As we made our descent, we were greeted with the sight of a school of barracuda quietly hovering over the shallower parts of the reef.
Having received some tips from the divemaster, I was eager to be in more control of my buoyancy and so for the earlier part of the dive I focused more on the marine life that lay within an arm's length. There were plenty of red snappers here and there and sea cucumbers almost as long as my arm were feeding.
They resembled extraterrestrial worms, white with black appendages feeling around the rocks for some grub.
Here and there we saw a few blue spotted stingrays moving around.
The divemaster then looked into a crack in the rock and motioned for us to do the same. As I hovered silently over the rock, I stared at the dark green face of a moray eel. It stared back at us, opening and closing its mouth in a routine motion.
As we continued with our dive, the divemaster spotted something under a rock and tried to poke at it. At first I thought it could be a moray eel, but then a strange grey fish darted across below me. At first I thought it was a shark of sorts but it was actually just a stonefish (those things are poisonous by the way).
The divemaster kept pointing some things out to us, and an interesting one was a tiny nudibranch probably the size of a letter of this font. After seeing it, I made way for the other divers to have a look and what I saw a bit further on made my heart beat a little faster; it was a turtle feeding. Sadly, before I could signal anyone to its presence it disappeared.
I forgot to mention this. The dive was an especially interesting one because the reef was not on flat even ground. The contours made for a challenging and altogether fun way for me to control my buoyancy. The wide variety of corals, both soft and hard, also made for a beautiful scenery; an underwater garden bursting with life in a brilliant array of textures and colours.
So we were continuing this dive and we approached a steep rock formation. At its base, the divemaster motioned for us to come one by one and stick our hand into a part of the rock. It was there that small, transparent and dotted shrimp decided to satisfy their curiosity and hop onto the strange human appendage.
Moving on, another diver and me spotted a reef shark moving across the sand nearby. I tried to alert the other divers about this relatively rare and exciting sight but it's pretty hard to get attention underwater when no one's looking. But for the two of us who did see the respectably-sized shark, it was a nice.
As we floated close to the reef, we saw another turtle feeding. Approaching with caution, we didn't scare off the turtle and it surfaced for air before descending again to feed. It glided gracefully around for a while and we were awed as it did that.
Making our three-minute safety stop, I looked around and took it all in. I reviewed my buoyancy and was quite pleased with the progressed I was making. I remembered bits and pieces of what I saw and was also quite pleased, even though I came across one or two crown of thorn starfish - the Decepticons of the sea. As we made our ascent, I took one last look at the wonderful reef below me and saw a turtle gliding around again. This time, it approached something under an overhanging coral, which turned out to be another turtle. And just as the two turtles came into view, I was at the surface.
Haha, just trying to put some words to one of the most rewarding dives I've ever had. The trip itself was pretty cool too, with interesting experiences. But my recently-revived writing stamina can't take writing about all that now, so I'll leave it at that.
Do note that the timeline of the various encounters may not be accurate, but for the bigger parts like the descent, ascent and shark encounter it's more or less there.
The dive site was Trumbu Kili, Pulau Redang and we had a bottom time of 52 minutes and reached a maximum depth of 19.2 metres, which is the deepest I've gone so far.
I just hope I can make more dives soon even with NS around.
This is so true. The suckiest part of booking out of NS is having to book back in.
On one hand I know that the coming week won't be too bad and I know that I'll be able to take it (or have no other choice) but on the other I think a part of me is just dying as I trudge my way through NS.
I don't really know what else to say. I'm just lost in a dark, sad, lonely place in my life right now.
When 2011 came, I had a plan on what to achieve by the time I enlisted (One of which was to get a girlfriend. Heh, look how that turned out) and I'm proud to say I've failed.
Proud because instead, I got more than I could ever dream of asking for. Stuff I didn't know I wanted but now truly appreciate. I have never been so sincere in saying that I have no regrets because truly, I am in a state of complete and utter acceptance and appreciation for everything I have and do not have in my life.
