Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This song zips me right back

I was trying to study for a test while plugged into my iPod. I cannot imagine life without my etymotics because the amount of noise that this little earpiece shuts out is just amazing.

I was on shuffle and this song suddenly came on.....

Well, every night I rush to sleep
Every point of you surrounds me

If you see me now
I haven't got that far

Because I know what you're like
But I don't know who you are

I don't know how long I've not heard of this.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Return of the SLOGAN T-SHIRTS

I first spotted Henry Holland's slogan Ts at Roger Sanchez's night at Zouk.

There were about four guys with utterly over the top dancing on the platform normally reserved for the ladies. Unless you are a tabla player called Maniam, otherwise Security will politely ask you off the platform if you happen to have extra meat at your crotch area.

It really wasn't their T-shirt which caught my eye. It was their dancing. They were voguing away on the platform and clearly having loads of fun. And when I saw the slogans on their Ts, I really wanted to laugh.




Giles Deacon is former boyfriend of Beth Orton and does bags for Mulberry. Christopher Bailey turned Burberry around. Hedi Slimane turned Dior Homme credible. Gareth Pugh, well, he is just Gareth Pugh.

I think they were the owners of Ambush (streetwear store along Ann Siang - really, Ann Siang is starting to become the Daikanyama of Singapore).

Poofie's distant cousin/uncle/relative was wearing UHU GARETH PUGH on Sirens. But he didn't do much dancing on the platform. Maniam (who played on Stefanie Sun Yanzi's 神奇) was having a face off with Tony Tay. Damn it, the whole dance floor just stopped dancing and everyone was just enjoying the tabla versus Pioneer CDJ showdown between them.

If you're interested, you might want to read about Zouk's 0.5 million dollars custom made 100% analogue sound system by Gary Stewart Audio (GSA) here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Land's End

I love trivia. It's embarrassing.

Let's say somebody ask you what is the old name of Singapore, you're likely to say something like Temasek, Syonan-To (during Japanese Occupation), Singapura (Sang Nila Utama legend thing)....I don't know if any of the answer is wrong.

I don't know if Singapore is actually classified as an archipelagic state. The Philippines and Indonesia are.

Singapore Island is also less commonly known as Pulau Ujong. And Ujong, in malay, is suppose to mean "land at the end of a peninsula". So it's like the local lingo for Land's End.

If you have to guess where the granite for Raffles Lighthouse and Horsburgh Lighthouse is from, what will your answer be? Again, if you understand malay, you might guess Pulau Ubin. You might have the same answer if your local knowledge is good. Ubin is a mispronunciation of a Javanese term for granite. There was enough granite on that island not only for the lighthouses, the construction industry in Singapore up till 1960s before the construction industry boomed. The Singapore-Johor Causeway was also built from granite quarried from that island.

The name of the island on which Raffles Lighthouse stands is Pulau Satumu or "one-tree island". But previously, the colonial name for Satumu was Coney Island which has since been used for Pulau Serangoon. Coney is a type of European rabbit. Maybe the shape is like a rabbit? Pulau Sekudu was so named because it looks like a frog. Sekudu is (you guessed it) "frog" in malay.

Back to Horsburgh Lighthouse. The lantern, the original lantern at least, is built by famed lighthouse lantern maker Alan Stevenson who is the son of the famous Scottish engineer Robert Stevenson. Thomas Stevenson, Alan's youngest brother, was also a famous lighthouse engineer. But he is even more famous for inventing the Stevenson's Screen that is used in meteorology. Alan Stevenson is also the uncle of Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde author, Robert Louis Stevenson. Thomas was disappointed that Robert Louis Stevenson did not follow in the family's proud tradition as an engineering family.

So you see, if I ever slide up to some girl at a bar, I can never give them some smooth one liner and get them to give me their phone number. I will have better luck if I just keep quiet.

Gah! Enough of those laurels! Give me Animals!

I saw so many Fred Perry tipped polo shirts last night I think I'm getting sick.

Give me Le Tigre please!

The American's answer to the Lacoste invasion in 70s. Weirdly, the spelling is in French. By the way, the Le Tigre website features a video clip of a tiger mauling a crocodile. Hahahahahaha.......but Lacoste is actually known as "the alligator" and not crocodile.

Anyway people who buy Lacoste seems to revel in the knowledge of having their crocodile looking to the right instead of the left. Which is the logo for local brand Crocodile. Lacoste people, in my opinion, are those who think they have a superior eye for quality and that they treasure the tradition. Because the original Polo is undoubtly by Lacoste. Just that Fred Perry had their logo embroidered but Lacoste only stuck theirs on, hot iron style.

Give me quality but give me credibility as well. Hence, because of the current deluge of Fred Perry-inspired mods in town, I'm gonna turn my attention to Le Tigre.

Actually. *wink*

Horrorscope! The Sequel.

