Thursday, July 28, 2005
opening night is tonight. i am alternating between wanting to curl up in a foetal position on the floor and rock back and forth, and wanting to break into glorious song and dance because we are finally going to be performing our little hearts out to a paying audience! i guess i should probably save the glorious song and dance for tonight, so i have scheduled a session of rocking just before lunch.

encouraging words are being spoken, backs are being patted, and what shangyee calls "eee mails" are being sent out left and right. shangyee's mushy email almost made me cry! see lah! almost make me clog up my sinuses! we have all worked ourselves to the bone and worn our vocal cords thin for these five shows, and i know we will do it with enough energy to power a large rural area in the wilderness of africa. we have been rocking for dress rehearsals, and we will be rocking for the next five nights. everyone in the audience, watch out! (bring protective goggles if desired)

yesterday we had makeup tests. the makeup school is two blocks away from jubilee hall, and stage makeup is very thick, so i walked right in the middle of town back to jubilee hall all alone with my hair in a tangle and a two inch radius around my eyes glowing emerald green. i think what everyone saw was a short little transvestite in a desperate hurry to get somewhere. people were looking me up and down to see if i was really a bapok or if i actually did have the proper girl equipment. i do not want to think what kind of looks the boys were getting. when i washed my hair last night, i think i ripped out enough hair to construct a wig for a chemotherapy patient. jiayan says that God knows the exact number of hairs on our head. after my shower last night, God is going to have to do a serious recount.

tonight, we will be standing onstage serenading eugene for mike tests. we will be sitting in front of bulbed mirrors pretending to be divas while hair and makeup people slap all kinds of strangely coloured goo all over us. chenseong will give us an inspiring speech to rival ten "i have a dream" speeches. people will cry uncontrollably and makeup people will pull their hair out while trying to put people's mascara back where it belongs. there will be a mad scramble for dinner, then another mad scramble to find a good hiding place in the wings where we can peek out occasionally at the audience to look for our friends, teachers, parents, great-grand aunties, and other assorted obscure relatives. those who want to will pray and trust God for a good show. hugs will be exchanged and trembling hands will still themselves as the lights fade up and we step into the blinding spots with equally blinding smiles on our faces.

Curtain up.

| mando | 7:54 PM


Wednesday, July 27, 2005
we moved into jubilee hall on sunday, and i officially became the happiest little girl in the world! when i got there i was charging into the theatre and leaping up onto the well-tread floorboards and scrambling to be the first one to see the dressing rooms complete with lighted mirrors. jubilee hall is miles and miles above ulu pandan community centre theatre. if anyone didn't know what a redundant statement was, there was one right there. we have three dressing rooms, and what is mildly disturbing is that the only security camera in the entire backstage area appears to be pointing into the girl's dressing room 1.

the props people were drilling and hammering away and erecting humungous flats and platforms and hacking up immense amounts of sawdust. kudos to our longsuffering props people who have to work in pitch darkness in the wings and help get all our nitty gritty things in order. i hope they are eating a lot of carrots. the wings are a scary place where you can't see your hand in front of your face or the person heading directly towards you for imminent head on collisions.

it's at times like these when your feet are aching from dancing and you've ingested so many fisherman's friends that your body fluids are probably now 70% menthol and blinding spotlights are reflecting off shahrier and lynette and scarring your corneas permanently that you feel like you want time to stand still forever. i'm probably the only one who doesn't want this to end because i don't have school, but i really don't. i want the rush of pounding the scarred floorboards and gesticulating wildly to rows of seats and dashing back into the wings for frantic costume changes only to bash my head on one of the flats or ram into a gurney.

mala is such a lifesaver. every time there's a costume change and i dash backstage in a panic about to rip off my clothes in front of an appalled props guy, there mala is, waiting with a shirt in the correct position to shove my arms into it and tie bandannas around my head and make sure i do not stumble onstage in various states of undress. it is like having my very own personal fairy godmother. mala you kicks many asses.

i just cannot get over that we are performing at Raffles Hotel, in an actual theatre. everyone is so great. adrian, cuiling and lynn have been working like crazy with us on song, and taufik, steph and flora have been such amazing dance teachers. flora choreographed a gorgeous dance for the suits and taught it to them in the time that it took us to eat dinner. i love all the scenes with Mr. Black and the suits in them. they're just so good at being evil. Mary scares me. yesterday flora, steph and taufik bought us all cheng tng for supper after everything was over, and darling chenseong stocks the dressing rooms daily with coolers of honey lemon and bottles of mineral water to rehydrate his shriveled actors with, and tins of cookies so that nobody's stomach eats itself. welfare is good here at jubilee hall.

