RIP Christina Grimmie

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Credits: fanlala.com

I’m not a big fan of Christina Grimmie, but her death saddened me quite a bit, as her music did have an impact on my university life in the past half a decade.

I need not mention her amazing cover of Nelly’s Just A Dream with Sam Tsui – this is probably the song that you had known her from. Back in the junior years in NUS, my friends and I would hum to her altered tune of the song’s verse, even while knowing how ridiculous we sound πŸ˜‚I really loved the bridge of the song too, where Christina and Sam harmonized to perfection.

I really enjoyed the acoustic version of Find Me that she sang, in collaboration with two of my favourite dancers, Keone and Mari, for a musical project by DS2DIO. I’ve always thought that the lyrics of the song were meant for a more bare-bones and raw arrangement (but that might be because I heard the acoustic version first, haha), in contrast to the electronic feel of the version in the album. Do check the video out above.

It was also during a more emotionally challenging year that I got to dance together with my friends on the song, choreographed by two of my good friends, Wilfred and Felicia. Good times, huh.

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When I still did contemporary. Credits: Ong Jian Liang

May you continueΒ your musical journey in the afterlife, Christina, and thank you for inspiring me and my friends.

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Inner Peace

What was supposed to be an uneventful weekend turned out to be really enriching for me.

Saturday — I had to go back to the office to settle some work things, damn work shit. But getting some work done in the weekend earns you some sense of achievement, I guess? What I know is that I’m reducing the workload I’ll have next week, which is good. Haha!

Spent the rest of the day catching Interstellar. It’s a good show, and it kept me on the edge of my seat for almost the full three hours. Aside from the unexplained “fantasy” parts and some physical inconsistencies, the film does a good job of using modern physics to deliver a thrilling experience. πŸ™‚ There’s quite a bit of information overload though, which may not suit everyone. This movie probably gave me some reassurance that I didn’t take PC1143 (Modern Physics module in my university) for nothing. Haha! I’ll give it 8/10!

Spent the Sunday morning catching a new (and sadly, cancelled) series – Manhattan Love Story πŸ˜€

Manhattan Love Story

I honestly don’t get why the series was cancelled – the characters are really endearing (quoted from @racheww) and the jokes and thought conversations they have with themselves really felt right at home. I laughed a lot through watching the few episodes and I seldom get that. Now I just wish there was some way to revive ’em 😦

Spent the afternoon working out on a new mandarin cover with @evonlotion (check out her YouTube channel if you haven’t), and am really excited about it. Do look out for it (on her channel)! πŸ˜€

Went for Vernon’s Hip Hop class held at Eusoff Dance studio for the night. Honestly I felt that I deproved recently, but I’m glad I still held on to some of my hip hop basics and was really happy to learn the techniques tonight. Been feeling a little down over my dance standard recently but tonight was what I needed to continue pushing myself harder. But one thing I do understand is that with a full time job, it’s gonna be hard to push myself to improve fast; what matters is that there’s always some improvement to spark myself forward.

I don’t even know why I’m blogging tonight. But I guess it lets the thoughts out from me and allows me to (hopefully) find inner peace. Now for my good 8 hours of sleep!

Latch

Photo credit: Nicole Tay
Photo credit: Nicole Tay

Did the video recording for Wilfred’s latch choreography today (for his participation in the Battle of the Choreographers), and I come back with mixed feelings. Not that I’m not happy, just that I’m not completely satisfied with the way I look at dance at the moment.

I thank Wilfred for bringing us together, and showing that hall dancers can bake up some good stuff too. It is indeed heartwarming to see all the ‘ad-hoc’ hall dancers sacrificing their free time for a common purpose, all while having fun in it too. I thankΒ everyone in the WDD crew, for making practices fun and enjoyable, and for never giving up despite everyone being so tired from their own commitments (all the working people Nic Alden Jason Pris, I salute y’all man).

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Watched the video of our runs, and I think I let my tiredness get the better of me today; there were many accents and stuff that I thought I did enough but apparently not in the video.Β There’s just too many factors in place that I can’t get the right portion of each to put in – technique, feeling, execution.

Or maybe my life has been too smooth and I’m giving up too easily..

My 2013

This year was, in one word, amazing.

I didn’t have much time to blog this year because I was just doing too many things I guess, but it was, wow, a crazy 21st year for me. (Interestingly, I actually blogged about most events this year at different time frames, so I’m just gonna link you up to the respective posts instead of rewriting them!) I probably won’t be able to ask for more than what I can receive. Thank you everyone who made this year a fantastic one for me.

Performing Arts

Four Months of 2013: Performing Arts
5 concerts in 4 months. First stage choreography. Dancing with many graduating friends for the last time.

