The Human Instrumentality Project

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Despite all the big talk about having faith in myself, that I always do the right thing, that all things turn out right in the long run: sometimes I do wonder, yes. I suppose it's more like, I'm prepared for the consequences, whatever comes.

I remember this from secondary school.. who was it who made us memorise this for 默写? was it 黄老师 or 杨老师?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I have been on a long, long journey for the past 4 months. It has not been easy, but it has finally been completed last night, with good results and happy faces all round.

I began the journey innocently enough, sitting down for the committee interview in September. I told them about the bit of experience I've had, and that I'd rather do stage work rather than admin work.

"Would you like to be a stage manager?" They had to explain what a stage manager was to me - in secondary school the teacher-in-charge took care of everything and we were not aware of the internal processes. It sounds interesting, I replied, but how many stage managers were there? If there was only one, then they'd better look for someone more experienced to take the job. I mean, how was I to be stage manager when I didn't even know what one was?

So they said, thanks for your time, and promised to inform me of the results. I was about to sleep that night when a call came from the producer, "how would you like to be the Chief Stage Manager?" Well, of course not, such an important role should be left to someone with more experience than I have. "But, you're the best person we have for the job." Really? There's no one in Sheares Hall who's better suited for the role then me?! (i was still of the naive opinion that everyone in hall was gung ho and active and committed and therefore manpower should never be a problem) Well, I had to think it over, I never intended to take on such a big role in my first year. "Why don't you talk to K in your block? He was stage manager last year." So I did, and he said, the usual rhetoric - it is easier than it sounds lah, time commitment is not too heavy, you're more than up to it, etc etc. But it took another lengthy phone call from the producer before I finally agreed to take up the responsibility. So much for wanting to concentrate on my schoolwork for the first semester (in the end, my initial plan of joining 1 sport and 2 committees went into smoke; I joined 2 sports and 3 committees instead).

I was completely clueless, so they referred me to the director. The director was very nice, and she explained to me what I needed to do. Show up for every rehearsal. Take care of the cast's administrative matters. Keep abreast of the developments in the sets and props committees. Run the entire on-stage show during the performance. The assistant director offered to help me along with my work, too.

The rehearsals started in October. 3 days a week initially, eventually extending to every weeknight from Monday to Friday. The routine is to inform everyone of the next rehearsal, inform welfare of rehearsal times (which became the director's job, since she and the welfare chief were neighbours) so they can bring us refreshments, and then sit through the rehearsal. I became known as the super-sub, because whenever actors were absent I stood in for them.

The director and AD took up quite a bit of my job, for which I was grateful. I had to ask them about every other thing, anyway, and they always kindly and patiently explained everything to me. The lights and sounds team also did most things themselves, so I didn't really have to worry about much.

Then there were the main committee meetings. Always 2-hour long, dreary affairs that start at unearthly hours and end at unearthly hours, like 11pm till 1am. There's almost always ice-cream, though, Ben & Jerry's somemore, which makes it bearable. I almost always have nothing to report, that is, until they saddled me with the pre-show.

The pre-show was always a major headache, not just for me, but for the producers and the DOCA, as well. Getting people to perform for the pre-show was a big struggle, because who wanted to perform to a theatre that's less than half-filled? Getting the audience to come for the pre-show was also a problem, because that's not what they came to see. I think the 4 of us ended up owing the performers a big favour, even though I thought the pre-show was quite a flop, no thanks to me.

The 3 days at UCC was smooth-going for the most part, thanks mainly to my 2 capable and reliable assistants. Though they had problems attending rehearsals due to other heavy commitments, they were perfect during the performance and I relied on them heavily to make sure everything was right (while I ran around trying to make sure there was a pre-show). The wardrobe, props and sets committees were also spot-on, which saved me a lot of worry there, as well. The lights and sounds team were also perfect. So I could afford to worry about the pre-show (which needed a lot of worrying from me).

And so, 13 hours ago, it finally ended. Sheares Production 05/06. Happily, the performance went without a hitch. The cast were brilliant, the backstage crew were brilliant, and the audience enjoyed the show. What more could one ask for? I've worked with many wonderful people during this entire process, people who've been patient and understanding with me, a total newbie, people who have given me encouragement and praise, people who have gone the extra mile for me, gone out of their way to help me. The list is nearly endless: DOCA, who helped me with the pre-show and liaised with SHacapella; the producer, who was always very patient with me; the AP who bought the Ben and Jerry's and helped me with the pre-show; the director who took up so much of my job for me, even though she had enough on her hands already; the AD, who always kept an eye out for me and was always willing to help; my assistant SMs who never once complained and did everything I told them to; the cast, who always had me laughing till I cry during rehearsals and who always put in 120% during rehearsals; especially Tris who also stressed himself out trying to put up a pre-show item for me; the lights man who settled everything himself (which was good since I was clueless about lights) and gave me advice and prompts and generally served as backup for me; the sounds men who fired on cue and made the effort to work out the sound cues thoroughly with me; sets committee who never complained, just worked and worked right up till the last minute, who were amongst the first to arrive at UCC and last to leave; welfare committee for all the food and drinks they provided us; wardrobe and props committee who prepared everything ahead of time at UCC; the pre-show performers, whom I never thanked because I was backstage, and to whom I apologise for any unhappiness and miscommunication; and of course everyone else who played their part in making this year's production such a success!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Norah Jones craze! Her voice is so soothing! Here're some of her songs..

