Saturday, March 31, 2007

Beckham is so inspiring

Have you caught the latest advertising blitz by adidas?

You will go through though times. It's about coming through them.

~ David R. J. Beckham, OBE

It must have been really difficult for David Beckham. Just the immense pressure from everyone around him. I am sure not many people can understand what he had to go through, much less who could have endured the entire process.

It has taken him years but he has finally done it.

Finally, David Beckham can write "Impossible is nothing" in reverse on a piece of glass so that you the viewers in front can read it correctly!

The pain he had to go through in order to achieve this feat is clearly shown on his face. His eyes closed as if in contemplation, furrowed brows, a look of consternation. Often mistaken for constipation. But it's not, savvy fans will attest!

Next year, he will attempt to write in cursive writing. Like this:

That would really be a challenge for our intrepid Hollywood C-list starlet LA Galaxy soccerer soccer player.

We love you Beckham!

P.S. To all Man U fans out there, well, he's not with Man U anymore.
To all Real Madrid fans out there, well, he's not gonna be hanging around Spain for long.
To all LA Galaxy fans out there, yes, I mean the 324 of you, you probably won't read this.
To all David Beckham fans out there, I hope you have a sense of humour. David Beckham is a genius on the field. Even when he wore Victoria's knickers.

I think the same too!

Found this article about an iPod ad two days back from Fashion Minute. But really it was from David Byrne's journal (ooooooooo....I'm wicked and I'm lazeeee...oooooooooo.....don't you wanna save me)

This is exactly where the advertising team behind iPod have really struck gold - the campaign hits three of the major pillars of street cred - fashion, music, and art. In adapting an original Brooklyn artist's image to a more contemporary silhouette (tighter fitting shoulders in the jacket, shorter jacket length, studded belt), we find a current menswear style message in the ad too... et voila! You have a marketing campaign guaranteed to do exactly what it was meant to - entice the youngsters with what's cool in fashion and in music. A perfect marriage in lifestyle - brought together inconspicuously, by art.

I think that sentiment I share with the author(s) of Fashion Minute. The fearsome threesome of fashion, music and art. Previously I was talking about them three in another post (wabi sabi).

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.

And we both seem to like the same particular picture of a certain Miss Johansson and how a certain Mr Allen seems to be making weird comments about her.

New website plug!

Jados forwarded me a new website!

And I think it's totally cool idea.

I'm one who don't keep track of the various promotions which restaurants tie up with credit cards. Too lazy for that.

But not anymore!


Extracted from the website:

Our Mission Statement

“You full-y satisfied…We happy!”

Our Story... was started by three Hungry Men – say Yeah! – who were crazy enough to leave their jobs to help Singapore eat better! After many bus rides, abuse from rude waiters and days of eating loti only, we finally managed to bring you:

  • A fun and comprehensive database of restaurants and other F&B places in Singapore
  • All credit card promotions in one place (We update these promotions immediately once the banks publicise them)
  • Real experiences from hungry people who have already visited the places you want to go to (Join them by writing your reviews here!)

Like all dot coms (except YouTube, Google, Amazon, EBay and other non-Singaporean dot coms), we have NO revenue model (Surprise, Surprise!) and are providing this service to you absolutely FREE! Hence, feed us please! We can’t be eating loti forever! To our charitable friends out there, we accept all spare change (we mean money and not used underwear).

You can make your cheques out to: GTW Holdings Pte Ltd
and mail them to: 51 Thomson Road
Unit 177A, Goldhill Centre
Singapore 307586

We also accept chicken, fish, tofu……


Thursday, March 29, 2007



How would you describe this "fine specimen"?

Zoftig humidity?

Ask Woody Allen.

I think her plum micro-bloomer mini reminds me of a Ribena Berry. Her champagne blouse makes her delicious. Sparkling Ribena 2 parts to 1 part champagne makes a very delicious drink.

I think I will always prefer how she looked in Lost In Translation.

welcome to the neighbourhood

My neighbourhood is almost an island. Rivers to the north and south, converging in the south east. CTE fringing the northwest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Making sense at the frontiers

Few days back, Singapore held a very important symposium right before the current Global Security Asia Conference.

International Risk Assessment & Horizon Scanning Symposium, 19-20 Mar 2007, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Organized by

The Centre of Excellence for National Security
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Nanyang Technological University

In partnership with

The National Security Coordination Secretariat
Defence Science Technology Agency

This was where our very own RAHS (Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning) program came out into the limelight.

I first learn about Sense Making technology in late 2005. That is much later than when the initial buzz was being created. One of the earliest important layman essay written about this topic was in the March 2003 issue of Technology Review. You can download it here. It's written by M. Mitchell Waldrop, titled Can Sense-making Keep Us Safe?

As extracted from DSTA website:

In July 2004, the Singapore government introduced its new Strategic Framework for National Security. This document outlined the long-term policy response to the challenges posed by transnational terrorism and other threats. It called for the development of a networked and coordinated approach to the fight against terror, one linking the government, the people and all sectors of society together in a common effort. The Strategic Framework also outlined the basis and rationale for the Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) program. The RAHS program, encompassing a unique combination of cutting edge concepts, methodologies and technological solutions, will seek to empower the government in effectively detecting weak signals, encouraging inter-agency collaboration and fostering informed analysis.

After amassing a number of available materials from open source, I was eagerly reading up on the subject. Primarily because the topic has got this "cloak-and-dagger" mystic air surrounding it. So early last year I was sharing it with some people I know. I remember telling Jinks about it over lunch and during one of the car rides. I was saying any program humans create will bound to hold our beliefs and assumptions. After June last year when I started to get busier, I lost interest as well.

fast forward to March 2007....

I hate how things sound at work. It's so buzzword laden. I can't get through a meeting or brief without hearing words like adaptive(ly), dynamic(ally), and phrases like making sense, proactive rather than reactive.... irks me to no end.

Where I work has no bearing on what is written on this blog. Usually.

