Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yehudi Menuhin 2010

Oh. My. Goodness.

That sums up my time there.

10 blissful days, 13th to 23rd of December 2010, in that awesome school, with amazing professors from the royal college of music, trinity school of music, chetham's school of music, etc. What can I say more? Those 10 days were just days for learning, making friends, common rooming, staying up at all hours of the day, rushing for available practice rooms, going crazy in the snow, etc etc etc.

Happy days. Invaluable indeed.

Jane, Benjamin, Chyh Shen, Timmy, Ryan, Josh, Andrea, Audrey, Celeste, Chun Han, Eng Shen, Pearl, Wan Ern, Lois, Samuel, Dennis, Samantha, Warrick, Shian Li, Su Ern, Julian, Hoe Tian!!!!!!!! The awesome 26 of us had the time of our lives!

Thanks to Bobby Chen of course :D.

Bobby-Chen-front-300dpi.jpg


Our very own Malaysian prodigy who went to Yehudi Menuhin at the age of 9.

All pictures are on Facebook. Too many to post here haha :D

I miss you guys like mad! We must meet again <3


Sunday, November 28, 2010

After the fun...

...come finals.

gahhh.

I had the most fun I ever had in a longgg while. Thank goodness I was able to travel to my aunt's place for thanksgiving! Well needed break, yummy food, intense shopping, great deals, etc. I barely opened my gchem textbook or studied for my other subjects. or practiced.

So now I'm hoping I'm not in deep trouble. Finals come in a week.

Lots of studying ahead :/.

***

On a completely different note, I still feel that I take ages to write essays. Or anything, in general. Writing never came easily to me. I grow wistful whenever I read a beautifully written piece or ruminate over throught-provoking blog post. Words come so easily to those authors!

like breathing.

I'd then head over to my blog, my mind bursting with all the lovely, worded, gems that inspired my soul and spoke to my heart. The moment I click on "New Post," my mind goes blank. As expected. What shall I write to the world that will clearly mirror my thoughts? What can I pen down that will capture and stir others?

I do not, ever, want to become a writer that sticks pretty phrases around. It needs to be natural. However, I certainly can use a little more imagination.

meh.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Indecision

So it was Career Day at PUC, and as the name explains, it's supposed to HELP you decide your career path. Instead, I'm now torn between two (I've always been torn between two). Music and Medicine. The two big Ms in my life. Also the two big Ms that have been giving me a lot of unsettling thoughts lately.

I talked to the person in charge of music. She told me that I had one problem - too good at too any things. psssh! THAT is so not true! And coming from a soprano in San Francisco Conservatory. Hahaha.

So anyway, I talked to an ER doctor, an X-Ray technician, and a Physical Therapist. ER doctor - big mistake. I was again swamped by the idea of doing BOTH medicine and music, which is, essentially, impossible.

In the end, I won a PUC t-shirt for talking to so many career advisors.

Indeed.

The t-shirt was pretty :]

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Well...

So right now the little clock on my desk reads 10:15 pm. I really should be getting into bed because I'm skyping with my parents early tomorrow morning....but...I CAN'T NEGLECT MY AVID FOLLOWERS HERE. heh perasaaaaan :/.

BTW, PUC orchestra will be playing for church tomorrow. I'm so excited! (Now you
see my OTHER reason for getting up early). LOL.

I'm loving PUC so far. Chemistry is demanding but so much fun - thanks to tw
o of the most amazing chem professors. The way they make chemistry so tangible in everyday life is awesome. And gahhh, though gchem lab is rather annoying at times, it's great to get some actual hands-on after hours of twiddling with numbers and plugging in equations (stuff I usually do without thinking, and still somehow manage to get the right answer. at the mo, at least :p) Now...chem lab is a whole different story.

Ohhh. Music. The music faculty here? It's pretty good, really. I'd rather talk about music in another post. It won't be fair to the other paragraphs if I do it here, splashing a myriad of music ramblings and running off-topic. It there is a topic, really. mmm...

I love the environment here; the beautiful pine trees and mountains, the deliciously cool air, the amazing people. Sure, I miss home. But that's how life is, and I keep telling myself that time will pass quickly since I'm enjoying myself and am so busy.

And thank goodness for skype :].


















heee.

Friday, October 29, 2010

No joke.

I'm beat. Thursdays are bad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Suddenly

Oh maaaaaaaaan.......I haven't blogged in the longest time. And if you should know, WAY TOO MUCH has happened since that I haven't the faintest idea of where to start.

Smth: MIDTERMS ARE OVER.


And you have to idea to what that random gibberish means because I haven't elaborated on the happenings before.

dang.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finally...

...I got the baby I've been dreaming of for months:

Aww. So what shall I name her?

And her?

Wheee <3


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Little things that matter

I just realized that I won't be seeing my home for a whole year. Gone are the carefree days of waking up in my room, slapping the alarm clock silent, delving into the oh-so-fresh sheets of sleepy goodness, and then suddenly realizing that Mom is shaking me (rather violently at times) to snap me out of my blissful slumber.

