Sunday, December 31, 2006

Elva Hsiao - Confession

I like Elva Hsiao.This is her latest Music Video, but why is the song so digitized? I mean, her vocals are not weak like Jolin's, so there's no excuse for trying to mask the inadequacies with electronic beats and sound effects.

A really disturbing observation: She is starting to look like any typical starlet--a product of the typical cookie cutter mold (emphasis of false lashes, eyeliner, Barbie doll look, cutesy poses, curls). They all look alike now-Jolin, Elva, Cyndi, Fiona Xie, our blogosphere Dawn Y. Duhz...Someone's gonna eat shit and be outta of business soon, one of them anyway.

On the other hand, Asians are suckers for this. They might live long and prosper in entertainment after all. Attack of the clones, I say.

Thanks to Vivien, for letting me see this video first.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Making a Big Splash!

Apart from whimsical threads, Marc Jacobs dabbles in a bit of perfume making and voila!
His latest offering to date (apart from Blush Intense) is his line of 3 eau de toilette collectively named Splash!

They include:
1. Cotton
2. Rain
3. Grass

And this series is inspired by good ol’ Mother Nature herself.

I finally got the opportunity to sample them at Tangs Departmental store. I was rather skeptical before the trial. I mean, how can you capture the grassy smell in the air when it’s going to rain? I love that smell, but I seriously doubt you can bottle that scent.

My verdict:
I love Rain and Grass!!!
Rain reminds me of the comforting smell of a cool rainy morning. It’s a clean, quiet and calming scent. It conjures up the image of snuggling under the covers on a cold dark day and listening to the pitter pattering of raindrops falling on my window pane.

Grass smells crisp and green. Refreshing, light and instead of giving off a pre-rain scent, it captures the natural fragrance of freshly cut grass. I dig it totally!

Cotton, on the other hand, is nothing unique. I feel that it’s a rip off from Donna Karen’s Cashmere Mist. So there.

Anyway, this edition is LIMITED. It is a ‘while stocks last’ concept because obviously, the genius designer will want to collaborate with other noses to come up with another line next year. It is selling well enough to leave Luxasia (the distributor) with only a few bottles of Grass left.

This time, instead of deliberating over whether to part with my moolah or not, I took the plunge and got both Rain and Grass. Yes, that’s because I really feel these 2 scents are worth the money.

Name: Marc Jacobs Splash collection
Size: 300 ml (huge bottle)/ 10 oz
Price: $110 SGD each
Place to Buy: Tangs Departmental Store (Vivocity and Orchard)

Company’s Description:

Rain, concocted by IFF's Laurent LeGuernec...opens with top notes of wet cut grass, wild strawberry, clementine zest and dewy cypress. Its heart is of tropical passion flower, sunshine flower and white orchid, and its drydown is of beech amber, tree moss, teak wood and musk.

Grass, with a juice by Annie Buzantian...[has] top notes are of freshly snapped snow peas and lush green accords; its heart is of wildflowers and white muguet, and its drydown is of soft woods and dewy musks.

Cotton, by Carlos Vinals....[has] fresh linen breezes and liquid oxygen mixed with white peach, citrus mandarin, orange and bergamot; its heart comprises the proprietary Marc T Signature Accord, cotton flower, lavandin and lily of the valley, and its drydown is of cotton musk, smooth white suede, rich sandalwood and blond woods.

Daily Trivia:
Smell before rain:
From Petrichor, otherwise known as 2-decanone.
A chemical that is released by trees into the atmosphere each year. Scientists believe some of these chemicals may be absorbed into rocks, and then released whenever there is a sudden jump in humidity (such as occurs just before rain).

Smell after rain:
The smell after rain is actually the smell of bacteria – actinomycetes – which grow in long, skinny filaments like spaghetti. They grow world-wide in damp soil. When the soil dries out, they die. But before they die, they make little eggs called “spores”.
These spores are really tough and can survive dry conditions for years. When the raindrops hit the ground, they make a mist of water and dirt, and humans breathe in the spores (and smell them).

