Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm home sick today.

I'm not feeling well, and I've taken one day's medical leave. I was reluctant to, cos I didn't want to start a pattern of taking MCs here at my office. It doesn't reflect well on me, and work really isn't so distasteful that I feel the need to run away from it.

I have a tummyache, which the doctor said is probably a case of gastric flu? I've never heard of that. I know what stomach flu is, and what gastric is... Maybe I heard her wrong.

I do enjoy being at home on a weekday though. Gives me time to recharge, rest and relax a little. I find that my weekends are increasing busy and really don't offer one the sort of rest one needs anymore. I've been running around doing errands, and attending one event or another. So I'm really relishing this oppurtunity I have to just stare slack-jawed at the TV. And there wasn't anybody at home which was a nice change. I do appreciate some quiet time by myself which is becoming increasingly rare since I've been back from Australia.

Monday, June 26, 2006

4B3, Class of 96, St Joseph's Institution

I recieved a call from an old classmate, Andy, this morning. I haven't heard from him since I left SJI, I think. It was really great to hear from him. Just talking with him, and throwing some old names around really got me thinking about my time in SJI. Absolutely fantastic! I love SJI, my only alma matar. And I really miss my days there in SJI. I almost don't consider myself a student of any school other than SJI. Poly, Uni, Primary school... they all pale in comparison to my beloved SJI.

Andy was calling me to ask if I'd be able to attend the 10 year anniversary and reunion of the Class of 96. I'm glad to say, that unless something dire prevents me from going, I'll definately be there. It'll be great to see all of the old guys again. . I look forward to singing a few school anthems with them soon!

A lot about me has been defined by my time in SJI. The entire time there has really shaped me to become the person that I am today. Of course, I picked up alot of bad traits while I was there, but that was mostly my own fault and not SJI's. But the good parts, the parts that define me and set me apart from everyone else, the parts that make me unique... I learnt from my time in SJI. My beloved alma matar turned a squealing little boy... into a whiny teeanger. Hahaha...! But seriously, I am what I am today, because of SJI. My perceptions may have changed over the years, my eyes and mind more open by the things I've seen, but the core of me, is very much still a Josephian.

Ora Et Labora.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble...

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
Cuz I get better lookin each day

To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
But I'm doin' the best that I can

I used to have a girlfriend
But I guess she just couldn't compete
With all these love starved women
Who keep clamoring at my feet

Well I probably could find me another
But I guess they're all in awe of me
Who cares I never get lonesome
Cuz I treasure my own company

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
Cuz I get better lookin each day

To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
But I'm doin the best that I can

I guess you could say I am a loner
A cowboy all locked up and proud
Well I could have lots of friends if I wanted
But then I wouldn't stand out in a crowd

Some folks say that I'm egotistical
Hell I don't even know what that means
I guess it has something to do with the way
That I fill out my skin tight blue jeans

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I wanted to write a book once.

I thought it'd be interesting for me to write a book, something like a memoir or a auto-biography. I thought I had alot of things to say, and that people would be interested in finding out how I became the person that I was. A story about an average everyday teenager that had views and opinions about the world, an intellectual beyond his years. It'll be something like The Diary of Adrian Mole, only I wouldn't come off as pretentious or idiotic.

So I decided to start writing, and chapter one was to be a chronicle of my life up til then. I talked about my early years as a precocious child, moving on through my time in school. It was a pretty decent chapter, I think.

And by the end of that chapter, I ran out of material.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My sentiments exactly.

For your viewing ease...

I've moved my wish list to the sidebar, so that it'll remain in view no matter what posts I publish. That'll make it easier for all of you to see what exactly I want to have. There's no end to this community service, and I constantly strive to provide you the best means to know what to buy me. My generosity never ends.

Thanks to my sister for helping me out with this.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Boy howdy, I'm tired

The work never ends. It's been a real busy month networking with all kinds of people, adding them to my growing group of gamers. Networking is a tough tough job. Sigh... It's a good thing that coming to the office offers me a place to rest and relax, and a place to hide from it all.

Honestly, I wish there was a little more real work to be done here. Not alot more, but just enough to make me feel utilised. Right now, I'm just sitting in my cubicle hammering at the keyboard. I'm checking out boardgames, news, blogging. And no one suspects a thing. Or rather, no one really cares. Everyone has got MSN running, everyone is tuning into YouTube. Well, not really everyone... but you get the idea. I'm given alot of autonomy, and I appreciate that. I am able to complete tasks at my discretion, and given the freedom and authority to do them my way. I feel empowered. And I'd like to take this and expand it further, to see what other tasks I can make my own. I actually feel motivated!

