Monday, July 31, 2006

Hit me with your best shot, not best slew of #@$%&*

The Sunday Times featured bloggers galore in its Lifestyle section today and stated that in the Age of Narcissim, people blog to be read and then famous. Really? Hm… In the course of teaching New Media Communications, blogging is a rather recent phenomenon that has been discussed to death. Some students, in exasperation, explained emphatically that they simply want to keep a diary forever and cyberspace allows them to do so.

I think there's really nothing much to analyse in terms of the motivations behind blogging. In fact, the rise of corporate blogging may serve up more excitement as a discussion topic.

I don’t really care what drives people to blog. Afterall, it’s personal, right? Celebrity wannabes, shameless exhibitionists, intelligent political analysts, noble philosophers can have their own virtual space to achieve anything they desire in blogosphere.

One thing’s for sure: To increase readership, delete more words, load more pictures, serve up provocative pictures (with nudity thrown in) and your blog is on its way to 1 million and more hits per day. After all, free porn is good stuff. Objectionable content? Yea right, who’s complaining?

The only blogs that irk me are those which contain expletives in almost every paragraph. I am alright with ‘shit, crap, bastards, bitch,….’ and Hokkien words like ‘wah lau, wah lan, what else?’ peppering one’s personal writing and speech. But when the public blog’s content is marinated in ‘Fuck, fuck and more fuck’ I start to see red.

What’s the fuss since this F word has evolved from being an unacceptable obscenity to a modern word complete with its accompanying prepositions? Run a check and you can find many phrasal verbs like “fuck off, fuck over, fuck up”. What’s the fuss, Ivy Yeo?

Cos, Ivy’s a prude. Her ears will rot upon contact with this acidic 4 letter word.

But more importantly, people who use this word with relish have questionable psychological states. Call it emotional purging, say it’s harmless. I respect freedom of speech, so who I am to rinse your motor mouths with Dettol? Yea, just don’t use it on me and you are fine.

Overheard: A Primary 2 boy called his classmate 'an ignominious mutt'. Looks like it's high time for the 'foul mouths' to increase their vocabulary bank.

In my opinion:
1. People who use ‘Fuck’ indiscriminately and ever so often should just DO THE ACTUAL DEED to rid themselves of their angst.

2. Girls who say “Fuck’ all the time, to everyone, should just SCREW THEMSELVES with the most hardworking vibrator available.

3. Guys who say ‘Fuck’ to other guys should just SODOMISE their gay partners.

4. Guys who use ‘Fuck’ on girls are the worst of the lot. They should just go FUCK THEIR OWN MOTHERS. (since they don't respect women, they should start with the most impt one)

Enough said, this is an electrically charged and downright dirty entry. Because I abhor the use of this particular word. Will be the first and last time I type ‘Fuck’ on my blog. I sincerely apologise to my refine and sweet readers.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Retail Therapy

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) has concluded, much to my dismay. I didn’t partake enthusiastically in this event, scourging shops along the Orchard belt for the best bargains. I hate crowds, perhaps I am mildly agoraphobic. And sales are times when I am often too late (all tops in my size have already flown off the racks) or too slow (I didn’t see that skirt before the auntie pull it away—right before my eyes).

Because I always request for a new piece (NO, No to display items), salesgirls would give me a dirty look before heading off to their storeroom when an item is 50% off.

When the shops are empty (= no discounts available), they pander to all my royal fussiness eagerly.

Apart from being too pre-occupied with my stuff, I decided to wean myself off shopping—cold turkey. But, today, I decided to just take a breather and walk around one of the suburban malls.
And I bought this from Red Earth (Esprit beauty counter). I know! All my not-used-much cosmetics have to be disposed of once they are past their best-by date. But this is something too pretty to resist!

It’s a 3-in-1 makeup palette from Red Earth’s 'Summer Memories' collection. The palette I bought is called ‘Bird of Paradise’ because the colours are so bright, cheery and outstanding.
I love colours! Especially candy hues. They look so delectable and lift my mood immediately.

So, here’s how it looks like: (3 layers—so handy for one’s make-up pouch!)

