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.


.......................


............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.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mornings with Jinks

I am taking rides from my friend who recently became a father. Every morning I will wait for him to pick me up near Lakeside MRT.

I am very good at procrastinating and have not gotten my driving license. I have been wanting to get it since 2000 and it's already five years on. Maybe it will be my 2006 resolution. Maybe. I will take the easy way out and get an auto license. haha..

Anyway, in the mornings, we will be listening to Power 98 and engage in some mindless banter. Occasionally, we'll have some less mindless ones, about his married life, parenthood and things like that.

So this morning I casually made a remark that went something like, 'You know, when we see a pretty girl we will tell ourselves that although she is pretty she'd probably not be as good a girlfriend as the one we're having. But that's just sour grapes and being delusional. You either don't have the guts to approach really pretty girls or you think pretty girls will lead to short relationships. We seem really comfortable when we jump to conclusion in situations like these. But ultimately we will never know if we are capable of something better because we never did try and worse still, take comfort in thinking we have avoided risking our present steady state for a short term relationship that will probably end up in tears.'

He paused for a while, as if anticipating more from me. Then he said, 'There's no point in looking if you decided.'

'But we should approach things like these rationally right? It sounds crude but it's almost like supermarketing. You choose the best product with the amount of money you have. Of course it is really bad to compare it to products when it comes to relationships but it really isn't all that different. And the best thing about this supermarket of love is that the product gets to choose the buyer as well!.' I retorted.

He nodded. So I continued.

'Maybe that's what committment is all about. Knowing that there might be something better for you out there but not having the urge to find it because you are already very contented with whatever it is that you have.'

We then came to a stop at a traffic light. He asked, 'So whose blog have you been reading?'

I am a non-muslim

Why are you so quiet?
Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?
Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?
Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?
Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

The questions are a little harsh. But sometimes things like these really do keep some people awake at night.
Click here.

Careless thoughts: If you have a wet dream, is the girl/guy in the wet dream your dream girl/guy?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Porn 'r' Us

It's no secret that pornography drives technology.

That was the conclusion after I casually mouthed that pornography should be legalised. During my course, serious topics like these were often discussed during the lunch hour.

Pornography should be legalised and taxed by the government. And there must be strict enforcement policies so that snuff movies remain as urban legends, actresses and actors are really above 18 years of age, no animal/man/woman was ill-treated and everybody on it are responsible adults and gave 100% consent to being wanked over by hundreds/thousands/millions of sperm-ladened males and hormone-charged females with an itch that need to be scratched.

But the really interesting observation was how pornography drove technology. I'll skip the whole polaroid to coloured magazines and VHS tapes and vcd/dvd improvements in media technology.

I'll move straight to pornography and the internet.
We now have faster internet speeds because we want pictures to be downloaded faster and faster to sustain our insatiable thirst for flesh. Not contented with just pictures of lousy quality, we want them to be small yet retain all the necessary quality. That's where jpeg compression comes in right? And then we no longer find pictures (s)exciting, we move onto movies. That requires even more bandwidth and also mpeg compression. Porno sites are not free for all, I mean they give you a teaser and if you wanna explore further, you end up having to declare your age in some age verification site followed by some pay site asking you to provide credit card details. Again we see technology advancement in the form of secured cashless transactions. Let's face it, pornography must have been the first e-industry to gain a firm foothold in e-business. Their business model definitely works.

This is not a moral issue. It just is.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Central @ Takashimaya

Was at Central for dinner. V thought it was Toa Payoh Central. Hur hur.

Second time there and we both ordered different food today although we still had the Japanese style silken tofu with pork floss and spring onions.

It's starting to lose it's novelty and thus appeal I think. Judging from the lack of queues.

Gonna keep this a short blog. The previous time we were given seats # 3 and 5. Because there wasn't a table #4. Superstition perhaps.
Today we were given the last table right at the corner. It was #68. No, I don't think the floor area can accommodate that many tables. So it's probably for feng shui reasons. The adjacent column of tables was numbered 30 something. So.....

I bet there are 68 white chairs. Who's gonna count? Not me.

But I bet it is.

Your choice

They say you can't choose your parents.
But you can choose your parents-in-law.

