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BY Nigel

01/01 Direct Link
Well I've been reading all these deep, reflective blog posts on 2009 and how the year went for everyone. 2009 was the busiest year of my life, and as much as I would love to write me one of those posts, I don't really need to. I'm pretty clear as to how I feel about pretty much everything, and I'm not confused or lost as to my underlying motivations, and I don't suppose I need to stop and look back. 2010 will be over even faster than 2009, so from now on, all engines on maximum thrust, no looking back.
01/02 Direct Link
Today I bought a shirt! This, to me, is a momentous occasion. I was never very good at buying clothes. I suppose I became fashion-aware at the age of 12 or so, and since then I've never been really good at buying clothing for myself. My mom's not any better. (This I realised at 15, when I became fashion-independent.) I realised that I tend to buy clothes that match all my other clothes and because of that my style is pretty much the same all the time, and it never shows evidence of sudden change, only gradual evolution. 
01/03 Direct Link
I quite like talking to my juniors. 

They say advice is a form of nostalgia... True, to some extent, for me. A lot of the stuff I tell my juniors to do is the stuff I never did for myself. I just wish I'd had seniors to tell me the kind of thing I'm tellng my juniors. I wish I'd gotten myself some seniors.

And now I wish I'd gotten myself more juniors, because I know so much of what its like and what they're going to go through and I just feel like I should teach them.  
01/04 Direct Link
Banner painting today was sluggish and just draggy in general. I got down kind of late after training, and stupidly ate KFC for lunch. Oil + Gassy Drink = Braindead.

 I must have stayed for at least 5 hours and I feel so unaccomplished right now. Starting on new stuff always requires a certain amount of activation energy. Looking at 50 square meters of blank white cloth is just daunting.

Proverbs 28:19 - Where there is no vision, the people perish..."
 
Well at least we finally got started, and we more or less know where to go from here. 
01/05 Direct Link
Station Games dry run today taught me that I am highly competitive, unscrupulous, and unsportsmanly. Today I was just rotten; trying to find loopholes in the rules, arguing over misinterpretation, distracting opponents.

Yes, it's fun to win, and we did win a couple of games, but I think I went too far. Dry run wasn't even a big deal.

I guess that's why I like Rugby. The rules leave no room for misinterpretation and you can do pretty much anything you like. I'm wondering if I'll ever grow out of this deeply ingrained "give 100%, all or nothing" mentality.
01/06 Direct Link
This morning I woke up 2 hours late and rushed down to the range in a frenzied panic to arrive 2 hours late for training.

Today was the day we shoot 2 qualifying rounds that decide if we're going to compete in Thailand, and coach is, in one word, unpredictable, and simply said "too bad..." when he heard I was late.

When I got to the range he said "thou shalt shoot the second round with them." 

Ah, redemption. 

Somehow I managed to pull off a decent score, and it looks like I'M GOING TO THAILAND!
01/07 Direct Link
Today you showed me that we can still be friends. I'd anticipated many awkward moments, I experienced none. I don't know how you do it. You seem to always know exactly what to do. I was incredibly I think I've told this before; I'm so glad with the way it worked out; everyone is happy, nobody has to avoid anybody. 

I think over the last couple of weeks I've been gradually learning how to talk to you again, because things are a little different now, and sometimes it gets hard but you make it all so much easier for me.
01/08 Direct Link
I find myself very behind on updating my 100words. It's supposed to be a daily thing, and I find it incredibly hard to discipline myself to do it daily. The first week was okay because I was relatively much more free and relaxed but now I'm almost an entire week behind on my entries and now I just type this to randomly fill in the spaces that were left unfilled. This is really not the way to do it but I really want to complete all of the month of January. I feel as if it would set something free.
01/09 Direct Link
I won my first gold medal at AAS today. I didn't really entirely deserve it, though, because there were only 3 guys' teams and by just being there I was guaranteed a piece of heavy plastic to wear around my neck. 

