Monday, November 29, 2004

Ich Dien

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: The Ballad of John and Yoko - The Beatles - 1967-1970 Disc 2, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Und ich liebe Dich, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm booking-in in a few hours and I haven't finished packing. Can't seem to find stuff. Oh well, SAF e-Mart does lotsa business off idiot NSmen like me. See youse all when I book-out. Meantime, sleep soundly. Our nation's security is in good hands. New hat The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that Parking Aunties/Uncles will now wear camouflaged uniforms & floppy hats so they can hide behind and in the bushes.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The last instalment of the fool and the slut

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Almost Like Being in Love - Natalie Cole - Unforgettable: With Love, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Been so busy I've only just realised that my friend Steve hadn't called and whined about his miserable existence this past week. He just called earlier. Something about being somewhere in Thailand, trying to get away from it all. Wish I could be there too, at this point. I suppose Steve's got better reason to want to get away than I do. But if I know Steve well enough, he'll be back in a week, complaining that his Singtel bill is five pages long with charges for 1,000 international SMSs to the idiot girl he's not quite seeing and from whom he's trying hard to get away. I'm not too sure why Steve's the way he is, and I don't really wish to know. But he should know damned well the girl he's not quite seeing is just playing the field, stealing kisses when she can from as many Steves as she can find. The slut. Steve? He just makes a dive for the pain that's calling, and this girl he's not quite seeing knows damned well every time she makes noises like an injured animal, he'll be there. The fool. He probably dances a little jig of joy every time she calls, no matter what time of day or what state of mind she appears to be in (although most times, she sounds in deep emotional distress, even when there's club music in the background). I don't think I know anyone else who's got such immense propensity towards self-inflicted troubles as Steve. Except mebbe myself, say, a year ago? But you know what? I'm tired of airing Steve's woes. The bugger should go start his own blog. You hear that, ya sad fuck? (That goes for you too, slut. Leave my friend Steve alone!) Sushi Railroad The queues outside Denki Sushi were never as long again after Jimmy's index finger and thumb were severed by the conveyor belt and eaten by diners on the other side of the restaurant ($3.75, red plate).
Surf Stop: Fafinette

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

This is not news

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Ay Fond Kiss - Fairground Attraction - The Very Best of Fairground Attraction, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
I was talking to a friend from who's back for holidays, and she thanked me for forwarding her the link to Pranay Gupte's site, saying something to the effect of 'I toldjers! They bugged my phone, serious! And Channel 'News' Asia is exactly like that!' We went on to discuss whether it was office politics that brought Mr Gupte's dismissal about, and why someone of his stature would need to stoop so low as to come by our journalistic backwater to write for a paper as ours, even if it were the best designed newspaper in the region. But we agreed that that still wouldn't strip his allegations of any merit. The editors are former (or still are) spooks who can his stories? How exciting. But whether or not spooks run a paper and can stories written by award-winning, foreign-talent journalists, there's never such a thing as an objective piece of news. You'll never know the truth of any matter unless you wuz there and you saw and heard things as they happened. It happens to the most 'liberal' of countries too (including that big one with the red states and blue states), but at least they have a variety of publications to look at and work out the truth somewhere in the middle of the muddle. As for us, we have to look elsewhere to find out, ferinstance, that there is currently a very serious dengue EPIDEMIC in Singapore. As of 18th September, 5,284 people have been infected, and at least three people have died. Not as serious as SARS meh? How come not on front page news every day? Even if we're not interested in politics and stuff, I'd like to know more about the goings on as regards how the folk up at Parliament=Cabinet=Government decide to do what they do. (And then smack them upside the head when they complain of the lack of interest in US-Singapore FTA negotiations. Hallo? We din know there was such a thing until it was almost done. Website forum also dun have! How to be interested?) Then again, BG George Yeo did reveal in an interview some time ago (and which cannot be linked because ST=SPH=Temasek websites don't archive things for online viewing) how he had sleepless nights and early mornings at the doomed Cancun trade talks. (But still nobody asked or wrote about why BG Yeo, friendly chap that he is, and the Minister for Trade and Industry as he was then, got sent to Cancun while Prof Tommy Koh, Ambassador at Large, got to do all the exciting FTA work.) Liang Seah Street Don't go out. Got Dengue.
Surf stop: MinJungKim.Com

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Less is less and more is more

