Pain

This post is regarding the accident in Tampines yesterday, where a cement truck killed two brothers on a bicycle. I won’t post links or photos regarding the incident. I just… I don’t know where to begin. I heard about the news yesterday, and saw the grotesque images of the body.

But it wasn’t until today that I saw the picture of their mother, in the Chinese New Year McDonald’s uniform, on her knees and crying at the loss of the children that this sank in. My heart just shattered. I broke. I weeped. I prayed. I cannot understand.

I couldn’t understand why this had to happen. I was all very confused and heartbroken upon seeing their mother. She could have been anybody I brushed past or met at McDs. She looked so human, so normal, that it could have been anyone. It could have been anyone I brushed past on the street.

The two boys could have been children I tsk-ed at in an MRT because they were too noisy. It could have been anyone. The cement truck driver could have been anyone. I will never understand the pain of losing a child. I may never understand the loss of a mother. I may never feel what it is like, but my heart breaks for her and her family. It breaks for anyone who had to go through the pain of losing a child or a parent or a loved one. Especially parents. Parents should never have to bury their own children. It tears me apart – the fact that this had to happen.

I don’t know how to feel.

So I prayed. That I don’t know why this has to happen. I don’ t know whose fault it is. I don’t know why people have to suffer. I don’t know why the mother has to go through this much pain. I wish I could comfort her. What good can this post do? What good will my prayers do? I can only pray. I can only hope. I can only ask God to hold her in His arms and give the comfort and love and peace that I cannot. I can only pray.

I can only ask others do the same.

I can only treasure every moment. I can only treasure every person around me. Even strangers.

I never liked annoying children on the MRT. But this has put a lot into perspective. I’m not promising anything. But I can only try to stop the hate of complete stranger. To love more. To love.

I don’t understand a lot of things. I only know that God has a plan. I know those plans are not to harm me. That is all I need to know.

You are loved. You are treasured.

Don’t forget that.

Artist Date – #1

Adam told us in class that one of our assignments was to take ourselves out on a date once a week. Ourselves as in our inner artist. The muse. Do something just by yourself and for yourself. He said it’s just like taking someone else on a date, i.e. going for ice cream or doing something that you will never do for yourself but someone else will then taking advantage of yourself at the end of the night (his words, not mine!). So I thought long and hard about what my muse liked and how I’d like to spend some time with it/her/my muse is defo not a guy.

I’m a real snuggly and home-y person at heart. Which means most of the time I’d really rather stay home and watch a movie or snuggle in bed reading a book. I mean I like to travel but in Singapore, I enjoy staying in. Or going to a snuggly food place and having tea/coffee and cake.

My idea of an awesome date would really be staying home, cooking, and eating it in front of the TV watching Lord of the Rings. Unless y’know, it’s one of the first date things where you’re not comfortable with each other yet, then I guess the whole going out for dinner/movie is mandatory. But I’ve known my muse for a long time now and have a working relationship with it. My muse has been tired out and a little stunned lately and I’ve been putting off things that I/it’d really like to do. At this point I do sound like I’m talking about a partner/boyfriend (HAH I WISH) but nope. It’s just me.

So for the comfortable stay-in date with my muse, we/I decided to bake lemon squares! I absolutely LOVE lemon squares. Or any lemon dessert, actually. Or lemon food.

I got my recipe from Eating Well, but replaced canola oil with olive oil. It’s 126cal per serving, so it’s not too bad! The recipe makes 16 servings.

Except the zesting. I really hate zesting lemons now! Haha. You zest for so long and only get about 2 teaspoons per lemon. And the zest gets trapped in my grater! 😦

Combining it all together!

This is just the crust of the  lemon square! 🙂 It then had to be pressed into the baking tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes. After this point there aren’t anymore pictures of the baking process because my hands were all greasy. Just imagine me zesting more lemons and squeezing the juice out and separating an egg yolk from a white using the shell (a skill that I am proud of).

And onto the crust, into the oven it goes!

15 minutes or so later…

And out it goes onto the rack to cool for 2 hours.

Actually I couldn’t wait two hours so I just waited for one. It was cool enough! I didn’t take a picture with the camera so here it is off Instagram (@websteph)!

IT WAS FANTASTIC. Try it at home!

Or if baking isn’t your thing, why not take yourself out on a date? 🙂

S

Final year, Semester 2, Day 1

It begins.
It begins.