I've found new passions and made some new friends, but what I find most important is the forging of stronger and deeper relationships with friends already close to me (You know who you are)
I only realised all of this in the past weekend, mind you. But I wouldn't have it any other way, because what better way is there to start a new chapter in your life than ending the previous one knowing you are exactly where you should be in life and that you belong there?
What I'm trying to drive at is that in the past five months I've found that life is awesome, and I'm gonna jump headfirst into my next venture!
So at this point, I've done about two thirds of my A Level papers.
In retrospect, the papers were easy and at worst, manageable. At least for the subjects I took. And I know I made a bunch of errors in most of them.
All I can hope for now is that I don't have to retake. I would really, really, from the bottom of my heart, hate that. A Levels has proven to be such a long, boring experience and I don't want to have to go through it. I wanna live my NS life free of care from academic stuff.
You probably know about how I like to speculate the podsibilities that what we're experiencing now is part of a dream continued from reality and that when we wake up we'd be in sone pivotal moment in our individual pasts.
Imagine the shock I got when I woke up one fine morning and got ready for school when I saw my sister in her TJC uniform when she was supposed to be in university.
Remember when I said life in college will never compare with life in secondary school?
I realised in the recent weeks that it doesn't have to. In so many ways I've grown more here in TPJC than in TK, but in so many other ways I've also grown more in TK. The best years of your life don't have to be confined to just a single chapter or 'season' in your life but rather the whole experience (someone cue Joseph and Hafiz's "Let's build this up/I say let's build this up").
I would never have imagined that I'd go to Europe, finish two huge-ass paintings, learn to be an asshole (intentionally, at that) or be a student leader without a voice, among other things. The same goes for the people I've met. In the past six years, I never expected to meet people so inspiring in both subtle and obvious ways, who motivate me on a much deeper level than any hired motivational speaker can.
I'm not really awesome with words, but to everyone who has made this experience such an enriching one, I hope that you guys will continue to do the same for me, others and especially yourselves in your own unique ways, and I hope that I have and will return the favour duly.
And here's to us always adding more years to the best years of our lives!
So ever since Minutes To Midnight was released, Linkin Park has been accused of "changing too much" or "deviating from their old sound". The release of A Thousand Suns did the same. Now we all know Hybird Theory and Meteora kicked (and still kicks) ass, but because some people have it ingrained in their minds that Linkin Park's changing, they're not who they originally were.
But this change shouldn't be the case. Zooming back to Hybrid Theory (Tour Edition, if you have it), we should take a listen to High Voltage. There's a spoken verse that says something like:
And like the rock and rap You know what i mean People act like you know Wow that’s a new invention That shits brand new We're constantly evolving It is constantly changing
There's a lot of change Everybody's always up with labels There ain’t no label for this shit They're always gonna try to put a label on it Try to create something So they can water it down
So here we can see (or hear) that they've said, from the very beginning (or even before, 'cuz High Voltage was actually made before Hybrid Theory) that they're constantly evolving and changing. And that there ain't no label for that shit (the rock and rap that everyone thinks defines Linkin Park). You get the idea.
If that's not enough to convince you about their clairvoyance, check this. Right after that verse Chester sings "Sometimes I feel like a prophet..." and adds immediately that he's "misunderstood under the gun like a new disease".
Now where else have we heard the phrase "under a gun"?
* Hahaha. Note that I don't really believe in this, but it just crossed my mind while listening to Linkin Park and walking home one otherwise perfectly normal afternoon. And if you know me well enough, you'd know I love coming up with conspiracies and the like just for the lulz.
But just to get things clear, I'm perfectly cool if you dislike ATS or MTM in favour of Meteora and Hybrid Theory. I mean, that's your taste, so why should I intervene. No offence intended and none taken.
The end of my natural JC life will come next Friday.
In retrospect, even though I was always saying how the TK years were the best of my life, I have to say that I'm gonna add the two years I've spent here in TPJC to that count.
I grew in ways I could never imagine, met people who I now can't imagine my life without, experienced so much and more in these two years. The school admin may be shitty, and I may not have achieved much tangible success but the experience was nothing short of awesome.
