19.11.01

Aloha! My site is back up. It went down for a while because my friend --- who's kindly hosting it for free --- had his machine moved to a new IP, and it took a while for the new address to disseminate its good self throughout the web after I changed it.

Of course, at the rate I am adding these journal entries, my friend may not want to host me for free anymore.

What a relaxing weekend it has been. This was the first weekend since mid-July when I didn't have to be doing work --- either work-work or university-work. And what a blissful weekend it was.

Okay, so Saturday started out not so blissful. I had to get up earlier than expected to drive Terz to his school for a staff seminar and then take myself off to pay our due-on-that-very-day car insurance. The woman at the office was startled that I had come so early, but I explained I had a ten o'clock appointment that would tie up the rest of my morning and she looked appeased --- barely.

From ten to twelve, I was tutoring this kid for the very last time before his big literature exam this coming week. He's a really odd kid --- like he was quite aloof and taciturn at first, but it soon became apparent that he has a strong vocabulary and a real interest in literature, despite his dispassionate exterior. I remember how neat it was when I finally got him to laugh. I've been tutoring him for over a year now and it's been nice; he even wants to continue to study literature next year although the subject combination he's interested in is pretty 'odd' by Singaporean conjugations, and I'm not sure he'd be allowed to, due to timetabling constraints. As it turns out, literature was the only A he got for his school's preliminary examinations, and I'm gratified.

I thought about going to the grocery store after that --- we're out of coffee filters, and I'm out of razor blades and almost out of toothpaste --- but the traffic I encountered along the way convinced me to head home instead. I napped, got up in time to watch Freaks and Geeks (which had a scene with a character reading a D&D Monster Manual --- pity Terz wasn't home to see that), hopped online for a while, then got dressed and zipped out for a wedding.

The wedding was nice. The bride and groom sang at the end, and they have lovely voices, so it was awesome. I have to admit I'm not too keen on being subjected to a song just-for-the-sake-of-it, but when the bride and groom do something that is clearly their forte, it's just beautiful. I wasn't so keen on the singing during the wedding service itself because it was the usual jazzed-up praise'n'worship stuff, and as someone who used to help run such a routine, I can tell you how meaningless it becomes after a while. Frankly, there's a kind of singing that suits solos --- all the jazzed-up stuff with extra-high keys and the works --- and then there's the kind of singing that suits giant congregations, and never the twain shall meet. The only song I knew on the service was "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee", but it's one of my favorites and I was looking forward to singing it, but when the introductory music began, my heart sank: it was a peppy, jazzy version, not at all rousing or hymn-like, plus as one of my colleagues commented, some of the lyrics had been changed to render it more feelgood, less strident.

Alas.

But hey, it was a cool wedding. My own ideological differences with the singing are my own problem altogether.

Post-wedding, there was food (note to anyone in Singapore looking for a good caterer: White Orchid Cafe at College Road does a neat spread) and then I went home. Terz was already home from his staff seminar and since there was no good TV on, we finally watched Yojimbo. We've had it for months, but with all my work in front of me, I've never really been in the mood to watch it. So that makes three Kurosawas I've seen, and only about a zillion more to go. The one I really need to see is Throne of Blood, though.

Sunday was spent lazing and lazing and lazing. I found two neat online comics, Bite Me and Demonology 101, though they are very much in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so no surprises there. We both napped in the afternoon and I had weird dreams. Really weird dreams. Dreams-within-a-dream sorta thing. Quite puzzling, yet quite real, but it ended with Terz saving the day, so I was happy when he woke me up for dinner and I had to tell him the dream right away.

Dinner was at Serangoon Road with my parents, my grandfather and my mom's cousin [Ed: Name removed] and his wife. The latter live in England and are just passing through Asia; my mom's family sorta brought him up, so he's pretty close to all of them. We had what my parents called Punjabi food, although I thought it was just North Indian. It was really good food, though, and as my parents said: it's the same quality as what you get in four-, five-star restaurants, minus the ambience and minus the inflated prices. And I just love me some garlic naan.

The only problem with Serangoon Road on the weekend, as every Singaporean knows, is that it's a bitch to drive in the area. Lots of foreign workers --- from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh --- congregate there on the weekends to buy stuff, visit the appropriate religious place of worship, and generally hang out. Unfortunately, that translates into people spilling off the narrow sidewalks onto the streets, people crossing the streets every which way because that's how they do it back home, and lots and lots of people in general. We almost couldn't find parking, but for a new conveniently and strategically located multi-storey parking lot, and I was so afraid we were going to inadvertently run over a pedestrian who decided he could dart past a German car unscathed. Terz's colleague summed it up via SMS during dinner: it's absolute madness to go down Serangoon Road on the weekend.

Now I'm awake and still feeling tired. I swear, all the fatigue for the last six months caught up with me this week. It doesn't help that I have a sty in my left eye, which makes my eye feel heavy and sleepy as well. But I'm yawning a whole lot more than I usually do, given the amount of sleep I've been getting.

Oh dear. I'd best stop here. If I don't, I will ramble on till kingdom come.

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