First day of semester 2 today! It started off rather gently, actually. We were supposed to have Suzuki at 8.30AM but it changed in the detailed schedule, so we only had to be in class at 12.30 for Adam’s design class. Which was pretty mindblowing and all ‘ohshitihavesomuchworktodo’. So we have a presentation due next Monday. My brain is a little stunned from all the thinking and creative stuff it has to churn out, but it’s all good.

Our late afternoons for this month will be spent with Li Xie, Wan Ching and Rei Poh for our intercultural piece. More brain stuff for the next two weeks, from what I gather during today’s meeting. They sent us out to places near school to check out site-specific locations for the performance. I’ll post pictures up after I edit them and present them tomorrow. I walked around the Bugis/Rochor area with Sherri, taking loads of photos. We were supposed to look at architecture and all that, but I kept being drawn to people and portraits. /sneaky camera woohoo

I’m currently hiding in the school library because it’s too hot to function. Singapore, WHY.

Aite, off to pilates with Isa. Wish my abs luck.

S

 

2012 : Looking Back

What a year. Here’s to looking back to random milestones. I flipped through my organizer and…

January – April

  • Began production meetings for TLC: The Musical
  • Caught ‘Spring Awakening’ and discovered ‘Rock of Ages’ which inspired music direction for the musical.
  • Did my Individual Project, allowing me to find my aesthetic and what I really loved about art.
  • Was involved in two shows simultaneously and worked with four different directors. Amazing.
  • Did a workshop with Nelson Chia. Another awesome experience.
  • Learnt Grotowski. Discovered Murakami. Both life changing.

May – July

  • Summer was awesome. Worked at Harry Potter : The Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum at MBS. Met the most amazing people that I never knew could exist. Worked on my social skills. Definitely a life-changing experience. :’) But mehhhh I haven’t met up with them in so long :(!
  • Skeleton of TLC: The Musical out.
  • First trip overseas without Mom. Survived!

August – November

  • First semester, Level Three.
  • Did two shows and both had fantastic reviews from our lecturers. It shocked me because it felt so different and so.. Easy.
  • Did a design presentation which made me miss designing. Doing my thesis.
  • Going forward. Chasing dreams. Writing my plans.
  • Bought my first domain!

December

  • Final touches of TLC: The Musical.
  • Stepping down from the Children Ministry after 7 years of serving.
  • All of my hopes, plans, dreams and life experiences are for the glory of God.
  • Moved to Mom’s study because Grandma moved in.

Will we say we’ve had our fun?

So 2013, what do you have in store for me? More accurately; God, what do you have in store for me?

So here’s what I aim to do or be, with a little help from sermons from camp, Thought Catalog, and tumblr.

  • Always chase down dreams.
  • Take time away to do things for myself. Love, but don’t cling too hard. Rely on yourself.
  • Read more books. Any books.
  • Take time to see art.
  • Smile more. Be kinder to people. Love with compassion, with fiery passion, with empathy.
  • Create art unapologetically, relentlessly.
  • Don’t neglect people who care.
  • Trust God with everything that happens. Don’t dwell on the past, look to the amazing future that God has planned out. No matter what, He will guide you home.
  • Be strong. Be brave. Be soft.

I look forward to another year.

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
▼Lemony Snicket

“Body cells replace themselves every month. Even at this very moment. Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.”
▼Haruki Murakami

S

TLC: The Musical

It’s been a long journey, and on the 23rd and 24rh of December, it was over. I was asked to direct the musical by my church along with another church mate, Kai. We started planning around Jan 2012 and the script came out around Feb. The rehearsal period was pretty long but keep in mind we only had about two hours each Saturday night to rehearse! So yes, it was a really long journey but really worth it.

It was a story that took place in a cabaret (yes, in a church) about lies and deceit and plots and love and envy and the loss of everything and someone who saves it all. Not your typical Christmas nativity play, but a 90 (ish) minute musical with 16 (ish) songs! DVD comes out next year.

I’m really grateful for my bestie, Ben, who was the one who put up the set piece / back drop in the first place. The set design originally consisted of loads of drapes but that was impossible because of the way the sanctuary of my church was structured. Yep, it took place in my church. And as you can see, it’s really oddly shaped. I really do wonder what they were thinking when they first built the church. ._. And the pews! They weren’t your IKEA benches, ohh no they weren’t! They were a very large piece of wood and metal and weighed a ton and we had to find a way to make some of them disappear. -sigh- One of the downsides of not staging it in a theatre.