Ok, some bacteria smell nice. \(>_<)/

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Craziest Thing I Have Done this Year:

Lie in wait for the newspaper delivery man. And tell him that he did not deliver one Saturday’s papers to my house.

Serious? Yes.
Crazily neurotic?
Typically Ivy?
Very much indeed.

Stood behind the metal gate since 6.45 a.m. in anticipation of the newspaper man. I never met that fella before (I mean, how many of you have?)
There I was, hovering around the front door, with some magazine to occupy myself. I must, I must, preserve. After all, the Saturday edition is the bulkiest of all days, and they had to forget to give me A COPY!
Blardy hell. I had to buy a replacement copy from the news vendor and lug it all the way home, together with my shopping bags. I mean, it’s a felony by my standards. Torturing womenfolk in this manner.

To be doubly sure, I stuck a BIG notice on the gate, informing the delivery man about the negligent act.

But then, I got really bored of standing around (no, I cannot wait idly for something). So, I went back into the house to sit down. After 10 minutes, my sharp ears picked up muffled footsteps and I hurried to the door. There it was, today’s paper, and the back silhouette of the delivery man.

“Hey! Hello! Hi Mister!” I shouted (not hollered alright? It’s early morning). He walked back. I tried telling the Indian man in simple English about the problem.
I couldn’t decipher whether he understood what I was talking about.
He stood there, with saucer huge eyes, staring in trepidation at a smallish girl in teddy bear pajamas going on and on about the missing Saturday’s papers.
In exasperation, I told him that I want 2 papers tomorrow, any replacement. 1 Chinese Zaobao and 1 English Straits Times. Or any other alternative. “Ok? Ok?” I probed.

He gaped on, rather stunned. He managed to nod his head and muttered “I tell my boss.”

ARGH!!! I repeated my request slowly, twice.
Then, off he went. Sigh. I wonder if he will remember.
I hope he will.
After all, he doesn’t get to see little people in sleepwear gesticulating animatedly before his eyes very often, does he?

P/S: Anyway, the content of this entry is post-dated. This event has long past but it sure is the most boliao thing I have done this year.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Same ol' little Ivy (2006)


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas dear friends and readers!

Little Ivy (London 1992)


Sunday, December 24, 2006

If Wishes Were Horses…

Christmases, Birthdays, Valentine’s Days, Anniversaries.

These occasions are worth looking forward to, but sometimes, they are rather painful events if we are stuck in a rut for gift ideas.

The Straits Times recently featured an article in which the participants surveyed picked chocolates and sweets as their most hated gift items. It seems that many would buy confectionery for others, but prefer not to receive them in return. Whatever happened to the advice of doing unto others what you want others do unto you?

Honestly, are chocolates really that bad? Well, I guess you will have to know if the recipient of your generosity has a sweet tooth or is unfortunately, suffering from a diabetic condition.
Other than that, I don’t think anyone will reject GODIVA. I won’t. Bring them on. ;-)

Back to the topic of gifts and such.

A couple of weeks back, Aileen celebrated her 22nd birthday. Her significant other bought her a couple of nice presents, but I thought that huge white quilted bag was very ugly (was because it no longer exists as part of her property, she went to do an exchange for a black tote).

Alright, besides the fact that it looked dated, the problem with this particular present is that it comes in white. Aileen will not be able to use it after 3 months. It will get so dirty that it has to be sent to the laundromat frequently or risk getting chucked in a corner of her bedroom floor.
Seriously, doesn’t that guy know that my dear sister is a dust magnet?

I then asked her if she has a wish list. I notice that many bloggers put up a wish list on their site. And I am all for it. In fact, I love looking through these lists. Even if I cannot afford to buy whatever is on that list for them, I would have a good idea of the type of substitutes that would delight them just as much.

