Saturday, December 30, 2006

Possibily the last post for the year....

All I want to say in this last post is this:

"We need to talk," or
"I'm confused, maybe later you can come over"

New for the New Year

Thomas Pink has a new shirt out. It's a 3-in-1 shirt.

What this shirt does is that the collar and cuffs can be detached. So you can sort of mix and match. White colour and white cuffs or same stripes as the rest of the shirt.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - somebody please bring in Thomas Pink! Looking at the success of Raoul, surely that is an indication of the pent up demand in Singapore men?

thinks it's one of the coolest stuff this year.

I think it is cool. But I'm not greedy. Any Thomas Pink shirt will do.

Consider this, if Pink sets up store here, basically we'll be making baby steps towards the men's fashion throne currently held by Tokyo and having Hong Kong finished in a close second.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Silent Lucidity

This entry is a little dark and unintentionally obtuse.

Was in a friend's car this afternoon when this song started playing. It was his own compilation. Probably of classic rock songs.

Silent Lucidity - Queensryche.

This song won the highest award given by MTV Video Music Awards. MTV is driven by viewers hence the highest award ought not to be Best Video but Viewers' Choice. Best Video was Losing My Religion - REM.

I was asking what your Joy Division moment was.

Well, I could fictionalise my life. Add a dash of drama. Elevate (perhaps?) my awareness and fake a romanticised version of my past.

If I did. Here's how it might sound like.

My Joy Division moment would be the moment when I realise that there are qualities that I possess only when I am with others - those whom know only a facet of me. And these qualities are the ones that I am envious of. There is this struggle that takes place daily in all of us. The public front that is in plain view and there is the side shielded from sight. I am apologetic to those who have inadvertently strayed too close to me and see the cheer dim from my smile.

The sparkle lost from my eyes.

Tasted the vitriol spat from my mouth.

So as we sped through the rainy streets of Joo Chiat, the lyrics become more apparent to me.

Hush now don't you cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You're lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over or has it just begun

There's a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run through in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn't realize and you were scared
It's a place where you will learn
To face your fears retrace the years
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world
Suddenly you hear and see
This magic new dimension
I will be watching over you
I'm gonna help you see it though
I will protect you in the night
I'm smiling next to you in silent lucidity

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you build within come tumbling down
And a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You're safe from pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of Illusion can you realize
Your dream's alive you can be the guide but
I will be watching over you
I'm gonna help you see it though
I will protect you in the night
I'm smiling next to you

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Good Bye Dim Sum, Hello Sushi!

I believe that was creatively thought up by a friend working in Tokyo for her colleague who was leaving Tokyo for Hong Kong. Of course, it would have been Good Bye Sushi, Hello Dim Sum! instead. It was scrawled on a cake meant for the farewell party of course.

I miss Hong Kong's weather.

Looking forward to Tokyo!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Money Grows

When I left UK, I did not close my Barclays Bank account.

I have about 164 pounds or so in that account.
The exchange rate then was about 2.71016 SGD to a British Pound.
It is now 3.01691 SGD to a British Pound.

So [(3.01691 - 2.71016)/2.71016 ]* 100% = 11.31852%

Which means that over the last 4 years or so, the value of my British Pounds in terms of Singapore Dollars appreciated by 11.3%. Hence considering that it was a period of 4 years, the yearly appreciation is 2.7% or so.

Wow! That's within the range of inflation. Which meant that my Pounds with respect to Singapore Dollars did not de-value while being kept idle in a bank.

we're off to see the wizard!

Will be on the flight to Hong Kong in a couple of hours. Not exactly finished with the luggage but I think I can manage.

Besides the usual red packet, I don't really know what to get for Tommy and May.

I've known Tommy since my first year in Uni. Played badminton together and shopped for groceries together at Sainsbury's, ASDA, Tesco.....travelled together to Mallorca...and now he's getting married...

I racked my brains and finally gave up.

It was only minutes ago that I thought I will give him something really simple but which I hold dear.

This is Tommy sitting down waiting for his turn on stage.

Two of us happily graduated and camwhoring

I can still remember the day of our graduation ceremony. We collected our gowns real early and went down to York City to take photos around the Minster area and the gardens. After the ceremony, we spent a while taking photos around Heslington Hall.

We were the original camwhores.

Check out Tommy and May's wedding site. The wedding is on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Joanne Rowling's finale to the Harry Potter series has a title.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

*cue thunder claps and whistling winds

Not in time for Christmas definitely.

Christmas in Hong Kong.

New Year in Tokyo.

Going to two Asian cities with Disneyland but intending to visit neither.

I wonder if Harry Potter ever wanted to visit Disneyland. I mean, what's thrilling anymore when you're at Hogwarts? Zipping around on the Nimbus 2000....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Have you ever wondered?

I was on a train from Harbourfront to Boon Keng. Think it was at Outram Station, a lady whom I thought was pregnant came into the already crowded carriage. Seeing no one offering a seat, I looked up at her and stood up. Trying my utmost to communicate my offer to her without any verbal cues.

She shook her head a little and gave me a smile. I sensed that she meant to say she do not need a seat.

I furrowed my brows while looking at her. Not unkindly but with a certain compassion which I hope was apparent. I was insisting she take my seat considering her condition.