Gone are the days where I study together with my dear bro, catching up with our imaginary friend, and engaging in our rather pointless/pathetic self-stated intellectual quarrels (we claim in develops on-the-spot critical thinking and mental prowess).

No more lessons with my dear music teachers who have taught me ever so much and have invested to much time and energy in bringing out the best in me. As passion breeds more passion....their love for music has evidently captured my senses and radiated throughout my whole being.

And church. My home church. A place for worship and devotion. A place where I had countless opportunities to serve and develop my talents. A place where everybody encourages one another and influences each other for good. A place to grow and to help others grow; a place and people that embrace one single vision: to love God, honor Him, and serve Him.

And my family. Oh how I will miss them! It's no small change for one who has been homeschooled and has literally grown together with the ones closest to her. Owh, my heart aches at the thought of leaving my beloved family.

And to all my friends and companions - thank you for loving me and being there for me. Seriously lah, it's no joke to be moving away to strange place without all you amazing people. It's tough, but I'll hang on and hopefully settle down quickly! Will remember all of you - there's facebook, skype, blogspot, and all the other wunnerful technological tools too keep us connected =D

It's not goodbye forever (though it seems like it at the present moment).

Every goodbye makes the next hello closer.

In transit

HELLO everybody! I'm in Taipei Airport now. There's internet connection. It pleaseth me much.

iloveimissilongforeverybodyinpenang.

wow, random much :p

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ohh life...

It's my last day Penang. I don't know what to think.


***

3 hours later


I STILL don't know what to think.

So much has been going on in my mind today.....so much so that my brain's been struck dumb.

Maybe will try later....much later....

Monday, August 30, 2010

THE Raynasauraus Gathering 2010

Thanks to Jane!!! We, the Raynasaurauses FINALLY had the gathering we were all hoping for :D.

Yes, I have developed a special afinity for Esprit mannequins since that day :p

Will miss all you lovelyehh people terribly. Looking forward to next year! Love ya'll much.

Group pic!


We took a pic in esprit while waiting for Mr. Raymond to choose his T-shirts!


And guess what we did? Raymond's epic idea :D
The Tuesday Group!

Oh happy times :]



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cramming

Eight books to go......not bad eh?

(I bumped 2 books off my stack)

*cheats* woops :p

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thoughts that may/may not relate to each other.

1. Ooh. I just found out that I have, at the least, 3 social appointments this week.
2. Violin results will be out in September. Looks like I'll be notified thru facebook. LOL.
3. I'm half-way done with packing. WHAT PROGRESS.
4. Spot barked in his sleep yesterday! He must be having one of his doggy dreams...which were interrupted by our laughing.
5. I bought two prettyyy scarfs from OFO just now :D
6. And a neat foldable wastebasket from Qbay on friday :D
7. 3/22 books done in 3 days.
8. I'll never finish the remaining 19 books by this Friday :/
9. I'm going to miss the Saturday night gatherings every week :(
10. I'm really going to miss lessons with Raymond and Mei Yoke.
11. Eugene and Dad are watching Terminator 2 on TV now. How amusing.
12. I just found out that my college subscribes to over 800 periodicals, and owns over 30,000 media items. *rubs hands in glee*
13. Should I audition for orchestra or symphonic wind ensemble in college? Or both?
14. Samantha has over 8GB of music in her.
15. Carl Vine's Sonata is great listen, a pain to learn all the notes and out-of-the-ordinary timing :/
16. I watched Karate Kid which was too cute.
17. And watched Sherlock Holmes. AWESOME SOUNDTRACK. (Eliz!!!)
18. It felt so strange without practicing the piano, violin, flute in a day.
19. And..try as I might, I'll never become a literature person.
20. More human anatomy for me please.
21. Eugene is improving tremendously in his hymn improvisation and congregational accompaniment (thanks to me of course).
22. Shelfari is an amazing tool. Me likey.
23. I'm craving for the mee goreng along Bangkok Lane.
24. I know that math, algebra, and calc are going to be a part of general eds for every college. But I'm wishing it's otherwise, for very obvious reasons. *cringe*
25. PUC is revamping their dining commons and campus center. They should tackle the dorms next! I want squeaky clean, spotless bathrooms! HAHAHA.
26. I want to read 'The Feminine Mystique' by Betty Friedan.
27. And 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand.
28. And some of Jodi Picoult's books.
29. I can't find Nos. 26 & 27 in either Dalat, MPH, or Borders. Owh.
30. And oh! Thanks for the book, the uber pink key-chain, and your note on college survival MX! Hahaha.
31. Basketball resumes this Wednesday!!!
32. It will be my last.
33. So I need to get in shape and sink in those 3-pointers. Last chance la...
34. Last week in Penang. Gotta make the most outta it.

Ciao people :]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The race.

Wow. I was out the whole day when I should have been home packing. Sigh. Whatever.

