Saturday, June 12, 2010
A day at the Botanic Gardens

A couple of test shots using the DSLR.
posted @ 11:51 PM | 7 comments

Monday, June 07, 2010
Seven weeks later...

I'm finally done with all the exams. Gee, even the 'A' levels wasn't this bad. But despite the monotony and loneliness of these seven weeks, there were things to be thankful for:

  1. Alonetime. I seem to be contradicting myself, but being alone isn't all that bad. Sometimes I liked to think of the extended study break as going on a holiday alone, away from the affairs of humanity, to see life from a step back. And that now, I'm back from the holiday, ready to face the world with a smile again.

  2. 张悬. It was a real tragedy that I paid little attention to her music in the past. What's there not to like about her? She's full of 人文气息, very very pretty, has a charming character and voice, and writes the most breathtaking lyrics I've ever seen. Rediscovering this precious ruby during the exam period is the plainly best thing that happened to me this year, and once again I'm reminded that I should probably ditch mainstream pop altogether and go for independent music.

  3. Chezcake Bistro. Nothing like rounding off the night at this cosy newfound cafe after the very last exam. Great ambience and music, delightful cheesecakes and tea, and good, good company.
posted @ 11:07 PM | 3 comments

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Let go and move on

When I read that the railway station will be relocated to Woodlands next year, what was supposed to be good news (of settling a long-standing dispute) got me a little saddened, because it means there will soon be no longer train rides from Tanjong Pagar. That, and the unique experience of riding along the old railway track that brings me across the country, passing by my own flat and familiar streetscapes of Buona Vista, Bukit Timah and Choa Chu Kang. Just like ferry rides from Clifford Pier, these are very precious memories from my childhood.

Of course, cities must change and develop. Relocating the railway station would free up valuable tracts of lands for redevelopment. For Marina Bay's grander plans Clifford Pier has to cease operations. Well, everything is impermanent anyway, no point being too sentimental about things here.

It's just silly me clinging on to nostalgia, as usual.

As for the much-loved Bukit Merah MacD, I still feel the twinge whenever I pass by the vacant restaurant these days. However, I've moved on since and found a rather pleasant MacD outlet at Great World City which has now become my regular mugging spot (for the CFA exam). None of it's bad really. It's just... different.
posted @ 2:08 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, May 08, 2010

When in doubt, always title the post using a song name.

And there's no song to better describe my current state of affairs really. This exam period has been the longest ever -- three weeks into the 期末考 and it's still not over yet! My time-out comes this Monday, but that's only before another big exam in June. And yes, it's lonely, with the capital L. I mean, there's the good kind of solitude, one that I always like about exam weeks. But when it drags on for so long and everyone else is already done with their exams and celebrating, flying off to all sorts of cool places for grad trip or other kinds of trips, and you're still stuck here, it's just bad.

On a happier note, two nights ago I texted in to the radio to take part in a silly contest and lo, it earned me $100 of spare cash! Ah well, the things bored and lonely people do.
posted @ 11:49 PM | 3 comments

Saturday, April 10, 2010
No longer early twenties

I should give a speech. But in lieu of that, I leave you with this Buffy quote that nicely summarises just how blah I feel about it.
Joyce: [...] So what'd you do for your birthday? Did you have fun?
Buffy: I got older.
Joyce: You look the same to me. Happy Birthday. I don't have to sing, do I?
Buffy: No.
Joyce: Well, go on, make a wish.
Buffy: I'll just let it burn.
Postscript: And I have updated the "About Me" section of this blog.
posted @ 11:56 PM | 8 comments

Tuesday, March 02, 2010
When it comes to the serious stuff...

I am someone who needs to be kept busy. Busyness, in turn, keeps me going and makes for a frightfully productive me. On the other hand, once I get to enjoy a lighter schedule, I slow down and lose momentum and between my procrastinatory tendencies, I find it hard to get anything done at all.

That is why I think, although I hate to put it this way, that having CCAs complements my studies pretty well. The busier I am, the less time I have to study but the more motivated and hardworking I will become. So the first half of this last semester before graduation had been uncharacteristically hectic for me but that's fine. Even when everyone else is faffing about on a two-day week or two-module workload in their final semester, I'm almost unapologetic about it. I'm a busy bee and I get work done.

Problem now is, the busy weeks are possibly over and the decadent feeling of a slow Sunday afternoon is coming back. It's four days into the recess week already and I'm still bumming around. Very soon my brain will turn into mush. I don't know if I should be grateful for the spare time or not.

