=380= Reflections: A Familiar Voice

I always had this imagination of the time that I will one day interact with C again. I will hear a familiar voice that i haven’t heard in ages.

Today, during the altar call, i heard a familiar voice pray for me, it wasn’t C of course, but it was a voice that I was even more familiar with. I heard that voice very often this year, but it had been so long that i heard it during prayer. I broke down. Even more so than why i went out to the altar for. I missed that voice. I really did. I remembered all the memories and it just made me weep.

I still can’t say that we are back to where we were. I doubt we ever will. I honestly doubt so. Lord, can you please do something?

I really loved that person. I dreamt together with that person. I shared my heart out with that person. I told that person what was on my heart. I never ever thought about life without him back then. I thought we would be going strong until we get married and we will both have families of our own and be good buddies until we die. I honestly loved that person. Even more so than C. I thought of him as my brother, I wanted him to share with me his experiences, i want to share with him mine. Giving each other wisdom. I loved him.

I can’t believe I am crying as i am typing this.

Lord, can I ask for this constant to come back to me? It really is very hard for me to live like this.

But Lord, I just really don’t want to be hurt again.

Lord, I loved him but he pushed me away, Lord, I wanted him to rely on me and i wanted to be there for him, but he pushed me away, he acted as if he didn’t know me. He acted as if he didn’t know me. That night in retreat was the absolute worse.

Father, this broke my heart. How I must have broken yours even more. I just kept running away from you. Kept pushing you away. Kept acting as if you weren’t there. Just like how i want to try something with him, can i please try something with you Lord? Let me reconcile with you?

One week one time for one hour, just me worshiping you in a room.

I don’t know. People who reads my blog, can you please give me advice? I really don’t know how to move. I thought my heart had soften alr, but really, it has just hardened even more over the years. Help me, I need help.

Truly, the outward commotion reveals the inward condition.

Really Lord, you are all I have.


=379= Words of Melancholy: Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

I missed you. I really did. Having you in my life the past year was such a blessing and you don’t know how much you just being there meant to me. These few weeks without you was a little sad for me. I mean I still have friends, but for a close constant to become not constant is just change and I hate change alright… 😦

I give thanks that you still confide and share stuff with me. I really do. I am just a little sad. It is like an end of an era. (a bit melodramatic, I know! HAHAHA)

Though the situation now doesn’t allow me to be to be as close to you as last year, I still want to be your friend ok? 

Have fun journeying with your person with the two eyebrows! I am privileged to have been trusted with your secret before and now that it has bore fruit, may you be happy alright? πŸ™‚ Jiayou! 

Know that I still love you I and will be there for you alright? πŸ™‚

Oh and I am so happy for your good news! Haha! I really sound less excited, but I really was ok! 😁

Go and have lots of fun and enjoy yourself! πŸŒšπŸŒšπŸŒšπŸ™ƒπŸ™ƒπŸ™ƒπŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„


=377= Reflections: Last Weekend

Well, I served again last week on both sides. Here is the story.

It started with me serving for G2 because right now, there is only Leb playing there. Sia Elaine would ask me if I can play on the week she is serving, but I never could confirm if there was an event happening that week. Hence, the G1 & G2 bands had to combine to serve at both services for several weeks. 

This time, I finally could confirm that I can play that week. Hence, I promised Sis Elaine to play for G2.

I felt that the rehearsals were a bit messy, but nevertheless, we ran through.

Then, on the actual Sat, I went down early to switch on the system and set up my drums to my liking.

To my horror, the church snare was severely untuned. I tried tuning it, several lugs were IMPOSSIBLE to tune I tell you! Really quite bad. I tried, but it was taking too much time, hence, I went and got Leb’s cymbals up to play.

Talking about cymbals, my 20 inch Vintage Bliss Ride was deemed unusable as a ride because of how incredibly washy and dark it was. It cannot cut through the mix well… 😦 it really is a pity because it really is such a nice cymbal! I believe if we got rid of the drum shield, my cymbal will be getting all the glory! Oh well!