Aileen begs to defer. She feels that a wish list takes allows the giver to not put in effort to select an appropriate gift for her. Moreover, it takes away the element of surprise when she unwraps the gift.

Oh well, I am certain that she will get more shocks than pleasant surprises down the road.

PS: Quilted bags are very much in fashion. In fact, thanks to Chanel, they were never out. But sometimes, depending on the design, it can go awfully wrong. (Just like the one Aileen received).
I recently bought a rather affordable one myself. I was so drawn to the bag that I even bought the display piece. For whatever reason I don’t know. It simply had the X-factor.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it resembles a Marc Jacobs Stam bag (thanks Min for putting up that picture!)

Marc Jacobs Stam Bag

My Black Quilted Bag

Ah, even though I do not know that it’s long been around from his Resort 2006 collection, I am glad I still have an eye for tasteful looking pieces.
What a steal! Got mine for $27 SGD.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Verdict’s Out

Documenting My Experience in Ministry of Sound
* Throngs of wannabes (namely prepubescent teenagers) queuing to gain entry into the club.
* A wailing girl in a sobbing mess kneeling in at the toilet entrance. A truly undignified scene.
* Misty atmosphere (the club has a mist/smoke generator that releases fumes into the dance areas at stipulated timings)
* Gyrating bodies in cramp spaces. Jiggling to the beat on the spot.
* People who groove to the beat with a cigarette in one hand. Dance, puff, dance.
* Dancers who are on a high, in a world of their own with appreciative bystanders leering from the sidelines.
* Dirty toilets. Wet, slippery, with blackish muddied up water on the floor. Girls with heavy makeup touching up.
* A girl with half her butt exposed. Rather appalling. I gawked on only to find that her only redeeming feature is the unspectacular posterior she’s flaunting.

So, this is the way to groove. Rub-a-dub-dub...

* Main Arena: MJ’s video was playing over the big screen to the music of “Thriller”.

* Smoove Room: Caged dance floor. Little room to showcase your cool dance moves. Just rub your bodies against the next dancer. Eeww…

* 54: Retro themed room showcasing a mix of psychedelic colours and hypnotic patterns with lighted disco panels for the dance floor and a ceiling full of shimmering disco balls.

* Best place to chill in for the commoners: Pure

Most relaxing and noisy room to be in. Plays a tasteful selection of soulful, disco house. The tranquil, white setting and plush interior is certain to bring delight to the many who desire a personal space. A perfect setting with bed-like sofas for that extra indulgent experience. I prefer to stay in this room most.

** Best place to chill in: Taittingger Sky Lounge

A luxurious enclave strictly reserved for the society’s crème de la crème, the sky lounge offers privileged guests a private bird’s eye view of the main dance arena below and peers into the disco room, 54, through special one-way mirrors.
With superior champagne flowing from the bar, this private space guarantees guests the red carpet treatment, far above the sea of partygoers below.
No, I am not a VVIP yet. Didn’t get a glimpse of this.

* Club boosts of a multi-million sound system, but to my undiscerning ear, it’s just loud music blasting through powerful woofers.
* Loud music. No proper conversation takes place here.
* Some do try to shout over all the noise.
* No, you don’t pick gals up by chatting them up here. Here, you have to dance with the chicks and hope they won’t move away from you in disgust.

My ear drums...whirling to the beat

* Unimpressive vodka lime. (Still, I can’t drink more than 1)
* Candy floss. There were 2 guys who took turns to twirl pink cotton candy for the party goers. Ok, so I enjoyed this tremendously.

* Cigarette smoke. Sensitivity to smell is reduced considerably after 10 minutes in this place.

We ain't complaining about the Haze.

* Giddy. From manoeuvring my way past the crowd.
* My head throbbed dully from the blasting music.
* Slightly disoriented in the dark.

Real beauties of the night:

Yes, the Lamborghinis are out in full force tonight. I shan’t deny I love these lean mean machines. My aspiration is to own one in hot pink. Now, who says girls should be in the passenger seat?
No way are you going to spot the love of your life in such dark places. The perfect combination of flashing lights, hazy environment and some shots of vodka might well do the trick though.

