Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Long Weekend*

AC: Hey, just want to check the schedule for tmr?

JP: TTC at Changi on WED and FRI. TTC Tuas on THU.

AC: So what about tmr? No lessons planned?

JP: It's a public holiday.

AC: Oh, I thought only for the 1st and 2nd day of CNY?

JP: Yes but 1st day fell on a Sunday so was made up on TUE. I bet the government has got something to do with this. Election being so near...haha..joking

AC: How cunning. Oh alright. Was looking forward to having lessons tmr. Looks like I have to wait another day.

JP: .......



*paraphrased from actual sms...

Monday, January 30, 2006

16 Market Place Knaresborough

The address above is the location of

Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England
Established 1720

Knaresborough is a place I would like to revisit again. Row down the River Nidd again. Rediscovering the mesmerising taste of earl grey, sippping the tea in the tea house located by the river with the sitting section overlooking the river. The Knaresborough viaduct framing the background while I munch on biscuits.



I'll post a picture of a box of toffee I bought from the shoppe back when I was in university.

Yorkshire Traditional ToffeeTadah! This is the box that I have kept since 2002. The expiry date of the toffee is 11 Dec 2002. The contents of the box are long gone of course.

I think if there are any fairies in this world, they are all found in Knaresborough.

I Like This - Horrorscope

dedicated to the one i love

one of the first movies i watched with v was how to deal or what a girl wants. depending which country it was shown. had mandy moore in it with a short dark crop of hair. one of those simple date movies.

but it introduced a number of phrases that we still use, occasionally. jedi mind and friend with benefits. which i once was for a period of time. also in the movie, the character has no faith in relationships as the start of one is the beginning of the end. there was a part (if i can remember correctly) where it was described that life can sometimes be like a fumble in the dark and a companion, if not for anything else, can be a person to hold on to.

and that was what this song made me think about. was rushed back to some 3 years ago.

I Will Follow You Into The Dark

Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light
Or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the "NO"s
On their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

In catholic school
As vicious as roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised
By a lady in black
And I held my tongue
As she told me
"Son, fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the "NO"s
On their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me
Have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary (will Bintan to Changi do?)
giant footAnd the soles of your shoes
Are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
But it's nothing to cry about
'Cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the "NO"s
On their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Then I'll follow you into the dark

~ Death Cab For Cutie

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lunar New Year

There are a couple of interesting things to talk about the reunion dinner.

Like how my cousin got lost along the way from the station to my place and how she had to take a cab from the nearby hawker centre.

Or that my family has moved on from the butane gas cooker steamboat to a ceramic hob that works by induction. I am not entirely sure if it is more economical but at least we can have the fan blowing without the fire getting blown at because there's no fire.

I finally decided to drink my white zinfandel and 2002 riesling. Which was a good thing because the former was so delicious and the latter was nearing the end of it's prime. The cork, because of the lousy condition in which it was kept, had started to crumble. Didn't have any problems with the zinfandel because it was an artificial cork (no, an artificial cork is not a dildo).

We were having alot of fun teasing each other, including my cousin, and time just zoomed past.

By then, slightly intoxicated by the alcohol (I finished most of the wine, and there's still a bit of the riesling left), I was already sleepy when Ys asked if I wanted to go waterloo kuan im thng to offer some incense. Haven't been there for 2 years during the Lunar New Year so I thought why not.

At the kuan im thng, it was sheer pandemonium. There were dozens of crowd control personnel and crowds of worshippers queueing up at the flanks. All their hands holding onto the joss sticks of varying thickness and sizes. I finally figured the reason why they had to be of such size. If not, while queueing up, the joss stick might have burnt itself out. Moreover, some wanted to bring it back home.

Finally met Ys who was with this C person. Seeing how we might have to wait a long time, Ys decided to eat some vegeterian bee hoon. Although I have been to the waterloo kuan im thng a number of times I have never realised that there was a coffee shop just opposite the temple. And how convenient, for those who wanted their first meal of the new lunar year to be vegeterian (and from there, gain some good karma perhaps?), there's a stall readily available. I just needed a drink.

After the food, drinks and banter, it was off to join in with the crowd. C decided not to join us and waited somewhere else. Ys and I bought ourselves some small size joss sticks and assimilated with the queue.

It can be a rather weird thing but then again it should be expected. There was this red polo shirt guy diagonally in front of us. And this white polo shirt guy soon joined in from the side in front of us. White polo shirt guy was asking the red polo shirt guy to hold his joss sticks further away from his hair. I thought he asked in a rather cordial manner. The red polo shirt guy, without batting an eyelid told him, "Go to the back, there you can have all the space you want without joss sticks."

I mean, it was funny to me but I thought it was rather mean of the red polo shirt guy. Tension.....Can tell that white polo shirt guy was surprised as well as a little pissed. I don't know, but I would have thought that as fellow worshippers, they could at least be more friendly. Then again, this is the first day of the lunar year and getting the joss sticks planted into the urn was everyone's priority. Every man for himself.

After we were done, we met up with C again before walking to the muslim kopi tiam for drinks and continued shooting shit till about 4:30am. Ys and I finally headed home but not before some plaster and iced milo at Yassin. Earlier, I don't know how, but the conversation wandered to some cornflakes stuff. So I just pointed out how cornflakes was invented to stop girls from "pleasuring themselves sexually on an individual basis". Ys and C looked at me, clearly bewildered. Kellogg's Porn Flakes.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Zoolander

They are going to release it in Singapore afterall. After 4 years?

I wonder why did they stop in the first place? I mean, the plot to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister was sensitive? The movie portrayed him as an upright person who was trying to overcome the problem of child labour abuse in his country? I suspect that the only reason is because the actor acting as the Malaysian Prime Minister, (acted by Woodrow Asai) Prime Minister Hassan was Chinese looking and wearing a mandarin samfu. I cannot find a picture of Woodrow Asai but I came across an approximate.






How does Woodrow Wilson compare to the real Malaysian Prime Minister?



Not very similar. But this movie was released a few weeks after Sep 11. So in 2001, the Malaysian Prime Minister was this other guy.






Seen here giving his audience a two-fingered salute. Yeah, up yours too!


The movie is a fantastic laugh that has generated its own set of jokes. Like Magnum, Blue Steel and such....check out the wikipedia entry on Zoolander.

Nokia L'Amour Collection

There is a new Nokia ad which features the L'Amour Collection. The brush strokes made on the wall explodes into an amber infused floral artwork that reminds me of the cover art for The Observatory Blank Walls album by Dawn Andy Yang.



