Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Firenze Chapter

pisa wasn't very welcoming what with the rains adding burden to my lugging around 20kg worth of luggage around just to catch a glimpse of Torre Pedente around Campo Dei Mircoli. you guessed it, what else is there in Pisa more eponymous than the leaning tower of Pisa? but the rain was hinting i should pack and go, and that I did, or try to, only to find out that trenitalia's on strike that day so i can't use my pre-booked ticket, and have to buy a new bus ticket to Firenze (Florence) altogether. irks.

but firenze has been kind. no rain. people were generally helpful with an abundance of sign language (italians really should consider learning a wee bit more English to blend in- Gucci and Prada is only gonna get them so far). the florentine republic and medici family has left behind much for a tourish to go a-gawking quite oftenly, mostly where art's concerned. i saw botticelli's birth of venus, michaelangelo's david and a few obscure da vincis. it's quite something really. the uffizi is a little of a let-down but the general historical-renaissance vibe to the city makes up for that nicely. it's also small enough so easy to commute. that's why i'm not looking forward to venice with its literal backwaters that will swoosh your directions all awry.

well i'll check back in here soon. i'm lucky to have internet connection here. rome might be a different story. so catch you guys back soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Mediterranean Axis

from barcelona, spain, i embark onto another peninsular-that of the Italian one, in the shape rightly that of a boot. barcelona was a quirky town sprinkled by Gaudi's genius and his contemporaries trying to outdo him just upped the quirk-factor. pictures will tell everything, go check them out.

oh yes, talking about jet-setting, i had a norweigan advent dinner last night with the norweigan girls here. and i had a small surprise gift because my porridge had the almond nut in it (small game/tradition they do). you start off with glugg, a sorta boiled red wine and other spirits and you add crushed almonds in the drink with optional raisins to go. it's nothing like the norm and quite delightful as a winter beverage. the porridge was the secondi and a red soda drink to go, funny thing it was. oh the porridge was salty and sweet at the same time. it was basically milk and rice and on top of everything u add a small slab of butter, sugar and cinnamon powder to finish. special eh? it was quite a treat.

so now on i go to italy, looking forward to the land, not so excited about the people. have dealt with some of them in the UK, and they are the most capricious, emotionally-unsettled people you can ever meet. it met be a stereotype, let's just pray it is. i'll write more when i return. take care all.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Primal Scorch

suddenly one day,
you wake up to a freefall
through scratched skies
splattered by anarchaic clouds
shapeshifting to the
crimes of your mind.

And you land in the
repulsion of free colours-
the once verdure pasture,
now a bleeding harvest
of black and sighing flowers
that bloom out of sympathy.

Your heart screams
in this bleak wilderness of
your stampeded mind-
speaking a language
too foreign to your
sinking consciousness.

While you get shoved
into the reality that what you have been feeling all this while,
are conditioned lies,
brewed by bent education
and betrayed sentiments.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The forecast is finally right

it's snowing! first snow is always exciting, especially since there hasn't quite been snow in my life since 2002 maybe? ya last was at tahoe, good times eh, ek? i was quite the 11 year old boy earlier this morning when i saw snow through my frosted windows and went 'SNOW!' and promptly dashed out without much snow protection, bar the ski cap, and welcomed the snow with arms wide open. even arthur's seat was snow-capped. the feeling's immense, you have to be here to go 'wow'. but i'll post some vicarious snow on here, once i get my lazy arse moving.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

The sun and fretted verdure yielding to the rubicund of face

this is proposterous: minus 5 degrees not in the dead of winter but quite in the vivacity of mid november. the grass didn't even have a chance to wither off, brown in and die off- it's just a vast scene of its verdure blanketted by this cruel frost. no wonder the vikings gave in to the rubicund brought about alcoholised water, i.e. beer, to bring about a false sense of warmth to struggle through winter.

so that's about all i have to update really, dreaded climate. you have to wrap yourself up in a hundread thousand and two layers before you can be in full combat mode to battle off the blistering cold. on days i can be actually wearing next to ski gear to school, 8 minutes away, and be whining about the cold in a heated seminar room. it's really that bad. it's gonna be a harsh winter and that's a gross understatement. but money brings fortune- big part of december would be spent in the mediterraean, Spain and Italy where climates would hopefully be more accommodative. London was surprisingly cold as well but the company and clubs made it all alright. I even bought Four Seasons duck up and had it for lunch for 3 consecutive days, which is salivatingly gorgeous. the train ride up is magnificently picturesque as well so it took a long of hours away.

looks like even i have to yield to the rubicund of face/health, to pull through this inhospitable climate, a meteorological phenomenon for a Singaporean...*brrrr*

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Ikea Effect

when ironies prophesize themselves into reality, it's time to get worried. the ikea effect is bringing about modern day vacations actually becoming more stressful. so in the end people take a few days after their vacation so as to wind down from the 'vacation-stress'- an avant-garde terminology we thought we never see.

if those who still cannot seethe out the approximate idea of the ikea effect on modern day vacationing, it is simply that the DIY concept, pushing prices down et al, is having a reverse effect on what should be a relaxing holiday, conceiving the oxymoron stressful-holiday. to give a most lurid example is my recent trip to paris. the disclaimer is that i had the most amazing time in paris and it's alright in my own opinion but i'm not sure if what i did would be approved by the majority. i rushed about paris, doing up to 3 major attractions in a day, running about the city to make sure i catch them all by 5pm. so in a way, going about alone is good since you never have to hear complaints and incessant whines from parties grudgingly tagging along. but on the flipside, it's fun if you can find company like that, rushing about but yet having fun in this mad rush- the order in anarchy theory. but these people, like real romance and style-with-function cars, come far in between. so say i did notre-dame, le conciergerie, saint chapelle, palais de justice, shopping at boulevard st.germain and had a glimpse of le parthenon all in one day. and get this: i covered 2/3 of musee du louvre in 6 hours. i'm almost gleaming with overarching accomplishments, haha. but to a lot of people, all these seemed like a demented itinerary for a boot camp made in hell.

but Paris is amazing. it's almost like Rome draped in Chanel- history in haute coutre. it might not seem justified but you have to give concessions to the notorious parisien pride- they have truly something amazing to be proud of. nationalism comes from a very innate sense of the love of the land- terra amoureux, so to speak.

the ikea effect is overblown really. at the end u feel that you have seen more, experienced more and taken away more, so what's the harm in that. stress is overrated anyhow, only the truly successful tames it and whips it in shape- because you yourself are the master of all your faculties and the products of your faculties. then again, it might just be the parisien effect trumping this said effect, and marring my judgment. *wink*