Ok. So, I don’t like this. Nevertheless, it’s worth to experience the clubbing culture in the society I live in. It’s only good to know that a vibrant nightlife contributes to a healthy economy too.
I won’t pay to club though. Wrinkle-inducing activity that serves no purpose. Unless it’s for networking, that, I will gladly do.
By the way, I left way too early. Stayed there for a grand total of 2 hours max.

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In Search of Missing Pieces

The problem with growing up too soon is that you miss some rites and passages that most people go through.
We are nearing the close of yet another year and time seems to fly—too fast.
It’s times like these when I wonder in retrospect “How did all these years pass me by? What have I been doing? What are the beautiful/ bittersweet memories that I have collected along the way?”

My existence seems too surreal...whenever I look back.

I can recollect my childhood years in the most of vivid colours. I can still hear my giggles of happiness, feel my hot tears of sadness, and remember all the places I have been to.

My adolescent years however are littered with many empty spaces. Like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle, there are pieces missing from the picture.

In the end, I became a young lady who could not identify with many of her peers.
I cannot understand the pain of a broken heart, the joys of sharing an expensive Sweden’s sundae on a limited allowance, the ecstasy of winning a netball tournament.
My teenage years were spent chasing Grade As for academic subjects. It mattered to everyone around me then. Parents, teachers, principals (who will give prep talks during level assembly) and classmates. It wasn’t difficult since that was all I am required to do. But it was awfully boring.

I remember wanting to join the netball team when I started Secondary One. To my chagrin, my mother felt that it would make me too tomboyish for my own good. Not to mention the amount of damage the sport would do for my young skin. I was informed that I should not get into a boy-girl relationship too, since I was too young to understand love and studies come first. Honestly, I wasn’t even interested in guys back then. I was more into collecting pretty hair accessories and stuff toys. (Yea, I am a late bloomer in this department)

And so, I joined some apparently geeky drama and debate society. Away from all sunny activities. Life was good for us in ELDDS. We need not train rigorously in the heat, do marching drills and engage in any form of masochistic activities. When I started stage acting I took to it like a fish to water. I love the idea of living out the lives of other people without suffering any of the repercussions their lifestyle brings. That’s one of the joys of acting. It’s a form of escapism.

In adulthood, I missed out on several other things. One of which is clubbing. No, I didn’t attend any bashes organized in university. I didn’t hang out with people who were club goers. Collectively, we hated loud music, tobacco smoke and the nightlife. So there you have it.

I have yet to step foot into a club.

I know nuts about Zouk or MoS (Ministry of Sound).

Heck, I can’t even drive there!!! Cos I am unfamiliar with the parking and the club locations.

Aileen told me that on free entry days, the queues are horrendous and there are people trying to gain entry by pulling a fast one—going under barricades and worming their way through. I hate queuing but I wouldn’t stoop this low.

Like all other things I am not inclined towards, I have this inertia to experience the club scene in Singapore. Country bumpkin? But reminding myself of crowds, smoke, and noise make me think twice before venturing out. Yet, I just have to see it for myself, am I not right? To understand others, to gain an insight into society, and heck! For the fun of it.

Now I am presented with a sweet deal. A special invitation. Free priority entry into MoS. Should I, should I not? Toss a coin? No, let the weather decide.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All I Want For Christmas, I Can’t Buy…

Just when we thought money can buy stuff.
Just when I gather I have another 80 bucks to spare on a lil’ something.
Just when I finally wanted to get my ass off my chair to do some Christmas shopping for myself.
This is officially out of stock.

YSL Yves Saint Laurent Makeup fashion Bracelet
(I love how it glams up the wrist and functions as a uber cool accessory. Compare this to the Dior Charm and the latter looks cheap)

I thought the word ‘Limited Edition’ is a gimmick to send people flocking to the stores to grab a product and then sell it on Ebay for more than 200% the retail price. To create the illusion of exclusivity when it’s actually mass produced---think Hello Kitty dolls (does your house have a pair sitting around collecting dust on the cupboard?? Remember McDonalds?)