Out of the 3 teams 2 were from RJ and when we saw our opponents we thought we'd be jostling each other for the silver. Turns out they weren't as incredible as we thought so it's Gold and Silver for the RJ men's teams. 

RJ also won:
Women's Recurve 2nd 3rd 4th
Women's Compound 2nd
Men's Recurve 2nd 4th
01/10 Direct Link
Proscenium is not the worst production I have ever watched. The absolute worst thing I have forced myself to watch was an abstract new age piece called Mercy.

"(the playwright) develops a meaningful language out of sounds that have no denotative meaning."

Yeah that is how bad it actually was. Little or no movement on stage, no sense, no English, no denotative meaning.

So yeah. Not the worst play I've watched in my life, but a very thoroughly disappointing one, to be absolutely frank.

That $22 will be the only lousy expenditure I will allow myself to make this year.
01/11 Direct Link
I (not so) recently found out that my grandfather was Malay. This makes my mother half malay, and me and my siblings quarter malay. This I cannot conclusively confirm, but I would very much like it to be true.  

Malays are so cool.

Malays have pretty good fashion sense, on aggregate. That means, discounting the outliers who wear tights instead of pants. 

Malays have this relaxed chilled out, friendly attitude.

Malays are generally close to their families, and they have big families. 

I think I quite like being like a Malay, even if I'm not actually Malay.
01/12 Direct Link
Everywhere I go, I try to have a song in my heart and a spring in my step. It's an old cliche, but I like it. I think it's something like, you can't have a song in your heart if you're sad, or depressed. And so whenever I have a song in my heart I am not sad, and I am not depressed.

Similarly, a spring in my step tells me (and others) that I am having a great day, and that they should join in too. Everyone should have a great day together. The world is a happy place!
01/13 Direct Link
I daresay I had a great time today at Open House. I really enjoyed being a befriender. Today I was completely outgoing and not self-conscious at all. Talking to big groups in an informal setting has never been my thing, I never know who to focus my attention on. Today I focused on engaging the ones who were noisier, while still responding to the quieter ones when they said something. I'm improving at the fine art of conversation - out of necessity I suppose. The long walk from the gate to the registration booth would have been incredibly awkward otherwise.
01/14 Direct Link
Ok guys so here's the plan.

Next week I'm escaping to Thailand.

No matter that it's for 5 days.

No matter that we're staying in a lousy "no star" hotel.

No matter that we're not going to win anything at that competition anyway.

No matter that we're flying budget airline.

No matter that there might be political unrest.

No matter that I'll miss 2 or 3 days of school.

No matter that I might not sleep well.

No matter that we may not even get to go shopping.

None of all that matters. What really truly matters is that

I

Am

Escaping.
01/15 Direct Link

Early release today; everyone (Steph + Katrina + our new CT) is having surgery on some body part and can't come to school.

Today's the culmination of more than a month of planning and scrambling for the archery shirt and jacket. Since I got the idea of a plastic assembly kit this has perpetually been on my mind. It's been a long time and finally my baby is birthed.

The stuff is, honestly, not amazing. Mixed responses, and though this design is my best ever, I could have done a lot better with the arrangements.

I'll do better next time.

01/16 Direct Link
I put some new shoes on
and suddenly everything's right
yeah
I put some new shoes on
and everyone's smiling
it's so inviting oh!


Bought Zuriel his birthday present today, and he bought me mine.

We actually bought each other the same thing, in different sizes.

Yep, you guessed it, new shoes. Plain white slipons from cotton on that truly brings out the quarter-malay in us.

Can't wait for him to get a pair of nice jeans so we can wear matching outfits! Oh, my, gosh so exciting!

I'm a guy but I have 10 pairs of shoes now, and I want more!
01/17 Direct Link
I must admit. This new skin is a refreshing change from the previous skin. That blue skin was at least 4 years old and though I made attempts to change it over the span of my blog's life they were all unsuccessful. 