Motivated and empowered. Wow. Never thought I'd feel that way about work. Maybe it's the new job euphoria? Or that pay day is coming in a week?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sengkang = Boondocks

My god... I think Sengkang is even more boondocky than Mich's place. I mean, wow! I bet there are all sorts of unwashed hicks that live there. It seems like that sort of place. Mich! Your place in Taman Jurong is now ranked number 2 among the boondocks of Singapore.

Mark and I were there to join in a gaming group, but we ended up playing games on our own. The facilities weren't adequate and there were quite a lot of people there. It was in a very small conference room, and there wasn't a decent place for Mark and I to set up.

But that aside, my god, Sengkang can almost be considered rural. It's about as rural as we can get here in Singapore. I mean, there's only trees, open fields and HDB blocks. I know that doesn't sound all that different from other housing estates. But I think I half expected to see a paddy field around the corner or something. Maybe a few buffalos, and a horse-drawn cart.

Next time I go there, I'll remember to wear a straw hat and chew on a stalk of wheat. And sing a few mountain tunes.

Monday, June 12, 2006

That sure was a fully packed weekend.

That was a tiring weekend. Really. I don't think I sat still much during the last couple days. I had my monthly Singapore Open Gaming session to organise, and I also had to prepare for a friend's wedding; I was his MC.

So friday night, I went out to dinner with my friend, Ian, and Stella, his wife-to-be. Had a great meal, and talked briefly about the wedding on Sunday. As we talked, it became apparent that I actually had a lot more to do than just stand around and talking into a mic. It all ended pretty late that night, as I met Audrea after and drove her home.

Saturday started early, having breakfast with Audrea. SOG started in the afternoon, with a great turnout. So I was running around making sure that everyone was nice and settled and had a game to play. We had dinner after that and I drove Audrea home after an ice cream at Island Creamery. I popped by Ian's rooms at Raffles Town Club to hammer out some details and also spend some time with him and our poly friends, as a final bachelor's night. I left around midnight.

Sunday... God, that was a busy day. I swung round RTC about 9.30, running through last minute preparations, running though my script, discussing the soleminising ceremony with the Justice of the Peace. I didn't sit down much til after lunch. The wedding was really very nicely down. I met Mark in the afternoon and went to Sengkang CC to meet another group of people playing games; I'll put in my impressions later. Mark and I played Commands & Colours: Ancients, where I won. I WON. Hahahaha... Just by a slight margin though. We had dinner at Toa Payoh after, and then went home.

I went to bed at 10pm, woke up at 8am to go to work. If it seems like this post sounds as if I'm droning on, you're spot on about how I'm feeling right now. I'm tired, sleepy, and feeling drained. It's been a really busy weekend.

I think I need a quiet place to rest and recuperate where no one will disturb me. That's why I came in to the office today.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

SOG IV: Great games, great time

That was an absolutely fantastic SOG session. There's no two ways about it. It was great, and it fun, and it was a blast! I hope every SOG session will continue to grow and we move from strength to strength.

I'm coming off a high here. We had the highest attendance so far, and that's with a number of people who didn't turn up, or wasn't able to make it. I've got 41 names on my mailing list, but definately not that many have shown up. But I had a total attendance of 22 people today! 22! WOW!

I can't believe that it was just 4 days ago when I was just talking about how I wish SOG could garner more support. Today's session actually shows that I CAN do it. I just need to keep hammering away at it.

Today was awesome!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Boardgames today again.

So I went to the June Boardgames Meetup session today, which is held on every 1st tuesday of the month, at Settlers' Cafe. It's a very well-run session, with a good crowd, good selection of games, nice venue and free-flow of drinks. And I played a good collection of games today- Hansa, Roborally and Cartagena. Of these games, Hansa was new, I've played and enjoyed Roborally before, and Cartagena is one of my favourites. And anytime I get to learn a new game, I think it's a great day.

But as I look at what Boardgames Meetup has become, I can't help but feel a small pang of professional jealousy. I organise a seperate group that meets regularly on a monthly basis too, and I'm not trying to be just like Boardgames Meetup. But as I look at the constant stream of new people joining in each month, and the facilities provided, I can't help but feel that I ought to do more to boost my own SOG.

I don't wanna step on any toes, and Andy is a real nice fellow. And I know that he's genuinely just a gamer trying to get more people into the hobby. For that, I'm real proud to know him, and to be part of his group. I plan to continue actively supporting him whenever I can.

