Divers do it underwater

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: All You Need Is Love – The Beatles – 1967-1970 Disc 1, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

The other night, I went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where this diving magazine was having some event. This event was so exclusive you could only get an invite if you had internet access at home, went online, entered your phone number, and received an SMS with an authorisation code which you then had to show to the magazine’s people at the door, so they could give you a piece of paper that entitled you to one free drink. Or, you had to be a bona fide card-carrying diver. And if you were, the magazine’s people at the door would make you complete a four page long survey form before they gave you that piece of free drink paper.

So before I went to the HRC, I went online, entered my phone number and waited with bated breath for my free drink authorisation code SMS, and as you can imagine, I was beside myself when I received it.

Like everyone else, I have some diver friends, so I wasn’t without familiar company. I waited for my diver friends for an hour, and then for another half hour while they shared a pen to complete their four page survey form. Then for another two while they swapped diving location stories. Then I got a word in sideways and I sez to them, ‘can we order some food now?’. Good thing my diver friends were hungry too.

During and after food, me and my diver friends mingled with other divers, and I was asked more than once where my last dive trip was, and I answered the same number of times that I didn’t dive, never dove, never could dive, because I preferred being on the surface.

You don’t know what you’re missing, they all tell me. I tell them I know, and I will join the Cult of the Underwater Breathing Apparatus Users as soon as I’m good and ready with some spare cash. Like every other cult and their members, they are thrilled to hear this, but their excitement suddenly wears off when I tell them I think this event is the only way engineers and IT CONsultants can get discounted drinks at nightspots (show your diver card and get 20% off, woohoo) because I didn’t think there was a single nightspot that had an Engineers Night or IT Consultants Night. Hey, joke only lah, I also not Law or Media or Finance whaaat.

There was another bunch of diver types discussing what make and model of camera was suited for underwater use. Something about allowing closer focus distance or something, then they showed me some snapshots they took of themselves underwater in Manado, Sipadan and other such like underwater diving places. I told them they could juggle positions in all the group photos and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. I’m the one with the green mask, one of them said.

I wasn’t making many new friends, so I sauntered across the floor to this table with several computers showing video clips of underwater fauna and flora. There were two girls there, and one of them chatted with me for a bit, telling me about underwater fauna and flora and where they could be found in and around Singapore (erm, underwater?). Next thing I know, I bought a brochure for $2.50 called ‘Guidesheet to the amazing marine life of the southern shores of Singapore’. Pretty wordy title, but chock full of pictures and interesting bits of information, like the legends of Pulau Hantu, Sisters, St John’s and Kusu Islands, as well as bits about how you can still go see coral reefs and reef flats without as much as touching scuba gear, and in Singapore too.

Must go already lah. Who’s game?

East Coast Lagoon Food Village
Much rather buy beer here.

Surf stop: Wild Singapore

Chestnuts Press Release

Click on picture for Sistic Bookings

Chestnuts is back and, mamma mia, what a show we have in store!

Introducing the new killer pairing of Jonathan Lim (Chestnuts creator and veteran of 8 years) and Singapore Boy Hossan Leong, fresh from his own one-man show!

This 8th installment of Singapore’s only LIVE parody show promises more hard-hitting spoofs and merciless stabs at all things popular and artsy! Get ready for non-stop comedy sketches and parody songs as this madcap duo poke fun at our favorite movies, plays, TV shows and current events! The action is fast-paced, the costume changes countless and the humor unstoppable!

This year, Chestnuts returns to its 1996 birthplace Jubilee Hall with all-new wacky spoofs of 2004’s hottest films like Kill Bill 2, Peter Pan, Troy, 2046, The Grudge, House of Flying Daggers, Dawn of the Dead, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alien Vs Predator, Exorcist: The Beginning,The Stepford Wives and Catwoman.

PLUS parodies of hit shows like Mamma Mia!, Singapore Idol, Friends, Extreme Makeover, Top or Bottom, Private Parts, Aladdin, The Vagina Monologues and Wills & Mergers

a dig at those ridiculous cinema pre-show ads…

TheatreWorks Does the Olympics, a parody of the Life! Theatre Awards and a tribute to the (still) pink theatre scene…featuring a different special guest each night joining us for a hilarious live chat-show about topical issues such as studio mergers, blackouts and celebrity pregnancies (and the conspiracy that links them all…)!

More details on Chestnuts past and present here.

Critics sayÂ…

“…should be seized on with delight… the performers are so adept at sending up everything that anything goes. Their repertoire is vast, and the action fast as the sketches are trotted out at whirlwind pace… the wit and style matches the very best of satire.”

– Ron Banks, The West Australian, 1998

“Lim and Yeo have so much fun and their work is so polished that you can’t help enjoying it… Lim has an extraordinarily beautiful face capable of registering the subtlest of emotions, and a chimerical ability to change character (and he also looks hilariously genuine in a dress).”

– Grant Cottrell, Xpress (Perth), 1998

“Clever as the writing is, the real charm of Chestnuts lies in the frenetic energy displayed by its performers… a remarkable chemistry between them…”

– Jeremy Samuel, The Arts Magazine, Mar-Apr 2002

“The quality of the show was just overwhelming. Conceived to crank out the most number of laughs from a (preferably) local Singaporean audience in one and a half-hours, it certainly did its jobÂ… Mad men they clearly wereÂ… the show shines ever so brightly. I can honestly say that I haven’t had this funny a night out in a long timeÂ… Regretfully, I can only ask myself why I didn’t find out about it earlier. Oh well…”

– Adi Soon, The Flying Inkpot, 2000

“The show is very funny and I enjoyed it very much. I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s show.”