To some people, that's as good as saying
That's it's not your fault that you are born poor. But if you die poor, it is.

Very existential.

It can't be true

that I blog about Jay Chou's win at the recent Golden Horse Awards before Mong.

I must be bored.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hotel SOP #1

We were having a chill session at Home Club (The Riverwalk) cause after the 寿 for Mong at 新海山 it was still about 9pm. Pin was going to do the visuals for the Utah Jazz/Home Therapy thingamajig as Fullscreamriot (as oppose to Pixel-P which is for the down tempo, glitchy, chill sessions). So we kinda just sat outside shooting shit. Drinking cheap Asahi before traipsing down to Zouk for Diggers. Regretful.

But we kinda got to talking about horrors in hotels. Both personal experiences and those from close friends like fallen beams from nowhere, old hag syndrome and eerie footsteps. So this is like some consolidated list of DOs and DON'Ts. (creating lists, if you believe the son of singapore, is something a normal male does. I'm a normal male.) So here goes....*fingers crossed*

Choosing A Hotel
Before choosing a hotel always ask people who have been there or who know people who have been there or who know people who know people who have been there.....you know.
There are established No-No hotels in Bangkok, Genting Highlands, Penang, Taipei and many other cities. Check and double check! Precautions you can take before leaving. Try praying at the Waterloo Street Kwan Im temple or whatever rocks your boat. Sets your mind at ease.

Personally I don't avoid rooms on the 13th level neither will I refuse rooms ending with 4 (cause it sounds like death in Mandarin and certain Chinese dialects). Refusing rooms offered by the hotel you have made reservations at may not be entirely a good idea. Will elaborate later.

Before Entering Room
Before entering your room, give a visual check if there are any tell-tale signs of hauntings eg. talisman at the end of the corridor, talisman outside your door, incense burnt marks on the walls, dried bits of blood, headless white rooster, wandering black cat, smell of frangipani, long hair wig on the floor outside your door.....you know. The usual "weird" ongoings.

Entering Room
Next is to herald your own entrance into the room. That will include ringing the doorbell and knocking the door. This is to signal whatever may linger behind those fire-tested doors that you are about to enter. Give them things a bit of time to "clear". Secondary effect is that you have tested the doorbell is working and that the door is solid enough (though too thick a door might mean that your screams might be muffled). Also in case the hotel has made a major cock up and given you a room that is already occupied. Don't want to barge in as pudgy fifty year-old is about to reach climax. His heart might not be able to take it.

Upon entering, do not just keep quiet. If you are with company, just say something loudly to your partner, anything random. If you are alone, well, let out a fart? I don't know. Make some noise. If the bellhop is with you, say something intelligent. Or better yet, get him to go in first. Muahahahaha....

Next: CHECK CHECK CHECK!
check toilet (blood does not flow out from taps)
check drawers (no amputated limbs, heads etc)
check cupboards (empty, no skeletons)
check lights (working)
check behind curtains (watched too many horror movies)
check tv (if it is auto-on with the key inserted or on manually. can be the cause of hauntings)
bible/quran (these could be your life-saver. Not christian or muslim? Get a temporary membership!)
check under beds (traditional hiding place of monsters, sometimes instead of little green men with horns, you might find used condoms instead)
check for presence of empty vase or single stalk of rose (some rooms have already been exorcised and these seemingly innocent items are to trap the spirits or to appease them, never remove them)

Unpacking Luggage
Never line your shoes up nicely because spirits will invite themselves to wear them. Instead, lay them haphazardly or better yet, leave one upturned.
Sometimes when on a solo business trip you might have a twin-share room. Never leave the bed empty. Throw your luggage on it. Don't lay out you clothes like they are ready to be put on as well. Too inviting. But if you feel lonely and need some raunchy company, leave the bed empty by all means.
Another thing about beds is the position of mirrors in relation to them You don't wanna be able to wake up and see yourself staring back at you. Not everybody look good the moment they wake. Besides, alot of horrors and hauntings begin with the mirror. It's almost always featured as some sort of portal.
Some go further to include no empty chairs. You may want to fill those up as well with sweaters, smaller bags etc etc.