And the music really resonates with the weaving floral patterns and whimsical ribbons. The voice is unmistakeably that of Imogen Heap of Frou Frou. Just don't know what track cause I can't find it on commercialbreaksandbeats.co.uk. It could be a pre-Frou Frou track that Imogen Heap did when she was solo.

Click here to go Nokia L'Amour Collection site

Please make it Panther friendly

Google has finally release the official Mac version of the mind numbing spirit crushing Google Earth wundergadget.

But it doesn't work on my Mac cause it's still on Panther (10.3.x). Can they please come up with a version that can serve more Mac users?

But then again, knowing what a fantastic marketing machine Apple is, Google and Apple are probably in cahoots to get as many people to switch to the newer Tiger OS. Looking at how the entire iPod family of mp3 players have segmented the market, even downline to the accessories (the radio enabled remote is only for iPod video and iPod nano.) Bullshit. I thinking of switching to the dark side Creative Zen Vision:M

Please give me my Google Earth. Or do I really have to change to Tiger and should I do that, probably buy iLife '06 too huh? Wanker! Blood suckers!

Grrr....

On a day like today

I know the title is also the title of a song by Keane.

It was a weird morning anyway. With ^ appearing in my dream talking me through on things that are on my mind right now. Making me ask the fundamental-est of questions.

Then with V's 2nd sms, makes me wanna listen to Smashing Pumpkins' (I don't want to link to smashingpumpkins.com site because it belongs to billy corgan now.) Whir from the album of B-sides and unreleased tracks - Pisces Iscariot. From the simple mere mention of whirl in V's sms. I don't know how and why things and words always trigger off tracks in my head.

I've wasted all my years Been chasin' all my fears For another brighter than you
I gave in long ago to make it to the show, But it's not easy when you're alone
All your prayers In my ears Don't you care?
Whir yourself around Just to fall back down Whir yourself around
My honey, little girl C'mon, lets go for a whir It's still early, the sun is sleeping
She says she wants to marry me She says she wants a baby It's not easy when you're scared
Whir yourself around Just to fall back down Whir yourself around
All your prayers In my ears Don't you care?

Confessions of a randomised mind

Time on iBook: 3:50am 28 Jan 2006

Thoughts had sped through my mind over the last, perhaps, 17 hours.

There was this inexplicable desire to listen to The Man Who by Travis. Not any particular song but the entire album. I remember telling yy when I was in York that The Man Who must be the most coherent album I have ever heard. Something to do with Nigel Godrich no doubt. The Man Who, I thought then, would have been the album Radiohead never made. Had Radiohead leaned towards their pop sensibilities more with Nigel Godrich on their album after OK Computer (which was fantabulous), The Man Who could have resulted. But they made Kid A instead. For a while, Kid A was like a slang for an abysmal continuation following great success. But Radiohead continued to dominate. And Nigel Godrich is sometimes known as the sixth member of the band.

Was at the funeral wake of a friend's father. Was there with Ys and telling him this wasn't to be expected. We go through phases in our lives. During this age, we should be attending weddings, baby showers and random parties. Not funeral wakes of your friends' parents. Grandparents maybe. But not parents'. Sy's father had died as a result of lung cancer. He was a smoker and drinker. His timing could not have come at a worse time because of the proximity to the new lunar year.

At Brewerkz and had to remind myself that I had a McSpicy meal earlier and shouldn't eat too much. Had two pints and had to remind myself that I shouldn't drink too much. Followed the rest to MOS with Adam Freeland spinning. And seeing this ang moh seow who was so trying to get the DJ's attention by behaving similar to a monkey on drugs. And when the camera man was filming him, he thought he should look intoxicated by the music but really he looked just like a regular geezer. A semi-retard twit gurning away like he is the coolest thing on earth. Drank half a bottle of Heineken before passing the bottle to pin, again reminding myself not to drink too much. Saw tony tay seated behind the dj console with his wife perhaps. Not very sure who the girl was. Had to go up and say hi, happy new year and that. mong was suitably impressed that tony knew my name. I guess being a nuisance and writing to him when I was studying in York helped. Amazing how things progressed. Tony passed pin a private pressed (like real, it was just a cd-r) mixed disc of a set he played so that pin can send it to York for me. That must have been like 2000 or something. It's not like tony and I are great pals or anything. otherwise, i'd have gotten the muct coveted zouk membership wouldn't I? Haha, I guess when you're a student, inspired by alot of independent spirit and a willingness to try anything, you'd just go ahead and do it. I was trying to link up the local independent cinema to do some sort of a singapore film fest because eric khoo had the fantastic 12 storeys, kelvin tong had eating air and there were other short films that I thought deserved a wider audience. But in the end....only Kelvin Tong replied. cannot remember the contents anymore.

My closer for the day was again Travis. I particular their song, Slideshow.

In it, Fran sings

Cause there is no design for life
There's no devils haircut in my mind
There is not a wonderwall to climb
Or step around
But there is a slideshow and it's so slow
Flashing through my mind

I suppose some of the songs that you've heard might have meant so much to you at that point in your life. Maybe it was the Manic Street Preachers' A Design For Life. Maybe it was Beck's Devil's Haircut. Maybe it was Oasis' Wonderwall. But ultimately the songs are not as important as the memories with which the songs are connected to. Maybe a design for life frightened you when you are at junior college starting to think about the future. What if all the systems that you have been through will diminish the uniqueness that had gone spiralling downwards from the day you were born? Maybe a devil's haircut was something I needed then but never had. And perhaps there were many things I'd liked to say to a certain someone but I didn't know how then as I don't know how now. So what is a wonderwall anyway?


Time on iBook: 4:43am 28 Jan 2006

Friday, January 27, 2006

You can't help but look - sea state, puke and you.

My neighbour downstairs is a contract worker that includes shipyard repairs. He's watched me grown from a young boy till now and he is capable of much boh liao stuff.

On Monday I met him as I was entering the lift. He was getting off the lift, pushing his bike. He asked if I've been to South China Sea recently. I said no but soon. He gave a wicked smile. I kinda knew why so I follow up with a, "I think the sea state's rather bad. Monsoon." He said he heard from the yardworkers who heard it from other seafarers.

So I was suppose to sail this week. No, I am not an old sea dog. I'm not some landlubber either. But when you look at the wave height prediction and it says 2-3m....you do get a little worried. And when the patrol ships come back with the crew looking like they were ravaged along the way, pale and with the colour of drawn out from under their skin....you keep your fingers crossed. hell, if you could cross your toes, you would.

Some people say you can get used to sea state. I believe them. After sometime, you can get used to the sea state. You can handle sea state 3 better and perhaps even without the use of anti-motion sickness pills. I have taken them only once in my entire naval career. They work. But they made me sleepy. Not good when you have to keep watch.

