Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Top 26 for 2005

The December issue of magazines and newspaper columns will usually have a "look back" of the year where favourites of the writer/reviewer will be listed.

I haven't been listening to much new stuff this year and probably can't have a "best albums of 2005" list. What I have instead will be 20 odd tracks that I have been listening to this past year. And they will include old songs because I have no care of the age of these songs. To me, there are all new to me cause I am eithering liking them for the first time or starting to like them after knowing them for some time. So basically these are songs that were constantly being played on my iPod or will be in the next coming period of time..

So in this particular order.......

James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover
I am a dreamer
And when I wake
You can't break my spirit its my dreams you take


Stevie Wonder - Lately

Well, I'm a man of many wishes,
I hope my premonition misses,
but what I really feel, my eyes won't let me hide,
cause they always start to cry


Antony & The Johnsons - Cripple And The Starfish

And there's no rhyme or reason
I'm changing like the seasons
Watch! I'll even cut off my finger
It will grow back like a Starfish!


Blur - Sweet Song

I'm a darkened soul
My streets all pop music and gold
Our lives are on TV
You switch off and try to sleep
People get so lonely


José Gonzalez - Heartbeats

You knew the hand of the devil
And you kept us awake with wolves teeth
Sharing different heartbeats in one night
To call for hands from above to lean on
Would that be good enough for me now?


Iron & Wine - Such Great Heights

I am thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images
And when we kiss they're perfectly aligned


Snow Patrol - Run

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear


Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - How Do You Keep Love Alive

What, what are the words
They use when they know it's over
"We need to talk," or
"I'm confused, maybe later you can come over"


John Legend - Ordinary People

I hang up, you call,
We rise and we fall,
And we feel like just walking away,
As our love advances,
We take second chances,
Though it's not a fantasy,
I still want you to stay.


Gwen Stefani - Cool

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles
And now we're hanging out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been


Joss Stone - Spoiled

And I would only be fooling myself if I tried to
Believe there's room for someone else in my heart
There ain't no way I'm getting over you
I don't know what I've been trying to prove
I'm hopeless, helpless when it comes to you


Nick Drake - Northern Sky

I never felt magic crazy as this,
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea.

I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree.

But now you're here, brighten my northern sky.


Apollo 440 (featuring Billy MacKenzie) - Pain In Any Language

You’re gonna need me like I need you right now
You’re gonna need me it’s the same in any language
The pain in any language is the same in any language


Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit

You know its time that we grow old and do some shit
I like it all that way


Frank Sinatra - As Time Goes By

It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by


The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now," but we'll stay . . .


Queensryche - Silent Lucidity

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you build within come tumbling down
And a new world will begin


Sufjan Stevens - The Dress Looks Nice On You

When the world looks back.
When the face looks after that.
I can see a lot of life in you.


David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue


The Killers - Mr Brightside

Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
But it’s just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
‘Cause I’m Mr Brightside


The Bravery - Honest Mistake

Don’t look at me that way
It was an honest mistake


Johnny Cash - Hurt

if I could start again,
a million miles away,
I will keep myself,
I would find a way


Kings Of Convenience - I Don't Know What I Can Save You From

but I realized that the one you were before,
had changed into somebody for whom
I wouldn't mind to put the kettle on.
Still I don't know what I can save you from.


Damien Rice - The Professor
*new entry!*
Too many options may kill a man
Loving is fine if it's not in your mind
But I've fucked it up now, too many times
Loving is good if it's not understood
Yeah, but I'm the professor
And feel that I should know


Tom McRae - 2nd Law
*new entry!*
So tell them
If you see them
That I am better left alone


Humpback Oak - No Finer Time To Be Alive
*new entry!*
Down to the low life
Well, do I like it?
No finer time to be alive


I might add more....but at another time....really up to my neck these days.......


Added on 29 Dec 05: I think this should be my final 25. I might just add a couple more. There are 2 more days to go afterall.

Added on 31 Dec 05: See what I mean? There is always a chance that another can squeeze in. Couple more hours to go!

This might just squeeze in....on the last day of the year too!

I remember donkey kong years ago....when X'ho just legalised his X from Chris and when he had a programme on Perfect 10 called Hip Parade - Now Sound Of The Future.....that was where I first heard Lamb and their fantastic Gorecki which was featured prominently on his Ear Wax chart. Ear Wax was like his top ten chart...

I first heard of Kruder and Dorfmeister, Fila Brasilia, Thievery Corporation, Underwolves, Jhelisa, Boymerang, Two Lone Swordsmen, Andrew Weatherall....the whole bachelor pad sound movement and the advent of drum and bass, jungle....His one hour show was always educational.

And he featured local music as well. Concave Scream and Humpback Oak, later Livonia, Boredphunks (now with higher gig prices that NYC supposedly may not afford and renamed as The Suns)....

Pain-Stained Morning and Ghostfather by Humpback Oak was featured extensively during that time. I found the track off Joe Ng's blog (again....his is a treasure trove)...No Finer Time To Be Alive.

Somehow somebody came to me
To punish me for what I’ve done
he asked me a matter of factly
do you know what you have done?
I said I do and don’t mind me asking
Ain’t you so and so’s son
I said you bet I am and because of you
My father died before the war began
Down to the low life well do I like it
No finer time to be alive
More like a dull life culling with me oh no

Oh yes I remember a sin
Pulled the trigger and aimed it at his head
I guess you’ve come to end my misery
But can’t you see I’ve paid my dues already
Hands all tied up in sack
The sack’s connected to a bag
My back’s grown tone to the bone
For god’s sake leave me alone
Down to the low life well do I like it
No finer time to be alive
More like a dull life culling with me oh no

Said why don’t you go and leave me alone
Don’t you think I’ve suffered enough
Why don’t you leave me alone
Give me a break don’t break my legs
Give me a break don’t break my legs
For god’s sake for god’s sake for god’s sake haven’t you grown?

Down to the low life well do I like it
No finer time to be alive
More like a dull life culling with me

I cannot verify the lyrics....they may be wrong.

This is all that's left.


This song by the way, makes my list 26 entries long.

Hwang Woo Suk is a phoney

I was writing about him previously.....and recently he was found to be a phoney and his works a scam.....

I was then comparing research scientists to be in a race for the prize.

In a serendipitous sequence.....I found in Joe Ng's blog......The Observatory's cover of The Flaming Lips Race For The Prize! And also their cover of Nick Drake's Joey. Sublime...

New Year's Eve

Last day of 2005.

All I can think of is the lack of enthusiasm for the new year but plenty for the long weekend holiday.

=)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Under the weather

Had a sortie onboard one of our maritime patrol aircraft on tuesday. Was still feeling rather flushed from the thrill of landing at Changi Airport while seated in the jump-seat. In case you don't know what a jump-seat is, it's this collapsible seat in between the two pilots just behind the throttle in the middle. From here, you get a really fantastic view. And you experience a little joy when you see the landing strip slowly gaining on you initially and when it's less than a 500ft, the tarmac just seems to crash under you. Amazing.

This site gives a very accurate description. Link

During the flight, we saw a commercial jet climbing to the usual 30,000ft that they fly at. Contrails were forming off the tips of the wings. That was when one of the pilots started explaing to me about the formation of contrails......sort of.