When Sleeping
Leave a light on. Like the toilet light. Or just leave the tv on.
Have your glasses ready if you are short-sighted so that should things go bump at night, you can have your sight immediately.
Don't sleep in a position where your legs are aligned to the door. This is very inauspicious as corpse are carried out of a room with their legs through first. Or so the story goes.

Feeling Suspicious
Sometimes you just don't feel good with the room even if nothing can be found. It's this hunch that you have grown to trust and no amount of persuasion can keep you in the room. You may want to change the room. But remember this when you ask for a room change and they say no, stick to it. OR change hotel. Hotel staff normally know which are the rooms that are more troublesome so are very reluctant to allocate them to guests. Otherwise, if you insist, they might give you one of those dirty rooms. Then it's good luck and good riddance to you! They say virgin boy's pee can scare spirits away. If all else fails, I'll just pee around the room.... hahahahaha

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Get ZoukOut

I wonder if it's to do with my age.
But I seriously think Zouk is too crowded.

I hope it's got something to do with the novelty. I hope it's to do with Diggers being the guest DJ on Saturday. I hope it's cause of the DesignEdge closing party at Phuture.

Contrary to what many may assume, clubbing is not about byo-ing girls or guys per se. That is a by-product. Clubbing is not entirely about drinking jugs after jugs of vodka redbull/cranberry/ribena. That is an accessory. Clubbing is not about having guest DJs that drop tracks that are meant to educate (read: interesting only to himself). That is for the tourist.

Clubbing is about the great company that surrounds you after a week of work where you don your super hero gear and generate some form of productive work. Clubbing is about the fantastic vibes that leaves you gasping for more as you go into a hands in the air, frenzied anticipations from the long drawn basslines or the hints of an impending killer drumbeat.

And although the crowd has got alot to do with this vibe. Too much of a good thing is bad. Similarly for clubbing. Perhaps there are people who enjoy the body to body jostle. Perhaps there are those who love the sweat of the person next to you brushing against your arm.

Word of advice: If you are planning to go across the dancefloor, go around it instead?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

WTF?

Stainless steel titanium?
Aluminium titanium?

hahaha...my first time listening to mrbrown show.

Eh but narbeh! Jackson is NOT an ah beng name knnbccb!
Johnson maybe.
eh. doh!

Friday, November 11, 2005

You know there's talent in there somewhere.....

....and when it explodes in your face...in the middle of a crowded cineplex in town...on a warm Saturday afternoon while riding up the escalator feeling lonely.

This song has a very 80s feel to it. I don't know if many people agree. It's definitely bubblegum but of such rare quality. Pop songs seldom have such fine lyrics. And I sometimes pay too much attention to lyrics.

It's always weird posting memories on my blog. Firstly cause I never had a habit of writing them down. I have never kept a proper diary. Secondly, I have always subscribed to the belief that the less others know about me, the less vulnerable I will be. Thirdly, well, I will think of a third reason eventually.

But for all those who has ever had previous relationships and had a hard time moving on, well, congratulations! Those who understand what I am trying to say, cheers to the hard times and having moved on, those who don't, try harder.

While our "Once upon a time" did not end with "Happily ever after", we probably have it within us for a long time a piece of the memory. We might have lost resolution on the details but when viewed from far, the pieces still tell a story, a little romantic, perhaps tragic, perhaps magic. But largely bittersweet.

Some of us became cynics and sworn off miracles but luckily most picked themselves up for another ride.

We might one day attend the weddings of the ones you once held hands with but your hands will now be clapping as the couple makes their entrance and the hand she is holding is not yours but somebody elses'. You used to call her by her first name or some other pet names but now you think it might be proper to address her by her new last name. In her case, she is not Mrs Kanal but Mrs Rossdale. She's got things going and although all you've got is a pocketful of memories but you've chosen to move on.

And I know we're cool.

It's hard to remember how it felt before
Now I found the love of my life...
Passes things get more comfortable
Everything is going right

And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

We used to think it was impossible
Now you call me by my new last name
Memories seem like so long ago
Time always kills the pain

Remember Harbor Boulevard
The dreaming days where the mess was made
Look how all the kids have grown
We have changed but we're still the same
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

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




But if we really think about it, it will never be really cool.
And that is the sad truth.