An expert, only if you label him so

It was reported in the local media that a security expert said that "Ideology is the new battlefield". I think it doesn't take an expert to know that. But he went on to say things like, "The biggest threat today in South-east Asia is not terrorism. It is extremism." and followed up with "All of us can be JI members in Indonesia and we cannot be prosecuted unless we conduct a terrorist attack. The first step needed to fight a terrorist organisation is to decimate and criminalise the group. Not only to go after the operational cells, but to dismantle the propaganda, the fundraising, the recruitment and procurement."

This "security expert" sounds as fearsome as the members of JI. He reminds me of, um, an extremist. He might not have taken into consideration that there are many reasons for joining groups. He obviously did not watch Syriana. Early chinese migrants of Singapore joined triads for rational reasons too. Survival being one of them. Is it really extreme to just want to survive?

I think the way to "eradicate" this security expert's view of "extremism" is not about dismantling their infrastructure. It is to actively help the people who sought these groups in the first place.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

almost a cliche

The reason why I titled this post as such is because I almost wanted to have "leaving on a jetplane" as the title.

That would have been terrible.

V's off to Tokyo again. To see sakuras.

I saw them in 1999. When I was in Hiroshima. Some navy overseas training. There was a garden party in the JMSDF naval base. Nice. Drank hot sake dripped over bamboo tubes. And some seriously pretty girls.

Was at V's place. She was still trying to finish packing. We finally made it to the airport, in time for her tickets.

V and I never ever coordinate our dressing. But because we are such fans of "basic" items, we sometimes find ourselves coordinated in a sense like both wearing white or black tops over jeans.

Today was rather different. I turned up at her place in a green threadless t, my nudies slim jim dry black and onitsuka mexico 66 snow white/ snow white. She was in a brown threadless t, her calvin klein jeans and onitsuka mexico 66 tweeds.

And we both had black socks on.

I didn't want to say anything till we were in the lift going down. I said, "Eh, we look as if we coordinated." Her reply was quick, "Yeah, we look a like tree together. You're green, I'm brown."

left: Get some fresh air by Julian Glander right: Stone jungle by Andre da Silva Cruz.

Hahahahahahahaha.......yeah, there are trees in both t shirts as well...

p.s. if you thought that couples who coordinate their dressing is a cliche and that was why i use it as a post title, yeah, you're probably right too. good for you!

Now that American bands sound British

The Killers are probably the best British band never to have come out from Old Blighty.

So how is Britpop reacting to this?

Looking at how Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, The Magic Numbers and The Decemberists are headed, they've just gone onto become even more British-ish.

Oh, then you realise that The Decemberists are really from Portland, Oregon. Which is where Nike was first made. I think.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Economy of effort

Was given this consideration today.

Ok, this is gonna be as random as how I here goes.

You may have read about the disproportionate amount of money spent by Motorola, Apple, Gap and others on the RED campaign to raise awareness of the problem of AIDS in Africa.
It raised a total of 18 million dollars. The collective advertising blitz was 100 million.

The US has spent to the tune of more than 360 billion dollars on the "war on terror". That's alot of money on looking for Osama bin Laden and killing Saddam Hussein and the witch hunt for weapons of mass destruction. Global warming will probably kill 60 million living near coast. That's the direct effect. We've not taken into consideration the secondary effects of changes in weather patterns and what it'll do to our crops.

Do we set our resources based on the "potential damage" the source is capable of? Well, environmental change has the potential to eradicate mankind. Is it based on how volatile the onset of damage may be? Well, the environment may already have undergone a change that is non-linear and will likely to bring about abrupt changes. That's volatile too right?

Why am I talking about this? Well, these are examples of some possibly poor decisions. But we will never know what would have happened had the decision not been made (no time machine). Neither can we confidently state which of the alternatives available then was better (decision made on hindsight is always better, right?).

Let's look again at our neighbours.

Thailand. 95% are Buddhists. the remaining 5% comprises Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Catholics.... Let's put Muslims at a high end of the estimate. 4%. How much of your budget will you set aside to arrest a problem in your country that is created and affecting less than 5% of your population. No doubt the problem is widely reported. It's sensational. It's current. It's now. But so far as I know, the problem of insurgents in South of Thailand is largely within Thailand itself. No T3 (transnational terrorist threat).

Indonesia. They have a perceived problem with terrorists as well. If you're in Jakarta or possibly Surabaya, you might have seen security checking cars entering the shopping complexes and major buildings. That type of security isn't too bad. Because it provides job for the security guards. Does it really curb terrorism? I doubt it. But because it puts money in the hands of the poor, they are less likely to turn desperate. Indonesia proclaims a problem in their eco-system. I don't know about that. They also have a problem with corruption. Money being illegally siphoned out of their country. The money which would otherwise have been used to educate the people. Possibly build better roads. Better drains so that it'll flood less often. Better sanition so that in the event of a disaster (Indonesia quite prone to this), there will be less chance of outbreaks of diseases.

Economy of effort.

Thailand don't have to arrest the problem in the south. They have a moral obligation in the region but really, they should spend their resources on getting the country's economy back on track. However if that includes curbing the restless south, that would be economically sound.

Indonesia has a moral obligation as well. Being the largest Muslim democracy, it is also where several terrorist "attacks" have taken place. Jakarta and Bali comes to mind. I don't think more than a 10,000 died. But each day, corruption might have inevitably, yet systematically cause more deaths. Or did not prevent the deaths. So their resources should be geared towards better sanitation, public infrastructure etc etc which may come about if corruption in their country ceased. Or at least is reduced.

I think I'm skewed. Help me.

how to tell a guy he is stupid

I use Appear Offline as my nickname. And I get this friend msging me the below:

My curse is eternal misery and loneliness? Should that be real, it will not happen in this life of mine! says: (0:06:12)
hahaha appearing offliine
My curse is eternal misery and loneliness? Should that be real, it will not happen in this life of mine! says: (0:06:22)
my com knows u are online and appearing offline

How do I tell him without hurting his ego.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bazaar Sale

The thing with Club 21 Bazaar Sale is this. Always err on the wrong side. Buy now. Decide later.

Or so it seems.