But that is, of course, just the serious, no-life workaholic in me speaking. The rest of me would rather not be doing any work and plots to spend the recess week away from Singapore and its constipated weather.
posted @ 2:18 PM | 6 comments

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Doing the Chinese New Year Thing

As usual, CNY was all about overeating and putting on weight, to use the phrase 大肥年 very loosely. And now that most of the festivities are over, it's time to detox. At the same time, I'm thinking about what I would do differently the next time CNY comes by: Welcome to the Year of the Tiger, everyone!
posted @ 9:53 PM | 7 comments

Sunday, January 17, 2010
A Day of Rest

After running around like a headless chicken for the past week in school, I finally got to cut myself a little slack today and spent the afternoon at windy Marina Barrage. I've always liked open spaces so the Green Roof was my kind of place. And because it's situated against an urban backdrop, the contrast became immediately obvious and that made the openness all the more satisfying. I find it very cool to have this whole place dedicated to kite-flying as well. It made for a very cheery, lively scene.

I guess although I have lots to complain about Singapore and its natural limitations, it's such smart urban planning that makes living here a little happier.
posted @ 11:58 PM | 4 comments

Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Best of Today
posted @ 3:06 AM | 7 comments

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Year 2009, in Chinese Pop

As I was doing this yearly review I looked at my past years' entries (2006, 2007, 2008) and got really disgusted with my music tastes (or lack thereof) back then. Jolin was there for two years?! I must have been drugged.

1. 陈绮贞-
The year started with this song; it's amazing how I never seem to tire of it even till now. Gives me a different perspective each time I ponder the lyrics.

2. 陈绮贞- 一首歌,让你带回去
There is no lack of delectable songs in this album but it's this last ending track that perfected it for me.

3. 陈绮贞- 狂恋


Enough said.

4. 韦礼安- 慢慢等
A promising up-and-comer to look out for in 2010. Eagerly awaiting his full album!

5. 苏打绿- 融雪之前
6. 苏打绿- 在我们之间
7. 苏打绿- 各站停靠

A rather artsy album that finally made me a Sodagreen-convert. Also one from which I drew inspiration to do train travelling for grad trip.

8. 徐佳莹- 身骑白马
Although she wasn't my favourite contestant during the competition, as an avid follower of the singing contest I must say she has done 星光 proud.

9. 徐佳莹- 失落沙洲
A very important song, because it saw me cross the finishing line of Sundown Marathon earlier this year. 白旗 would have been more appropriate for the occasion, though.

10. 徐佳莹- 一样的月光
I hope she wins best newcomer for next year's Taiwan GMA. Definitely worthy of best vocalist nomination as well.

11. 许哲珮- 滴滴滴
12. 许哲珮- 爱上马戏团团长

Her songs always fit so easily and effortlessly into my musical preferences. They make me feel spoken to, like how an imaginary friend would.

13. 蔡健雅- Only Love
So while Sun Yanzi was busy enjoying life as a tai-tai her Singaporean buddy has released two impressive albums already. Fine I shall stop complaining.

14. 苏打绿- 他夏了夏天
15. 苏打绿- 蝉想

Yet another splendid offering from the indie band. The next album in the instalment is due in autumn 2010 and I can't hardly wait!

16. 陈弈迅- 你为什么哭了呢
This album is generally nice but I find it really hard to single out a track that I like best and elevate it as the superlative.

17. 蔡旻佑- 寂寞,好了
It's a K-song but not the trashy type, and that's always a good thing.

18. 林宥嘉-
19. 林宥嘉- 感同身受

Best album this year. Sometimes, no other words are needed.

20. 卢广仲 - 七天
Nevermind that this album failed to surpass his previous one - it's still very enjoyable and full of positive energy. And that's what we all like about him, isn't it?

Fish Leong and A*mei didn't impress me this year. I would love to include a few tracks from 许哲佩's newest album but it's too recent and not even available in local stores yet. So that about sums up my journey with mandopop this year - it was certainly a good one and we don't seem to need Jay Chou anymore.
posted @ 11:25 PM | 5 comments

About Me

byponders is no longer in his early twenties, but still spends too much time pondering the imponderables and enjoys an occasional dose of arty goodness. He looks forward to having his own library, Bloomberg machine and walk-in Heineken fridge one day.


Business Times
BBC News
Yahoo! News
Idea of the Day
Slate Magazine
Telegraph Travel
Mr Brown
Rotten Tomatoes
Sinema Old School

Other Reads

Bridge Over the Ox
Corrinne's Musings
A Sip of Tea
Ready for Takeoff
Roti John
Pick of the Pops
Crap Spot dot com
The Salad Days
Secrets of the Subway
Never Grand Enough