Last day of 2013

Okay so here is a happy end to 2013 as I saved 3 lives. According to bloodbank, 1 pack of blood can save up to 3 lives.

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Went to HSA in the morning and was rather disorientated as they renovated the interior. Anyway I havent been frequent in donating blood as compared to a regular who would do it 4 times a year. Probably I shall make it a resolution to be a frequent donor. After all, donating blood has health benefits to the donor as well! 

Cant think of anything special to write cos it will be all the usual New Year quotes, “have you made your resolutions?” and 2013 in review which is rather pointless since the internet world replicates them into many different variations. And for 2013 in review, the blog archives will do a good job.

So yeah that’s all for now. Hope 2014 will be a blessed year with contentment and lesser animal abuse cases!

PS I dont know why the font changes here and there when I publish it!

PPS This morning I realised that the title was “Last day of 2014” instead of 2013. My body clock is ticking too fast till the extent it is 1 year faster. Getting really old soon. Crap.

Closing remarks of 2013

How should I conclude this year?

Mixed feelings. Have my share of setbacks and opportunites. Many times I dont feel happy with where I am studying because of all the setbacks and rejections I received. I feel insignificant and unimportant. I seriously cant help but feel angry at the school about it. Why am I always the unlucky one deprived of so many things?

Being rejected for nearly everything you applied for (Latest bad news of the year I just got rejected for exchange. Many words censored in case I get into trouble) … how would you feel about it? How do you expect me to feel grateful studying here?

Anyway at least I can stay in Singapore and continue my commitment to what I like. Because some journeys which I just started to embark…I am not ready to pause and let go.

On the other hand I met awesome people (eg summer school) and through the various volunteer work (shoutout to SPCA). I never felt happier devoting my time and energy to them because they deserve better.

In 2013 I learnt that opportunities are to be created, instead of sitting there and waiting for chances to come to you. The chance did not come to me cos I am not good enough. I have to craft everything with my own hands.

When the world says “give up”, hope whispers “try it one more time”. No matter how dire 2013 was, keep the hope in you re-ignited. Carve out your life in 2014 if you havent done so. I look forward to what I can do in 2014 and I hope you share the same enthusiasm as much as I do. Have an advanced happy new year folks!

(Side note this is me en pointe. Needs more work especially the right foot. But it is really difficult to take a pic of the feet when there is no one helping you.)

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Exam results and random cat talk

So the school decided to play with our feelings by making results release day on xmas eve. Somehow I managed to sleep though the night without any nightmare of results unlike previous semesters. Probably because I was too tired from cleaning the cat shelter and from the ABT workout. Anyway I hereby announce that…

I AM GOING TO CHANGE MY MAJOR TO ARCHITECTURE!

What happened was that I screwed up the AR2221 paper big time during exam. Somemore I was intending to S/U it. But it turned out that the result was better than the rest of my history mods. 

Maybe I am fated to design a building. Maybe an internationalist building right smack among the Art Deco Streamline Moderne in Tiong Bahru. 

Anyway I decided to switch my area of focus in history. Will be ditching European History for Singapore history. Sorry Europe (actually I am not sorry) I tried! *arms raised in surrender* Other than that the bond with China continues. But I wont take a module in chinese anymore. Great, now I have the extra option of a tour guide if I cant find a job in EAI or ARI. 

But still, karma has been kind to me so far despite the shit I experienced this semester.

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Yesterday at the shelter some long-time cats were gone. Meanwhile this is Lucius (7 years 7 months according to SPCA website) whom I am trying to get along with but it is still hostile to me. Whenever I attempt to pet him he claws back. At least he was willing to sniff my hand though.

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Here is Kungfu fighter in dreamland Smudge. He must be really comfortable cos he exposed his tummy. Awwww. 

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And this is Rowdy who used to pull my hair. Is it just me or does he appear to be smiling? 

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While I was standing up I found my shorts being pulled by Fat Mr Dice (and a volunteer laughed). No photo of it cos I was cleaning the cages and it doesnt sound nice in the first place. So here is an old photo of Dice scratching the volunteer boots. Meanwhile he also has a fascination with brooms.