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Welcome to my truth

i bet few of you know that Halloween actually originated from Scotland. yes it did, without a vestige of doubt. this is what i call the malediction of americanist-homogenisation. so right now, i think i'm going to exercise a modicum of cultural snobbery and say (even though i'm not from here, but am here now, that's all it matters indeed), "this is of scottish origins, bears no american roots whatsoever". and it makes sense because everywhere in scotland is haunted somehow. the history of the ghosts.

glad we got things cleared up.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

China Forbes On the Piano

before i embark on a full-fledged account of Paris (which was tres magnifigue by the way), i think i should make mention of a recent concert i attended- of Pink Martini at the Usher Hall. the title of this post is derived from the lead chanteuse (China Forbes) finishing one of the songs by slamming her butt on the piano, and the dissonance works so well somehow. this is impromptu performance at its peak.

needless to say the concert was a blast. the orotund enunciation of latin beats, french jazz and big band sounds did much service to the auditory. China Forbes's voice was polished and her French was sultry-sexy with the tinge of laziness which gave the entire ambience a very chill-out feel. it was made more special by its aberrant take on the synthesis of different genres of music, enmeshing them to create a most unique sound. it was literally a musical trip round the world without leaving the comforts of your chair- there was japanese geisha-dances fused with latin influences (the drums et al), french swing, comedic American jazz chansons (with a funny story to boot) and traditional feast of French jazz and the likes. the chemistry within the band is incredible as well, they build upon one another like a seamless piece of clothing, comfortable in each other's creativity and impromptuness. this 10-piece orchestra really gave its audience an evening to remember. so if you get the chance check out their latest offering- hang on, little tomato. (see how much fun they're having?..haha)

meanwhile, i think i shall try the butt-slamming on the piano keyboard thing, unexpected results may occur!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hemingway, Pound, Picasso et gang cannot be all wrong

Salut tout le monde! C'est le meilleur temps pour utiliser le langue Français parce que je suis à la endroit qui la epitomé etre Française! Mais le clavier d'ordinateur est complètement différent donc j'arreterai maintenant.

Le Paris! What else can i say, well not much in French apparently- my linguistic skills shrink in the heat of pressure and obligatorily hastened speeds. Well this keyboard is majorly pissing me off with the completely out of whack arrangement of the letters and i'm typing like a semi-retard, and it so arrests inspiration. Why must the French do Everything differently? Have to make it short but Paris is completely fantastique- her beauty draws deep from her well of civilisation and history, and the people so far is really not as snooty as you would stereotypically think. And plus I saw La Tour Effiel, in light rain- oh a perfect beginning to a French romance! Cliché as it can be, it really is not when you bask in its splendour and the surreal feeling that you are actually in paris starts settling down. Tomorrow i thinkk i will try battling ,y wqy through the biggest flea market here- Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.

I promise to report more and post pictures once i get back into Edimbourg but meanwhile use your imagination which must be soaked in sour grape juice! Taha.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Someone always has to cry at my party

euphemistically, edinburgh has never been so clean since summer. but rubbishly speaking, the weather has been a putrid thing. night temperatures dropping below 8 celsius and unstoppable winds howling as if the cold isn't enough to curse and swear till you see a semblance of a radiator. yes, the party is officially over, the resident scottish weather is here and looks to play host for quite awhile. i even had to row, raining, today- wasn't dreadful per se but the cold gets you right through the bones and your hands, even with constant activity, becomes disturbingly a separate entity from yourself.

no exciting news to update really except that i'm going barcelona in dec, before my exams! yes!

alright that was juvenile, so sue me. *sinister laughter*

oh and i made really good seared salmon with herb and butter sauce. the onions charred quicker than i thought but otherwise it was quite delish. and i'm off to my ben & jerry's irish licquor coffee ice cream.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Epistemology of being (pissed) Drunk

it's hard not to get smashed in edinburgh, what with immense peer pressure and ridiculously cheap pints to go, one is doing oneself a gargantun disservice by just not drinking. and what's fun in being sober your whole freaking life? there goes the epistemology of being drunk- good company and the rationalization of inherent existentialism.

pardon me, i just came back from the rowing initiation and you know what the british initiation is like- plenty of booze without any backtracking of soberness. when comfortist cant (insecere talk, not cannot without the apostrophe) is dispelled to the outer realms of human interaction and everyone is just insanely fun. rowing has been a blast, what with the adrenaline of pushing your legs against the stern and the oars gliding against the waters generating acceleration like none other. today's session was the best so far, because people were executing their balancing task in the utmost fashion, none of the jock attitude of wishing to shine off at the expense of the others on board. appalling behaviour, that: never emulate.

sorry for the lack of update these past few days. the excesses of time has not been occuring and i have been utterly abstemious with the utilisation of it- if you just completely understood what's been happening here. the piling list of readings (an average of a vomitus 22-cases per seminar), rowing trainings on 4 days, 2 at an unearthly hour of 7am and the socialising I have to go for, otherwise i'll be in dire need of friends/company. so there goes my week.

one event deserves worthy mention. the sempiternal praises i've received for my curry evening where 5 harsh judges unanimously gave thumbs up for my singapore curry chicken. it was honestly quite gorgeous and i'm pretty glad i'm turning out to be quite the chef. maybe i should rent some newton-circus stall and start a curry stall or something..haha. that's not gonna happen anytime soon if i'm gonna work towards the slaughter and may offer of £51K a year. but then again this culinary success is going to shed much effulgence on my reputation and a good company to keep. oh yes and i went to rǿyksopp (pronunced as ray-yu-sob) in glasgow and it was pure ecstasy. the beat was grand and the operatic vocals gave a good twist to the otherwise too-trancey feel. glasgow's aesthetically appalling when compared to the long-drawn history of edinburgh. otherwise it was good fun.

read back soon, cos edinburgh's way fun and i'm getting used to my lifestyle here, which is kinda scary if you really think about it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Trotting upon some rites of passage

i should be finally settling in. my bank account is finally alive, my courses are confirmed and friends are gradually piling along. and the best thing is, hold onto your tiny seats of self-contentment ladies and gentlemen, but i'm going to Paris for 5 days next month over reading week (it's a fantastic thing how not to have your parents knowing you blog). i got a cheap end of the deal but it also means i'm flying into bizarre, out-of-the-way airports and having to coach into the respective cities for a bit.