Today, or rather tonight, is for romance and cozy intimacy, dear Pisces. You pull out all the stops for your evening with that special someone. Scented candles, soft music, and your most sensuous clothing works to enchant the person who is already head-over-heels in love with you. Your relationship is clicking along just beautifully right now. Why not celebrate in some special way?

Half Nelson

I've been told my worst post are those in which I ramble. My digressions makes me interesting but nobody gets my point. But these entries makes for speedy reading. Just skip them. Go tell a funny joke like "What do you call chips that aren't yours? - Nacho chips." or "Knock Knock, Who's there, The interrupting cow, The interrupting c-, MOOOOO (interrupts)." Hahaha....

The script is damn tight in this movie. And the way it is written, directed and acted out all adheres to the themes of the movie superbly.

To be able to fully understand the movie starring Ryan Gosling, you don't need to know about the Civil Rights Movement that started in the US in 1951 (similarly mentioned in Forrest Gump). You don't need to know about the "Twinkie Defence" (similarly mentioned in an episode of X-Files). You don't need to know about any of the historical stuff that is mentioned in the movie.

But to know that a half nelson is a type of wrestling hold would somewhat enhance the movie maybe a little. That Horatio Nelson (mentioned in Master and Commander) is the reason why a "nelson" hold came to be named after him. Better still is to know that dialectic is a philosophical approach to resolution through presentation of evidence, counter-evidence and the contradiction in the opposites. Dialectic, along with rhetoric (only persuasion) and grammar (effective delivery) are like the holy trinity of "thinking about the reasons why".

The movie has such a clever script that it can either make a person leave the theatre thinking "Huh? Finished already?" or "Wah, sibeh cheem (really deep thoughts)." If neither of these thoughts occur, well, at least you can enjoy the artsy-fartsy direction with lots of bokeh in all the scenes (the cinematographer's comments them here and his set up can be found here)and the fantastic Broken Social Scene who provided the soundtrack to the movie. And fucking hell, Feist does a wicked version of Lover's Spit (used in Wicker Park, albeit a different version) in here. Damn....I can listen to that song forever. One of my top 26 in 2005.

Struggle. The struggle of everyday life and not knowing what is expected from yourself. Or not being able to fulfill these expectations.

Change. That change is inevitable. Period. (How did this stupid expression came to being? Period. Duh. And why the fuck am I using it?)

Turning point. Having that one moment when you gain enlightenment. From that moment on, the change will occur and will be irreversible. Struggle is successful.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Let's Dance

Sometimes when a song is covered by another artist, it can go awfully wrong.

Sometimes, it is given a new lease of life.

This cover of David Bowie's classic by M. Ward is one of those latter times...
I never thought of it as a love song.

Let's dance.
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.

Let's dance.
To the song they're playin' on the radio

Let's sway.

While color lights up your face.

Let's sway.

Sway through the crowd to an empty space.

If you say run, I'll run with you.

If you say hide, we'll hide.

Because my love for you would break my heart in two.

If you should fall into my arms.
And tremble like a flower.

Let's dance.

For fear your grace should fall.

Let's dance.

For fear that life is all.

Let's sway.
You could look into my eyes

Let's sway.
Under the moonlight.

This serious moonlight.

If you say run, I'll run with you.

If you say hide, we'll hide.

Because my love for you would break my heart in two.

If you should fall into my arms.

And tremble like a flower

If you should fall into my arms.

And tremble like a flower

Sirens on + on + on + on

Complete rip off from Orbital's Halcyon + On + On...

There was a time when breakbeats and breaks were all the hype. Never here though. Not many places were introducing this sound but thank god for Zouk and more specifically, Phuture.

NuBreaks, Old skool, blah blah....housey breaks, techy-breaks, broken beats blah blah...whatever. The halcyon days seem to be gone.

It's Sirens night and in my bid to warm myself up, I searched high and low for this promo only Zouk disc mixed by Tony Tay. Tony Tay passed two copies to fullscreamriot who sent it to York way back in 2001.

Spare you the fanboy details.

  1. Intro
  2. Yaiko - Darling Darling (Fuel Mix by Ils) - F2 Records *Yaiko is of course Hitomi Yaida
  3. Roni Size - Lucky Pressure (Ils Remix) - Mercury Records
  4. Koma & Bones - Face Facts - Forged Recordings
  5. Vigi & Flip - Subsonic - TCR *TCR totally owned nuskool way back when
  6. Xyzz - Beat Like This - White
  7. Unknown - I'll Be Your Friend - White
  8. Brothers Of Funk vs Darren Chapman - G13 - Functional Breaks
  9. Phantom Beats - The Drop - Plastic Raygun
  10. Koma & Bones - Morpheus - TCR
  11. T-Boy - Adie's Goose (Original Mix) - Sacred
  12. Tony Tay - Shibuya Breaks Flava - CDR *primitive hahaha....but listen to his recent stuff in his myspace.
How long has it been? 6 years? Wow....6 years worth of Sirens. Aldrin's One nights only just celebrated it's 4th anniversary. And yes, that One in Feb was the last ever with Aldrin as the resident.