Where else in Singapore can you witness lovely girls in various stages of undress. Outside the changing room. But the damn thing is, they are wearing "safety" clothings underneath.

Anyway, was there for a couple of hours. Felt like 20 when it was more like 2. The queue in the forenoon was terrible. Snaking out of the function room onto the corridor.

V had a day out. I was completely knackered by the time dinner was over. I'm not a monosyllabic bf when it comes to shopping. I have my good days and there are bad ones. On a good day, I can do about 4 hours. On a bad day, I can do 4 seconds. I go beyond the "not bad" comment. Constructively.

Hell, I even tell her that her new blue (a brilliant azure varietal, hahaha) pullover is probably a spillover from fashion week. It wasn't Chanel. It was Versace. Chanel did have a dress that colour though. but Versace had that coat that was all over the news about Versace going minimalist. I go on about pairing her tops with her bottoms. I'm not particularly good with that. But at least I go beyond "yeah, that one looks good. can we go now?"

There are certain clothing items and materials which V will never touch with a ten-foot pole. There are some which I think will look brilliant on her. So I will need some convincing to do.

There's a new marc jacobs bag which might strike V's whimsical fancy. She does like certain che che new york and kate spade bags. Introducing Miss Marc Katie!

Haha, on Thursday night, I was telling her about tokidoki LeSportsac and she said she had a cheong version from Taipei.... I like the idea behind tokidoki because Simone Legno is a fantastic artist in his own right. Being Italian and all, to have his anime-inspired art warmly received by the Japanese is really cool.

It's unlike what Murakami did for LV. How hot is it right now? According to a reliable source (Jados), every Japanese girl right now flips out a tokidoki when they are in the toilet touching up. I exaggerate.

Anyway, the last time a Bazaar sale of this quality (size matters) was in 2003. So it's been 4 years since. It was at the same location. Except the hotel was then known as Concorde. Now it's Holiday Inn Atrium.

connecting the dots

there's a secondary school near where i live. recently, i saw this young boy crossing the road to get to the school. he was from the upper secondary levels because he was wearing long pants. there's this thing about length of pants in relation to your education level in singapore. if you are in sec 1 or 2, you wear shorts. move onto sec 3 and 4, you get to wear pants. unless you are from certain boys school who get to wear bermudas. or communist schools which allow only shorts.

back to the young boy crossing the road.

he is so fashion lah. for weekends, I imagine him wearing tapered jeans, a pair of converse, striped t and a 1/2 size too small cardigan. top off with trendy spectacles (even when he has 20/20 vision).

some hybrid of beatniks and baeyongjun.

he carried his weekend passion for tapered jeans to his daily week day life as a student and tapered his school pants as well. It was so radical. I think this modification beats the JC students who modify their shirt hems so that they don't have to tuck their shirts in yet give the illusion that they are.

And if you do notice, even Giordano is going the way of slogan t-shirts. Their World Without Strang(l)ers t shirt now comes in a bigger print, using similar fonts as houseofholland t shirts.

It is quite funny. The stencil font that Giordano used is so..... copy cat.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sometimes the law makes us criminals

I was clickling on the RSS feeds for Singapore news. I saw the line : Man with cannabis arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint.

I had an uneasy feeling. I was thinking he'd probably get the death penalty if convicted. I was secretly hoping he wouldn't but I know it's rather impossible.

SINGAPORE: A 32-year-old motorcyclist has been charged with importing a controlled drug.

The man, a Malaysian, was arrested at 5.40am on Wednesday at Woodlands Checkpoint after more than 2 kilogrammes of cannabis was found in his rucksack.

His urine sample was also tested positive for cannabis.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

I was in UK when they decided to change the law on marijuana. It's sort of like the chewing gum in Singapore, the way marijuana is treated over there now. And cannabis in Netherlands, well, everybody knows what coffeeshops there are all about. As well as the "magic mushrooms".

I think about this 32 year old. Maybe he has a family. Maybe he hits his wife. Maybe cannabis is just his "gateway drug".

But fuck that. He's going to be hanged.

Read this article from RAND, drug policy research centre. Using Marijuana May Not Raise The Risk Of Using Harder Drugs

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

These days

The collapse of even the biggest of things starts with the smallest of cracks.

Foundations however strong may one day flounder and give way.

The fine streaks of stress that show up on a plastered wall can be covered up easily with a fresh coat of paint

But the splintering continues underneath.

Rot employs an expansive array of devices to avoid detection.

And when the stink finally wafts through, it is often too late.

When things are looking up, everything seems to go your way.

But you don't really notice it.

When things go bad, they go bad really quickly.

Usually with much drama and with little or no forewarning.

"Everything's falling, and I am included in that
Oh, how I try to be just okay
Yeah, but all I ever really wanted
Was a little piece of you"

- Be Be Your Love, Rachael Yamagata

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tori Amos New Album

The news is out.

Tori's 9th studio album is called "american doll posse" and will be released on 1 May 07.


I love wikipedia, doncha?

why do we crucify ourselves?


What do you get when you....



"Don't look don't look" the shadows breathe
Whispering me away from you
"Don't wake at night to watch her sleep
You know that you will always lose
This trembling
Tousled bird mad girl... "
But every night I burn
But every night I call your name
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again

"Oh don't talk of love" the shadows purr
Murmuring me away from you
"Don't talk of worlds that never were
The end is all that's ever true
There's nothing you can ever say
Nothing you can ever do... "
Still every night I burn
Every night I scream your name
Every night I burn
Every night the dream's the same
Every night I burn
Waiting for my only friend
Every night I burn
Waiting for the world to end

"Just paint your face" the shadows smile
Slipping me away from you
"Oh it doesn't matter how you hide
Find you if we're wanting to
So slide back down and close your eyes
Sleep a while
You must be tired... "
But every night I burn
Every night I call your name
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again
Every night I burn
Scream the animal scream
Every night I burn
Dream the crow black dream

Dream the crow black dream...

The Cure

Every night I burn! Every night I scream your name!

It's been buzzing on their website for a while....