But when I was going home, got caught in the rain. And by evening, I was wheezing and feeling feverish. By the next morning when I woke at 6am, I could barely move myself as I was in aching in all sort of places. So I decided to not go to work. It was about noon that I realised that V was also on sick leave. I am starting to wander what was it that got to us.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to the New Year holiday. Not the new year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I just watched The Promise

I just watched The Promise having talked about it previously.

It was not entertaining and I am glad I paid only $7 for it.
Maybe I am regretting paying $7 for it. I don't know.

Hoping to find something special in a Chen Kaige film....what I found was a low-grade Forrest Gump set 5000 years ago. The special effects were really atrocious...so were the computer generated images. The wire-work was alright but compared to Hero, the set pieces were forgettable. I am sure now many will still remember fighting scenes from Hero. Be it the yellow autumn leaves fight or the water ballet fight.

And tucked in right at the end, we have Nicholas Tse's catharsis. (spoilers ahead! but really, you don't want to watch this, unless it's $7.) About how a young cecilia cheung made him lose trust in everybody, including himself, robbing him of a chance to become good. I thought it was like oprah winfrey. I was half expecting the crowd to start clapping in unison while shouting, "Jerry, Jerry!"....

Monday, December 26, 2005

Danny Teneglia

I just came back from Zouk's site.

31st December -
Be Yourself with Danny Teneglia at Zouk


And according to the site, DT is not playing from 10pm til late.

No siree. When DT is playing a NYE (New Year's Eve for mark) set, it's a 12-hour marathon set.

So Zouk's serving breakfast from 5am or 6am, the website cannot decide.

Cause DT's on till 10am!



Oh-my-fucking-gawd - *girlish giggles*

Thirteen - Danzig's song as covered by Johnny Cash

I was listening to Thirteen by Johnny Cash. A Danzig cover.

I was mulling over the lyrics.

I was born in the soul of misery.

I thought it was soul of Missouri. I mean, that's possible too right?

Ok, maybe not.

Merry Fucking Christmas

This weekend was a blur. I'm sure next week would be more of the same.
Saturday was dinner at newton with mong, pin and v. had a mini spread of stingray, sambal kangkong, hokkien prawn noodles, black and white char kway and beer. There was oyster omelette too cause I was still hungry after that.

I think the uncle at newton must have thought it really strange that young people (comparatively) will drink 4 bottles of heine at a hawker centre. It's so cheap at newton compared to zouk. Zouk sells it for $12 a bottle (350ml). newton sells it for $6.70. And it's a 640ml bottle. Cannot beat.

Anyway, still had more to drink at zouk. the usual vodka mixes. when marc and gf, yewfei and shujun and yve and ben decided to join us, there were more drinks but by then i was in a comatose state. not from the alcohol but the long week that had just passed.

Pippi was doing his do at zouk after midnight. It was a really happy vibe in there. But since we adjourned to winebar, i missed everything cause after that v and i made our way home.

tonight (christmas night itself), it was ferry corsten. thought he had moments of brilliance but it wasn't the usual trance set you'd expect from trance djs. which may or may not be a bad thing. but tonight it was a bad thing. so before you guys start dissing me for saying this dj's set was bad so don't go that sorta thing, yeah, I left, partly cause the set was getting stale and was getting sleepy again although i did sleep in the evening.

next week should be pretty exciting. MOS is hosting darren emerson whom I think singapore miss badly. and zouk's having danny teneglia. It's a tough choice......but i'll probably stick with zouk.

it must be weird to think that zouk was renovated at a cost of $7million while zouk kl and singapore MOS was built at that price. i suppose retrofitting an interior takes alot more effort. and in case the dark lighting in zouk is hampering your sight, the bar counter stools are all custom made (the back rest is the phuture logo) and there are new art pieces. anyplace with artwork by frank stella is a place worth visiting. zouk has it. and so is millenia and centennial tower. both designed by kevin roche and the former featuring art work by frank stella while the later features james rosenquist artwork. these are seminal pieces by the way. and the open space in between has sculpture by roy lictenstein. wow....

anyway, there is this yellow and black piece outside MOS which shows a "ear protector area" sign....I am wondering if it is an original reproduction of Julian Opie. It's damn similar.....

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Kings of Convenience



Tickets on sale 12 Jan 06.

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm not Scrooge but....

The festive season these couple of years aren't really fantastic.

Tis' the season to remember last year's boxing day tsunami. Fa la la la la lala la la . the year before was the earthquake in Iran. Fa la la la la lala la la...

Going back to Christmas of 2001, the world was still in irreversible throes caused by terror when America's mainland was "attacked". This transboundary threat hit home when Bali was bombed in 2002.

I didn't realise how little affection I have for Christmas until the Christmas of 1999. Probably the first Christmas away from home. Drank so much red wine with Chin and gang I think we were flammable.

The next morning, woke up with a terrible hangover but cause it was snowing a little outside, it didn't feel as bad. Distracted by the dismal desolation that was at once mesmerising and poignant. That was when I started to remember how Christmas had been. 1998 Christmas was spent with a good friend (since I was 9 but we hated each other then) taking a ride from Bendemeer on bus no. 64 going through Penang Lane, seeing the town's lights all the way to Queenstown, Mei Chin and Mei Ling road before looping back to Bendemeer.

I forgot to say that we had a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon Cola each before the bus ride.


If my memory serves me well, we were both single then, wondering why good catch like us weren't attached. I forgot to mention that we both have no shame.

I had broke up with my jc gf on christmas day 1997. morning. that day i had a chalet at pasir ris area. Not the NTUC chalet. met up with yf at pasir ris terminal and told him about it. bought me 2 bottles of chardonnay before proceeding to the chalet. maybe it's seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or maybe it's breaking up. But it was a bad time.

Now I treat myself better. I don't abuse my liver over a girl anymore. I don't need a reason anymore.

But seriously, Christmas is really a rather depressing time of the year. Maybe because I'm a procrastinator. So when Christmas swings by, it just mean that the year is drawing to a close but I've yet to complete many things I wanted to.

Now we are near another Christmas. On tv, you are reminded of the natural disaster last year. How to be jolly?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Haven't played for some time now.


Haven't been playing with the STIKFAS figures.

In the midst of me preparing my tests tomorrow, deciding to get them in a fight.
I should get my beta female back from V and maybe borrow the fairy STIKFAS from her. Make it into some epic fantasy..... I think fictional fantasy is a genre that is stating the obvious.

The first song I want to hear today

What am I to do
Someone here is really not happy (uh-oh.)
Put myself on a line (Guys always think they are the ones making the sacrifice. matyrdom syndrome. Elton John wrote a song entirely about it right?)
It seems I never got through to you
So I wean myself off slowly (Like its some drug.)

I'm a darkened soul
My streets all pop music and gold
Our lives are on TV
You switch off and try to sleep
People get so lonely (I like this stanza alot.)

I believe I believe I believe
Everything's out to sea (It's not about tsunami or the like. It's more about being out there, being of no significance, washed out not to be recovered.)
I believe I believe I believe I believe
That is the way it should be
I hope you feel the same (.....)

