varying irrelevance      
having, i suppose, some reliance on qualifiers            

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I really need to make a habit of logging onto the Taobao messaging system after placing orders. x_x Even though I did so the other day and just... didn't see any messages...

said someone out there at 6:09 pm

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Despite having been out all day, helped Flower Power solve two puzzles in less than an hour in the morning, just soloed another four in the last hour-plus. Hope they solve the meta by the time my movie tonight is done.

edit: lol I helped to solve it on the way to the movie

said someone out there at 8:25 pm

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Japan trip, though short, was still the longest solo trip I'd taken since the Kent farewell tour -- even though I did spend a lot of time with Walter and Zhiyi in Tokyo. First 一人温泉旅館 experience (two different ones!), which was very 贅沢 but also very pleasant. Slid from the early-waking countryside life to the late-sleeping Tokyo one. Autumn was a little late, but not so late as to mean that I couldn't see beautiful things; Shosenkyo in particular brought back that lovely feeling of just walking around immersed in beauty, unable to stop smiling.

And then so many small kindnesses and sweet things. The retired schoolteacher, visiting her former student's tiny cafe near the Asama shrine, who gave me chocolates and sweets (that proved helpful when climbing the mountain the next day) and even came back with a marker she didn't need. Persimmon and pineapple in that same cafe. Roasted chestnuts. Sweets again, at that delightfully earnest Hachioji ginkgo festival (which also proved helpful when we then climbed Takao without food lol).

Speaking of mountains, though, it was interesting to realise that my curiosity does overcome fear and/or common sense. First with the alternate path downhill from the waterfall, despite the leaves, and despite how I'd initially decided to take the same route down rather than chance it; then with that terrifying rock-scrambling path from the top of the Shosenkyo ropeway. I will never understand how other people can be so fearlessly surefooted at heights when there are no protective barriers.

The amazarashi concert was An Experience of a different sort from the previous one, though still oddly intimate for a stadium concert. I hadn't realised how relatively small the Budokan is; that pre-concert moment when they tested the app and the whole arena lit up and all of us went "Wahh" felt really intimate. (Naturally it also reminded me of Kent, r.i.p.) Was less keen on the narrative segments -- I have never been into amazarashi's worldbuilding and fiction -- and the setlist didn't contain many of my favourites (only choked up at 季節は次々死んでいく), but I'm glad I was there. I also like how they give out concert-specific can badges at each gig, with the date and venue. ;_; Also interesting, when finally getting the chance to sing amazarashi at karaoke later, how old lyrics no longer resonate the same way. A good sign. I think my basal state for the last two years has been one of gratitude; though insufficient it is something, at least.

Got back late on Monday night.

Nov 21 - Met Zengkun and Yasmine for lunch at Whole Earth, with ice-cream at Apiary afterwards. Talked about doing a Christmas meal. :')

Nov 22 - Spontaneous dinner at Kamoshita (!) after Cheng Wei said he wanted to have oden. Their jikasei tofu and claypot rice are the rare dishes I'm happy to order again and again. Had only one drink since I'd taken a painkiller that morning (purely for its anti-inflammatory properties). And then!! Karaoke! Where I finally got to sing 春风十里 ;_; (+ I hadn't realised that Li Yuchun had popularised it) as well as various songs I knew from He Jiong covers. A great night; glad it happened.

Nov 23 - Fun lunch with Cheng Wei and Yan Min at Keisuke's hamburg place.

Nov 24 - Back to calligraphy after a month. Started off tragically rusty and still wasn't that good by the end of the session, but at least some of the feeling came back. I still think part of the problem is my current brush; not sure what I did to it, but it isn't in top condition.

Nov 26 - Dinner with Yan Min, Yasmine and Zengkun at Caffe Fernet, for that #crazyrichasians feel, lol. The conversation did bring up interesting points about class. Super tasty food, and since we managed to get there for happy hour, the total bill wasn't that huge.