So anyway, besides packing, shopping for last-minute stuff, eating the food people have been feeding me as if I won't see Penang again - I've been reading. Voraciously.

Reading as much as I can before college starts, when homework and assignments deprive me from this pleasurable habit.

I borrowed 22 books from Dalat yesterday. Let's see whether I can plow through the whole lot by next Friday.

It's been a rat race for me this year. Rushing to complete my music. Frantically preparing for concerts and auditions and church events. Dealing with the death of my dear doggie :(. Packing (reluctantly), shopping (happily), eating (while promising myself I'd work out later).

Then there's the mental and emotional side as well. Like how I feel super hyper and excited about college, meeting new people, and learning, but also how unsettled, sad....reluctant about leaving everything I love and am familiar with.

It's no surprise I'm left exhausted and dazed.

So I shrug everything off and make the best I can out of this very high-strung year. I'll be off in less than two weeks, people. My heart yearns to be at both at places at once.

But then I can't have everything...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Small Steps

This book caught my attention, due to fact it was a written by Louis Sachar, who wrote the ridiculously genius Holes.


It was rather dissapointing, probably because I had sky high expectations after reading Holes. Still, it wasn't all that bad. At least I can see why it appeals to kids. Sachar is, after all, a children's author.

I like his style :]

wading through...

I plowed through my unbelievable mountain of clothes today, half of which I don't even wear. I have too many t-shirts I wanna bring >.<>may have already hit 23 kg. *yiiikes*

I. Hate. Packing.

It prevents me from blogging more often.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Carl Vine's Five Bagatelles



It's funny. I was never 20th century music person, particularly NOT one who would rave about the intricacies and expanse of strange chords, bizarre harmonies, and offbeat tempo. Believe me, all these characteristics combined makes the piece extra difficult to learn. But then, I have come to looove this set of five bagatelles (thanks Raymond!). It took months, but I have finally acquired my taste for it.

Here's a teeny bit of what I wrote as part of my research for this work:

"The Five Bagatelles are compact, compelling pieces that grew from a request for Vine to play the piano at the annual fund-raising dinner of the Australian National AIDS Trust in 1994. The Five Bagatelles features a fascination with rhythm and rhythmic structures that manifests itself in all of the highly contrasting pieces highlighted in some shape or form. While bagatelles are usually understood as a miniature form compared with a sonata - here, however, they are also in a sense about the largeness of a single musical moment or melody, held in focus while its internal life is explored."

This piece has opened my ears to the myriad of sounds and harmonies the piano is capable of. Ultimately, I'm glad this lovely set of five has helped me to grow as a musician. It taught me to think, not only of what was printed in front of me, but also its whole musical direction and soul.

What I'd like to tackle next? Carl Vine's Sonata.

One day. I hope.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

*pouts*

I shoudn't practice so much music.

I shouldn't be reading.

I shouldn't go shopping.

I shouldn't keep waltzing off to do the things I love.

I shouldn't be on the internet.

I should start packing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Argh

Oh the chaos of packing when you're only allowed 23kg per check-in bag.

I want to bring so many books. And books take up too much weight.

It drives me crazy.


*sighs in frustration*

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I dreamed a dream

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took by childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.



I get all emotional whenever I listen to this.
The words, the music, the emotion, the situation in which it was set;
it's heart wrenching.

I think that most of us have an idealistic view of how life should be. Take myself, for example. I have ambitions. I dream dreams. I have a perfect picture of how everything should be enacted right in my head. But life; it's different. It changes the picture. It's reality.

That's why I'm so glad I know a God who will always be there for me. It's reassuring to know, that despite the hardships, obstacles, changes, and inconveniences, there is One who is in control of it all.

He makes life worth living.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Freaky

This. It freaking awesome.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Numbered days

I have exactly one more month. And I have a feeling I won't be ready to say goodbye when that month is over.

Sighhh.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The awful extreme

To all bloggers: Do you ever come across something interesting during the day and go, "Ooh! Here's something to blog about!"

Or something to that effect.

It can be anything. From a delicious sentence you read, to an eye-catching picture, to the jogger who jogged passed you who looked weird, to a new music piece, etc. etc. etc.

And that's awesome.

But there's an extreme.

The extreme - being awfully involved in the whole blogging idea and obsessively trying to find something to blog about.


Personally, I find it rather pretentious to conscientiously look for topics to blog about. After all, writing should be a natural process. Mind you, I don't mean that you don't look for topics to blog about. I myself am alert to what's going on in my brain and around me, hence all my blog posts. What I mean is: Some people go around looking, hunting, searching for things to blog about. They try really hard to find some infinitesimal happening of the day, just for the sake getting another post on wall. It's pretentious, I tell you. And obvious too. More obvious than he/she thinks.

*note: I'm not directing this post to anybody. I'm just writing in general about some of my random observances of anonymous people.

"You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say."- F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love Fitzgerald's assertion. It's an idea I want to embrace and apply in writing. Truth be told, I'm light years away from the writer I want to be. As said before, writing was never part of me. I try, nevertheless, to change that mindset.