But the first time I saw the set, I was wowed. You might not think it’s much, but if you’ve seen how the sanctuary looks like on a normal day, you would’ve thought that this was impossible, too. So yes, my best friend is a genius.

This is when it was lit. The “TLC” piece is made of cardboard and fairy lights, slotted individually by the crew. Another brillant idea of Ben and Philip (producer)’s. And a bit of my input there. 😀 We wanted to use lightbulbs but they were too expensive, so I jokingly said “why not just put fairy lights hahaha but you have to jab them in one by one” and they really did it. Ben and Philip are the most amazing creative crew engineers I know. I’m serious. They can create almost anything out of cardboard and it looks awesome.

These are some of the amazing and crazy cast I got to work with this year. They’re all from my church, so I’ve known most of them for over 10 years. And our parents mostly know each other. Yeah, family church. I’ve had my weeks of yelling like a banshee at them out of frustration (“C’MON GUYS PUT SOME LIFE INTO IT”), and I’ve had days where I was absolutely proud of how far they’ve come or the effort they put in or the genius that they have. But they’re an awesome bunch, really. It wouldn’t have worked out if even one of them was missing.

More amazing cast AND crew! I must say, the crew worked really hard on moving like ninjas! They even practiced with a stopwatch to shorten the time between scene transitions! It’s a massive achievement for all of them to have such seamless scene transition because even in school, I keep walking into lights and fumbling violently in the wings. Hahaha I walked into the lights in “Attempts on Her Life” twice. Same light. Same night. -_-  AND we didn’t even have proper wings! We had three flaps of cloth at the back of the stage so you really couldn’t exit left or right. Kudos.

This was taken during one of the full dress rehearsals. Months ago I would never have thought this was possible, but they improved by leaps and bounds since June. 🙂 ALL of them danced in heels and some of them have never worn heels in their life before! -proud mama hen moment- I teared up during a dance one night because ahh… so proud of them. /feels

Sam and Ben
Sam and Ben

Sam is one of the choreographers and the bassist for the musical and one of the sweetest people I know. Really, I don’t know how anyone can be so nice, but he is. He’s also an insanely talented choreographer that took my breath away the first time I saw the arrangement for one of the dances. I never figured out how he could create such an awesome arrangement with a group of 5 guys with no dancing background.

Ben, as y’all know, is my bestie and the guitarist and the music director and the crew for the musical. Definitely NOT one of the sweetest people I know. Possibly one of the most stubborn and annoying, but good when he’s on your side. Almost all the songs were written or co-written by him. I wrote the lyrics for two of the songs and I had no idea they could turn out this way. TALENT.

Vincent (keys), Sam (bass), me, Je (drums), Ben (guitars)
Vincent (keys), Sam (bass), me, Je (drums), Ben (guitars)

With the very talented band.

Just an awesome picture with two cast members (Sam Chow and Lester), who play the guitar as well, but were lead actors in the musical. THE AMOUNT OF TALENT. GOD IS SO AWESOME.

Kai and I
Kai and I

And this is my co-director, Wen Kai (or Nehemiah, as he likes it!). He’s a graphic designer (I think la, he does design) who designed the program booklet. We had loads of creative/artistic/human differences at the start but I grew to like and understand his aesthetic and it was really awesome working with him. Really, he has serious attention to detail issues WHICH IS GOOD. He helped a LOT with set and light design because I usually give up during scene transitions and it hurts my brain. But really, his eye for design is amazing.

Choon Rui and Chloe
Choon Rui and Chloe

Chlo, ChoonRui and Ni Ta kor came on the second/final night! 🙂 We sold out on both nights and I’m really grateful for all the support we had. 800 seats (400/night) and all sold out! Excluding the VIP seats, which were $100 each, of course. I heard today that we made a total of $28,000 and all the proceeds go to D’joy Children Centre! It really does warm my heart to see the seats filling up. It was by the might of God, not ours! I hope that they were all blessed by this production.

Aalya, Isa, Stacy, Me!
Aalya, Isa, Stacy, Me! (Tabbi left early!)

It was a great two nights of catching up with old friends. I haven’t seen these guys in forever!

Aalya and Best
Aalya and Best

Awww I love ya’ll. /warm fuzzy feels

It’s almost the end of 2012. I’m grateful for everything that has happened, but that’s another post altogether.

Have a good time this New Years’ , from the cast and crew of TLC: The Musical.

x S

 

50 Questions

Taken during Thigh Phood Night
Taken during Thigh Phood Night

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these questionmeme things. I stole this from Dex’s blog! Here goes.