Yesterday - Met Yingxi after her own Japan trip, at Hana. I had their truffle soumen, which was okay, although it has not made me stop thinking about that Ebisu soumen place. ;_; Bubble tea afterwards -- caught the opening of this new expensive HeyTea place at Ion, managed to not queue very long.

said someone out there at 5:44 pm

said someone out there at 12:23 am

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The problem with falling down before a lunch meeting is having to then quietly bleed into the inside of one's trouser leg for the next couple of hours. Also this was one of my favourite pairs of work trousers and now it's scuffed. Sad.

said someone out there at 11:28 am

Thursday, November 08, 2018

So the Hainan 暗恋桃花源 tickets went on sale yesterday and 1) sold out within an hour, 2) haven't appeared on Taobao yet. I guess I'll search again when I'm back from Japan, and if they still aren't on Taobao I might seriously consider the Shanghai performances. x_x

said someone out there at 11:46 pm

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Oct 31 - Met Zengkun and Yasmine for lunch at Fat Prince near Tanjong Pagar, which was unfortunately disappointing for the price. Shared a cake at Nesuto afterwards.

That evening, met Zhiyi! For a very slow bak kut teh meal that featured a lot of tofu but no actual bak kut teh, lol. Wandered around in hope of dessert afterwards; it was late enough that regular cafe places were closed, but we settled for the Brotzeit dessert platter. Always interesting to share an understanding while still being very different people.

Nov 1 - Dinner with Matt and Yan Min at Cuppage Plaza! Started at the highly disappointing Izakaya Nijumaru, but luckily we hadn't ordered that much, so adjourned to Izakaya Shinjuku instead, based on my hazy memory of having gone there with Kim and Joel et al. Which was decent -- they have homemade tofu too! Walked to Dhoby Ghaut with Matt, finishing a pu'er naigai en route.

Nov 3, Saturday - So the first ep of 明星大侦探 aired on Friday, but this season the full ep only goes up at Sunday noon instead of late Friday night... so after a series of ridiculous manoeuvres to overcome my lack of a China telephone number, finally succeeded in getting a Mango TV VIP account. :') For the entire season. My only complaint is that for some reason 名侦探俱乐部 is region-locked so I can't watch that even with a VIP (except I... then used a VPN to do so, although I probably won't bother for future eps, since they do eventually go up on YouTube).

That evening, met Eunice, Songyan and Sueanne for the Lockdown Harry Potter room! Which was a mixed experience. Wanted to play the zombie game but it started to rain, so returned for an hour of VR afterwards, mainly spent on Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes -- nice to have finally tried that, although I don't feel a need to play it again. Got a cheap pasta dinner at Cine, then finally played the zombie game (without Songyan). I did not give any clues puzzle-wise but we still got the right cure, yay.

Also got to check our scores this time: kill | death counts of 15 | 3, 16 | 2 (me), 18 | 7; +30 for the cure; -10 for overstaying one zone, for a final score (ownself calculated) of 760, beating the 680 that I'd achieved with the guys (we'd asked about the current high score before starting, which turned out to be 1070, and they'd helpfully looked up my previous score too).

Nov 5 - Spontaneous, bizarrely social evening. Started with an idle open jio to Operation Dagger, answered unfortunately by Boon Leong, who doesn't even drink. Counterproposed Mister Wu so I could have the hotpot again (still amazing) and try another of their tea cocktails (a disappointing blossom one).

Zengkun and I were initially going to meet at Dagger afterwards, but he then alerted me to drinks happening at Boat Quay, so I headed over to Mad Men Attic Bar. Which was decidedly not the kind of place we usually drink, so Zengkun, Yasmine, Rachael and I soon decamped to Ah Sam, partly in the hope of trying their unhealthy fried dishes. Their kitchen was closed. :( We each had a dessert-y drink, and then talked ourselves into walking over to Dagger anyway, with some of us picking up McDonalds en route.

Arrived at Dagger, where none of the others had been before. Dagger was also not serving food. :( Shared six drinks, Hot & Cold being the runaway winner. They didn't have the pork drink so I'll have to go back before they change their menu again.