To shrug off presuppositions and embrace the now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And her name is...

Samantha.

Yup. That's her name. My External HD's name.

I feel the bond. I shall call her 'Sam' for short.

No offence, Prophet S. Hahahahahaha.

This. Is very random.

A sign I'm tired.

*yawnnn*

Monday, July 26, 2010

So...

Dalat has only two books on my to-read list :(. Better than nothing I guess *shrugs*

I've been wondering, how to people manage to decide what to read anyway? I mean seriously. I can enter a library/bookstore with a single book in mind and lose myself the moment I lay my eyes on the delicious array of literature.

I'm a terrible decision maker, if you haven't already known.

Currently reading: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I love how he portrays Death as the narrator. Very apt, I must say.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yup

I have to start clearing up my stuff. Mom says so.

And so I did.

I started off with my 21" by 12" shelf in the study room. Guess what. All the files and papers so very neatly arranged on my shelp turned out to be junk - perfectly organized junk acccumulating since the begining of high school. And I can't seem to decide what to keep and what to discard.

I'm a perfectly perfect pack rat.

Will attempt to start on my room tomorrow. I'll probably unearth more neat junk in my super neat room (thanks to Mom).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vague is beautiful

I have a thing for impressionism lately. Debussy and Ravel fascinates me. I'm even looking into impressionistic artists and writers which, coming from me, is horrifyingly unheard of.

Take this for example:



This sends shivers down my spine. All the colors Raymond constantly raves about impressionistic music have come to life.

Good sign :]

Fixed!

Eliz - you're a genius. Thanks heaps for letting me know about the adjust width thingy. Whoohoo. Probem solved :D

Type A personality with a raging perfectionist edge satisfied.


Yay :]

Nothing's perfect

Urghhhh.

Ever since I noticed, I've been trying and trying to fix the About Me section on my blog. I don't understand why the tiny lil write-up about myself can't start under the picture. It bothers me that it reads:

Ste
phie
In a
nuts
hell:

instead of:

Stephie
In a nutshell:

This is driving me crazy.

Sympathize with me. I'm a type A personality with a raging perfectionist side within me. I can't take this.

Somebody, PLEASE tell me how I can fix this.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I can smile now

Because the worst is over.

oh yeah.

Now I'm just gonna relax make full use of my time here while I still can.

It'll be easier, for now I'll be able to put my whole soul into music, without having the pressure of exams. And I don't mean that I didn't put my whole soul into the music while preparing for or during exams - I did. With all my sweat and blood. But there's something different about it when you're not rushing and striving to get that piece just right, ploughing through the endless technical exercises, soaking every advice your teacher has to offer, and finally hoping/praying you don't blow it in the examination room.

Now I have space. Space to explore new sounds, experiment with nuances, thoughtfully shape the phrases, widen my color pallete, and ultimately make the music my own. There is more to music than I initially thought. Music travels waaay beyond just getting the notes right, following all the performance directions on the score, and practicing endlessly on various technical exercises and studies. Even expressing and interpretating the piece requires thinking, decision making, listening to countless recordings (youtube helps, big time), and research. Only then, can you let go of everything you have absorbed and pounded in, and just let the music take you as you effortlessly glide over the notes you have gone over hundreds of times.

After all, music is more than just a number you put on a piece of paper. It's subjective; it deals a lot with tastes, character, and style. You can play a piece over and over again, and find something new each time. It's an endless journey, a lifetime of learning and discovery.

Which, again, explains why I love music so dearly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tada..

My new baby:

My beautiful 500GB external hard drive in which I will store all my precious documents/music/pictures/files.

Pocketsized too. How convenient.

Happy me :]

Now, what shall I name him/her?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Really...

There aren't enough hours in a day.

And I thought I figured that out ages ago.

*groans*

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm thankful...

...for everything God has bestowed upon me. And for my parents, bro, friends, teachers, and other notable individuals who have highlighted my life. These are the people who have molded me into who I am. They have defined my individuality and guided me throughout my rather short journey of life.

I'm planning to write a lil note about each of them. Soon. Later.

I start to have all these wistful thoughts now that I'm gonna leave soon. I'm excited to go, yet reluctant to let go of the things I cherish so much here. It's a mixed emotion, and as much as I loathe it, it's one thing I have to live with for the time being.

oh well...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The KL Chronicles

Oh how misleading the title of this post is. I was only there for two days. meh.


I managed to find the most amazing magazines at most amazing prices. RM 29.90 with free CDs! These magazines each cost up toRM 50 or more in Penang. That is, IF Borders orders them, WHICH they don't now since nobody buys them. *head desk*


Gramophone! And look who's guest editor? Nicola Benedetti!


Interview with Claudio Abbado. Article on Yuja Wang. Yayyy.


BBC mag!



And my fav: PIANIST. Paul Lewis on Beethoven! *diiies* and Fanny Waterman on musicianship - interpretation and phrasing.


