After much preparation, the young self-proclaimed Emperor of The Han Dynastory is now serving a full-time mission to the UK with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He will return in 2014.

Hello!

Welcome to the Han Dynastory!

As I am now serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have left this blog under the stewardship of a family member, who may post updates on how I'm doing as he/she sees fit.

Enjoy your stay!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

压力

无限的化学功课突然堆起来。音乐功课又非常麻烦(虽然有趣)。地理课一直讨论作业。历史课就来要用来测验测验测验。每个星期都有两次化学测验。唉……准备大考就是这样过日子。

我开始想念以前,上课为了吸收新的知识的日子。

上学的确是为了增加自己的知识、扩大视野,可是考试真的逃不了。

有时候,做功课会令我很不耐烦,特别是做历年考题的时候。长期没有画School Blues。手痒却没时间画,因为一坐下来画就花去了几个小时。

没办法……只好耐心地忍。忍到年尾就可以傻掉。

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jumble Of Stuff

This weekend has been great. Su姐 coming back from her Mission has been a blast. Hopefully next week we can meet up with Ying Er, who got back from Italy with her SNYO recently. It'll be a mini extended family reunion! Woohoo! And when 姐姐 comes back for a visit from 北京, it'll be a blast! And smack in the middle of my O Level Preliminary Exams too -.-

I realized earlier (while working on the mandarin post) how much speaking mandarin means to me. Spending 10 years of your life mingling with mandarin speaking friends and learning almost everything with mandarin as the teaching medium has a very powerful effect, I suppose.

Anyway. Last night was the Oh Family's farewell. Brother Oh will be moving with his family to Provo to get his PhD. Most of the Ward members gathered at Brian Sham's place last night for the farewell. I managed to do a caricature of the family in an hour! Definitely an achievement. It's amazing how that brush pen I used lasted since KL XD

I learnt something during the week. The mood you feel at the moment when you wake up in the morning can determine the mood for the rest of the day. Which sucks. On Thursday, I was rudely awaken by a certain arguing sibling. And the rest of the day turned out horrible. It's bad to be in a bad mood in school because you can't really learn much. You end up wasting your time because you're just sitting at your desk and brooding. I shall make a mental note not to make anyone's day a bad one by starting it off roughly. What sucks is I can't guarantee that my family members will do the same for me.

In fact, that's the thing. There's a lof of things I am beginning to change about myself in hopes that it will make me a better person. Especially as I am approaching the time when it will be a responsibility to start a family. There are a lot of things I've been learning about being a good spouse and father. There's quite a lot to learn already by observing my own family.

By the way, I also learnt something today, (or to be more accurate, I've learnt over the course of several piano lessons) which is that when you try too hard to play something correctly on the piano, you will fail. As to how I realized it, heh heh.

I also learnt how to play the steps game that the Primary kids always play after Church each Sunday. Denzel and Jacob taught me. And it seems that children's reaction time are a lot longer than 0.4s haha. I learnt how to 'play' Ben 10 too. All that boyish play fights. The last play fight I had was with Ben, rolling around the floor at the Post YC Dance haha. We were stopped XD I ended the playtime by grabbing Denzel (when were playing Ben 10) and spinning him round and round Superman style. One of Ray's favourites. It's a pity I will never get to enjoy something like unless I grow smaller haha.

Oh oh, and on Saturday morning, I woke up feeling ready to let go of her. Dunno how it happened, but it did. And I'm trying to avoid thinking any further lest the vicious cycle starts all over again XD

Anyway. Hometeachers are here.

老习惯

突然想起以前在循中念书的日子。特别想起的是写日记。

写日记本来是每天写的。不过,上了高中时,越来越忙,忽略了日记。老师也没有特别逼我写,所以很少写。结果日记是悲伤的时侯才写。要不然就是体操(gymnastics)因为当年很努力地准备参加全国赛。

现在开始用双语发帖,令我回想写日记的日子。其实,我已经有点习惯了。

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sujie's Back From Her Mission!