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And last of all, wishing anyone who stumbled across this blog a blessed xmas from me and my aunt’s cat! 

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Just in case you are bored….

What have I been doing for the past 2 days? I guiltily admit that I watched 4 movies on the internet (besides the usual pilates, SPCA sales blah blah blah). Anyway since sharing is caring, I decided to do a review of them here just in case some entertainment is needed to tide over the long holiday.

1. The Starving Games

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Needless to explain it is a parody of the Hunger Games. Tributes participate to win a half eaten pickle, an old ham, and a coupon for a foot long sub. Meanwhile, Kantmiss Evershot encounters the most bizarre Hunger Games in the jungle involving youtube personalities, movie characters and famous characters from phone game apps and Peter Malarky comes up with the best camouflage. Also dont miss out Rudy who is the exact opposite of Rue. At the end the producers incorporated the blooper reel into the movie because they probably ran out of ideas of a proper way to end. Ok I shall end here in case of more spoilers. 

Serious Hunger Games fans may find some parts offensive but personally I laughed a lot throughout the movie because was too ridiculous. Expect illogical plot developments, grossed out scenes and random characters from other movies. Peter Malarky and Dale are surprisingly good looking while President Snowballs looks like Karl Marx. There is no Haymitch although I think that his character will be a potential to work with, like getting into drunk situations. 

Verdict: Worth watching if you are in for a good laugh at lame jokes!

2. Battle Royale

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This is the movie where Hunger Games got its idea from. Summarised story goes that a lucky class is chosen under the BR education act where the classmates (42 of them, with 2 “transfer” students) have to kill each other within 3 days on an isolated island. The neck of every student has a collar attached to it which is explosive. Instead of competing for backpacks at Cornucopia, the students are given a backpack each with different weapons ranging from paper fans to machine guns and then they get going.

I admit that the death scenes are really bloody but the various sides of humans is well brought out by the characters in times of desperation. The initial fear among the class when they were first introduced to the game felt really real. The movie challenges you to look at classmates- whom have gone through thick and thin as a class, getting rid of one another. Sad but real. Besides the kills which are done out of bloodlust, personal grudges or self-defence, we can also see the willpower displayed to overturn the system, goodwill alliances made and deathbed love confessions.

Verdict: Overall, movie dynamics are just right with a mix of action and a soft dimension to human nature, but be warned, it is gory.

Kitano Sensei: Life is a game. So fight for survival and see if you’re worth it.

3. Battle Royale 2: Requiem

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To be honest, I found the sequel disappointing. So the story is that the victor from BR 1 (Shuya) set up a terrorist group called Wild Seven and assumed leadership. Meanwhile a rowdy class have been selected for the games as usual but now they are to kill Shuya. As usual the they are attached with a collar but now the twist is that when one classmate dies, his partner of the opposite sex with the same index number will die as well. The remaining survivors run into Shuya’s hideout and start cooperating together to fight against the other soldiers sent by the Japanese government after being talked over by Shuya.

As usual there is the bloodshed and gore but the clarity of the plot is engulfed with the overwhelming chaos. Seriously too many bombing and shooting until I dont know what is happening. Besides I felt that Wild Seven wasnt well introduced enough like its formation and some of the key figures. Anyway amidst the mess, one can still see the fighting spirit and how the bunch of rowdy students undergo a transformation of their character for the better.

Verdict: Film was rather mediocre apart from the beginning where the class went through the horrors of the game briefing. The shooting scenes are long enough to get you distracted for something else.

4. Suspiria

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Yes, a horror movie produced in 1977! It made it into the top 100 scariest films of all time, but while watching it I realised that receiving my exam results are scarier. Anyway an American ballet student got an invitation to this ballet school and discovers its dark secrets. Shant spoil anymore!

The director did a good job on the cinematic visuals; indeed he deserves his title as a screen illusionist. The flickering and uncomfortable colors of lighting sets the atmosphere of tension and suspense, the building architecture and interiors look regal. The deaths are actually more bloody than Battle Royale but luckily there werent as many. The blood looked fake like tomato sauce but keep in mind that this was produced in 1977. Plot development wise, it is the usual ‘climax happens at the last 5 minutes’ with the occasional shocks here and there. Being a dancer myself I was expecting more ballet scenes but there werent many. But that wasnt the main point anyway.