Friday, February 23, 2007

If only....

If only there is a Phillip Lim boutique in Singapore.....

.............I'll be tempted.

He'll help people look dressed without being dressy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hugh Grant Sings!

Can you believe it? Not until I visited fairy_sa's blog today and heard, otherwise I wouldn't have believed that the man with more ummms than words in a sentence can actually sing.

Gotta watch Music and Lyrics. And it's got Drew Barrymore. Have I ever shared that I once tried to use Drew Barrymore as a password only to be told, in front of my batch mates, by the OA specialist that it has too many characters. Lots more samples can be found at the movie site.


Drew Barrymore...woww...gush

What do you mean?

You've not bought tickets to Jose Gonzalez's hour-long performance on 11 Mar and Concave Scream's Hush acoustic set on 27 Mar?

I have!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guinness Marmite

The fine line between Guinness Genius and Marmite Madness has been drawn.
Marmite is releasing 300,000 jars of Guinness Marmite. In limited edition, this special flavour will come in 250g. It's only for St Patrick's Day supposedly. The normal yeast used to make marmite is replaced with the yeast normally used at St Jame's Gate Brewery using a special recipe with Guinness yeast, giving it a subtle Guinness flavour, without the alcohol. .

Only in UK... been selling at Tesco, Sainsbury's (I miss you!), Waitrose, Morrisons and Co-op. Not at ASDA probably because ASDA is now under WalMart.

Priced at around £2.49. No St Patrick's Party should be without this. I believe the black and white look (as oppose to the usual black and yellow cap look) is a clever disguise. Compare the bottle to a pint of goodness. I mean Guinness....

I think the screwcap can be slightly off white. The resemblance will be even closer.

I'm not taking orders. But hopefully my favouritest sister will bring one back for me....

Monday, February 19, 2007


What can a person learn from fashion? Art? Music?

In my ultimate attempt to proof my ineptness to succeed, I've gotten some ideas in my head. I've not gotten down to action and but it continues to fester amongst my thoughts.

In a sense, the final puzzle piece seems to be in place. An amalgamation of Fashion+Art+Music.

An A.P.C. store would have gotten down on two aspects. Fashion + Music. Besides selling trend-defying wearables, they sell music compilations as well. Then you get the P.Diddy aka Sean "Puffy" Combs with his Sean John line and Gwen Stefani and her L-A-M-B (love, angel music baby) line...More examples of this combination.

Hermes, with their boutique store in Orchard dedicating the entire third floor as exhibition space for visual arts is an example of a fashion house embracing the arts. Fashion portraiture is an excellent reason of why Fashion + Art is forever intertwined. Fashion shows provide a platform for Fashion + Music to merge, with music providing an alternate dimension with which to bring out the essence of a collection.

Peter Saville (link to site showcasing almost all his sleeve designs) and Anton Corbijn are two focal points where Music + Art meets. What Peter Saville did for New Order and Joy Division is the stuff of legends. At it since 1970s. Anton Corbijn and his rock and roll photography is amazingly austere yet filled with enough details to tell tales.

So how should we get these three individuals, Fashion+Art+Music, with great propensity to merge to come together in a single entity without having any one of them outshine the other? A ménage à trois that does not degenerate into a skin flick. Or a tale of Jacob, Rachel and Leah (bible people don't take this to heart - because Jacob actually had two more wives, Bilhah and Zilpah, the formers' handmaids and a dozen offsprings).

I'm drawing inspiration from the concept of wabi-sabi. It is this Japanese approach to life. From wikipedia: a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience.

Nothing lasts. Nothing is complete. Nothing is perfect.
Impermanent. Incomplete. Imperfect.

The Chinese translation is 无常. And Faye Wong has a song with that title:

夜风微凉 树摇月晃 雪儿在飞

我在想 水流 花儿香 一片夜色放心上

喜中带忧 暗中有光 怎么度 怎么量

田野 山岗 美丽之下的凄凉

无 常

你看那山色湖光 你看那蓝天白杨 看不到一丝渺茫

你再看蓝天碧浪 你再看晚霞曙光

禁不住匆匆忙忙 把希望留给失望

I can't really translate that well...so I shan't even bother. But if you understand Chinese, you'd know that there is this poignant feeling in the lyrics despite all the beauty that surrounds the singer.

It's not the inability to appreciate the little things but rather, it's the thoroughness in understanding that leaves us inapt.


Lin Bao Ling (here here here) is having a solo exhibition.

A painting exhibition by Lin Bao Ling
Featuring works from his residency at Plastique Kinetic Worms
61 Kerbau Road Singapore 219185 (nearest MRT is Little India Exit E)
Opening on Thursday, 1st March 2007, 6.30pm (Reception ends at 8.30pm)
Exhibition runs from 2nd March till 17th March 2007 from 11am to 6pm

The artist says: 恭候各位大駕光臨:)

edit: so exciting! i just received an evite in my hotmail!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Public Transport System

So Singapore's got a world class public transport system. We've got the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the NorthEast Line (NEL). We've got taxis; yellow tops, comfort blues, union gas reds, citycab, premier greys.....Then we've got the buses...SBS Transit and SMRT buses.