eugene is our immensely patient sound guy, and we have as much faith in him and his talents as the pope has in the holy trinity. yesterday the mikes came in and we did mike tests and eugene was plagued with the additional responsibility of turning 8 mikes on and off at varying times. eugene you rock. it is so much harder to be backstage than front.

i will write more, but i have to sleep so that the makeup artists don't have to pull out their hair trying to cover up my dark eye rings tomorrow morning.

| mando | 9:57 AM


Monday, July 25, 2005
i am tired so here is a bunch of pictures to take up space.

on friday after rehearsal cheok and ian decided that we should all go and drink humungous margaritas at Cafe Iguana! nachos and guacamole and drinking games and huge cocktail glasses that make you feel like a midget makes a good start to the weekend!

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xingning has flown back to the land where people eat their breakfast cereal in a bowlful of beer, but before she left we managed to meet and marvel at how grown up the 3k girls have now become!
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today i went to school to do an OT publicity spiel for the new m1s. tape a microphone to my head and i'm perfectly fine, but put one in my hand and my vocal cords turn to jelly. but lynn and isaac took a taxi to school to sit around with the m1s and to watch the advertisement and were grinning big cheesy grins from the audience and taking pictures of goodness knows what! i love the eurotrippers. wayne and zhongyang got there a bit late, but we all had breakfast and they told me about their escapades in the louvre. lynn gave me a bag of loot from europe! there is so much good stuff in that bag! i feel so spoiled. thank you lynn you kick ass. wayne contributed a large amount of air which he claims is in the bottom left hand corner of the sephora bag that my goodies came in. thank you wanny for your exotic air.

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the sacred Sephora bag from the Sephora mothership in paris, packed with bookmarks from the Uffizi museum in Florence, an adorably packaged Sephora lip gloss ball and shower gel, a beautiful bar of Harrod's chocolate which i'm not sharing with any of you bitches, and a droolworthy Murano glass pendant from both lynn and liana!

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bookmarks from the Uffizi depicting naked people from Wisteria Lane!

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Sephora lip gloss ball and shower gel, which Shahrier and Ian unscrewed and kept sniffing with orgasmic looks on their faces.

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the hallowed Harrod's chocolate bar.

this little bag deserved its very own dance of joy, which i choreographed when i got home from rehearsal today.

| mando | 8:43 AM


Tuesday, July 19, 2005
today i watched sin city! whoohoo! i have ascended to new levels of depravity and debauchery and i am now one step closer to shoveling cocaine up my nose and marrying a pirate from the high seas of kowloon. after the uncle who was too tired to care if i was 21 or not let us into the cinema, i ran to the bathroom and did my own private dance of celebration and victory. and then i ran out just in time to act all mature again and catch the start of the movie with josh hartnett's mug all over the screen.

anyway sin city is okay. the cinematography is amazing, and the whole black and white boom suddenly got colour effect is very interesting. they did a really good job of making the whole show look like it was an actual graphic novel in motion, with all the pensive voice overs, and the creepy shadows on the wall which almost certainly means that somebody is gonna get a hurt real bad. every car has a very big steering wheel which people spin around all over the place with reckless abandon! and every time a character turns his back on another character, he definitely gets shot in the gut or punched in the head or suddenly finds himself unable to have children.

the dialogue and acting were lacking, or at least for me though. plenty of the dialogue was all dark and angsty and sometimes sounded like they belonged in a backstreet boys song. i know that the comic reads that way, but those cinema seats sure are comfy and the black and white screen sure is easy on the zzzzzzz oh oops i'm sorry let me continue! anyway if anybody has a gilmore girls fetish, you get to see Rory in fishnet stockings saying the phrase "ain't nothing" a lot!

but all that is not important. the important thing is that i ate crayfish hor fun today, and daymn was it good. God bless the crayfish, yabbies, prawns, and all the other bastard members of the lobster family.