She raised her eyebrows. In reply. Telling me, "well, if you must insist".

I stood up and moved sideways, a diagonal path divergent to allow a direct path for her to the now empty seat.

She promptly did a pirouette at a measured distance from the seat's edge so that her body now faced away from it.

Our movement, her's towards the seat and mine, away from it, was unrehearsed yet perfectly timed. As if a pair of dancers, in transit on the North East Line, momentarily synchronous.

It was when the moment was over that I sneaked a look back at her.

I was held aghast by a thought.

"She may not be pregnant!"

How do you get out of such situations when it's presumed that chivalry is dead?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You know you're a lost cause when...

1. You crave for a pair of Oxfords made of shell cordovan because you really adore the patina and lustre that the leather will eventually have. And that only one pair of these shoes can be made from each horse.

2. You crave for a pair of selvage jeans and was really getting into the Puma-Evisu collaboration series only to realise that these aren't selvage. Maybe, you start to consider, you should get them in Hong Kong or Tokyo.

3. You crave for a pair of Asics Onitsuka because you believe in having a "sound mind in a sound body" or Anima Sana In Corpore Sano. Then you further convince yourself that the warm but breatheable mesh covering the uppers will be perfect for cold weather that you are going to experience.

4. You crave for a waterproof jacket that will keep you warm yet not look to frumpy. And you finally find it in a handsome fire engine red Timberland jacket.

5. You crave for another suit but this time in black herringbone wool-silk mix weave. Three button. Italian, because you realised that you never look more sprezzatura than when you're in a well made Italian suit.

Time Person Of The Year: You

At first I thought it meant that "we" (the readers of the magazine) gets to choose.

Then I thought again. Maybe Time magazine editors went to Jiak Kim Street recently when DJ Sonny was spinning during one of his "You" nights.

Then I finally realised that the magazine meant "you", the netizens.

Like fuck it is.

It's just a fucking marketing gimmick! They know that a million (actually it's more than 11,389, 348) blogs and metablogs and webpages will be writing about how Time is naming "You" as the Person Of The Year. This will generate more exciting in the internet/worldwideweb/blogosphere etc etc. Netizens will just go crazy and gush their way through the next few days. Technorati will show that "Time Magazine You", "Person Of The Year", "Web 2.0" and all the other "buzzy words" they used topping the tags.

Last year it was Bono and the Gates. Year before that was George dubya Bush. His second time. That was in 2004. It should have been the year "Bloggers" were the Persons Of The Year.

So it's a postponement. And really, it feels like it's 2 years late.

Ok, I'm just being bitchy and adding to the fray. And by tagging this entry as such, I'm trying to shamelessly generate passing traffic. Whatever the fuck for? I don't know. Time Magazine says "YOU" can go decide.

Go sleep.

Monday, December 18, 2006


What I think will be talked about next year....a mash up list.

Chinese Yuan de-values to a level that satisfies no one as China continues to be the workshop of the world. Tourism will boom in China. Chinese tourists will be found in greater numbers everywhere. Chinese military growth threatens everyone, in particular Japan, Taiwan and US. Japan will re-arm. Korea gets worried. As will Taiwan. So....arms race. But Taiwan got their own problems with their Presidency.

Talking about US and military...their "Get The Hell Out Of Iraq" plan starts in earnest. Some last ditch effort to make sure the Republicans remain in power for 2008 Prez elections. Questions regarding "Do we really want her (Hilary Clinton for President) as Prez" heat up in the press. New Democrats, Old Republicans.....But fuck anyways cause similar to the British politics scene, everyone is now stuck in the middle. New Conservative is the Old Labour and the present Labour is looking lost. It's all about branding branding branding. And money money money.

Malaysia will see itself being entangled in more racial issues. Not a bad thing since positive discrimination and racial/ethnic affirmation issues are brought forward to a public forum for discussion. Hackles will be raised by certain quarters about the Genting/Sentosa tie up. More issues will be brought up some how like water (again!), bridge (again!), reclamation (again!) and Pedra Branca. Well, at least the International Court of Justice will start the hearings in Nov 2007 on the last issue - Pedra Branca, Pulau Batu Putih, Horsburgh Lighthouse and all that jazz. More issues with Johor and their new pet project to develop something called the South Johor Economic Region (SJER). To attract more FDI, please reduce the crime rates. Weird thing is, how come nobody asking about the influence a Chinese Malaysian has over Singapore's tourism? With the Resorts World in Sentosa, his Sentosa Cove propeties and the usage of Harbourfront facilities by his Star Cruises, nobody is worried about Lim Kok Thay?

Middle East countries forge closer ties with *surprise surprise* East Asian countries. Especially ASEAN countries which will be celebrating 40 years in doing nothing much. People speculate about single market and single currency and a combined armed force....but all to nought. But fuck, please keep the Australians out of ASEAN no matter what. But bring them into the Asian Games otherwise always see China win also sian. Middles East becomes attractive region (the 2nd China) for mobile Singaporeans.

Thailand....sigh....I hope they will go back to normal again. Not that it's not normal now and I'm not talking about longer opening hours for the nightspots....Less military presence in the political scene is almost always a good thing for a country.