anyhow the highlands was an amazing trip. i think it's the first time i can say that my mere camera/photography skills do not do justice to the topograhic spectacle that i was presented with. the massive, rolling landscape is so dramatic that you stand amazed at its splendeur and wonder. it is obviously accentuated by the fact that i probably come from one of the most 'exciting' geographical country in the world. i would so immure myself in the landscapes that i saw only that i will probably get bored after 3 days without cyberspace. if u're keen, i actually went north towards this city called Perth from edin and onwards towards the cairngorms national park, which is incidentally the largest national park in britain. and we spent a night in aviemore, a medium-sized town popular with skiiers in the winter. then the next day onwards we went to Inverness after doing a short walk in the Rothiemurchus which has been quoted to be one of the 100 best places in the british isles. it was a wonderful walk around one of the lochs (scottish for a large body of freshwater)- Loch an Eilein. Inverness if the capital of the highlands but we went south instead to the all famous Loch Ness where we circled the loch and was absolutely taken aback by how marvellous it is. i haven't been impressed by pure scenic-ness for a long while now, well maybe given i always head to cosmopolitan areas for holidays. anyhow, we stayed a night at Drummanochit, which is the hottest tourist spot by Loch Ness because that is also where someone caught sight of Nessie, giving rise to loch ness fame. thereafter we headed down to Fort Augustus and Fort William and headed back to Edinburgh after quite a mishap enroute to the car rental site. so that's it. though pictures don't do justice, they still speak volumes of its immense beauty so go check them out if you haven't already done so.

alright i'm back to catching up with my european union law which i'm a complete daft at. check back at this space soon then.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Quick update

yes i'm very much still alive and i just returned unscathed from a trip to the dramatic scottish highland and no, not a trace of that illusive loch ness monster, or nessie as it is so affectionately known as. school officially started today and my courses are still left unconfirmed, plus more frustratingly my internet is still not up yet- expletives censored. the efficiency levels here will be the dearth of any singaporean civil servants who might visit here.

but more of the highlands when i update next, since i'm in the very private mass orgy of computers in the biggest academic library in scotland now. how's everyone doing? updates people!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Don't spray all over the law


'sorry ma'am, the size of your tootsies (breasts) grossly violates our human trafficking laws.'

crunch on it.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Rape of the Palates

and i embarked on the rites of passage to be fully assimilated into the scottish way of life- i had my first real meal of haggis. just for shock sake, haggis is actually sheep's intestines, kidneys and liver all meshed up and immaculately wrapped up in the stomach bag of the same beast and served right up after a good broil. i survived through it by consciously blocking out those lovely animals grazing the gentle meadows of the scottish countryside and then abruptly dragged into the abattoir and gutted out from the inside like a scene from house of the dead. but it's really not that bad in the end- i had tatties (scottish for mashed potatoes) and neeps (mashed turnips) to blend the taste in. to top it off the scotch whiskey did mask the taste a little, so i did manage to survive myself. plus i was quaffing on the red wine which aided in the swallowing process. so chew on that, mooncake peddlers (the title only serves to romanticise the experience).

today i had my another first- the scottish cold. the winds were burring, so bad they could blow out one's contact lenses with 15 minutes of it. it was 10 degrees when i went out to get myself registered at the university and the 15 minutes walk there was almost insufferable. it might be the litmus test that brolly-makers use to test the quality and rigidity of their brollys, mine was certainly put to the test, albeit to stunning results. but like a friend quipped, it's only the beginning.

allow me to utilise my whine of the day: I WANT an ipod nano! these apple marketing people are psychological witches, stop them before they come up with more gadgets i would kill to have.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Baile Átha Cliath

Ta me air meisce.

No, not quite the warm irish welcome one should be expecting but it's very close to the heart of the irish spirit though (pun intended)- it just means 'I am drunk' in Irish, or traditionally known as Gaelic.

Before i set foot on the capital of the Celtic Tiger that we call Dublin (or Duh Linn, meaning black pool), i was expecting Dubz to be the farrago of wealth, history, a deep sense of tradition and those left behind by the boom. it was all that but somehow a certain charm was lacking to complete this medley of magic that I feel in Edinburgh. the irish kazaam didn't quite work it for me but i'm afraid anything more would be deemed a sacrilegious cavil of the english/scottish-irish divide that history took so long just to bury or make it fade away. it's a personal thing in the end.

I amaze myself at how much i can conquer as a tourist in a day. a grand total of two days was what i required in the end to gobble up the main sights of the irish capital. i was actually left a little adrift of plans at 3pm on the second day and was relieved to be going home. it wasn't boring me per se but knowing no one and going to bars just in seek of company was just not aiding the entire process of getting to know the place just that little bit better. in a way, being alone has that side of its down. the up was of course, previously mentioned, the efficiency of clearing more attractions than i would want. good lad. for me the highlight was not the physical sights, but more the knowledge amassed that got me more internalised with the crafting of the irish state. in that sense, the visit to the dublin castle carved the deepest impression. it's apparently still the working place for the President (presently a woman, the second one on her second term, equating to ireland have to suffer through 21 consecutive years of women at the helm- imagine the matriarchy the men gets drowned in, ha, i'm only kidding of course). 800 yrs of anglo-norman rule the irish has to go through before attaining its hard-fought independence in 1922. it's also amazing how her language, gaelic, never smoulder away with time like bad mascara. the title of this post is incidentally city of dublin's gaelic name. the original 300-odd years of the guinness storehouse was something interesting and the christ church cathedral whose choir sang the premiere performance of Handel's Messiah Oratorio back in 1700s.

this is europe i guess. you cannot help but get sponged up by history like that. christ church cathedral has been around since william the conqueror invaded england in 1066- it's mind-blowing like that. the sense of national identity and patriotism is still so intact after all these times, it's hard to fathm where i come from, where national identity is awashed in a yellow sense of americanism and western media and the only last struggles to foster it back is the flimsy social glue of national education and silent threats. being chinese/singaporean has probably never been 'in'. but then again it'll be sad to update this sense of identity with a false sense of modernist injection and enforced ideals that almost has to be propoganised to work in some way or another. then again, football is that social glue that seems to be the modernist piece of equipment that works in europe- i was lucky to be amidst the action of this when ireland was against france in their world cup 2006 qualifying match and the fervent reaction to either sides is infectious. then again these things tie back in with this very entrenched gut sense of nationalism that runs way back. the reception at my hostel was slightly appalled to see the french people bringing down their flag and decorating their faces with the trois coleurs that she said, in half-jest, "they sure do bring their football everywhere." this is what i'm talking about, the entrechment of nationalism. so either way, we're all screwed, patriotically-speaking.