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? - Harry Connick Jr. - When My Heart Finds Christmas, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
More of the same yesterday and early this morning, but throw in mild food poisoning to boot. Thank goodness for Lomotil. Among the many people I had to meet up with, bump into and glance at was this be-tudunged Malay woman working behind the reception counter at my office building who managed to create a hands-free kit for her mobile phone by jamming the phone between her left ear and her tudung, leaving her hands free to operate the cash register. Bluetoot

Monday, November 22, 2004

Wouldn't have it any other way

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Kodachrome - Paul Simon - The Paul Simon Anthology, Disc 1, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
It's gonna be a hard slog this week at work, and already I'm nursing a headache from not getting enough sleep over the weekend. Not good. Not good at all. Toilet wall Sign/Graffiti on toilet wall at Food Street (KENG) Fish Head Steamboat Eating House, Balestier Road
Surf stop: PranayGupte.Com (link lifted from Mr Brown)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Divers do it underwater

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: All You Need Is Love - The Beatles - 1967-1970 Disc 1, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
The other night, I went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where this diving magazine was having some event. This event was so exclusive you could only get an invite if you had internet access at home, went online, entered your phone number, and received an SMS with an authorisation code which you then had to show to the magazine's people at the door, so they could give you a piece of paper that entitled you to one free drink. Or, you had to be a bona fide card-carrying diver. And if you were, the magazine's people at the door would make you complete a four page long survey form before they gave you that piece of free drink paper. So before I went to the HRC, I went online, entered my phone number and waited with bated breath for my free drink authorisation code SMS, and as you can imagine, I was beside myself when I received it. Like everyone else, I have some diver friends, so I wasn't without familiar company. I waited for my diver friends for an hour, and then for another half hour while they shared a pen to complete their four page survey form. Then for another two while they swapped diving location stories. Then I got a word in sideways and I sez to them, 'can we order some food now?'. Good thing my diver friends were hungry too. During and after food, me and my diver friends mingled with other divers, and I was asked more than once where my last dive trip was, and I answered the same number of times that I didn't dive, never dove, never could dive, because I preferred being on the surface. You don't know what you're missing, they all tell me. I tell them I know, and I will join the Cult of the Underwater Breathing Apparatus Users as soon as I'm good and ready with some spare cash. Like every other cult and their members, they are thrilled to hear this, but their excitement suddenly wears off when I tell them I think this event is the only way engineers and IT CONsultants can get discounted drinks at nightspots (show your diver card and get 20% off, woohoo) because I didn't think there was a single nightspot that had an Engineers Night or IT Consultants Night. Hey, joke only lah, I also not Law or Media or Finance whaaat. There was another bunch of diver types discussing what make and model of camera was suited for underwater use. Something about allowing closer focus distance or something, then they showed me some snapshots they took of themselves underwater in Manado, Sipadan and other such like underwater diving places. I told them they could juggle positions in all the group photos and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. I'm the one with the green mask, one of them said. I wasn't making many new friends, so I sauntered across the floor to this table with several computers showing video clips of underwater fauna and flora. There were two girls there, and one of them chatted with me for a bit, telling me about underwater fauna and flora and where they could be found in and around Singapore (erm, underwater?). Next thing I know, I bought a brochure for $2.50 called 'Guidesheet to the amazing marine life of the southern shores of Singapore'. Pretty wordy title, but chock full of pictures and interesting bits of information, like the legends of Pulau Hantu, Sisters, St John's and Kusu Islands, as well as bits about how you can still go see coral reefs and reef flats without as much as touching scuba gear, and in Singapore too. Must go already lah. Who's game? East Coast Lagoon Food Village Much rather buy beer here.
Surf stop: Wild Singapore