Ok, back to this.

I want it but when I called up the YSL counter to ‘reserve’ one, the staff told me that it’s out of stock forevermore. And doing a search on Ebay, I found some very marked up pieces. Enterprising Ebayers indeed. No way. I won’t pay.

Postscript: I noticed that my posts borders on the bimbotic edge nowadays. There has been a dearth of sparkling entries that reflect my thoughts and emotions. Why? Guess I am emotionally shallow these days. When you have just too much to handle in real life, articulating it in writing will drain you out even more.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Sweet Deal from Mango?

I recall writing an entry half a year ago about MANGO.

And yes, it’s the time of the year again in Singapore. The MANGO/ MNG SALE!!!
These 3 simple words are enough to send the womenfolk into an excitable frenzy and scurrying at the swiftest possible half-run to the nearest branch.

I think I will give it a miss.

WHAT? I hear some high-pitched exclamations.

Yes, Ma’am. I won’t be joining you.

1. MNG is just so-so as a fashion boutique. Its collections are fine, but they don’t take my breath away.
2. This is one sale whereby if you are 2 steps behind, don’t even think about getting your hands on the item in YOUR SIZE and preferred colour.
3. I don’t buy display pieces. If the sales person cannot find an unworn piece from the boutique storeroom, I won’t buy it. (Unless they trick me it’s the ONE and ONLY piece they carry. As for MNG, it's all mass produced stuff).
4. I can’t buy anything when the shop is brimming with chaotic action and clothes are strewn in an untidy haphazard manner. Don’t get me started on the changing room queues.
5. Clothes are on sale most of the time. I can get a better buy somewhere else and still experience the oh-so-sweet retail therapy shopping brings.

Girls, can anyone enlighten me? WTF about MNG? (What’s the Fuss, alright? I am not swearing…) MNG? NAY.

On a more approving note, I read about some raves of H&M’s Daily Christmas deals.
I have to say, it’s a sweet deal. Dottie from Fashion Nation would like to get her hands on this dress:

And I say, YAY. She has her overseas sources to snag this deal. As for myself, I can only keep this lovely picture as a memento to salivate over. 19.99 Euros, gals!!!

P/S: This week’s Beauty Post is replaced with a Fashion Post.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Caffeine Dependence

It’s the equivalent of being addicted to a drug. Signs of withdrawal includes: a dull persistent headache, irritability and bouts of mild depression.
Not to mention all day lethargy.

I need my cuppa NOW. Should make it a regular habit to start my day off with a full-bodied double shot macchiato instead of waiting for the symptoms to kick in.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thought of the Day:

Happy is the word often overused by the truly unhappy to remind themselves to cheer up.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Songs are a bore, can't keep AWAKE

Josh Groban’s one of my favourite singers. He has a very mesmerizing voice—deep, rich and powerful.
Bought two of his previous albums, but the new release “Awake” is a disappointing production.
The lack luster compositions and trite lyrics do his voice a great disservice.
I mean, how inspirational can lyrics of such standard be?

Excerpt from the song “Don’t Give Up”:

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved

Goodness, what a yawn.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Funshine’s Guide to Wooing A Girl/ 乐光泡妞指南

Funshine’s Tip of the Week

4th Tip

On A Hot Date:

Dress to Impress

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Best Mascara..Ever

Clinique has great skincare products. But M.A.C. is simply famous for their make-up series.

But this offering from Clinique is too good to be missed.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara
In Black Onyx 01

I received a small tube as part of a gift with purchase promotion and am hooked on it forevermore.

I had my fair share of clump inducing goop, panda eyes smudges and spider legs lashes incidents to know the worth of a truly good hardworking tube of mascara.