ASSTEE's LIFE! finally picked it up on their radar....

Amongst the current 168 comments:

Please come here!!!!! We need you we are dying to meet you please come educate us.

Please please please please!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally!! The Cure will be here in Singapore!!! I can't wait!!

PS: Please, please play "Burn" from The Crow soundtrack!! PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAASSSSSSSEE!!!!!!!!!!!

The best unconfirmed news i've heard this year. We welcome you guys with open arms! And it's about bloody time too!

Monday, March 19, 2007

cul-de-sac of life

Maybe someday he will be able to know exactly what went wrong. But for now, he can muster just enough energy to get through the working week.

On days when even the weather gangs up with the rest of the world to go against him, all he can do is to smile warily at his own sorry plight.

He wished he was on a holiday somewhere. Anywhere. Away from here. His reality. It doesn't even need to be particularly exotic. Just a place where he can get his mind off the thoughts that plague him daily.

He pulls out his wallet from his backpocket and dug out a crumpled piece of newspaper cutting.


Finishing the remaining coffee in the styrofoam cup, he got up from the table and moved over to the bin. Another 4 hours till knock off time.

4 hours. He will make it through today. Just like how he did yesterday and the day before.

Mosaic Music Festival Presents Rachael Yamagata

*I re-posted this because I added the setlist....which was really tough...and added the lyrics to Would You Please because it's so darn tragically beautiful.

I have never heard of a single track by Rachael Yamagata. Damn, I have a feeling that if not because of The O.C. soundtrack, she may not have gotten a chance to be at Mosaic Music Festival. Same for The Album Leaf. Okay, I'm kicking myself for not getting ticks The Album Leaf....

Like I said, I've never heard of a single track by Rachael Yamagata. Not consciously.

As she began to sing with her 4 piece band, I was starting to pigeon-hole her. Hmm...vocals like Joss Stone + Fiona Apple (no Norah Jones). Maybe a US version of Canadian Feist. An American Beth Orton. And when she sang Be Be Your Love, I thought hmm...maybe a female Ryan Adams.

It's a bad habit that I have, trying to pigeon-hole stuff.

She was so candid with her casual banter about her songs, trying to garner dates for her band members, dragging her drummer to her autograph session (an effort to find him a date, maybe).....

If there is a favourite throughout her concert, it would be "What If I Leave". Now to search for that EP.....

And after listening to her CD album that I bought at Esplanade, and did the queueing thing for over an hour to get her autograph, I must say the songs carry more personality when sung live. It was fantastic that she signed for all, cause I was like within the last 5 guys in the queue. And I had plenty of time as I was waiting for friends.

"Fantastic performance." I tried my best not to mumble. She looked up as she was signing, flashed a big smile and said "Thanks!".

I'm such a fan boy.

Letter Read
Be Be Your Love
What If I Leave (forthcoming album)
Paper Doll
Under My Skin
Meet Me By The Water
Known For Years
Would You Please (I MUST find the EP with this track!)
Worn Me Down
Sunday Afternoon (forthcoming album)
Reason Why

The above was really difficult because basically I knew I can't recognise a single track (never heard her before). So I just keyed in the bits of lyrics I heard in my phone. And with alot of help from, I did it!

would you please
let me slide a few words
under your door

the first three say "I love you,"
the last five "but I can't no more,"
I don't believe in miracles
no, not like I did before

and would you please
let me slide a few words
under your door
and would you please
yeah, try to understand

there's a paragraph or two
devoted to the memories that we shared
in the dramatized songs about
how there'll be no more memories
no more memories

and if you'll notice in the corner
there's a tiny little heart I've enclosed
like a little surprise (oh yes, I did)
and if you'll please ignore
the smeared, smudged writing
it came from the tears in my eyes

you're probably gonna get it
after a long day
you may not even believe it's true
I know you know, you know
you know my crazy ways

yeah, but sleeping beauty is going to bed
she put a little tiny hole in her own head
gotta find her own way home
before she's dead

before she's dead...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Short Weekend

I had a terribly short weekend. I got home at about 10am Saturday morning after duty on Friday night. I have to leave at about 6pm on a Sunday afternoon for duty again. That gives me 32 hours worth of weekend.

I attended about and hour's worth of Rachael Yamagata concert. Queued for another 45 minutes for her autograph. I was also at Lin Bao Ling's solo exhibition for an hour.

I was at Zouk/Winebar with Jados, Bry, fullscreamriot for about 3 hours. Music was not fantastic.

Before Zouk, was at Gluttons Bay for not delicious mee rebus and hokkien mee. Ice lemon tea (canned) was not too bad. That took an hour.

I slept for 7 hours. I wished I had more.

Online for 5 hours, at least. Or so it felt.

Taking various forms of public transport for a total of 2 hours. Likely more.

Spent an hour at Starbucks. Finished The End Of Faith...finally.

Ate meepok dry and then tapao curry chor beehoon back. Drank mocha frap venti no whip. Had blueberry muffin and coffee at Mrs Field's. Had lousy mee rebus and lemon tea. Drank a gin tonic and had one and half beers. Plenty of tapioca stix. Had prawn noodles supper. Got up and wanted to eat cheecheongfun. Had two. With soy bean drink. Had meechiangkueh. Had bak kut teh. That should have taken a combined total 2 hours at least. Now waiting for dinner. Don't know what to have.

I wished I had time to go around Whampoa/Balestier to take photos. I wished I had stayed out instead of blogging at home.

I think I feel lonely.

I think I should listen to less of Rachael Yamagata.

I think I should shut up.

Short weekends. I can't wind down.

Nocturne - Night Paintings by Lin Bao Ling

I finally found a comfortable stretch of time on the last day of Taiwanese Lin Bao Ling's first solo exhibition that showcases his works during his tenure as the Artist-in-Residence at Plastique Kinetic Worms.

This may be repetitive but the way I first chanced (Asian Art Options Gallery @ Marina Mandarin) upon his works and what happened after I blogged about it is quite a story by itself.

