Rants of a Weird Little Bird

Random stuff involving myself…and people around me. Hello, and goodbye. :-)

Archive for February 2010

Weekly Status Update for New Year Resolutions

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Seven resolutions for 2010 – Updated to Eight

1. Hit the gymnasium for at least twice per week – Done
2. Do at least one bout of long-distance running (2.4km++) at least once per week – Done
3. Get the P-licence – Delayed
4. Watch at least five of my friends in performances. (Total count as of today in 2010: JM, Older C-ster, Alt)
5. Stay in my new job in Jurong – Still succeeding
6. Complete at least two screenplays (First one is currently undergoing translation and editing into first draft, second one in the works)
7. Take part in at least two vocal competitions – (One at TA, the other to follow in March) – Done
8. Take part in at least two concerts – About to complete in March
9. Vacuum the floor every week – Done

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

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A Harrowing (Christian) Concert Experience

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Back when I was in primary school, my mother took me to a live concert performance at an auditorium, and among the singers that night were some fairly popular singers, one of whom sang a very popular Chinese drama which was telecast on prime time in Singapore.

My memories are rather hazy on the exact year which this occurred, but as it turned out, it was a very unforgettable experience – for all the wrong reasons.

Over and over again, during their performances, when interacting with the audience, the singer would go into something about being a “Ji Du Tu” (“基督徒”, or “Christian”, for people who know Chinese), and at that age, I had practically no knowledge of what that meant, nor did I care. I was simply delighted that my mother had taken me out to watch a concert – and I loved music at that time. All the singers, when reminiscing their experience seemed to revel in the experience of being a “Ji Du Tu”.

I’m not going to talk about the singers here, because I can’t remember what songs they sang at this point of time, save for the fact that a singer that I used to admire very much appeared then; which was why I wanted to attend that performance with my mother in the first place. At that time, I was too young to appreciate good singing, though I knew enough P’s and Q’s to applaud every singer.

However, when all the singers had finished, and it was near the end of the concert, some man dressed in some weird-looking flowing white robe took to the stage and started to speak in a very aggressive, and yet charismatic manner.

Again, my memory of the experience is sketchy, and I can’t remember how the man began his speech, but the middle of his speech stuck in my mind.

“There’s this man who died for you on the cross,” he thundered to the audience. “You know how they used to nail people on the cross during these times?

“One of their methods of doing so was forcing the feet together like this!” He put his feet together. “They would then hammer the nail right across the ankles horizontally!” He mimicked the horrific sight of a nail driven right through his ankles from his side. “Blow, by blow, the sharp nail, which is this thick – ” he used his hands to demonstrate, ” – and this long, they would drive it with a hammer, right through the ankles!”

“Another way of nailing people on the cross was to twist the man sideways!” the priest turned so that his feet were in a straight line, his left toes touching his right ankle, “and they would DRIVE the nail right through his feet!”

I recalled that he proceeded to talk about driving nails through the man’s hands too, but can’t remember how he did that. It was the way he described the nail being driven through the legs which stuck in my mind.

“That was obviously very painful to bear. How can you let a man suffer for you like this? His death was for each and every single one of you!”

This went on for nearly a good five minutes. I cannot remember what else that pastor said, but it involved things like snakes, good, evil, God and whatnot. Initially, I found it ridiculous, but gradually, it became a terrifying experience, and just for . Fortunately or otherwise, I cannot remember exactly what it was that the weird person in white robes was doing, or even selling, but I was terrified of the graphic descriptions that weird person kept on harping, about a man called “Ye Soo” being nailed to the cross in all sorts of manners. I was terrified of having a nail driven through my own feet. I was terrified that the priest was going to nail my feet to the wall himself, and I was terrified, because what had begun as a live concert had suddenly become an arena where some strange man talking about people having nails hammered through their hands and feet on wooden boards!

After an interminable description of this great man who somehow decided to die for everyone in the auditorium, the priest finally seemed to calm down. I was instantly relieved.

“All of you,” he addressed everyone in the crowd, “if you say, yes, I want to be saved by this great man, please put up your hand if you want to be saved.”

A few put up their hands.

“Yes, I see you, God bless you,” he said, pointing to a direction in the crowd.

“Does anyone want to feel the great love and accept this great man as your saviour?” he ventured.

“Yes, I see you, God bless you,” he said, pointing to another direction in the crowd.

Again, and again, he asked if people wanted to accept this dead “Ye Su” (“Jesus” in Chinese) as their saviour, and again and again, he acknowledged people in the crowd who had put up their hands. Slowly, more and more people put up their hands, and the frequency of him acknowledging the crowd increased. I remembered myself being tempted to put up my hand and wanting to acknowledge him, but I was not sure what my mother would say. She did not seem to be interested in putting up her hand, and for me, I just wanted to make this weird and threatening man on stage happy, in case he decided to drive a nail through my feet. Eventually, I saw him acknowledging more and more people – and I wondered if I was going to ever leave the auditorium if he did not see everyone put up their hands.

“All of you who have put up our hands, please come up on stage now,” he invited.

I saw a big throng go up on stage. Eventually, the number of people filled up nearly three-quarters of the stage, and more of them were trickling forward. The priest seemed satisfied. I was relieved.

