Friday, November 18, 2005

SPM Jottings...

I'm half-way done with the SPM exams! The first half of the exams started on November 10 and lasted straight until November 16, with breaks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of course. I'm just somewhat tense about the subjects that I've taken previously, I didn't really stumble with the questions, but I'm a bit worried if the examiner might disagree with my answers and there goes down the grades.

Anyways, the Form 5 students in my school were taking their exams, some in the hall and some in normal classes. Luckily I was in the hall, and luckily my seat was the closest to the windows when the power switch in the hall tripped. Luckily it was just for 10 minutes or so, and I wasn't disrupted in any way. :P Anyways, the school has recently installed 4 floodlights and numerous other fans that sprinkle vapoury water.

About the subjects, I'm really crossing my fingers for Chinese and Malay, but English seemed to be very easy. w00t! Other easier subjects were modern maths and history. I was sorta panicking before the history paper started, since the topics covered in the textbook is so freaking huge, but thankfully the main topics for the second paper (structured section) was about the economic situation in British Malaya, the hijrah of the Muslims during Prophet Muhammad and Western imperialism in South-East Asia. The only surprise was the questions about the Roman empire's laws. o__O In the essay parts, the paper quizzed about the examination system in China (I think), something about culture in South-East Asia, the response of Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei towards Malaysia's formation and Indonesia's opposition, Western imperialism again, and the communist and capitalist blocks after World War II. I answered the last three questions but my memory (or should I say knowledge) of the previous two questions aren't that good. :/

Modern maths were as simple as π! It's just that I had no time to check my answers. :/ English was simple again, though I'm not telling what I wrote for my essay... Only Edmund and a few others know about it! :P

The next paper starts on Tuesday, the first two general science papers and then moral studies in the afternoon. Both additional maths papers on Wednesday. >_< Two more subjects in the week after that, but I'll talk about it later.

By the way, for those thinking about entering Form 6 next year, here's a glimpse of what you'll be facing in the school and STMP examinations. Read it closely, it might be useful. Thanks to Rajan for the link.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Hello and Welcome" Video Released!

The music video for the latest Enigma single, "Hello and Welcome" has been released first on Yahoo! Music's German division.

Click here to watch it!

News first came through the staff. Thanks guys. :)

My two cents:

The opening starts with Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, first appeared on the opening of "The Rivers of Belief" and the ending of "Modern Crusaders", and launches immediately into thumping beats and electric guitars. I'm guessing the guitar is played by Jens Gad, it's as good as Mike Oldfield but unfortunately no arse-kicking guitar solo in the middle of the song.

It's supposed to be the entering music for Felix Sturm, who is a German boxer, and as cool as it seems, the crowd chants keeps reminding me of a football match rather than a boxing ring. The beat is somewhat hip-hop-ish, and Andru Donalds' voice is pretty darn good too, I'd have to say. Nothing to gripe about.

Mixed reviews as usual on the Enigma Message Board, some folks are unable to accept Enigma's evolution and changing with every new album. I posted this post at the message board, in response of some posts I've seen in the thread. My point is you can't really expect Enigma to keep producing the same albums for the next 30 years can you? The musical group, Gregorian has harped on from the success of the first Enigma album and they just keep producing songs with Gregorian chants on and on and on and on. If you have a keen ear, you can literally hear the change from one album to the next. Yes it's changed a whole lot, but in essence the spirit, the core, it's still there and always will be there. Anyways, I'd always preferred some variety, and variety is what Michael Cretu does best. :D

Anyways, I was lucky to have been able to snag up a Windows Media audio copy of the song due to a linking mistake between the Spanish and English versions of the websites. Lucky me. :D

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Apartment Hunting, Post-SPM Thoughts and NaNo-ers

Just came back from visiting my third aunt and looking around her brand new apartment unit, which was also completed just recently. Renovations and other construction stuff was going on, many units were still empty, and apparently there was a furniture sale going on at the ground floor. o__O

"Dusty" is one word I can describe the apartment block, or blocks rather, since it's made out of two seperate blocks complete with its own entrances, guards and multi-story car park. My aunt was lucky to have a unit at the first floor, with the entrance facing empty space instead of rows of units from that floor upwards. Windy, definitely cool and shaded. Man, she's lucky indeed.

She led me and dad up the a small brigde/corridor along the third floor that connects the apartment block to the nearby car park. What we found was that the top floor of the car park was as wide and as empty as err... well it was basically just blank, with concrete floors and just two fire escapes on the sides. Great place for tai-chi practitioners or as my dad suggested, a swimming pool!!! :D

So, my parents are considering getting a unit at the same place since it has its own advantages. The high house rent that we pay every month actually goes to the house owner's mortgage, and we've been living here for almost two years already. It'd be a waste of money if we stay anymore further, though frankly the place where I stay is pleasant enough. So, either this or another apartment project currently in construction near the Sunshine Jelutong supermarket. The showroom definitely shows the possibility of the house can be renovated and decorated to perfection. Keyword: Possbility. Another gripe is that the new unit is way too small. If you place a sofa and a television cabinet in the living room and you don't have enough space to walk through it. Other gripes are that both units don't have balconies and that uhhh... it's new! Change is inevitable, but I'm not sure about whether sooner or later would be better.

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After the SPM exams, I'm planning on taking up a job, part time first I guess. It'd be great if I could get some extra income for the family, and the more money the merrier again! :D I know nuts about jobs out there, but it'd be great if I could get a job in book or music stores, since I occasionally see those job advertisements over at the Popular book store at Prangin Mall. Anyone care to help me out on that part? :P

Another post-SPM planning is to learn driving! :D I'm not allowed to grip the handlebars of a motorbike while speeding down the highway at 90km/h while doing a one-handed wheelie without a helmet. Anyways, bro-in-law was nice enough to lend his Proton Saga to the family and though it really isn't in the best of shape, it's usable and seems to be alright enough. Hoping to get my driving lessons through dad, bypassing some expenses not really needed. Driving exams on as usual. :)

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Looks like NaNoWriMo has begun! So far the bloggers that I know who are participating in it are, Glassy, 5xmom, thescarfer, viewtru and Chet! I'll be standing aside here cheering you guys in your NaNo novels! :D

My last year's novel was err... still unfinished, still undirected and still unedited. Man, someday I've gotta rewrite that from scratch. Don't know why but the month of November seems to give me so much inspiration in those writing and arting stuff. Tough luck that it clashes with the SPM exams, and I can't even be sure if I can participate in any more future editions if it always clashes with the month of writing. :
Anyways, good luck and "add oil" (加油) to everyone slogging their guts out in the name of literature, writing and one giant dose of self-gratification when it's all finally over!

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Anyways, have a Happy Deepavali tonight, Hari Raya in two days time, and Happy Holidays for those with no more school worries!