Everyone is dying (And paying taxes.)
Stop crying now here comes the sun
I didn't mean to hurt you no no no
It takes time to see what you have done (See?! It's the "oh I've been hurt but you'll never know macho guy thing again. Reticence. Sigh.)
So I wean myself off slowly

I believe I believe I believe
Love is the only one
I deceive I deceive I deceive I deceive
Cos' I'm not that strong (He doesn't really mean it.)
Hope you feel the same

And now it seems that we're falling apart
But I hope I see the good in you (It's one of those under-the-belt type of statement. This is not a hopeful song.)
Come back again
I just believe in you


Damon Albarn is such a fantastic lyricist for urban torch songs.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tough meeting people

Was at V dad's birthday dinner with the extended family. It's not totally easy but being the unsociable self, I hope I didn't do badly. And yah, think I'm kinda expecting the tease but when it came, I just hope that the ground will swallow me whole.

After dinner, V and I proceeded to MOS. This being opening night and all....along the way, we met minor celebs (Eileen and Wendy). She is afterall the reigning undisputed queen of asian blogs. come to think of it, looking at the figures alone, she could have been the queen of all blogs. She'd be Number 1. Just like our airport, seaport, workforce, etc etc....

Anyway, I thought she might have wanted to check out MOS but gave up cause of the queue.

The queue was snaking along the block down and back again. And near the club's exit, there was another gang trying to get in. All thanks to mong's resourceful, well-connected and PR cousin, I am now Lawrence Lee and I own certain media that allows advertising. Long story. Don't ask. Haha.....Pixel-P and gang arrived later. They had passes and entered without hassle. Had we waited, it would have been the same for us I'd like to think. Passes are wonderful things. Even more so when they are free.

Inside, Mong and her cousin was already in there. So was Jasclyn and another of her friend (I asked V if that was Jasclyn's sister). Shortwhile later, Pixel-P, jade, adeline, chloe, kennedy, ben and marc joined us.

I saw navy friends there, david lim and noel. Also my secondary classmate who was temping for an authorised apple reseller for a while 2 years back and gave me a good discount for the ipod.

I'll talk about it later. Now for a shower and sleep.....

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ministry of Sound opening

I got an sms a few days back about the soft launch and how if you show the sms at the door between 12am to 3am you get in free. I was awoken by the sms so no way was I going.

But tonight it's the official opening. I heard it's a maze in there. And from the looks of it (website) and news that it's the biggest MOS in the world....

Thanking pizel-p in advance for the free passes to Ministry of Sound!

Afternoons with Jinks

So we have been having early days for this week what with the visits to airbases and stuff. I got to sit in an operational F16D cockpit, went into the E2c hawkeye and also the Fokker 50. How exciting is that? I don't know. It would have been alot more gasp inducing had it been a good ten years ago. But then again, ten years ago I knew I can never be a pilot (yawn) or a commando (yay!). Stupid myopia.

So on the ride back with jinks. what we were rambling about was airy cause it was after lunch at sakae sushi.

it was whether or not to have a single partner for life is natural. basically is monogamy natural?

i had brought it up earlier at lunch at sakae. but i got an answer from a christian (city harvester) that i thought was as much as a cop out. he said something to the effect of "take it from the bible". I'm sure christians have opinions of their own and when they bring that up, i just think it's a cop out. like it must be in the bible that heaven is exclusive so christians get to go. it doesn't really matter if you're taoist and you deserve a place up there. you didn't meet the criteria. whatever. I secretly hope there is no heaven. i seriously need purgatory.

anyhow.

Looking at the animal kingdom (ok, i hear christians saying we aren't animals, know what, they are right. we aren't.) females basically want a strong guy so that she can give her eggs to. males just wanna make sure their genes continue. that is basic. which means females dun care if strong guy mates elsewhere as long as her eggs are hatched and stuff. males don't care after the eggs hatch.

I'm starting to ramble.

Well, for me, I'd think that it's 100% unnatural to have a mate for life. And the only thing that prevents us from continuously finding a new mate while we can, and sow the proverbial wild oats, is that there is a functioning society that we live in and that which is define by norms, values and mores. But it is also the defining character that separates us from animals. without which, we are not civilised.

Louisa May Alcott seems to recognise this way back in the Victorian era. I quote from her famous novel Little Women,

Boys will be boys, young men must sow their wild oats, and women must not expect miracles


Haha, of course, I am quoting her out of context.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Toxins - Or why must smokers shit while smoking

It is quite unbearable at times to be in a toilet cubicle that was just visited by a smoker. It's not the stench from the solid waste that was flushed away. It's the cindery and smell of ash that will continue to linger. Especially in toilets that have poor or non-existent ventilation.

I have this theory about toxins and why smokers need to shit after smoking or smoke while they shit etc etc...smokers who've been through national service might tell you that when outfield, the smoke drives away the mossies which might otherwise suck their blood (what else?).

Basically our bodies doesn't like stimulants or too much undesired inputs. I shall call these toxins. What makes our bodies such a wonderful frontline guard against toxins never fail to make me think our creation cannot be a collision of coincidences.

Most obvious example will be sweat. Too much heat we will sweat to get rid of the heat "toxins". Basically in this case, "toxins" mean stimulant.

Let's take fear. When we are watching a horror movie, what do we do? We cover our ears and shut our eyes. Unless you are the perverted or just enjoy such aural and visual maltreatments, that would the normal reaction. Basically what the body is trying to do is to limit the intake of the toxins.

What happens when there is a loud clap of thunder? We cover our ears too right? What happens when we are irritated by pollen and dust? Our body expels these toxins by sneezing. When it is damn smelly - we pinch our noses.

Another fine example is crying. When we are emotionally stressed, our body produces a hormone (found in larger quantities in female compared to males) called prolactin. How does the body rids itself of this toxin? Well, we cannot pee it out or sweat it off, so we cry. And tears (certain type of crying, definitely not tears of joy) contain large amount of prolactin.

And of course there is the usual biology student's ongoing about how our body produces anti-bodies etc etc....

Hence this leads me to conclude that alcohol is also a toxin (hur hur) cause it makes us want to pee. Yeah I know it's the anti-diuretic hormone thing but this fits into my theory too right?

Finally to the reason why smoking leads to a need to pass motion. Simple. Cigarette smoke is of course a toxin. Hence how our body gets rid of it? Well, because it's so darn difficult to get rid of it ("it" being the cigarette smoke) the body tries to clear as much toxins as possible to create capacity. Notice that while smoking, phlegm production goes into overdrive as well? That's another way of ridding toxins.

So to push this theory even further. The egg that females produces is toxic too. And once every 28 days or so, the body can't take it no more and needs to get rid of it. It's all fair cause males need ridding of similar stuff. It's called sperm and even that needs to be purge every once in a while (guffaws).

Even further still....milk production in the mammary glands of newly minted mums. While, the milk may or may not be right....I don't know enough actually.

Furtherest I can stretch is...........babies! They must be the ultimate toxin. Cause they are parasitic (apart from enhancing food craves and boob sizes), grows in size and distorts the carrier's body, mood, appearance, self-esteem etc etc.....and imagine the pain of getting rid of this toxin that will be present for 9 months of so.....sigh....

No more winter mornings

PC150340
Spring Lane bridge on a winter's morning

THE UNIVERSITY of York

Thanks Debbie for her Christmas card. This could well be the best present I will get this year.

Warfare Tactics #01

Planning.

First rule of planning in warfare is to plan only when there is time.

Second rule is not to follow through with the plan.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vogue vs Krumping

We have to give it to her.
Madonna sets trends. Even in dance.