Iranian President - Assassinated! Well, maybe. But more missile tests!

India will feel left out in this whole thing. But will Indian conglomerates will continue to buy over companies around the world. Perhaps a football club. English Premier League maybe. It's a trend now. Pramod Mittal already of Mittal Steel already bought over one of Bulgarian top team - CSKA Sofia right?

North Korea conducts more N-bomb tests. Pisses everyone off except China. 6 nation talks enter an impasse. Dear Leader gets supply of "luxury" goods from China. Dear Leader and Iranian President will fight for Time magazine's Person of the Year this year end.

More communist news: Russia enters into a mess concerning "international espionage" activity. London is renamed Londongrad or Moscow-on-Thames - Officially. Joking. News in London that is actually exciting, well not much since no elections til 2009. Blair makes way for Brown. Attempts to pull out British troops from Iraq. Claims credit but actually it's because the US started the ball rolling. Wicked. Prince William marries! Well, maybe. Unless Prince Henry shot-guns and does it first in Las Vegas. Not too bad for the royal family. Have a brand new start 10 years after Princess Di's accident (it's official).

At home, GST goes up to 7%! They will break into 1% increment yearly. Does anyone know what menu cost is in relation to price changes? I wish their package for those in the low income bracket is really good. But the usual $2.00 meepok tah at the hawker centre becomes $3.00. Hawker prices go up after years of absorbing GST. Prices in Singapore go up everywhere. Only thing to drop is the falling birth rate. Straits Times Index breaks 3000 mark. After Budget is passed. Well, I am just guessing. SIA finally gets the lucrative Australia - US air routes. Afterall, Qantas is no longer the national carrier. Not after it's so privately owned. More bonus for SIA staff! Hooray for V!

Forgot to add that chandeliers (especially black ornate type) with lampshades become popular. So will cardigans (button type) for guys. Colours that will be featured in 2007 will include RED for the dress (shirt dresses, grecian dresses). So no more LBD (little black dress). More LRD. Cardigans will come in browns. But that's cause guys don't name their colours. Essentially all colours associated with coffee (from the raw stage: unroasted beans to the light roast to the dark roast and burnt, colours of the coffee like cafe au lait, cappuccino, macchiato, expresso, latte, mocha, caramel macchiato etc etc) Lampshades will come in shades of purple, violet and lavender. Lingerie should come in the same colour as lampshades.


Attended my penultimate wedding dinner for the year. Alphonsus and Sandra. Have never met Sandra my whole life. But then again, I've not met many of the wives of my colleagues until the wedding banquet itself.

I don't think it's abnormal.

There's actually another wedding to attend on 30 Dec. But I should be out of town then. And so the last wedding I'll attend for the year will be Tommy's in Hong Kong.

I hope Hong Kong's not too cold. Same for Tokyo.

I'm listening to Primal Scream Dirty Hits and Joy Division Heart And Soul. Both are compilations. I don't know why I'm blogging this. I just felt like doing so. So there.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This is another Nina Simone song

So says Jeff Buckley when he was at a concert at L'Olympia. Before belting out his version of a Nina Simone classic That's All I Ask.

Don't try to blow out the sun for me, baby
I'm not hoping for what I know can't be

All that I ask, is for a kiss each day
And I'll give you love that will never go away

Yes I will.

'Cause girl I wouldn't ask you to lift up this great big world little baby
I know that your not that kind of a girl

All that I ask, is for a kiss or two
And nothing in this world will be too good for you

Nobody knows, how deep my love for you really goes

Nevermind now with your heart how much you say

'Cause girl, I want you to know
I wouldn't ask you to hold back the light of dawn baby
That's just a little too much to ask of anyone

All that I ask, is for your loving ways
And I'll keep you happy for the rest of your natural born days

Nevermind now with your heart how much you say

Nina and I share the same birthday. Just 46 years apart.


Was sitting on the foldable seat on the OS deck yesterday with 30 knots of relative wind and seaspray pounding on my face.

The warmth from the sun was streaming down but the heat was quickly dissipated by the wind. In the distant west and north, dark ominous clouds were threatening rain.

The sea was calm. Not mirror-like. The lack of swells meant that the rolls only heaved the vessel a little.

The glint from the bell and polished surfaces, perhaps a stray light reflecting off the water forced my eyes to squint. "Should have brought along my sunglasses." I thought to myself.

As the vessel veered towards the north then to the west after the wheel order was ordered, the on-rushing rain pelted my face as if it were a million slivers of ice needles. The relative wind now stronger, I felt the ring in my ears getting louder as if it was a natural filter to drown out the cacophony of sounds from the engines, conning orders and whirring sound from the exhaust.

It was then I felt like listening to Radiohead's Black Star.

I get home from work and you're still standing in your dressing
Well what am I to do?
I know all the things around your head and what they do to
What are we coming to?
What are we gonna do?
Blame it on the black star
Blame it on the falling sky
Blame it on the satellite that beams me home.

The troubled words of a troubled mind
I try to understand what is eating you.
I try to stay awake but its 58hrs since that I last slept with
What are we coming to?
I just don't know anymore.