Seriously, what more can I ask for? *happy sigh*

I'm looking forward to BBC's August 2010 issue: The 20 greatest pianists, playing fast, a review of the best Shumann's piano concerto recording by Jessica Duchen.

Now. How in the world am I'm gonna get my hands on that issue?

People in KL! *hint hint*


Btw, I also got this for a wicked RM 49.35:

Hal Leonard. Mozart Piano Concerto in D minor K. 466. Comes with orchestration accompaniment CD, so you can virtually play with an orchestra! Awesome stuff.


***


I also bought my bro A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Publication by Collins Classics featuring:

1. Life & Times - fascinating insight into the author, their work and the time of publication.

2. Glossary of Classic Literature - useful words and phrases at your fingertips.

And it was so cheap! RM 9.90.


Haha. It will be useful when he prepares for his SATs, and really, just for the sake of literary enjoyment and appreciation.



I love you Midvalley MPH and KLCC Kinokuniya.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My thoughts as of here and now

1. I love writing. Or rather, I have come to love writing. I used to *dislike* writing simply because I was lazy. Too lazy to think and voice out my thoughts, ideas, etc. Thank goodness I've managed to move past that stage! Anyway, Appassionato has been instrumental in providing me the space and incentive to write. Things I love about writing? Its escapist qualities, for instance. And the way it creates a medium for you to express yourself. And it's ability to discover and unravel thoughts you've never thought of before. And the way it challenges the boundaries of your mind, and heralds fresh, new ideas of various subjects, and at times, rather absurd fancies.


2. One of my 'activities' that partly feed my new found love for writing is music. I feel as if I've 'lately' come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of music. While I've always, always loved making music and exploring the expansive scope it brings, I have never really given thought to what I was doing; how that thought came to me is still a mystery. I've learned to open my mind to different textures and styles while hanging on and being able to relate to its older counterparts. Being able to hang on to styles in the baroque, classical, romantic periods, and embracing the fresh, often strange textures and tonalities of impressionistic/20th century music has equipped me with the mindset of appreciating the music for its worth and individuality, instead of how pleasing it is to my ears. Still, I have to admit that I'm a die-hard romanticist, and probably will remain so for a while.

3. And of course, reading. My literature these days consists of Homer, Shakespeare, and the like. I can't believe I'm actually doing this to myself. Cos' if you know me, literature and me are like acquaintances, rather than familiar friends. I'm not going to pretend I actually 'like' reading works from these literary greats. Honestly, they are fully capable of boring me to death. Still, I'm ploughing on...trying to 'see the light' some people rave about. Of late, I've been thriving on the TIME mag. And I still have a weakness for Agatha Christie's crime/mystery novels. Wooops :p


So amongst other rather minuscule things that have crossed my mind lately, here's the main gist of what's been going on in my rather complicated mass of gray matter :]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Raymond's concert was two days ago and my adrenalin's still pumping! Oh my goodness I can't love you guys enough! *hugggs*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carl Vine's genius

Carl Vine's 1st Sonata. Brilliant.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrZaQ-Oc8lM
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGG5rLJ8Lk

This rendition from Spencer Myer is particularly thrilling.

Ohhh listen to the strange, but altogether delightful harmonies, inner melodies, and motifs. The wide span of dynamics this piece encompasses is just amazing. And its tonal edifices - superb. This is going demand lots of concentration, comprehension, and communication from the performer.

I really wanna learn this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Overflowing bliss

This evening was A TOTAL BLAST. The excitement, the nervous laughter, the cold hands, the last minute run-throughs, the bows, the applause, the flowers (thanks Man Fei!), the countless pictures, etc etc etc. I can go on and on and on and on, but I gotta/havta stop.

It was an absolutely fabulous concert, with a wonderful audience, great performers, and Raymond: The best piano teacher in the world :].

My mind is running so much, I can't think enough to compose a proper post.

Pictures will come up later, I promise :D.

Eugene, Man Fei, Jane, Michael, Michelle, Chun Han, Janice, and Benjamin I LOVE YOU GUYS SO SO MUCH! I'm so thankful I know such epic people as ya'll are!

GREAT JOB EVERYONE!

Thanks Be To God.

Really.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Desires

I have cravings....

Read Queenee's post on our last escapade to Paddington's. http://neeneeboo.blogspot.com/2010/06/paddington-house-of-pancakes-with-steph.html



*drools*

I want more.

meh...

So I'm sitting on the family couch with my bro's laptop opened (I don't have a laptop. odd, that). And I'm thinking...does anybody, anybody at all, read my blog? With the exception of a few notable individuals, of course. lol

I mean, here am I, purposing to blog about my life on a regular basis. Everything's been going great, but I do feel that it's pointless at times and a little waste of time. On the other hand, I believe blogging widens boundaries and communicates to a larger, waaay larger pool of readers. (come on, compare that to a diary/journal). It also serves as a channel to express myself openly, a place to jot down happenings, and to note my start/*end* on creative, new obsessions.