The prices of all forms of public transport has increased. Yet the quality of ride is not significantly better. Bus timings are still not on the dot. Lousy and rude bus drivers that ignore potential commuters and rush pass bus stops now have an excuse and that is we must flag early. They should open their eyes too.

Even after the alternate income from providing TV Mobile (they get money from advertising alright), the buses are still dirty and some air-conditioners really ought to get an overhaul.

Taxis still go into hiding at certain hours along certain areas. Have you ever tried taking a cab within Suntec City area in the evening?

But we've got a public that is far from world class using it.

Really the public using the buses, trains and taxis aren't that fantastic. We all have our pet peeves. So I list mine here.

This seems to be extremely prevalent in buses that ply through Little India. It's very gross. When hair lotion, sculpting cream, gel and sweat mix together, they form a vomit inducing mess. Usually you see them around the shoulder level of glass windows next to seats. Probably from a tired person who had his head leaning against the window. The stains, upon closer inspection usually has a curvature, possibly a result of the jerky motion caused by lousy bus driving.

I think the inability of commuters in MRT/LRT/NEL stations to keep left on escalators has less to do with education level than following the norm. I have no problem in the mornings when most of the users are going to work. But when it comes to the weekends or offpeak periods, nobody keeps left.

Using mobile phones capable of playing mp3s as portable stereosets is like a modern twist to the boomboxes that was prevalent amongst breakdancers in the 80s. No, I don't like hip hop (being black is not a state of mind) that much. Invariably the kids (and sometimes adults) will be playing some hiphop, rock, death metal, k-pop, j-pop, bubblegum pop, eurothrash or whatever else. I don't really care. But think about this, have you ever had someone playing Death Cab For A Cutie loudly, free for all on their handphones? Indie and emo kids are nice cause they are usually private too.

Alot of those who actually push and shove their way through to get to the front are usually the people from the 50 - 80 age group. I don't know if you all agree with me on this. But usually when there is someone standing in the yellow box, marked out so that passengers can get off first, they are usually some middle aged woman/man. Pretending to ignore the yellow box. It's worse along the NEL because there are not yellow boxes. And when the train doors open, they just bulldoze through. And if you get in their way...I pray for you. And when you stare at them for being so uncivilised, they pretend that they've not done anything wrong even though they have just shoved their elbows into your back and stepped on your toes, twice, while trying to find a seat or standing spot.

I'm not talking about those who are actually visually handicapped. I'm talking those who ignore the very pregnant woman standing in front of them. Or the very frail and obviously toppling old lady...these inconsiderate idiots will glue their butts to their seats and not get up. Even if they are in a seat marked for the old, very young and pregnant. Some don't ignore. Some just fall into a deep slumber immediately when a pregnant woman is around them but will automatically awake when its their stop.

I bet there are more. But I shall stop here for now.

How to show depth

Have you ever wondered why those days exist
When life just seems to be a conspiracy against you

I don't know where the answers lie

But I try not to get hung up on the questions

~ Bonfire, Lamb

How to show decay

Distance makes the heart grow weak
So that the mouth can barely speak

Except to those who hide their needs

And I have read the golden seal

That tell of how the seedlings feel

Reminds my heart what love can yield

~ Lonely, Lonely, Feist

How to show delight

Is every day unfolding
Or is it all

Just cause and effect?
made too quickly
Yet how do you
which ones to regret?

~ Fade, Lori Carson

Friday, February 16, 2007

How to show detail

She barely speaks
But I hear her breathing

That's all I need

Someone who's listening

~ Natale's Song, Sia

How to show development

Knowing now you'll never fake it
Whether my oceans divide
I'll try to understand this

But everybody knows this time

~ Sand River, Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How to show desolation

My love's a star you only
saw the traces of
What went before is not no more,
it's the embers of

~ Absinthe, Beth Orton

For this Valentine's I wanted to.....

Ok, I actually wanted to do a short skit with some PLAYMOBIL figures. But because I was busy with some afterhours work and making the Vday card for v, didn't have time to complete it.

Anyway, I might consider completing it at a later date.....stay tuned.

Introducing the characters:

The Royal Family. You've got the Queen on the right, King on the left and on the horse, why, it's Prince Charming of course!

The Indians. As in Red Indians. Navajo or something. On the left if Great Horn of Smelly Pussy and his three wives; Si Ai Qian from China, Gertrude from Denmark and Susan Pharquemi from Texas.

The Home Team. The Sheriff and his two deputies. They are twins from Sweden, which explains their blond hair and beard as well as their insistence on taking the photo ala ABBA pose. Super Troupers!

The Mafia. Don Pesto El Salatehkor. Seen here with Don Pesto (dude with the finely groomed mustache) are his two left hand men and two right hand men. You can almost hear them shout "La Dolce Vita" in their shiny tights.