I get on the train and I just stand about now that I don't think
of you.
I keep falling over I keep passing out
When I see a face like you.
What am I coming to?
I'm gonna melt down.


Read this from the daily horroscope readings of My Yahoo!

Someone at your place of work could suddenly find you very attractive, dear Pisces, and make no secret of it today. How you respond, of course, depends on you, but if you don't reciprocate this person's feelings, don't respond positively simply because you're flattered. This could cause trouble for you down the line, particularly if this person holds a position of authority. Remember, you're a romantic. Hold out for the right person!

"Someone at your place of work"......Considering where I work.....this is indeed rather nervewrecking. Category 302 alert!!!

I'm romantic? My intentions were never brought to fruition through actions and the road to hell is filled with good intentions.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My mum's cool!

Whenever I talk to anybody about my mum, I never fail to talk about the time my mum had to see my Civics tutor in VJC.

At the end of the first academic year, parents or guardians of students with problems in their academic work will be given a letter inviting them to have a "meet-the-parents" session in school. Those who were given the letter printed on yellow paper were the "optional" cases. Most were given this yellow-coloured letter. Those whose parents must come, the "compulsory" cases were given the same letter but in pink.

So I was given the pink letter. I wasn't exactly the brightest star in class but certainly my grades didn't warrant a pink letter. So I approached my Civics tutor with the intention to sort this misunderstanding. Surely my letter should be yellow and not pink. Turns out she wanted to see my parents. "For a short discussion" was what she told me.

I brought my mum along that day. She was not told that I was a "compulsory" case. Don't be silly. Only in a court of law do you need to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So god helped me.

My Civics tutor started going on about my work and how I can improve on this and that. Then she told my mum I was talkative in class.


She added that I was argumentative. The disputatious rebel with a single cause of raising the blood pressure readings of the tutors.

My mum's comeback was classic.

"At home I allow him to explain himself before I punish him. So maybe he learnt that from home."


My Civics tutor gave a weak smile.

"He always ask alot of question since young so maybe that can come across as rude for some people."

We have a winner!

I never had trouble from my Civics tutor after that.


Today I got an email from my mum.

Hi Everyone,

Whoever came up with this silly phrase must have just got himself dumped.

My mum's cool!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm shakened and I'm stirred

Now are you still so insistent about who the greatest Bond was?

Sean Connery, anyone?

Men's Fashion

There was a time when you can see a man in pink t-shirt, maybe, in a blue moon. I'm not talking about the pink (salmon pink - almost peachy, pastel pink, pale pink) shirts that quite a number of Singapore men of my father's age already wore decades ago. I'm talking about pink t-shirts. These weren't so common until maybe 2003 and now most guys will have a pink number of two in their wardrobe.

Singapore guys are suckers for overdued trends. Unadventurous in their fashion sense.

I think it takes a certain number of guys (heterosexual or thought to be so) to be found wearing their pink t-shirts in public, positive encouragement from the opposite sex and coercion from girlfriends before the Singapore male will wear a pink t-shirt.

I think the next "feminine" item to worm its way into the Singapore male wardrobe will be the cardigan.

Not the zip varietal. But the nurse-like, matronly knitwear with buttons and a deep neckline.

Or the Beckhamesque "secure by belt" cardigan that is cream coloured with brown horses masquerading as motifs. David Beckham wore that around Rome during TomKat's wedding.

I think a cardigan if worn by muscle-men like James Lye, Tay Ping Hui or Qi Yuwu will look quite off-putting.

But imagine it being worn by Bryan Wong, Chen Hanwei or Xie Shao Guang....Shit....there's something wrong with this list.

The one above as well.

Ok, anyway, Beckham's wore it. So will Singapore guys.

Just like he wore his hair like a fin, Singapore guys had the fin. About a year later. But still there was a trend.

Beckham wore pink. Singapore guys wear pink. Two seasons on.

Since Beckham wore ugly equine-laden cardigan, Singapore males may start to wear cardigans.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Threadless is a disease

A short blog about where my dough went to:

I already own 5 Threadless T-shirts.

Previously there were Death, MP(3) and Alphabet Zoo....
Before those were Doodle Bug and Till Death Do Us Part....

Today I just got myself Tagged, Stone Jungle and Communist Party!

Communist Party in red by Tom Burns

It's a disease I tell you!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Joy Division

When did you first experience your Joy Division moment?

When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low
And the resentment rides high
But emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways
Taking different roads
Then love,
Love will tear us apart again

Why is the bedroom so cold
Turned away on your side
Is my timing that flawed
Our respect run so dry

Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives
But love,
Love will tear us apart again

Do you cry out in your sleep
All my failings expose?
And there's a taste in my mouth
As desperation takes hold
Is it something so good
Just can't function no more?
When love,
Love will tear us apart again

Café del Mar

Tucked away on the western Sunset strip of San Antonio, Ibiza lies Café del Mar. It's a nondescript building by itself but since 1980, it's drawn millions of clubbers around the world to take a little (or bigger) jaunt to the cafe and the tiny beachfront and rock outcrop. Next to the building was Café Mambo and Savannah.

You can see the building behind and right at the bottom is the Café del Mar. Jose Padilla no longer spins there. I wonder if Bruno is. But the compilation of ambient tracks continue to sell like hot cakes. The cafe is ambient music personified.