Verdict: Definitely not for the faint hearted, be prepared for the gore!

Ok that’s what I got for now while I get prepared for the real nightmare on the 24th. I wish time can stop for now. HELP!

Neighbourhood Felines

Dropped by at the Tiong Bahru Cat Affair organised by CWS last Sunday. Didnt stay for long so just let the pics do the talking.

Free photos of the community cats up for grasp. Yes your eyes are not playing tricks on you. They are FREE!  (Singaporean spirit). Anyway they are hung around the Seng Poh garden like decoration.

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My aunt busy spotting her cats and trying to recognise them.

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And I found this candid pic of me looking at a cat photo posted on the Seng Poh RC facebook page. Looking at my position I guess you know why I used the word ‘candid’. Raised right hand to release the photo from the peg (In Singlish we call it ‘un-kiap’)

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Anyway there are more photos being placed at various locations as evidenced below. Will be taking more of them soon! Seriously where else can you get good quality photos for free?

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So here is what I got for now.Does the cat know that he is under an underwear?

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Here are Trevor and Ginger. I seriously wonder how the photographer managed to capture a handsome and clear image of Trevor. Whenever I try to take photos of him he will turn away at the sight of my phone.

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Some of the visitors brought along their own cats as well. This cat is called Bolster I think. Really round and lives up to his name.

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Went for the cat trail led by my aunt’s friend to look at the community cats. Surprisingly they didnt run away at the sight of strangers. Personally I dont know much about them although living in the area (in fact I seem to be more familiar with the cats at SPCA). Apart from all the funny stories of the cats and their feeders, there are sad ones of abuse. Although the laws are stricter as of today, but I guess most pet lovers agree that they are still not stringent enough (Trying not to get too emotional and outraged).

Anyway here is Gage in his hideout which is some fenced area with plants.

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Before that Gage used to live on the rooftop until it was claimed by Cardboard. Apparently it has it that every morning residents of the condo will hear Cardboard meowing really loudly and complained (while directly assuming) that he was being abused. But in actual fact he is scolding the other cats. So here is Cardboard perched high up owning the space (Jackson Galaxy’s words).

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The cats grooming themselves after a meal. The white one even goes for spa treatment.

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This is blue-eyed kitty Zac Zac.

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The very friendly cat (Forgot the name!) who is very affectionate with humans. Actually it was an abandoned house cat so it is used to human contact. Just give it a pat and it will rub against your head.

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After that the tour ended at my aunt’s backyard. Anyway here are some pics of my aunt’s community cats taken on another day but they are exactly the same cats we saw.

L to R: Bob Bob, Polly, Zhong Wu Yan. Bob Bob runs at the sight of humans except my aunt cos she has bribed him with food. Anyway he also hisses at Autumn cat and tries to scare her away when she waits for food at my aunt’s doorstep.Unfamiliar with Polly and Zhong Wu Yan though.

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And here is Ginger/Orangey claiming her territory on a slipper.

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Ok that sums up my involvement with the event. Quiet little place but yet exciting and vibrant with cat tales.Come to think of it, shelter cats are in a way more lucky than those un-cared strays since they have a temporary home with food and all, but more importantly a 2nd chance to life, instead of living on the streets with the constant risk of danger. Just hoping that society will be more accepting of community cats and strays than to let their lives go to waste. 

 

 

 

The week in life of an unemployed

On Sunday, the unemployed helps out in the Bread From Sky project, this time a joint collaboration with grassroot leaders and the MP who personally handed the food over to each unit. Anyway this was the longest food distribution project ever, and it is tiring carrying a DSLR taking pictures while helping to shift the food as well. Anyway here is a banner made by an enthusiastic resident of the area.

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On Monday, the unemployed goes to SPCA for her usual shelter duty after taking a 2 week break due to exams. Somehow the kittens this time are more jumpy than the previous ones. (Update: Actually Sahara isnt there anymore some weeks ago cos she was sick but I wonder where she went…..) Anyway that’s Smooch, a survivor of a vicious glue trap who is going to a new home soon. In your face, Glue-trappers!