The Kids. Hansel and Gretel. From Grimm's. Allergic to ginger.

The Chefs. Raunchy and queer pair of French Chefs. Always with a fey touch in their culinary expressions.

Maybe when I find some time....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Can we go steady? 我可以和你交往吗?Do you wanna hang out?

And on Valentine's Day, we celebrate with the person who said "yes" to the question.

I don't exactly know the origins of Valentine's Day but often you hear people say that it's invented by a) Hallmark b) Women c) Florists d) Chocolatiers e) Tiffany's f) Louis Vuitton g) jewellers ......you get the picture.

The very same people will say that Valentine's Day is just any normal day, that any day can be Valentine's Day.......I agree. No point buying roses because they are so marked up during this time....I agree.

They will add that the "true spirit" of Valentine's Day is to enjoy the day with your loved ones and not just your girlfriend or boyfriend....I agree.

But if for the rest of the year, you've not given any flowers, you've not made the people who matter in your life feel loved, you've not done anything besides to please yourself, why not just use this day as an excuse and make that special someone special.

Three Funerals and A Wedding

Before I die, there are a couple of things I would really like to do. Like Bungee jump. Learn to drive....usual resolution shit.

I did me some serious thinking today. And decided that there are 4 things I would like to witness in my lifetime. Hence this blog entry - Three Funerals and A Wedding.

First Funeral

Lee Kuan Yew is the first funeral I choose. Because I would really like to witness the outpouring of grief amongst Singaporeans. As well as perhaps, the champagne popping amongst the opposition quarters. Actually no, I don't think the opposition will be in such a jubliant mood. They might feel a sudden loss. Perhaps even step down from politics because they don't see themselves as having any reason to go on fighting anymore. But the most important observation I wish to have is this: Will There Be A Public Holiday???

Second Funeral

Queen Elizabeth II is the second funeral. Not because I am wondering if there will be a public holiday throughout the Commonwealth. It's just that I want to see the pompous grandeur that will surely accompany the death of this ruler who brought the kingdom from an industrialised superpower to its present state as a first world lackey to the US and an ever decreasing kingdom. It's not a bad thing per se (The British did introduce cricket to India), this colonialisation thing. Essentially, I would like to see how the monarchy can hold itself after her.

First Wedding

This wedding is linked to the monarchy so I will skip the third funeral and jump to this joyous occasion. The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. This should be boiling over soon. So will Kate Middleton be the next Princess Diana to continue to lure dumb American tourists who love the UK monarchy more than the royal subjects themselves? Will Kate Middleton be the next Princess Diana?

Third Funeral
Anybody heard of Patrick Tse?

I want to witness his funeral for a really simple reason.....Do you know he refused to take his sunglasses off while shooting a bed scene with an actress? What about his own funeral? Do you think his body will still be wearing sunglasses.

And will the photo placed at the foot of his coffin have a photo of him, with sunglasses as well?

And will Nicholas Tse give his trademark tortured look?

I will wait patiently. I do wish that the funerals won't happen soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

(_______________) fill in the blanks

Is Life Really Cheaper Than Pollution?

Debate raged at the recent Maritime Manpower conference in Singapore, over the lack of consistency in criminalising seafarers. The assertion was made that, "criminalisation has been and is continuing to be applied inconsistently".

The question was posed, "is polluting taken more seriously than killing?", and two landmark cases were discussed.....

....So in an incident with pollution, but no deaths both masters were jailed, while the officers on watch in an incident in which four people died avoided jail. How can this be happening?

Concave Scream

Late Night at The Esplanade with Concave Scream hush.

30 Mar 07 21:30H Esplanade Recital Studio $25

A accoustic set of slow songs from their first album onwards.

Concave Scream + accoustic = novel idea!

Gotta get my hands on some Andy Yang prints or originals.....

Andy Yang

And also some Yuka Yamaguchi aka plastiquemonkey

Yuka Yamaguchi

and of course Lin Bao Ling.

Lin Bao Ling

I hope the artists above won't kill me for linking their artwork.

Fashion Week(s)

The New York Fashion week is finally over!

Been following it through here: <----::---->

The rest of the fashion weeks.....those that matters. You'll notice that they allow people who matter on both sides of the Atlantic to attend all of the fashion events because of one day break on 10 Feb 07. And nurse the champagne overdose too.

Fall/Winter 07
New York Fashion Week : 2 - 9 Feb
London Fashion Week : 11 - 16 Feb
Milan Fashion Week : 17 - 24 Feb
Paris Fashion Week : 25 Feb - 4 Mar

The fashion fever will end just in time for the trendsetters to get their greasey mits on the coolest garb and head on to Miami for the Winter Music Conference 20 - 25 Mar 07.

Ok, not true. Miami has no Fall/Winter.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dinner at Song Trang

Had my dinner tonight at Song Trang. Alright, normally I hate to blog about such stuff but this is worth a mention.