I remember the track that accompanied my first Ibizan sunset. It was Badmarsh and Shri's Appa. The track is from their album Signs from the Outcaste label. At that time I was really into Nitin Sawhney and gang. Appa features Shri's father on the sitar. Magic. Pure Magic. It would have been even better if not for the irritating parachute (with advertising printed on the chute) flying around and marring the otherwise perfect sunset.

I saw on the papers about the Café del Mar that is coming up at Sentosa. I don't see how I can grow to like it. It's occupying the site of Sunset Bay, which I never went. I have never been to KM8 and have no interest to. The only place I club at is Zouk because they cater to people who love music. The occasional BBBC. I don't like "it" places where models, celebrities, starlets and famous bloggers go to to see and be seen. Fun becomes secondary.

The Café del Mar at San Antonio became Café del Mar because the people who went there made it so. How can you transplant that?

This was me, absolutely smashed and knackered after Danny Teneglia's 4th of July set at Pacha in 2002. No Al-Qaeda jitteries there. The lamp to my left is famous ok. haha....

It's tiring to club while on a holiday if you ask me. I was at the We Love Sundays party @Space located in Playa d'en Bossa. on 30 June day time. It was Jonathan Ulysses playing in the Terrace (exterior of Space) and Erick Morillo took over at some point of time. Funky house. The Terrace has since been closed up. So you can no longer scream at the aeroplanes flying overhead the canopy. The same night Deep Dish was playing in the Discoteca (interior of Space).

I cannot imagine how a group of loutish British (typically) youths on holiday will go on a 5 day bender in Singapore and taking in the clubbing experience provided for by Zouk, MOS, Attica and the new posse of clubs at The Cannery while spending time chillin' at the Café de Mar, Balcony and other Indochine joints.


Knaresborough - revisited*

*haha, one day when I post pictures of Castle Howard, I will use the title Brideshead Revisited because the Granada TV series adaptation of Evelyn Waugh classic was shot on location at Castle Howard. And for anyone who laughed at the joke in Lost In Translation, the bit where Scarlett Johansson rolled her eyes when the American celebrity said she was "under Evelyn Waugh", well, good for you!

My fascination with English towns started when I joined one of those Sunday walks in Yorkshire. One of my favourites would be Knaresborough.

I blogged about Knaresborough earlier in the year because I chanced upon the toffee box that I had gotten from a shop in the town.

Gonna put up more photos of Knaresborough.

This is another shot of the famous viaduct which is about 30 metres above the river and 100 metres across.

At the bottom right of the picture where there are a number of blue canoes is the location of the teahouse where I fell in love with Earl Grey tea. There is a close up here.

See the teahouse? It's the flatroof glass house with the yellow band. On the right is the boat shed and written on it were the rental prices for the boats. It says on it:

Hire Boats
One Hour
Adults £ 2.50
Child £1.50
OAP £1.50

I remember at that time I was asking how weird it was to have the prices face outwards at the river. Who can read! OAP = old age pensioners by the way. Or Senior Citizen Prices in the local lingo.

The photo above, ladies and gentlemen, is Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England. Established in 1720 when King George I was around alive and kicking. You won't find any panadol or cough syrup in here. Instead there are sweets, chocolates, toffee (!! of course!!) and a whole lot more for the glucose/sucrose junkies.

See the two windows above....gosh....I just remembered tasting the best cookies in the whole world. It was right here in the Lavender Tea Rooms, located above the Chymist Shoppe. The tea was Earl Grey, of course, but it was infused with the scent of lavender. English lavender perhaps..or French. Not too sure. The cookies had a tinge of lavender fragrance when you put them near your nose. But when you pop it in your mouth, the lavender fragrance races down your gullet and back up again to your nasal tract. No, it doesn't taste like eating Glade Lavender air fresheners. It's altogether wonderful! It felt like I was in one of those lands depicted in Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree and Enchanted Wood series. No Moonface and whathisname though.

damn, I hate dwelling on the past but they just won't let go of me!

Sunrise in Barcelona

I wanted to blog about my trip to Café del Mar in 2002 and about the upcoming Café del Mar Singapore at Sentosa.

Was going through some of the pictures I took while I was in Ibiza. Will blog about those in a bit.

Found some other pictures that I wanted to share...

I read in the Rough Guide to Spain that the sunrise at the beaches of Barcelona were spectacular. So braving the morning chills and waking up at a ridiculous time of 5 plus in the morning, three of us made our way to the beach front of Barcelona.

We took a bus from around our hotel near Catalunya Plaza.

When we got to the beach, it was just starting to turn light. The other two girls were getting quite freaked cause of the stories we hear about beach bummers and PAFOs (pissed and fell over) in Barcelona.

We walked briskly to the beachfront and I can't really remember if it was the Barceloneta or the Sant Sebastia beach. Not that it really mattered.

I took this shot before getting to the beach (was still using film cameras then, olympus mju):

The scanned jpeg gave off more details. The actual photo was alot darker.

We breathed in the fresh air, standing, facing the Mediterranean Sea.

Then the sunrise began.

There was a lapse of about ten minutes or less. And as you can see from the two photos, the skyscape was changing rapidly....adding to the allure of the view.