Since her Vogue days to her current Krumping (like Tommy The Clown) moves in her latest video for Hung Up, she's been doing the weird jerky movements like in the Ray of Light album and the strange hands in the air, hips in spasm moves with Mike Myers as International Man of Mystery Austin Powers in the single Beautiful Stranger

Now, we all know she has a dance scholarship from University of Michigan right? Trained in ballet since young some more. But what's weird is that she's married krumping, which is essentially based on hip hop, with disco. It's obviously disco when the baroesque synthesized melody starts and you remember it from ABBA's Gimme Gimme Gimme!

One day she might stumble upon a Malay wedding and incorporate an improv of the local joget into her next single which will feature drumbeats from a Gendang or melodies from Angklong.

Pride and Prejudice

Caught the movie on Sunday.

I have never actually read the book. Neither have I caught the supposedly wonderfull BBC series.

But the movie was quite a joy to watch. Does make me want to read the book. I suppose that is good?

Mental note: Matthew MacFadyen who plays Mr Darcy should make a brilliant James Bond. 6 foot tall, black hair, blue eyes. The current Daniel Craig? Gosh, I hope when Casino Royale comes up, he does something to his whole get up. He reminds me of Robert Carlyle as Begbie in Trainspotting. Typical ruffian off the sidewalk. And of all the James Bonds, only Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore had blue eyes.

Monday, December 12, 2005

MRT people are really interesting

I saw this lady reading by the corner. I guess she was really into her book because I was staring at the book cover for a good 10 seconds and I took a second look which lasted another 5 seconds.

I am sure it's a great book. One of those self-help pick-me-uppers. I should start reading on those. Everyone should firmly believe that instead of learning from your own mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others.

When I confirmed the title of her book, it brought to mind this song by The Manic Street Preachers called A Design for Life.



I think everyone should read.

Three movies: To watch out for

First will be Syriana which is about the oil industry. The Middle East story. How Stephen Gaghan tracked down Robert Baer who wrote the book about the industry was equally interesting as he partied with the oil barons and arab sheiks. Stephen Gaghan is also amazingly doing a movie on Malcom Gladwell's book, Blink. How? I don't know.

Second will be Munich which is about the murders of the 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics. More specifically, what happened after the murder as an Israeli hit squad attempted to track down the murderers.

Third will be Mel Gibson's second foray into movies that definitely require subtitles. First it was The Passion of Christ which was in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic. Now it's Apocalypto which is Maya. What the hell? It's about some adventure set in god (haha!) knows how many years ago.

Perth Director-Djinn

Wonder how he is?
He is down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Monday Thoughts

Three quotes kept my lull moments occupied today.

Well, two quotes and a line from a song.

I have finished reading Time magazine's interview with MM Lee. While I don't have as strong a reaction as the article that was tomorrowed, nevertheless, I suppose I have finally read on print what MM Lee thought about religions and being religious in general. That's cause mum had always told me that the Singapore Gov was always sure to steehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifr away from matters relating to religions publicly. When asked if he thought himself as religious or if he had any religious faith to keep him going, to sustain him, this was what he had to say:

There are some things in the human spirit that are beyond reason.

I am thinking about his other thoughts on radical Islam and how should the Americans opt out of the current situation in Iraq, there might be a resurgence of Arab and Islamic pride. I think about the Christians that are so proud to show how religious they are. And how I squirm each time some guy/gal who wins an Academy/Emmy/Grammy/Golden Globe/MTV/blah blah blah award proceeds to thank gGod. I have yet to find any coherence in this stream of thoughts so later I suppose. But seriously, for religions that are monetheist, is there room for other faiths?

Next was the quote by Steven Spielberg whose movie Munich will soon be released had this to say about the child in all of us (for the romantics or dreamers):
Maybe the child in all of us dies just when we need him the most.

Alright, maybe it's more for the pessimists and underdogs.

And lastly, the song lyric, by Smashing Pumpkins - Annie Dog:
Is it wrong to be swallowed whole to disappear in her to give to her the priceless peace of giving up control?

Me? Reticent? Never!

Guilty as charged.

Suspect has exhausted all avenues to seek redress of any kind.

To be hanged, drawn and quartered.

Well, well, well. I suppose taciturn dignity is not fashionable these days?

Perhaps my first resolution for the new year?

Things that don't matter

Let me see. Yusof Ishak, Benjamin Sheares, Wee Kim Wee, Ong Teng Cheong and SR Nathan.

Who did I left out.

Yes, Devan Nair. Typical.

Incidentally, SR Nathan, Devan Nair and Yusof Ishak were at one point or another Victorians. Ok, maybe not so for Singapore 1st President since he was from Victoria Bridge School....and also, all the other Presidents less Ong Teng Cheong, being from The Chinese High, were from Raffles Institution. In fact, SR Nathan, born in 1924 must have been in Victoria School with Devan Nair, born in 1925 at the same time! But I digress...

Not many people remember Devan Nair. More sadly, people who do remember him can only think about his fall from grace. How people made fun of his name (Don't Ever Vote A Nair and No Alcohol, I Resign). In fact, I am one of the many Singaporeans of my generation to know him as that. An alcoholic President who made a fool of himself something or another because of his drinking problem which he vehemently denied.

Well. It is only after his death, through the many news reports, that I realised what a great politician he was and men of such calibre must surely be hard to come by. He was indeed instrumental in the early years when Singapore experienced rapid transitions; from a crown colony, to being part of Malaya and being an independent island nation. That he was forceful in his push for the well-being of the labour force and from which rose the National Trade Union Congress and how he thought important was a location where workers could enjoy amenities which led to the present day Down Town East. I suppose the Fairprices, Comfort cabs, Income insurances and May Day Rallies all have his fingerprints on them.

But I can only remember him as an embarrassment.

I suppose with him outed, certain person(s) have further guaranteed their position in the development of Singapore.

Peace out.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Before I forget

Photo of Eric and Jammie's wedding:


From left to right (standing) Debbie, Yiling, Seng Choo, Eric, Jammie, Jean (with Timothy) Kenneth, Sumei, Siawyann, myself)
(Seated) Yugin, Yuwen, Mr and Mrs Teo (Parents of yugin and yuwen)

All the guys wore suits without having to coordinate. Maybe it's because we wanted to pretend we were all back in York.

Fashion Faux Pas - Part Deux

When it's a SAF Overseas Scholar who's been through Oxford education who doesn't know how to wear a proper french cuff shirt with cuff links.....you wonder how you should put it across to him.....

This is the correct way.

The ends of the cuff do not overlap. It can be quite a faux pas.

And when your wine glass is obviously more than 3/4 filled, there's no need to twirl the glass to get to the bouquet. And when it's a chinese wedding in a local hotel, there is no need to expect pinots or bordeaux cause it's usually one of these two; shiraz cabernet or cabernet sauvignon. Nevertheless, Australian Shiraz is enjoying alot of publicity because of the quality of the grapes as well as the drinkability, enjoyed by novice (like me), amateurs and connoisseurs. And when you've drank two full glasses of shiraz within 5 minutes of each other, there's no point in trying to swirl your third full glass while trying to tell people that you know your wine and can tell the difference between dry and fruity. Fuck man, it's dry and sweet. And yes, there is a subtle (some would say obvious) difference between a shiraz cab and a cab shiraz. The former is 80% shiraz, 20% cabs. Cab sauvignon is a single grape varietal and the reason why local weddings usually serve australian shiraz cabs is cause they are one of the wines that require the highest temperature to drink and it goes well with red meat and spicy food. Finally, for shiraz and syrah, yes they are the same.