Located at 61 Kerbau Rd, the Plastique Kinetic Worms is nestled in a quiet neighbourhood also known as the Little India Arts Belt.

The gallery is a fantastic setting for a debut solo exhibition. Suitably sized for an introductory viewing of a new artist's works.

The holder of the 25th UOB Painting of the Year Competition for Highly Commended Award in the Representational Category was PKW's artist-in-residence 2006/2007 and this solo exhibition is the culmination of his works during the year long residency.

I am not trained in the arts. So the impression I get from the paintings, like how I read poetry, is rather juvenile. Hence when I say that the paintings displayed in this exhibition makes me long for home, you don't have to take it seriously.

Why do the paintings make me think about going home? Or at least, a longing, a forlorn yearning to be in a comforting zone.

Anybody watched Blade Runner? The cult sci-fi hit by Ridley Scott starring Harrison Ford and a soundtrack by The Vangelis. A dreamscape of a future Los Angeles dystopia, part tropical rainforest (just the rain and the humidity but without trees, only concrete jungle) and part congested and polluted Hong Kong.

Unlike the paintings that were found in The Marina Mandarin Asian Art Options which were less like mood pieces and more like interpretations of night scenes. Those found in his first solo exhibition conveyed a much more sombre mood. But unlike the normal lack of colours found in mood pieces, Lin Bao Ling conveyed them in full technicolour.

It's like looking at the lights adorning the ferris wheel of an empty fairground. It's weird. I know.

V and I share a similar love for Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

I'm not comparing Lin Bao Ling's style with Hopper's. They are vastly different. It's the mood found in both that they share a resonance.

So what does it say of Lin Bao Ling as an artist? Well, within two years, he's developed new techniques because of the need to convey a different mood. Yet, the new pieces still bear his trademark. It's recognisable yet it is different. I won't go into the brushstrokes and technical details like those. That would be totally foreign ground for me.

Like the best bands in the world right now, (Muse, Killers, Radiohead...) they are constantly innovating but they have such a thorough understanding of their essence that despite a complete change in sound, they retain their soul.

I await Lin Bao Ling's next exhibition or next series of works with the same bated breath as I would for Radiohead's next album.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


V's got a new bag which I am in agreement with. Totally.

Maybe it's because of the absence of monograms so she's less likely to be a walking advert.

Maybe it's how feminine it makes her looks.

Maybe it's how great the contrast between the deep burgundy trimmings and the powdered sky blue leather looks.

image from

Birds & Bees

Read news about the 9 year old girl who was impregnated by a 14 year old. Who was it who said we are Asians and have conservative views?

Anyhow, this sets me thinking.

Sex Education is not a fucking science.

It's not enough to teach kids about how a baby is made. It's beyond anatomically correct dolls or not blushing when saying words like penis, vagina, scrotrum and testes. But you try saying "testes" without grinning. Go on, try it.

You can't right?

It's also about telling kids how to do it safely (should they choose to do so). I remember an episode of 90210 (ok, I learnt alot from this show, besides how to keep sideburns) where they compared it to swimming. Instead of building a fence around the pool, you gotta teach the kid how to swim.

It's about knowing with whom and when to do it. Precautions to be taken. Consequences.

Side joke. Imagine teaching a really smart kid about the whole sex and gestation thing. How it takes 9 months and all before the baby is ready to meet the world....

Mum: And that is how long it takes for little Johnny to develop from a tiny fertilised egg into a baby!

Little Johnny: But mummy, how is it possible that I was born on Easter Sunday but you and daddy were married on Christmas the year before?

Things that make you go hmmm....

Not sure how many of you read but i sure do.

i'm liking the current post.

the title of the post is actually:
Fun game: find a combination of two items that most freaks out the cashier. Winner: pregnancy test and single coat hanger.

Collective Double Takes.....

+ = ???
Ok, so the one drawn is a tube of KY plus banana or zucchini (or courgettes for the Brits) or apple (*gasp*) or orange (yikes!). KY plus a tubular fruit/vegetable sounds really naughty.

+ = !!!
Pregnancy test kit and a single coat hanger sounds scary.

+= Nice!
I'm thinking of sexy lingerie and a box of agar-agar mix. But that box of agar-agar would have to be damn huge pack. Like super-ultra-ginormous economy pack. *meow*

+= .....
How about a toy gun and a packet of stockings? Very Hong Kong triad stylee.

Anybody else? Anymore? Cause those thought up by me are really lousy....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why the current interest in faith vs science

There is currently alot of buzz surrounding books like "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris and "The Science of God" by Gerald Schroeder.

For those who are interested about war and the study of war, historically, politically, philosophically blah blah, will most probably have heard of Carl von Clausewitz. He's like the western world's Sun Zi. Both are famous for writing about war and strategy. Clausewitz wrote On War and Sun Zi had The Art Of War (兵法 or "ways of war").

Clausewtiz first used phrases like "fog of war" and "centre of gravity" when discussing about war. Both are still very much in use today.

The classic Clausewitzian definition of war is:

War therefore is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfil our will.

Will is a very tricky subject. When we look at the definition of "centre of gravity", it is the enemy's source of strength, the will to fight.

Post September 11, the majority of unrest in the world is caused by an over-riding cause. I might be causing some of you to see red when I say the cause but it's actually an opinion shared by many.

So maybe the reason why alot of literature is currently being written on the subject of faith vs science is because of the current world order. The pitting of one's religious faith against another. And the best way to end the antagonism is perhaps to wear down the will of all parties. Religion and faith seems to be the main "centre of gravity" for all sides. The main source of strength, providing the will to fight.

And that is why faith and religion is being questioned. If we can prove that faith and religion is just alot of hot air and no substance, the will to fight will be attrited.

I'm all mixed up. Because I don't trust humans enough to think that we'll prosper and flourish without some form of faith. But the current state is far from ideal as well. Faith is not the only source of decorum and humanity. Neither is democracy.

But this line of questioning is a good start.

image from


In the second of tough questions that V asked me tonight was when she remarked about the smell of barbeque that wafted into her path when she got off the bus.

