Update 148-01 Update 148-01 First Year Anniversary 30th August 2007 11:54 PM
Well, well well. Looks like exactly a year ago on this very same day, August 30th, 2006, I decided to depart the comfortable, relaxing shores of Singapore in order to embark upon what will probably be the greatest expedition and gamble of my life. That’s right – Today, August 30th, 2007, marks the official 1st Year Anniversary of my life here in the United States of America, a.k.a. the US and A. As clichéd as this sounds, and it does sound cliché, it seems as if it were only yesterday that Darren and I were singing ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ in good ole’ 5.14; even though it’s been a year, I still wake up EVERY morning and look out the window expecting to somehow magically reappear back in Tessarina gazing at the skyline of Bukit Timah below me.
I’ve been asked this question many times by many different people over the past few months and it still sticks out quite pertinently in my mind: Do you regret coming here? Taking a moment to reflect upon the life that I’ve lived, the trials that I’ve overcome, and the experiences that have so greatly enriched my life, I can resoundingly say that until this day, I am still unsure of what my answer is.
Laugh at wavering indecision and ‘cup-half-empty’ outlook if you will, but I really have to honestly admit that I still miss all you folks back in Singapore. Even though I have relatively settled down here in the US with the fluff of another huge action flick, near-perfect GPA, Honors Program, making really awesome friends and achieving the Dean’s List, I can’t quite shake the feeling that I still persistently miss Sunny Island. This despite many successes here: I got my driver’s permit, was chosen to be on the ‘Chancellor’s List’, and invited to join the student government on campus just last week. Despite all these triumphs, I still yearn for the familiar smell of Roti Prata at the corner shop, teh tarik at the hawker center, and carrot cake at the local food court. Moreover, food is one thing, but I still really long for my friends, such as you, good readers, who have been an integral part and parcel of my life for sooo many years.
I always wanted to come to the US to earn my degree, and if given a choice to repeat history, I would’ve still come here inevitably. However, what I might hold back on is having come so early. Needless to say, going to university at 16/17 is no ordinary experience. Although the countless things I’ve experienced here are inherently unique, I can’t help but wonder about the priceless other events that I missed with my ACSI cohort. We can’t always win every battle or have our cake and eat it so I suppose this is a classic example of my mind trying to futilely turn back the time and contemplate many absurd ‘what if I had…’ scenarios.
So do I regret leaving? Yes and no. Yes because I still miss you friends and food dearly, but no because I would’ve never missed an education here for the world. Whether or not my gargantuan sacrifice is worth it will be something to judge twenty years from now (Assuming the ISD haven’t found me and I’m still alive then, of course). Even though I have had my success here, nothing will ever replace or recreate the immense pain and nostalgia I’ve grown to associate with Singapore. Frankly, for all its idiosyncrasies and faults, it’s really a place where I can say ‘this is home, truly.’ (Hur hur)
Funny how life is so bloody ironic, ain’t it?
Ultimately, even though I will probably never see my native shores again, I will always be here for you, my comrades, friends, and classmates. If you ever find yourself stranded (God forbid!) in Amerika, you will always have a warm bed in my house, a hot cup of imitation BLT-brewed teh, badly cooked Asian food, and all the frozen burritos you want to last you a lifetime. Even though I know that I am but a passing glance in the deep labyrinths of your minds undoubtedly stressing about IB Prelims, or a faint memory of a distant lost cause in the recess of your psyche, please know that I will always be here if you ever need me, be it in person, on the phone, or online in the form of MSN and Facebook (I know many of you, like me, are Facebook whores now!!!)
I am an only child, but you, dear friends, are my own flesh and blood – People I would gladly call my brothers and sisters any day. So as you head out tomorrow for your last day of ‘proper’ school, I would like you to know that it has been a proud privilege being a part of your lives back in Singapore, having lots of fun times together, and working together towards the goals, dreams, and aspirations we share. Ultimately, I hope and pray with utmost sincerity that our relationships can grow together regardless of physical distance, and that we seek solace in one another through all the trials and tribulations of life in the years to come.
The Best Is Yet to Be.
Oh, and before I forget, GF HL and GG with your exams haha.
Update 147-01 Update 147-01 Visits from the Motherland 18th August 2007 1:11 PM
Apologies for not blogging frequently lately (That is, of course, if any of you still read this silly page). Anyway, I’ve been incredibly busy lately with weddings, primarily – I did like 8 weddings over the past 2 weeks, including 3 weddings over a period of just 2 days! Needless to say, I’m totally, utterly and unequivocally exhausted – And the editing process is not helping much either as I now have to edit a grand total of over 5,000 still pictures and a dozen or so hours of footage (A conservative estimate). How fun.