Red Earth's Summer Memories 3-in-1 Colour Palette

Top Level: A palette of 7 selection of lip shine and lipstick in red earth's top-selling shades

Middle Level: A combination of 2 blushers and 5 colour eye shadows

Bottom Level: A palette of 4 creamy eyeliners with a 6 piece assortment of mini brushes

If you gals like it (or if sweet boyfriends want to buy their gfs something nice), better grab it from the Red Earth counters soon, cos the incoming Autumn/ Fall Lacy Afternoon collection of muted earth tones will replace this ‘happy’ offering. At $39, it’s rather reasonable (use your Metro card to get a 10% discount at the Causeway outlet).

FYI: There’s actually another palette from this collection called ‘Lavender Tarte’ with pink-purple hued shadows that are not as eye-catching. Unfortunately, that combination is already out-of-stock.
Personally, I prefer ‘Bird of Paradise’!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Low Brow American Humour

I simply do not understand why people will laugh at falling/ tumbling/ tripping humans in action.

An informal count of the videos presented on American Funniest Home Videos will list at least 50% of the footages to be under the ‘Unfortunate Accidents Caught on Film’ category.

The irony of it all is that audiences seemed to get a kick out of watching cyclists flipping their bikes over, planes crashing into fields, ungraceful parachutists landing into treetops, folks walking into objects, dancing couples swinging out of control.

Beneath the hilarity of it all, the bottom line is that, ‘It could have been fatal’. The cyclist could have crushed his spine and ended up paralyzed waist down, the pilot could have died, the parachutist may become impotent for life, folks could have suffered concussions and the dancing couple may well have twisted ankles and sprained backs.

I don’t see the joke to these stupid entries. It’s like bursting into laughter when an old lady tripped while getting up the bus. Would you have done that?

I would rather stomach Jacky Wu’s toilet humour, Stephen Chow’s slapstick antics and my very own 超级冷笑话 anytime.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bilis and Kaemi this is not, a little fall of rain lift my spirits quite a lot

The sky has been flashing ominous streaks of silent lightning since 4a.m. but all seems quiet and calm. In fact, the air is stagnant and heavy.
It’s only now that the sky has yielded unwillingly and breathes the first rumbles of thunder. The landscape outside is washed with a hint of persimmon orange hue and the slight breeze hints of impending rain.
Morning showers are nice, especially when I don’t have to be caught in the storm and be drenched. Sleeping in is a good option. What a lazy way to start the day. By snuggling contentedly in my bed!
The pitter pattering of raindrops on the windows appear to second the suggestion. Taking forty winks always seem like a good idea.


Nice Breezy Tune--Emil Chau's forte (singing feel good songs like this)

Monday, July 24, 2006

The hare, tortoise, caterpillar and the snail...

Went for an evening jog to clear my head this evening. As usual, my pacing was a leisurely 2 1/2 min per round and I dutifully ran 6 rounds to make it a 2.4km run. Like that how to run a 5 km marathon in 20 min? Aiyoh. Must train before taking part in these events.

While I was running (running is a bit boring), I remembered a joke I heard from somewhere:
It goes like this: (practice my Chinese)

有一只乌龟和白兔赛跑, 白兔当然一下子就远远的超越乌龟。


Anyway, this joke is actually rather meaningful. It means, nothing is absolute in this world. And many times, it’s all about relativity. The tortoise is slow compared to the hare, but a fast walker in the eyes of the caterpillar and snail.

Whatever it is, I felt refreshed after the run, but am nursing a bad headache as I pen this entry now. Sigh. Going in search of Panadols soon.

P/S It's been a while since I type paragraphs using Chinese, if anyone spot any mistakes, tell me so that I can improve. =)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend Fluff

This is an MV of one of my favourite singers, Angela Chang Shao Han. Her voice is lovely, because in an industry of manufactured bubblegum pop, it stands out as being distinctive and strong.
Many singers have run-of-the-mill voices. They are just for ogling at. Great packaging, interesting wardrobes and cutesy dance moves. (Ask them to sing any ol' song and we won't be able to match that voice to the singer)
But Angela Chang is for listening to and watching. She looks like Zhou Xun, the Chinese actress in‘Perhaps Love’-a bit weird but definitely nice.
This is the song I like most from her latest album Pandora. It's called 'Sky in my pocket', but more accurately, “口袋的天空”。 I only discovered this song after buying the album, because on a rare occasion when I listened to the radio, they were playing “潘朵拉”. That song got on my nerves but once I figured it's Angela Chang singing, I decided to give it a chance. Hahaha—talk about biasness.