Dawn Yang and the Great Transformation

I was smsing V today.

Why is it that we don't mind so much if a girl is trapped in a guy's body and wants a sex change but when a pretty girl is trapped in an ugly body and goes for a series of cosmetics surgery we make so much noise?

If you don't know who Dawn Yang is and what the hell I am talking about....and you happen to be a Singaporean...consider yourself very shameful.....but not as shameful as those who have lambasted the poor girl left right and centre.

There is always technorati to save you. type in Dawn Yang and search. She is among the top 10 searches in technorati right now. That's a feat in itself. She's made a big bang at the start of her career. Like they say, in show business, there is no bad publicity.









I really don't think there is anything wrong with her having augmented and enhanced her original features. Just like I think it's perfectly ok for TT Durai to be paid peanuts. But perhaps, I would appreciate a little honesty. But unlike NKF, she's not publicly financed so I don't give a rat's ass...for the record, I think she's a sight for sore eyes.

What it feels like for a girl

Unconsciously,
so many years have
flitted by,
As we look back and
reminisce
but move forward in our lives.
I guess we all know,
if we were to get
embroiled in playing
catch up with the past,
there will never be
any forward motion.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Degenerating?

Well, I can't be the judge. So I should just present the facts....

We used to have Aquaman.


Now we have Spongebob Square Pants and Patrick Pink Turd Star.

In The Navy

I recall watching a programme on BBC some time ago. It was running a series of top 20 No. 1 British hits. So there were times when they featured the top 20 rauchiest singles (like Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax, Serge Gainbourg's Je T'aime Moi Non Plus) and they introduced the Village People in the top 20 campiest.

And that's where I learnt how the US Navy had wanted to use the Village People hit single In The Navy.

It can be found in Wikipedia as well:

The United States Navy considered using the Village People hit "In the Navy" in a recruiting advertising campaign on television and radio. They contacted Belolo, who decided to give the rights for free on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video. Less than a month later, The Village People arrived at the San Diego Naval base. The Navy provided them with a war ship, several airplanes, and hundreds of Navy men. When the video started showing and the Navy started the planned ad campaign, some newspapers protested using taxpayer money to fund music videos (especially for a group considered by some to be "morally dubious"). The Navy quickly cancelled the campaign. The scandal tremendously boosted the popularity of the song.


The US Navy must have been relieved.
In a queer way.

But can you really blame them when the song has lyrics that say:

Where can you find pleasure (oh no)
Search the world for treasure
Learn science technology
Where can you begin to make your dreams all come true
On the land or on the sea
Where can you learn to fly
Play in sports and skin dive (skin dive??)
Study oceanography
Sign of for the big band
Or sit in the grandstand
When your team and others meet

In the navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
In the navy
Yes, you can put your mind at ease
In the navy
Come on now, people, make a stand (make what stand?)
In the navy, in the navy
Can't you see we need a hand (what for? hold what?)
In the navy
Come on, protect the motherland
In the navy
Come on and join your fellow man (ah!!)
In the navy
Come on people, and make a stand
In the navy, in the navy, in the navy (in the navy)

They want you, they want you (no kidding)
They want you as a new recruit

If you like adventure
Don't you wait to enter (haha, you serious?)
The recruiting office fast
Don't you hesitate
There is no need to wait
They're signing up new seamen fast
Maybe you are too young
To join up today
Bout don't you worry 'bout a thing
For I'm sure there will be
Always a good navy
Protecting the land and sea

In the navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
In the navy
Yes, you can put your mind at ease
In the navy
Come on now, people, make a stand
In the navy, in the navy
Can't you see we need a hand
In the navy
Come on, protect the motherland
In the navy
Come on and join your fellow man
In the navy
Come on people, and make a stand
In the navy, in the navy, in the navy (in the navy)

They want you, they want you
They want you as a new recruit

Who me?

They want you, they want you
They want you as a new recruit

But, but but I'm afraid of water.
Hey, hey look
Man, I get seasick even watchin' it on TV!