Our family has missed her so much. It's great to have her back =)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

钢琴

昨天是我钢琴老师第一次称赞我的一天 XD

她说我的能力不错,其他学生所需要的时间比我多。我差一点飞起来…她单单说了那四个字已经令我喜出望外。我离开她的家时感到飘飘然。就因为被她称赞一两句,我比较有心练钢琴。现在就特别兴奋,想快快练好Debussy的Petite Suite,和Benji一起四手连弹。

原来称赞一个人可以给那么大的鼓励。

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bilingual Blog

Forcing myself to blog in mandarin every two posts will be tough, especially since I just wasted this English one on this. But I have to post this. It's just too good to not show.


Notice that everything besides the circled area on the Blogger control panels are all in English. It seems even my Blog itself is becoming bilingual!

过份

又来用华语发布帖子了。也许每两个帖子逼自己用一次华文就可以提高自己的华文程度。

对于各位新加坡读者,我只能道歉。特别是不会看华文的朋友。如果你认得出“对不起”这三个字,我佩服你。

总觉得我的华文写法还像小学生。虽然我在循中写的作文还可以及格,不过看了朋友们写的文章之后,我看得出自己还有多方面需要努力。多看朋友们的博客应该会有很大的帮助呱……

我还记得去年还是前年的时候,想把这个博客变成双语博客。可是最多只有双语的页面元素。最近,我发现自己真的很佩服能够好好掌握两种语言的人。其实,我去年回吉隆坡时,有几个朋友说他们羡慕我。羡慕我能交那么多讲华文的朋友,同时可以保持那么厉害的英文程度,而他们却交不到讲英文的朋友。从我的角度来看,我羡慕他们可以了解自己的种族的文化。我呢,又有西方的影响,又有东方的影响;不是洋人,却不完全像华人。或许这样就是新加坡的华人-_-

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Geneaology Service Project

I need to start remembering more often that not everybody stays up past 10:30pm XD Calling people around those times can make for awkward "oops I'm so sorry I didn't realize the time" situations.

I attended the Stake Service Project today. We went to a Teochew cemetery in Woodlands to gather information from graves that were to be exhumed by the Land Transport Authority. Basically, we had to find tombstones, take note of names, dates of death, and place of origin/residence. We were each given a list of serial numbers of marked tombstones and the names. We were then split into groups and had to find the graves of those on our list. Thankfully, names had already been taken down, although ocassionally there were some names that used mandarin words that were not in the computer dictionary. These names were unable to be printed onto our lists, and so we had to write it down, which I did for those few names we came across.

I teamed up with Benji and Shannon. It was just our luck that we were assigned to graves that were mostly in a secluded area. Not only secluded, but covered with rather dense foilage. Dense enough for us to have to climb and jump and duck from time to time. I was the "Infoseeker" whose job was to walk around with the list and a pencil in hand to record down vital information. Benjamin picked up a long metallic pole (and some stick along the way) and became our "Pathfinder" and "Ironman" whose jobs were to clear a safe path for us, as well as fend off any snakes which we thankfully did not come across. Just too bad he was no match for the two Durians that fell from the trees waaaay too close to us haha. Shannon was our Photographer. I couldn't think of a fancier name, but oh well. She alternated between Ben's and my camera since our batteries were acting up.

I learnt quite a few things during the activity, apart from the fact that it's easier to laugh about Durians falling on people when you're not under the tree. When we first found the graves we were searching for, a man happened to be there who suggested that Ben shouldn't use the metal pole to scrape the tombstone like I asked him to (moss covered words I was trying to record). Disrespect to the deceased is no laughing matter, and we readily apologized. I asked the man what some of the words meant, especially "民国" which kept appearing on dates. He explained that it meant I had to add 11 years to the date (because the dates are recorded in terms of years since the new China was formed). So, for example, 民国四十一年 would mean 1952 instead of 41. Some tombstones used the Chinese calendar as well, and he explained briefly how it is recorded. Thankfully, only one or two tombstones used them. He also pointed out which writings showed the birthplaces of the deceased. I also learnt that 世居 refers to where the deceased resided in before passing on. We also saw how there were often little stones marked 福神 or 土神 which were to invite the protection of the Earth God.