Song Trang Vietnamese Restaurant is located in The Atrium@Orchard. Opened since last year but I only noticed it last evening with V. Was asking V if she wanted to have dinner there but she said after tasting authentic Vietnamese food in a Ho Chi Minh restuarant, she was not too interested.

Not me. I'm a sucker for Vietnamese food. Especially the noodles/vermicelli stuff and spring rolls. The dishes are great too and I remember having dinner two nights in a row at this roof top place in Hanoi. Ate about $50 worth of food (pigeons, local fish, beef and many glasses of freshly squeezed lime juice) within two nights. Considering each bowl of pho bo will set you back by a dollar, that is ALOT of food.

So I went down today on my own and had their rice spring roll and bun bo hue. Finally got to taste my favourite noodle dish from Vietnam after 7 years! Never really tasted authentic bun bo hue in Singapore. The last time I had it was in Hue (obviously). The bun bo hue at Pho House in Suntec don't taste like the one I had in Vietnam. Perhaps it's the chef's style.

Song Trang is originally from Ho Chi Minh. The restaurant is the first branch outside Vietnam and the owners' kids are studying in Singapore. Standard Chartered cardmembers get 10% off total bill. Hurray!


Caught the movie Protégé (Derek Yee and Peter Chan) with V today.

It's a must watch for V because there's Daniel Wu in it. I've got not much of a choice and I will gracefully concede defeat when pit against a formidable foe like Daniel Wu. I can't fight him for V's attention.

I shan't review the movie here per se cause that's not what I usually do here anyway. There might be potential spoilers in this entry so watch out!

The movie reminded me of bits of Trainspotting.

Especially the bits where the director was contrasting the acceptable and unacceptable forms of drug ab/use. People who suffer from depression for example. They rely on Valium, Prozac and other anti-depressants. These are socially accepted drugs. Most people can't get through a day without their regular dose of caffeine. Even for myself, I need drugs to manage my blood pressure.

Andy Lau plays a guy with kidney problems. So unless he gets a transplant, otherwise all forms of medication can only sustain him in the short run. In a scene, he was shown to be administrating a needle for himself under the watchful eye of his wife.

So you contrast that with another couple, desperate for the next hit, sharing the needle leaving their daughter to fend for herself.

Zhang Jingchu plays a single mum who abuses heroin. Her husband left her and her little girl. And she uses the high to temporarily obscure the grind of daily life. The temporal escape provided by heroin is short and how similar is this compared to Andy Lau's kidney problem.

Drug abuse, as Daniel Wu, who plays an undercover cop, puts it, is to curb the empty feeling inside all of the drug abusers. He asked, which is more dangerous, the emptiness that we feel or the act of drug taking.

And in the final scene, the director shows a path of salvation for potential drug abusers. The salvation is family and love. I don't know if this was suppose to be obvious but it came through rather well in the movie. The movie itself was not particularly fantastic. Action scenes were minimal. Louis Koo was real funny. The girl who played Zhang Jingchu's daughter is soooo cute! Zhang Jingchu looks like our Wong Lilin only in the publicity poster.

Watch out for Qi Yuwu in the last scene where Louis Koo was caught for drug trafficking into Singapore. Unlike Hong Kong, Singapore has a death-sentence for drug traffickers. Which if I gather correctly from the movie, could be better off than a life sentence. Andy Lau would rather be dead than spend the rest of his life in prison.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Primrose path

I've had a girl who told me because she was wont to be led down the primrose path, she refused me. And she viewed the world with rose-tinged lens but she can't find that within me.

She had told me in a cool Yorkshire autumn's night. As we were leaving the theatre after enjoying The Fall Of The House Of Usher. The gravel beneath our feet set into an arrhythmic grind by our footsteps.

So I understood her in my own unique way. That she was afraid to be led astray by me, a hypocrite. That she would one day realise nothing is as it seems. That she was being deceived by me, a liar.

She said she was confused by the play. A story within a story. She didn't understand the literary device was a reflection of our lives.

While I don't let morals constraint my thoughts but they control my deeds. I never did have my intents on her. While I mock the living I respect the dead and dying. I never intended for her to agree.

She allowed the situation to fester. We kept quiet most of the way home. The route along Heslington Road was lined with the orange halos from sodium lamps. After passing fairfax House, the path turns right towards Catherine House and beyond it, darkness.

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.

Dirty Sanchez

Was at Roger Sanchez just now. Not wow-ing amazing. But good enough towards halfway.

there was this foreigner who took cigarettes from yf. he was smoking them with some girl he just met. he kinda conveniently took it from the table. i didn't realise until later. while he was moving away, he took away yf's cigarettes and lighter.

he kinda pretended to be all apologetic and all...returned the ciggies to me. I said they weren't mine. Anyway, i motioned him towards me and shouted in his ear.....


And gave the most IMF/SMILE SINGAPORE grin ever. What else can that wanker do but smile back.

I love foreign talent.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Chaos Theory

You know the thing about "a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil setting off a tornado in Texas"? The whole chaos theory thing? Butterfly effect? A small variation in a non-linear dynamic system can lead to a ginormous effect within the system.