I should get some Riedel for myself this christmas while I enjoy the bordeaux and australian shiraz cabs. And probably another glass for rieslings.

Hokklish

While we are still grappling with the whole Singlish gives us identity issue, I kinda realise that there is another branch of pidgin called Hokklish.

Examples:

I didn't study for this exam, this time sure up lorry liao. (up lorry here refers to hokkien phrase ki chia which means up the car which is the same as to say when the coffin is placed into the van to be driven for burial or cremation. Hence it connotes a terrible situation)

I didn't study for this exam and if I fail it, then it's H.K. liao. (here H.K. is the abbreviated form of hong gan which is hokkien for getting fucked, which is not the state you'd want to be)

I didn't study for this exam so even if I fail I also L.L. (here L.L. refers to lan lan which is when you are caught between a rock and a hard place)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Wedding Banquet Waitress

PC100339
Attended another wedding this evening. 2nd one in as many weeks.

I thought the sequencing for this wedding was fantastic. And that the Regent team was really coordinated and the service was top notch. Everything went on without any hitch. Mental note: Regent has got great service. When groom is giving the speech, no food is served. No sabotage during walk in will preserve dignity of the bride and groom. I'm another in another week's time. That I am not at ZoukOut....

While being served by the waitress, I saw her trying to catch a glimpse of the video chronicling the events of the day. It suddenly struck to me that while she has probably attended numerous weddings, she might have thought each one was special.

Friday, December 09, 2005

these just in

Chinese multi-octave wonder...
Mariahesque voice with a sweet face. When she hits the Lala-la-lala of Minnie Ripperton's Loving You...her voice takes on a life of it's own.

And also asking around if this thing is already in the local Applecentre? Club21 iShop?

Picture 1

Considering I have already bought the iTalk and used up to 30G of my iPod, maybe I don't really need the radio and radio recorder functions.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

it's thursday??

ever had a week that zipped past so quick that before you can suffer sufficiently from the monday blues, feel the midweek hump on wednesday, it is already friday the next day? TGIF? You bet.

monday had dinner with previous ship's officers. had chilli crabs, lala, beer and chicken wings. and orh luak (oyster omelette). it was a great 3 hour meal with me kept updated of the latest in the ship and bits from the fleet.

tuesday had dinner with primary schoolmates at marche heeren. had rosti, bratwurst, mushroom soup, pizza, mashed potato, soft-shell crab, calamari, stir-fried vegetables, waffles, crepe, black pepper chicken, pork chops, root beer and....i think that's all. we shared the food so got to pinch from everyone's plate. catching up was fun. two of the girls just removed their retainers, one of this two just came back from japan cause her boyfriend's japanese and she's likely to go there eventually. another was back from a business trip to nepal and tibet. another just finished her exams for her part time course and she thinks that she's flunked the two papers. so she bought 6 bags at one go from the Tangs sale. and we shared the grief of this friend with a depressive ex and how he came to claim back items from her after they broke off. so my friend now has a brand new desktop because she got rid of everything that used to belong to her ex. I think it's great to have primary school mates who've known you in your most embarrassing years but will still stand by and give moral support.

That's when wednesday and thursday came and went with a recent friend i made (i'd like to think he's more than a colleague) getting married today with another expected on saturday.

And today I forgot to bring my phone to work. which was terrible cause i made arrangements with a friend to be picked up at boonlay station. however i couldn't call him to tell him i was almost there. so i borrowed the phone of the driver of the cab i was in and called home to ask mum to call my friend. yes, i should've memorise my friend's number. i do know. so that makes two phone numbers i memorise by heart besides my own. V's and my friend.

it's friday tomorrow. seriously i can't wait for the week to be over.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happens on a Monday

I was sitting in a East bound train towards Outram Park from Boon Lay this evening. At the Jurong East Interchange Station, I notice this girl who was standing opposite me near the door as she was leaving the train.

Actually it was the bright blue huge fonts on her black canvas bag that caught my eye.

It said:

HEY! I'M MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE!

I smiled as I thought she was being sarcastic.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Goblet of Fire.....finally

Caught the movie with V today. Finally.

I don't know why anyone would think that it's not entertaining. Sure, the movie version might have shortened the Quidditch World Cup to just about a couple of minutes but seriously, I might have complained if I were made to sit for another 30 minutes for the details.

The meat was packed in places that were deemed more necessary. Which meant the Tri-Wizard Cup proceedings.

Fleur Delacour played by Clemence Poesy was fantastic. Bears a slight resemblance to Claire Danes doesn't she?

I wonder when will I watch the next movie?

The Promise is coming soon. Chen Kaige's foray into martial arts genre. Not his first. He had another in 1999.



The movie posters were put up in MRT stations all over the island since mid of October. However, I think it is weird that no one has yet to put out that the movie poster that features the image above has this cryptic tagline:


5000 years ago in the future, the legend begins

or something to that effect. 5000 years ago in the future?

Am I the only one here who is confuse? Or are they trying to say that the legend began 4999 years ago? I thought it might also be a direct translation from Mandarin?

Melbourne 2006

It's the Commmonwealth Games next year. The XVIII or 18th for non Romans.
Guess what, it's gonna be at held in Melbourne. Opening Ceremony is scheduled on 15 Mar 06. 101 days to go.

I am beginning to wonder what will happen should the Table Tennis and Badminton Teams, who won Gold Medals last time round in Manchester, strike Gold again? Will they play the Majulah Singapura at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre respectively?

I think it's gonna be a very awkward situation to be in. Maybe I'm wrong. Time dilutes memories.

And with the plenty Visit Melbourne tour packages....perhaps Team Singapore Supporters should exercise some discretion.

Hmmm.....relegated?

Having thought that Lin Bao Ling's Nightscape series of paintings can be placed in the living room on top of the plasma tv, what will happen to my series of Tom Purvis London and North Eastern Railway posters? These 6 posters form a beach scene and each poster is 28 x 22 inch.


There isn't much information on wikipedia about Tom Purvis besides that he was one of the past Royal Designers for Industry member.

Don't everyone love art from the Golden Age?

Tom Purvis' art reminds me of Julian Opie's art. Kinda.

Lin Bao Ling

Ok, besides the Santarinas, the main thing I saw that made me drool notice was these series of paintings by an artist named Lin Bao Ling. She has vividly captured light and the energy within it set against the night. In her words:


I felt that the nightscape is mysterious and very often more attractive than the day scene because of the strong contrast between the light and darkness. The nightscape is mysterious and more beautiful as things are not so clear and the darkness covered up the imperfectness and with the help of light the scene becomes dramatic. Also, light is the symbol of hope. The light shine in the darkness makes me feel that there are still hopes in the hopeless world.

Based on the urban nightscapes, I focus and tried to capture the drama of light and darkness, I zoom in to certain part of the night scene, until the viewers cannot tell that it is a nightscape. So they can focus and appreciate better the beauty of light and darkness without the distraction of the other elements that consists a nightscape. As a result, the works are semi-abstract.