All in all, it was a culturally informative learning experience for me. Just too bad I still have trouble reading traditional characters. The old chinese numbers are foreign to me too. I remember learning them back in KL, though. Now I wish I kept that page of my old textbook. But at least I've come out of it knowing more about traditional chinese burials.

It was quite an adventure too. Think of mixing Jungle Trekking with Treasure Hunting haha. Like Indiana Jones, even with falling spiked traps. Except the falling spikes were highly sought after for their delicious taste inside =) At one point, we came across a tombstone covered by a fallen tree. It was there that Ben earned the title of Ironman. He lifted the fallen tree and tugged and tugged until the roots no longer held the what was left of the decaying tree, and it no longer blocked us from gathering information from the grave. Other exciting things included leaping over hidden holes that could earn you a sprained ankle if you did not look where you were going.
There was one part where I was gathering information from a grave and Ben was playing with something behind me. I don't know what he was flicking around, but within moments, he and Shannon were in a panicked frenzy, flicking countless ants off my back and bag. It reminded me of the scene in Indiana Jones where one of Dr Jones' guides had spiders all over his back hahaha.
There were some graves that required getting on all fours to access. Really tight was the way Ben put it. The two of us had to climb through tree branches to squeeze into a tiny space allowing the two of us to stay only in a squatting position. At least there was no rolling on the ground, or running away from a ginormous rolling boulder haha. The only running I did was to get onto the bus that was about to leave hahaha.

We took a photo before leaving.

Thanks for the adventure!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What?

不知道为什么突然那么无聊,想用华文发帖。或许是因为太旧没有参讲华语的朋友。

有时候,我很好奇为什么上了十年的华校,本身的华文程度还是那么差。可能是因为我少读华文书,加上自己的思考语言是英文。想当年,几乎所有的朋友都用华文沟通。我常常因为语言的能力有限,无法清楚地表达自己。幸亏友情不受语言的限制 —— 我还交到许多好朋友。

上课的日子都饱满困难。我阅读华文字的速度比其他人慢; 时常跟不上。温习功课所需要的功夫也比其他人多。成绩因此好不到哪里去。

不过,最惨还是喜欢上一个女人,却无法表达自己的心思。唉…

Talking Till 2:30am With Mom Is Crazy

But soooo worth it.

A bit funny how the conversation started with her commenting that it was the first time she saw me actually sitting down and doing nothing. The I started talking about the girls who have been distracting me of late, Mom giving me her advice, and somehow ending up with Malaysian politics, my country's problems, my KL friends, my idealistic dreams, and World Issues.

It's a bit like what happens when I clean my stuff out to find something. I find it, but because so much junk appeared I end up getting distracted by everything else for quite a while XD

Monday, July 07, 2008

Youth Day Holiday Well Spent

Youth Day Holiday today!

Today, I clocked a total of 9 bus rides. 3 to get back from Seminary (where I not only attended Seminary to reminiscent, but get Music help from Ying Er and help Little John with Chemistry) to home, 1 to go for piano lessons, 3 to come home from piano lessons, 1 to Queensway Shopping Centre to do some work with, and clear some SPA doubts Girish had, then 1 to come home from Queensway Shopping Centre. Plus 1 MRT ride when I went for piano lessons. The number of pages I covered in the novel I've been reading of late is considerable thanks to today haha.

Went through Haydn's Symphony 104 with Ying Er today. Went through the whole Sonata Form of the 1st Movement. Many many thanks. Jesmine lent me her phone which had the recording in it. With much guilt, this was actually the first time I listened to a full, proper recording. The first 2 or 3 bars of the symphony put me off when I tried to listen to it previously XD

I realized that I left my recommended duet pieces at home, so after helping John with Chemistry I had to rush home and grab them, then shoot off for piano lessons. I try to make sure I'm always around half an hour early (especially since the one time I was late haha). I got there 40 minutes early haha. Sat down and drew PJ and Han playing FRISK haha. I picked Debussy for my duet piece with Ben! From his Petite Suite, Movement III - Menuet. Hopefully my Music teacher won't reject it like she did to the Mozart piece I picked last week XD She told me I doubt my own skills too much. Maybe I do sometimes, but I know I've got a lot of things to learn and improve on, and with that attitude I think I've improved a lot since having Michael's Aunt as my Piano teacher.