but i ramble. dublin is quite an eye-opener. they're really very proud with their literary exports. i've known more about james joyce and ulysses than i ever had in my life. he actually had a full schema to the book and a device to getting the whole thing started, it was almost scientific. scary.

and is it the mid-autumn yet? the closest thing i'm getting to snow skin is its inspiration of the actual climatic snow. so spare me the digs.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Skirting on the rims

if u thought edinburgh was beautiful, the outskirts of her adds light to the beam. i troddled onto the rosslyn chapel in roslin (i have no idea why there must be 2 spellings to a same place) and to stirling. rosslyn chapel is of 'the da vinci code' fame, of which i can't quite recall which part of it it materialises. but the engravings and carvings of the pillars and stained glass were of divine beauty. it stood from 1466 or the likes and again it's just amazing how the preservation just stands intact and one can live side by side with the 15th century in 2005.

stirling was the icing on the cake though. 2 places were of promience- the first has to be stirling castle (castles are like diamonds to women, what they are to scotland) and the second is the willam wallace monument. both were spectacular. william wallace is braveheart, now do i get some connections? yeah it was 246 steps up the tower but you get spectacular views of stirling and firth of forth (the main waterway of edinburgh and its regions). and through it i got to know much more in-depth of scottish history, like the most interesting things i gathered from my trip were scottish inventions- to name some, the photocopying machine, the fax machine, tar (on roads) and penicillin. stirling castle was not too bad as well. i think by the time i'm done with scotland i'll be the castle specialist, though i must get myself acquainted with the terminology and such then i'll truly be in style of a castlist, so to speak.

how's everyone doing back home? i'm starting to feel the itch of hawker cuisine, can u believe? oh well guess i've to get suited to food here. but it's not as bad as everyone's been warning me. at least the thai food here is rather glorious. woohoo.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Endorphines in Tights

this must be my virgin experience to a comedic ballet. and coincidentally my virgin experience to the largest arts festival in the world: the edinburgh one.

i went to one performance by the dutch national ballet and the last segment of it caught my unawares. primarily since it stated that music was going to be by chopin, or rather inspired by him. so one would expect a rendition of pompous, patriotic marches or slow waltzes without any vestige of comedic essence. but it turned out that way, as things might go. it was actually a parody on certain groups of people going to the theatre. some artistic sycophants, the real enthuasiasts that annoy ironically through their enthusiasm and the dense-brains that only act as sideshows. it was stomach-turning funny, so much so it was out of whack of the situp-straight world of classical ballet. it was fun nonetheless and an eye-opener since the only ballets i've attended were those of romantic nonmenclature. oh and there were also pretend-rehearsals where one would be totally out of sync vis-a-vis the others and that was a total comic relief. this is thrown in sharp relief with the previous segment where it was avant-garde ballet where i was constantly trying to rationalize or hyper-interpret what possibly could be the hidden message behind the frantc swerling and leg-gyrations. but it was a carnal and raw concoction of movements and relations. it should have gome down well with the ballet suck-ups.

i have another performance to bestow my presence upon, on saturday- one of the premier orchestras in Germany. that should be good. will tell more once i've gotten wind of it. haha, get the pun?

i think i must make mention of my trip to edinburgh castle. probably the most celebrated of the innumerable castles in scotland. to be honest, i wasn't much impressed with it. there was only probably 2 pieces of crown jewels on showcase when it so mightily proclaimed to be the oldest royal jewels in all of the british isles. the wand doesn't count. there wasn't even an orb to beat. but the view up there was one to beat (yes yes, i'll have pictures in a jiff). all of edinburgh was in view and it was magnificent. although not quite jaw-dropping, it's enough to keep you spaced out for that good 15 minutes, even with the chills of winds plastering your skin. the mound up was quite a climb, not to mention that steep admission ripoff of £9.80, but i guess it's one of its league. one thing's interesting is the latin line adorning its gates: no one shall provoke me without fear of impunity. bite me.

edinburgh is full of charms that one cannot start describing. the history alone can set you back thinking my point i made in my last post: that people die fighting for the land. i'm lucky to be here. so come and visit me once you get the chance. the money's all worth it, trust me on this.

Up the mountain went a Singaporean and down came a Scottish

when one sees what what i saw here, one can only come to fully understand why people of ages past fight to their deaths for the land they call their country.

it's not a romanticised appraisal of edinburgh. what with the rolling hills with ruins of medieval chapels, proudly conserved buildings that reek of victorian, georgian and even renaissance heritage, and largely a deeply embedded sense of staunch nationalism, you have scotland. edinburgh is the epitome and probably the most complete encapsulation of this so-called scottish spirit. i was just walking around the old town and wham, at the end of holyrood palace (QEII's palace whenever she's here on her annual visit to Edinburgh), i chanced upon a mountain surrounded by a series of shorter hills, flourishing with wild flowers and willowing dried grass. and atop it i sighted the ruins of a chapel dating back to pre-renaissance times. i had to climb up and when i did reach the top, i sat there- gawking- at how i sit next to a 1400s relic overlooking a highly modernised city with a facade that doesn't look it. this sharp contrast is unbelieveable. and today as i walked along Princes Street (probably the closest thing edin has to our Orchard Road), i got an unobstructed view of the Edinburgh Castle up on the hill, almost like an eagle looking down damely. i can't do this better than the pictures i took, so take a look at them when they're up. well the camera technology is one thing the renaissance people was seriously missing out on.

and edinburgh has been really kind to me these two days- i literally brought the sunshine up from london. although winds got a little nibby, it was still alright to go out in tees. and this really facilitated sightseeing, a lot. even went to the new Parliament (new in more ways than one since it has been newly reconvened after the union in 1707 and the building cost a massive £400 million to build and only recently opened). and no i haven't tried haggis yet but heard it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. and surprisingly i've had little problems with the scottish accent so far.

on an entirely different note, i was wondering if creativity of the arts (of all branches) has anything to do with the geographical beauty (or lack thereof) of a certain terrain or country. singapore has flat as it can get, well, sure has a flourishing arts scene before massive government intervention. scotland, well, you get my point. and also i heard someone saying 'optimism is only for the rich'- i found that vastly amusing and frighteningly true. i hear the proleteriats growl, better shush with that now.

'As long as only one of us remain alive we will never on any conditions be brought under English good man gives up freedom except with his life.'