They want you, they want you in the navy

Oh my goodness.
What am I gonna do in a submarine?

They want you, they want you in the navy

It's just my imagination.




.....there's no place like home.....there's no place like home....

Colours

This site The Navy Wives Website is useful for wives and girlfriends of navymen and naval officers.
Cause V was asking me what I meant by Colours.

Colours


National ensign; distinguishing flag flown to indicate a ship’s nationality. Naval ceremonies are performed when the national flag is hoisted at eight o’clock in the morning and hauled down at sunset.


And if you are really into Village People, especially their single, In The Navy, well I suppose the above website will be useful for partners of navymen and naval officers as well. Oh yes, there are female naval specialists and officers.

Seen the i-mode advert?

noticed that there is this mod-ish yellow-bodysuited female model? trying her very best to look glam as she posed with a yellow diving mask.

so who is she trying to kid?

hur hur hur...

Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now

Found this through cowboy caleb.

This is british comedian Mitch Benn doing his usual. and his usual is unusually good.

Anyway, go to Everythingsoundslikecoldplaynow.com and see the video.

...everyone tries to sing like chris.....this could be embrace, keane or snow patrol. thirteen senses sound like this i'm told....maybe this is actually coldplay cause everything sounds like coldplay now....


Bits of trivia by the way:

This is the x&y album art generator. key in words and see them as how chris martin will see it.


familiar?

this is how the name of this blog will look like:





Credits

Monday, November 07, 2005

Down with flu

Alot of phlegm.
Heavy head.
Runny nose.
Teary eyes.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blogging dilemma

One of my friend asked me about blogging recently. He reads my blog on an (ir)regular basis. Whenever he finds the entry interesting, he will tell other people about it.

He asked me if I check my site meter regularly.
Which started me thinking. I never really bothered about the the number of visits and page views. Until when I was tomorrowed. By Mr Brown no less!

I remember checking it on a quarter-hourly basis. And even checked it again before I left for work the next day.

But do I check it now? Yeah, well, yes. But not on a quarter-hourly basis. Maybe half-hourly daily or less. And the page views don't bother me as much. It's how people find me that interest me more.

He then asked me why I started blogging.
Then I remember that must have been when this blogging thing really took off. Maybe not yet in Singapore. Then I chanced upon somebody's blog and a number of people were commenting about the entry. I think it was a sad entry and people (including myself) felt a little something for the blogger. I might have been the only stranger who felt that way but that got me thinking. So I decided to create a blog and called it little fish and since I didn't really know what was it for, I decided that this blog will become my source of entertainment - hence "things to play and do".

It wasn't until a couple of months later that I made another entry.

And then it wasn't until end of 2004 that I put in another entry.

It's always near christmas. I never really liked christmas period since 1997.

So I don't really know why I started my blog.

He asked what I blogged about.
I guess while answering this question, I found a some bits of answer as to why I am blogging now. I blog about nothing everything anything. It's like a source to off load whatever creativity I have left in me. Might have something to do with the fact that I am a Pisces. Might not. It can be useful to vent frustration, be it those pent up at work, or with friends, daily situations.

But your friends read your blog. Your colleagues read your blog. Strangers read your blog. Wouldn't it be bad if you are bitchin' about a friend who happens to stumble upon your blog. Hey, I got a friendster blog too.

friendster

And that blog directs anyone who cares to this blog. Notice I never bitch about friends here?

So I was telling V about this conundrum - a blog might be for venting frustration but you might not be able to cause the person you are piss with reads your blog. And you don't really know how widely read your blog may be. So isn't it even more frustrating when you cannot totally be honest and spit venom at people cause they might be offended.

I guess that's why some choose to be anonymous. Others create secondary blogs that are not for public consumption. There are those who use codenames or change the names of people.

But I am too lazy to create another blog just for that. I guess I have to live with it that I can never really be honest in this blog. By that I mean I will not be able to diss certain people who I work with, go out on weekends with etc etc.... And I cannot say that this really jude girl (damn, people don't use jude anymore right? they use chio or something) is eyeing me at work, or that I think I am the most awfullest blogger.

Oh bother. Hate self-censorship.