Hence, for a person that really likes standard stuff(me), I decided to collect larger cymbals. I mean Hillsong’s drummer, Harrison Wood, plays:

  • 15 inch hats
  • 20 inch crash
  • 22 inch ride
  • 22 inch crash

I doubt I will get both a 22 inch ride and a 22 inch crash, but I am really considering getting the 22 inch energy crash ride. 

I know Leb really likes his 16 inch hats, but NAH! Cause if I get the Mono cymbal bag, I will have to keep the 16 hats in the main compartment, because the hihat compartment only accept cymbals up to 15 inches. Wasting space!

I really like the tone of the 15 inch bliss hihats too! Like it is sloshy and yet still very meaty. I have a theory that the larger the hihat, the darker the wash/slosh. However, there needs to be a limit cause the darker you go, the less cut you will get.

So now I have been redesigning my ideal setup! Taking a lot of inspiration from Steve Jordan!

  • 15 inch bliss hihats
  • 17 inch bliss crash(it really is THAT nice)
  • 20 inch vintage bliss crash ride(cause I already bought it)
  • 22 inch energy crash ride
  • 18 or 20 inch pang china

Ok back to the worship set. Once again, worshiping on stage is wonderful. I think there is this need for clarity and push for realism. Like, I just cannot hide any hidden feelings when I am on stage worshiping God.

However, it is true that G2’s hype and fire seemed doused. I am probably not a good judge because I never put in any ambience into my aviom mix and I am in an acrylic jail, so a lot of what I do to see how the congregation reacts is visual. I remember that back when I was serving in G2 that the leaders were hyped and were smiling when they worshipped God. There was this excitement.

This time round, everyone seemed… Familar, so used to/comfortable to worship. Almost as if they were no longer impressed that they can go into the presence of God. As if worship was just this trend that was so happening a year back and it isn’t popular anymore.

Oh well, I do not know if it was because a good deal of the expereinced leaders moved up, it was just sad. Legacies are meant to be left behind, not sticking together with me. What I mean by this is that the leaders in R-AGE isn’t responsible to create a hyped group of people(though they can), they are responsible for bringing up a group of people that is close to God and help them draw closer to Him and have that relationship with Him. If when that leader leaves the group to move up to YA, and all the members backslide, you know that they(the kids) were in Church for the wrong reason. I am not bashing the leaders! It is hard to balance between a place to belong and a place to know more about God. It is just sad when your legacy leaves with you. 😦 May my legacy never leave with me!

Burdened for G2, hope that they will experience God more and more and love him. πŸ™‚

Worship went alright, some musical mistakes here and there, but we all worshipped God and that is the point.

It was what happened next that I wanna talk about.

After worship, I went to G2, sharing a cab with Bro Ken and Sheila. Thank you Bro Ken for paying! πŸ™‚

I was really tired from playing drums. Seriously guys, try playing four songs, rehearsing before service and actually play for service. It is draining both physically and mentally.

I was thinking of putting my cymbal and bag down and taking the two hours out to go shoot photos! I just needed some me time you know. On the way in, I saw the befrienders outside of the hall and I was reminded that it was my team’s turn to serve, but I couldn’t because I was serving at G2!

The original plan was to walk from G2 to G1 taking photos while I go after service! However, since Ken was going to G1, might as well right?

So I greated them and Yun Ying went, “OH Kelvin you are here! You can talk to this boy….”

In my heart and mind, I was, OH MANNNN. I was seriously tired, I don’t wanna talk or meet anyone, ok maybe someone who is a good friend, but seriously don’t want to serve and speak to the guy. Nevertheless, I still did it. I mean, sure, I will miss like my alone time, but if God wants me to serve, I will serve lor. Just very sian.

Oh, also, on the Cab, Andre texted me to ask me if I could do sound the next day because he wanted to play bass on the Emerge band. Once again, very sian. Not sure if it is just me, but when you are tired, you don’t feel like doing something even if it is days away. I had that.

The boy that I was assigned to talk to left halfway during worship. I felt bad to do so, but I was really very happy, I can go shoot after worship! YES!