I suppose I changed skin because 
1. I'm starting on 100words, this is a new beginning of sorts.
2. I'm sick of not being able to post tiltles
3. I just realised that the old skin didn't allow commenting. Not that I expect anyone to use it much anyway.
4. This is much easier to mantain.  
01/18 Direct Link
I'm not good at birthdays. I'm really not good. 

I'm not like Steph, who can remember everyone's birthday. And I find that I am too lazy to go check regularly. 

Sometimes I do things for people on their birthdays, and I wonder why, because I never do anything for them. 

Then again it's not about reciprocity, is it now. If you want me to be happy on my birthday it doesn't mean that I need to first make you happy on yours. 

Friendship is a magical and wonderful thing. I guess I should stop abusing it. 
01/19 Direct Link
THINGS TO DO:
1. Exchange SGD for Baht
2. Check out luggage restrictions/guidelines
3. Choose which bags to bring
4. Settle travel insurance
5. Lighten bowcase load - get rid of all that dead weight!
6. Pack homework (yeah, rigght.)
7. Buy batteries for camera
8. Buy superglue
9. Buy Ziplocks
10. Cut fingernails

THINGS TO PACK:
1. Camera
2. Binoculars
3. Leukoplast!
4. iPod charger
5. Earphone splitter. Don't know if anyone shares my music taste..
6. PSP? Apparently we're going to spend a lot of time waiting
7. Double plugs, and two-pin plates. I don't expect the hotel to have very many wall sockets.
8. Lovely new white shoes. 
01/20 Direct Link
Today I visited my oldest uncle in hospital. He's my mother's eldest brother.

I never really talk to my relatives very much because they don't really know how to speak English, and I don't speak Chinese or Hokkien either.

Today I saw my uncle in a very different light.

Previously, he's that guy who sells Ice Kachang and smokes a lot.

Now, I see him as a man who's worked hard to provide for his family, and managed to put all of his 6 children through university, and I'd be surprised if there's a benchmark for success he doesn't meet.
01/21 Direct Link
We play cards and do icebreakers with the TP archers in the 5 hours that we have before the 2nd plane arrives. We get a little lost in Suvarnabhumi and there is a slight delay and the parents are not pleased. Bows in the pickup truck, luggage in the bus, we arrive in Pongpetch Guestotel (portmanteu, to save on neon signage) in the dead of night - 1am local time but 2am in Singapore. We settle in as quick as we can and go to sleep to prepare for the competition. Everyone's incredibly drained but also very happy to have arrived.
01/22 Direct Link
Breakfast at 6:30, to catch the bus which is supposed to come get us at 7:30. It arrives almost an hour late and we lose out on sighters but the weather is perfect; slightly cloudy, just enough wind to keep cool but not enough to affect shooting. And the ground is even.

Thailand obviously values Archery more than we do here in Singapore.

We shoot well in these conditions, despite just 3 hours of sleep. Girls' team wins a big bronze trophy, and we all troop down to Sizzler for dinner after 12 solid hours at the range.
01/23 Direct Link
I Wen and Anson shoot compound class this morning, and Qing Liang's trying out 70m in the afternoon. We cab down to support them for a bit before heading off to explore Mahboonkrong shopping centre while the PPCC kids go to some amusement park.

I kinda think shopping centres in Malaysia and Thailand inevitably turn into air-conditioned bazaars where you can bargain for better prices.

Shopping is tiring in the largest mall in Thailand. I spend most of my money on food and drink, ice cream and snacks. Seems like I'm perpetually eating. Which isn't exactly a bad thing...
01/24 Direct Link
Chatuchak Weekend Market is out first stop today. A huge space just for little flea market-style shops. WeiQi, Waiian and I take quite a while to find Aldric, Weikang and Tzeyang, who cabbed down separately.

From what I've heard/read this is somewhat legendary among flea markets in Thailand, but it was quite disappointing. It was simply too huge and too messy and too tiring to get through.

A few good finds though; teddy bear keychains, quirky t-shirts of acceptable quality, and pirated Onitsuka.