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Chestnuts Press Release

Click on picture for Sistic Bookings Chestnuts is back and, mamma mia, what a show we have in store! Introducing the new killer pairing of Jonathan Lim (Chestnuts creator and veteran of 8 years) and Singapore Boy Hossan Leong, fresh from his own one-man show! This 8th installment of Singapore's only LIVE parody show promises more hard-hitting spoofs and merciless stabs at all things popular and artsy! Get ready for non-stop comedy sketches and parody songs as this madcap duo poke fun at our favorite movies, plays, TV shows and current events! The action is fast-paced, the costume changes countless and the humor unstoppable! This year, Chestnuts returns to its 1996 birthplace Jubilee Hall with all-new wacky spoofs of 2004's hottest films like Kill Bill 2, Peter Pan, Troy, 2046, The Grudge, House of Flying Daggers, Dawn of the Dead, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alien Vs Predator, Exorcist: The Beginning,The Stepford Wives and Catwoman. PLUS parodies of hit shows like Mamma Mia!, Singapore Idol, Friends, Extreme Makeover, Top or Bottom, Private Parts, Aladdin, The Vagina Monologues and Wills & Mergers a dig at those ridiculous cinema pre-show ads... TheatreWorks Does the Olympics, a parody of the Life! Theatre Awards and a tribute to the (still) pink theatre scene...featuring a different special guest each night joining us for a hilarious live chat-show about topical issues such as studio mergers, blackouts and celebrity pregnancies (and the conspiracy that links them all...)! More details on Chestnuts past and present here. Critics say…
“…should be seized on with delight… the performers are so adept at sending up everything that anything goes. Their repertoire is vast, and the action fast as the sketches are trotted out at whirlwind pace… the wit and style matches the very best of satire.” - Ron Banks, The West Australian, 1998 “Lim and Yeo have so much fun and their work is so polished that you can’t help enjoying it… Lim has an extraordinarily beautiful face capable of registering the subtlest of emotions, and a chimerical ability to change character (and he also looks hilariously genuine in a dress).” - Grant Cottrell, Xpress (Perth), 1998 “Clever as the writing is, the real charm of Chestnuts lies in the frenetic energy displayed by its performers… a remarkable chemistry between them…” - Jeremy Samuel, The Arts Magazine, Mar-Apr 2002 “The quality of the show was just overwhelming. Conceived to crank out the most number of laughs from a (preferably) local Singaporean audience in one and a half-hours, it certainly did its job… Mad men they clearly were… the show shines ever so brightly. I can honestly say that I haven't had this funny a night out in a long time… Regretfully, I can only ask myself why I didn't find out about it earlier. Oh well…” - Adi Soon, The Flying Inkpot, 2000 “The show is very funny and I enjoyed it very much. I'm definitely looking forward to next year's show.” - Glen Goei on 2003's “Chestnuts Unloaded: The Curse of the Black Pearl Bubble Tea” “Chestnuts is definitely roasting on an open fire - and it has been getting hotter with each year." - Zhou Junli, The New Paper, Dec 2003 Shows: 24th November - 27th November, 8pm (and 3pm Saturday).

Things that make me smile despite

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Adagio - Secret Garden Feat.david Agnew - 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
You know you're stressed when you feel a headache come on out of nowhere. There are moments like this at work, and today had one of them. There are a couple of autistic children who attend the school my business partner/colleague and I teach at, and I've griped before about the problem of mainstreaming special needs kids in a public school with forty kids a class. Joshua is one of the kids in P1, and his mother accompanies him at school every day, all day. Joshua spends all day running in and out of classes with his mother following close behind. He seldom attends our gymnastics PE classes, and when he does, he's mostly disruptive and we have to pay extra attention to make sure he doesn't run into the other kids, or worse, climb up the funny climbing thing that most government primary schools have in their halls. Today, we had to move our lessons to the school's music room because they were having one of those infernal end of year activities in the hall. Joshua decided he wanted to join his classmates for a spot of gymnastics. He burst into the room, with his mother close behind, and promptly charged across three lines of kids doing line drills. Instant headache time. Me, I went into panic damage control mode, charging up and down the room making sure Joshua wasn't going to run into things and other kids. Half angry, I told his mother the room was a bit small for us to be handling 40 kids and her son. Then my business partner/colleague, who is the expert head coach special needs specialist with twenty years' experience, showed how it was done. He simply picked Joshua up every time the boy tried to get in the way of his classmates, playfully swung him upside down, downside up, placed him down out of harm's way, and carried on instructing the rest of the class. Seamless. Near the end of the class, Joshua actually attempted a forward roll all by himself, and succeeded. Elated, we tried getting him to do another couple of rolls, but he shot off in the opposite direction and started jumping up and down at the other end of the classroom. I looked at the back of the classroom and saw his mother beaming proudly. When the class was dismissed, I went and apologised to her for not being able to give Joshua the extra attention he required. She thanked me instead for being able to let Joshua play. I think Joshua was happy too. My business partner/colleague? Just another day's work for him and his fab skills. I've got a lot to learn and I know it's worth learning, because to make Joshua and his mother act as if some miracle had just happened is pretty much the ultimate reward for a long day's work. Soup Restaurant Soup Restaurant, DFS
Surf stop: HaXi The Life

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Who'd have thunk it?