Ahh well. All in all, I've come to the conclusion that I'll stick to it regardless of who reads/does not read Appassionato.

For the love of writing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy reminiscences of the day

I love our Te Deum Trio! Mike, Jane, and page-turner Eugene are amazing people. Period. The passion, energy, and enthusiasm, all lumped together makes us so motivated. And Raymond, we owe you so, so much. Thanks for everything :D.


Marvelous practice today.

Great fun.

Uncontrollable laughter.

What a way to end the day.

Whooohooo!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TS3

After a whole morning (and actually part of the afternoon) of music classes, we went to gurney to hang out with Elizabeth. I accomplished great things: got a pretty sweater, ate at sushi king, got stuff from Popular, and WATCHED Toy Story 3.

Without a doubt, TS3 was amazing. In perspective of what the producers have done in TS1 and TS2, TS3 has surpassed all of my expectations. A great storyline complete with new characters and scenes carved to the utmost perfection, TS3 totally opened a whole new dimension and enlarged its boundaries.



A must watch.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun, hyperness, epicness, all lumped into one

TONIGHT WAS FANTABULOUS! There's nothing like a gathering of hard core music lovers making music in their beloved music teacher's house. (overload of "music" I know but that's totally the point riiight?) :p

Eugene, Man Fei, Jane, Michael, Michelle, Chun Han, Janice, Benjamin! Ya'll are awesome/amazing/fantabulous/marvelous/epic. Take your pick.

And ASHLEY, you're adorable =)
And Raymond's the BEST piano teacher in the world. :D






I love you guys.

Small Wonder

Maaaaan.

I waited for 2+ hours for my name to be called today. Don't ask me why and what for.

ANYWAY.

I just had some of the most amaaazing noodle soup ever. Mom's a great cook. Better than all other mom's, seriously no joking. (teehee huge bias here).

On another note, I been delving into Barbara Kingsolver's collection of essays. I'm still in the middle of it, but reading the Foreword practically shaped my idea of the whole book. Or so I thought.

Written the day after Sept. 11, 2001, you might think the author might perhaps pen something comforting, uplifting, and assuring to placate, or rather, convey some solace to the chaos during that fateful time. Ironically, the Kingsolver's main thrust throughout the book was to delve deeper and deeper into the uttermost low. She proved that it is possible to move away from the vast, unbearable pain and loss by "diving into the wreck," to borrow the quintessential words of Adrienne Rich.

The unbearable suddenly becomes manageable.

This collection of essays ranges from current events, life happenings, and other issues of more general and enduring interest. A book for everyone who has suffered, or is suffering bereavement with honor, trepidation without faltering, and who has the faith to persevere - for one more day.

We may yet show the world we are worth our salt.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

And everything nice


I like this.
For very obvious reasons =)

Hanging on

When the going gets rough, there's always hope.



I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
***
Because he who conquers endures.
***
I know so.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a fact: you think more as you grow older

Two months left till my departure. Two measly months. Sighhh. And I feel like I want to accomplish more before I leave. There are a host of things to be done; not everything on my to-do list has been done just yet. And as we all know it, things ALWAYS crop up as the year progresses. Wholesome things, things that tempt the senses of the ambitious, things that stimulate thinking, and that motivates you to strive for excellence. Good things.

One question, however: In striving, and possibly gaining all these things, how did I use all these assets to benefit others? I mean, seriously, what's the use of gaining the whole world when you do not serve others, and give back what God has blessed you with?

Argh. How I long to have just a leeetle more time in Penang! I'm so not ready to leave my dear little island just yet. And I may never be.

As it has been since the beginning, time never waits. I have known this ages ago, but one can't help wishful thinking, no?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Looking fresh!

So I've decided to change my layout. I guess the old look finally got into me. I looove blogger's new template designer. And the slew of backgounds, I adore.

YAYYY :D

Of writing

I've always had this subconscious dream. A dream that I'll be come a writer/editor. It's funny, 'cos most of my high school education was geared towards the Sciences and music. Not writing. Strangely, I was never one who had a particular interest or aptitude for writing and literature/interpretation of literature. Perhaps I wasn't exposed (or was rather reluctant to be exposed) to that area of discipline.

I wonder how some people can write so freely, with so much liberty, creative ideas and aspirations. They are able to express themselves with such clarity and precision. It awes me to read blogs authored by mere 13-16 year olds who write with such originality and flair. And I, who is approaching 19 (sighhh) sometimes take minutes to compose a decent sentence.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being overly critical of myself, or am subtlety employing self-degradation. Still, Homer, Longfellow, Shakespeare, Smith, and the like are shady and ambivalent to me.

Nevertheless, "Every word written is a victory against death." I'll hang on to that for now.

Hmm. Thoughts and opinions are very welcome.

Dreams do come true

HAHAHA. I FINALLY GOT TO MEET WITH BOBBY CHEN.

*punches in air*


It was generally a great experience. Other than a rather*shocking* slip on my part, everything went almost as planned. Though I personally think I played better during the exam. Ah well.