By lunch we are exhausted, and head back to MBK for air-conditioned comfort.
01/25 Direct Link
Last minute shopping at The Mall. Yes it's called The Mall. I miraculously manage to find that hat that I'd been looking for all day at Chatuchak and Suan Lum Bazaar.

We check out at noon and ride about an hour in a non-air conditioned bus to Suvarnabhumi. Mr Tang says it's because "in Singapore, ride too many air con bus. So enjoy it, don't complain."

After failing to find space on an earlier flight we check in 5 hours early and wait around, playing cards, napping, and almost mising the last call at gate D3.

Little plane flies fast.
01/26 Direct Link
Slight turbulence disrupts the meal service, but it arrives, and we play bowling and reversi and battleships (v fun!) on Krisworld while we eat.

Touchdown at 0045, local time. No DFS for us because we're not taking any chances with our bows. A security officer wants to check one of the bowcases to make sure we're not importing anything unlicenced. By a stroke of sheer luck he picks waiian's case, which only contains her bow. (The rest of us have packed our cases with gum and food and clothes and things.)

We clear customs with little difficulty, and head home.



01/27 Direct Link
Night before Orientation and I'm incredibly frazzled, I feel like I'm completely unprepared. I wonder if our OGLs felt like this on their night before Orientation, because on the actual day they seemed to have had everything prepared. We, on the other hand, don't even have our OG flag (which I am about to make) or our OG gifts (which are in a state of limbo in Matthew's locker. It's been a little bit of a rush, having just returned from Thailand to a week's worth of undone work, but we've got to pull ourselves together. Orientation in 1 day.   
01/28 Direct Link
HH03 starts of slow, and quiet. I guess all OGs are somewhat like that. They don't seem to like the OG name much, though. Gallbladder is a very weird name, admittedly.

Elope is fun, and bangbang draws a few laughs, there are polite giggles when Matthew, Becky and I do the introductions in Jaryl Lim style. "OHH, SHE DOESN'T LIKE FACEBOOOK!" But otherwise everyone is quiet, uncomfortable.

Dinner at amkhub foodcourt is followed by some uninspired ~bonding games~ in an empty space near the cinema. Everyone's tired and we end very quickly. OGLs go home hoping people warm up tomorrow.
01/29 Direct Link
EA goes incredibly. Well. Though we only have 1 OGL (and 0 first aid kits) we run everywhere and manage to come in 2nd runners up, garnering that Swensens Voucher we'd been cheering for all along. SWENSENS! VOUCHER! was literally our cheer.

Not much interaction, because everyone's running around, but the sweet smell of victory does wonders for group identity and helps a lot of people open up.

The very first Gallbladder Circle of Trust is formed at JustAcia over buffet Ice Cream and drinks, and a scandal is discovered in the handicap toilet. I miss all this for cellgroup.
01/30 Direct Link
It's invite night and Usher training, and consequently ushering, goes quite badly. I leave Yishun feeling absolutely awful and have no idea why.

Gallbladder has dinner at Plaza Singapura foodcourt.

Sarah gets a lesson in hokkien after ordering teh ping.
Richard gets the joke.
Alvin gets pushed off his chair.
Chin Jie gets everyone's leftovers.
Wang Li gets briyani.

Benson leaves early.

The Remnant heads down to Istana Park for the second Gallbladder Circle of Trust. This doesn't end well for me, after losing a round of Indian Poker. But Becky was right, this does break barriers and it works.
01/31 Direct Link
The weekend's been a sort of respite from the hustle of Orientation, I haven't managed to catch up on sleep much but at least I'm less stressed.

In between services, I head down to Chinatown to practice our set for Take 5 Talenttime. We start late and I have to leave early but we make do with what we can.

I receive awful news when I get back home to my inbox- I am to be a wargames helper, meaning I can't follow Gallbladders around.

Admin work keeps me up till late, I can't wait to get back to Galvea.