Monday, August 29, 2005


i'm finally in edinburgh after all the anticipation. flight was quick: 50min or so. and just 10min into the airport bus ride into the city centre, one can sip up the charms of Edinburgh pretty fast. the castle is beautiful at night and the hills around it beam with scottish beauty. no tall buildings here at all, it's really living in an archetypal old European city, very un-English or rather un-London. apparently Edinburgh sits on a bed of granite and that also hinders skyscraping developments but really you wouldn't want to taint this medieval aura with modernistic gore. i haven't had horror stories of the incomprehensible and utterly inaudible scottish accent yet but my chances will come in abundance. apparently i live in the old town and the castle is just right behind me, not literally but some distance back, so it's all lovely. and the scottish pound looks like currency Aragorn would use to pay for his beer at the Prancing Pony.

this is all in stark juxtaposition to the rambanctious, over-the-top alive London earlier this afternoon where i braved myself with Gwen down at the Notting Hill Carnival where throngs of people were soaking themselves in bohemian love and proletariat joy. it was fun, until the grime of sweaty Caucasian men gets to you that is.

so yes i'm in Edinburgh, will dish out more when i explore more tomorrow and hopefully catch some fringe events since the Arts Festival is still running. and yes that bank account dread shall be extinguished tomorrow and no more shall it rear its ugly head.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

To retrieve what had been lost

some things are just not meant to be gotten back- once lost, forever out of sight. of course it could relate to philosophical lifetalk but i only meant to refer to my ring. it really did not augur well within me that when i finally reach the bohemian sector of London that is Camden Town, the upstart jewellery designer that once offered just refreshing men's jewellery was not there anymore. and thus i'm still left ringless, frodo would have been so disappointed.

the weather here has almost been alternating between dreary rain and bursting sunshine. i stayed home yesterday, believe it or not, in probably the most exciting city in the world, entirely just sponging up bad daytime tv, reruns of Friends and DVDs like house of the flying daggers. today's been beautiful although winds were a tad chilly and i braved it for like an hour in my happy orange sail shorts and cotton tee. i think the passers-by at high kensington street must be so amused at me. today i also revisited my nifty little crepes place near gwen's place which was such a delight, still. i had this thing called crepe complete which had a soft egg layer beneath the crispy crepe layer and smouldering so sultrily atop my ham and cheese stuffing. slurp. but still give me 3 bowls of laksa and i'll gobble them up in a blinking second. you guys must know how lucky we are to be blessed with the most ingenious food concept in the form of hawker centres. you can get nothing filling here below four quid. save the occasional mac specials, how gastronomically exciting.

and get this i have not gotten myself a single piece of garment, accessory or ostentatious item since i stepped foot in london. i must be attaining financial-scringing nirvana. come to me and get healed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Simmering patience

oxygen doesn't keep one alive here in england, it's patience. without which, you would probably start drowning yourself in your own bath tub or something. or then again i think it's always more fun and sensible (yes no wrong choice of vocabulary here) to take those people responsible for erecting the red tapes and worshipping bureaucracy as a religion, down. and if you're not patient with the weather conditions here and grumble all day like Singaporeans do, be it too much rain or too much sun, you're gonna have one tough time here. it's raining now and on monday but at least i was compensated with a lovely day yesterday, which we aptly spent in the museums and galleries. see, if you're not patient with the weather, you can kiss cheeriness goodbye and say a forever hello to underbreath cursing.

speaking of which, i thought the national portrait gallery that i went to yesterday was a pretty nifty place. as the name suggests, it hangs all portraits and photographs of various people important in the UK. joan collins, greta garbo, the royal family, statesmen of past and present and an impressive collection of queen victoria, of whom one shows her so graciously presenting a tribesmen from Zanzibar a bible and making him much better with the locks of English imperialism. the English sure has a way of euphemising her encapsulating hoods of colonialism. as with the British Museum i suppose- the world's largest publicly-displayed loot warehouse. from egyptian facsimiles to greek doric orders and parthenon parts to Tang porcelain in flawless condition, the English might be the most daring and care-less thieves of all times. hail the glories and might of english imperialism.

coming back to 2005- yesterday was indeed gorgeous for just spreading out on the grasspatch in a park and having a sandwich and orange and carrot cake from Tesco's (it was the cheapest pleasure we could find in london at £1.49!). and slow walks by the Thames where the wind's slightly nibby and the sun's still up.

so how's everyone back home, in the promising vibrant global city-to-be? =)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The archetypal English beginning

and so it begins, my english one year. i'm in London for slightly more than 24 hours now after a crappy flight with seats highly inconsiderate to my legs. so i was left groggy and slightly PMSed when i arrived at heathrow. food was good though, so at least that saved me from shooting everyone on board. of course, i'm kidding, even my subconscious ain't that exciting.

then came the tedious immigration process and the lugging of the 4 pieces of luggage that had me wanting to shoot everyone around me. more so the former- menopausal nurses pretending to have PMS while efficiency levels were clearly reflective of their age. so i waited. waited. and waited. and reached my place of accomodation only 4 hours later. all in the name of world famous english efficiency- how archetypal and cliche.

but at least i'm safe and no major hiccups burped in my face. except for maybe that minor glitch of me forgetting to collect my sharp items from baggage retrieval and thus i effectively said au revoir to my sweden souvenir nail clippers (i never knew someone could kill with a nail clipper, or endeavour to teach me how) and my scissors. and also i realised i forgot to bring my phytomer after-shave solution. but putting these aside, i was blessed with disturbingly good weather by standards of an approaching London fall. there was sun, breeze, all at a comfortable 20 celsius. and i donned the Borough market with my presense with a light breeze on my back. haha. and caught up with a primary school pal, who i haven't seen even in the vaguest form for almost 11 donkey years. how we age.

so for those who don't know, i have an english mobile number so get it fgrom me via email or hsien has it as well. miss all you guys already and i'm temporarily striking out Buble's 'Home' from my playlist, just in case.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's a Goodbye

Farewells are never easy. especially when one wants to package it as a surprise (haha).

but all went well- simple, cosy and nice. so much for my grand entrance and to-death rehearsals of feigning surprise. i guess everyone thought it was out of the bag, there wasn't much else to, well, surprise. the tables were turned on me when i was actually one of the earlier ones to arrive, so another time perhaps. food was great though, a galore of localities, enough to make me miss them even more as i embark to a land of culinary obliqueness. my taste buds are going to have such a tough time over there. and when the silence arrived after the food settled, i became more lucid, for better or worse. i was thinking of the new excitements that will beface me, and how this is the first time i'm absolutely going over the safe bounds of my comfort zone. it's a collage of fear, adrenaline-rush and worry. as i see my friends before me, it's a mish-mesh of emotions colliding with rationality. how i will get new friends, new experiences but yet apprehensive of what's to come and uncertain how i might deal with new circumstances. i understand that it's probably pre-departure jitters, thus i'll still manage and embrace with open arms.