I don't understand why the buff bags given by the navy has got to bee transparent. I appreciate that they are stronger than the normal plastic bags you get from market stalls or NTUC supermarkets. I just cannot understand why it has to be transparent.

Seasickness can be contagious. I mean, if someone in the combat information centre starts hurling and making all those "urgh, argh blurgh" sounds and the stale air starts to stench of puke, you'd want to puke too.

But back to the transparency part.

They say curiousity kills the cat. I think curiousity can make you throw up too. Because whoever works past you in a hurried manner with his knuckles white, fist clenching a buff bag, you can't help but look. You will look at the contents of that puke bag like it's the chioest bu along orchard. And the bag being transparent will mean that you can immediately see the contents. Not. Very. Nice.

Bits of noodle...unidentified flotsam....chunks with stringly bits...you can let your imagination run wild and at the same time discover how food is digested (or not) in your digestive system.

And what happens when you have puked all that you can inside your stomach? You get this weird coloured juice that doesn't smell like the normal puke. (I bet you know how that smells, don't pretend).

If you have never had to endure sea state that causes all the contents of your stomach to empty out and still puke some more....let me describe what you'll puke once everything you've eaten comes out already.

Think sugarcane juice:












Next think waterchestnut juice:












Now note the proportions: 2 parts sugarcane juice. 1 part waterchestnut juice. Dilute with 2 parts water. Stir well.

You should get this greengreybrownyellowish liquid that bears a strong resemblance to what the food in your stomach floats on....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Boys are back in town *contains foul hokkien cusswords

Ys's back from US after completing conversion to the AHs. It's in the news that they are back today. Forging Sabre's over. V's brother was there as well. did their integrated strike 3G saf thingamajig.

A dinner gathering should be proper and that was what we had on Sunday night. Decided to have it as an all guys affair.

Was at waterloo street for some incense offering cause Ys and I kind put whatever amount of faith we have left in divine powers into this kwan im thng. I prayed there a couple of new year ago. Pray before I left for studies I think....maybe not....but definitely before I left for Spain with V. He's sorely complaining about the lack of good-lookers in sillipore. but surely him being away for 2 years or so couldn't have drastically uglify silliporelians. it's gotta be himself. he might have started liking girls in the +++ sizes.

Dinner was at Jackson Centre (hur hur) and was really quite a spread. We couldn't wait to order beer from the beer lady (cheap thrill) but we waited and waited some more still she didn't take orders from us. In the end, pin went ahead to buy it from the shop direct. $9.80 for two bottles of tiger! wow! it's your time singapore. like hell we need jessica alba to tell us. marlau asked ys if they show the tiger ad in US. not so apparently. which is really bollocks. either ys don't watch enough tv or the advertising blitz is not penetrating the US market. granted ys lived in some ulu sand quarry....ok, desert.

bern and yf came later and they duplicated the order. which meant that among the 6 of us, we had 13 chicken wings. that doesn't sound plenty. but wait, there's more. 8 dollars worth of oyster omelette, $9 worth of ngoh hiang hair piah, $5 worth of char kueh, $14 worth of cockles (sea hum - more on this later....hilarious), bbq stingray (lousy shit! it's like steam fish with sambal poured on), and what else was there? I cannot remember. lost in the beer.

The second time we ordered beer, I made sure to order from the beer lady. Hahaha, so she was trying to figure out where to place the beer when she settled next to pin. We concluded that she was attracted to pin primarily because he was wearing a tight button shirt. cool. underhand tactics by pin. and the best thing? ys tipped her! hahaha, he said he was too used to tipping that he found it weird. please lor, only 2 years away. hahaha, 3 years studying in UK never made me more willing to tip. it only made me check my bill more meticulously.

ys gave her $10 for the second batch of beer. the tip was 20c. I think she was happy. she thanked us. hahahahaha.....

The second plate of cockles were delish! we slurp up everything real fast but then negative utils began to set in. the marginal utility had already dipped with the second plate and when it came to the last plate, we just either couldn't stand the smell anymore or it was really smelly. so in the end i brought it back to the stall to complain. the guy looked embarrassed so changed it for us. still it smelled. we wanted to change to la-la but he say his boss will scold.

In the end we just didn't figure out which was the cockle that was giving off the offal smell. We were sitting rather near the toilet no doubt...
yf was the first to notice something wrong with the third plate. followed by me. yf pried open the first from the third plate commenting wow, still hot...so i took one too. he opened it up and said chao chee bye (smelly cunt) so we all laughed at his bad luck for choosing a smell cockle. i didn't smell mine before putting it in my mouth. the regret was as intense as the foul taste and i had to spit it out. pin said the whole plate seemed to sting. hahaha....so we were joking about chao cheebye and the like. In the end we just threw away the remaining cockles when they didn't want to change it.

Then came today. pin sms that he'd pee'd from his ass. his words not mine. and that he nearly puked. alright, i felt ok. and i sms the rest. yf said he already had a little tummyache so not an accurate indicator. marlau didn't reply. maybe he had passed out. bern said he was feeling fresh ahahahaha, ys was alright....so it seems that pin might have found the chao chee bye hahahahahahahaha....

Monday, January 23, 2006

Memoirs and Grand Voyages

Watched Memoirs of a Geisha and Le Grand Voyage on Saturday and Monday respectively.

I prefer the latter. Simply because amongst simple stories, of which both are, Le Grand Voyage tells things more honestly. I've not read the book by Arthur Golden. Don't think I ever will. So I cannot comment on how great the adaptation was. The movie was not as captivating as I would have thought it to be and I couldn't really tell if it was an accurate portrayal of Geisha culture in Japan. Maybe it was the Hollywood touch that discredits the authenticity.

Le Grand Journey on the other hand is such a simple story. Father and son go on a pilgrimage together. The former cannot drive so roped in the latter as the driver. Disgruntled but unable to disobey, son grudgingly sends father to Mecca. Along the way, they traded their camera for a live sheep because the son wanted to eat meat instead of pitta with eggs. Sheep escaped. Freakish woman hopped in for a free ride across the border. Getting caught in a snow storm and got snowed in. Another old man joined in for the pilgrimage and was soon dropped as the father suspected him of stealing their money. The son later found the money and returned the money to father but never told him that it was in the car all along. Instead, he lied that it was given by the French consulate. Son didn't want dad to know that he has misjudged a character. Something like that. In the end, father reached Mecca and on the first night there, died.

Simple story.

But what gorgeous sites and natural acting.

The father and son duo drove from France through to Italy, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Turkey and the drive was just amazing.