Check out her paintings. I hope her paintings don't increase in price when I do get my own place. It'll look great above a plasma tv. =)

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)

Christmas carols are, once again, wafting through the soundwaves.

V's favourite was First Noel. Not sure if this year it'll be the same cause she was mentioning a new carol she heard.

But last year, because we hear a The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole quite a bit, it was my favourite. Catch Me If You Can featured the song in the movie's soundtrack and yes, it was the Nat King Cole's version.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.....


In Singapore, the spirit of Christmas is in the air on a year-round basis. We roast chestnuts everyday. But we call it khao lak. It's not the name of some obscure Thai village. It's the variety of chestnuts roasted with coffee beans that are sold by hawkers for $2.00 a pack. Even Hong Kong Disneyland is getting some roasted chestnuts.



Saw the waitresses at Marina Mandarin Atrium Lounge. They have on them this super foxy santarina costume. And white knee-high shiny boots. Why is it that a silly red outfit with white fur trimmings can make a woman look so va-va-voom? What's the physics in that? No guy I know thinks that Santa, with however sultry come-hiter looks he may pull, is considered sexy.

IT'S A small WORLD AFTER ALL!

Tonight was the first of a trio of wedding dinners that I have to attend. V was one of the sisters so I had to manage there alone. Took me a while to realise that the wedding dinner at the ground floor ballroom of Marina Mandarin was for some guy and a girl called Serena. I know the bride as Weeying and her newly minted husband was Jeff so I quickly called V up and got the correct location. 5th floor.

Is it just me or is this a common situation for Silliporeans like me who don't really bother to digest the information found in a wedding invitation card? My guess is I am not alone. Because inside the card, it is clearly stated that the dinner will start at 7:30pm sharp and that all guests are requested to be punctual. Dinner didn't commence till an hour later.

I remember when one of my friend got married last year, the hotel at which the dinner was held had three concurrent dinners going on and two of them were on the same floor. So there were more than a handful of bewildered people frowning over the guest list, shocked to see that their name wasn't in. And plenty more who was seen laughing at themselves after realising that the couple's name was not familiar and that they must have been at the wrong ballroom.

Anyways. Tonight's groom, Jeff, is from VS and so I kinda seen him around during my secondary school days. Don't know him on a personal level though. Since he is from VS, I am DEAD CERTAIN he is a good guy. It was inevitable that I'd meet some of his VS friends who lo and behold, were my friends as well. So that was how I met William. William was my sec school school mate and JC classmate. When we met, he was wondering why I was seated at a different table from his. Had to explain that I know the bride more than I know the groom so was seated at the bride side. And the fact that V was the bride's sister entourage.

This was the second time at a wedding that V and I realise that we were separated less than six degrees from each other. The other time was at a midshipman batch boy wedding. Johnathan was marrying Wendy. I've known John since I was 19. I asked V along to the wedding dinner, the first for us sicne we got together. All in all, I think we've been to only three wedding dinners since we got together although we each average 6-8 weddings a year for the past two years. Both of us aren't social butterflies and will socialise strictly on a need basis. So when V and I got off the cab outside the Island Ballroom of Shang, V was surprised to see so many of her former PWC colleagues. We later discover that Wendy was a former colleague of V at PWC and they had both known each other prior.

feels like a short weekend

Friday, December 02, 2005

Poor wallet

oh, notice that no matter how good the government tries to tell the people (electioneering rears its ugly head) that the economy is picking up, more jobs and stuff....the bonus won't be that same as last year. Because the expected 5% growth this year will not be able to match with the 8.4% last year.

"Logically speaking, what can we expect? Looking at 8.4 percent growth last year, and maybe 5 percent growth this year, my answer was we shouldn't be expecting higher than last year if this year's growth is lower than last year."


That's what Mr Lim said.

Looking at past few years, 2003 we ended with a bang that made the government revise their forecast for 2004 upwards from 3-5% to 3.5-5.5%. Come on man, 2003 was SARS year right? So we were witnessing a recovery that perhaps partly from a post-SARS region/world. Job creation was tremendous and hit highs in 2004 as well. Which more than made up for the loss during the SARS period.

So last year's growth was a fluke. Kind of. And should there be a strong showing this last quarter, it doesn't matter shit cause the Ministry of Trade and Industry has already forecasted 3-5% again for 2006. Even with any upward revisions, the bonus would have been paid.

unless you earn less than $2000 in the civil service, this year's bonus is not as juicy as last year's.

Wedding Rush

3 wedding dinners this december.

And I have already lost count on the number of weddings I have attended this year. Not to mention ROM parties, housewarming parties and full moon parties for friends' babies.

Wedding this saturday is V's gf. V's gonna be a jie mei. She's gonna manicure and pedicure herself with the bride-to-be and rest of the sister crew tomorrow.

Wedding next saturday is course mate's. At Regent. Definitely going. I know it's gonna clash with ZoukOut 2005. Frankly, not decided on ZoukOut yet.

Wedding next next thursday is previous previous course mate. Thursday wedding leh. Wah lau.

poor wallet
....

Callsign



Ravage.
Intelligence. Saboteur.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Whose Credit?

I haven't watch any new movies recently. So I tried to recall the last movie I watched.
I couldn't.
Neither can V.

However, when I try to remember a movie, there are certain scenes that I particularly remember. Those scenes are usually over the top and quite difficult to forget. Best example is the scene in Titanic where Jack tells Rose that "I'm the king of the world!" at the ship's bow and that "flying" scene happens. *retch*
This post isn't about scenes. Instead, it's something more subtle. It's some technique that is used by directors to achieve some form of communication with the audience. If we use Titanic as an example again, I'd say that what I'm talking about is how James Cameron wanted to show how time Jack was having with Rose in the car with the steamy wound up windows. Instead of having Jack vigorously humping Rose, he has Kate Winslet flail a hand and wipe off some of the condensate.

There are a number of cinematic techniques used by directors to create a mood, put emphasis on a particular scene or to put a point across. I'm just gonna share a few I have noticed. These are really really simple stuff and appear regularly in movies so much so that people usually won't consider them special anymore. I'm just wondering when did these things that we take for granted now started? I do not know which movie first featured such a technique or the director that started all this. Any information is much welcomed.

1) Tumbleweed rolling
This immediately conjures up some deserted cowboy town. Or can be the prelude to an old fashion quick draw duel between the sheriff and the outlaw. A number of directors must have used this technique to show some form of desolation.





2) Slow-motion
Slow motion can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to showcase a particularly difficult stunt that was just performed. Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies always have this. Slow-mo is also featured in death scenes especially when the bad guy is falling off a precipice or the hero takes a fatal shot to the heart. Slo-mo has such a wide-ranging usage I know it's used for other stuff as well. This is not exhaustive.

3) Silence
Of course in the the days of silent cinema, this is not a technique, rather it is a technological limitation. These days however, there are scenes whereby the sound is completely muted to add scale to the particular scene. I remember a number of war movies where the hero will suddenly hear nothing at all and have things happen slo-mo. Slo-mo technique seems to go hand in hand with this technique.

4) Blurry/shimmering effects to show character is trying to re-enact scenes from memory
You know this effect is so effective when the movie's character is trying to speak from memory. I have seen many Ben Stiller movies using this technique. This effect is usually accompanied with stirrings of harp or some stringed-instrument.