Rachael left in an attempt to get the last train, and the other three of us... decamped to Employees Only, lol. The psychic wasn't in the window, but we finally got to share some food (really tasty cheese puffs and decent but too-spicy-for-me chicken) and have another drink each while complaining like the old people we are about the too-loud music and the clientele, lol. Left close to 1am. Felt very good for a 5.5 drink night, though of course it helped that it was spread out over... six hours, now that I think about it. o_o

Nov 6 - Deepavali public holiday, yay. REDDOThunt lunch meeting at The Glass Onion, where we decided on a theme and agreed to work on meta ideas. Ice-cream afterwards, and since it was already 2pm I went home instead of showing up at the SPWM anthology launch, which was probably for the best anyway.


He Jiong has been publicly active in his Weibo topic since that Oct 23 口红王子 episode where he revealed that he had an alternate account, following which fans told him to just use his normal account. Today he helpfully dismissed one fan theory that his outfit changes in the next 明星大侦探 ep because of body-swapping again. I love him. ;_;

Thursday night edit: and tonight he went a bit mad and posted six times in quick succession (the fans assume he is drunk). How is he so adorable, I cannot

said someone out there at 4:44 pm

Monday, November 05, 2018

Decided to listen to Skogarna to get into the freelance state of mind, the playlist eventually ended up at Den sista sången, and once the intro started I was hit by A Feeling, before I even consciously identified the song.

Two years! Two years since that very important tour and those very important final concerts, all of which I was unbelievably fortunate to be part of. This year would have been roughly when a new Kent album would have landed, based on their usual pattern of album releases. I don't miss them actively any more, the way I did in early 2017. But I miss them. I hope they're all doing okay.

Tuesday night edit: Listened to it again, which was a mistake, because I now really wonder if Jocke Berg is happy, wherever he is. :( Should be listening to amazarashi to get into concert mode anyway.

said someone out there at 1:45 am

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Oct 18, Thursday - Afternoon duty meant finally getting to try the BrotherBird baked goods. Unfortunately there was some mix-up so I didn't get a full reserved box of six, but that was probably for the best - got a matcha mochi croissant, a Vietnamese coffee cruffin, and they threw in a free lemon meringue to compensate for the mix-up. The baked goods seem somewhat misnamed since there wasn't much mochi-ness, but they were still tasty enough. Met Eunice for katsu curry lunch in Fortune Centre, had lots of time so followed her back to her office, ate some pastries and half-solved the most recent Puzzled Pint, lol.

Oct 19 - Zengkun came to the office for lunch and brought the yoghurt and blueberry oat tart!! Yasmine and I were touched because it was like the first time he re-baked something. ;_; It was also incredibly tasty.

Oct 20 - Post-REDDOThunt lunch! Where we had cheesy Korean pizza and sadly failed to come up with a convincing concept for 2019. Then the others went to play Chamber of Secrets -- it later turned out that they weren't impressed, but they played Castiglione afterwards and liked that, so yay. Went to the Amateur Takes Control 10-year-album-anniversary concert that evening despite not having been a fan. The band was only in their late twenties, meaning that they started as teens, wow. A bit sad when the frontman asked who was there at the album launch and no one was, though.

Worked on Oct 21.

Oct 22 - Dinner at Mister Wu with a somewhat motley crew: Yan Min, Cheng Wei, Annabeth. Really really loved that hotpot broth and want to go back for it. Will also need to try their other tea cocktails at some point.

Oct 24 - Yingxi was back in Singapore, so met for dinner at I Want My Noodle, partly because I'd been on a bit of a noodle kick anyway. I feel I probably cut the meeting short a bit prematurely but I'd been rather tired. .-.

Oct 25 - Happened to meet Cao Lei at a work event!! The event was incredibly meh but it was really nice to see her again. Made noises about meeting up; I hope it happens at some point.

Oct 26 - Dinner and drinks (with an emphasis on the drinks) at Tess Bar, later becoming more drinks at The Single Cask, with Vivien, Weilun and their partners. I'd wanted to go for karaoke after Tess Bar but by the time we were done with whisky it was too late (and I could tell I was too drunk) and I needed to be awake the next morning. An unexpected night on several fronts but also pretty cool.