Angela Chang 口袋的天空

(I will leave discussing Youtube some other day, and still put this MV on my blog...)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Timetable for Rest

How do you know you have grown older?
When you sleep early and wake up early too, even on weekends.

Used to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. Especially during my undergraduate years, even when there's no particular deadline I am rushing. I cannot comprehend why a friend of mine insists on sleeping by 11pm almost everyday when he can help it. Now I know.
That's called discipline!
Sleeping regularly requires discipline. Because few people find important. I mean, we love sleeping, but somehow or rather, we think that sleeping is a rather lazy form of activity. But if we sleep at irregular hours, we mess up our internal bio-rhythm. That means we find ourselves lethargic often and not performing at the peak of our mental capacity.
Moreover, if we cut back on sleep at the expense of other unimportant stuff, we are simply short-changing ourselves. We look and feel like dinosaurs. We think slower. (Obviously, this will not be apparent if we have always lack proper rest). To know what damage you have done to your body and well being, change your lifestyle. When you see and feel the difference, that's when you understand the torture you have been inflicting on yourself all this while. Well, it's not too late for me. Though if I had discovered it earlier, I will look sweet sixteen and have a PhD degree. ARGH!

Friday, July 21, 2006

If it doesn’t make my heart sing, and my soul dance…then it sure doesn’t work for me

I received a call today, from a rather high profile agency. I was offered a job in one of their departments. Well, almost. It’s left with the loose ends to tie and confirm. But instead of feeling like I have won a prize, I felt empty and mournful.
Call it gut feeling…
People would say, “That’s great! WOW!” But sometimes, I know how the story will progress after the narrator begins “Once upon a time…” And in this instance, it’s a case of knotted sickness in my stomach.
I know the trap-embellished with fake jewels and laced with pretty confetti. If I fall in too readily, I will crawl out of this manhole 2 years later, mirthless, older, worm-like and without my blue ribbon.
I thought about it for a day and a chanced encounter with someone in the know today confirmed my suspicion. Don’t fall for this bait.
Alright, it’s settled then. I am not biting.
It’s better to hold out for something that makes me jump out of my bed eagerly each morning and face the brand new day with spring in my step. Idealistic? No. Cos, there is a good percentage of individuals out there who love what they are doing. Simply put, I want to be in that number.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Of Bugs and Toothy Grins

I am having flu…yet again. Despite all the vitamin tablets, the bug still found its solace in my hospitable body. Crap.
Blowing Nose
So, I have been sneezing the entire day, feeding on Febs every 4 hours and using boxes of tissues. Anyway, with or without influenza, I am still the tissue queen. My mom suggests I marry some manufacturer of the paper handkerchief, so that I am guaranteed a lifetime supply. Duhz…I do admit that I kill a lot of trees. They haunt me in my sleep. =P
So, it’s a rather gloomy day. With the sniffles, the rain, the home alone and still need-to-do work circumstance.
That’s when I suddenly remember that many people think I should smile more. Like, why do I look so gloomy, serious, aloof…dao 1 most of the time? Hm...? It surprises me. I thought I am the corniest sheaf in the corn field.
Food Fight
However, when I browsed through my photo albums I realized that I really don’t smile a lot in photographs.
Why? I don’t know. Not a natural in front of the camera lah.
And will not smile without a reason.
Realized that smiley pictures of me are taken ONLY when I am truly happy.
Unquestionably happy.
Like when?
Some samples: When I toured Melbourne/ Great Ocean Drive a long time ago. Had a wonderful time. Beautiful place. The wanderlust in me is awakened again…Sigh. When is my next trip?

I love posing with the gang from Looney Tunes! Melbourne-Crown Towers Warner Bros shop

Big smile! Didn't buy anything from this shop though...phototaking is free!! Snap away!!!

I LOVE wildflowers...

Ignorance is bliss. Posing happily with the anchor at Apollo Bay...oblivious to the tour guide fuming behind me (look behind the tree)...Yea, we're latest nincompoops to board the bus.