on monday lynn invited me down to happy owlville to watch her audition the amazing dancing m1s! our new m1 girls dance like gazelles. i do not know what a gazelle would look like hopping around with pompoms, but i imagine that they would look nice and people from the discovery channel would flock around them with many cameras. lynn and liana and qingyuan and amelia and all the other dancing people look amazing! i am excited about watching float and the annual graceful struggle between good and evil!

| mando | 9:49 AM


Monday, July 11, 2005
yesterday i awoke to the shock and horror that there was only one screening of Batman Begins per day for virtually every cinema in the country. i leapt into action and manhandled my mom into the car and drove us both to tampines mall where we commenced Operation Eat Lots of Steak and Beer Battered Fish and Chips and Sit Around in Movie Theatre Watching Seizure Inducing Images Flash Before Our Eyes. It is a pretty long name for such a crucial Operation, and if this was an actual army maneuver, by the time i finished saying the name of the operation over the walkie talkie half my troops would have probably gotten their legs blown off. but i am really anal retentive and if i don't describe each and every phase of the operation, the process loses its beauty entirely.

so anyway i realised that my mom likes to talk in movies. and since she hasn't been to a movie in awhile, she likes to talk in a volume we normally use when we watch Gilmore Girls together at home, which is really loud. it's really amusing for me, but i was darting my eyes around to check if anyone was going to start flinging popcorn at us. she likes to say useful things such as "wow, there are a lot of big names in this show, huh?" and at the end of the show, during the last battle scene, "hey, isn't that Liam Neeson?" but i like watching movies with my mom because we can giggle and she lets me use her shoulder as a headrest when my neck gets cricky.

(spoiler alert ahead, as insisted by the one person who hasn't watched batman yet!)

Batman Begins was awesome! and long! which means it is worth my seven bucks and the hakka blood in me which likes to squeeze every renminbi out of every activity i do is satisfied. apparently Gotham is our modern day Sodom and Gomorrah and it has to be destroyed by Liam Neeson. whoever knew that Liam Neeson was God in disguise? good one, God! in Batman, every wrinkled mongolian/tibetian/vaguely asian extra knows how to speak accented english, and the prison guards who are supposed to speak chinese do it with an american accent. things are wacky up in the unknown mountains of ninjaville. christian bale spends precious time hacksawing bat-shaped fei biaos out of steel to throw at the bad guys when he could be saving babies trapped in burning buildings. dude, lose the aesthetics already. large shard of scrap metal would do the job just fine. my favourite part was after the last big battle where Batman and the bad guy fought until one of them died, tearing up the entire Gotham City while they were doing it, destroying monorail lines, water pipes, rooftops, roads, cars, houses and everything above and beyond. and then one of them died, and they're all "yay! we saved the city!" uh. sure you did!

i wonder what kind of superhero i would be if i had to model myself after my greatest fear. i would probably be cockroach girl, or delibitating disease woman, or insufficient shopping funds lady. don't say striking terror in the hearts of evildoers. i wonder how many drafts these superheroes go through before they finally find a costume that nobody is going to laugh at.

| mando | 6:50 PM


Sunday, July 10, 2005
i just got a new hitcounter so that i can be a nosey busybody about where most of my hits are coming from. and i just have to say : wahbiangeh. i am very honoured that so many of you are wasting your time reading my nonsense. my nonsense thanks you most kindly from the bottom of its heart, and hopes that you never become psychologically scarred from this experience.

today i went to my first lesson of bible study class in a long time, and was suitably humbled. i now realise that for a while now, though i have been a child of God, i have also been childish in my spiritual growth. you know how children reach that stage in life where they think they know the meaning of life, the world, and everything in between, just because you hand them a multiplication table? lordy i hate those kids. i want to hit them over the head with large dead fish. i've let my heart get hardened and my pride take me over and have become wholly unteachable in the span of the past few months. every rebuke, every good hearted chiding served only to make me Enormously Pissed Off beyond all recognition. i did what every sermon, every spiritual figure of authority, and every devotional guide warns against, and decided to be horrendously geh kiang and take my life into my own hands, not even knowing i was doing it. i leafed through the bible but didn't listen to it. i went to church with my head like a block of concrete. after living without consulting God's standards and turning things over to him for awhile, it really dawned upon me how many insignificant things there are to worry about in life, and how bring-you-to-your-knees frightening it is to have to worry about them by yourself, following the standards of people instead of God. and it's not that the standards of people are morally wrong, because as many evil souls as there are out there whose advice will make you hurt people and yourself and possibly turn you into a glue sniffer or a drug addict if you are very very stupid; there are plenty of amazing souls in the world. but there are so many ways to do things, so many people's standards to follow. unless you have blinkers on, you're bound to confuse yourself and eventually have an embolism of some sort.