So, Jasper, if you are reading this. Go fuck yourself. You don't deserve to be alive. I hate to say this. You suck!

Hahahahahahhahahahahaha..............this is so........liberating......like some form of emancipation. This must have been how the slaves felt after their manumission. This must be what catharsis feels like.

t",t

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A scare

So today I was making fun of speculating that the new Iranian President looks a little like Rasputin.

While looking at my site meter, I found, to my horror, someone from Iran and Israel looking at my blog!!!!




Did a quick check and found out that the Iranian person found my blog through searching for "yooglegahoo" and found my blog on while the Israeli guy found it through searching for some mike flowers pop thing and ended up here.

Phew!

Cages - The Movie

Why hasn't this movie been released?

Isn't it weird that the market in Singapore is so small that local films (in this case not 100% local but who cares, really) get premiered elsewhere first? Perth, Be With Me what else? All overseas film fest.

I guess as long as it gets to be shown locally then it isn't really too bad. Well, Jack Neo's productions usually premiere in Singapore.

The review by Firecracker makes me wanna watch it.

Got music by Academy award nominee Dave Koz leh...and theme song by Roger Bourland performed by UCLA (not the apparel company)
Got Oscar nominee Makoto Iwamatsu acting in it leh. Must watch siah...

Blunder 2

Following the last Blunder made by Ass Tee, yesterday saw another blunder being committed. This time I will be more forgiving. On page 11 of Ass Tee Life! on 4 Nov, it was said that the local magazine BigO was defunct.

Defunct can mean no longer in force or use; inactive or having ceased to exist or live.

narbeh.

it's not defunct lah. BigO is now purely an e-zine.

Like Slate is purely an online magazine as well.

Firecracker - an online only cinema magazine with it's aperture fixed on East Asia.

Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light

When the three suns of Prysmos align,
all technology on the planet stops working.
Two main groups are formed: the kingdom of New Valarak under Leoric,
and the domain of Darkstorm.
The two sides begin looking for something to give them the edge.
The wizard Merklynn appears to both sides,
and tells them that the Age of Magic has begun again.
Those who can successfully reach his shrine will be rewarded with magic powers.
Leoric, Darkstorm, and many others attend to his quest, but only 14 manage are successful. Merklynn gives them what was promised......

Visionaries - Knights Of The Magical Light


Whispered secrets of a shattered age, I summon you, renew this sage

Remember these? Wow man, I remember when I was in primary school, there were toy figures of Visionaries as well. And the back of the packaging carried information of the figure as well as the chants they used to activate the magical staff. Then, we would form clans of our own and pretend to be Visionaries. Often we don't know what the hell we were mumbling but who cares really? So something like "By nature's hand, by crafts, by art, What once was one, now fly apart" became "My neighbour's hen my art and craft what ones was one now fry apart".
No, really.

Some totally cool dude(tte) created a fansite for the cartoon. The site's got stuff for Bionic 6, Thundercats, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-ra, Princess of Power. She-ra....grrrr....hahaha

Damn cool.

It's an Israeli site. In case you guys are anti-Zionists. Like the new Iranian President, who says Israel "must be wiped off map". His looks remind me of Rasputin.



Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Rasputin:
Separated at birth? Reincarnation probably.


Cooler still is that local company Blue Max will be releasing the series in DVD format according to today's Life! Can you imagine that so many people remember this series though it ran only a season of 13 episodes??

Friday, November 04, 2005

ZoukOut 05

ZoukOut 05 is advertising on TV Mobile!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Little Adventures

I don't like to move out of my comfort zone.
At least I don't think I do.

Maybe that's why I have never gone clubbing at anywhere along Mohd Sultan.

I did try the now defunct Area 22 along Dunlop Street. It was quite cool at that time cause Pixel-P and I will get to go to the second level and have the balcony seats. There weren't much people when we first started going there. A number of malay kids and lots of drum and bass.

After that we were going to Liquid Room along Bussorah Street which is actually very near Area 22. Ashdiq, who is one half of construction sight was the DJ on Saturdays. There's an ang moh too but he wasn't too good with turntablism. Sheik Haikel who was seeing Annabelle Francis then was often there with her. So was Najip Ali. Pixel-P and I were mostly hanging around the dj console which was very trainspotter friendly because it was not on a pedestal unlike most clubs these days.

