it out of the way. My fitness dipped though. Did less sit ups, Jumped shorter distance, ran shuttle run slightly slower and did a few chin ups less than my cadet days. Quite happy with my 2.4km run though, managed to maintain sub 9 mins. Ah well, gold is gold. Now all that's left to look forward to is...ORD!

Been coming up with a list of things to do come next March, backpacking (as suggested by T*), mission trip, church camp, a bit of charity work? Well I hope I have the discipline to follow up on plans. Going Tekong for Tekong Challenge recce tomorrow, probably run 15km around the island. Help. Pray I won't come out dying like I did the last time. Ugh.

Tuesday, July 27

Randomly browsing through Taiwan photos.That's me. Wheeeeeee!

The Observatory rocks! Yes! There is life in Singapore's English music scene after all! Check out their website.

Awesome use of different instruments, mellow vocals and smooth musical arrangments. Definately worth a listen. The lead, Leslie Low, used to be from Humpback Oak, for those who follow the local music scene. Did I mention the CD cover (more like a case) is really cool? The CD's just wedged inside this "diary".

I just picked up their CD at HMV Heeren just now. Took another half day today. Have to clear my off days by the end of the month otherwise they'll be forfeited! Bumped into John, my cousin at Jurong Point. He was on his way to class at NTU. We talked for a while over sundaes at Mac's. Thx John, really appreciate the advice.

At Heeren, I saw Cui Ru, Liling and Siew Feng...NJ peeps. They're studying at NTU but no classes today... So nice to see familiar faces.

Afterwhich, I made my way to Orchard library for a nice read over a mango smoothie. Spent an hour and a half there before heading home. Truly refreshing.

Think I'll cycle up to Bukit Batok Park now.


Monday, July 26

Don't you think we're all really petty by nature? It's so easy to take for granted someone who has blessed us with so much joy and happiness, but when that same person does something that unintentionally hurts you, you never forget.

It's Sunday night and this entry's coming from my office.

Alpha just had their commissioning parade just a few hours ago. Since it ended pretty late, I decided to stay in office to avoid the morning rush later. Cycled to work in the morning, so I decided to pay Corinne a visit in her hall just now. Took the Pasir Laba Bridge. Upon making my way back, from NTU, imagine my horror when I found that the gate I passed through earlier was locked! So I had to made one HUGE detour down Jurong West and back up to OCS again. Super irritating considering that all that seperates NTU and OCS is the expressway, and there's no way I can cross the expressway with my bike.

Thank God my cousin John gave me directions when I called him up. He's a student there. Anyway, my unexpected late night exercise session turned out to be quite enjoyable. Riding on the roads where there are no cars, just cruising down the avenue without having to stop.

Corinne and I had a good chat... She seems to adapting just fine, if not for the cheena environment and some despo guys staying in her hall. No doubt the product of being deprived during their 2 years in NS. I'm quite certain staying away from home will make her mature a lot faster. And I hope she finds out more about herself this way. Sigh. Thx for the chat Reen. It's weird that I can see your room from my office. So near, yet...

Don't worry, my binoculars can't zoom in that far. Heh.

Sunday, July 25

It was sweet to sleep in today. =)

My day started at 11am. Had to meet Kezheng at Plaza Sing. The True Hearts Connection Ceremony is next week so today was a technical run. When Kez asked me if I could MC the function I told him I would love to! Kezheng is such a capable guy man. His organisational and people skills never cease to amaze out for him...future Chairman of PSA. Ha!

Anyway the True Hearts Connection is this organisation that ties up with the Interact Clubs in schools. They have this mentoring system where JC students mentor younger students from less priviledged homes, to befriend, tutor and encourage them. Next Saturday's ceremony is sorta the "handing over ceremony" from the J2s to the J1s.

Had Bible study with John, En Xiang, Terence, Nat and Weiliang in the evening. Was quite fruitful I felt. Weiliang was sharing how his friends didn't like Christians as some would try to force the Word down your throat. Aggresive evangelism. It's a pity that Wei's friends are so resistant now because of the actions of others.

Went over to Daffy's place at arnd 9pm. Was great to see the s06 gang there. Sigh. I always reminisce about the wonderful first few months, not that the rest of the 2 years were lousy, but it felt good being a J1 didn't it? When it seemed as if the A levels were still ages away. By December, everyone was slogging away. On hindsight, was all that stress really necessary? ugh...Screw you Cambridge!