Jane’s 21st Birthday
First birthday gig ever done!

Celebrating for the super funny Jane :D
Celebrating for the super funny Jane πŸ˜€

In the past 6 weeks..
Dancetitude 2013 – A journey of ups and downs I will never forget.

... where I became a werewolf
… where I became a dancing werewolf

7pm
Our mini little side project (covering Pentatonix’s Radioactive, including the violin) that went really great πŸ™‚

All the old seniors (except Shen Nan)
All the old seniors (except Shen Nan)

NUS Resonance
Thank you Resonance and Doobeedoopz, for providing me with such a wonderful experience in a cappella singing. πŸ™‚

Wouldn't want any other experience to replace the bonds I have with this group of singers :)
Wouldn’t want any other experience to replace the bonds I have with this group of singers πŸ™‚

Technology

Four Months of 2013: Technology
Android Phone Disassembly
Nook HD+

Zopo C2 Ultimate
In the past 6 weeks..Β – Microsoft Surface
Many technological/gadget experiences that I normally wouldn’t be able to experience.

Experiences

Mereith x Nina: The Wedding
First wedding as a ‘brother’, first proper singing/guitaring performance (with the awesome Evon).

Happily ever after :)
Happily ever after πŸ™‚

Dubai Adventures
Days _1.1_ _1.2_ _2_ _3_ _4_ _5_ _6_
6 days in Dubai, a lot of fun πŸ™‚

#throwback
#throwback

Japan
Don’t think I’ll be blogging on this extensively, but I went on a trip to Japan for 8 days mid December. Japan is a magical place.

POKEMON CENTER!
POKEMON CENTER!
Tokyo Imperial Park :)
Tokyo Imperial Park πŸ™‚
Disneyland!
Disneyland!
Ryo from Beat Buddy Boi! The dance classes at En Dance Studio were great experience s:)
Ryo from Beat Buddy Boi! The dance classes at En Dance Studio were great experiences πŸ™‚
And random levitations.
And random levitations.

Meeting many long lost friends
Just because we can πŸ™‚

rioHC batch '07-'08 :)
rioHC batch ’07-’08 πŸ™‚
07S69 - my JC class.
07S69 – my JC class.

CRAZY YEAR YO! I seriously don’t think any other year’s gonna get better than this.

In the past 6 weeks..

I performed in Dancetitude 2013.

Source: Facebook, Nicole Tay
Source: Facebook, Nicole Tay

It’s been one hell of a ride dancing with NUS Dance Blast! as the guest item in NTU’s biannual dance concert, due to many issues with the structure and morale of the group through the few months of dance practices. However, I definitely didn’t regret performing this time, as we pulled through together as a team and managed to deliver a satisfying performance on stage. We may not be the most impressive or interesting dance item in the concert but we definitely had lots of fun – and that’s what’s dance is about, right?

And we had so much fun wearing the halloween costumes! πŸ™‚

I began choreographing with Wilfred for Eusoff Hall Dance Production 2014.

I must’ve been crazy to choreograph a dance on my final year – but it’s definitely worth it, as it’s my first proper stage choreography after I started to pursue more in dance and improved myself. Moreover, I can’t ask for a better partner than Wilfred, my previous rag co-choreographer. Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to put up an impressive item!

I joined NUS Resonance (my school a cappella CCA).

… in an attempt to further my singing abilities. it’s one choice I made this semester that I’ve never regretted, as I’ve learned so much in the ongoing a cappella course that I’m attending currently. The Resonance founders, Edmund and Davina, are really knowledgable when it comes to teaching blending techniques and on-the-spot correction of our sound production. Also, the Resonance singers are a fun and interesting bunch to hang out with πŸ™‚

I sold my Nook HD+, and bought a Microsoft Surface RT.

I have to admit that the Nook HD+ actually satisfied my use patterns, thus replacing it with the Surface may seem to be a downgrade actually – but there were a few factors that influenced me in making this decision:

1. The Surface RT was on discount (S$393 with the Type Cover – that’s a steal compared to the market price!)

2. I thought the ability to use a proper version of Office would help me better, since I use my tablet mainly for work and notes

3. I can use a Windows version of Remote Desktop, and I do that all the time in school to tap into the speed of my desktop. (I stay in the school hostel so my desktop is connected via LAN to the school network)

Of course, the fact that Microsoft just announced the new Surface 2 is a bummer, but the low price was too enticing for me not to notice. And Windows RT is really a pretty OS (with some flaws – I might blog about this next time).