Then I decided to chat with Charissa, cause we were talking earlier on and she looked really tired. I am tired yes, but talking to friends is still one of the things that I like to do, it kinda refreshes me! So I just did it.

Then another newcomer came song and I was once again tasked to talk to him.

He is an interesting character. He came to church when he was in primary school and he came back to know more about the bible. I managed to share some general knowledge with him.

Then the zone party. Met Anada and her Friend Charis, they are such a weird bunch, SOOO quiet! Though Anada has been warming up to me, she hasn’t said Hi to me more than once… ._. I passed D a water balloon but it got passed back to me and Sheryl started playing with it. In a moment of a stupid decision, I flicked it and it burst. Aiyo stupid boy! I was just playing, but I didn’t think that the balloon was THAT fragile… ._.

I began shooting and Esther came up to me, wanting to shoot and I started to guide her along on how to shoot. Shooting provides a certain adrenaline. Thinking of factors like lighting, focus, shutter speed(not aperture, cause I always use aperture priority), ISO, subject, distance away. There is this dynamic process, especially with prime lenses. Photography isn’t a passive thing! It is very active, moving in and out to get the shot! Waiting for that decisive moment! It is my privilege to share that experience with Esther!

I think a part of me likes teaching because I like to share my experiences with people. Helping people to have the same pleasure and excitement as me!

Then I finally have some time with Jerome. I really miss my boys. We talked about cells and stuff, good to know that he is doing well! πŸ™‚

Then sound engineering for the emerge band was very tough. There was just way too many factors. There were quite a few people on stage, to crowd control, troubleshoot, test lines, EQ, sending to mons and avioms and settle technical stuff for them was just really tiring.

It didn’t help that they had people that weren’t In the band on stage. I really like that the wall that CAMY used to have with the congregation is slowly becoming thinner, but sometimes, things can just proceed a lot faster if they don’t go on stage.

This is a minor pet peeve of mine, like for the sound check for monitors, don’t signal for “I cannot hear a thing” and shake your hands telling me there is nothing on your monitors! I know there is nothing on your monitors! Just signal up or down! If I have a problem, I will run up to troubleshoot, don’t worry! Oh, and signs for up or down should be given once that person is being EQ-ed! I am sorry, but it really is a bit irritating that I have to say, “On the mons?” For every instrument… -.- I can cut a lot of time of everyone was alert and ready for soundcheck.

I know, very minor things, I can live and work with it, but it is just very little things multiplied by the numbers on stage that wil make soundcheck a waste of good time

Sometimes I think if I weren’t such a technical person, I will be so much happier and less irritated with things. Just be a Creative and do my own thing because it is so much easier to do just that! Just play and leave all the hard work to someone else.

Nah, I chose this, I rather understand the tough and unseen part of the music on stage. Make my sound guy’s life much easier.

Bro Ken reacted to me settling technical things on stage rather differently this time. I remembered that last year when I was trying to settle something for Jun Kang’s Cajon mic, he just bugged me and told me sternly to go to cell. This time round, he spoke to me in a more understanding tone and also telling me to go to cell, but differently. Thank you Bro Ken for understanding and tolerating my technical temper.

Then for Emerge Maze Runner. Wah, the game was just so chaotic. I think I was really quite harsh on my words. Thing to watch out for. Seeing Denise step up to step in for our busy RLs, kinda made me a little envious, I mean, we are kinda in the same position, but she gets more roles in the leadership position. I guess because of me being more involved in the technical side of emerge too. Well, I kinda wanna try, but yeah, Denise is a better choice with MUCH better patience than me! Being technical is making me short tempered Sia!

Ok, on the more technical side of things, I think the task list kinda thing works better with smaller groups of people. Like if one group of like 10-12 were to complete the tasks rather than a whole region, it would have been WAY easier to handle and they will have more fun and they will be more engaged. However, I know that they are going for a regional kinda thing, so the group thingy doesn’t really work! You could mix the cells and form new groups, like what we did in regionals! That might be better!