Alright, so, how does it differentiate itself from the rest?

Coming from the most critical beauty reviewer (ME):

Texture: Goes on smoothly, doesn’t clump nor flake even after 3 coats (why the hell you want to go beyond that???!!!)
Formula: Lightweight, doesn’t cause eyelashes to droop
Colour: Intense black
Staying power: All day, no smudges
Extension Effect: Excellent (no need for those whitish fibre primer crap)
Best characteristic: Washes out with warm water, COMPLETELY.
Curling Effect: Average
Volumising Effect: Average
Overall Effect: Natural (since there are no clumps), yet dramatic (fake lashes length)
Price: $35 SGD

When it washes out with warm water, you can do the final rinsing in the shower after removing your make-up. That means, 100% no mascara residue on your lashes. That’s good news for your lashes.

I would like to take this opportunity to say (rather emphatically) that I really dislike L'Oreal’s mascaras. The latest Volume Shocking Double Mascara that apparently boosts of a comb like wand SUCKS big time. (Advertisement fronted by Aishwarya Rai)
So what if you have a great comb when the product to be applied clumps, dries too fast for multiple coats and causes women to look like they are the demonic incarnations of tarantulas???

Why do we need to apply the whitish primer if a mascara formula can be manufactured to contain all the good stuff found in a primer? An all-in-one product is the way to go. As a matter-of-fact, the whitish primer makes part of your lashes appear white underneath the black mascara. Unless of course, you coat them thoroughly. What a waste of time. Weighs your lashes down too.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Coffee, Tee or Me?

I am strangely drawn to these illustrations.

Get Some Fresh Air
City Lights
Strangers With Candy
Happy Harvest
Playful Hands
Nothing Rhymes With Orange

If you are into T-shirts, I am sure you know where I took them from.

If not, go to Threadless. It’s an amazing site. Bet you will find something that you personally love.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Aileen's Birthday

Celebrated Aileen’s birthday over a simple family dinner tonight.

It was her birthday yesterday but due to an examination earlier today, we had to postpone the mini celebration. Despite all, we had cake yesterday. A brownie cake in fact.
Went to this Chinese restaurant called Mayim. It is rather like Crystal Jade, with the La Mian (拉面), Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) fare. But the menu has other dishes like Fried Tofu and Crispy Soft Shell crab. Service was prompt and the staff was efficient yet polite. Not bad at all. The floor manager even has this walkie talkie to communicate with the kitchen crew.
In all, it was an enjoyable meal.

Happy 22nd Birthday, dear sister! Can don’t bully me anymore? Time to move on and pick on victims your own size (points innocently in Samuel’s direction). Alright, shan’t tease you further.
What’s a photo taking session without 1 corny shot???

Ivy: More Kimchi?
Aileen: Er...My stomach feels queasy. Think I need a paper bag!

By the way, this restaurant serves kimchi (泡菜) as hors d'oeuvre. So weird. Isn't it serving Chinese cuisine???
It’s not too spicy and makes a great appetizer. They must think it’s good enough to bottle it and sell it at $3 a piece.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Attention: Entry update

Sorry for the delay. I just loaded my most recent beauty product review. Was supposed to be put up last Friday, 1 December 2006.

Click here for: Latest Beauty Review Entry


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Grim fairy tales

Books. Oh, how I love them so! My experience extended beyond mere reading. Like a greedy child pigging out on candied treats, I devoured my books voraciously, consuming them with eager relish. I immersed myself in the stories' setting—be it a country manor, the dusty outback or a little house on the prairie. I lurked among the shadows, watching the events that unfold in the characters’ lives, like an omnipresent being. Unfortunately, just like a spectator who can only cheer at the sidelines, I was never allowed to partake in the exciting adventures of the protagonists. Ah, but those were memories of my distant childhood.

Storybooks were my beloved companions. I took them wherever I went. To birthday parties, family gatherings, trips to the doctor, on long car rides. In a way, I wanted to occupy myself during those boring waits and events, but I ended up shutting the noisy world out. Far from the maddening crowd, oblivious to the shouts and screams of playing children, there I sat, in my corner, reading away.