Why don't I have my license yet!?

*cause you are lazy* - small voice in my head

Mac and The Postal Service

By way of wurh, it seems that the latest Mac advert featuring the intel chip borrowed heavily from The Postal Service's Such Great Heights video.

So now Such Great Heights became the top downloaded video on iTunes.
More info here.

I've secretly hoped that they will never be big. But sigh....can't keep a good thing down.

She Just Wept

There are plenty of songs from Starsailor that's really great.
But the one that does it for me is this track called She Just Wept.

It's from their Love Is Here album that featured hits like Alcoholic and Fever.

I always thought when he sang "My love's a mess" he meant that his love life was in a mess. Apparently I saw it differently today upon hearing it again as Royal Gala II was on random.

He really meant that his love is in a mess. Although that may imply that he's love life was in a mess but it sounded more likely that the girl he is with is the person in a mess. But then, how could he help when his heart is on the floor as well..... What can I do that's for the best?

She Just Wept

She just wept
Like I could not ignore
How can I act
When my heart's on the floor?
She just wept
'Til her eyes became sore I knew who she was
But I don't anymore

She just cried
To the ruins of time
That kept us apart
We were doing just fine
She just wept
She was put to the test
Those that she loved
She had learned to detest

Daddy I've got nothing left
My life is good
My love's a mess
Daddy I've got nothing left
What can I do that's for the best?

Daddy I've got nothing left
My life is good
My love's a mess
Daddy I've got nothing left
What can I do that's for the best?

~Starsailor

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Love or Passion?

I'm 26 going on 27. And it's going to be real soon.

As I am going into my 27th year of existence, I realised that shopping is really not my cup of tea. Despite what I thought previously, there can be a time when shops become stale and walking around looking at things while waiting for people to try on stuff can cause me to tear...

I am starting to understand why there's a phrase that goes "bored to tears".

It's not entirely terrible because you get to see pretty girls as well. But looking at pretty girls, like shopping, can get boring (*gasps*). Maybe it's cause I am not the person buying. And I think that's quite a legitimate reason why I get bored. Shopping is really more interesting if you are the person buying.

This boredom that a number (I suspect many) of men share can be seen plainly either outside popular shops (MNG, ZARA, GG<5) or the changing rooms. I'm not as sad as some because thank god, V doesn't ask me to carry her handbag. She won't ask me. I won't agree, unless for a good reason. None of these shops are very guy-friendly. You see guys in these shops not really sure where they should stand. They don't want to be seen leering towards the direction of the changing rooms. They don't want to be mistaken for a cross-dresser. They don't want to be blocking shoppers trying to access to some items.

Worse still are the questions. I mean, I'm interested in words. But I'm not a wordsmith or anything. Besides "nice", "not bad", "it'll look better if.....", "why not the other one...." and other noncommittal answers. But there are days when you really have opinions and they are genuine. But there's a limited number of comments I may have for a black cardigan, a while sleeveless top or dark grey/black/deep brown pants.

There was a time when I actually thought guys like them (who accompany their wives and girlfriends on shopping trips) are really pathetic. I mean, surely there are a million and one things to say about your loved one's dressing.

I think after writing this, V is never gonna ask me to shop again. She might even be angry and harbour some form of vengeance. But I think many boyfriends and husbands out there....don't really like standing under the spotlight of an already crowded shop waiting for their loved ones while being worried if they are mistaken for perverts, blocking shoppers or just being handbag holders.

Yeah, I think she is feeling something. Cause I just told her I was bored (see, I am lacking in the vocabulary department) during the shopping earlier on ICQ. She ended the night saying she'd tell me in advance in future if she is shopping. Perhaps she is really sleepy.

Maybe I will regret writing this blog.

And why Love or Passion? At 26. Is love more important than passion? If you are in a relationship with love but no passion, is there a future together? Is there is no love and solely passion, it is, I believe, no future to speak of. Why am I asking this question? I was looking at a bookmark at Borders. It had those two words carved. Two years ago, somebody asked me if I'd rather have happiness or joy. That question had stuck with me that long. It's like I love my life now because I am alive with enough to get by very comfortably. I have not been desperately poor ever. And that is perhaps why I don't live my life with passion. I get by each day like I know they'd be another tomorrow. I say the things I think people want to hear. I do the things that as far as possible pleases everyone.

I asked V the same question. She said she'd rather have love as well, thinking ahead. I think it is precisely because of that, I might have failed to live my life for today. To think ahead assuming that there's always a tomorrow when I can only be sure that now is present.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Restlessness is evil (or Further comparisons between Singapore and Britain

Besides the Singapore Parliamentary system modelling on the Westminster system, my restless mind that refuses to stop activity after being conditioned throughout the work week to go into "hyperdrive" (my brain's topspeed is a measly 50kmh, idling speed is a stroll at 5kmh) continued to ponder....

And it was rather amazing....

Public Sector
Both countries have been pursuing some sort of Public|Private Hybrid Partnership system for Public Sectors. Started by Margaret Thatcher in early 1980s and Singapore started later but now the Public Utilities Board, Port of Singapore Authority and Singapore Telecommunications are amongst a number of such hybrids.

Workers, Welfare and Employment
Britain started to move away from the welfare to workfare system loosely copying the welfare to work partnership in the US before the turn of the millennia. Singapore's Manpower Ministry recently announced a certain Workfare Bonus Scheme that is similar in many ways to being some form of handouts but Singapore will NEVER fall into the being labelled a welfare stste.

Healthcare, Defence and Education
In Britain's move towards privatising public sectors, the leaders were careful in nomenclature. So nobody admitted any intention to privatise sacrosanct sectors like health, defence and education..... But private entities have got their fingerprints all over each sector. Ask any Briton how they feel about their National health Service (NHS). Similarly for Singapore....in health we've got all the Parkway Holdings etc etc...In the business of defence we've got ST companies and NTUC Foodfare, Singapore Food Industries and a myriad of bus companies supporting the defence industry in some ways be it to train, feed or move us.....and as for education...just read the Education Minister's profile. He seems to be more capable as an entrepreneur rather than educator. But he's not he initiator but certainly a catalyst. Besides independent schools, through-train systems, private universities....we're just gonna move on...education is a money spinner that can have tremendous multiplier effects and potential spinoffs.

Privatising natural monopolies
None of the people I've spoken too can see how the British Railway can be more competitive when the country's railway industry was privatise. There is only ONE railway running down from York to London. So how in the world can different rail companies compete? This is similar to SMRT and SBS Transit. How can the NEL compete with MRT? There is only a single set of tracks. Where is the competition going to come from? Would it be more efficient if government's intent was to keep public transport prices low to have a single company running the entire system then enforcing a price and the company gets to keep whatever profits that can be made by keeping their operating cost down without compromising safety and reliability?

