Thursday, September 10, 2015
In the last few years, I have grown to feel that life can be lived happier if people just count their own blessings instead of someone else's. So perhaps I have decided to not say too much about my blessings on a public platform so no one would start comparing and start feeling either superior or inferior.
Well, having said that, I honestly don't have much to brag about. And that's fine. My successes, little or large as they may be, are non issues. What with world hunger, ISIS and other more pressing matters. My failures, on the other hand, do affect me a little more, but yes, just me, and no one else really. So again, more non issues.
A little summary however...
I have been writing and directing more. And it does bring me joy and purpose.
I have been doing a lot of theatre with Indian companies, with the Indian language and embracing the Indian culture. And I enjoy it.
I received some kind little tokens of appreciations, which I appreciate but often have no idea where to display them. Or if I should.
I teach drama more now. And I believe I have definitely improved as an educator.
Hmmm, is there anything anyone wants to know? Well, one can contact me via private message at fb.com/t.jill
Take care. :)
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Today, I am thinking of my dear aunt, with whom I grew up. She was also my Godmother when I was baptized. And she was ultra traditional.
During holy week, yes the whole seven days, we couldn't turn on the television or radio. It was deemed sinful to laugh or tell jokes. We had to dress in black or other sombre colours on the gray scale. We also had to fast, so we ate just bread (butter, kaya & sugar was acceptable), and drank water (I'm surprised we weren't forced to drink vinegar!). On good Friday itself, only breakfast was allowed, and we should do well to wear head veils to mass (no I didn't). I remember how my whines of, "but that boy is eating french fries! In the church carpark!" would simply fall on deaf ears.
I enjoyed the Maundy Thursday church-hopping visits at night. It always gave me a passport to staying out and up late, especially since there would be no school the next day. But going to the 3pm mass and the long tiring procession on Good Friday with my aunt meant going to the church 3 hours before anything happened just to get a seat. Near the aisle. Near the front. Near an exit. (I was too young then to understand that she was much older and all this guaranteed her comfort for the long hours we were slated to be there.)
I sometimes miss it now but the procession was always a long drawn exhausting affair, crawling around the church with dangerous flames that came alive as an offering. The boxy makeshift paper candle handles couldn't protect our hands from the hot angry wax dripping from the silently dying candles. Besides the rare cackles, these willing candles never complained as they slowly faced the inevitable. Much like Jesus himself. My aunt and I would be part of a large ensemble of church goers trickling out of the church with these lights. Walking just a few steps and then stopping, singing sad choruses over and over again, kneeling on the hard granite road, edging about to make sure everyone had space, then getting up to repeat the whole process over again. Hence, procession.
Every Good Friday, wherever in the world I was, I found that it would drizzle a little at about 3pm. It was an interesting sight to notice. I imagine a special army of Good Friday rain clouds would be hired by the Heavens above every year, to make its round from longitude to longitude, and to begin its duties only at 3pm at each time zone. Each soldier of the rain cloud army will stare menacingly onto earth, floating in wait. And just when the hour is about right, they almost each let out a typhoon, but their general reminds them that they have 24 time zones to visit. So they reluctantly let out just a drizzle in order to save their ammunition. The sun beckons and the army knows it's time to move on to the next set of longitudes.
I recall one Maundy Thursday, I was sitting and staring at the covered crucifix in a quiet church. As a curious child would do, I asked my father what the story of Good Friday was. He wasn't a Catholic then, but God knew he believed in Him. He explained the sad end of Jesus' life. I was appalled. Someone these worshippers loved had been tortured to death on this day. Why is it called Good? How twisted are they? Shouldn't it be Sad or Bad Friday? Oh yea, He died for your souls so hooray you're saved, so it's a good day for you? How selfish! I started weeping. I couldn't understand how these people could be so mean. To say they loved this saviour of theirs while essentially calling the day of his painful death good.