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Siboney - Connie Francis - 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Two ex-girlfriends in town on the same week. It's the X-GF Expo 2004! So busy, so busy. Thank goodness the wifey understandee. half moon face Look Hercules, it's Cyclops

Monday, November 15, 2004

Hangin' out at the arcade

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Perfidia - Xavier Cugat - 2046 Original Soundtrack, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Because today's a public holiday, Sunday night was without that familiar cramp in the neck from thinking about Monday's workload, even though I actually have to work later in the arvo today. A friend is visiting from DC, where she's been working with the World Bank, at a totally unenviable job, where she gets to jet around to such horrible places as Vientiane, Dili, Nuku'alofa, Apia and every other Third World capital you could poke a stick at. No, I don't envy her job at all. As you can imagine, she gets really bored with Singapore really quickly. She arrived Thursday evening, and already she's suffering urban island fever. So, it was up to the wife and I to think up something exciting for her to do. I suggested karaoke, the wife suggested arcade games. So, arcade games it was. Sunday night at the Superbowl Superfunplace or somesuch was pretty quiet for a Sunday night, and we got to play some of the more popular games, like the use gun and shoot people one, and the drive car really fast one. My World Bank friend was very reluctant at first, but warmed up after she found her favourite game, the shoot the bubble one. Then as we were skipping happily from one machine to another, a very familiar voice called out my name, and a hand was laid on my shoulder. Bugger. Gangsta from my gangsta past, I thought. Then I remembered I had forgotten that my old platoon mate actually owned the Superbowl Superfunplace. Then I remembered this platoon mate is the only person ever to have beaten the crap outta me. The wife says my face was white as snow as I excused myself to join my old mate for a coffee in his backroom office. Of course, nothing untoward happened, else I wouldn't be here blogging. No, actually, if anything untoward happened, I'd have a lot more to blog. But you know, life's pretty straight these days, and for that platoon mate of mine, pretty depressing, it seems. Business ain't that great at the Superfunworld. After we finished $20 worth of coins, we took my World Bank friend out for prata, but couldn't find a single prata shop open, so we ate chicken rice instead. There, my World Bank friend continued griping about how she thought her brains would melt if she stayed in Singapore for an extended period of time. She said it was amazing how parochially suburban Singaporeans tended to be. I said, no leh, before changing the subject to what colour my new car's interior was going to be, and how expensive my car repayments was going to be, but how it was still cheaper than running my old bomb of a car. Then everyone got a bit tired, even though we tried our best to ngeh ngeh stay out the whole night. Three police road blocks later, we got home, and here I am, blogging about everything this evening. Parochial what parochial?! East Coast Lagoon Food Village The most beautiful hawker centre on the planet. East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Who cares if no one outside Singapore knows wtf a 'hawker centre' is? (Is it a place where people go play with their hawks?)
Surf stop: Gothamist

Saturday, November 13, 2004

We have an iconoclast?

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Rattled - Traveling Wilburys - Vol. 1, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Singapore has a hero. He is an iconoclast. I have looked up the dictionary, and that word means that Royston takes the piss out of everything that is Uniquely Singapore. He takes Singapore's underbelly and turns it over easy. He busks unlicensed. This is what it takes, folks. Go to it! Wanna be on Time magazine? Don't go be some technopreneur now. Chew gum, spit, litter, cause a fracas, pay for sex, tag a wall, then go and make a film, making sure you get it banned. Then another Singaporean filmmaker who's been doing the same thing for a decade will write a short blurb about you for Time. Liat Tower Spotlights outside Liat Tower
Surf stop: terse & at large

Friday, November 12, 2004

Eh? Wasn't yesterday Sunday?

