Monday, December 31, 2007

Year end thoughts

Before we know it, 2007 is coming to an end. Today is the last day of the year.

Doing a quick mental summary of what has transpired in this year, I feel I had quick a good year, all things considered.

Family-wise, things are going well. Parents are in relative good health (with the exception of the recent dengue issue, but that's history now). Ping & I expecting boy-boy to join the family very soon.
My brother and yen's daughter Yuan is growing up strong and healthy. My sister-in-law and Daniel had their number 3 this year as well, adding Ruben to their impressive "collection" of kids (2 gals before him). All are well.

Work-wise, my experience in my company has also been pleasant and arguably fulfilling. Perhaps I am most suited to a trainer's role, since I do enjoy sharing of knowledge and teaching others skills that I have acquired and are good at. My colleagues have been a major reason for making my working life enjoyable as well, though that has been tempered by the fact that several of my cool kaki's have tendered their resignation and headed for greener pastures.

Health-wise, I feel I am getting used to a better lifestyle, in terms of having regular exercises. Of late (in the last 3 months), I have managed to work out a routine of going to the gym at least twice a week. Though that has not helped me reduce my waistline (darn!), I guess it has at least managed to prevent it from shooting through the ceiling. One thing I'd certainly do well to work on is that habit of having late night snacks... (that's a tough one!)

Guitar-wise, things are continuing to look good, and I am really, really looking forward to my Robert Ruck guitar either late 2008 or in 2009. Guitaresque has been busy rehearsing on the Bach Harpsichord concerto (to be performed for Genus's annual showcase on 23rd Feb2008), while Expose is putting up our first performance at the Esplanade concert hall on 13th Jan2008.
Separately, 2007 also marks the 3rd year which I have conducted Guitarissimo, and feedback was positive for our concert, which was held on 16th Sept at the NAFA concert hall. I am looking forward to another good year the wonderful folks at SMU next year.

If I were to choose ONE thing that stands out in 2007 as THE event of the year for me, it would undoubtedly be the discovery of boy-boy, growing steadily in his mummy's tummy. Since April, we have been happily (albeit a little anxiously) expecting and preparing for his arrival. Now, I can say that we are 万事具备,只欠东风!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007




A colleague just sent out this ever-famous poem to the rest of us. Why? Because people's relationship and 缘分, are like all other things (good and bad), changes with the passage of time.

Stanley just tendered his resignation yesterday to the boss. He has found another job which (we all readily admit) better suit his talents and his interest.
This resignation comes after Lucia, Amy, and Sarah all left the team, one after the other. Sigh...

I guess it's inevitable that all good things must come to an end, one way or the other. But like they always say, 旧的不去,新的不来.

Well, here's wishing my good colleague and friend:

All the best in his future endeavors!


Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Just received a phone call from mum, telling me a terrible news...
My cousin met with an accident late last night, and died from his injuries.

Even though i was never close to this cousin, it really came as a shock to me, not just because of the severity of the incident (i mean, what can be worse than dying at a young age?), but more disturbing is the fact that his sister (also my cousin, of course) was also killed in a motor accident just 3 months ago!

What in the world is going on...???

I feel terribly sad for my uncle and aunt. Imagine losing 2 children in the space of 3 short months - and both to accident no less. It must be hell...
(the weather outside seems to reflect the state of things - it is currently raining heavily and the fog is thick as well )




I am very excited at the prospect of playing a guitar duet with my son in the years to come. Imagine playing Jorge Morel's Danza Brasilera (the duet version) with him! That'll be something...

Still, my wife has reminded me that boy-boy may not be interested in playing guitar when he grows up. That's true, i guess.
We both agreed that it's probably better to start him off learning music by taking piano lessons.

I remember the days when my mum started me and my brother on our musical (appreciation) journey when she played on the piano for us. I think we must have been not more than 4 or 5 years old at that time. I was instantly attracted to the nice melodious tunes that she played (cant remember exact what songs she played of course) and soon began to start experimenting on the black-n-white keys myself. Soon, we were both enrolled to study with a music teacher, and thus began our real exploration into the world of music-making.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!), I soon discovered that piano wasnt exactly my cup of tea. And from then on, classical guitar became my true passion, though I am acutely aware of the many positives that came from my years of music training on the piano. For one thing, having gotten accustomed to reading 2 lines of piano music at one go, reading a single line for the guitar seemed much more straightforward and simple!

And so, back to boy-boy....

Yes, we'll certainly want to give him a chance to learn proper music theory and have a strong classical music background. Learning piano seemed like a good choice. For a start.
Ultimately, we'll let him decide for himself (when he's older), what instrument he would like to pick up and pursue further.

I hope it will be the classical guitar! :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Visits to NUH

In the past one week, I must've made more trips to the National University Hospital than I had in the last few years. I remember the most recent trip (before last week, that is) was to visit Mr A, who was recovering from his fall (or was it because of his heart condition? cant really recall).

But this time round, it was something closer to heart. Much closer...

My parents were both hospitalised - one after the other - for suspected dengue fever (which was later confirmed). Both of them were having recurring fevers that would subside even after days of medication which they had been given by GPs.
* which brings me to this: why didnt the doctors suspect dengue after their 2nd visit? If the fever does not subside after the 1st round of medication, shouldn't they at least have done a blood test then???

Anyway, my mum was admitted last Wednesday, after she felt so feverish that she couldn't endure anymore. I waited for her at NUH A&E dept for almost 5 hours, while they took her blood and did the test(s). Needless to say, it was a stressful and exhausting night, having to sit at the cold hard hospital seats for hours waiting, seemingly without end. I have to say that i was feeling relieved when they eventually told my mum that she was to be warded for observation as well as to rest. By then, it was past 1am (and we were there at 8pm).

My dad was also feeling unwell, though he insisted that he was ok. He was warded on Thursday after we noticed that patches of dark red appeared all over his legs. Apparently (we found out afterwards), this was also a syndrome of Dengue, caused by the dramatic drop in blood platelet levels in the victims.

Thank godness my dad has been discharged from the hospital yesterday (and I've just been told that my mum will be discharged later today).

Well, i guess the one good thing that came out this episode (stressful as it was) was that my parents are now seriously considering moving out. Frankly, it is difficult for an old couple to be staying by themselves in a large house, since they do not hire a maid to help with the house chores. It is only a matter of time before the demands of maintaining such a large place overwhelm them, and things like these (breeding of pests due to neglecting to clear the pots and roof gutters, etc) happen.

I will be helping them to look out for a suitable condo to move into. Hopefully things can happen soon.