Picking Winners
The British government was very much into the whole knowledge-based economy in the late 90s and were interested in developing sectors that were deemed more likely to be economic growth enhancing. Singapore was also choosing industries to capitalise on. It used to be life sciences until Philip Yeo told everyone that graduates can be nominal research assistants and polytechnic graduates can be laboratory assistants. Now we're into water-resource management and the whole desalination and reverse-osmosis thing, developing Singapore into a hub for digital entertainment be it by George Lucas, or some LAN gaming, computer games development....The problem with picking winners is that it is essentially a gamble in which you hope your payoff soutweigh your losses. And late developers get killed before they can be established.

Monarchy
Britain's got the Windsors (changed from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha during World War 1 to hide their Germanic ancestary) while we've got the Lees

Is this evidence of remnant colonialism or some neocolonialism? Narh.....my brain should hibernate soon. It's the weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Budgets, Exchequers and Prime Ministers

I was triggered to think deeper about a Uniquely Singapore situation. The trigger was when I was reminded that Mr Lee Hsien Loong - Prime Minister of Singapore was also the Minister for Finance. There's an interesting press release from Ministry of Finance that also introduced a Budget 2006 website that offers the public a chance at being the Minster for Finance and learning about the difficult choices that a Minister for Finance has to make.

The unique situation is that Singapore's Prime Minister is also the Minister for Finance.

It's common knowledge to most that Singapore's Parliamentary system follows the Westminster System which is modelled on the United Kingdom system.

The current Minister for Finance in UK is Mr Gordon Brown but he is known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is automatically the Second Lord of the Treasury with the Prime Minister being assigned the First Lord of the Treasury.

So in Singapore's case, Mr Gordon Brown is Mr Tony Blair and vice versa.


Interesting trivia: The Chancellor of the Exchequer came to be known as such because the British Treasury uses alot of calculating tables which resembled checkered boxes....
Although Mr Tony Blair's official residence as the Prime Minister is No. 10 Downing Street and Mr Gordon Brown's official residence located next door at the bigger No. 11 Downing Street, they have swapped residences because Mr Blair, with a bigger household requires a bigger house.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The best thing ...........

......... since sliced bread.

Click here.

Whammy!

My mum's born in 1953. She might be crossed with me because I revealed her age on the internet.

Anyhow, she's unlikely to read this cause really, who gets their mums and dads to read their blog? I'm digressing.....

So being born in 1953 makes her 52 this year. She looks like she's in her 40s still but really, that's besides the point.

She's almost into her retirement phase so she decided to change to a less stressful job a couple of months back. And last month, she got a $50 increment after her probation period.

CPF made some changes this year (as of 1 Jan 2006).

The Board would like to remind CPF members of the following changes to the CPF schemes which will take effect from 1 January 2006. These changes had been announced previously by the Government in 2002 and 2003. The changes are summarised in Annex A for easy reference.

LOWER CPF CONTRIBUTION RATE
FOR WORKERS AGED ABOVE 50 TO 55


From 1 January 2006, the CPF contribution rate for workers aged above 50 to 55 will be reduced by 3% from the current 30% to 27%. The employer contribution rate will be reduced by 2 percentage points from the current 11% to 9% and the employee contribution rate will be reduced by 1 percentage point from the current 19% to 18%. The reduction will come from the Ordinary Account. Contributions to the Special and Medisave Accounts will remain at 7% and 8% respectively.

The lower employer CPF contribution rate will enhance the wage competitiveness of older workers and help them be more employable. The reduced employee contribution will also help increase the take home pay of older workers. With this reduction, the plan announced in 2003 to achieve a 6% point difference in contribution rate between workers aged above 50 to 55 and younger workers will be completed.

CPF members aged above 50 to 55 who have difficulty meeting the shortfall in their monthly housing instalment as a result of the change in the CPF contribution rate will be allowed to use their Special Account savings to meet the shortfall.


Okay, so her boss already find it cheaper to pay her. Despite the paltry $50 increment. Admittedly, mum's work is rather clerical but it's not something many Singaporeans are willing to do these days.

And recently Ministry of Manpower release news of a new Workfare Bonus Scheme.

The proposed WBS is a cash incentive for older, low-income Singaporean workers who work. It aims to encourage efforts at work and facilitate self-reliance. It is based on the idea that efforts to help low wage workers must reinforce our strong work ethic. The Committee proposes that the WBS be launched if there are budget surpluses, to run for a fixed period.

The Committee has recommended that to qualify for the WBS, a person must be aged 40 years old and above, and earn less than S$1,200 per month. He must have worked for at least 6 months before he can qualify for the Bonus. Details will be announced after the Government has considered the Committee’s recommendations.

The proposed scheme will target workers who need assistance most, in particular those within the bottom 20% of income earners. It includes both employees and the self-employed. The scheme will potentially benefit up to 300,000 Singaporeans.


So now, not only will my mum's female boss be able to better afford the services of my mum, my mum is being "penalised" for getting $50 more than the minimum $1200 to qualify for the Workfare Bonus Scheme.

To make the news harder to swallow.....mum's boss is considered self-employed. So the female boss, being self-employed (it's a family business so although she stays in a landed property with her husband, she draws a monthly pay) collects a pay of $1000 a month. And that means female boss will get the $600 dollars while my mum won't.

The lobang is damn big in this one....

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Is it what you make of it?

It's freaking Sunday and I am studying for test tomorrow.

I was down at Phuture last night. Sirens. It's now a monthly affair. The visuals were by breakinasia crew so Ben/Pin were there. And sherman, kennedy et. al. Amongst the usual gang, only Mong was there. Her brother and cousin...Yve was there with Ben (another one) and a whole slew of friends whom I cannot remember anymore. Just that I could hold the name of the first guy for 15mins, enough for me to tell Pin that I cannot remember all their names and Pin telling me for some weird reason he can remember the guy's name which at that time I could too but I cannot remember anymore.

But I do remember one of Yve's friend said something like, "oh you're jackson? I'm michael." I gave her the *hur hur* look.

Anyhow, was chatting with kennedy for the first time ever. We actually meant months ago, at one of the breaks event at Rouge. I couldn't even catch his name then. He was one of Pin's newer friends then and even Pin couldn't really be sure of his name. Not many people have Kennedy as a name right?

So Kennedy was a regular too. And so is Ben (breakinasia). Kennedy ORD-ed and Ben has got a couple of months more to go. It's no wonder that Kennedy is older than us. But he looks early 20s (very different from Mong's brother who can pass off as older than us). Kennedy thought I was 24. Lighting plays a big part in assessing a person's age. Clubs are not ideal for that.