Years later in my late twenties, a friend of mine from France mentioned Good Friday in French, "Vendredi saint". I asked why it wasn't "Bon Vendredi". He revealed that it was a different kind of good. Bon meant happy and pleasant while Saint meant holy. Then it dawned on me. Good Friday was more like Virtuous, Saintly or Holy Friday! It was never Happy Friday. I felt so silly, yet so relieved. It all finally made sense. :)
If you do celebrate it this year, may your Good Friday be meaningful and holy. Will it be as traditional as ours from the 80's and 90's?
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I am not very organised by any means. Except for the few OCD moments where I insist on lining things up a certain way...
Any how, I found an app which worked for me and perhaps it will for you too. AndroMoney, for android obviously. :p sorry to all my iPhone-using friends. There might be an iPhone version too.
- I can enter expenses and income.
- Each entry's details include project, payment method, payee/r & additional notes.
- I can choose a base currency (SGD) & whatever I enter in other currencies show their value & the SGD value (refer to 1st screenshot).
- I can personalise entries with photos (refer to 1st & last screenshot).
- I can later filter and calculate the total by projects, payee/r, specific credit cards, etc (refer to screenshot below, where I filtered "food").
- I can copy and modify entries easily.
- I can view by date, week, month & year.
- Loads really fast, no need to sign in.
- Future payments can be entered, which is great for wedding planning!
- I accidentally deleted some entries, still clueless about how.
- It doesn't ask you to sign in to specific accounts so if your phone has an issue, you might lose all of the data.
- Filtering is usually easy but there were a couple times it didn't load properly for me.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I needed a break from wedding planning and if satisfying, meaningful or fast/high-paying work was lacking (yes there were some but too few to keep me subdued), I decided to travel. Well, I also had frequent flyer miles expiring. :p
So here I am in the city of Sydney, rainy and overcast the last couple days.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
I didn't realise the episode of Code of Law that I acted in was going to be on TV this week. Until my drama students and fellow actors alerted me to it.
I had fun filming the episode around September last year with my friends and fellow actors Keagan Kang, Beatrice, Vernetta Lopez, Jaslin & Jerry Hoh, who supplied these photos. (I'll dig mine up too and upload some after the episode has aired tonight.)
Don't we all love samples?
Free samples would be even better. Click here or below!
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It costs nothing to sign up. And you get a number of points which can be exchanged for samples. I just started it so am not sure if the points regenerate on their own. I'll update!
Some samples are free and some require a shipping cost. S$5.99 is a flat fee they charge for any amount of samples in one order. I decided to just get the free ones first for my family to enjoy since I'll be travelling in a matter of days. Yes, I'll talk about that later. :)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Last year, and a few times over the last number of years, I was involved in some productions that were put up in favour of foreign workers who were mistreated or abused. Alone in a foreign land, they were able to find solace through HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics). Its dedicated founder and advocate, came to our shows and touched us with her kindness, generosity and sincerity. That's the humble Bridget Lewis Tan. You can read what she wrote here about sex trafficking: http://www.onesingapore.org/news/stop-sex-trafficking/
I recall Bridget at one of our performances, relating how she wanted to give back to society by setting HOME up with her CPF savings and whatever little time she had left on Earth. She would take calls at any hour, caring for helpless workers, domestic helpers, foreign women trafficked for sex, and even foreign brides. Her sense of justice resonated with many Singaporeans. After all, a lot of us here cannot deny our forefathers' immigrant roots.
On 5th February, Bridget suffered a stroke. According to the news, she hasn't regained consciousness and is in Changi General Hospital. It is heartbreaking for many to hear this, including my "Rojak famiree", who put up a play at the Arts House twice last year entitled Rojak. Let us hope and pray for the best.
You can read more about HOME here: home.org.sg
(I'm not linking any news articles about her sudden stroke, because those are the first things presented when one does an online search for her. Also, her condition may change and we all hope it will, for the better.)