It was such a beautiful sight....and after taking a couple of photos, we couldn't resist and took off our shoes and sandals and waded into the water.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm feeling.......



Thursday, December 07, 2006

Who put that thought in my mind?

Sometimes I do wonder about weird stuff.

Not the normal stuff like:

"what to wear to work today"

"what to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner"

"how much is that doggie in the window (yes, the one with the waggley tail, I do hope he's for sale).

I wonder about a woman's pulchritude. Why is it that bespectacled female holds such potential allure. Ladies with long hair held up in a bun. The hybrid of the two - a glass wearing female with long hair held up in a bun.

The potential that will be realised with the removal of the glasses (normally turtle shell) and letting down of her hair to reveal luscious curls.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Time of the year

Although we (Singaporeans) live on a tropical island just 1 degree north of the equator, we are subjected to the same physiological (dunno if it's the right words) changes that takes place around the world.

Humans, as a species, probably spent much of their time in the northern hemisphere. Which is to say, winter is from November through to February or so. And like most other animals, we pile on fats to get through the cold winter months. Due to the lack of sunshine, we get seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Maybe that is why towards the end of the year, more deaths occur. But that could be attributed to the cold weather directly ie. the poor and the old die from the cold either because they cannot afford heating or they suffer from illnesses.

The main point is about the piling of fats. Which leads to gaining of weight. The appearance of flab. And along with it, the whining of girls.

In the blogs that I read, some of which belong the girls, they are all talking about their weight. And a number of the blogs have the owner in a contemplative mood.

Here comes the interesting bit - what about those in the southern hemisphere? I guess they won't bitch so much since they are enjoying their summers. Maybe they'll complain about not having a "winter wonderland" during Christmas. They are always dreaming of a white Christmas. So no seasonal affective disorder down there.

What about putting on weight to get through the grueling months from November to February? Well, I think they are a little screwed here. Because they grow fatter during the year end (because of the way our genes are engineered) but get cold only during the middle of the year, they grow fat all year round.

So people down under, if they are sad, it's not the climate. It's their own bodies.

Sort of.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More on Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2006

The weather was super for distance running I thought. At least in Singapore. Seldom is it so cool and breezy. The sky held up really well.

I saw a blind man who was running with his running partner. They were tied together with a string. It's like some commercial. And it was inspiring.

I saw this woman who was dragging behind her a car tire with styrofoam boxes, empty plastic bottles and cans tied to it. She was running for her cause. Runners who ran past her clapped to give render morale support. I clapped as well.

I saw a one guy on a stretcher and had to have his breathing assisted. I hope he is alright. I saw many who had cramps along the way. On my way back I saw many who were limping and their legs white from the deep heat rub. I saw the 42k runners who continued onwards down Nicoll Highway for the marathon and wanted so badly to be able to complete one next year.

In a year fraught with goals I've procratinated on, achievements that came with minimal to less than 100% committment and effort this half marathon was essential for feeling better about myself. I want to know that although I am a 27 year old young hypertension patient with a blood pressure reading of 150/100 six months ago, I can complete a half-marathon. And next year, I will complete the full marathon as a healthy 28 year old.

I saw many people with reasons tagged behind them. Some said things like:

So that I can eat cookies and cream

Others had

So that I can beat the World Record - Road Runner *Beep Beep*

So that I can eat snickers

It's an excuse to buy new shoes

For my wife - wedding on 9 Dec!!!

Because 13xxx made me do it

I want to run the extra mile for Dad!

I run for my mum who wishes that she can walk

To stay healthy for my family

Want to stay fit and happy. Enjoy the run!

Enjoy the run!

If you can read this you are too close

Challenge myself

Because my husband thinks I can

KICK ME if you see me slowing down or stopping

The "runspiration" supporters played a very large part. While I don't think I'll be able to finish the run so easily if I had friends tagging along, I would say that the supporters who lined the streets on certain parts of the route were really fantastic. As were the volunteers who helped with the ushering, pouring of drinks, distributing of fruits and trying their best to collect and return the bags left at the baggage deposit. It was a terrible 45mins wait to collect my bag after the run. It was worse than the run. Because standing in the queue as the lactic acid builds up with no fluid to consume is terrible.

All in, the marathon was superbly well-organised. Except maybe for the baggage collection. Having drinks provided as the runners queue up for their bags can seriously alleviate the frustration felt by many in the queue. Interestingly, in my queue, the guy in front and behind me were from Victoria School. One was from class of 2002 and another was from 2000. I felt my age coming from class of 1995. But damn, I finished ahead of them! Yeah.....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Create Your Reason: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

* This is a long entry about the songs that accompanied me on my run this morning.

I completed the half today! Yay! The official timings are not out yet but I am certain I completed in under 3 hours which was the amount of time I gave myself. I came in when the official clock was showing 2:47 but my chip timing should be less than that.

I woke up at 4:30am and got onto a cab to Raffles City. Along the way there, the traffic was unusually high given that it's 5am along Bras Basah Rd. I brought with me a change of clothes, slippers, a small pack of complimentary Mentholatum heat rub all in the events day bag which is a laundry bag with the Standard Chartered Marathon logo printed on it.