Kennedy is now a customer service officer at a community centre.

I was gonna ask if the pay cut was huge. Naturally. Is he happier now? He probably can't complain. neither can he really compare.

I think it's pretty big as much as it is intangible, this issue of having happiness in your life.

Whenever there's talk about job dissatisfaction, I'm reminded that a job at the end of the day is to facilitate your goals in life (unless you're a sad fuck whose only goal in life is your work). So maybe I should just fuck the test on Monday and enjoy myself today, being Sunday (it's holy you know?)

The lives we live

I don't know if the blogs people keep reflect a sadder part of their lives. But for me, I bet it is.

I'm so two-faced about it that I think I'm bluffing even myself here. Or rather, I am bluffing myself when I am not here.

I don't know which is which.

I wish there was a religion I can believe and place my faith in. I don't have faith in mankind cause they have been disappointing at one point of time or another. I wish there can be more happiness in my life, but I have been told I am how I believe I am. I think that's just bollocks. Can it be that I am really helpless?

All I care about now is for the next few years of my life to speed by. Why is life so full of uncertainty? Why must all the cliches be true?

Why is it that whenever I try to sound a little cheerful in this blog I end up sounding either facetious or dishonest? Maybe not to you but to myself? Why must it be so important anyway, to be happy about life?

Too much alcohol on a weekend night can seriously fuck your mind up....


Mental note: Carrefour has got pretty knowledgeable wine purchasers. I bought two bottles of Hugel Alsace 2001 Pinot Noir (This type of fruity red wine should be drunk within the next two years, at a temperature of 12-14°C, with white meat like poultry or veal, or with grilled or roast red meat like lamb or beef, or even with fish - thanks to its low tannin levels. 5 September 2003) and 2002 Riesling(Nicely dry, crisp and lively on the palate, an ideal Riesling whose light and refreshing character makes it a good aperitif and a partner for shellfish, oysters, cockles, also quiches and cold meats. Drink chilled at 6-8°C within the next year.5 September 2003). And they are both beyond their prime. It was cheap too! Less than $30 per bottle. Nevermind. For my next impending roast duck meat party, I'm going to start with a bottle of Ernest and Gallo 2004 White Zinfandel and followed by the Penfolds Coonwara Bin 128 (forgot which year) and maybe finish off with a Bordeaux.

Tired

I don't know what's a good way to live.

But right now, I kinda dislike everything bit of it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Feuds - Let's put them to a Google Fight!

Ok, so after more than 24 hours, it seems that this topic is still hot. But not on technorati top search list. Yet.

Just for fun, having been inspired by izreloaded's blog celebrity death match, I decided to put them up for a virtual showdown!

By way of GoogleFight which I found out sometime ago.

So for the first match-up, in the Pink corner with a PSLE score of 269, weighing a paltry 40kg and a height of 1.5m - Xiaxue!

In the Bandung corner, with unknown PSLE score, claiming to be a journalist and shall remain anonymous - Xialanxue!

FIGHT!

Well, it's obvious Xiaxue, despite her dimunitive size, punches way above her weight. Xialanxue is simply not kwailan enough to leave even a fingerprint on Xiaxue!

Next challenger!

Blinkymummy! With a recent hatesite dedicated to her, formerly (?) a model and capable of swearing in hokkien, mouth perhaps nastier than a sailor's, she looks ready to bite through Xiaxue's neck with her fangs.

FIGHT!

Blinkymummy puts up a really good fight but alas, the Pink raider seems to be comfortably staving off the multiple strikes from all directions.

Xiaxue seems to be invincible. Perhaps too powerful. Might she set her eyes for world domination? Today, she controls Tomorrow. Tomorrow, the world? *gasp*



Phew! The world proves too big for Xiaxue....

Kings of Convenience - if you haven't gotten yours

Tickets went on sale on the 12th. I got mine on the 13th. Just a day later.
bloody concert hall left with pathetic seats.
pretty lady at the counter said she's allocated me with the best available seat.
you can't doubt a pretty girl.
hurry if you still wanna catch Kings of Convenience.
Feist, the canadian chanteuse, not coming I guess. No Know How and the fantabulous The Build Up.

More information here, here and here.

Feuds

There's this ongoing cyber spat between a number of high profile bloggers. I think it really livens up the whole singapore blogosphere.


And the three warriors simultaneously attacked on the little black ninja, leaving him with no choice but to retaliate offensively

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Seriously now....

Anybody heard any of Sun Ho (Ho Yeow Sun, He Yao Sun, Sun) dance singles?

Like One With You, Ends Of The Earth, Without Love, Where Did Love Go?

I mean, really. Not wanting to pan her efforts, she is afterall like really big in some places and topping charts and all that....but I don't think I have ever heard any of her songs.

little things can make you smile

I've been investigating.

Making connections.

From seemingly random information.

Like when I was at the ST Aeromedical centre. When I was told I had to return for some eye pressure tests. And during that first check, I had to take the urine test three times before they cleared me. And they were asking if I knew I had ECG abnormalities. And they did not highlight that to have a blood pressure reading of 120/80 and 130/90 is not exactly healthy.

In July, I visited my doctor whom I've not seen for 15 years. And again recently.

And at the bottom of my left foot, I've been having some persistent foot sores that refuses to recover.

All these seems to be pointing to a very poor state of health apparently. Maybe it is time to get a proper and thorough health screening.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lyrics that found their way into my brains today

People have been wondering how much rain can actually fall.
V , on the other hand, though dreading the wetness, dreads the heat and humidity that will soon follow.

The recent spate of holidays had left me drained primarily because it was impossible to not want to party (X'mas eve and New Year's eve) and that the weekends was spent catching up on coursework.

It's like burning a candle at both ends.

A candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. - Blade Runner

Another weekend to look forward to.



For a moment I lose myself, wrapped up in the pleasures of the world - Thirty-Three ~ Smashing Pumpkins

From school she comes home and cries, I don't want to grow up, Mom, at least not tonight - Ribbons Undone ~ Tori Amos

Sunday, January 08, 2006

If it isn't obvious enough

Was at Zouk for the New Year countdown and Danny Tenaglia was spinning at Zouk.

Was on the zouk dancefloor for a few minutes and that was I noticed that the decorations hanging from the ceiling were clocks inspired by Dali's In Persistence of Memory.And doves were found on the ceiling within the members' bar.







In Persistence of Memory (with melting clocks and dead birds)


That's on top of the already Dali-esque pillars that support the new members' bar area. The pillars remind me of the Metamorphosis of Narcissus.