draw close to God and he will draw close to you. i guess in my case the opposite is true. i drew away from God and felt his influence in my life distinctly growing fainter. this is the problem with free will, which makes us human beings to start with. we have the freedom to choose to grow spiritually and let God govern our lives, or we can choose to be proud and be insensitive and be lost. i felt like i was missing something in my life, and today after class i realised that what was missing was the eternal struggle that we're supposed to face, choosing between what we desire, and between what is right in the eyes of God. being angry with someone became okay. talking about the things people did became okay.

i used to think that once i had gotten on the right path with God, drawing away from him was something that i couldn't do. it was inevitable that i would stay on track, grow, lead, and have a beach chair in heaven someday drinking a pina colada. and then 1 Corinthians 10:12 comes along to burst my bubble:

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"

we can all fall back into our old way of life any time. our old self-serving nature never leaves us, no matter how much we'd like to think it does. life is just a continual battle, an eternal choice, an infinite struggle. it is the fact that we are facing this struggle that makes us children of God. we will be tempted to give up, to do what is easy, to be apathetic, to live life as if it is doled out to us in 24 hour chunks. we can tell ourselves that we have to sin. there is no choice. there are circumstances. there are valid excuses. but we can find comfort in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

God i hope so.

| mando | 4:14 AM


Wednesday, July 06, 2005
i finally know what terrorists feel like. if you too would like to experience the thrill and excitement of being a member of Al-Jazeerah, go down to the Swissotel at Raffles City and assume a suspicious expression and walk slowly. i was there with carol and xian for lunch on monday and we were walking around the perimeter of raffles city peering into dead ends hoping to find the Thos SB Raffles (whatever in the snowball of hell's name that stands for) cafe, when we were attacked by a fierce policeman who popped up from behind a potted fern. ok maybe i am exaggerating when i say we were attacked. but he was mean and nasty spoke in a loud voice and made me want to cry. just because he finally was given something relatively important to do besides fine people who spit in public, he thinks he can be mean and nasty to innocent little girls who do not actually want to whip out AK47s and asassinate david beckham? we had to go through a bag check and a metal detector to get to the cafe, and xian kept beeping and had to take off her belt and risk her skirt falling down. we had a couple of nice sandwiches and a kickass chicken pie at the absurdly named cafe, and we had a good time having our usual chittychat. i love being with carol and xian because time spent with them is completely stress free. these are the benefits of hanging out with the people you spent the best part of two years beating up, watching each other cry like scared little babies, and laughing about everything and beyond with.

today i met michelle moira and gwenda-back-from-sydney for lunch at Soba So Good! gwenda was regaling us with stories about carrying bloody greyhounds back and forth from the deep freeze to the chopping table, over a delicious lunch of soba. apparently they use greyhounds because they are 1) skinny, and 2) they recycle the poor little things after they get too old to win dog races anymore. poor greyhounds. no wonder Santa's Little Helper always gets the short straw. gwenda gets to butcher up her very own greyhound all by herself with a maniacal glint in her eye! and then after she washes the blood and guts off her hands she goes back to her hostel room to do a little cooking on her hotplate. possibly after this she goes to attend an elective called good hygiene 101.

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today is ian's birthday! happy birthday meester mathews! we ambushed him with a cake at rehearsal and we all celebrated with cake and keropok. today we got to see some costumes, and the brightness of shahrier and lynette's costumes combined are going to blind the entire audience. moths will congregate around them. lynette's sexy shiny chain-mail top has to be worn under her costume change like kevlar, which will come in handy if we all catch flu and sing really badly and some audience member decides to end their pain and suffering by going all assasinaty. at least we know that lynette will be bulletproof!

| mando | 9:15 AM


daniel the yoda
isaac the prawn
judo girls
nat koh
nat lee
qiumei the bunny
ruxin the penguin
victor tan
zhongyang the sheep

at the zoo
xing/manda in london
xing/manda in paris
me and mom in melbourne
phone photos
philly trip
Operation Theatre [new]

Justin Chambers
James Marsden
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David Archuletta

Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
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Juno OST
Queen - Greatest Hits
David Archuletta

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