Daffy's leaving in 2 wks time. To visit Fletcher in the States. Heh, Bon Voyage Daph! Dun forget to write! Lucky lovebirds. = ) 

Friday, July 23

I liked I, Robot. Sure it wasn't an original idea, and it didn't follow closely to Isaac Asimov's book, but I thought the presentation was really stylish and the visuals were awesome! Can't beat Blade Runner though.

Elliot called me last night just before drum lessons to see if I wanted to watch the 10pm show. Quite last minute, but surprisingly, 8 of us came, the PUNJ gang.

Not much of a weekend for me this week. Helping out to MC Kezheng's function on Saturday, which I'm looking forward to, and Alpha Commissioning Parade on Sunday. Will miss soccer at Bishan Park =( At least I'll see the S06 gang at Daphne's on Sat night! yay!

Really miss Corinne right now for some reason. She's at NTU hall camp. Come back soon!

Tuesday, July 20

Shuying gets to watch John Mayer and Maroon 5 in San Diego?! AHHHH! AHHH! AHHHH!

I WANNA GO TOOO!!! Sigh, Was reading her blog...
In contrast, it was a pretty normal day for me. Cycled over to OCS from home yesterday night and stayed over at Iylia and Satiish's bunk. Woke up at 6am to do a 12km run. I did 54.30, which is not good enough if I'm ever going to reach the target of one and a half hours for the Half Marathon coming up in Sep.  Sigh.
Jeremy busted his shin pretty bad due to some freak accident at Indochine (Ha ha, best not to ask). He got 2 days MC, but came to office anyway cos' we had a lesson to teach in the afternoon. Thanks Jem, really appreciate it. The lesson took half the afternoon and we ended earlier, much to the appreciation of the cadets, who were gonna book out that night.
Just finished reading 5 People You Meet In Heaven. Interesting stuff. Although I doubt heaven is really like what the book describes, it does offer some interesting perspectives on life and the people around us. Go read it folks!

Monday, July 19

Thanks for remembering guys. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many birthday greetings on my phone when I woke up on Saturday morning. Heh.
Was a pretty productive weekend. Went for my final driving evaluation on Sat morning, and finally booked a test date! 12 August! The countdown starts now! With God's help I WILL PASS FIRST TIME! yeah baby. Met Corinne at Fish and Co Glasshouse for a very hearty birthday lunch. Thanks for the presents Reen... I LOVE 5 people you meet in Heaven. Dunno if you have internet access in hall to read this. Heh.
Went for some missions convention at Singapore Bible College. Was trying desperately to stay awake, I seem to have an affinity for dozing off when sitting in an air-con room for prolonged periods. On the occasion that I was awake, I found it interesting to know the measures some churches were taking to reach out to various people groups. And no, we're not talking about the Hookeelookee Tribe in North East Siberia or anything far fetched. We're talking about office workers in the CBD, or Sri Lankan workers in Singapore, people close to home. Guess you don't have to travel to a far away land to be a Missionary.
Afterwhich, went to Modestos for some great pizza with my family. Dad left for South Africa that night, will be back next week.  
Sunday was interesting. Helped wash cars in church to raise funds for theYZ camp thats coming up this Dec. Quite fun. Soccer at Bishan Park as usual, only that this time the pitch was COMPLETELY WATERLOGGED, and the game turned out to be a cross between rugby and mud wrestling. Played pretty decent, managed to head in a goal, only because the Thai guys were quite shacked to mark me I think = (
Alpha Wing's commissioning this Sunday, had to help MC the parade rehearsals today, CPT Eve will do the actual thing though. Cycling back to camp later, Gotta run at 615 tmr! Arghh... Hope they don't do more than 12km. My legs are wasted after Sunday's mud wrestling (",)

Thursday, July 15

I have A LOT to be thankful for.

Was having dinner with Jumpy last evening. Prata @ Al-Ameen. Cycled down to meet him and following which, we went to Mambo for a game of pool. After we parted ways, I figured I would take a short detour to Corinne's place since it was nearby. Was glad I did! I Thank God that I could see her and talk like we haven't seen each other in ages (which
in my terms, is about 2 weeks). Really missed her a lot.

On the way back, I took the Old Jurong Road way back home. Was merging into the right lane as I had to turn right into Hillview Avenue. Checked my rear and shifted into the right. When I did, I heard this car blare its horn at me for at least 5 seconds, the screeching of tires followed. The car very narrowly missed me. My bicycle's speedometer showed 40, judging by that the car was going at least 70.

THANK YOU LORD. It could have ended there and then, but you protected me.