Oct 27 - Poetry at the latest SingLit Station location, briyani afterwards. Then a meeting at King & The Pawn, which went decently. I just hope I can actually find one or two other people to run Puzzled Pint, and that we manage to hold at least a few successful sessions. x_x

Oct 28 - The second Diplomacy game!! Where I agreed to swap my drawn Turkey with Kenny's Austria. Got off to a terrible start and slid into a just-having-fun role fairly soon into the game, but I think it was worth it just to watch Kenny play -- Turkey was a good fit for his negotiation-light but tactics-heavy playstyle. It was so good to finally see some higher-level moves, like defensive self-bounces! And there were several fun coinflip situations around the Iberian peninsula, too. It also felt better that we didn't crush two new players this time around, unlike the previous game. Ended after 1906 again, with Kenny emerging victorious and Brian-as-France having earned the ire of much of the board.

Some of us went for dinner at Simpang Bedok afterwards, where Zengkun and I were decidedly the more liberal people at the table. :|

Yesterday - Met Shih Hsien for lunch at Mister Wu to try their different-from-dinner menu. The pidan tofu was great. I ordered the sesame noodles with much hope -- tasty, but a different noodle sort (la mian) from what I had in Shanghai. Might still want to go back to try other lunch menu items. Killed a bit of time at Shan Cha afterwards.

That evening, ZOMBIE ATTACK at Somerset with Kay Hwee, Ryan, and Kenny. Which was way more fun than I'd expected; my main regret is that we didn't spend more time killing zombies and instead left the final zombie zone somewhat prematurely. Would even be tempted to go back again, so it's good that I don't really have the chance to do so for the rest of the week. We had dinner in Chabuton and played a quick few rounds of The Mind before our food arrived -- it turned out somewhat more interesting than it sounds in theory. Entertained the possibility of playing one of Lockdown's rooms afterwards, but we'd just missed the start time of their latest slot.


Had reason to look up Dream catcher again today; just went to listen to it again, and found this video, and oh my god. I guess Nell's acoustic sets are good for something. It's a good thing I hadn't found this earlier, else I might well have completed that hat-trick (but with their Tokyo concert instead).



said someone out there at 11:57 pm

Sunday, October 21, 2018

There are still tickets available for Nell's Christmas concerts in Seoul, which went on sale on Friday, but I am having self-control for once and not completing a hat-trick of short trips to Asian cities to watch concerts/plays this year. Admittedly partly because I can't take leave in that stretch due to both my beatmates being overseas. But also because flights are too expensive, showing that I do have some financial restraint when it comes to Nell.

said someone out there at 10:14 pm

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The 明星大侦探 s4 presscon is allegedly happening this Friday and I have a lot of feelings. Among them trepidation, but also when you look back at how far the show has come from a no-attention-no-sponsors tiny webshow (also I have a lot of Xiaobai feelings) in its first season to where it is now... ;_;

said someone out there at 2:38 am

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

9 Oct - Spontaneous dinner with Cheng Wei, decided to go back to that sashimi place in Wisma Atria, checked out the Taka food fair afterwards, where I finally tried the frozen creme brulee from the stall which had been getting no business and for which I'd felt sorry. It was like bruleed ice-cream; tasty but unexpected.

11 Oct - Lunch with Zengkun, conversation with him and some others over his tasty key lime pie afterwards. That evening, met Alex's Candice for dinner at Tim Ho Wan (the first time I've tried it, and sadly I wasn't particularly impressed). Driven people are scary and I don't know how they manage to lead such exhausting, high-energy lives.

13 Oct - Disappointing brunch at Hougang flower cafe with Shih Hsien and Michelle, ended up heading over to Nex for Yuan Cha, where I realised their naigai is not very nice. :( Then off to calligraphy -- ran into a classmate while wavering outside a calligraphy supplies shop in Bras Basah, ended up hanging out with him before class started. Realised with a bit of a shock how different I am in Chinese and in English, no doubt due to my limited vocabulary in the former -- and also how this affects the interaction dynamic. In class, definitely entered a bit of 行书 and 草书 territory, which was fun.