Great Ocean Drive-and now there are 11 apostles... the 12th one crumbled into fragments in 2005.

I paid 100 SGD for 15 minutes on this helicopter. Why am I still grinning idiotically? Why? The answer is...

My fantabulous bird's eye view of the ocean, rocks and the coastline

The blue planet!

Of precipitous cliffs

And magnificent swells

Sculptures of the forces of nature

Money well spent. And beauty captured...

So there you have it! I smile becos I am H-A-P-P-Y, and not for the sake of boosting my likeabilty index.

By the way, when you DO catch Ivy smiling at you, you know she's genuinely pleased to see you. ;-) Cheers!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The dot that missed my radar

“The Little Red Dot- Reflections by Singapore’s Diplomats” is the first comprehensive attempt to compile the milestones of Singapore’s external relations.
President Nathan is among a long list of luminaries who contributed to the book.
The late President Wee Kim Wee, former foreign ministers including Mr S. Rajaratnam, S Dhanabalan, Wong Kan Seng, Professor S Jayakumar all contributed essays to the book.
Foreign Minister George Yeo wrote the foreword.
Those who are interested in Singapore, its history and foreign policy will find the book a highly enjoyable read.
The book is filled with absorbing stories about people, places and international politics. It is launched on 5 August 2005.

Seriously, why the name-Little Red Dot? Just because Singapore is small on the world map? That sounds rather insulting and un-inspiring. Not to mention that some neighbours have used this term to put our country in ‘our place’ during times of strained relations. A well penned book title is certainly not a lot to expect—looking at the list of eminent authors.

FYI: S.R. Nathan= Sellappan Ramanathan Nathan

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thank You for Smoking

‘That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.’ -Nick Taylor in Thank you for Smoking

One of the best movies to watch and spend your 8 bucks on this year. I just wonder why so few theatres are screening this film. Everywhere, it’s just “Superman Returns”. Guess fantasy wins reality hands-down. ARGH…

Movie Trailer:

Thank You For Smoking movie trailer

Movie Review: (adapted from Jon H Ochiai’s comments)

In the opening scene of "Thank You for Smoking", Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) Tobacco Lobbyist is a guest on the Joan Lunden Talk Show with a young boy Robin, who is a dying of lung cancer. Nick somewhat sympathetic, makes his argument that it is in his best interest to keep people like Robin alive so they can continue to smoke cigarettes. Nick proclaims that the Tobacco Industry will spend $50 million on campaign to educate kids against smoking. Nick wins over the entire studio audience for his humanitarian stance.

Satire lives and thrives in Jason Reitman's "Thank You for Smoking". Reitman's screenplay based on the book by Christopher Buckley. "Thank You for Smoking" is painfully hilarious and a clever dark comedy focused on the multi-billion dollar Tobacco Industry. Writer and Director Rietman has a similar conceit as his main character Nick Naylor as he tells his story in the context of freedom and the consequence of choice—however skewed the context. Aaron Eckhart is amazing as Nick, Time Magazine's "Sultan of Spin". As Nick describes himself, "Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk." His Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, or in English he is a Tobacco Lobbyist. He is a master at what he does. Nick is also the political target of Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who wants to stamp all cigarettes with a "poison" label.

Every week Nick has dinner with the MOD squad—that would be the "Merchants of Death." Polly Bailey is with the Alcohol Lobby. Bobby Jay Bliss is with the Firearms Lobby. Nick reminds Polly that she is only responsible for two deaths per day, only.

In a signature scene reporter Heather asks Nick, "Why do you do what you do?" Unflinching Nick says, "Population control." Then he cops to "Everyone's got to pay the mortgage…" This is funny and dead on.

Director Rietman maintains this most absurd ecology—there is no envelope for his material and at the same time he generates genuine sympathy for his characters. And in the business world it is all about the bottom line.

In another classic scene Nick delivers a brief case with $25 million to the lung cancer stricken Marlborough Man—who can either keep the money for his family; thus shutting his mouth to the media or give it all away to charity. The offer is non-negotiable. Everyone has to pay their mortgage. Walking on the Santa Monica Pier with his son Joey, Nick advises on the virtues of being morally "flexible". The writing in "Thank You for Smoking" is so smart and drop dead funny—so to speak.