I wasn’t an anti-social child, but I lacked the inclination to socialise with my contemporaries. A game of ‘police and thief’ inevitably gets boring after the third round. Most games are repetitive in nature. Predictable things bore me.

So, my growing up years were spent reading fiction. Unfortunately, they too lost their appeal. After all, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot can only solve that many crimes. Things became predictable again. And I was too young to appreciate the literary styles and techniques employed. I moved on to non-fiction and have been there ever since. Call it inertia (I know of so many fictional works that I shouldn’t miss) but I can only muster up enough will power to get a vague idea of their content through reviews and synopses. Why? I am still in the midst of unraveling the secrets of the universe—literally. And those are mostly scientific writings.

Therefore, I am glad to have received a book from dear S.T yesterday. We share many passions and one of which is a love for books. She reads fiction extensively and is a fan of Austen.
This gift comes as a reminder that I should indulge in fiction once again.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Back Cover Synopsis:
Perhaps no other stories possess as much power to enchant, delight, and surprise as those penned by the immortal Brothers Grimm. Now, in the new, expanded third edition, renowned scholar and folklorist Jack Zipes has translated all 250 tales collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, plus twenty-nine rare tales omitted from the original German edition, as well as narratives uncovered in the brothers' letters and papers. Truly the most comprehensive translation to date, this critically acclaimed edition recaptures the fairy tales as the Brothers Grimm intended them to be: rich, stark, spiced with humor and violence, resonant with folklore and song.

Entry Trivia:
By the way, The Brothers Grimm wrote down their collected oral tales mainly for the bourgeois audiences of 19th century Europe so the stories were mainly intended for an adult readership. Don’t expect the sweet and innocent Disney versions. Some stories are rather gruesome and downright unappetizing. Uncensored and not watered down. Ah, I like. =)

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Funshine’s Guide to Wooing A Girl/ 乐光泡妞指南

Funshine’s Tip of the Week:

3rd Tip:

She’s the apple of your eye.

To put a twinkle in her eyes, give her a flower!

And more flowers…

*Disclaimer: Tips found in this column are for your information and education only. Funshine hopes these tips will be valuable and useful to you. Your use of the tips contained in this column, however, is at your sole risk. All tips are provided without any guarantee, whether expressed or implied, of its accuracy, completeness, efficacy or fitness for a particular purpose. Funshine will not be held liable for any damages you may incur by using these tips, whether direct, indirect, monetary, emotional or physical, even if it has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Exercise of personal discretion and judgment is highly recommended.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Just a case of Trompe L'oeil?

Sally Hansen’s Lip Inflation

In ancient China, ladies with small cherry lips (樱桃小嘴) defined the standards of beauty. How I wish I existed in that era since I am ‘blessed’ with dainty little kissers.
Unfortunately, it’s fast forward several centuries to the 21st century and the most coveted lips are full, bee stung puckers. Think Angelina Jolie and you get the idea. Yes.

So, beauty giants have come up with lip plumping formulas to pump up the volume of our smackers. The original lip plumper called “Lip Venom” from the brand Du Wop was created in 1999 on the set of the hit NBC show “Felicity” to give actresses flushed juicy lips.

Believe me, I don’t think it’s really a great idea to dab suspicious concoctions of cayenne pepper, crushed mustard seeds and possibly chilies on our mouths. The silly things women do to look good. The scary ingredients found in some products.

Blame it on my curiosity. I just needed to know how fat this product can boost my thin lips.

Product Description:
Name: Sally Hansen Lip Inflation (Clear)—comes in tinted colours too
Ingredients: Ginger, Cinnamon and Vitamin A & E
Works by: Using peppermint to stimulate lips and increase blood circulation.
Price: $18.90 SGD for a 0.2 oz tube
Available at: Watsons, Guardian and other departmental stores carrying Sally Hansen products.