What Am I To You?
What am I to you
Tell me darling true
To me you are the sea
Fast as you can be
And deep the shade of blue

When you're feeling low
To whom else do you go
See I cry if you hurt
I'd give you my last shirt
Because I love you so

If my sky should fall
Would you even call
Opened up my heart
I never want to part
I'm giving you the ball

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies
I love you when you're blue
Tell me darlin' true
What am I to you

Yeah well if my sky should fall
Would you even call
Opened up my heart
Never wanna part
I'm giving you the ball

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies
Could you find a love in me
Could you carve me in a tree
Don't fill my heart with lies

I will you love when you're blue
Tell me darlin' true
What am I to you (x3)

Comes Love
Coms a rainstorm, put your rubbers on your feet
Comes a snowstorm, you can get a little heat
Comes love, nothing can be done
Comes a fire, then you know just what to do
Blow a tire, you can get another shoe
Comes love, nothing can be done

Don't try hiding, 'cause there isn't any use
You will start sliding, when your heart turns on the juice
Comes a headache, you can lose it in a day
Comes a toothache, see your dentist right away
Comes love, nothing can be done

That's all brother, if you ever been in love
That's all brother, you know just what I'm speaking of
Comes a nightmare, you can always stay awake
Comes depression, you may get another break
Comes love, nothing can be done

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I had a great Valentine's Day! So many things happen to warm my heart and make me smile -- any 1 would have been enough for a day! This is probably the happiest Valentine's I've had in 21 years!

Went up to the 5th floor after midnight in search of a bicycle, and though I couldn't find one (its tyre was punctured), I got 2 chocolates in return! The first presents I received, and from 2 chio bus no less!

And in the morning, I sent a Happy Valentine's Day message to ying, and received a very heart-warming message in return. You actually still remember me ar, so sorry I haven't talked to you since Christmas Eve.. And I still owe you a report! Now I feel so guilty.. maybe I'll treat you to a nice dinner..!

I don't know what made me suggest the gift exchange with YJ and LY.. I'd already intended to give them something, had it in mind for quite a long time actually, so I just thought, it'll be nice if we gave each other presents! So even if no one else gave us anything, at least we'll all have something (though I think this situation is highly unlikely for the both of them.. selfish me! :P). And I was so touched by what they gave me!

From YJ: Wallet! Did I complain that much about my current wallet? I'm sure I didn't! Except when the card holder fell off.. And such a nice one too! And it has a coin pouch.. I only mentioned in passing that I wanted wallets with a coin pouch.. Thank you thank you thank you!
From LY: NORAH JONES!!! Every time I walked past a CD shop I'll be debating whether to buy it or not.. and you bought it for me! My..
Now you guys make me feel bad.. my presents were so simple.. well I'll just have to make up for it! Thank you thank you thank you!

And I saw her today. The one who has been the cause of much sadness for the past 5 years. Not her fault, of course, the demons were of my own making. Now it's just good to see you, with hair that's longer and permed, looking much the same as before but more radiant. And to see you're still with him, after so many years, and happy, too! It tells me that my decision then was the right one, so I need torment myself over it no longer. It's makes me happy to know you're doing well.

And there's more to come! The day's not over yet. Here's to the rest of the day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Everytime I read TXP's blog a whole deluge of these things appear here..

What Your Face Says

At first glance, people see you as strong willed and stubborn.

Overall, your true self is reserved and logical.

With friends, you seem dramatic, lively, and quick to react.

In love, you seem mysterious and interesting.

In stressful situations, you seem sad and helpless.

You Are 32% Abnormal

You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at medium risk for having a social phobia. It is somewhat likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Who Should Paint You: Pablo Picasso

Your an expressive soul who shows many emotions, with many subtleties
Only a master painter could represent your glorious contradictions

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have a few true loves.

Although you may have been hurt before, you tend to bring very little scars into new relationships.

It's important to you that your lover is very attractive. You like to have someone to show off.

In fights, you love to debate and defend yourself. You logic prevails - or at least you'd like to think so.

Getting over a break-up doesn't take long. Easy come, easy go.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have low conscientiousness.
Impulsive and off the wall, you don't take life too seriously.
Unfortunately, you sometimes end up regretting your snap decisions.
Overall, you tend to lack focus, and it's difficult for you to get important things done.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm a little amazed at myself, at how I've grown and matured in the past year. I passed the stress test and I'm rather proud of myself for that. It's been a most eventful 5 days!