Two of my mum’s good friends came over the past week too so I (Of all people) had to show them around San Diego and LA as if it were my own backyard. Those of you who know me (or even don’t because it’s quite obvious) will also know that I am just absolutely HORRIBLEat directions. One time me and Ali were trying to get to the East Coast and ended up in Jurong instead. That’s how bad I am. Anyway, I had to direct these people about and one of them is this uber rich lady in Singapore that is used to her BMW 7 Series or Porshe’s GPS navigation system and sensors. So I had to become the human navigator 24/7. Which I guess is good in a way, because I now know how to get to bloody LA or SD.
Some pictures for you:
Yes, I spent my afternoons taking gloomy/emo/angsty pictures and stalking surf boarders and fishermen.
After that I went up to Las Vegas to visit my Uncle and his family, who flew in from Canada to get wasted see us. I got sick after that from all the activities after we came back and I’m blogging now as a ‘break’ from editing. (That’s how bloody desperate I am, damn it!) ANNDDD…....
To top it off, Daniel Hum (aka Dan da Man) from Purdue University came by for two days and I had to show him around too with one of my other good friends. We had a great time, though it was sooo bloody tiring, and not to mention, HOT AS HELL (No pun intended). I brought him shopping (Again, very unlike me) and we caught the Bourne Ultimatum afterwards.
For those of you that did watch it, did you realize the GARGANTUAN goof at the end of the film? Bourne puts a Glock 18 to the Doctor’s head but when he puts it down again, POOF it’s a SIG 228!!!! It’s soooo damn obvious because it’s the kind of thing BLT would do! Urgggh that’s so damn unprofessional. Sorry if I’m going ballistic (Again no pun intended) but you’d think they wouldn’t make such a stupid screw up considering their multi-million dollar budget. Anyone else notice that?
Oh by the way, for those of you who don’t know Dan the Man, he was the dude that made the infamous BLT Productions’ logo with a guy shooting himself in the head (He must have a great opinion of me), as well as Vendetta fame as the infamous guard/union boss that dies repeatedly under some very mysterious circumstances without the audience noticing:
Oh and to compensate ya’ll for not blogging as much recently, here is a clip to feast your ears upon haha. Damn I miss that country.
I would actually feel nostalgic after so many visits from people back home, but somehow I am too tired/busy to care. *Shudders*
Update 146-01 Update 146-01 Tough 22nd July 2007 9:04 PM
Ah. Life’s been hard indeed without a laptop. Weirdly enough, history has repeated itself and I have had the fortune of koping borrowing my friend’s Dell laptop. It’s not stellar but at least I can do the minimalist semblances of editing for my wedding/event gigs. This is pretty funny as the last time I shot my laptop, I ended up borrowing Ben Soh’s Dell laptop for over a month too. Pretty coin incidental – Though I dare say this trend does not amuse me in the least.
Meanwhile, in the midst of studying for my driver’s permit test, I spotted the following:
Only in America…
Speaking of which, I had this hilarious MSN conversation the other day which went something like this:
While I am somewhat saddened by this turn of events somehow I’m not quite surprised either. I get 'Oh wow how's China?' a lot but never quite South America. This is interesting...
By the way, the latest student council video is available HERE:
Update 145-01 Update 145-01 Noooo 14th July 2007 11:47 PM
I'm writing this post to all of you with the gravest of news that the film you all have been waiting for will be further delayed by a turn of very unfortunate circumstances that I myself am still reeling from. Basically, I had actually finished the film and had essentially wrapped up all the sequences apart from the Special FX and music – Before it was STOLEN from me whilst I was printing something at a local photocopying shop.
I was barely 2 feet away and had turned my back to collect my printouts when it was snatched from the shop. The only edited copy of the film I had was in that laptop's harddrive and I have no other backup to replace it with as I had only finished the last parts of the film THAT VERY MORNING.
Whilst the theft of my $2,000, 6-month old laptop is regrettable, I was more devastated by the loss of the one and only copy of a near-finished product. As such, because I thankfully still have the raw tapes, I will now have to re-import all the footage and start over editing from scratch. After I borrow/beg/steal (God forbid!) a new computer, I'll be up and cranking again and I should have the film ready, within a month or two at the earliest. Yes I also lost all my favorites, data files, documents, essays, pictures, and a whole lot of other important info.