then today i'm awakened from my jitters and startled into reality when my packing came up to nearly 40kg. i need someone to cast some semblance of weightlessness spell on the check-in weighing belt, fast.

p.s. pictures, not too many since photographer du jour was fired midway the party, are at 'Farewell' Album

Friday, August 05, 2005

Reluctant awakening from a misty dream of reality

As the title goes, i am still officially cocooned in the hong kong dream of 'shopping-eating-shopping-eating-and then more shopping'. for the first time i gladly submit myself to the harangues of modern day bureaucratic-advertising: hong kong tourism board should be so proud, they should crown me the foreign mascot or the likes. and for the record, before i get serious flak from people bitten most unguardedly by the green monster from the relating of such events, i'm only here to record for the souvenir of my memory and dare not serve any other purpose otherwise. thus i have been absolve of all liabilities and responsibilities arising forthwith.


divine doesn't even start to describe it. and since i have to cut down on the usage of 'gorgeous', i'll just leave it as that it was great. i might have cleared out half of adidas' storage in hong kong and it has definitely found a new spokesperson for its vintage line. along with my decadence with gagdets, which was unbelivably cheap over there, i singlehandedly engineered the crater hole in my wallet. the exercise of shopping had never set my mind so settled on spending and the resolve to keep going is something i've probably rarely felt, where spending is concerned. it was an out-of-body experience but definitely one to remember and revisit. if i shall proceed with this, it might rescind into histrionics so let the goods do the talking. and they sure spoke volumes, as some would attest. curb my enthusiasm, someone.


came in little packages of delight and generous servings of ala-carte heaven in posh restaurants i can almost not afford. it was a good balance though and it was good that even right up to my last meal at the airport food court (which was a butt-slapping delicious serving of roast goose noodle with some hell of a gravy) there was hardly a whine of a complaint. i had the flakiest warm egg-tarts, char siew which could not be compared with here, dim sum which i do not think it wise to start describing in fear of an intestinal riot and other miscellanous foodstuff that i just wanna eat NOW. so much for that. curb your saliva flow, everyone.

and plus the business class arrangement, it was a nice icing on the cake to the entire trip. i am left satisfied but now have to resort to rationing for food back home. of course i'm exagerrating but in the event one reads this and sympathy compels him/her to contribute to the 'repair-GJ's-bank account-fund', your kindness would not go unappreciated. london's gonna hate an impoverished student, sigh.

back to reality, visa application is finally completed, just hope that things proceed well and they nip-picking of documents will not get onto my application. God forbid.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Monkeys on Aerobics

there is a concept known as shame, or more affectionately known as self-awareness. yet this concept, as tonight would and did showcase, seemed to be quantum physics to some. what with the exhibitionist flower-power-hand-movements dancing extravagance on the platform and glorification of the ego, when let's just say not everyone takes to your kind of display and narcissistic exuberance, the net effect is just undesirable. this is not about to degenerate into some zoo-display categorizing but i shall just leave it as that clubbing should be left to the beautiful. then again i was informed by some close company that the beautiful have no reason to come out anyhow since they have enough ego-boosters in the day to set them for life. but then again, it's about the company that you have while you're boozing and trancing so it's still worth a trip in the end.

as the day draws closer for my protracted length of absence from the sandy shores of safe-haven Singapore, it seems the logistical bonanza is taking shape. i just received my official acceptance letter, which leaves my entry clearance into the UK status much to be desired for. and the rice cooker my mum bought together with five thousand and one packets of sauces, instant food-thingys, etc, packing doesn't seem too fun anymore. the addendum to this nightmare is my trip to Hong Kong which is right round the corner. i need my last taste of Asia before i go so no one's gonna deprive me of that. but anyone who wants to be deigned as the official packer is most welcome.

and they called it 'London: Strike 2'. seriously, when will it all end? it's mind-numbingly senseless and language becomes so inadequately overhyped, in this case.

till then, i have my Edinburgh address out. just drop me a line should you require it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Monsters Inc.

definitely not as adorable and cheek-pinching worthy as the title suggests, what i'm about to relate, on this, indeed, fateful day.

London has been assaulted, like what happened to NYC 9/11, this is a literal stab in the back. even with all the precautions in place and necessary emergency plans installed, it doesn't seem to be enough in the face of blindless hate and staunch revenge. it will never be enough. the human nature is contorted and bent beyond recognition. this is of course an extreme, that i'm speaking of. there are most certainly glimpses of human light shining upon this shadow of our times. but when this simple organ of the human heart becomes so complex and contains much more than the brain can come up with, we can never be too prepared against it. this is why i always believe that the human heart is always stronger than the human mind. when the heart is set forth on an agenda, ever so furtively, the mind has no power over it- it is conditioned by the heart to gallop on that agenda and kill all opposing thoughts. the mind is indeed a dangerous place, that's why the smartest people tread and make these their playgrounds whenever they need to hover power over the simple plebians.

that aside, it's still meanderingly depressing that this had to happen. when the sense of abhorrence is so entrenched, the only probable solution is perhaps a thorough brainwashing or an entire brain transplant altogether. i hope i'm making sense. these atrocities make me verbally spurt in torrents.

until these roots of nameless hate and susceptible psychological indignance is utterly eradicated, it almost seems like pain is going to be limitless.

Monday, July 04, 2005

And Henry stole Christmas and refused to give it back

july's here, almost creepingly did. i don't like the feeling of time creeping up onto you like this, so unannounced. then again the heralding of each month's end would be ridiculous and we already do have enough drama around us. God forbid more.

this is especially a creep i all the more want to avoid because it's drawing nearer to my going away. it's the first time yesterday i realised i could say that i'm leaving next month. somehow still so many things dangle and are in flux, it seems weird to go. then again, i reckon a change of environment and way of living would be a good thing for me. this drone of comfort and helpless routine can be quite that strangle on that excitability of life we are all dying to have while we can. then again the human nature is paradoxical and insatiable. when life gets too exciting, one yearns to head home to comfort. it's the same with people, maybe. you can never ask for too much from someone close to you. and with techonology advancing at speed of light the personal bubble becomes invariably smaller and distance becomes a non-issue. by the rate i'm going, without need of elaborating too far, i'm doomed to the oblivions of singledom and happy doing remixes to 'all by myself'. then again when i do get that someone, in this blurry and ever misty tunnel of love, i will read back in retrospect and hopefully laugh at the follies of youth and that i was so ever frequently its undying mouthpiece.