Anyway. I've been thinking about things again.

The most recent (I nearly typed rost mecent haha) realization is that I am losing tolerance for people who do not bother to try to appreciate all genres of Music and yet have the nerve to call themselves Music lovers. Dark thoughts, and something I should deal with. After all, this world is full of different people who have to learn to co-exist or die of disappointment in others =/

Speaking of co-existing, I shall not explain the reason why this reminded me of the conversation I had with Hao Ran over MSN last night, but it was easily one of the best we've had as close friends. Finally I get to hear Hao Ran telling me about his concerns and stress, and disappointment. It's been so many years now and he's always seemed the type who hardly talks much about these things. He just does things to the best of his ability (never disappointing me at least) and gets things done. Reading some old posts of 2006, I realized he had been supporting through some really hard times, and it could have been a real torture to face 2006 had I not had friends like him. I dropped him a message to thank him for that, not expecting a reply since he's usually busy with important stuff. But he did, and we had a good talk. Ironically, although I offered to lighten his load by listening, I ended up sharing an even heavier burden I've been carrying for a very long time with him. I shared the experience in hopes that it could help him see something in a way I feel is best. Then I realized what kind of information I just gave him. I guess I trust him that much.

I feel like digging out some old, close friends from Tsun Jin and having a good, long chat. There's always something new for me to discover.

As I was walking to the bus stop after hours of doing work and preparing for Chemistry SPA with Girish at the Queensway Shopping Centre, a quirky analogy came into my head to perfectly describe my current... girls-related predicament.

First, one has to understand how I treat playing the piano and drawing. Both are my top pastimes. The funny thing is, they are not usually things I choose to do when I'm bored. I usually only get really into during random moods. For instance, on a particular day I could be hit with a sudden surge of itchiness in my left hand that can only be satisfied by seeing some stuff appear on paper by my pen. When that happens, the piano is not even in the back of my head. On another day, I get a different sort of itchiness that can only be satisfied by hearing music come out of striking keys on the piano. Both activities bring much delight, but when there's one, there isn't the other. A sudden mood for one, and a sudden mood for the other. It is rarely a choice that I deliberately make.

Similarly, the two girls who have been haunting my thoughts of late are stretching my heart strings too much for comfort. One strand this way, a handful the other way, then a fistful this way again. Each girl unaware of the strings she pulls, both unknowingly tying me up in a net. Sometimes I blindly, blissfully allow myself to be slowly wrapped up in more and more knots. Sometimes, I struggle, I try to fight my way out, without much success. The least I can do, I think, is to at least put a foot down and decide who gets to be the only one who pulls the strings. And yet, I cannot.

Just like deciding between the piano or drawing, I have trouble pushing myself to one instead of the other. One day I would think she will be the one I will allow to be such a distraction. The the other will come in on another day, shove her away, and stand in the limelight. Eh. What happened to... to... (one more string is pulled to the opposite direction and tied rather firmly).

One of them is mostly known to all. She's 300km away, and has been mentioned far too often of late. For her, I am perhaps worrying over her feelings of me. An aching question I think I want an answer to, and yet dare not ask. I've stood my grounds in terms of not getting into a serious relationship at this young an age. And yet, there will always be that longing for something more. It is not wrong to want to know a girl better, and to discover more of yourself, to realize your own interest in girls. What you tend to notice, or look out for. I have felt rather strongly for her for quite a while, but when I try to create a list of why's, nothing comes to mind.