But I do wish that I can create a group that has as strong an identification and ties to SOG as some gamers have to Boardgames Meetup. And I know that I'm just starting out, and I need to keep working at this more. There's gotta be ways in which I can help improve SOG.

SOG and Boardgames Meetup aren't the same, and are not treading the same path. But looking at Andy and this group that he's overseen for so long now, it just shows me what can be achieved if I keep putting effort into it. I have to keep looking into ways I can help forward SOG and boardgaming in general.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Have a good weekend!

I sure hope you all did, cos mine was great. I had a blast playing a couple of quality boardgames yesterday with some old friends, and a new one. Yesterday sure was the highlight of the week for me, playing two great games in Antike and A Game of Thrones.

Antike has been sitting on my shelf for quite a number of months and I hadn't gotten a chance to play it yet. I've been keen to get it on the table and decided to round up a number of people to join me. We had 5 players and Edwin (the new friend) managed to win the game in the end. I won't go into too much detail, but I really enjoyed the game. I know both Mark and Edwin felt that the game was really light, and not quite as meaty as they would have liked. Mark also didn't like how the game usually ends in a huge fight, trying to capture temples. They both make valid remarks and I can see where they're coming from. The game is light, and if you were expecting a sweeping historic epic, you'd be quite off. Most everything is abstracted in the game, and the mechanics were simple and quick. Each option available in the game was not quite as in-depth as other games in a similar genre. The tech tree is limited, there were minimal rules for combat/movement/conquest; The simulated economy was adequete at best. But while each part wasn't the absolute best, the sum of it all, in my opinion, outweighed the individual parts.

The experience was really satisfying to me. I had to keep an eye on my opponents, and the available victory points. I wanted to push forward, but decided to hang back instead of leaving myself open and vulnerable. I found myself constantly changing my plans mid-game. I was first thinking of going heavy on Gold, and win a bunch of research points (which I could have done), but each turn presented a new, more tempting opputunity somewhere else. I didn't even think about winning the navigator points til Shaun grabbed one. And the player interaction was great. I'm sure I could find a meatier game, which I prefer sometimes. But for a game that offers this much fun, in under two hours (inclusive of rules explanation), and this many varied options to victory, it's hard to replace. This will hit the table again sometime soon.

The other game I played was A Game of Thrones, which is one that I love. Irene had to leave so that left Mark, Shaun, Edwin and myself at the table. I mentioned it on Saturday, that though I liked Antike very much, I just absolutely love A Game of Thrones. I've read the books, so the theme appeals to me even more. This game is just fun, and meaty, and not luck-driven, which is almost everything I look for in a game. So to be able to play this again, was an absolute joy. I haven't touched it in almost a year, but the time apart has just made the experience all the more sweeter. I was on the brink of victory but I was stopped short. My armies were in a precarious position and if I didn't grab it then, I knew I'd be going downhill from that point on, which was true. Shaun's armies came roaring down from the North (The Starks are coming!!) and secured victory through a few really good moves. Man, I love this game!

We played two games over 5 hours, from 2pm til 7pm, which was just awesome! But the rest of the evening was fantastic too. The 4 of us grabbed dinner at a local haunt, and spent hours just talking about our various gaming preferrences and experiences. What better way to round of a day of games than kicking back and talking about these games of ours (TGOO).

Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Schonell Theatre to close by 30 June 2006

It's a sad thing that my beloved Schonell Theatre has to close, due to the new VSU legislation. I don't know how this new legislation works exactly, but with no more compulsory financial contributions from students, the UQ Union is unable to support the costs of keeping the Schonell running. This will also affect a large number of student-run initiatives. I think my friends at the Semper may be out of a job soon.

But with the Schonell, I'm feeling the loss even more. The theatre has been with me through my years in Brisbane, always offering me a quiet place for me to enjoy quality movies and a place to hide from the rest of the world. The Schonell offered me solace. And I am diminished, and saddened, by the loss of it.

I remember catching my first ever show there, "Bowling for Columbine" with Robbie and Ahsan, my two housemates. I remember cycling there on a cool winter afternoon, and watching a show on my own. I remember going for a flurry of movies everyday during one semester break. The Schonell has become for me, and many other students I believe, a part of the UQ identity.

I've written to the Vice Chancellor and the UQ Union President regarding my disappointment about the issue. The replies I've received echo my own sentiment, and they too would not like to see the Schonell closed. However, they are unable to continue supporting it due to the drastic reduction in funds.

So I must say, without my usual tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, that the closure of the Schonell Theatre is a loss that I will feel very personally.