“After tonight, please go and tell your friends and family members that you are now Ji Du Tu, and Ye Su loves all of you. We are all one family now,” said the priest. It looked somewhat unnerving to me that people could actually go up on stage and suddenly become one family. My mother took me away, and though, as you can see, I do not recall anything that went on during the concert, except that one of the singers was someone whom I really liked when I was young, that harrowing recount of the strange man who had nails driven through his legs reverberate in my mind even today.

It turns out that it would not be my first brush with Christianity, and I suspect that it would not be my last either. However, it was most probably the scariest.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

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Absence of Religion – In Primary School

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When I was studying in primary school, it was probably when my parents told me that we don’t believe in gods or ghosts – though it was only until a few weeks ago when I finally brought myself to ask my father about all the burning of joss sticks, the offerings of chicken and duck meat to the “Tian Gong” and such.

This sort of early education led me to an embarrassing incident in the classroom.

Back then, a part of Social Studies featured an introduction on the various religions in Singapore, and places of worship such as the Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, the Sri Mariamman Temple and the Hajjah Fatimah mosque were taught to all of us.

It was during such a lesson where the teacher got the entire class to stand, according to their religious beliefs. Firstly, she called on all the Christians to stand (they duly did), then it was the turn of the Catholics, the Muslims, the Taoists, and so on and so forth…and I was the only one left sitting in my chair.

“So what do you believe in?” the teacher asked. (She is a Muslim)

I replied hesitantly. “Nothing.”

“Nothing? But…you must believe in something!” she said. “What do your parents tell you to believe in?”

I hesitated. BUT MY PARENTS DID SAY I DON’T HAVE A RELIGION!

“Nothing,” I said, even more hesitantly.

“Then you go havoc?” (Yes, those were the exact words – never mind the grammatically awkward English)

The entire class laughed. Insides, I didn’t know what the fun was about – and somehow I had the queasy feeling that there must have been either something wrong with me, or something wrong with everyone else. I stared at the teacher, not knowing what to say.

“Ask your parents what you believe in, and I will ask you again during the next lesson,” she said.

It was a few days before the next lesson which I asked my parents exactly that.

“Nothing,” they said.

“But my teacher said that we must all believe in something?” I persisted.

“Just tell her that it’s the truth,” they replied.

Eventually, I can’t remember the exact answer that I told my teacher, who kept to her word to ask me about my religious beliefs, but as I had never come across the word “atheism” just yet, I said something like we believed that had to do good to others or else we would become cockroaches in our next life (funny, yes?). Whatever she thought of my answer, she mercifully did not query further.

It was probably around a year later that I came into contact with the word “atheist” that I started calling myself a (yes, an oxymoron) devout atheist to my friends – and it was somehow something which brought much joy to me – that there was actually a term which I could use to describe myself, that I was not deficient in any manner, simply because I did not have something which other people had – a religious belief.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

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Weekly Status Update (Feb 20) – Seven Resolutions for 2010

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Seven resolutions for 2010 – Updated to Eight

1. Hit the gymnasium for at least twice per week – Done
2. Do at least one bout of long-distance running (2.4km++) at least once per week – Done
3. Get the P-licence – Delayed
4. Watch at least five of my friends in performances. (Total count as of today in 2010: JM, Older C-ster, Alt)
5. Stay in my new job in Jurong – Done
6. Complete at least two screenplays (First one is currently undergoing translation and editing into first draft, second one in the works)
7. Take part in at least two vocal competitions – (One at TA, the other to follow in March) – Done
8. Take part in at least two concerts – About to complete in March
9. Vacuum the floor every week

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 20, 2010 at 3:03 am

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Blog Frequency

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As the computer is shared by my sister [who paid for it] and myself, I find time to blog preciously scarce. Hope I keep up blogging at least once per week – ie during the weekends.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm

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“Please add me on MSN!” – For WHAT!?

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Some time back, I happened to watch a live show which a famous television personality was hosting. Just before I left, I got up to the stage to shake his hand and give him a smile and thumbs up. He willingly obliged and when I went home, I couldn’t get his stellar performance out of my mind, given that he had been criticised badly, and was even game enough to make a joke out of it that day, by telling us to ignore everything in the newspapers.

Not being a fan of local television, I wondered what it was that got him into bad press, as he had a sense of humour, was friendly, and extremely talented. As a result, I went to look over the Internet for news involving him. It turned out that he had a blog, and when I accessed it, I saw this prominently displayed on the screen:

“Add me on MSN!”

So I did.

Not long after that, he came online. I sent a message to him.

“hi there – thanks for letting us get to know you better. it isn’t every time that an artiste puts up his msn contacts up on the Net.”

He did not reply. It’s been a long time and I am still kept waiting. I saw him online several times, waiting to receive an acknowledgement, but he did not reply.

If you want your fans to add you on MSN, and then proceed to not acknowledge one simple message from one of them, then why on earth put your MSN e-mail address up there for?

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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Resolutions for the New Year – 2010

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Seven resolutions for 2010

1. Hit the gymnasium for at least twice per week
2. Do at least one bout of long-distance running (2.4km++) at least once per week
3. Get the P-licence
4. Watch at least five of my friends in performances. (Total count as of today in 2010: JM, Older Sis, Alt)
5. Stay in my new job
6. Complete at least two screenplays (First one is currently undergoing translation and editing into first draft, second one in the works
7. Take part in at least two vocal competitions

Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 16, 2010 at 3:07 am

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