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After that the unemployed went for ABT class duty. Quite an intense workout for a 1st lesson!

On Tuesday, the unemployed finished reading a guidebook to the Hunger Games. Read her previous post for her newest addiction. Because she doesnt want to spend money buying the entire set (she is unemployed and has no salary) , she decides to borrow from the libraries but they are either too far or the book has been borrowed. When one cannot find the book, one reads the guide book to the book.

Then she goes out to make new spectacles and dinner at Astons with her friend. And she is having muscle ache from the ABT workout yesterday. Anyway these are her new specs (spoof)

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On Wednesday, the unemployed goes to SPCA again for shelter duty and a cat (Her name is Missy) fell asleep on her lap (Awww).

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And she managed to locate Hunger Games: Catching Fire at Bishan Library. So there is no Hunger Games books available in libraries across Singapore for now! Muahahaha. 

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On Thursday, the unemployed eats dim sum at Dian Xiao Er and then goes for pilates class duty.

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On Friday the unemployed goes for kettling at Lucky Plaza organised by The Salvation Army, a volunteer organisation which she newly joined.

On Saturday the unemployed goes for her usual dance lessons. Add an -s behind because she recently returned to her former studio to do the syllabus class. Thoughts of the unemployed: When I first left the former studio, I had dreams (the ones at night) that I ended up there again. But last week when I came back, it felt like as though I was in a dream yet it was real at the same time. It is like venturing out, making 1 big round and then coming back to where you have started. But the current studio where I am doing the majors classes is not as bad but I dont have the plan to do majors exams- sometimes physically it cant be helped.

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On Sunday the unemployed has a meeting with the JCSC to review on the food distribution project, after which she met up shortly with YH.

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And read the next post about the Tiong Bahru Cat Affair (which is coming up soon).

This sums up the week of an unemployed who was unable to secure an internship at NUS Press. So she decides not to work altogether during the short 1 month break but instead engage in the activities she likes- volunteer work, cats, dancing, working out and catching up with people. When society doesnt appreciate your talent, another door is always open for you. It is just a matter of time before you find it. Dont give up!

(And to those who rejected me: It is your loss!)

Addicted to Hunger Games!

(Updated: new character added! )

Actually I didnt read the book but watched the movie instead, although I am convinced that I should read the book now after reading internet posts about it. My 1st exposure to Hunger Games was during the Penang Field Trip where we (specifically the girls) were watching it in the hotel room. At first I couldnt understand what was going on cos I wasnt interested.

My life changed after I watched the 2nd sequel! So I was having my biannual meet up with a friend and he suggested watching Hunger Games  although I was initially reluctant. Overall the movie was quite enjoyable. The opening ceremony (I forgot the exact terminology where the tributes enter the Capitol on chariots) was spectacular and of course the Quarter Quell until the force field collapsed.

Except for a few parts.

1. The ending. Because it was a cliffhanger and viewers have to wait for another year for the 3rd sequel part 1.

2. And I didnt like Effie Trinket somehow.

3. And I felt as though I didnt know the other past victors well enough. When The Fallen are shown in the sky at night I was like “Oh no so-and-so died? I didnt even see this person before!”

Anyway the next day I went to watch part 1 again on megashare. And now I want to borrow the book to read although most of them are borrowed so I read the guide book instead. Pretty interesting. The author links certain characteristics of Panem to historical examples, such as the Roman Empire. The Hunger Games are seen as Bread and Circus, which was a way to keep the Panem citizens entertained like how the Roman authorities did to their people by providing them gladiator shows to watch. She even does an in-depth analysis of the tributes from the 74th Hunger Games like their weaknesses and concludes by linking similarities between Katniss and Mockingjay.

Ok shant spoil anymore. Good books need to be recommended. Go read it!

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So let me give my 2 cents worth on some characters based on both movies:

Favourite characters: 

1. Johanna (District 7 female victor)– To begin with she survived the 71st Hunger Games cos she fooled the others into thinking that she was weak during the assessment so that was some strategic intelligence. She has that attitude  and I like her act of sacrifice like when she ripped off Katniss’s tracking device to fool the District 2 people into thinking that Katniss was dead while she herself went after the District 2 people.