"There's a barbeque somewhere. Can smell." She said.

"Is it?" I replied, looking around earnestly. Ok, maybe not that earnest lah.

I saw an ambulance near her block. I pointed in the direction of the ambulance and remarked,

"Maybe somebody got burnt. It's human flesh burning that you are smelling." I said nonchalantly.

We both started laughing.

I thought abit. (2 seconds, max.)

And found our sense of humour rather morbid.



V and I were around Toa Payoh this evening for dinner. Walking around the HDB Hub area, V mused about the increasingly cosmopolitan mix in Toa Payoh. Looking around, I tended to agree with her. But there was a distinct lack of a certain cosmopolitan air though. It's still very heartland.

V then asked me what does "denizen" mean. It got me stumped for a minute. I knew it's about humans but how does it differ from "citizen", I really didn't know.

denizen \DEN-uh-zuhn\, noun:
1. A dweller; an inhabitant.
2. One that frequents a particular place.
3. [Chiefly British] An alien granted certain rights of citizenship.
4. An animal, plant, etc. that has become naturalized.

V can be so sharp with her perception sometimes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

José González, again

With a "beautiful melodies and thought-provoking lyrics", Jose González was introduced on stage for the first ever Mosaic Music Festival 11th Hour concert.

José González walked in from the side and sat off the stage's centre.

With nary a word, he launched into his first song, Deadweight On Velveteen. Velveteen being an imitation of velvet hence the lyrics "vulgar when brought to light". A curt "thank you" was muttered before he sang Storm. Polite applause all round and he then started on Hints. When he sang "we need a hint to know that we are on the right track" was as if he was talking to us, the audience, "before we get tired".

The Audience
But still all he got was polite applause.

All You Deliver next. And his strumming brought him to Stay In The Shade. Still only applause. No whoops or whistles when the familiar tune floats in. By now he had his percussionist in and a female backup. You can read Yeow Kai Chai's article in Life! (13 Mar 07) for their names. Slow Moves and Broken Arrows. Broken Arrows features a melodica as well.

Things got a little more upbeat (not lyrically though) when Remain started.

He then moved on to the more accessible Lovestain.

He breathed a "Hello, how you doin'?" into the microphone at the half-hour mark. Then said "It's fun to talk like you're talking to one person. Although, heh..." and pointed at all of us around.

And the audience laughed. I don't know whatever for. Our own non-existence perhaps. But neither am I up for screaming, shouting, whistling or panties throwing at his concert. That would seem rather strange.

He played a new song, Down The Line.

The second half of the concert was especially super for fanboys (and girls) because not only did he play a new song, he also played some of the most well-received covers that he had done like Hand On Your Heart (Kylie Minogue cover), Teardrop (Massive Attack cover), Heartbeats (The Knife cover) and Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat cover).

Hand On Your Heart
I especially liked Hand On Your Heart. I first heard that song when I was a wee boy. Ok, it was 1989 so I was already Primary 4. It was when Kylie and Jason Donovan were so huge. And now, after 18 years (wow, I'm, like, ancient), instead of being overwhelmed by the embarassment of listening to Kylie Minogue when I was in Primary School, it was a slight regret that only when pared down to just the lyrics and it's melody (devoid of all of Stock, Aitken and Waterman special pop touches) that I realise how fantastic the lyrics are. When I was 11 years old, all I hear was the chorus.

Well it's one thing to fall in love
Another to make it last
I thought we were just beginning
And now you say we're in the past
Look me in the eye
And tell me we are really through

You know it's one thing to say you love me
But another to mean it from the heart
And if you don't intend to see it through
Why did we ever start
I wanna hear you tell me
You don't want my love

Put your hand on your heart and tell me
It's all over
I won't believe it till you
Put your hand on your heart and tell me
That we're through

Put your hand on your heart

They like to talk about forever
But most people never get the chance
Do you wanna lose our love together
Do you find a new romance
I need to hear you tell me
You don't want my love

His encore was took his concert to the one-hour mark. It didn't take long for him to be drawn back for an encores. Perhaps he was eager to get it over and done with.

Death Penalty
During the encore, after he finished the song, Heartbeats, in which he fumbled momentarily where everyone was waiting patiently for, he spoke to the audience about weed and death penalty...

"Is it true that you get the death penalty for like weed and....? That's funny actually. At home in Sweden it's also abit weird. You can actually beat up somebody pretty badly and you just get a couple of months but if you carry some weed then BANG!"

"I shouldn't be talking, I should be playing. Yeah, do you get death penalty for talking about it?"

Then with a rapport forged closer by the friendly exchange, he sang an Embee track which he was the featured vocalist.

And with the fast number, the Bronski Beat's Small Town Boy, he walked away to the side of the stage for the last time.

Setlist for José González Mosaic Music Festival 2007

Deadweight On Velveteen
All You Deliver
Stay In The Shade
Slow Moves
Broken Arrows
Down The Line (new song)
Hand On Your Heart (Kylie Minogue cover)
Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
Heartbeats (The Knife cover aka that Sony Bravia song)
Send Someone Away (Embee featuring José González)
Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat cover)

Met Lena (or is it Lina) at the concert with her (boy)friend, Ben who serendipitiously bought tickets next to mine. Such coincidence!

Now onto Rachel Yamagata! I am still enjoying the music of Kings Of Convenience who performed in Mosaic Music Festival 2006.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More Mosaic

I have not finished writing on the hour long concert by José González but Yeow Kai Chai's review on AssTee's Life! is already out.

Anyway, I bought tickets for Rachel Yamagata's concert this Saturday cause with V away, I still have to keep myself entertained. I think I'm beginning to do that rather well. I might even call myself an expert of sort. A professional! Or an unattended customer, alone, dreaming.

I don't seem to be able to find anyone to attend these sorta thing with me. I've yet to go see Baoling's exhibition....Nocturne.

Anyhow, will anybody be interested in going on a river cruise on this river boat named Road to Mandalay with me up the Irrawaddy River? Find out more here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mosaic Music Festival Presents José González

I don't have time for a review yet. I'll just leave the set list behind....