However, if you REALLY REALLY want a regional as a whole thingy. You can have like a game show styled games. Something like I want one person from each cell to go out. So each region has like 4-5 people right? Then you make those 4-5 kids do a task together on stage which region can do it the fastest wins. Make sure that the task is doable, that they can all contribute and that people off stage can see them on stage. It will be engaging because it is their friends playing. It promotes bonding because it is kids of different cells coming together. It doesn’t have to be long either! Set a time limit like 5 minutes each task. Every different task change the 4-5 kids. Add special rounds for them to win special things or points. Tell them that you can actually use their points! Use their points to buy like snacks or goodies! Or maybe they can use their points for power ups for the next round to earn more points! Have them bid for the goodies each week. It will be quite epic! 

I dunno, it is all in my head, but I think that is the way to go for a mass regional/emerge kinda thing.

I had to solve some technical stuff for the newer bands too. Didn’t help them much, but I kinda wanna arrange some parts of their music! 

Oh well, It has been a long while since I was in training and probation! Thank God for blessing me with so much!

Lord, thank you for the past weekend! πŸ™‚

Sorry for the japalang thoughts once again, thank you for reading what seems like a gear talk, a melancholy reflection, a rant, a words of joy all in one!

Ok! All is good! πŸ™‚

One last point, learning when to stop being crazy is a skill, I see two people needing this skill right now. One of them, I am close to, one, not that much, I kinda wanna teach them. I saw what Kennaf saw me did when I was doing my stupid attention attracting acts back last year. Now I realise how immature and annoying I was. Oh well, still crazy! But at least I am controlling it right now! πŸ™‚

Ok now down for sure!

FINAL FINAL POINT. I really like the “I’m going to ask her out tonight” story! I am going to write more on the story. I wanna take a photo and put at the front of the chapters like those cartoon art on Harry Potter books. Story writing is fun! Some of what Matt does is what I did, the others? I just think that Matt is that kinda guy! Stay tuned for the continuation of the story! Find out why is the title called that title! πŸ™‚


=376= Stories To Tell: I Am Going To Ask Her Out Tonight Part 2

A month has past since Matt’s death. It just had been way too fast. Life just goes on and just been so busy that I cannot greive properly.

Even though my boss had been so understanding–allowing me to take leave for the funeral, even though it was a peak period for my company. I just got back and started working. Well, I guess distracting myself is a way to not think about Matt so much.

Ever since then, I secured two business partners, finished up and settled several deal with clients. In fact, even I was surprised with myself. This was probably the best performance that I have given in my job so far. Too bad that Matt is no longer there for me to share this with.

I have been visiting Auntie Stacey every week, just to check in on her. Now that she is living alone, I really don’t want her to overthink too much. Thankfully she has been cheering up and every time I visit her, we just talk about different things to get our minds off Matt.

I think I should visit her tonight. Work is really coming down, I am not too sure if I can be there on Friday.

I dropped her a text to tell her I was coming and she replied, “Oh good! I have something to show you too!”

I reached Auntie Stacey’s place and saw Matt’s shoes. Auntie Stacey still cannot bear to throw his shoes away. Matt loves shoes. He bought all kinds of sneakers from converse to sport shoes from new balance to formal black leather shoes. He had so many boxes of shoes it was taking way too much space in the walkway.

I entered and Auntie Stacey greeted me with a bright smile! She offered me chrysanthemum tea and we began our chat. We chatted for two whole hours, going on about food, work and my bosses. I almost forgot about what she wanted to show me and was about to leave, but then she stopped me.

“Oh wait! Sarah, I have something to give you!” Auntie Stacey said.

She ran into Matt’s room and returned with a box.

“I was cleaning up Matthew’s room and I found his journals. I began to read them and I learned so much about my son that I didn’t know about.” Auntie Stacey paused, “I read it through already. I think you should know read it!”

Oh wow. I just thought to my head, it was invading Matt’s privacy, but this is probably the last thing that will allow me to remember and know Matt a bit more. So I accepted and went home.

I opened the box in my room after I showered. I was expecting a box full of books, but apart from the books, inside had all the presents I gave Matt, with some random items in there too. There was a pair sun glasses with “happy birthday” and a birthday cake on it. Haha so cheesy, whoever gave him that? Then there was a key chain that I bought him, it was those key chains wth tools, he didn’t even used it because he told me that he didn’t want to waste his current key chain.