The toilet queues were terrible.

The full marathon was flagged off on time at 6am. After a simple warm up and stretching exercise, I made my way to the start point.

I had my nano on shuffle so I haven't a clue which songs will I get. I gave myself a comfortable 5 hrs case I do actually take that long. There were a total of 63 songs.

These songs accompanied me.

The Reason - Hoobastank. I had short laugh to myself. This song was a firm favourite of V and i thought it was quite appropriate for it to start my run. But really, the number of runners were in the thousands and Esplanade Bridge was not wide enough for all 10,000 or more of us to start together. So it wasn't until the second song, White Houses - Vanessa Carlton that I crossed the start point....

When Ghost Ship In A Storm - Jim O'Rourke came on along the way to V's former workplace at CPF building, I thought that it was such a great feeling, running in the Central Business District, on the main road, with Jim bloody O'fucking Rourke. It was so weird that I felt nice and confident that I'd finish this bitch.

I Melt With You - Jason Mraz was up next. Haha...not Nouvelle Vague's cover. When Two Of Us - Aimee Mann & Michael Penn came on I was into Marina Bay area or so...and when Don't I Hold You - Wheat we were near the Marina Bay MRT. There was a underpass through the area and when I was about to leave the underpass, Belfast - Orbital came on. The sky was slowly turning brighter and there was this synchronicity that felt right. Surface To Air - The Chemical Brothers came on too early. Or so I felt. Shining - Kristian Leontiou, Weekends - The Perishers filled up the next 8 minutes. So the quarter of an hour with the last three songs felt a little out of place.

The next track didn't disappoint. Sweet Surrender (Tiesto Mix) - Sarah MacLachlan. Followed by Can't Explain - Longview. Next track was especially sweet. Rewind - Stereophonics. Maybe it was the tiredness that was kicking in slowly but surely that made me concentrate on the lyrics more. It was a really fantastic song to run to. Another Orbital track - Halcyon + On + On then Holding Onto Nothing - Agnelli & Nelson. The lines "Standing in the rain. Twisted and insane. We are holding onto nothing. Feeling every breath. Holding no regrets. We're still looking out for something." kept repeating in my head. It was also then I saw this 50 odd year old man with a t-shirt that read "Because I've been putting it off for long enough."

When GDMFSOB (Goddamnmuthafuckin'sonofabitch - UNKLE Remix) - DJ Shadow feat. Roots Manuva was throbbing in my ear, I was getting distracted because I kept thinking how the latest offering by Josh Davies was so disappointing. Whatever he wants to say about hip hop......more bass!

Zocalo - Armin van Buuren did absolutely nothing for me.....but good rhythm though. Love U More - Sunscream was at Lau Pa Sat I think. Yay yay! This was almost 13km into the run. The furthest I've ran in the training phase was 12km. Haha! It's all mental from here on...

Ashes - Embrace. Good Times - Jim O'Rourke. Here again I was distracted. I was thinking to myself, "Hey, just now when I entered CBD it was Jim O'Rourke as well!". When Fix You - Coldplay was on, I was thinking how near I was to where Lee Hsien Loong said used the word "fix" during the lead up to the elections at the lunch time electioneering rally. But he didn't just want to "fix you" but "them" too.

Shivers - Armin van Buuren was slightly better perhaps by the vocals. But that too was boring me after 4 minutes. I was walking by now....I crossed Esplanade Bridge again. It was the 15km mark.

Naughty Girl - Holly Valance. Damn, Dead Or Alive. If only Devon Aoki sang. I think I was near Ritz Carlton when Mad World - Gary Jules was playing. Everything just started slowing down....I decided to change my brisk walk and broke into a jog. It was tough. The lactic acid had gathered by then and to change the pace and muscle group was quite a shock. Luckily I had Bones - The Killers for company. Devon Aoki!!! Blessed. Followed by Taking Off - The Cure. Great track as well. She's So High - Kurt Nilsen. Yay yay! Wires - Athlete was where I made the turnaround. This was where the marathoners continued onto East Coast Park while us humans made the turn back to Padang. World Hold On (Children Of The Sky) - Bob Sinclair feat. Steve Edwards. Wahahahaha! I was jogging again. Is this the "runner's high"?

When I got back to Ritz Carlton, I thought my battery went dead. Or that the earphones were spoilt from the sweat entering them. It was when Deep Blue Day - Brian Eno came on that I realised why it'd gone all quiet. This track is super to run to when you're a little delirious, you're comfortable, you know you're gonna complete this run and you just think of the toilet bowl scene in Trainspotting.

Amber - 311. Another track I found because it's related to V in some way. Amber is the colour of your energy. was waning at this point. Must have been a little too fast for my own good over the last two tracks.

I was back on Esplanade Bridge for the last time! Swollen - Bent. Yeah. My neck was feeling swollen. As were my thighs, ankles and calves. Holding me like an anchor. Hahaha....just like how the lyrics go. By the time the song was halfway through, I knew the next song will bring me to the finishing line. I was on Anderson Bridge and once across will lead me to City Hall and the finish line at the Padang. I was wondering which would it be.

And at Victoria Concert Hall, the familiar bassline and fuzzed up keyboards of David Bowie's Ashes To Ashes ringed in. It brought a wide grin.