i had a good last week though, it has to be noted. go to The Line for jets of gastronomic delight, that is the fountain of chocolate, tasting suspiciously like the divine Godiva. and of course the impossible spread of cuisines that would have your stomach screaming for leniency. there were those conversations that left me exhausted and sad but happy that i have someone to understand what all these crafty concepts of human interaction do to me. empathy is a powerful tool- it is that rope that saves you from falling down the endless spirals of gut-wrenching pain. so to this person, i'm gonna miss you, you cunt.=)

july's here. best enjoy it before august comes along, steals it and refuses to give it back.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Women with Men's Ego

what's more to say regarding this? almost guarantees lifetime torment leading to post-menopausal PMS, and a sure way to say bye-gone to men- brand new mutated form of social suicide.

honey, do tone it down. unless of course you're all geared to play for the other team.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Of Generality and Necessary Sculpting of Ongoings

i thought i would make the title more ornate to attract more to read, at least the first ramblings of this post: packaging is everything in this plastic, superficial hoola we live in. yes, it has not been too smooth a ride these few weeks of absentia. but we survive, that's what we do.

work has been taking centrespot these three weeks. not actual working per se, just the mere presence at the office arena and to beg for work when sitting in front of the computer staring at inane websites, heating up your seat becomes too much to bear. i've become quite atuned and sharpened at the skill of proof-reading whilst i was there and gained a quasi-reputation for it that after my first good piece of work, the others streamed in unceremoniously. but well if not for anything, other than it being a good skill to arm myself with for my potential career, it makes for good reading- finding out first hand what big transactions or joint ventures are happening, etc. i've yet to make my court appearance debut yet, make it seems like that's gonna happen next week so stringing up my fingers as we speak. then there are the lunches and the tini-weeny tea breaks which become highlights of the day. and the very maternal (i stand politically corrected) secretaries feeding you food and trying to source out whether you're an intern or a new lawyer and your background and your whatever. darlings all. in all, it's just to experience, and that remains really just that. i have a career of this to followup, there really is no rush to force myself to enjoy it now- at least the lawyers working now agree with me, ever so readily, on this point.

then there was father's day lunch at doc cheng's which was quite a delight, apart from it being a prolonged lunch and wasn't much work to go back to, to speak of. a 3 course treat of foie gras, duck breast and pandan creme brulee is enough to titillate the gastronomic sensories for a while.

yes then there's batman- in batman begins. the most brooding, darkest and credible batman that will almost certainly be the breath of fresh air, much needed to revive the dying batman franchaise. and a batman with real abs, instead of relying on the suit to superimpose them as with the cases of christian bale's predecessors. well moments of tacky retorts and faux pas smart oneliners weren't enough to kill the essence of the whole darkish feel and the entire psychological entrapment of batman was circulated in the film intact and smartly. katie holmes's rachael dawes was more of a dole-eyed barbie walking-vase than a kickass assistant district attorney whose life-agenda to eradicate injustice and uphold the pride of Gotham. otherwise this is quite a keeper film.

i would go on to relate the emotional hiccups that occured over the time and space of these past weeks but i thought the mere trying to remember them to put them in words here would just force me to rethink them which, evidently, is not a very healthy process and is clearly an antithesis to the healthier option of moving along with life, looking forward, et al. many people disappoint but who are we to have expectations of them anyways. the most important person you never should disappoint, is yourself. in any case, the 'use-and-discard' theory was quite a chirpy (plausibly workable) solution to so many unsatisfactory developments that has arisen. that's a grand idea, indeed.

Vladimir Horowitz, the genius with his fingers at the piano, had a Hanon's piano exercises clutched in his hands when he died, and remains with him when he was buried, supposedly. it was (again supposedly) in accordance with his wishes of "I never want to do anything without warming up; that includes dying." In a singularly introspective episode of Desperate Housewives, it was said that human beings are made for a lot of things but loneliness isn't one of them, maybe with Horowitz's mantra, we could be. a rosier future lies ahead..

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Functionary People

Thought this might garner some response and/or guilt-pricking in some. otherwise i thought this interesting from an anthropological point of view.

What's a Meantime Girl?

She's the one you call when you're bored because she makes you laugh.

She's the one you talk to when you're feeling down because she's willing to lend an ear and be a friend.

She's not the one you call when you need a date to your company's Christmas party, or to go dancing with on a Saturday night.

She's the one you spend time with between girlfriends, before you find "The One". You know, the one who you keep around in the meantime.

She's not one of the guys, not a tomboy, but you don't look at her as a "real" woman, either.

She's not bitchy enough, moody enough, or sexy enough to be seen in that light.

She's too laid-back, too easily amused by the same things your male buddies are amused by.

She's too understanding, too comfortable. She doesn't make you feel nervous or excited the way a "real" woman does.

But she's cool, and nice, and funny, and attractive enough that when you're lonely or horny and need intimate female companionship, she'll do just fine.

You don't have to wine and dine her because she knows the real you already, and you don't have any facades to keep up, no pretenses to preserve.

You're not trying to get anything of substance out of her.

She's not easy, but you know that she cares about you and is attracted to you, and that she'll give you the intimacy you need. And you know you don't have to explain yourself or the situation.

But deep down, if you really think about it (which you probably don't because to you, the situation between the two of you isn't important enough to merit any real thought), you know that it's really not fair.

You know that although she would never say it, it hurts her to know that despite all her good points and all the fun you two have, you don't think she's good enough to spend any real time with.

Sure, it's mostly her fault, because she doesn't have to give in to your needs. She could play the hard-to-get bitch like the rest of them do, if she really wanted to. But you and she both know that she probably couldn't pull it off.

Maybe she's too short, or a little overweight, or has a big birthmark on her forehead, or works at Taco Bell.

Whatever the reason, somehow life has given her a lot of really great qualities but has left out the ones that men want (or think they want).

You'll joke to her that she should be the best man at your wedding, and she'll laugh and make a joke about a smelly rental tux. She doesn't captivate you with her beauty, or open doors with her smile.

Mainly she blends in with the crowd. She's safe. She doesn't want to be the center of attention and turn the heads of everyone in the room. But she wants to turn someone's head.

She wants to be special to someone, too. We all do. She has feelings. She has a heart. In fact, she probably has a bigger and better heart than any woman you've ever known because she's had a front-row seat to The Mess That Is Your Life, and she likes you anyway.