Metemorphosis of Narcissus (figure looking like pillars)

Zouk is taking on a very neo-catalunian feel to the whole place. As it is, the club was inspired by Gaudi's Park Guell. With the new shared fountain basin (Zouk had an interior fountain previously) in between the female and male toilets in Zouk and other mosaic shards features.....I used to have a minor grouse with a part of the club though. Moorish architecture definitely influenced many of Spainish architects and artists. So in keeping with the whole spain thing going in Zouk, the terraced seats that round along the side towards the members' bar entrance, has arches that are not moorish. Moorish arches are more circular and looks almost like a horseshoe. That's until I found out that the shape of the arches in Zouk are segmental. Some refer them as Syrian arches.

Enlightenment.

It rained the whole of today

Was reading a blog entry about thermometer and thermostat.

I was struck by the first sentence - "If you don't stand for something, you fall for anything".

Then it asks, "Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?"

So which?

Are you a thermometer that can only react to what surrounds you. Always reflecting what is in your environment, never having any opportunity to influence. You have a purpose and it's always secondary and a direct response to those around you.

Or are you a thermostat? You decide what it should be like for those within a determined space, influencing directly on factors that will affect those occupying the same space as yourself. Your purpose is driven by your own desired standards and everybody around you is secondary.

I wonder if everybody in the world can be divided into thermometers and thermostats. It's rather limiting. Something definitive like gender cannot divide the world up accurately, the human population is not merely male or female. And really, the world is a better place with both available, thermometers and thermostats.

While we aspire to leave our past behind and envision a better future for ourselves, sometimes it takes nothing for the past to catch up with us.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Juncture

I think after 26 going on 27 years on Earth, my journey has reached yet another junction.

Like when in primary 6, choosing secondary school (oh, whenever st andrew's rugby team wins a game the school get's half day off? cool, I'll choose that. made it to victoria instead though)

Like at the end of sec 2 when choosing course (wow, everyone in the pat 5 years in design and technology got distinction, yeah i'll choose that. damn, only 4 candidates in my school, so we each represented 25%)

Like at the end of sec 4 when deciding to go jc (which one?) or poly (which one?) and so in the end, followed everyone with the safe(?) choice. continued my education in victoria.

then enlisted. with saf paying for my studies, should i just S.a.f. (serve and fuck off) or sign on?

So now i'm a regular serving out the last 2 years 7 months or so bond.

Now with that amount of time left, I should decide if I do want to continue....

......a tricky time never stops.....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pssst....

Paul van dyk.

Politics of Dancing 2 World Tour.

Zouk, Singapore.

30 Jan 2006.

=)

Poofie spotted first. Eagle-eye.
I might just skip this to test my resolve.

I am 1 of 20,000

I read Xiaxue's blog.

There, I have said it.

And in case you don't, she has the Best Singapore weblog in 2003. Went on to win Best Asian weblog in 2004 and 2005. Hell, if she was nominated for Best weblog in the world, she might have won that as well, judging by how her supporters turned out in force to vote for her.

Be it about using handicapped toilets, being kind to animals, bitching about this and that, I have read them.

And this recent case about foreign workings (FWs for xiaxue blogders) molesting Singaporean girls during Christmas and New Year countdowns....with her online petition to ban aerosol foam sprays....there's no way why she shouldn't win. I mean, Mr Miyagi and Mr Brown are totally wicked in their own way but really, this woman is sometime else altogether.

What prompted me to write this entry was that I saw the news coverage on the cases of molestation during NYE countdown and a check with Channel News Asia confirmed things.

I think she has given a voice to alot of victims out there. Singaporeans should be proud that a young woman is getting her voice heard and she is punching way above her weight. No wonder ST named her one of 25 top newsmakers last year.

R.E.S.P.E.C.K.

I don't think banning the canned foam and silly strings will help, in fact it will probably render us an oddity in the world (like no chewing gum) when we have such a blanket ban during countdown street parties. Revellers must be aware of such potential attacks. And bystanders must be ready to stand up for those who are weaker or unable to react. The victim is somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, somebody's wife, somebody's girlfriend....

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Pet Peeve

I have this observation.

Whenever I talk about evolution, church going friends either clam up or just say a quick "but I don't believe that".

Not all of them. Just a noticeable number.

I'm not anti-christ or anything. But cause I'm agnostic. Just like I am agnostic about the whole evolution theory....

So today during lunch when we were talking about backaches and I casually mentioned that well, our skeletal frame isn't built for walking on twos. Someone said, really? So I joked, well, evolution 101 leh. christian friend then went, I don't believe that.

I think I can respect people from different religions or even those, like ignorant me, who don't have one. But with respect to sticky issues like stem cell studies, genetics manipulation and evolution, I can approach them with an open mind. For those who subscribe to certain faiths, they are fully committed to their respective beliefs. I respect that. But by believing in one mode, they have excluded themselves from other possibilities. I am sure everyone's happier.

There's a piece that I have yet to compose fully which is about how it seems rude to be fervent about your religion. I think there is nothing wrong with that. I mean, it's akin (to me) to fans of backstreet boys or F4 or 5566 wearing t-shirts with the band members' face printed on it. It's sacrilegious, blasphemous even! But the emotions involve is kind of the same right? And this whole bullshit about not wishing merry christmas and replacing the greeting with a religious neutral greeting like happy holidays or season's greetings is being way too politically/religiously correct for anybody's comfort.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A nation conned! Don't let it happen to you!

So I swayed to the song in 2006.

But the UKites (England - English, Britain - British, Scotland - Scottish, Ireland - Irish, Wales - Welsh, United Kingdom - United Kingdom subjects or Kingdomites or UKites?) or UK people decided that Imagine was to be their favourite song.

How daft.

Maybe they were voting with their tongue pushed firmly against their cheeks.

First Pleasant Surprise in 2006

I was clearing some of my emails on New Year's Day. And found a York friend's email. Last I heard from him, he was doing his Masters at Simon Fraser in Canada. So before I deleted the email, I decided to send out a New Year greeting. Wasn't really sure if it'll get to him.

Apparently it did.

So Mahesh Poudyal is back in York starting his Ph.D. That means that he's been away from Nepal for about 6 years.

Really happy to know about that.

But at the same time, while looking at the pictures he took in York, made me think of the carefree days in York...

It's tempting to head back. Maybe I should really plan a trip.....Veronique Barbalet is there as well....hmm.....










Further proof that there are martians in York

First Song in 2006

I was unfortunately at Phuture when 2006 came in through an alcohol-fuelled rush.

And Tony Tay had play the ultimate cop out song.