Auditions for the 10-day stint in Europe will be in August. Anybody signing up?

July seems to be busier than ever. Yiiikes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Should I change my blog layout?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inside the Red Border

The world's most influential magazine - the TIME. Where everything inside its iconic red borders is worth knowing and whatever is outside..well, not so much. Richard Stengel, TIME managing editor sure painted an almost egotistical outlook to the magazine. Not that I disagree with his stance.

In a time of information overload, TIME understands that information needs editing, voices need moderating, data needs curating. Separating the crucial from the trivia is the core idea which I believe, has always animated TIME.

So anyway, Time has recently produced a new coffee-table book which celebrates its extraordinary legacy of art, photography and writing over the past 87 years. *drools* I want.

The book generally explores Time's original mission, much of which is just as relevant today. Depicting a stunning visual and cultural history of the times we've lived in, Time endeavors to challenge the minds of intelligent readers, who are interested in everything from politics to technology to art to religion.

One of the reasons why I believe Time has become so effective in transmitting information around the globe is because of its dedicated journalists. These writers have indeed "went as close as possible to the heart of the world" thus chronicling history as it happens.

There. I sound like I'm promoting the Time mag. It has been probably the only piece of literature I had for a while when I was too busy to read anything else, and has served as a means for keeping in touch with the world. Though I have to admit that some of its lengthier, weightier, articles are obscure to the general reader and are, at times, bordering on abtrusity, Times does faithfully convey a global, unbiased view of things.

Ohhhh. And their photography is amazing. :D

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here and there in the reaches of my current gray matter

Urgh. I might be switching to a conventional Bach prelude and fugue after all. The partita is going to take up too much time. More time than I have :(. *sob*

Nevertheless, any suggestions on the prelude and fugue?

***
I've been listening to a lot of Beethoven lately, which is not uncommon. And Mozart. YES. MOZART. And Bach.
.
Shubert's Wanderer Fantasie - I WANT.
.
Teehee.
***
I CAN'T BELIEVE BOBBY CHEN'S LECTURE/RECITAL AND THE MS CONCERT FALL ON THE SAME WEEKEND! *sob*
.
Sighhh. The vicissitudes of life.
.
I better keeping my mind busy to crowd out any grudging thoughts...
.
*scoots off to (relive) a few pieces*

Monday, June 21, 2010

HAHAHA

LOL Portugal's match with North Korea today was suchhhh a joke. 7-0 NO KIDDING!!!

Definitely siding Portugal on this one. Now, if they were against South Korea, it'll be a very different story...

Nevertheless for right now...


GO PORTUGAL!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Random thoughts in a random post

1. ARGENTINA WAS AWESOME
2. SPAIN BETTER NOT DISAPPOINT ME NEXT TIME
3. I really have to practice my violin
4. Thinking about Paddington pancakes makes me happy
5. I'm thinking of a possible switch to a bach prelude and fugue
6. Mangoes and more mangoes
7. I need to makes lists
8. Many lists
9. I need to get a new pair of glasses
10. MISSES WEDNESDAY BASKETBALL SESSIONS BADDDDLY
11. FreeRice.com can get word geeks like me hooked


I better start studying...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sighhh

It's been a rather disconcerting week. For reasons too personal to mention here, I won't be able to go to both of Bobby Chen's lecture/recitals. Biggg disappointment. Then others things cropped up throughout the week that left me rather....cranky. And unsettled.

I know I know. I'm whining like a spoiled child.

Sighhh. I need food. Spiritual food.


"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." James 1:1-6


True. Trials should produce growth, and the fruit we produce depends on our outlook. What a easy concept to grasp; putting it into practice is a whole different ball game.

Though wallowing in my current pool of depression, I'd better wake up and start facing these irritations head on. I need wisdom from God, and the patience to endure. Patience. That's the hard part for hyper, excitable me :/.

Gahhh.

Thank God it's already Sabbath. Much needed rest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So tell me why...

I've been taking forever to finish this book:




In The Great Influenza, John Barry has produced a massive and exhaustively researched description of one of the greatest disasters of human history. I was drawn to this while browsing along Border's medical/health section. Reading the preface confirmed my purchase. But gahhh, it has been months and I still haven't finished it yet.

Paperback. 560 pages. Humph. I should be able to finish it by the end of the month.

My skillful art of procrastination at work again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bach/Busoni

Gahhh. I can't decide. I need to choose. I can't. Please somebody help me decide.

Bach Partita no. 6 BWV 830: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6wuIgSSKPg

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor:
(part one) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnoSeI3APSg
(part two) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLIDrJQ7BFQ&feature=related

Do click on the links :). While Bach definitely is purely baroque in style (pfft but of course!), Busoni actually took Bach's works and transcribed them during his day, thus resulting in a more romantic character.

As of now, I'm leaning towards Busoni's chaconne, but then again I'm a natural romanticist.