Deadweight On Velveteen
4 Storm
All You Deliver
Stay In The Shade
Slow Moves
Broken Arrows
Down The Line (new song)
Hand On Your Heart (Kylie Minogue cover)
Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
Heartbeats (The Knife cover aka that Sony Bravia song)
Send Someone Away (Embee featuring José González)
Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat cover)

stay tuned for updates.....

Amongst the highlights:
First ever 11th Hour concert
Met Lena (or Lina?) with her friend (boyfriend?) Ben
Serendipitiously seated next to me
José comments on Singapore's Death Penalty
José stumbles on Heartbeats

Sunday, March 11, 2007

This thought just entered my head

I received a letter from Mr Liew Heng San. He is the current Chief Executive Officer of our Central Provident Fund Board.

It's about my NEW SINGAPORE SHARES. Exciting news. Receiving money is always good news. Free money that requires zero effort is better than good. It's gooder. Getting free money that requires zero effort is the goodest news ever!

I know I won't miss this piece of news. Because it came to me in four languages. English and Malay on one sheet and Chinese and Tamil on another sheet.

CPF has got it's own scholarship program. It's got a Work Improvement Team (WITs) program running. As well as a Staff Suggestion Scheme (SSS). But really I wonder why should I be getting two sheets of printed paper just to let me know that I have $X amount of money which will be credited into my default bank account by 15 April 2007?

Why can't CPF members decide a default language so that all correspondence be in that language? Maybe even have a "opt out" method of doing things like the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) where members will get English and Chinese language correspondence unless you opt to have other languages like Malay, Arabic, Tamil, Sanskrit, Polish, Japanese, Chinese (the longform, as in how the Taiwanese and Hongkongers will write), Aramaic....

What this one time effort effectively does is to reduce the amount of paper used for this exercise by half. During the CPF top up in 2000/2001, there were more than 1.9 million Singaporeans who were eligible for the top up. I'm not sure how many Singaporeans received this notice about NEW SINGAPORE SHARES. Let's say it's also the same number that received the CPF top up.

So imagine the amount of paper saved. Almost a million sheets.

A standard ream of A4 paper packs about 500 sheets. That's about 5cm thick. A million sheets would be 2,000 reams worth. That's 10,000cm. Or a hundred metres.

I hope I am wrong somewhere along this thought.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I am trying out the Google Docs & Spreadsheets thingy.

Book is Cool

For readers of Kottke, the jargon watch word in January this year was that "book" was the new "cool".

Why? Because when you create an SMS using T9 dictionary (predictive text) on a handphone/mobile/cellphone, "book" appears first when you key in the relevant numbers for the word "cool".

These are T9onyms, supposedly. Hence "book" can be used to replace "cool" when spoken. E.g. Wow! That jacket you're wearing is book!" or "That's a book looking pair of shoes." Please do not confuse "book" with "sick" although in hiphop language, "sick" means cool too. But "sick" is not a T9onym.

T9onyms are really great for talking in codes or when you don't want strangers around you to understand everything you say.

Was going through some of some other codes we can use.....

"bitch" = "citag"
usage: That citag refused to return my call.

"butch" = "attai"
usage: That girl over there with the short spiky hair, she's actually an attai.

"fuck" = "dual"
usage: Dual lah, how come you so dual up one?

"fucker" = "duckes"
usage: That guy's a duckes.

"shit" = "shiv"
usage: Shiv!

"slut" = "plut"
usage: That's girl's a plut.

"Mango" = "Manho"
usage: My girlfriend is shopping at Manho.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Got meh?

Today got earthquake at Padang. Indonesia Padang. Not Padang in front of City Hall. Otherwise the mat sallehs playing lawn tennis in Singapore Cricket Club would have exclaimed:

"By George! That was an earth-shattering shot Gordon!"

"Don't be daft Charles! Might it be your over-active flatulence?"

But I was not in Singapore so never felt the tremors.

I think the tremors were triggered off by Singtel/Starhub/M1 combined. To earn money from the millions of SMSes that were sent. But damn it. I didn't receive any.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me

Think I'll go and eat worms
Long thin skinny ones, short fat juicy ones
See how they wriggle and squirm
Bite their heads off, suck their juice out
Throw their skins away
You should see how well I thrive
On worms three times a day

Monday, March 05, 2007

I also wan

The Dark of the Matinée

The Dark of the Matinée

I time every journey
To bump into you,

I charm you
And tell you of the boys I hate

All the girls I hate

All the words I hate

All the clothes I hate

How I'll never be
I hate

You smile,
Mention something that you like
How you'd have a happy life
If you did the things you like

Franz Ferdinand

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

I just made myself happy

Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 (core line) Snow White

My eyes! My eyesss......!!!



Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Carol Ann Duffy 1993

I had wanted to post this on Valentine's Day but what a cliche it would have been. I'm above cliches by the way. So when I remembered my embarrassing intent last night while I was in the lift, I decided to share it with you. (I may be above cliches but I'm constantly a contradiction)

I was introduced to Carol Ann Duffy by a friend in 2000. She was looking for a copy of "Mean Time" which was where the poem below, Valentine, was first published in. She in turn was introduced to this poet by her English Literature teacher in college. She thought I might have a better chance at getting a copy (without significant mark up and shipping charges) where I was. It was near the summer break and I could pack it along with the rest of my luggage when I return home.

I think I found a copy of Mean Time in Blackwell. I cannot remember if I really did. Haven't met said friend for ages. I cannot remember if I actually brought it back for her. But I know I have a copy of Carol Ann Duffy's Selected Poems.

The poem is a scorching treatment of love.

No cliched red rose or satin heart - nothing commercial. Nothing common.

Comparing it to an onion. A moon is like a cliched promise eg. Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl - He could promise the moon | And the stars above | Even if he promise me the world | Just remember | I'm forever your girl |

The onion promises "light" - lightness in steps taken when basking in glory of love. Light as from complete contentment. But one must be careful in the treatment of it.