While I must admit that the song had great melody and has timeless appeal, the lyrics are just depressing.

Maybe the pessimist sees pessimism in everything.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

I disagree with these imaginnings. Heaven and hell, the idea of it, exists for a reason. That if you do good, you go heaven, and bad you go hell. There's got to be a carrot and stick situation before we action. And if everybody lived for today....we'll run out of resources.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

I disagree with these imaginnings. Even without countries, people will still kill and die, for something else, like Hello Kitty toys, tickets to MOS, spraying Singapore girls with fake snow or silly strings. No religion? Some people seek solace and peace from religion.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

I disagree with these imaginnings. It's like some cult recruitment. So joining John and Yoko will mean sitting in bed and fasting? Wearing round-rimmed glasses with a woman with bed hair can make the world come as one? Thank you, I'd rather queue up for Hello Kitty.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

I disagree with these imaginnings. Look what happened to communism. People had no possessions, people were still greedy, people still died of hunger. Sharing the world? Brotherhood of man?

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

All in, this is a sad song about what we will never become. It's a great sing-a-long of what we can never be. And all the singer can offer us is to imagine.


Things that keep me up at night (not the crying baby)

Just before getting some shut eye last night, was thinking about Kim Shunpei.

He might have just been misunderstood. Old fashion. Guided by the best of intents but his actions turns out all wrong.

He is kind....to a rather large extent because he provided for women who were considered wayward and of diminished morality.

Alright, so his eldest son was a result of him raping another woman who was later criminalised. I guess to atone for his mistake, he married a woman who had an affair with and pregnanted by a married man, thus was driven out of a community.

So the opening scene started with him forcing the woman to have sex. But it wasn't rape to him. Not during those times, no woman can actually accuse her husband of rape. Not in 1930s Japan.

He then took in a woman who has lost her husband to World War II. You have to remember that this was in the mid 20th century, Japan. This woman seemed like a regular nympho and constantly cried that she wanted to die during their bouts of lovemaking because she thought she couldn't take all that orgasmic joy. And when this second woman succumbed to a brain tumour and was reduced to a bedridden mumbling mess, he employed a nurse (with a daughter in tow) to take care of the her. Not sure about the nurse but she's probably widowed or something.

Of course, he fucked the brains out of the nurse on the first day of her job.
But it wasn't rape or anything.
It was probably written into the nursing contract.

And the reason why he did all these? Mainly cause he wanted to have a son raised entirely by himself.

When he learn that his step-daughter, a victim of domestic violence, before and after marriage by her step-father and husband respectively, has committed suicide, he went out for revenge on her husband at her funeral wake. Alright, so maybe that was just his excuse for venting out the violence in him.

He killed/murdered/euthanised the bedridden mumbling mess second wife, witnessed by his son from the first wife, he said it was to end her suffering. To a very large extent, he was right. She was indeed suffering. With her death, her suffering did end. Did she wanted her suffering to end? We don't know because no one could make out her groans and moans (not from orgasmic joys).

So why was he hoarding all his wealth? In the end, he donated all the wealth he accumulated from his fishcake and loansharking business to the People's Republic of Korea. So Kim Il Sung benefitted from him. Was it because he was a commie at heart?

Everything's grey.

If love is a chemical reaction......

If love between two individuals is a chemical reaction, what is the role of the third party?

Is s/he the catalyst?

If so the reaction will be carried out anyway just that with the third party, s/he accelerated the inevitable.

Jesse: (Looks away distantly.) I have these dreams, you know, that I'm....stnading on a platform and uh, you keep going by on a train, and....you go by, and you go by, and you go by, and you go by, and I wake up with the fucking sweats you know? And then I have this other dream, oh.....where you're pregant, in bed beside me, naked and I want so badly to touch you, but you tell me not to and then you look away and...and I ... I touch you anyway, right on your ankle and your skin is so soft and I wake up in sobs, alright? (Inhales deeply.) And my wife is sitting there, looking at me, and I feel like I'm a million miles from her and I know that there's something......wrong! (Celine reaches out to stroke Jesse's face but pulls her hand back before he sees her.) You know, that I....that I can't keep living like this, that there's gotta be something more to love than commitment. But then I think that....I might have given up...on the whole idea of romantic love. That I...I might have to put it to bed that...that day when you weren't there. You know, I think I might have done that.

- Before Sunset

Sunday, January 01, 2006

First Day of 2006

Was at Wisma earlier. Saw a fish dead in the aquarium. Lying moribund in the corner.

Watched Blood and Bones with Beat Takeshi as the male lead.

It's a story of a Korean man, Kim Shunpei, who migrated to Japan in 1923 and how he lived his life pleasing nobody but himself.

He was violent, lecherous, shrewd and died a lonely man in North Korea.

Nothing in this movie is cheerful. Not even the wedding of Kim's daughter, Hanako, because in her effort to escape from his violent ways, she married a man she doesn't love, only to be a victim of domestic violence. Funerals were not peaceful as well, because after Hanako hanged herself, Kim came to disrupt and beat up her husband. There was some tensed humour as the family had to carry Hanako's body around the funeral hall to get out of the way of the fracas.

Takeshi always strikes fear in me when I watch his movies because he already looks crazed. There is this disturbing disquieting air around him. He is fantastic as an actor.

I think such movies are scarier than horror movies. Because they seemed so real.

Interestingly, the director, Yoichi Sai, didn't want to make this movie without Takeshi and so waited 6 years. His previous movie was Quill which was that heart warming dog movie with a G rating. His next film after Quill is Blood and Bones. It's given a R21 rating.

Merry X'mas to me!

I finally got myself my 2005 Christmas present!

Wow Wee! Lucky me!

I now have proper wine glasses to drink from. Was caught between the more expensive Riedel glasses which was also on offer but not as "value for money" as the Schott Zwiesel Bordeaux. I went with the Bordeaux although my favourite wine is still the Riesling but it's mainly because the Bordeaux was thought to be more "versatile". And that I have got a few bottles of Bordeaux following the buys from DFS after overseas trips.

Anyways, the VI√ĎA series, made of Tritan crystal glass, a material pioneered by the german glass makers. Supposedly strong enough for dishwashers la di da...lots of propaganda....

So I've got 6 proper glasses. Now to find drinking friends....Oh, and I have a bottle of Ernest adn Julio Gallo 2004 White Zinfandel. =)


In other news....Marilyn Manson NEVER removed two of his lower ribs just so that he can blow himself....

If I could do that, I wouldn't be in the music business. Hell, I wouldn't even leave the house.

First Post in 2006

Clubbing might have reached saturation....
oh the dread.....