To be honest, I feel that I need to do more baroque and 20th century stuff to keep from being a lopsided classical romanticist.

Maybe I should stick with the Bach partita. Or learn up a new prelude and fugue.

I wish I never discovered Busoni's chaconne! Oh the ever-present temptation.

*cringes*

I'm still undecided.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More food...

AHH PADDINGTON HOUSE OF PANCAKES IS AWESOME!!!

Anddddd.....JCO donuts! *diiiiies*

Surprise. I'm turning into a glutton.

I'm going back the Paddington's whenever I have the chance! Who wants to come along with me? :D

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seriously...

Just one Sakae Sushi buffet with MX and all my hard work dragging myself to the gym is gone!

I blame you MX >.<

So anyway, we ate. And ate. And slowly ate. Like gluttons. But that was last tuesday. Pictures will come later :]

So TODAY! Had to go for MY's house concert. T'was interesting. Had the usual fun :).

I'm craving for some good quality literature. Like Homer. Or smth about the Battle of Bunker Hill. Or some scientific dispute. Just something I can really get my teeth into besides food. LoL.

BTW I forgot. We had yogurt AFTER Sakae Sushi. Talk about extravagance.

*heads of to the gym*

*changes mind*

*heads to bed with a mental note to go the gym in the morning*

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Letter to Garcia

One February 22, 1899, the publisher of a small-town newspaper was discussing with a friend who the real hero of the Spanish-American War was. He wrote down his thoughts in an hour and put them in a leftover spot in his newspaper. Soon orders came for more copies, and eventually forty million reprints of that article were distributed around the world. This is a powerful testimony to the worldwide recognition of the importance of diligence.


When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgence, Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba - not one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly. What to do!

Someone said to the President, "There is a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can." Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia.

How the fellow by the name of Rowan took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle. and in three weeks came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot and delivered his letter to Garcia - are things I have no special desire to tell in detail.

The point that I wish to make is this: President McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" There is a man whose form should be cast in bronze, and the statue placed in every college of the land.

It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, to concentrate their energies: do the thing - "carry the letter to Garcia."

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other "Garcias." No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands are needed has not been appalled by the inability or unwillingness of workers to concentrate on a task and do it.

Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and halfhearted work seem to be rule. Put this matter to test: You are sitting now in your office - six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir" and go do the task? He will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions: "Who was he?" "Which encyclopedia?" "Was I hired for this?" "Don't you mean Bismark?" "What's the matter with Charlie doing it?" "Is there any hurry?" "Should I bring the book and let you look it up?" "What do you want to know for?"

After you answer his questions and explain how to find the information and why you want it, the clerk will no doubt go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find "Garcia" - and then come back and tell you there's no such man.

This incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and life - these are the things that drive employers to despair.

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizens of the sweatshop" and the "homeless wanderers in search of honest employment" and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowzy ne'er-do-wells to do intelligent work, and his long, patient striving after "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned.

In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interest of the business.

I know one man who has not the ability to manage a business of his own and yet who is absolutely worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the suspicion that his employer is oppressing or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders, and he will not receive them.

Should a message be given him to take to Garcia? Tonight, this man walks the streets looking for work. No one who knows him dares hire him.

In our pitying, let us drop a tear or two for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line indifference and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the boss is away as well as when he is at home, and a man who, when given a letter to Garcia, quietly takes it without asking any idiotic questions, and delivers it.

The world cries out for such. He is needed, and needed badly - the man who can carry a letter to Garcia.


Condensed and adapted from:
"A Letter to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Midnight rambles...

Hello. It's practically midnight and I'm still here. Blogging my life out as I promised I'd try. bleh. So what did I do today...

1. piano
2. violin
3. Bible
4. accompanying
5. music ministry meeting
6. Advanced seminar


So that's basically it. How very boring. Let me sign out before I bore you to tears.

Poor pathetic me. At midnight too. Gahhhh.

From a thankful heart

"God can do the impossible." There. Just one simple statement that sums up the past day, week, and...actually a few months ago. God has been especially good to me this year. Seriously. All the little things He has done, and the big, has been truly astounding.

I used to be easily stressed out and freak out on a regular basis. I still do, but am able to control it a lot better. This year, I find a calmness and sense of confidence and assurance I never had before.

It's a lil too public to post everything that happened, but without a doubt, God will bless those that FULLY put their trust in Him. That's hard for me to do. I'm the kind that innately relies on my own strength, often forgeting to put God first.

And so, for all He has blessed me with, I give Him all the glory and purpose to use my talents for His work.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Totally uncalled for

I know this is a really weird post that apparently does not connect with my previous one, but so much has happened and I don't know where to start.

This pretty much sums up my thoughts so far today:

MX IS ARRIVING AT 1:45 PM!!! ....and I'm stuck at home when I should be tearing myself to the airport to meet her.

What to do...no car la. Hah :/

So yeah, hoooray!

Maybe I should start blogging again once I recall what has happened since my last post. *mind swimming frantically*

Cheer me on!