The notebooks were off different colours. There were brown ones, black ones, blue ones, all pretty guy-ish looking notebooks. Then there was this particular one that I bought Matt as a joke back when we were in secondary school. We were talking about how much we liked poping bubble wrap. He joked that he will buy me bubble wrap for my birthday. Since his birthday came first, I bought him a notebook that had pink, white and purple stripes and I stuck bubble wrap all over the cover. I cannot believe that he kept it! It was so long ago.

That was the first book I opened.

The first sentence written on the first page was, “Dear God, I honestly cannot thank you enough for putting her in my life. Lord, I like her SOOO much, can you tell me if she is the one for me? If she is not, I will not pursue her, but even if she isn’t can she be a sister than I can love?”

I was like “OH OH OH! Matt actually liked someone when he was in secondary school! Why hasn’t he told me about it? Who is it?”

Then the next entry was, “Hey mate, I am sorry about probing too much into your life. I just want to be part of your life, to support you. If you are going through a hard time, can you please rely on me?”

It was written in pencil. I kinda got the format, like whenever Matt wrote in pen, it was to God, when it was in pencil, it was to the girl he liked. 

There wasn’t a name written in the journal, but all the entries were filled with strange names like, “girl with the two eyebrows” “mate” “my crush.” I cannot believe that Matt was so lame! HAHA!

I continued to read, almost 90% of his entries had a prayer for the girl he liked. Whether was it that the girl had an exam coming up and he was praying for her results or him struggling to tell the girl that he liked him or asking God if she was the one and seeking conformation, most of the post just had her slip into his prayers.

I finished the first book rather quickly! I mean it was seriously just more or less the same stuff.

Oh and honestly, Matthew’s hand writing was just atrocious, like seriously bad. I can’t believe that I could read it man! Like Gosh! Argh!

I felt a little bit warm and comforted that I can still know more about Matt through these journals.

I closed the journal, placed it back into the box and went to sleep.


=375= Stories to Tell: I Am Going To Ask Her Out Tonight Part 1

The phone rings.

I checked the name of the caller on my phone.

It’s Matt.

I ignored the call because I was busy with work and I know he would call me again.

He is my best friend after all.

After I knocked off from work, I went home and immediately knocked out. It was only the next morning that I remembered that Matt called me. I felt so bad for ignoring his call due to work. I immediately picked up my house phone, dialed his number and gave him a ring.

No one picked up.

I was running late to work, so I just rushed off; putting this at the back of my head.

I worked a good 4 hours before taking a break and took a look at my phone and I saw four missed calls and a text message notification from my Mum. The message read, “Sarah, Dear, there is something I need to tell you, will you please drop me a call?”

I was puzzled. I mean, what did I do wrong this time? Crap! My mum was so angry that she called me 4 times…. I am dead!

Nevertheless, I walked out of my cubicle to the pantry to make the call.

“Hello, Sarah, dear…. Please be prepared for what I am about to tell you…”My mum sounded really serious when she said this.

“What why? What happened?” My mind started to overthink and worry.

“Matthew…. Is dead.”

I froze.

“w-w-what?”I uttered in shock.

“Matthew is dead. He met with a car accident last night on his way home. The driver was drunk and cut the red light. Matthew was rushed to the hospital, but he didn’t make it…”

I sat there in the pantry. Not knowing what to do. My best friend since I was in secondary school is dead. How could that be?! He called me last night! I couldn’t take it anymore, I just wept.

The memories just flowed.

Memories of how Matthew would listen to me complain and rant. Memories of how he gave me the best advice. Memories of him scolding me when I did something wrong. Memories of him making me laugh. It is just too overwhelming. I cannot take it, I am seriously not ready to walk alone. I am not ready to walk alone without Matt.

My boss saw me crying in the pantry. I was still a slobbering mess. No words could reach me. The emotions are too much. She got some of my female colleagues to comfort me. They asked me what happened but I just couldn’t answer them. I can’t. How do you expect me to answer them when I myself still don’t believe it?