I decided it was a good time to switch to cycling on the pavement for now, until I put rear lights on the bike, and improve on my safety record. As i set on the couch to watch Phil Kheogan eliminate the last team on the Amazing Race, I shuddered to think that in an alternate reality, I could have been lying on the tarmac in a pool of blood at that point in time. Will continue to pray everytime before setting off on a ride.


Monday, July 12

CPT Evelyn had to attend a meeting with the new OCS Commander, but she had to conduct a lecture about Dining Etiquette (Yes, you heard right). The reason why we teach it in OCS is 'cos everytime a batch of cadets commission, we'll have have a very formal dinner, the really stuffy sort, with quite a few VVIPs attending.

So in order not to have the cadets make a mockery of the whole thing, my department the MILITARY EDUCATION TEAM, is in charge of conducting this lecture. And since my beloved boss wasn't free...guess who had to do it? YOURS TRULY!I don't have any problems giving lectures, plus this one was really short... but I felt pretty silly telling the cadets how to hold their cutlery, and reminding them not to leave the spoon in the cup when drinking their coffee. The one that took the cake was when I told the cadets how to tear their breakfast bun. They were really amused. I was like, " Err...let's get this over with...PLEASE!!!" No choice la...I had to follow the powerpoint slides given to me.

Sunday, July 11

Had such an enjoyable weekend!

Stuff I did...

Woke up early on Sat morn and ran 8km at East Coast. Saw the president as I ran by! Ha! Weird man.

Followed Iylia, Satiish and Joel to Suntec afterwhich to sign up for the Nike Run @ Sentosa. 10km of beach! But we get a Dri-fit shirt for the registration fee of $15! Unfortunately the shop was closed. Too early...will sign up at Jurong Point Tomorrow.

On my way home, coincidentally bumped into Elder Chambers and Elder Bodhi (so thats his name) at the Newton MRT Bus stop again. The mormon guys. Started askin them questions abt their faith, just to see the differences...

Went to Botanic Gardens with PUNJ on Sat afternoon, Adam Rd Prebytarian's youth group. Played all sorts of weird and hillarious games. Made me feel like a JC student all over again. The people are so nice. Great time of fellowship.

Had service at ARPC at 5pm. Elliot volunteered me to sell food after service, without telling me! Grr... But I realised I haven't helped out in church for such a LONG time. It was fun selling packed food with Mark. Ha, got to chat with people while we were at the booth. They're just so welcoming.

Rushed down to Eric's place after service. Not before picking up my bike. Cycled from Hillview to Pine Grove in 20 mins! Yeah new record (for me la)!Watched the City of God DVD that I bought from Hong Kong. Had a nice dinner and time of catching up with him. Cycled back home and got back by midnight.

Sunday morn started early again. Had to go BBDC for some simulator lesson. Quite waste of time la. It's pretty much like Daytona, except the whole car moves. The guy in front of me crashed a lot...haha...

After which, went to Queensway to buy soccer shin guards. Met up with Vince, Terence, Druce and the guys there. Had Lunch at Alexander Village. The Durian juice is AWESOME! yes, sounds gross but you have to taste it to believe it!

X-boxed a bit at Vince's place, before we hopped into Terence's car and drove down to Bishan Park for the weekly soccer game with the Thai ministry. Best match we ever played! Our defence was quite solid and we managed to take a 2 goal lead. In the end the match ended 4-3, to the Thais = ( . We were just too shacked la.

Went to Lixian's place in Nat's car for dinner. Had a hearty meal and chatted with my second auntie and uncle-in-law. No matter how much you spend, any meal in a posh restaurant can't beat a home cooked meal.

Took the 157 home. Plopped myself in front of the PC...Waala!

Tuesday, July 6

So nice. The shiny paintwork is just gleaming with' NAME...I WANNA RIDE IT! But it's a little late to cycle now. Futhermore, I haven't bought a helmet yet. So I was taking a big risk when I cycled home on the road from OCS just now. D'oh. Still waiting for Pete to get back to me about the helmet. He says he can help me get the Spanish cycling team helmet for 39 bucks! Ha ha. He sure has some contacts.

Decided to go into cycling again after a long 8 year break...ever since my bike got STOLEN 8 years ago, I never really cycled regularly... Zooming down an empty stretch of road, it just feels so liberating. There wasn't much empty road on the way back though! Really thank God for bringing me home safely man. Rush hour's a killer.