5) Blurring of lights or streaked lights to show motion












Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

6) Black and white to show the past
Of course, this is not effective when everything was in black and white. But these days, the past seems to be painted in shades of grey.


















7) Rotating hour/minute hands of a clock

This is always used when the movie needs to show the passing of time. Sometimes is it modified with crossing out dates on a calendar to show passing of days.

8) Growing pile of cigarette butts in ash tray
Favoured technique used from Hong Kong cinema to Hollywood to show that a person has been waiting at a certain spot for a very long time.

From the looks of this pile, somebody must have been waiting long time.

9) Thunderclap
It's been relegated to B-Grade horror flicks but there was a time when Hong Kong vampire movies or some Hollywood productions will have a thunderclap to go along with the discovery of the whereabouts or identity of the main bad guy/ghost/vampire etc.


10) Music/songs to go along with movie
What I am interested in is, what is the first movie soundtrack. what is the first song specially written for a movie. who first had the great idea to want to put some form of music/score to bring out the movie. was it an adaptation to the western musicals and operas?


It's late. I'd better sleep.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pass Out

last saturday, the few of us had the official pass out party for 2005.

what started in 2002 as an excuse for a few friends and clubbing buddies to drink till they're senseless has become a tradition that i am not entirely sure if everyone is still looking forward to. what really kept this series of party going is perhaps the stringent requirements for the gifts that had to be bought and the Pass Out game.

2002 was in holiday park inn or something. the gift was to be SGD5.00 and red. with receipt. oh, and not aromatherapy shit candles, socks, towels or any of the easy shit. plenty of alcohol, gin, vodka, champagne and probably plenty of baileys.

2003 was in mercure roxy. gift was SGD8.00 and blue. this was the year when people started complaining. but we had a whale of a good time. gave the room's carpetting new patterns.

2004
was at the drying area of a hostel at NTU a premier tertiary institution located in the west of singapore. gift was black (at least 90% black or approved by majority) and had to be between SGD9-10. Not much of a challenge.

So 2005, we thought we could up the ante and go for the same budget as last year but it had to be striped. (not layered. kueh lapis is layered for example. zebras are striped. and no striped socks!) the party proper was at pixel-p's house and hopefully now that he's parents are back from a pilgrimage to india, the mess we inevitably leave behind is greatly reduced.

I dunno what 2006 will be like. have a strange feeling the few of us will have an eventful next 12 months. Tension tension. temper temper. My suggestion for the gifts? Cowprints or leopard prints will defnitely drive people crazy. so maybe polka dotted? or pastels? maybe a dress code too? beach wear, or safari wear, or androgynous wear (that's easy), mainly black with a splash of pink? angora? bedroom slippers? whatever man.

share some pics.

the gifts!


master chef


the striped apron

check out the fantastically cool clock pixel-p has at home. now we all know how cool he is.
hope you don't mind me sharing the pics jade! i'll take them off if you do. =P

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pleasant Monday

had a couple of surprises today.

well, kenneth is finally off again to korea with his wife, jean and son timothy. that baby boy is a born trekker. he spends the entire evening and night last friday walking about in the hotel room. he's about 14 months old and not entirely capable of speech yet. but he will wear you down by going round and round in circles. jammie, eric and i bummed around in the room keeping the family company. i kinda think we were preventing them from getting sufficient rest as they had been busy the past few nights with the arrangements.

well, those weren't the surprises.

Surprise one: got an sms from a UK friend while out shopping for a new white skirt - with the girl friend - her good friend's wedding this coming saturday and she's one of the jie mei.
the sms was UK friend who proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes! the news' kinda belated but hey, i'm happy for him. so my Ph.D in kazuo ishiguro literature pursuing friend is gonna get himself a british wife! good for him! right on brudder!

Surprise two: recently met up with my midshipman school buddy for dinner. he was telling me about his sdu and speed dating activities. he's a really great guy with a stable career and all. just a little tame on the social circle side of affairs. he called me just now asking if i know this so-and-so from york. so i said yes. then he said he met her yesterday at a speed dating activity. so exciting right. the conversation went something like this:

girl: blah blah blah studied overseas and graduated from university of york....not many people know where..... (at this juncture, i must add that most york alumni is resigned to the fact that many singaporeans don't the hell know where the fcuk is york)

boy: oh, i have been to york before.

girl: *surprised* really?!

boy: ya, i was there to visit a navy batch mate and i stayed with him for a few days. (it is not as scandalous as you think it to be. or not.)

girl: you're in the navy?!

boy: ya (no, it is not true that being in a uniformed service will give you an unfair advantage over other guys, but being in the navy, it is.)

girl: do you know jackson?

boy: he is my buddy.

girl: ??!!

boy: ......

girl: we were both in singsoc. i was the president and he was the vice. (i am always the vice)


buddy is gonna ask her out again. wish him luck!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fracas

The Australian guy due to be hanged is causing such a mess.

Now we have a relic speaking about wanting the current Prime Minister to raise the issue in Malta.

The relic was calling Singapore a "rogue Chinese port". You can find the quote in many onlline newspapers.

The relic was a former Prime Minister as well. Well their relic can't get his geography sorted. Our relic is MM Lee. There is not comparison really.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Drunken conversations

You hate to admit this but really, everybody knows.

After a night of binge-drinking, after downing that 6th tequila shot which was ordered in a rashly made decision after getting a little too high from the 2 jugs of long island tea, you might be at the local prata place. Eating that prata (egg or kosong), plaster prata, cheese prata, banana prata, paper prata, tissue prata with the curry. It may be fish curry, vegetable curry or mutton curry. Someone might be drinking kambing soup.

Somebody with a slurring speech will ask, "What is the difference between mutton and lamb?"

Somebody will say lamb is the animal and mutton is the meat.
Somebody will ask why then lambchop but no pigchop. But damn, there is chicken chop.
Somebody will say the flesh of chicken is still chicken.
Somebody will try associating beef with cow and veal with calf.
Somebody will think that lamb is from sheep and mutton is from goat.
Somebody will think that the previous somebody got it the other way round.
Somebody will remember that in some western countries they have never heard of mutton being eaten unless it's in an Indian restaurant; mutton vindaloo.
Somebody will say they are really the same but just that western restaurants call it lamb and asian restaurants call it mutton.
Somebody will finish his/her prata and start to throw up and everyone will want to go home.
Somebody will bring this topic up again the next time they have supper after a night of binge-drinking.


Let's start with lamb and sheep and goat and all the definitions.
Lamb = is a young sheep that is unweaned (still suckling) and also refers to the meat of a young sheep.
Sheep = Any of various usually horned ruminant mammals of the genus Ovis in the family Bovidae, especially the domesticated species Ovis Aries. Females are ewes, males are rams or tups (British slang) and castrated males are wethers.
Goat = Any of various hollow-horned, bearded ruminant mammals of the genus Capra, originally of mountainous areas of the Old World, especially any of the domesticated forms of Capra Hircus, Females are nanny goats, males are billy goats, young goats are kids.

So lamb and mutton?

Lamb is the flesh of a young sheep. Young refers to unweaned perhaps? But technically speaking, lifted from Pam's, it is the flesh of a sheep less than 1 year old. Mutton is when the flesh is from a sheep that is more than 2 years old. The inbetweener is called hogget. It's not so strict elsewhere in the world, cause anything that's not lamb and comes from sheep is mutton.