Well, I bet some animal in inner Mongolia must have pee-ed more than usual (I suspect it's some yak by the name Nergui or Terbish) and kinda led to greater rainfall in this part of the world. This includes Jakarta.

And as a result, my V-day has switched from dateless to planless.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The best laid plans

I find myself trying to learn too many things at the same time. Before it was trying to learn as much about wine as possible but mum kinda frown upon it cause of my health. Then there is the lack of proper storage at home so i don't see the point of keeping good wines for a latter time. I much prefer drinking off the shelf wines now than drinking good vintage varietals improperly stored later. Then there is the driving (car) to think about. Bloody hell, I can drive a boat but cannot drive a car.

Right now, I really want to polish my handling of my DSLR, perhaps go for some courses. Maybe next time end up doing wedding photogs. Looking at some of the wedding photogs around, all that they have alot of are the gadgetry like fish-eye lens, external power supply for their flash, their flash, flash softeners...

I think I will really like taking portraits. Full face, half body or whole body.

I really like my Tamron 90mm Macro lens because it gives fantastic bokeh when I take portrait shots. And if V will only allow me, I want to take more portraits of her.

Night shots totally challenge me. Cause I haven't got a good grasp of aperture and shutter speed control.
Things go awry sometimes when I experiment with shutter speed. I think it's like painting or most other artisitic pursuits. Before you can really write a haiku or sonnet, you'd better be really precise with your words. It's not just a syllabus or line count approach to poetry. Or even abstract expressionism, cubism and other abstract forms of artwork. A distorted shape is not abstract art. A misplaced nose and eyes rotated by right angles may not lead to cubist art. I think I want to get the basics right before I experiment too much. But experimental work is lotsa fun.

Look at the portrait shot of V above. It's badly focussed. The hair in the foreground becomes the part in focus when I wanted the eye closer to the right to be in focus. Nice bokeh though. And the colours are fantastic as well.

I also want to know more about denim. But that's altogether another matter by itself.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

*wink wink nudge nudge*

When Raddy Avramovic was asked how the young Lions will celebrate their victory, his stoic and grim face let loose of a wry smile.

It might have something to do with his reply about the Thai-style celebrations that his charges are goiing to have.

They are in Bangkok after all.....

ATHF Resonance

I find the over-reaction of the Boston regarding the ATHF and bomb hoax to be coherent with the state of the entire homeland security in the US.

Check out the nytimes article: link

If you don't know what the hell ATHF is, it means Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

This character is Ignignokt. He is the leader of the Mooninites. He is from the moon and hence far superior to anybody. In fact he considers Earth as his moon. And his image around Boston caused much anxiety. No wonder.

It's not about swimming. There are no teenagers. And I'm not sure if they are very hungry.
It's just a "not suitable for adults" cartoon.

Do a youtube search: link
The cartoon is damn funny lor.

But the over-reaction is not uncommon. If you have car keys that flip open, you cannot carry it onboard US planes. They tell you it's a switchblade. I've got a TSA approved luggage strap. But when I flew on United, I was told to remove the strap. So what's the point of getting a TSA approved luggage strap which is much more expensive than a normal strap?

It resonates with Babel. Maybe it's just me. If we are prone to become victims of our own hubris, America needs some serious counselling. Or as they say in that country, she needs to see her shrink.


I don't normally want to hear this genre in a club.

But they make great soundtracks for daily life.

The drawings are by Kristoferstrom for Minilogue's Hitchhikers Choice video. Entirely stop-motion. Zero computer generated effects. 100% handmade.

Found this great video through plastiquemonkey. she's a really fantastic artist with a surrealist touch. Very whimsical. She's pregnant. Go congratulate her.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Babel - there is no hope in my lifetime

The scene where the Embassy guy was explaining to Brad Pitt through the telephone why the helicopter hasn't reached him was because it was not allowed to use the Moroccan airspace to fly out to Tazarine and bring Cate Blanchett to a hospital. That was the saddest scene for me.

The world changed after September 11 2001. After the two planes had flown into the twin towers it was still about the same. Even after the twin towers collapsed, the world was still pretty much intact.

It was the aftermath that changed the world. They were not acts of terror. To the American administration, they were acts of war ("enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country").

Babel could not have been written if the events after 9-11 did not take place.

But Babel is not about terrorism. It is about perceptions. Perceptions, while they could be wrong and right, can always be clearer with communications. But there are barriers to communication. Culture, language, stereotypes, physical disability, character, fear, media influence, ego, politics, economics, religion... All these were packed in 140 minutes.

And the scene I described above about Brad Pitt and the helicopter was the most poignant because a simple misadventure by a small kid escalated into a worldwide-televised witch hunt for terrorists.

This one goes out to friends

Amazingly, at the grand old age of 27 (I turn 28 in within the next 3 weeks), I find myself surrounded with friends in their quarterlife crisis. More so now than when I was 23, a fresh graduate. Perhaps over and on top of the famed "midlife" and the "quarterlife" crises, there should be a "thirdlife" crisis. It doesn't roll off the tongue smoothly but I think there is a wider group of people in this crisis than the other "life" crises.