Then the BT dinner, spent largely hanging out with Yan Min and the young people and eating tasty food instead of socialising. Won and gave away a lucky draw prize of accommodation. Did not drink too much, partly because of an early start the next day.

14 Oct - Jasper's wedding! The set-up with the garden trellis walkway and the fake tree on stage was actually really nice. I was a horrible person and switched off halfway because of our pre-scheduled WeChat game. x_x Had pulled in Gao Yuan for this one at the last minute, since Walter had an assignment. It turned out to be the easiest case so far, with all of us voting correctly. Wrapped up within two hours, which meant that we could have just started later. .-. Apparently BJ has been so unimpressed that he probably won't be up for future games, but I'm glad that at least people are choosing not to play if they're not having fun.

Afternoon duty means lunch meetings! Though on Monday I went to Nex to try Playmade bubble tea instead and started the week on a questionable note by having Texas Chicken, mainly for their biscuits.

Yesterday - Lunch at Icon Village's Two Men Bagel House with Yan Min and Cheng Wei, followed by kurozu outside. Then Yan Min returned to the office, and Cheng Wei and I killed more time in the Japan Rail Cafe. I want to try their food someday.

Today - Lunch with Gao Yuan at an affordable and decent pasta place. Talked mainly about the WeChat game and what little we've seen of Chinese netizens' political views (or lack thereof). Still trying to convince her to play the Xcape game, though I understand the difficulty in finding enough people.

said someone out there at 8:16 pm

Monday, October 15, 2018

1. Listening to 傻子與白痴 at this time of night.
2. That moment last week at work, inexplicable and sudden. Helpful in how external it was, I guess, in that it was clear that it couldn't be somehow reduced to a function of the sort of person I am.
3. In Flowers for Algernon, the narrator is eventually unable to tell what has been lost.
4. I still don't know what to do with this information.

said someone out there at 12:56 am

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

2 Oct - Extremely spontaneous dinner arising from meeting Sam Jo and then Jan in the carpark while about to leave the office; I suppose recent events made us all keen on discussion. Finally tried the alcohol offerings of the industrial coffeeshop -- not beer but unexpected sake.

3 Oct - Capitol soup curry lunch with Char, Zi Liang and Si Wan, with predictable topic of conversation.

5 Oct - The REDDOThunt began! This year I am just incredibly apologetic about my broken meta.

6 Oct - Laoshi said my 行楷 (actually some of it seemed more like 行书 so idk) was not bad, so now I have finally entered the phase of "are people just saying things to be kind". Although I would like to think that laoshi isn't that sort.

Yesterday - Spontaneous lunch with Alex since I was in the area for a job. Given how often I end up around one-north, I might make it a practice to ask.

So the hunt ended last night. Despite the broken meta situation, people have been incredibly kind and encouraging in their feedback. It's also heartwarming to read comments by teams who reached milestones or just had a sense of accomplishment in this hunt. I think Chork was particularly reluctant to hold the hunt in 2019 due to being busy (and a great deal of the burden does fall on him, as the main narrative person and logic puzzle setter) but I would like to make it happen, if we can.

I was thinking about it, and the fact that we'd managed to bring some fun to the lives of a couple of hundred people for several hours this weekend -- that's something, isn't it? That's really something. And just, the idea of making things happen (like SGPH, or even Food Chain) -- there's a satisfaction from that that I don't get from anything else.

Another kind of satisfaction: bringing people together in teams, whether one-off or lasting; putting people into contact with other people, which sometimes results in good things. If I have achieved nothing else, I have at least achieved that much.


amazarashi managed to sell out their Budokan concert!! I'd been a bit worried that tickets still seemed available up until recently. Kind of nervously excited for it.

said someone out there at 3:53 pm

Monday, October 08, 2018

Aw man people are so kind in their REDDOThunt feedback forms. ;_; Also this makes me really want to bring them a hunt in 2019. ;_;

said someone out there at 11:10 pm

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