So going to the new Liquid Room at Gallery Hotel last night was pretty adventurous. Or maybe it was just checking out an old friend.

But not exactly cause we were only at the Soundbar. Not really up for clubbing.

The tropical fish aquarium was intesting and depending on where you're sat, the seats can be really comfortable. But the spotlights above the bar leaks. Don't really know what liquid it was but it looked like beer.

and today, was at projectshop cafe at paragon. poor heart. wonder if it can take so much stimuli. tried the mint tea. and the sticky date pudding. v had earl grey. the pudding was moist and quite delicious. and the serving size was just enough for two. anymore and it would have been too much. but i already had a heavy lunch. maybe that's why.

short week. but feel unrested...sigh.

Lost

I like watching Lost - the Emmy award winning series an episode a week. Because unlike an action flick, there is alot of character development.

Just like tonight's episode.

Anyhow, I do know people who own the first season in DVD format (legitimate copy, of course, in China). But I am so reluctant to borrow it and finish the rest of this season.

Because certain episodes, there are things that reasonate with your life, somebody close or somebody imagined.

So I will continue to watch it an episode a week.

I like that. But I hate the advertisements.


But I hate the advertising.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Unbelievable Truth - Almost Here

There's a problem I can't solved it. The only way out is too hard now.
Solved


I first found Unbelievable Truth at Tower Records. Andy Yorke was billed as the younger sibling of Thom Yorke who was and still is, famously fronting the (some say) best band in the world - Radiohead. Can't say if I (dis)agree.


She said that his love was a dead man's love, draining the life from another.
Angel


There are certain qualities in Andy Yorke's voice that are superior to Thom's But It isn't fair to compare the two of them. While Radiohead's debut featured radio-friendly hits like Creep, Unbelievable Truth didn't have such luck. Perhaps it was simply poor marketing. Or no marketing.


None of this is harder than knowing about you.
If you were someone else I could live without you.

Stone


Lyrically, I dare not say that Andy is superior but it is infinitely more accessible when compared to present day Radiohead. What do you make of Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon? I don't know. Someone did try to come up with some convoluted explanations.


Truth and honor combine to make
the same mistakes again.

Same Mistakes


The only similarity Andy and Thom had with their bands was perhaps that both found fame with US more initially. Radiohead of course went on to conquer the rest of the free world. Unbelievable Truth disbanded after 2 albums.


There now, just fading in my mind,
irrelevant echoes of mankind.
I never met their demands.
And they never gave me half a chance.

Forget About Me


I later found Unbelievable Truth in the Big Issue's Sixth Anniversary Commemorative CD. Forget About Me was featured in there.


Every move that I
make is phoney,
and every word I say is lies.

Settle Down


The lyrics obviously don't make much sense since every word he says is lies. It should include these words that he just sang. Ah, technicalities. The band broke up mainly because Andy Thom decided to continue studying at Oxford University pursuing a degree in Russian. And that he really wanted out of the band anyway. Thom's from Exeter University. So I guess brains does run in their family.


And the slightest sound just
makes you want to close your eyes
and hold your breath.

Finest Little Space


J K Rowling was from Exeter as well. As was Will Young (Pop Idol). Rowling's does not have a middle name. Before publishing the first volume, Bloomsbury feared that the target group of young boys might be reluctant to buy books written by a female author. They requested that Rowling use two initials, rather than reveal her first name; because she had no middle name, she chose Kathleen, her grandmother's name. Her first name is Joanne.


And is this proof against my ignorance?
Or am I meant to waste away?

Building


So the melancholia that each of the songs evoke. Not very good for a bright sunny day. But when you feel down and there doesn't seem to be any logical reason as to why shouldn't you feel happier, just listen to Almost Here.


How can I be somebody new,
when I see my own reflection?

Almost Here


Some bands were meant to rock the stadiums. Many band weren't. Some bands can release album after album of throw-away songs. Many bands can't. Some bands are forever remembered. Many aren't. Some bands release worthy debut albums like Almost Here. Many don't. Some bands will go on to release more worthy albums. Many won't.