Perhaps all the mumblings about life, jobs and marriage that I hear are audible not only now but was already present before. I just haven't been listening carefully enough. But that shouldn't be the case. Life does take a dramatic turn when you hit that unknown patch of no-man's land. Not only do you have to grapple with money issues, some now have to be the husband/wife to another person. Father/mother to their children and all the pressures of having to bring up kids in our modern society. Still bearing the scars that at very inapt times, remind themselves of their past yet have to put on a bold front for increasingly demanding relations. There is also a "once bitten, twice shy" sense of urgency to avoid having to go through midlife crissi hence wanting to experience life now as oppose to embarrassing your teenaged kids with your bright coloured polo tshirts, highlighted blond streaks and leopard print leggings.

I came across this interesting article on career planning in kottke. Speaks on a frightening thought that I have been harbouring but never actually said it up front.

Career Planning Is A Waste Of Time

There. Immediately I feel better after "saying" it out loud. I am sure some would feel relieved by the statement as well. Some, like me, find their doubts confirmed. It's time to bring out the champagne guys.

A new word for me - miswant. And from there, miswanting. That is to make wrong predictions of what a person wants in future. I hear people talk about their plans in 5 year blocks. Some scope their lives in 3 year periods because 'anything above 3 years is hard to predict". Yeah, and the Asian Financial Crisis happened within a 3 year period and it was predictable. Tell it to those who jumped off buildings. Oh, they're dead. Some plan out their lives in watershed ages; father before 30, generate retirement nest by 50, independent children by 55 and doing only "what interest me" when I am 60. It's like some adaptive version of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

It's a nifty package that appeals to everyone but works on no one.

To draw a similar example from the article of choosing sandwiches, which will make you happier? To predict in advance the sandwiches you want next week (for monday, I'll have a BLT, cheese and ham on tuesday, wednesday an egg mayo...) or to decide each day which sandwich you want?

Of course in life, you don't have the luxury of being able to satisfy your needs in short and defined time periods. If you want a chicken sandwich, you can probably find one within the hour but what if you want to retire with a million dollars in your bank account? Some people don't meet their aims in a lifetime.

Decide what you want. Now. At most the immediate tomorrow. It's difficult to dispose of a emerging markets fund that was really attractive 18 months ago but has since caused you to lose a substantial amount of money. It's worse to get rid of a third child that you wanted when you were 25 and decided that 3 children at home will supercede the population replacement level and get that attractive tax relief. I do know that it is wrong to compare funds with a child. That's like comparing apples with oranges. Really? Then why are there monetary incentives for having kids? I think I am comparing mandarins with bergamots, lime and kamquats.

When deciding what you want, the decisions must be based on your values. Values, unlike wants, are less likely to change. If it is part of your value system to be wealthy, surrounded by family, then go ahead, put in effort to get the money, go have that third child, have the fourth, fifth and sixth as well if you so desire. Values are less likely to change. Wants are and will change.

So if it is in your value system that you value having a job that you enjoy but work and enjoy are antonyms in your life at the moment, change your job.

After writing this, things aren't that much clearer for me.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Most people in Singapore have not heard of Leyan Lo...unless they watch Jay Leno.

Well anyway, Leyan can solve the Rubik's cube in 11.13 secs. It was the world record for a while. Until it was broken by Toby Mao. Toby did it in 10.48 secs. Toby is the brother of Tyson Mao. Tyson is the sifu (or teacher/trainer) of Leyan Lo.

Leyan and Tyson appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Leyan solved the Rubik's cube in 18.9 secs on that show. But more impressively, he unhooked 5 bras in 8 secs.

I gotta go back to train.

dona eis requiem

Things that happen

Just once

If she'd looked she would have seen

He was

All night

C r o s s t h e s t r e e t v e r y s t i l l

And they go out so easily

The street lamps

The cars come

But I see you

Too clearly

I don't trust myself anymore

If it's all true

Just say it

I may already know

That sound when

It's o

The sidewalks will carry you home

And the evening so easily

Agnus, Agnus Dei
Agnus, Agnus

Qui tollis peccata mundi

Wouldn't it be interesting if...

Imagine this:

The present Thai King dies (I definitely say this only for hypothetical postulation). His son takes over. The current military government yet to hold a democractic that was promised to them. Military unable to resolve the many bomb attacks in and around the capital. Unrest in the South (muslims) continues. Increased outward showing of support for Thaksin's return in the rural North. Louder annoyance voiced by the intellects and liberals residing in Bangkok.


Some country is not interested in providing sand to us anymore. Cause they say that will affect their eco-system.

Some country is blaming us for their floods because they say our reclamation works is silting up their rivers.

Some country is saying we eavesdrop on their telephone conversations because their former businessman country leader kinda misplaced their trust...

no permanent friends. only permanent interests.