The more recent distraction is definitely less than 300km away. Initially thought to be a mere passing fancy, I made the mistake of dwelling upon it. As to who exactly she is, I will decide when to let it be known, if ever, some other time. It is not, however, who most people seem to think she is of late. Obviously, when one of your two best friends in Singapore happens to be a girl, outsiders tend to get wrong ideas. Henceforth, I shall laugh really really hard the next time any joker comes up to me asking if there's any romance between me and Marion. Anyway, back to the girl in question, what smarts is that whenever I think of her, every reason why she captures my attention (with disregard to physical attractiveness of course) comes straight into mind. In fact, she matches the image of the type of girl I would like to meet one day that I formed in my head a while ago so much, that it's almost as if I had her in mind when I was forming that image in the first place. Mom wasn't surprised when she found out who she was. She's very likely to have captured more hearts other than mine. Oh well. As to what I intend to do about it, I'm not very sure myself.

So there it is. To quote Arjun when he was down with Dengue earlier this year, I don't think I even want my worst enemy to go through this haha.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Collage 2006!

Finally finished. I'm really loving Adobe Photoshop now.

A mildly fun game to play, if you know who the people I mention are, would be to count:

- how many times Poh Mi appears
- how many times Chern Hui appears (weirdly enough, very often)
- how many times I appear (take your time)
- how many times a musical instrument appears
- how many times S1S1 appears as a class
- how many times I'm wearing a school uniform
- how many times a scene from the short film "Where Are We Now," a Han&Ran production appears

I'm sure more people I know right now will be interested in 2007's collage. It'll probably take a few weeks. It'll have way more photos than 2006 I think.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Why It's Great To Be Top Student

Because whenever you're lazy to study or do work, there will always be people who come up to me asking if I can join them, and I would feel bad to turn them down =)

Easily put, I'm always studying XD

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Because I've Had Enough of Haydn Tonight

I had a funny dream last night. I was walking along the streets of KL which looked suspiciously like Puduraya, a place with rather uneasy memories since my last trip back to KL. Anyway, I was walking for a reason I cannot remember, and along came Yung Hui. I think the reason why she suddenly walked into the dream is because silly little Firdaus read my old posts about her and started teasing me about her yesterday. Anyway, what was funny was me being at least a head shorter than her. And it wasn't about her being tall, proportionally she was normal, except she was bigger overall. And when I think about it, I remember feeling smaller and smaller hahaha. I think it has something to do with me being shorter than too many people my age hehe. I haven't complained about my height before, but I suppose it's been worrying me without my conscious self noticing. At least I know how Firdaus feels now. Haha. You won't catch me calling him 'shorty' or 'midget' any time soon.

Last night's post proved a few things:
1. My thoughts are still largely jumbled up and in great need of organising
2. I've kept too many concerns about her to myself for too long
3. Her grip on me is still too strong for comfort, whether she knows it or not
4. Whether she knows or not is what's been bugging me all this while
5. 300km is obstructive

Anyway, this is not supposed to be another post about her. I wanted to share my excitement today.

Today, we started studying Haydn for Music. Our Music class has been reduced to four students, the only ones who held through since last year, when we started off with what, ten? It's quite fun though, such a small class. Our teacher could actually teach and get sidetracked halfway to talk about the recent concert she attended at the Esplanade featuring Smetana's awesome The Moldau. Oh, and how delicious the fried potatoes the Home Economics class made were (we sampled more than one each thanks to our teacher's connections). Anyway, about Haydn... it turns out he's not as boring as I thought he would be to have to study. He was good friends with Mozart, as we discovered while learning. Haydn was known to have a "happy and naturally cheerful temperament" and a robust sense of humour. I would very much like that, on top of his musical productivity hehe. 104 symphonies plus a plethora of other types of compositions is no joke. I'll need to listen more to his music though. I don't really have an idea of how his music sounds like, unlike Mozart, Debussy, Liszt etc

I just found out while studying earlier that the counterpoint has a lot more to it than meets the eye. There's so much you can study just about counterpoints! Other "chim" words I picked up today include monothematic and parallel minor. Music will probably be the only refreshing subject in school now that we have completed the syllabus for most of the other subjects and classes which are now reduced to endless, bland revision.

Chinese O Level Oral Examinations tomorrow!