  1. What eye color do you find sexiest?
    Grey / Green
  2. White, milk, or dark chocolate mocha?
    Dark or milk chocolate all the waaay.
  3. If you could get a Sharpie tattoo on your back, what would it be?
    Lol since it can be washed off, something ridiculous like a dragon. OR my blog logo!
  4. Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?
    Singapore is a very very tiny city/state/country. I guess it made me who I am, so I guess so.
  5. Your favorite adult as a child? (and not your parents, if they were your favorite)
    My speech and drama teacher. ^_^
  6. What kind of smoothie sounds really good right now?
    Banana hazelnut!
  7. Most embarrassing moment from your elementary school years?
    Too many I think. I do a lot of stupid things. ._. Maybe crashing into my teacher’s boobs when running. Or joking to Len that I was going to push this boy down and she went “MRS LEE STEPHANIE WANTS TO PUSH HIM DOWN”. T_T
  8. Most embarrassing moment from your middle school years?
    ._. Gee, I don’t know. Either I don’t remember or I might have lost all shame in Secondary school.
  9. Most embarrassing moment from your high school years?
    Didn’t go to JC! Foundation in Lasalle is an equivalent but no.. Nothing horrifically embarrassing.
  10. Pirates or ninjas? Why?
    Ninjas. They seem to have better personal hygiene. And if they kill you it’s quick and painless. But pirates have a wider choice of clothes…
  11. Have you ever climbed a tree more than twenty feet off the ground?
    Tress are evil. They contain insects. I don’t like insects.
  12. Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing set?
    I was terrified of heights as a child. But yes, I still like to swing.
  13. If you could have any pet in the world, illegal or not, what would you get?
    Pegasus. Fox. Wolf.
  14. What’s your most favorite part of your body?
    I don’t like my body all that much lolol. My hair?! My face I guess hahah.
  15. What’s your most favorite part of your personality?
    Comfortably awkward. I have come to embrace my awkward penguin side.
  16. Madonna or Lady Gaga? Neither? Both? Who cares?
    If I had to choose, Madonna. Neither actually. Dream Theater? 😀
  17. Have you ever watched the Superbowl all the way through?
    Nope. Not a fan.
  18. Have you ever watched any major sporting event drunk?
    Yeah I don’t watch sporting events on purpose. (gets bricked)
  19. What’s the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten in your life?
    I DON’T KNOW I LIVE IN SINGAPORE THERE’S AMAZING FOOD EVERYWHERE. T______T
  20. Margarine or butter? Which did you grow up with?
    Butter. BUTTERRRRRR.
  21. Whole, skim, 1%, or 2% milk? (Did you know they make 1 1/2% milk?)
    I don’t drink milk as is. But I usually take whole or skim milk at Starbucks…
  22. Which continents have you been on?
    I live in Asia. I’ve only been around Asia and to Australia.
  23. Do you get motion sickness? Any horror stories?
    I’ve only gotten motion sickness from long bus rides. I have a love/hate relationship with horror stories.
  24. Backpacks or satchels?
    Satchels are cool but I guess backpacks are better for the spine? Haha.
  25. Would you wear a rainbow jacket? A neon yellow sweater? Checkered pants?
    Am I getting paid? I wouldn’t wear it for fun, you know… I guess checkered pants are alright….?
  26. What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
    Kim Possible / The Little Mermaid / Mulan / DISNEYYYY
  27. If you had to have a cow or a pig, which would you take? Why?
    Can I eat it? If it has to be my pet I guess a cow.
  28. If you had to look at one city skyline for the rest of your life, which would it be?
    Tokyo or London. Tough choice.
  29. Longest plane ride you’ve ever been on?
    6/8 hours? Not that bad.
  30. The latest you’ve ever slept?
    Uhhh 6AM? Or I just didn’t sleep the entire night.
  31. Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures? Would you wear it if someone gave it you for free?
    HAHA! I wouldn’t buy it but if it looks decent I might wear it.
  32. Do you pick at scabs?
    I try not to…..
  33. Favorite kind of bean? Kidney? Black? Pinto?
    String! or Black.
  34. How far can you throw a baseball?
    Come to think of it, I’ve never actually touched a real baseball, let alone throw one. #asianproblems HAHA.
  35. If you had to move to another country, where would you move?
    Japan.USA. UK. Hmmmm.
  36. Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food? Vietnamese? Korean? Nepalese? How was it?
    Vietnamese and Korean yes. I’d like to try Ethiopian and Nepalese though. I like Vietnamese food, but I’m not a fan of Korean Kimchi. I really don’t like kimchi..
  37. Small, liberal arts school or public university? Why?
    I’d GO to a small arts school because public unis don’t have the course I want. But you gotta admit, the campuses for public unis are pretty awesome.
  38. A relationship with love or one with sex?
    Love. Is this an either or thing? Like JUST sex and JUST love? Love.
  39. Do you eat enough vegetables?
    I would like to think so.
  40. Do you like horror movies? How about thrillers?
    Once in a very long time and if someone pays for the ticket. I’m alright with thrillers.
  41. Would you scratch a crotch itch in public?
    I MAKE SURE NO ONE SEES. It’s not public if no one sees!
  42. Do you swear in front of your parents?
    Nah.
  43. Coolest thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?
    …..a gypsy fortune teller lol.
  44. If you could change your natural hair color, would you? To what?
    Yes, only if my current skin color matches the hair color! Dirty blonde or ashy/chocolate brown. ._. I like blondes.
  45. Do you want to get married? Have kids?
    Yes to marriage. I don’t really want kids……….
  46. Do you use a reusable water bottle? If not, you should.
    Yes I do but YOU DON’T RUN MY LIFE!
  47. City or nature person?
    City. -shudders at thought of plants-
  48. Have you ever used something other than “makeup” as makeup? (Like paint? Markers?)
    Talcum powder once. To be Mulan. HAHA.
  49. Can you walk well in high heels? Even if you’re a guy?
    Moderately well, I guess!
  50. Post 5 awesome things about yourself. BRAG AWAY!
    It’s really hard to talk about yourself without questions. It’s even harder to brag. ._. It’s easier to list all the bad points.