So when is it a problem
if you push it all so far?

Higher Than Reason



But sometimes, it can be nice to know that not many people will ever discover such gems. It's like finding this quiet spot in the garden that you keep revisiting. Or chancing upon a falling star.


I never wanted you to be
another substitute for me.

Be Ready




Read more about them here (Did you know Thom Yorke's little brother could sing?) - the author wasn't talking about that little brother, here (nudeasthenews), here (Sunday Times article by Andrew Smith) and here (The George Graham Weekly Album Review #1128).

Some things you will never love

“If you met a girl and took her back to her room, and if there were some Nick Drake records there, you’ll probably want to marry her.”



Jeff Buckley died a couple of years back. Nick Drake died before I was even born. The latter was born in Rangoon, Burma. Singapore's got a slew of Burma inspired road names: Irrawaddy, Moulmein, Mergui, Mandalay, Pegu, Martaban. But this is not about either of them.

It's about the quote.

I think it was mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink that there are alternative ways to figure out a person's character. One was was through interviews with his/her friends another was to look through the person's room, checking out the layout, books on the shelves, music the person listens to.

I definitely belong to the latter.

And especially looking at the music the person listens to.

And if the person can provide me with the date/year/period when they buy each of the music album, all the better.

Maybe that's why when I Tower Records distributed their in-house magazine Pulse! freely at the shops, I always liked reading the Desert-island Discs page. That or maybe cause I have a psychotic liking for lists.

There was a time when I seriously thought that the girlfriend that I have must have got Tori Amos records. Then I discovered that it wasn't an effective filter. And I grew out of it.

But till this day I firmly believe that the music a person listens to speaks volumes of the person's character. But this works only if the person has a sizeable collection. I guess it's similar to what statisticians would call Sampling Error. So random errors can be reduced. Eg. A person owns Westlife's Greatest Hits and U2's Greatest Hits (both the 1980-90 and 1990-2000). Both Irish bands but different in many other ways.

Anyway, today, if I ever walk into any girl's room and see the following CDs in the collection, I'll probably want to marry her. *just kidding*


Unbelievable Truth - Almost Here

Suddenly, Tammy! - (We Get There When We Do)

Lori Carson - Everything I Touch Runs Wild

These are available in bargain bins all over the world. You will have to dig deep.

Accupuncture

My ankle refuses to recover.

This is my third visit to the Chinese Physician. And probably fourth posting about the ankle.

The first one had me wrapped in some blackish green gooey substance.
Second one had the same substance but that came only after accupuncture.

Today I was back at the clinic. So he gave me a herbal steam bath (for the ankle lah). Then another accupuncture session. The previous time he used 4 needles. Today it was 5. Never had accupuncture? I won't say it if it was painful or not. Best to go try it yourself.

Anyhow, there are small punctures around my ankle. I hope it works.

Today and the previous time, I was treated by the male doctor. Previously, it was a small size woman who treated me the first time round. I had thought she was chinese. As in, China chinese. Turns out she wasn't! And I am not the only who thought she was from China.

There was this auntie (I gather she was about 60plus from her voice and the fact that she had grandchildren) who made an appointment for massage. I was on the next bed, with needles around my ankle, and curtains drawn around me. So I overheard their conversation.

Auntie: Good thing you are here, I don't like men to touch me. There aren't many female physicians.

Female physician: Ya, sure, you can come here in future for all your massages.

Auntie: So how long have you been in Singapore?

Female physician: I am Singaporean.

Auntie: Oh, so you now PR?

Female physician: I am Singaporean.

Auntie: Ya but how long have you been here?

Female physician: I am Singaporean.

Auntie: You are Singaporean? Not PR?

Female physician: I am Singaporean.

Auntie: So how long have you been in this clinic?

I couldn't giggle because giggling is for girls giggling would have made the needles more painful I did not find it funny.

iDJ from Numark

This info came by way of Radikaz.

Introducing the iDJ from Numark.
idj


In case you were wondering, no, pitch control is still not a feature.
iPods each come separately.