The new Commander OCS is coming in tomorrow. Changes expected. Gulp. Hope he doesn't decide on a "All-OCS-Staff-Stay-in-Camp-till-weekends" policy. well...more time to cycle at least.

Even though I'm rekindling myself to cycling, I really hope I don't deviate from the reason why I chose to free up my time. I really need to focus man.

AHHHHHHHHH! I just got a new bike! It's a Giant Yukon!!! 470 bucks well spent!!! Will post nice pictures of it soon!!! AHHHHHH!!!


Sunday, July 4

So I was on my way back home on Saturday morn, from my East Coast run. Was at Newton MRT, walking towards the bus stop, when this big built American man and his Indian friend walked towards me and spoke to me.

??: Hi, do you have a minute? Could I share something with you?
Gabe: Sure.
??: Hi my name's Elder Chambers (points to name tag), that's my friend Elder B?????, (points to his Indian friend).What's your name?
G: Gabriel.
EC: Gabriel? Really? Wow, that's a nice name. (Note: I'm not making this up guys!)
G: Thanks. Nice to meet you.
Elder Chambers: So where are you headed?
G: On my way home, following which I'll be going down to church.
EC: Oh great! So you go to church. Which one?

I explained that I was meeting up with my friend at Adam Road Presbytarian for a youth service. Judging from their distinct white long sleeve shirts, tie and name tag get up, it was easy to tell that Elder Chambers and his friend, who's name I forgot(oops), were Mormons.

EC: Can I share with you a verse?
G: Yeah why not?

So Chambers took out his Bible and quoted me a verse from a chapter which I have NEVER seen before. Ether, it was called.

G: So do you guys always have to wear those name tags?
EC: Yeah we do! We take them off when we're playing sports and games, but some of the guys keep them on. We just make fun of them (laughs). I'm kiddin!
G: Heh, so where are you guys from? I'm guessing you're from Utah (Where most Mormons are from)?
EC: Utah! That's right! B????'s from Sri Lanka. We're missionaries. We take a few years off our normal lives to go out in the world to evangelise......I'll be joining the Air Force when I return to Utah in a few months time.
G: Wow, cool. You know it takes a lot of guts to just come up to random strangers and just talk to them like you just did to me.
EC: (laughs), well thanks for giving me your time.

Chambers tried to give me his Mormon Bible, I politely declined. He then gave me some tracts which I still have with me. We talked for about 15 mins or so. Those were just some excerpts from our conversation which I could remember.

Even though I disagree with the Mormon faith and it's beliefs, I was impressed with Chamber's politeness and eagerness to share their message with me. The danger is that on the surface, Christianity and Mormonism seem to share the same beliefs.But dwelve deeper and you'll realise that there are many differences that go against Christian belief.

Although the Mormon faith and the Christian faith are 2 different beliefs altogether, I feel I could learn a thing or 2 from Chambers, when it comes to sharing the real Word. His enthusiasm has to be admired! I wonder if I could really do that. put aside my normal life for a few years to go out into the word and preach God's Word.

Show me the way God.

Friday, July 2

My japanese name is 藤原 Fujiwara (wisteria fields) 拓海 Takumi (open sea).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Sounds quite girly. D'oh. Reminds me of those sec school days where I was crazy over Jap-mania. No I wasn't one of those Girly-Jap-Soap-Opera-Junkies...OK I confess I really liked Love 2000 and Ice World, but thats it! I was more into all those Jap bands, L'arc ~en~ciel (still am actually!), X Japan, SMAP, Mr. Children... names you probably haven't heard off if you're always tuned to Perfect 10, which in my opinion, has been going downhill for a while.

Anyway, I really wanna thank all you folks for giving me all those kind words of comfort. It's really swell to know I've got friends that really care. Thx again Shu for trying to call me all e way from LA, although my fax sorta got in e way. Ha.

I'm especially thankful to God...He's really been a pillar of strength for me. Getting me through my traumatic A levels in hospital, a tough period in BMT when stuff at home was rocky, blessed Corinne and I with so many happy times, that doesn't even include all the stuff he's done for me before JC! He's really DA MAN. I feel like scum when I look back and realise how ungrateful I am. Thank you God. I ain't worthy, yet you've really blessed me with great friends, great brothers and a great job!

I really treasure the strong friendship Corinne and I still have. Yesterday's dinner was great Reen...gettin a bit tubby though! HAHA! *BISH* oww! oof! kiddin! jus kiddin...

Going for an early morn run at East Coast tomorrow. 7.30am???? Wah lau Guys...later can or not?...yawnz...