I had awesome Thai food today as well, after waking up at 7.30AM (body clock what are you doing) and going for Pilates. ^__^

It’s tech week for TLC The Musical. See you then.

The Acting Course P Party

I really should blog more often. I really don’t know how Cheryl does it so often. >_> It’s nearing Christmas, which means it’s nearing the dates of TLC the Musical! For those who don’t know, it’s a musical I’m directing with my church. Tickets are sold out for the 23rd, and selling fast for the 24th! 🙂 Apart from directing, I’ve moved out of my room to my mom’s study ‘cos my grandma’s moved in. Lost a bit of motivation to do work with the lack of a desk (I was using my laptop on my bed), but I finally got my act together and moved a desk to my (current) room. And now, the Acting Course P Party!

So, what IS a ‘P’ Party?

You gotta come as something that starts with the letter ‘P’. Y’know, Policeman, Pregnant, Politician…

I was ‘Paranoid Pocahontas’!

P1030422

So I didn’t look very paranoid but I’m still proud of my costume! Chopped up and old dress I didn’t wear anymore and TADAH! I used tutorials from WobiSobi on how to do T-Shirt surgery. I’m terrible with craft things, so my only tip is to CUT REALLY SLOWLY. I’m too impatient to cut in a straight line. T_T

P1030449

Nadia came as ‘Postmodern Peranakan’. You know… Actors. Hahaha. She was in charge of the meat that day! Nadia’s cooking is AMAZEBALLS.

LOOK. AT DER MEAT.

P1030431

I was in charge of the pasta bake, which turned out pretty awesome! You can’t really go wrong with cheese.

It was sort of a surprise for Yibao that day as well, to celebrate her belated birthday. This was the cake that Kristina and Naina got her. Yes, it says Yibao Slut. You know what they say… Friends pick you up when you fall, best friends laugh because were the ones that shoved you. In Yibao’s case… they shoved her face into the cake.

P1030499

With friends like these, who needs enemies? 🙂 Have some shenanigans of the night:

P1030531

P1030514

It was great to finally have a get-together with (almost) all the acting course! Got to talk to the level 1s (AT LAST) and hang out. I can’t believe that we’re doing our final semester next year!

Brb sudden panic attack at the thought of graduating.

Brb second panic attack about my thesis.

 

OKAY.

P1030627

Bahaha this is Ben who came as a pokemon trainer.

I realize I have no (good) pictures with Wendy. .___. She came as a pretty pinky princess.

P1030671

Ricky the Pharaoh. With money.

P1030692

Wuv you too Chanel.

P1030601

ONE WITH SHAF post swimming as you can tell from the wet hair. There was also a non-stop drizzle the entire night. T_T So we were never really dry.

P1030641

Until next time.

P/S: I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2. Anyone play it, too?