Director Rietman goes where few dare, and makes us laugh at our darker nature. He also tells a story of the responsibilities of freedom and choice, and the consequences all with a sense of humor. See "Thank You for Smoking"—it is one of the year's best.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Aspirations and Actions

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

An Article on the IWJ (Internet Writing Journal) Blog

Neil Gaiman and the Aspiring Novelist June 23, 2006

Neil Gaiman describes an encounter he had on an airplane.

"The lady on the plane next to me yesterday explained, when I told her I was a writer, that as a former English Major she had had dreams of being a major novelist, but she was making a living instead, and she hoped to one day have enough free time to write." "And I remembered Gene Wolfe getting up at 5.00 am every day and writing two pages before going in to work, and I told her that if she wanted to be a writer she ought to write. ('It's like most jobs,' I told. 'It's amazing how much of it just consists of showing up.' But she didn't believe me.)

How absolutely amazing! Here is a woman who slogs away at a boring day job, dreaming of being a novelist, who ends up sitting next to internationally bestselling author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman on a plane. She strikes up a conversation and gets some excellent advice about being a professional writer. But clearly she a) had absolutely no idea who he is and b) didn't believe a word of the advice he gave her.

It makes us wonder how many strange encounters like that occur in our lives, encounters where if we just listened harder and paid better attention could perhaps give us a good shove down the correct life path. Our Karmic Conclusion to this encounter: the woman was not destined to be a writer. Because if you wait until you have time to write, you'll never write at all. On the other hand, perhaps she'll see a copy of Anansi Boys or American Gods at the bookstore and think "Hey, I met that guy on the plane and he said that writers actually need to write things." It could happen.

By the way: Bestselling author Neil Gaiman has long been one of the top writers in modern comics, as well as writing books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

School Bullies

"The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out." Chinese Proverb.

With the advent of camera-video phones, recording one's daily activities has become a really easy and convenient thing. First, we have our exhibitionistic “Tammys”. Now, school yard bullying has also made its way onto the memory of phones, to be disseminated for viewing pleasure.

The scary thing is when bullying is carried out by a group. The mob mentality is enough to kill a person in the heat of the moment. Notice (in the video below) that the girls become incoherent and bent on whacking the victim just for the ‘effect’ after repeated hits.
Although I don’t really know what culminated in the attack, it’s definitely a terrible incident to witness.
At first, I thought it would be best for the girl to run away. Yet, it may turn the ‘cats’ into ‘dogs’ to hunt and tear her into pieces. Definitely, one shouldn’t put herself in danger by being alone with these bullies. Then again, we don’t know who she landed there in the first place.
The girls featured are from Miri (Malaysia). You can search for those ‘Made in Singapore’ too. But it’s awful, alright? I hope nobody enjoys watching these sadistic videos.

Strange. Even though I was small-sized, I never got bullied in school. Or perhaps, the schools I attended are one level above these crass institutions. The students there employ a worse form of bullying: that of psychological torture-by alienating and ostracizing the victims.

Video in Question:
Note: The video posted has been taken down as stated previously. Why? I dislike anything to do with unwarranted violence. So, I do not want to carry this video on my blog site for too long. For a parody on this issue of schoolyard bullies, check out

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tagboard Problem

Wonder what's wrong with my tagboard. My personal tags will appear twice instead of once. And no, it's not that my fingers are trigger happy, to click 'TAG' twice. Crap. ARGH! Anyone has the answer?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wishing for Rain

Summer has arrived. Singapore? Yes, even though we are a tropical island devoid of four distinct seasons, yet, there are subtle changes that mark the coming and passing of seasons.

It has been so hot all week. And dry. Not a hint of rain to soothe tempered souls. And sometimes, the searing heat does get to me. It seems to burn my skin from within and makes me feel rather uncomfortable. Still, it’s not warm enough to make me perspire. Nevertheless, it’s enough to cause my temperature to rise by a fraction of a degree at least. Argh…Wish a thunderstorm would be brewing soon. And the skies release the much needed rain—to wash away the oppressive heat and clear the air to make it crisp and fresh once again.

MTV: 'Flood' by Jars of Clay
Jars Of Clay - Flood (original)

One of my favourite songs from the group "Jars of Clay". This song is called 'Flood'. Hoping for rain still...

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