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: I Shall Be Released - Nina Simone - The Best of Nina Simone [RCA], of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Thanks to Cheh Zai Meen's blog (orh, you ah, sekali they really freeze your CPF!), I've seen the ISD's website, and read their mission statement, which is prefaced by a LKY quote. Tell me if it doesn't remind you of Humpty Dumpty. I had a reasonably good 'weekend' in the middle of the week. Me and the wife dressed up and went out in the middle of the night for posh drinks at a posh place. We were having so much fun, we decided to share it with LMD, who reluctantly trudged out to join us, had some funky drink, and next thing you know, the place closed. We were primed for a long gallavant, all of us! We coulda danced all night! And they had to close at 2am! What kind of crap place closes at 2am on the eve of a public holiday, said LMD. Good thing she already had a bit to drink before she met us. Dunno what would've happened if she didn't. Then just now, I popped in a DVD, Wong Kar Wai's 'Days of Being Wild', and, Lulu/Mimi from 2046 is from there! So is the reference to 'the legless bird', and so is Maggie Cheung's character, Su Lizhen! And Tony Leung's character appears for only a minute! So, it's all that come full circle shit thing shit! 'Whaddya mean I need a new manager? I happen to think Baleno was a good deal.'

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Touching base

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Brick - Ben Folds Five - Whatever And Ever Amen, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Sometimes, some long lost acquaintances will call and say hi, saying it's been a while since they 'touched base' with me. I usually say hi back, but inside, I'm saying 'what da fuck do you mean 'touch base'? My base is not for you to touch. Touch my base and you outrage my modesty'. Touching base is an Americanism. You touch base with acquaintances or business contacts you wouldn't otherwise contact. You touch base with people who are an after-thought to you at best. You touch base to assuage your guilt or absolve yourself for not keeping in contact. Touching base is superficial. Touching base usually serves no purpose unless you have a motive. I have been naive enough to think that some people mean well when they touch base. A reasonably well-known local celebrity who is currently parading in swimwear on some Chinese serial about people parading in swimwear once touched base with me, said she missed 'the times we had together', got me to add her to my Friendster list, and then stopped calling me cold. As ridiculous as that sounds, that was her motive. She now has like 500+ friendsters on her Friendster list. Another recent base toucher is another 'celebrity', operating out of KL, who attempted touching base because he wanted free legal advice for some business he is setting up there. Something to do with managing celebrities. You know these celebrities and their nonsense businesses. Very nonsense. And they like touching bases. Base touchers don't really care about what you've been up to and how you've been, unless it affects them. Base touchers lurk everywhere. So the next time someone calls and tells you he or she is calling to touch base, he or she is likely to have recently embarked on a new career as an insurance salesperson, a telemarketer, a multi-level marketing telemarketer, or a multi-level marketing insurance sales telemarketer. Or if, like me, you used to work in the entertainment industry, she could just be an insecure starlet looking to add you to her Friendster list. Doesn't hurt to have a bikini babe on your list, actually. Yeah. She can come touch my base any day. Nice pics in the papers the other day. Call me. We'll do coffee. Tioman 2002 No, it's not too soon to say I need another holiday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

There are holes in my brain

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles - 1967-1970 Disc 2, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
When I was out earlier, I thought of something really, really funny to blog about. I had to stifle giggles, even. It was so funny I was sure once I wrote and posted it, Mr Brown was gunna read it, laugh, and then link it from his blog. It was that funny. But! I forget what it is! Goddammit! Because halfway through forming the post in my head, Hossan calls me and tells me how funny House of Flying Chestnuts is going to be. He knows, because he's having so much fun at rehearsals. There'll be a skit where Jonathan and him will parody 2046, and he'll play Maggie Cheung's character. Speaking of 2046, if you're a DVD collector, don't buy the DVD they're selling at HMV or any other outlet in Singapore. It is the China-made version, meaning it's got one language track, crappy sound, and the logo of the video company appearing at the top left hand corner of your screen every five minutes. Wait for the Criterion edition, if it ever gets made. Dammit, I still can't remember the funny story. Mustn't have been that funny then.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Left before right

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: 緣投與阿醜2004 - 黃立行 - 黑的意念, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
There was a moment yesterday I thought my head was about to burst from work. Nothing seemed to be going right, and everything that could go wrong did. I am superstitious in times like these, though not as superstitious as Steve, whom I haven't heard from for more than 24 hours, so either the girl he's seeing but not quite seeing hasn't been calling him, or has been calling him so often he's destroyed his phone. I must have forgotten to wear my left sock before my right, left shoe before right. Better get it right today. Better still, better wear slippers instead. Isola, IFC 2 Isola Bar & Grill, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong
Surf stop: Coconino