And I crossed the finishing line.

You can type in your own reason as well, just click the tag below and save a copy.

standard chartered marathon singapore

Reuleaux triangle and fashion and motorcars and DIY

There was this recent entry on kottke about the reuleaux triangle. Basically it's an equilateral triangle with equal curvature and radius from each vertex. By the time you understand what that meant, you'd need to rest your head.

Well, Liz Claiborne happens to use this triangle as a logo. I can't find one online so you have to go to a Liz Claiborne store (eg. Raffles City branch) and see the logo. Not you'd be interested.

The triangle forms the basis of the legendary rotary engine. Speak to guys into cars and they'll tell you about Mazda RX series. Why? Because they are the remaining mass manufacturers of the rotary engine. Also known as the Wankel engine.

Because of it's unique property of being able to rotate within a square, they are used to drill square holes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

keep on running!

Zocalo Armin Van Buuren Feat Gabriel
World, Hold On (Children Of The Sky) (Club Mix) Bob Sinclar Feat Steve Edwards
World on Fire (Junkie XL Remix) Sarah McLachlan
Wires Athlete
White Houses Vanessa Carlton
What Else Is There Royksopp
Weekends The Perishers
Wake Me Up When September Ends Green Day
Two Of Us Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
Twenty Four Hours Athlete
Time Of Our Lives (Pvd Club Mix) Paul Van Dyk
The Reason Hoobastank
Taking Off The Cure
Swollen Bent
Sweet Surrender (Tiësto Mix) Sarah McLachlan (TDM / POW)
Surface To Air The Chemical Brothers
Speed Of Sound Coldplay
Someone's Daughter Beth Orton
Shivers Armin van Buuren
Shining Kristian Leontiou
She's So High Kurt Nilsen
Say Hello (Deep Dish Extended Mix) Deep Dish
Sandcastles (Pete Heller Edit) Dennis Ferrer & Jerome Sydenham
Rewind Stereophonics
Reign UNKLE feat Ian Brown and Mani
Read My Mind The Killers
Race For The Prize The Flaming Lips
Porcelain Moby
One Perfect Sunrise Orbital
Never Felt Like This Before Shaznay Lewis
Naughty Girl Holly Valance
Moonlight Sonata Beethoven
Major Leagues Pavement
Mad World Gary Jules
Love U More Sunscreem
Love Theme From 'Blade Runner' Vangelis
Looking As You Are Embrace
I Will Follow You Into The Dark Death Cab For Cutie
I Melt With You Jason Mraz
Holding Onto Nothing Agnelli & Nelson
Here Without You 3 Doors Down
Heaven Live
Hamburg Song Keane
Halcyon + On + On Orbital
Goodnight And Go Imogen Heap
Good Times Jim O'Rourke
Ghost Ship In A Storm Jim O'Rourke
GDMFSOB (Unkle Uncensored) DJ Shadow ft Roots Manuva
For Me This Is Heaven Jimmy Eat Word
Fix You Coldplay
Don't I Hold You Wheat
Deep Blue Day Brian Eno
Dakota Stereophonics
Cool Gwen Steffani
Chime Live Orbital
Can't Explain Longview
Bones The Killers
Belfast Orbital
Ashes To Ashes David Bowie
Ashes Embrace
Amber 311
Air on Strings in G Bach
8th World Wonder Kimberly Locke

My Top ?? for 2006

Following the annual tradition of "best of" lists.....well, here's last year's which eventually grew to 26.
This list is set to grow/shrink/change as the year speeds to an end.

the perishers - sway
snow patrol - set the fire to the third bar
the killers - read my mind
feist - let it die
death cab for cutie - i will follow you into the dark
m.ward - chinese translation
damien rice - accidental babies
gary jules (cover of tears for fears) - mad world
张韶涵 - 真的
athlete - twenty-four hours
beth orton - a place aside
keane - hamburg song
stereophonics - rewind

ad nauseam

What holds two people together and what tears them apart?

What keeps a conversation going and what brings it to a halt?

What can maintain an interest and what can make it wane?

What occupies the space between two lovers' glance and what occupies the time between their silence?

What makes you yearn for a touch and what makes you retract from one?

Where'd the time go?

I've not been able to put up the pictures of the muay thai matches I caught in Phuket. Been too busy with maybe. Or just lazy after the initial flurry of posts on Phuket.

Just to put up a few shots.

How to complete though it's half?

I'm presently nursing a stiff neck that has totally owned me since Wednesday afternoon. Went to the chinese sinseh who did some "ba-guan" thing involving glass spheres and fire. After trying to "suction" out the "bad stuff" he said I am very "wet inside".

"Don't sleep in air-conditioned rooms." he asked.

"I don't have air-conditioner at home." I replied.

"Your workplace? Any cold air directed at your back?" he pursued.

"Not really." after a thought.

The chinese sinseh left me all purple and bruised on my back. And continued with some accupuncture. After that it was a session of massage, trying to get the "chi" to flow.

I was paying him for the treatment when he said, "Don't sleep in air-conditioned rooms."


My left ankle is also a little twitchy from a football game two weeks back. And there is also the sore-throat, flu and headache....