I can imagine this must be rather disappointing for all of you who are literally dying (No pun intended) to see this film, and I'm terribly sorry this had to happen. I filed a police report, but considering this is Amerika (With tons of murders, car chases and rapes), this will probably be a pretty low priority for them.
Sighs. Despite so many setbacks and tribulations, I am more determined than ever to finish this film. Please keep me in your hearts, minds, and prayers.
Oh, when and IF I find out which SOB took my laptop... *Cocks shotgun*
Update 144-01 Update 144-01 Independence Day 4th July :54 PM
So it was independence day today. Interestingly enough, this is Update 144. How auspicious. Being the patriotic American that I am (Yeah right), I sat at home and did nothing all day - A la Amerikan style. At this juncture of celebrating American dominance over the world, I would like to draw attention to this decadent map found on JJ's Blog:
Singapore, it appears, is HillBilly central - How appropriate eh? Here's another tribute to the greatness of Amerika, land of opportunity, freedom, and equality:
Anyway, went to the park letter with my friends to watch the fireworks. They were actually pretty good. Oh if any of you buy a DSLR, make sure you JUNK the 18-55 mm kit lens. It is USELESS and serves the same function as an expensive $100 paperweight. I had to borrow my friends Canon 100mm f2.8 for this though I did use the kit for some of the wider shots. Here are some unedited photos. Cheers to the Amerika!
Ah so I'm finally 18. It's been an interesting day, to say the least. Whilst there was none of the extravagant fanfare that characterized my impromptu 17th birthday party organized by Tim Seow in Singapore, it was still a pretty poignant day nonetheless. As much as fame and fortune account for these days, it's still family and friends that form the fundamental core of any relationship.
I had an opportunity of realizing that today. Unlike many of you who have grandiose 18th birthday bashes and what-not, I essentially spent the day at school and had a restaurant dinner with a really good friend. Quite a far cry from what you would expect from the publicity-whoring BLT of old, don't you think?
Ah well. As much as I wish I was more popular here or had more friends to celebrate this birthday with, I'm essentially grateful for what I already have and the simple pleasures of life – Spending time with my parents is not exactly the ideal, spectacular 18th milestone, but for me, it's something I had really neglected all my busy years back in Singapore. At least I managed to do it this year. I mean, for the past 4 birthdays, I was FILMINGshit every year, all day.
As I look back at my old plog post about my last party, I can't help feeling a sense of nostalgia tinged with a little bit of regret; I still can't quite get over the fact that it's already been a year since that wonderful, memorable night. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life and I only wish I could've spent today with you, my good friends back there rather than typing in smilie faces over MSN. As cliché as this sounds, and it does sound cliché, it seems like only yesterday that I left Singapore. Sighs. Such is life.
The last picture is pretty damn ironic because of that Hollywood balloon...
Fine, I'll quit reminiscing. Oh yeah, I bought myself (Sad eh?) a used DSLR today for about 1,000 SG buckaroos. I've been looking at getting myself an SLR for quite some time ather than koping someone else's camera, but I guess I needed a convenient excuse to buy it. Looks pretty professional, huh? If only people knew...
Interestingly enough, they were selling crayfish at the supermarket!!! Something totally unprecedented that I had never witnessed before. Those of you that know me from my childhood would know that I was crazy about 'Yabbies' for many years of my elementary school life. I never considered myself a very religious person, but once I saw them on sale, I really thanked God for small blessings such as that. It was truly His present to me on an otherwise uneventful and lonely day. Afterall, the supermarket and NEVER ever sold crayfish before; of all things they did on my birthday! They were so unusual that even the store clerk had problems finding a proper barcode for them at the counter.
Ultimately, as tempted as I am to become cynical, bitter, or depressed about not having a big party or bitching about how few friends I have here relative to the hordes I had in Singapore, I am trying to tell myself to look on the bright side of life. Little, subtle things like my friend's dinner treat, lunch with my parents, the crayfish, and DSLR really made my day and I am truly grateful that I still have my health, family, and some levels of depleting sanity, at the very least – Which is a lot more than what many other folks have.
So on this 18th birthday, I'm going to refrain from whining (Per usual) and count my blessings instead. Thanks everyone for your continued prayers, support, and love for me even though I'm 10,000 miles away! I still miss you guys!