My personal opinion:
The peppermint in the formula was so powerful I think it lasted an hour and a half. That was till I ate something and ingested the gloss in the process. It isn’t palatable.
The tingly and refreshing feeling it gave was rather good. Every time I sucked in my breath, I get a whiff of ‘Listerine-like’ freshness.
The gloss is good. It does make the lips look slightly fuller. Ever so slightly. (Because, to be fair, all glossy products create a reflective shiny appearance that will make something appear bigger).
Since I can only verify the results with a pair of vernier callipers, (which I do not have), I would have to conclude that the change is actually imperceptible.

Overall Verdict:
Use it as a gloss. It doubles up as a lip moisturiser. Please don’t expect to get Angelina’s lips. She was born with thick lips, but rumour has it that she augmented them using collagen lip fillers. Nice tingly feeling—good for hot summer days. Value for money. Other similar products cost more and basically give you the same effect.

Will NOT make you look like this:

Lola fish in Shark Tale

FYI: Trompe L'oeil is an art technique used to create optical illusions involving false depth. It literally means "to fool the eye" in French. And yes, I think my small sweet puckers look rather fine on my face, so no collagen fillers for moi! \(^-^)/

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Rising Temperatures in Antarctica

Tap Dancing Penguins!!!!??? Nothing could be further from the truth. Penguins waddle gracelessly on land and only transform into torpedo-like, lean mean swimming machines underwater.

Oh, never mind reality!

“Happy Feet” is the best movie of the 2006! Never ever miss it, alright? Best to catch it in the cinemas and not hold out for its DVD release. I am sure everyone walked out from the theatres—happy.

So, nope, no spoilers for this movie. YOU GO WATCH IT YOURSELF. And shame on you if you want to illegally download this one.

In all, it’s a hilarious movie that will have you up in stitches; meaningful enough for you to appreciate the tenacious nature of penguins, and so infectious that you actually tap your feet and jiggle your shoulders to the rhythm.

Tone deaf Mumble
I exclaimed about his blue eyes when he tumbled out of his shell.
But you know what? He’s an albino Emperor penguin!!! But there wasn’t any mention in the entire film because living things with albinism are generally as healthy as the rest of their species.
Still, it adds on to poor Mumble’s outwardly difference from his flock.

Cool Egoistic Ramon
(voiced by Robin Williams—the voiceover master!)

Watch it for the CG effects; watch it for its feel-good eco-friendly storyline. Have a few good laughs, groove to the beat and shake your booty while walking out from the theatres.

Substance beneath the fun: (my interpretation)

1. Man is the main destroyer of the ecosystem.
2. Blind faith will lead you onto the road to self annihilation.
3. Your ______ leaders are not right all the time (insert whatever term that applies).
4. Appealing to others’ better nature is tough. Get them to like you first.
5. Having exotic things makes you special. (a tagged Boss Skua and Lovelace with a plastic six packed neck ring)
6. Capitalize on your wisdom to get wealthy.
7. Give vague answers to questions you don’t know. (don't some lecturers do that all the time?!)
8. It’s alright to be different. Seek out an audience who appreciates your talent.
9. If you can’t sing live, try Lip Synching.
10. It’s good to have company but sometimes, you need to journey alone to seek out your answers.

Funniest Movie Moment:

Leopard Seal: Come here you sausage. I take you with ketchup.
Latin Penguins: But first you must catch up! [hahaha]
Leopard Seal: I know where you live.
Ramon: Yeah, it's called LAND, lardface!
(more taunting laughter)

A madcap quintet of Adelie Penguins

Lovelace the Rockhopper Penguin

Movie Trivia:
The late Steve Irwin provides the voice of an elephant seal who helps point Mumble in the right direction.

My up close and personal encounter with a fairy penguin (@ Bicheno Tasmania):

Boy, it sure looked rather pissed with a bunch of tourists peering at it.

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