Things get a little complicated when it's got to do with goats. In the region (South Asia, South-east Asia and East Asia), the flesh of the goat is referred to as mutton and from sheep is lamb. Kind of. It's actually goat meat. There's is no special name for goat meat. There is a special name for the foetus of a sheep that is eaten by some Indians with a strong stomach. It's called kutti pi and was featured in National Geographic. There is an optimal time when the kutti pi is just right. When the flesh is sweet and tender, the bones are still soft and there isn't too much hair.

Baa...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Xiaxue is endangered!

I have been reading Xiaxue's blog for some time now and I do think she's rather good at finding very interesting topics to blog about. Controversial and necessary. It's convenient to dismiss her as some arrogant airhead that celebrates her past glories (PSLE scores...). I really don't think she is bimbotic. You need to fulfil two conditions before you can be a bimbo. Firstly, you have to be very stupid. Not just the inability to do simple calculus but forgetting to take the tissue out of the box when using tissue to pad up the bra. That sorta stupidity. Secondly you have to be pretty. She doesn't fufill one of the condition.

She's really good with her photoshop skills. Much better than me. Much much better.
She recently blog about wanting a hooked nose. Like Paris Hilton. I can only think of Andy Lau. But anyway, she put a hooked nose onto herself photoshopically. This is how she looks:

xxpob
Xiaxue's pic used without permission.

I thought she looked like a proboscis monkey:

proboscis monkey

What I am trying to allude here is that Xiaxue, like the Proboscis monkey of Borneo is extremely rare and a beautiful creature worth saving. So many people swearing off blogging these days. Dawn Yeo, Daphne Teo, the dildo- inserting waving school teacher...there must be many more.

Visit the Proboscis Monkey Site to learn more.

Scientists are so clever.

Everyday, about a million cells in out body die. Our dead cells emit a signal to be removed from the system. Sometimes these signals fail and the dead cells clutter up and eventually leads to autoimmune diseases like lupus.

A Japanese medical researcher thinks that he may have found a way to overcome this malfunction. He is Professor Shigekazu Nagata.

Found this out in the ever informative national broadsheet newspaper. The article is found in the Home section page H6.

For a moment I thought the article was about females wanting to resist cunnilingus. And that scientists might be able to do something about it. So I suppose some prude might want to control her urges.

Was not entirely disappointed with the actual article. It is the national broadsheet newspaper afterall. I wonder if I was the only person who wondered? I must be perverse.

The report was titled:

How to control 'eat me' signals of cells? Scientists have a clue

Foreign Worker vs Expatriates vs Foreign Talent

What are expatriates?

ex·pa·tri·ate

v. ex·pa·tri·at·ed, ex·pa·tri·at·ing, ex·pa·tri·ates
v.tr.
1. To send into exile. See Synonyms at banish.
2. To remove (oneself) from residence in one's native land.
v.intr.
1. To give up residence in one's homeland.
2. To renounce allegiance to one's homeland.
n.
1. One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.
2. One who has renounced one's native land.
adj.
Residing in a foreign country; expatriated: "She delighted in the bohemian freedom enjoyed by the expatriate artists, writers, and performers living in Rome" Janet H. Murray.

What do you understand from the word foreign?

for·eign
adj.
1. Located away from one's native country: on business in a foreign city.
2. Of, characteristic of, or from a place or country other than the one being considered: a foreign custom.
3. Conducted or involved with other nations or governments; not domestic: foreign trade.
4. Situated in an abnormal or improper place in the body and typically introduced from outside: a foreign object in the eye.
5. Not natural; alien: Jealousy is foreign to her nature.
6. Not germane; irrelevant.
7. Subject to the jurisdiction of another political unit.


Think the distinction here is that expats have taken up residence. While the irrelevant aliens foreign workers are only here "on business".

They have an ExpatSingapore as well as a Singaporeexpats website.

Oh, there are foreign talents as well. So are they essentially irrelevant aliens foreign workers who can play badminton, table tennis, football?

Why the distinction?
And how come no Singaporeforeignworkers.com or foreignworkerssingapore.com? Reeks of the technology divide.

Really?

I saw a lady today. About late 30s.

It was the evening rush hour. I was on the train and it wasn't too crowded. She stood right in front of me.

I couldn't stop looking down at her legs. Her skirt's length was about 2 inches above the start of her knees. There was an artificial sheen and eveness in the colour of her skin tone. Perfect. Too perfect.

She was wearing sandals that only had a strap across the foot from where the toes start. That was when I realised that there is such a thing as open-toe stockings.


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............See, rhyming's a terrible symptom of true madness........

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lousy PMU and Logic Board

If there is really any complain that I have with my iBook, it must be the miserable battery life that it was giving me about 3 months ago and now, it cannot even operate on battery. The irony. A laptop that can be used only near a powerpoint.

After a search on the web, it seems that it's a rather common problem that may occur as early as after 2 months of battery life. Of all the problems I have googled, this is the closest to what I experience. Well, I suppose I should count myself lucky that it's been working for about 1.5 years before going kaput.

But really, don't you think it should work longer?

And now that I am considering a powerbook, I am worried about all the common problems I read about off the web.

Beat Takeshi

I remembered him in the variety programme roughly translated as Takeshi's Castle where hundreds of Japanese youths and the occasional expatriate (read: Americans/British/European/Australian/fuck this could go on) go through challenges after challenges to get to the last stage where they fight a couple of warlords and get to the prize.

Heck, I don't know what the prize is cause I don't remember seeing anybody win. But there's always Takeshi.

The challenges were damn funny. Like contestants forming groups of ten and made to wear giant foam bowling pin costumes. The person who is the first pin will have his/her back to the bowling ball while the rest face the on rushing ball. It's really funny. Then there is the Sumo wrestling bit where contestants pick their opponents. If they are lucky, they pick a scrawny Japanese engineer (no offense to engineers everywhere) who wears a computer tan. An easy pushover, even for woman folk (again, no offense to women folk everywhere). And if you are unlikely, you pick a real Sumo wrestler. Hahaha, I have seen some contestants who will not even try and just fall out of the Sumo ring without being touched.

And the final challenge takes place in a court where the remaining contestants (rarely numbering more than 5) will be issued vehicles with a rice paper target board and waterguns. All of Takesi's guards will be playing against the remaining contestants hence outnumbering them by 3 to 1. Oh, and the guards have longer range waterguns and smaller target boards. It also seems to me that their target boards are stretched rubber instead of rice paper.

But one day, during a BBC Two special on Asian movies about 4 years ago I caught this really wonderful albeit weirdly violent movie called Hana-bi which I later learned that it meant Fireworks. The thing I remembered the most was this painting of a snowscape at night. Everything in the painting was made up of Kanji characters representing the element being painted eg. the snow was made up of several Kanji characters for snow in varying sizes and orientation. The paintings in the movie are really drawn by Takeshi himself.

So when Brother was shown here I watched it. And when Zaitochi was shown here I watched it as well. But they were all so different from Hana-bi. So now I am wondering if I should watch Takeshis.

Ok, I have nothing to blog so this is crap. And computer tan is a patented phrase used exclusively by yours sincerely. It refers to the pale whiteness displayed by workers sitting in front of their computers for more than 7 hours a day.