So my neighbour is moving out of hall tomorrow.. He waited until last night to break the news to me.. Family problems, he said. That makes him the second person I know to move out this semester because of 'family problems'. I'm gonna miss him terribly.. Still in some shock over the news.. Looks like I'll have to do another purge and rollback operation, so soon after the last one, too. People I'm close to move out, one after another.. YQ and R aren't staying this sem, Cling, B, EP and JL are not staying next year, and now Aik's moving out.. Looks like next year's gonna be a bleak year in hall.. Sigh

If you're interested in someone, would you tell him/her about people you're interested in, and about people who are interested in you? Just curious, really. It's something I don't want to burden myself with right now.

3 weeks from production, and the play at its current stage is still 见不得光. And what really irks me is that it's the main committee, the exco, who're doing a lot of stuff, which is the responsibilities of the sub-committees. Some people need to be boxed around the ears and asked not-so-nicely to please wake up their ****ing idea. They probed my interest in becoming next year's producer but I don't want such a heavy responsibility. I know I will do a good job, it's the sacrifices I'll make that I don't want.

Workload is mounting, with the promise of more work coming. Plans to really rest during the May - August holidays are scuppered, I need to work for money, am saving up for something big. Still must manage for 2 more years before that, but hopefully no more after that, though who knows what side-effects it'll have? I've heard nightmare stories about it but I think it's worth the risk. Because it can very possibly snap the chains that are holding me back right now.

Driving test in one month! Do-or-die this time, I'll really hate myself if I cock up again. It's aggravating everytime I need to go somewhere in a hurry and knowing that the only thing stopping me from taking Dad's car is the lack of a license, not the lack of skill.

Whoa a long post, but I tried to hold everything back for 5 days before I realised that, it just isn't me. I believe that everything happens for a reason, that in the long run everything turns out right. And that I should never stop listening to myself.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Check this out.. Stuff on ladder theory. An excerpt:

The first thing to notice here is that a woman has not one ,but two ladders. This is becasue in addition the normal ladder, a woman also has a friends ladder. The friends ladder is where a woman puts guys that she considers "just friends". More to the point where she puts guys who don't get to have sex with her.

The problem arises because a woman never lets a guy know which ladder he is on. Obviously there is a huge difference, or gap between these two ladders. It is in this gap that kisses of death are delivered and intellectual whores are made. All a man can do is "go for it" and make a move on a girl; ask her out, try to kiss her, write her a love note or whatever. If he's on the good ladder fine. If he is on the friends ladder this is a case of ladder jumping. The man is trying to jump the gap from the friends ladder to the real ladder. The girl has two choices at this point: she can let him on the ladder and all is well, or, more likely, she can kick him in the head, and off the ladder. If you look you'll see that below the ladder is the Abyss(what was it Nietzsche said about a man being on a rope stretched over an Abyss?....well it's worse than he thought; there is no rope.) So the man falls into the Abyss. The Abyss isn't really as bad as it sounds. Mostly it's a period of self-loathing, embarrassment, and of course utter awkwardness with the girl in question if they are talking at all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"You know it's love when: it's no longer about possession." - Anonymous

If I could take away everyone's misery, take it from them and put it in myself, and in so doing spare everyone from misery, I would. Willingly. Really! After all, after a bit it gets numb, so it wouldn't make a difference anymore. And, when I see everyone's smiling faces, I will cheer up, too! Whereas if everyone around me was miserable I wouldn't able to stay cheerful for any length of time, not even if the 4 of us had really won that Toto :P
Thanks for wanting to ask, but I'm alright, really. I can take care of myself just fine, now. After all these years, especially the recent tough ones, I've learnt to take care of myself just fine.
Windz.. we miss you man.. and we'll miss you even more now that Jack is going.. and we'll miss Jack, too.. Come back, then you can teach us mahjong (and PF can pay more 'school fees', haha).
Hi to everyone else! I hope you're all doing great!

What I wrote above seems so fake, doesn't it? I can't deny that I'm upset.. Who wouldn't be? But I'll get over it fast, for their sake as well as for mine. I just pray it all goes right for them, that all's not too late yet, and that, finally, they have each found the One.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Courage (noun): a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear.

How many times have we shrank from making a decision? How many times have we run away rather than face what is in front of us? Does it really take a lot of courage?

What's merely required is the courage to be yourself, to take responsibility for what you do, to say "Yes, it was me who did what I did, no one else." To make decisions and stand by them, and see them through to the end, even if it was wrong, even if it'll be painful. Because you made the decision, and it was the best decision you could have made at that point in time, with no benefit of hindsight or clairvoyance, and you would not have done it differently were you given a chance to relive your life. Yes, it actually takes courage to accept that you are yourself, surprising as that may be. To live through life as who you are and not as who you want to be. To accept that you are not perfect, that you'll make mistakes and you'll tire.

Everyone, for your own sake, please find that courage within yourself, to acknowledge that you are who you are. You'll find yourself much happier, more at ease with yourself, really.

This goes out especially to those troubled ones, you know who you are, just read your own blogs. I wish I could help more, but we all have to fight our emotional demons ourselves.

My friends

Sheares Hall Acers


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