I started interviewing for jobs.

job-interview1
Source: http://catholiclane.com/

I must say that I’m really blessed to have multiple opportunities for interviewing offered to me – thanks Prof Ben if you’re reading this! It’s definitely a challenge to go through technical interviews as you’re under a stressful environment, but thanks to the huge online resources on interview tips (search Quora, Google!) I was able to prepare a little for them. Hopefully I’ll be able to get through the rounds and land a job!

I can’t catch up on my studies.

Source: http://michaelhyatt.com/
Source: http://michaelhyatt.com/

Studies seem to have become secondary to me recently due to my busy schedule, but I’m definitely trying my best to catch up!

Well that’s about the major events through half the semester! πŸ™‚

I’m Busy

busy-bodies-need-massage

Actually, I guess I’m not, or else I wouldn’t be blogging here.

Checklist, to be completed in the following week:

  • Practice every night for the upcoming Dancetitude 2013 dance concert, on Friday and Saturday (catch the show HERE, it’s a really good concert that you won’t want to miss!)
  • Catch up on my contract work, which I’ve been abandoning due to me going home
  • Continue on my FYP, for the same reason above; and this one has a tighter deadline as the presentation’s next Tuesday. Oh gosh
  • Go for lessons. Yes, school is starting again 😦
  • Prepare for my job interview next week. The horror.

Need to find the drive to blaze through these tasks, before my days get lesser and lesser 😦

 

Random Updates

Okay, I just can’t seem to type the first sentence of this post coherently, haha, but the past week has been a mix of random events, such as..

Diablo III

Diablo_III_coverI know I’m really slow, the game’s been out for a year! But as I didn’t want to buy the game (it’s a little expensive for me), and my brother has stopped playing, I figured this would be a good chance to catch the game! I was a big fan of Diablo II, and Diablo III definitely has its awesomes and quirks compared to it.

The awesomes

  • The graphics are amazing. I love colorful stuff.
  • I quite like the rune system – modifying your skills to give them additional effects. (But it’s a bad thing too – see later)
  • Storyline and cinematics. I like the twist, and seriously, Blizzard’s animation team should make a movie.

The quirks

  • The rune system seriously cripples the replayability of this game. I mean, in D2 you can replay characters endlessly with a wide variety of ways to distribute your skill points, but in D3 it can be changed on the fly. You could just change when you’re bored, and quickly get sick of it.
  • 4 players co-op only? 😦
  • Always-on internet connection. No more offline slashing when you’re travelling (with your family for visiting, for example)

Despite not finishing the game yet, I’ve played every single character sans Barbarian to Level 20+. It’s interesting but I figured I’ll probably get bored of it soon. Which is good – I’ve been playing nonstop 😦 But still, play it if you haven’t. It’s a good experience!

Dance Classes

Been going to O School recently for dance classes, and I really need the exercise man (after so many hours of Diablo!). One thing that really applies to me when taking dance classes: you must be in the correct mindset to learn. Each intermediate class is $16 and I realized that I really must tell myself to try to absorb more techniques and execution, or I’ll feel like I’m wasting money. >< That’s why I don’t go for classes excessively – I’ll probably be too tired to learn anything aside from the choreography.

Shopping

Bought awesome S$15 shoes from the bazaar held by DC Comics Superheroes at Ion Orchard!

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Mine’s black – the brown one is my brother’s. Photo credits: xianyong

The bazaar’s really awesome and cheap, so do check it out if you’re free! They also sell lots of clothes (Superman/Batman logos – childhood loves yo), pants and all sorts of jackets and lalala. I bought a S$10 bermudas!

(This is not really shopping, but I really don’t buy clothes normally, so this is already ‘big’ spending for me! I figured I should pamper myself just a little for scoring well in my exams last semester. XD)

PC Show 2013

Went to PC Show yesterday! It was crazily crowded. I really felt like advising everyone thereΒ not to buy a laptop, because Intel just announced their 4th generation Core processors, which is slated to increase both performance and battery life! But oh man. AMD also has new offerings in their Richland family of processors. So if you’re reading this,Β don’t buy a laptop just yet! Wait a while for the new Intel processors (i3/5/7-4xxx) to arrive, and you’ll be getting a good bang for buck.

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There’s not much photos in my blog posts nowadays (and I don’t update my Instagram), because my phone (Motorola Atrix) has its touch screen, again, spoiled. 😦 The top portion of the touch screen does not respond to touches anymore (which renders my phone kind of useless, since Android apps are mostly designed to use an Action Bar – menus and navigation buttons at the top section; and the notification bar is on top too).

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So essentially, my phone became a dumbphone again. This is really troubling because I’m leaving for Dubai in two days time, and I probably won’t be able to snap photos and blahblahblah. I hate it when all my tech gadgets spoil urghhhhh