– Glen Goei on 2003’s “Chestnuts Unloaded: The Curse of the Black Pearl Bubble Tea”

“Chestnuts is definitely roasting on an open fire – and it has been getting hotter with each year.”

– Zhou Junli, The New Paper, Dec 2003

Shows: 24th November – 27th November, 8pm (and 3pm Saturday).

Things that make me smile despite

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Adagio – Secret Garden Feat.david Agnew – 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

You know you’re stressed when you feel a headache come on out of nowhere.

There are moments like this at work, and today had one of them.

There are a couple of autistic children who attend the school my business partner/colleague and I teach at, and I’ve griped before about the problem of mainstreaming special needs kids in a public school with forty kids a class.

Joshua is one of the kids in P1, and his mother accompanies him at school every day, all day. Joshua spends all day running in and out of classes with his mother following close behind. He seldom attends our gymnastics PE classes, and when he does, he’s mostly disruptive and we have to pay extra attention to make sure he doesn’t run into the other kids, or worse, climb up the funny climbing thing that most government primary schools have in their halls.

Today, we had to move our lessons to the school’s music room because they were having one of those infernal end of year activities in the hall. Joshua decided he wanted to join his classmates for a spot of gymnastics. He burst into the room, with his mother close behind, and promptly charged across three lines of kids doing line drills. Instant headache time.

Me, I went into panic damage control mode, charging up and down the room making sure Joshua wasn’t going to run into things and other kids. Half angry, I told his mother the room was a bit small for us to be handling 40 kids and her son.

Then my business partner/colleague, who is the expert head coach special needs specialist with twenty years’ experience, showed how it was done. He simply picked Joshua up every time the boy tried to get in the way of his classmates, playfully swung him upside down, downside up, placed him down out of harm’s way, and carried on instructing the rest of the class. Seamless.

Near the end of the class, Joshua actually attempted a forward roll all by himself, and succeeded. Elated, we tried getting him to do another couple of rolls, but he shot off in the opposite direction and started jumping up and down at the other end of the classroom.

I looked at the back of the classroom and saw his mother beaming proudly. When the class was dismissed, I went and apologised to her for not being able to give Joshua the extra attention he required. She thanked me instead for being able to let Joshua play. I think Joshua was happy too.

My business partner/colleague? Just another day’s work for him and his fab skills. I’ve got a lot to learn and I know it’s worth learning, because to make Joshua and his mother act as if some miracle had just happened is pretty much the ultimate reward for a long day’s work.

Soup Restaurant
Soup Restaurant, DFS

Surf stop: HaXi The Life

Who’d have thunk it?

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Siboney – Connie Francis – 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Two ex-girlfriends in town on the same week. It’s the X-GF Expo 2004! So busy, so busy. Thank goodness the wifey understandee.

half moon face
Look Hercules, it’s Cyclops

Hangin’ out at the arcade

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Perfidia – Xavier Cugat – 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Because today’s a public holiday, Sunday night was without that familiar cramp in the neck from thinking about Monday’s workload, even though I actually have to work later in the arvo today.

A friend is visiting from DC, where she’s been working with the World Bank, at a totally unenviable job, where she gets to jet around to such horrible places as Vientiane, Dili, Nuku’alofa, Apia and every other Third World capital you could poke a stick at. No, I don’t envy her job at all.

As you can imagine, she gets really bored with Singapore really quickly. She arrived Thursday evening, and already she’s suffering urban island fever. So, it was up to the wife and I to think up something exciting for her to do. I suggested karaoke, the wife suggested arcade games. So, arcade games it was.

Sunday night at the Superbowl Superfunplace or somesuch was pretty quiet for a Sunday night, and we got to play some of the more popular games, like the use gun and shoot people one, and the drive car really fast one. My World Bank friend was very reluctant at first, but warmed up after she found her favourite game, the shoot the bubble one.

Then as we were skipping happily from one machine to another, a very familiar voice called out my name, and a hand was laid on my shoulder. Bugger. Gangsta from my gangsta past, I thought. Then I remembered I had forgotten that my old platoon mate actually owned the Superbowl Superfunplace. Then I remembered this platoon mate is the only person ever to have beaten the crap outta me.

The wife says my face was white as snow as I excused myself to join my old mate for a coffee in his backroom office.

Of course, nothing untoward happened, else I wouldn’t be here blogging. No, actually, if anything untoward happened, I’d have a lot more to blog. But you know, life’s pretty straight these days, and for that platoon mate of mine, pretty depressing, it seems. Business ain’t that great at the Superfunworld.

After we finished $20 worth of coins, we took my World Bank friend out for prata, but couldn’t find a single prata shop open, so we ate chicken rice instead. There, my World Bank friend continued griping about how she thought her brains would melt if she stayed in Singapore for an extended period of time. She said it was amazing how parochially suburban Singaporeans tended to be. I said, no leh, before changing the subject to what colour my new car’s interior was going to be, and how expensive my car repayments was going to be, but how it was still cheaper than running my old bomb of a car.

Then everyone got a bit tired, even though we tried our best to ngeh ngeh stay out the whole night. Three police road blocks later, we got home, and here I am, blogging about everything this evening. Parochial what parochial?!

East Coast Lagoon Food Village
The most beautiful hawker centre on the planet. East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Who cares if no one outside Singapore knows wtf a ‘hawker centre’ is? (Is it a place where people go play with their hawks?)

Surf stop: Gothamist