Monday, November 08, 2004

Wedding pictures

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Tangled up in blue - Bob Dylan - The Best Of Bob Dylan, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Yesterday evening was spent with old uni mates at dinner and drinks after. There was a computer notebook with photographs of one of their holidays in Spain and Portugal, including photographs of a wedding of one of our uni mates in Lisbon. I didn't attend this wedding because I was in Hong Kong, at the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't very interested in looking at the photos of that wedding, even if it probably was one of the grandest weddings ever held among my uni mates. I kept yawning many of those compound yawns, you know, where your jaw goes into spasms and your eyes water? I'm still yawning and my eyes are still watering. Barang Barang Where the fuck are the garters?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Practice makes the heart grow fonder

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Teardrops Will Fall - Ry Cooder - Into the Purple Valley, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Maybe it's good that me and Estelle seldom meet up. Absence makes the fart go Honda, as Steph Song used to say to me. (Speaking of Steph, she hasn't called in yonks, and I read in her last New Man interview that she's been Googling herself on the internet and finding many things about herself which are soooo untrue!) Yeah, so, Estelle calls me Friday night when I am so tired I can hardly press the green button to answer her call. But seeing her name on the display makes me summon a few ounces of energy to do so. She says hi, and I say hi back. She says how are you? I say tired like fuck. She says me too. And she says, hey you wanna come over and hang out? I go mmmmmmmm but I am very, very tired. She says, OK, why don't you call me when you wanna come over, I have coffee? I say OK. I take a shower and nap, hoping to wake up in an hour or so, so's I can go over. As with most well-laid plans these days, this one stuffs up as well, and I sleep way into the night, till it's too late to go over and hang out and have a cup of coffee made by Estelle. Bummer. I could've had a cuppa coffee. But it's the Count that thought, and that's really, really good on a day when you're really, really tired. Giant Profiterole II Giant profiterole @ Lazy Gourmet
Surf stop: Lynnzter

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Let this blog be the catalyst

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Is Love Coming - Lena Park - Op. 4, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
Steve calls me this morning for two things. First, he gently rebukes me for telling the whole world about his problems. I'm like, whaddafuck, Steve, it's 7.30am on Saturday, and your name isn't even Steve, and not that many people read what I write about you whaaat. Steve's pretty satisfied with my explanation. I think he's secretly happy that I am airing his woes. It's as if he wants the girl he's seeing but not quite seeing to know that I am talking about him and about her. Maybe that might help them a bit. You know how couples are, they can't talk about things. Takes something external to catalyse matters. Well, if this blog be the catalyst, this blog be the catalyst! Then he tells me that he doesn't want to go anywhere at all today. I know it's got something to do with the girl he's not quite seeing, but I ask why anyway. And he yelps: Duuuuude, she called me this morning before I could even leave the house! She's baaaaad luck, dude. I can't leave the house now! I tell him he needs help, but not from me. There's nothing I can do for this poor bastard, good friend though he may be. I'm gonna leave him to sit at home and starve to death. Photo by artistincognito
Surf stop:

Friday, November 05, 2004

In other news

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Oh Poo Pee Doo - Tina Turner - Best of Ike & Tina Turner, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
On this blog, you will not find any commentary on the US Elections. While the author is not an idiotic gossip columnist, he finds a lot of time for things of little consequence. Such as these which follow: 1. Posted on Days Were The Those:
Time flies. It's been six months since I received my SAF 100 notice, and now my good ol' Brigade HQ has sent me another letter telling me to cut my hair, to keep it black, and to pack my field pack items (including a diagram of how all the barang barang would be laid out during inspection). Brigade HQ also tells me that 'shortfalls' in personal items can be purchased through the SAF e-Mart online, and can be picked up at my camp when I book-in. But there are some things I can't buy online. The training program for this year's in-camp training (ICT) is also available at the NSMan's web portal, and I am looking forward to 17 days of Error 404, page not found.... [READ MORE HERE]
2. Germaine gets a free bum wash and isn't too pleased about it:
Then I saw a leaf stuck onto my shoe and bent down while sitting there to pick it off. THEN THE TOILET FLUSHED. MY BUTT GOT WASHED. blush I AM NOT HAPPY AT ALL ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF HAVING WATER THAT CONTAINS MY FAECES SQUIRTING ONTO MY BUTTOCKS. Tomorrow I'm going to stick a sticker onto the sensor. Flush lah, flush somemore lah! I sticker you then you know.
(Warning: Youngpeoplenowsaday use very small font. Macam what my brother calls 'Bird-dust') 3. Chinese are Jews, says this "historian". (From Danwei's blog) Books Kinokanina

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Didn't know that, didja?