I took the rest of the day off and went to visit Matt’s Mum. Matt is an only child. His father passed away when he was 9. His Mum has been taking care of Matt by herself ever since. They only had each other, the blow to her was probably even harder than mine.

When she opened her door, you can see her blood shot eyes that she has been crying. She smiled when she saw me, but her eyes filled up with tears again. I went ahead to give her a hug. She has been preparing for Matt’s wake since last night. She looked like she haven’t gotten a bit of sleep since last night.

“The hospital called me at nine last night. Told me that Matthew got into an accident, they told me to go down to see him. I rushed out of my office so hurriedly that I almost forgot to bring my wallet….”Matthew’s Mum, Auntie Stacey said before pausing.

“… But he was gone before I even reached the hospital. What a useless mother I must be. I couldn’t even see my son one last time.” Auntie Stacey broke down.

I don’t know what to do. I am in no condition to comfort Auntie Stacey myself. So I just wept together with her.

The wake went by surprisingly fast. I applied for leave to accompany Autie Stacey for the whole three days. In those three days, many people came. People from church. People from his work. People from our schools. It was surprising. Matt was never the person that is always hanging out with a huge group of people, who knew that he was that popular and well liked? Not that I am in any doubt that Matt is a great guy, but I just never knew that Matt had so many friends.

I heard so much about Matt from them that I question if I seriously was his best friend. I never knew that he cared so much for his friends and would even go out of his way to help them.

Our classmate in secondary school, Tony, told us that he once ran away from home and it was Matt that met with him at like 2am in the morning, allow Tony to stay at his place and then convincing him to go back home in the morning.

Stella, the girl that Matt told me that he liked, told us that Matt had been such a great friend to her. She said that Matt would listen to her talk about all her break ups and would cheer her up. She told us that Matt was always there for her but she never was there for him and she started to tear a bit.

I guess it was good. Matt got her to regret not being there for him, she must have at least some feelings, even if it isn’t romantic feelings, for Matt, if not she wouldn’t act like this.

The cremation day was tough to watch. Aunty Stacey broke down even before the body was sent to the crematorium. When it was there, Aunty Stacey just wept so hard and she just fell to the floor. I went ahead to comfort her by hugging her. Nevertheless Autue Stacey was an incredibly strong woman. She didn’t make a fuss to not burn Matt’s body. She allowed it but she was still weeping. I never seen Auntie Stacey like that before. Losing her only son was probably too hard for her to handle.

Matt’s ashes were returned to us to put to store into an allocated slot in the crematorium. After that, I just went back home to soak it all in my head. I still cannot believe that my Best Friend is dead. I cannot.

I have been finding as many photos of us together since the day I found out that he passed away, but to my regret, I had very few photos of us together. Very few. I had many group photos together with our friends, but so little photos with only us together. I could only find two photos. One of them was blur and the other one was just because the previous photo was blur.

It was a photo of us together during a church event when they had a photo booth. Matt asked me to take a photo with him and I did. We asked a mutual friend(I cannot even remember who) to help us take the photo.

Thank goodness I passed my phone to my friend to have the photo.

I search my room to find the things that Matt had given me. I just recalled SO much. Matt was such a wonderful guy. He always looks out for me. Whenever I was cold, I would ask him if he had a jacket, but he will never have one, because as he said, “he rather be cold than to be heavy.”

Haha! However, knowing that I was cold, he would run out and fill his water bottle with warm water for me. He would take care of me whenever I am not feeling well. He will always buy chocolate for me when I am having cramps. His cards are always so funny. He would make the weirdest cards. He once drew out a cartoon and pasted a cut out of my face to make it look like it was me saying the lines.

I really don’t know what I will do now that he is gone. Who will pour warm water for me now?

=374= Inspirations: Wide Angle

5 Mistakes Beginners Make Using a Wide Angle Lens and How to Avoid Them

Very nice article! Really thinking if I should get a wide instead of the normal lens cause honestly, the wide angle photos that I have seen online were spectacular! 

I like the distorting effect with added drama!

Very cool!