Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rain, rain, go away

Matt's school was to have taken them to the zoo yesterday. The weather forecast the day before predicted thunderstorms in the Mandai area. True enough, we all rose to a grey, drizzly morning. So Sean got him to pray for the rain to stop. We also found him singing the "Rain, rain, go away" song to himself while getting ready. He was being terribly excited about the whole idea of the trip. I felt my heart sink.

On the way to school, to prepare him for a very likely disappointment, I said, "Matt, if it rains, you all won't go to the zoo anymore. But it's ok right? Your school will bring you another day."

"Don't worry about the rain," Matt replied, all bright and cheerful. "Just pray!"

They all had a lovely time at the zoo that day.

Friday, July 08, 2005

5 years today

Has it been that fast? The wedding is still quite fresh in my mind. Much has happened and I hope I've improved, but generally I still feel very much like the old me. I think he's improved more than I have in these 5 years.

Whatever it is, I'm looking forward to our dinner date tonight.

UPDATE 14 July 2005

About that dinner date, it was great! I wore the wedding dress and jewellery, but had to get out of the car and cross the road to make our reservation time at Ja'an. Traffic was insane around the Raffles City area because of the International Olympics Committee meeting going on there. I also had to pass through a metal detector in my full regalia - security was at a peak with people like the British PM and French president appearing for the IOC sessions.

Ja'an's a very nice and cosy place. Tiny, with a fantastic view. We could see the roads from Shenton Way to Nicoll highway all snaked up with lights from the crawling cars trying to get home after work or into the city for the night. The padang was also decked out in preparation for the national day celebrations. They must have been doing some technical runs. Laser beams and floodlight spots were alternately sweeping and crossing the air above it, even running directly on the underside of the cloud cover like it was a ceiling! It occurred to me that Batman must have had a problem on clear nights - there wouldn't have been a cloud screen for the signal to show up against.

We were served an unexpected appetizer of samosas with mango dip, compliments of the chef, followed by bread, then our orders of a scallop starter, veal for him and lobster for me, topped off with an orange creme brulee. Yummy! I've to add, they actually billed us for the samosas.

A couple beside us had a digital camera and we got them to take some pictures of us, but we've not heard from them yet...


UPDATE 25 July 2005

We received the pictures! Nice. But I look like I've a fat face.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mannly music

More on Aimee Mann's music. I've realized that I cannot appreciate her songs completely when I'm in high spirits. Perhaps it's that twinge of sadness that runs through her material, the way her voice lingers just a moment more than you expect, that tells you all is not as chirpy as the melody suggests. Or maybe it's how you feel she identifies with and expresses pain that's somehow comforting; you feel that she's on your side. Of course, her lyrics are often sarcastic, and sometimes downright blunt - "As we were speaking of the devil, you walked right in" - but as with most music it's the sound itself that carries the emotional tone.

The great thing though, is that it manages avoid falling into the other extreme of despondency by keeping the arrangement and textures light, and the instruments clearly separated. Mann's "Little Bombs", for example, is a shuffling, stifling, introspective number that recalls Natalie Merchant's signature sound, without the overbearing gloom that sometimes afflicts the latter's work. I can just imagine the song in Merchant's Ophelia or Motherland albums, being dragged down by a host of strings.

And Aimee manages this delicate balancing act so expertly throughout her sonic musings. Sweetest in its tragedy, most delicate in its bitterness, she mixes cynicism beautifully with tenderness, resulting in some of the most surprisingly palatable pop I've come across. Just not when I'm perfectly happy...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I've passed! I've passed!!

Yay!!! After 2 semesters of night classes and Saturday morning classes, it's such a great feeling to know I've passed the final exams and have been awarded the Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law (Merit). All right!!!

Now my bond starts.