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman - Clarinet a' la king, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
It takes one TV interview and a short newspaper blurb before my mother discovers she's Mr Miyagi's mother. She's just emailed me a warning that if ever she reads a joke about her goodself in this here blog, she will kill me dead. No matter if it was the church pastor who told her he read about this blog in Tuesday's papers, and still no matter if he said it was pretty good stuff. She will still kill me dead if I joke about her. So, no jokes about Mum. But plenty of leeway for blog posts about violence, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, or whatever it is that youngpeoplenowsaday listen to. Speaking of youngpeoplenowsaday, a friend of mine told me she spoke with some of them, and all of them have no inkling about what Singapore was like in the 70s and 80s. TV serials like 'Growing Up' doesn't help much to ameliorate the ignorance either. All you will get from watching 'Growing Up' is the idea that people in the 70s used to pout and frown a lot. Like ferinstance, did you know it was illegal for males to sport long hair in the 70s? You either had to be a Sikh or get yourself shorn short back and sides if you wanted to walk down, say, any street people used to walk down in the 70s. Even male visitors, arriving at Paya Lebar (yes, there was an airport there) or any port of entry, had to have their hair inspected, and if it were deemed too long, officious immigration officers would also double as barbers. Clipped, on the spot, then off to the carousels to pick up your bags. No head massage, no shampoo, no fuss. Did you also know about when it was actually really, really dangerous to go hiking or camping in Malaysia? A friend of my mother's (Mum, this is not a joke) wanted to take me flying in his Cessna, but I wasn't allowed to go, because there were Communists in the jungle and I'd be in danger if we crash landed in Taman Negara (and survived). From then till I turned six or so, I kept trying to draw pictures of animals with big mouths and sharp teeth and calling them Communists, because that was what I thought they were. It was only after I was told something something Emergency something Sukarno bomb McDonald's House something Indonesia attack Singapore something Chin Peng something murderer, that I was enlightened. Did you also know that 'Enter The Dragon' was banned in Singapore, ostensibly because it was violent? Betcha didn't know that before the New Paper, there was a tabloid called 'The New Nation', and that it was shut down? Or that Sentosa, Singapore's last resort island, was also home to Singapore's last Communist-suspect detainee? Or that 76 people died in the island's worst industrial accident, which together with several other major accidents in the 70s and 80s, precipitated the creation of a proper civil defence force? (I was at home at the time the ship blew up, and nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard the explosion). Didn't know all that, didja? Didja? Sigh, youngpeoplenowsaday. Tree-building You know Christmas is near when the nation starts tree-building

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Out of luck when luck was doing alright

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Paper Thin - John Hiatt - Slow Turning, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
You cannot place bets using your Singapore-issued credit or debit card at any online betting shop or online casino that's located overseas. And I didn't know if Singapore Pools, one of the many, many betting agencies in Singapore, offered odds on yesterday's Melbourne Cup - The Race That Stops A Nation, so I asked a friend in Sydney to go to her local TAB and place $55 on various horsies for me, LMD and my friend Steve (who thought it might be a good idea to distract himself from his woes). Now, I'm not a gambler by any measure, and I don't watch the soccer (yes, it's overseas soccer, so don't ask me why I watch overseas horseraces and overseas cricket and overseas rugby union). Here, it seems as if every other guy and the occasional girl watches soccer. They get all worked up about it, place large amounts of money on bets based on what the New Paper says, and then lose a bundle to either Singapore Pools or one of the many other local betting agencies. But I like wagering with people who I know are a tad too emotional about the sport they're watching, like the time me and a friend won a small but handy sum from someone who gets all worked up about her soccer. Then there is the spooky coincidence of licence plate numbers of cars involved in accidents, no matter how minor the accident, and the winning 4D number. I've never won 4D, and I was beginning to think it was because I seldom bet, and when I did, I never bet on the numbers my friends told me to. So when the one true love told me she dreamt of the number 1117, I thought, what the heck, let's have a flutter. I went and placed $5 (I think) on 1117, and the next day, 7111 was published as one of the Starter numbers, and it was then I learnt that there was such a thing as an Auto-Pick-Combo-Thingamajig. I also told the one true love to make sure she slept the right way round next time. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not a gambler by any measure. Else I might actually watch the soccer or risk life and limb travelling to Genting, because I can't place bets using my credit/debit card on overseas online betting shops and casinos. Yesterday's flutter was a flop. Me, LMD and Steve lost our outlay of $55 (My bookie friend in Sydney lost $6 herself too, so make that $61 lost to an overseas economy). None of our horses came within coo-ee of the placings, and Steve is blaming the girl he's seeing but not quite seeing for his run of outs. She called him yesterday, you see. Stupid, stupid horse!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Troll bait