I would relive these past two years and not change a thing (well, almost ;))
Other than that I am shitscrewed for my A-Levels if I don't buck the hell up now.
I'm sorry, I just felt so good that I had to post about it.
I got up at around 7.30 (I feel best when I wake up before 9) and while walking to the bathroom I suddenly said to myself, "Mmm. Awesome."
Which of course set the mood.
Then I attempted something I've never done before. With my iPhone in a safe, dry corner of the bathroom, I played some pretty cheery orchestral pieces by Shiro Sagisu from the movie Evangelion: You Can (Not) Advance and proceeded to have a shower.
So imagine this. You're already feeling rather upbeat and then you have a warm to cold shower while listening to this.
And songs of the like. I don't know about you, but it made me feel pretty awesome.
And then of course brushing your teeth with epic battle music is always an idea that makes you feel important to the fate of the world.
Been feeling pretty shitty lately (In reference to the post below, there have been recent developments). Well, not shitty per se but less motivated than normal. I swear, only girls have the ability to do this to me.
On another note, I study best when alone. It's when I talk to myself, ask myself questions (aloud) and push myself to understand and stuff. It's like physical training but for your brain. You grow when you push and strain. If I have people around me, I'd get lazy to think and just ask them to help me out, thus removing a lot of the thinking process from my own brain (which is a bad thing). Not to mention getting distracted.
But when I study alone I drive myself crazy. It's like I
You know what nevermind I'll just go do some Physics now.
Your favourite beatboxing ambigrammist (I have to change this soon), Az
In this past year (and I foresee future years) I've been a real sucker for girls.
Smitten by a few, I was pretty convinced that I wanted to commit to the one of current interest at that point in time. In my head I'd form a list of the things I could do for, to and eventually with said girl of interest and I'd feel all hopeful and happy.
And then I would get all analytical and paranoid with what every little action of said girl of interest would mean and most of the time jump to worst-case-scenario conclusions, which are followed by hours of wallowing in self-pity.
And in these hours of self-pity-wallowing, at one point I'd notice that I actually don't have to feel all saddish because I probably don't even like said girl of interest that much, hence realising that I actually can be happy if I wanted to.
But I just won't wanna.
Which then leads me to think that I'm actually a bit like Ted Mosby from best show in the world How I Met Your Mother, except, of course, a lot less successful. A starry-eyed dude bent on finding someone to love and commit to (except, of course, not as long-term for my case).
I think this can simply be attributed to my fondness for fictional romance (though I find romance novels gay). I'd love to be able to find the kind of love in The Phantom Of The Opera or Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street and even Shrek, but at most times I find myself to be a little too emotionless to love so passionately.
And this leads to self-inception. I'd see a girl who I'm mildly interested in and from there I'd tell myself that I really like her when I probably don't really like her that much, though this is not to say that I'd lead her on. What I'm saying is that I'd want to like her more than I do.
And then we rinse, lather and repeat.
I have no idea where I'm heading with this. I'm just thinking aloud in this (fortunately) empty and unvisited space. In the end I still feel attracted to said girl of interest and alongside that, I feel happy, paranoid and sad at varying times and stages of the attraction.
What I'm wondering now is if it's real or if it's all just a convenient idea that I've planted in my head because it feels like it's somewhere in between.
In any case, I should really just focus on my A Levels now. :/
And if you're wondering, yes. There is a girl of interest right now.
In case you're planning to invite me to any outings after SA (And I hope you are. You better >:|) but have no time to discuss with me online, here's my schedule.
Friday: Piano lesson ends at 6.30PM Saturday: Studio time from 11AM - 12PM. From then I'm free till tuition, which starts at around 7PM. Sunday: Free for now Monday: Piano exam from 2PM to UNDEFINED. At Tampines Mall so yeah.
How nice it is just to kick back during the weekend and not have a single worry in the world. That was how my weekend went but then I realised that I wanted to be like that for more than a weekend. The relaxation is just so heavenly that one can't resist it.
As such, I should postpone such luxuries to post A-Levels, when I can relax guilt-free.