2. Beetee (District 3 male victor)– He is a genius! And the best thing is how he uses his intelligence in a good way, like coming up with the plan of winding the wire around the tree to destroy the arena to end the games. Subsequently he creates weapons for the rebels to aid them in the rebellion against the capitol. If you read further on you would have probably known that those technology turned out to harm the innocent, like the bomb which went off at the capitol and killed Prim. But I guess he didnt want that to happen either.

3. Foxface (District 5 female tribute in 74th Hunger Games)– I like her intelligence like how she worked through the mines around the career tribute’s food supply to steal their food and her strategy of staying forgotten throughout the game, although it backfired on her in the end. Okay I am not sure whether she ate the nightlock cos she was too hungry, but I am also convinced by another theory that she chose to eat it out of suicide. Although she was in the final 5 but she was too weak and had no weapons to kill so she will get killed eventually. So why not make it accidental instead of dying tragically?

4. Cinna (Katniss’s stylist)– One great man who puts his intelligence through creating an image for Katniss to make her known to the audience, yet subtly defying the Capitol at the same time. He is indeed professional and never stops believing in Katniss’s abilities, going beyond what is needed for a stylist. 

Characters who dont deserve to die:

Of course all of them! Who would be in the right mood to send people to their own death? But anyway here are 4 of them:

1. Rue (District 8 female tribute in 74th Hunger Games)– Awwww she is just too sweet and kind to Katniss! No need further explanation, I am sure all Hunger Games fans agree. Right?!

2. Mags (District 4 female victor)– When she kissed Finnick goodbye and walked voluntarily into the poisonous fumes (because Peeta was too weak to run and Katniss couldnt carry Peeta so Finnick had to do the job but he couldnt possibly carry 2 people) I just wanted to cry. Enough said!

3. Finnick (District 4 male victor)– He died during the rebellion in the 3rd part. But anyway, he may look shallow but deep down he is really loyal and did his best to protect his alliance against the other careers, although he was a career and could have got rid of his allies (Yeah it was Haymitch’s orders but still….) And even though he is strong and all but there is a human side to him like how upset he got over Mags. Seriously I will hate the part when he dies.

4. Cinna– Getting killed over a dress because it was a statement of political defiance wasnt worth it.  I wish the Capitol was stupid enough to fail to see through his real intentions.

Characters whom I wish to know more: 

1. District 8 male in 74th Hunger Games– Just 8 seconds into the bloodbath and he died? Somemore his odds of winning were 3-1 which was the same as Cato who was a Career. How did he do that, seriously?

2. Any victor from District 9- Usually District 9 tributes are the least elaborated on both in the book and movie so that constitutes part of a mystery. And all tributes were killed during the bloodbath at both games which suggests that they arent strong either. Did anyone wonder how District 9 managed to produce a victor?

3. Cecelia (District 8 female victor)- She came across as a motherly figure since she had 3 children and got separated from them when she got reaped. So i expecting more elaboration on her character since it was rare to have a known tribute with children to appear in the games and how she would exercise her motherly instincts. But anyway she died too early too soon at the bloodbath. Come to think of it, she was one of the tribute districts who pledged to save Katniss. Maybe that was a motherly part of her when she sacrificed herself at the Cornucopia?

Eye candies

1. Thresh (District 11 male tribute in 74th Hunger Games)– Hahahaha. Tall, strong, good looking, yet has a side of loyalty towards his district by letting Katniss escape after knowing that she had a dignified burial for Rue.

2. Finnick- this doesnt need explanation.

Characters that irritated me: 

1. Clove (District 2 female tribute in 74th Hunger Games)– she sounded like a childish bitch during her fight with Katniss at the Cornucopia feast. Seriously. The intonation, pitch and every part of her lines.

2. Effie Trinket (Escort for District 12)– I just didnt like the way she acts and she looks like a total alien when she stands amongst the District 12 crowds.

Ok I shall end off here. May the odds be in your favour!

PS Just wondering what happens to the wolf mutts (In the book they were created with DNA from the dead tributes. Some like Foxface, Thresh and Rue were recognised cos their features were too distinct) if they make it out of the final battle alive?

PPS I am glad that Beetee and Johanna made it out alive.