It can make you cry like a lover. And why is it that girls (not sure about guys) are often portrayed to be crying in front of a mirror - hence "a wobbling photo of grief".

She doesn't mince her words or try to saccharin-coat her intentions. She then likens the taste of onion that "lingers" to that of a lover's kiss.

And as you unravel the layers of this love, you find in it a ring. Like a committment. Platinum in colour (not the local varietal which would be purple - GoldHeart Purple Gold).

But she allows a choice: "if you like".

And it clings.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I'm looking at the jeans people wear. Levi's has a stranglehold here.

I'm looking at girls in cute Gingham dresses. It's retro and vintage chic at the same time.

I'm looking at people with tops/bottoms/scarves/ties/belts/accessories with Houndstooth pattern. This pattern is appearing everywhere but should be dying down soon.

I'm looking at people with pea coats made of Tweed, any weave/twill but especially herringbone. I do want a pair of shoes with tweed. It'll be fantastic to see somebody wearing a Napoleon-esque Tweed jacket though.

It gives me an excuse to look at people. Otherwise I may resort to using alcohol to make others interesting.


What are the ingredients for a friendship? Some friendships are formed through common interests like stamp collecting. Some because of religion, like they are form their friendships because they were in the same cell group. Some by association, like they were in the same school or maybe even in the same class. Others are formed because of common experience, like yeah, they were both in the same National Day Parade when the parade commander cocked it up.

In a friendship that has started, what keeps it going? Between some past that is half-forgotten and a future that has yet to materialise, what makes people want to connect in the present?

I was on my way to town in the NEL when I overheard some junior college girls talking rather loudly (it was a day without my etymotics) about their friendship. Having been in the college for a year at least and perhaps seeing their seniors collect their results, one of the girls was wondering out loud if they will still remain friends when they leave college. Another replied confidently that it was obvious that they will be and sounded perturbed by her lack of faith.

I remember collecting my O level results. I think the guys stayed over at yf's place that night. jados and elaine went home. we met the next day after collecting the results. I remember ah pui, pinto (shit, did I get this right), lanois, joddy, yumei and sashay. I remember collecting my A level results. Finished a bottle of gin with ys next to the river. Was still nursing a hangover and asking for a panadol when I turn up in school to collect the result slip.

And the best thing about having remembered all these is that I still have them as friends. Well, lanois is further now but we still meet yearly or so. Just met yf and fsr last night and we were finally talking about things people our age normally talk about haha. Halfway through the conversation, Jados sms that she was back home and I immediately called and passed the phone around.

I'm glad v can call these people her friends as well.

Friendships that are formed because of a single reason (association, interest, religion etc), from my own observations, are not robust. People come to know a single dimension of you. People make assumptions of you because then things become categorical and makes for easy living. I still jump to conclusions but I've learnt that I am not always right. I do make assumptions but I realise that asking a simple question can erase alot of doubts.

I think that the above may be the reasons why we are still in constant touch with each other. It's because we make less assumptions about each other and choose to question when in doubt. But I still can't figure out why we do that.

Keep it that way.

Porter Yoshida, Laurent Garnier and randomness

When shopping in Tokyo over the New Year sale period, we came across some Porter wallets and bags on sale. Remembering the Porter shop that had opened in Wisma and the crazy prices for their products, we wanted to get some of the stuff. But at the same time, we were not entirely sure which Porter we were buying. No, we were not looking for those found in Wisma. We were looking for Porter (Yoshida) not Porter International.

In 1989, a Taiwanese firm by the name Gallant Company obtained a written agreement from Yoshida Company to be registered to operate Porter and its related trademark outside Japan. Hence Porter International originates from Yoshida Company, Japan. The international version created under the Yoshida Company, was launched as an international brand in 2001. Two companies respectively develop their own brand, one does not relate to the other.

Last night met yf and fsr at the Laurent Garnier set. Fantastic night. Met lots of former colleagues (steve, edward) and present fellow wharf occupant (xiaowan) amongst others. Former Session-ist, Leon was there too. Yf was talking about Porter bags and stuff. So yeah, wanted to share this nugget of information with all about Porter.

Back to Garnier. When he started he was doing some techy, glitchy housey thing having to pick up where DJb had left off. He probably went through all genres of house and techno and when fsr and I returned from the winebar at 4am, he was doing drum and bass, whipping out a wicked mix of These Boots Are Made For Walkin'. By then I was super tired and had to leave. I bet there is nothing Garnier can't mix. Give him the teletubby theme song and akufen's deck the house, he can probably contort them together and still manage to put some breakbeats in there. But....having so many alliance francaise smell house in the main room....was off-putting. Hahaha....ok, silly joke. Not all who smell were french. I didn't start this "french people don't shower" thing. Read here: link.

Was offered $3000 to do something ridiculously obscene. I'm not shameless. Yet. hahaha.

Jados is in da house!

Friday, March 02, 2007

$10, 000, 000 Hongbao Draw

I forgot to buy it. But when I went to check my Yahoo! email, the horoscope read:

You could soon receive news of an unexpected cash inflow, dear Pisces. This might be money earned on your own, but it's more likely to be investment income. If you own stocks, bonds, or land, expect their value to skyrocket. If you work for a company that has a good profit-sharing plan, don't be surprised if the amount of profits earned this year doubles. Whichever it is, you're on your way!

Who am I to refuse destiny? Ok, so I've not been "investing" on Toto but hey.....

It's less than 30 minutes to destiny.

C'mon Big Money! No, I don't want to buy a fucking vowel!!!

The Man With The Red Face

If there is ever a connection between Jackie Chan (Hong Kong martial arts superstar) and Laurent Garnier (French "techno" pioneering DJ and producer), it would have been, strangely, War by Edwin Starr.

War! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing

War! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all

Laurent Garnier spun this back in 2003 during one of those "legendary" nights in the midst of the current Iraq mess. Jackie Chan included this 1970 Vietnam War protest song by Edwin Starr in his Hollywood smash Rush Hour in 1998 with totally lousy singing by Jackie.

See you on Friday.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


zzz...zzz...zzz... ... ...