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Proud Mary - Ike & Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
STlifeclip Straits Times Digital Life, 2 November 2004, p.17

Get married for what

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Rhyfelgyrch Gwyrharlech (Men Of Harlech) - Welsh Male Voices - Very Best Of The Festival Of One Thousand Welsh Ma [UK], of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
If you haven't already read it, go read Adri's fabulous piece on a Teochew wedding. The comments to that post are just as interesting (interestingly, all coming from men), and this one in particular reminds me of once when a friend was in my car, and he pointed to two men holding a child's hands, on either side of the child, crossing the road together, and he said, 'Look, perfect family'. I was just talking to a friend the other day about marriage, and how I thought many of our female friends who were married or about to get married tended to view marriage as the goal in life. This friend became quiet, and told me, 'you know, that was... that is my problem, and maybe that's why things are not going well for mine now'. (I'm reminded of that hilarious LMD account of how her friend's mother asked her friend why she didn't want to get married 'to experience sex soon'.) Another friend recently told me what he had to do in preparation for his coming wedding. He did the dreaded bridal studio packaged photo shoot. 'The bugger make me run while he take photo! And then ask me to turn and smile! Where got people run like that one?' He also had to pose for shots carrying his wife, at locations ranging from Fort Canning to Sentosa to Arab Street, then come back to the studio, where some be-petaled bed was set up for the couple to pretend to canoodle in their wedding best while the photographer snapped away. I asked him why he did it if he didn't like doing it, and he said 'make the wife happy lor, she wants all this mah'. Aiyah, dunno lah. All youse can keep getting married for all I care. At least my brother's shop will get some business. Check out his wedding specials.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Screwy mate

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Only A Fool Breaks His Own Heart - Nick Lowe - The Convincer, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
So I ask my friend Steve what's up with the girl he's been seeing but not quite seeing, and he says, 'Don't talk about her, dude. Don't even bring her name up, she's bad luck'. At that instant the taxi we're in nearly merges with an oncoming SBS No. 165, and we are nearly kewwed. The bus driver is so irate he slows down, so our taxi can catch up, so he can scold our taxi driver good. One of my testicles is somewhere in my throat while the other is lodged under the front passenger seat (the one under the driver's seat belongs to the driver). But without missing a beat, Steve deadpans, 'Toldja. She's bad luck'. Then he mumbles, 'Sad. I didn't even see my life flash before my eyes'. You know if a friend gets as morose as that, there's nothing much you can do but accompany him on a drinking binge or something. That girl he's been seeing but not quite must've affected him really, really badly. I kaypoed further, 'No, really, what happened? You were telling me you think she could be your girlfriend, but now you're all sulky. I thought you liked her?' That unlocked the floodgates, and chapters 1 - 23 of The Book of Steve were completed before we got to Wine Bar. He said he didn't think very much of her when they first met, except that she was 'kinda cute', and that she wasn't his equal intellectually and definitely not emotionally. But things, they develop, and next thing you know, they're spending every waking moment and some sleeping ones together. 'So, do you like her or not?', I asked. 'Dunno. I don't think I should', he sighed. 'What the fuck?', I what the fucked. 'What do you think she wants out of this?', he asked. I what the fucked again, and asked him how that mattered if he didn't know if he liked her or not. But when a friend gets as morose as this, he seldom is actually in the conversation, and Steve was no different: 'Do you think she's treating me just as a friend? Do you think she's trying to gain something from me? What does she want? What does she want?' At this point, our taxi arrived at outside Zouk. I collected my testicles, paid the cabbie, and shoved Steve out the other door while he was still composing rap lines out of 'what does she want?'. I have really screwy mates. Must be the company they keep. Gridlock