She obviously sees something worthwhile and redeeming in you because although you've given her nothing, absolutely no reason to still be around, she is.

Anyway, yeah. I'm a Meantime Girl. Been one more times than I care to admit. I don't know the reason, really, and at this point I don't even care.

I just want to let every guy know who's ever had the good fortune to have a Meantime Girl that we may be a lot of fun, but we cry, too. A lot.

And someday we won't be around.


in sequel to 'flirting with the line', the french open offers more tennis puns and ultimately great tennis action. with the ushering out of another grand slam event (mario puerta get shot by 19yo raphael nadal), it's another wait to a less exciting grand slam tournament, in my opinion at least. grass is just boring, clay is the surface to beat. the erraticness of play, the much-varied angling and compound reflexes to tackle the capricious mood of clay makes watching all the more exciting. it's really true that the french just does things better huh?and henin-hardenne won her 2nd clay grand slam just yesterday- it seems in the end, the partnership of athleticism and impetuous strategy wins the day.

home seems emptier than usual these days, what with mum in HK and sis in the US of A. but with work creeping in (ever so slowly), it takes the heat off this rarely-encountered emptiness. yes work is creeping in at a pace, directly in contrast with that of the action seen at the french open, at wongP. it's not surprising that we interns are negligible and highly dispensible personnel but sometimes it gets so yawningly boring that reading a conflicts textbook is disneyland-joy. at least lunches are semi-fun but sometimes it just takes one person to cloud the sun. the joy-kill comes in the form of a very uncompromising, demanding, ass-shoving person who has a mean mole to top things off. lucky we're in different departments, lest my anger management classes might just be conveninently thrown out of the window. the working environment is breathable i suppose but as an intern, always only scratching the surface of things, the view of things may just be that as well- skewed and slightly more rose-tainted than most associates and partners would approve of. thus, so far, i've gained knowledge of how beautiful the skyline of Singapore is from 57th storeys above, rental prices at boutique apartment projects and the doctrine of renvoi in conflicts..haha.

i'm supposed to gear up for my french exams tomorrow and i'm here, checking out the tennis gears for the french open. it's just semantics, right?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

When Mood and Nature Converse

a song finds its way to communicate with the dormant subconscious- Johnette Napolitano's cover of The Scientist. in the private corner of your sky, the blue silences all other colours, save the white of the clouds and the rainbow in your mind. and then u come to notice the idyllic rearrangement of the clouds according to the random rhythms of the wind and the refusal of the minority streaks rebelliously dancing to their own waltz, creating their own piece of art. the sun spares its mercy of heat and yellow, without which there would be an icicle of distance and space. the burden of your lightness keeps you earthed as you yearn to make a flight of guilty freedom. the unclear manifest of emotional standing of the song then captures your conscious attention for that temporal while, sketching the already-illumined mental postcard on a larger splash of canvas and there you stand deciding if this should be a transparently happy moment or delve into the deepest reflections of melancholy. and there i stood agaped, soothed in the science of the interaction of the conscious and subconscious and the concoction of foggy reality, seamless with this acute sense of pathetic fallacy.

take a moment to feel glad to be alive.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Feminism: The Complete Rationalization of the Demise of Chivalry

i've heard, several of late, of many complaints about how men nowadays are less chivalrous and less inclined to be of a gentleman to fellow ladies: the economising of manners on the womanfolk. and i've also heard how the situation used to be that men change after they get married, all for the worst- with the slipping on the wedding ring, comes the slipping off of romanticism and sensitivity that used to be so familiar and in abundance. i'm obviously in danger of exploding the minefields of over-generalisation but hey, i'm a mere social critic, i serve the perpetuators, am never the perpetuator.

and to that observation, to my kind and genteel womanfolk all around, i present to you a foolproof (albeit not a tonguelash-proof) and complete rationale to this supposed demise of chivalry: the advent of feminism. go stone catherine mckinnon and the likes over this but it's truly your own undoing (or doing, depending on what levels of finger-pointing you want to attribute). see a large component of this should-be-scraped school of thought is the hallmark of equality: what men can do, women can too. yes yes, all hail the woman-might and what-nots you have to prove that you can always do it better than the men can but think about footing the bill next time, holding the door for yourself, driving yourself around without the human-map guide(male of course) next to you and do all the cleaning yourself- well, the woman might can conquer all! so don't complain of chivalry not having a place in our modern times and reminiscing its once ubiquitous presence like you always had it. male chivalry is long taken for granted and for feminists to come up and proclaim that opening doors for the female species is a form of gender belittling and assumption of weakness on the male species' part, you gotta give the men a break. you simply can't be the murderer and cry murder at the same time. and u also can't have your cake and eat it. and if feminists really want to start rationalising chivalry, just strike it down as being antithetical to the propogation of feminism and gamely throw it out of the window, don't still stand around and say that that's just within a man to do it. so i give to you that feminism has itself to blame for a lot of things women want most and lost them through their 'cause'.

to think someone actually gave me a rationalization upon the rationalization of feminism by purporting that women in want of rich husbands still runs atrack with feminist thinking since one should see the woman as the queen bee and the male as the worker bee bringing her deserved honey to her. if ever i want to do that to some dudette, i'm doing it out of the goodness and love of my heart and not the recognition of any superiority of any gender, and of course the recognition that i am obviously the one with the apts of bringing in more money so live with it. all i can say to that 'theory' is, you gotta hand it to some women, man.

you really think virginia woolf was a staunch feminist? in the lunacy of her being, how could she still be able to propound her feminist ideals if not for Leonard Woolf, seriously.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lucidity of Transcendence

i was pondering over something that spilled from a conversation that had me enthralled for a while: can u actually force someone to keep in touch with you? inane and ridiculous as it sounds it somehow kept the mills of my grey matter running for that bit. and larger issues then followed (the cursed legal train of thinking) like say if one could actually cope with a friend's way of handling matters when it directly clashes with your ideology of sorting things out?and when it does do u try reconciling or stand by your philosophy because you maintain who you are and thus trash things out? people at the bottom of it all do have different ways of dealing with things but when cosmic forces come clashing, is it time to throw out the big bang theory?

i'm often afraid to pose questions of existence or relational questions really. i'm in the belief that they are meant to rhetorical or worse yet, meant to brew nerve troubles. but more often than not when these existential queries present themselves to be that ugly reality we are so keen just to avoid, we often demand hard and fast answers, hoping they would translate themselves into workable solutions that will send these realities flying out of the door. yes, life is also more often than not, never this simple. i had a few of these practicable scenarios of my own. not pleasant of course but when it turns inwards, a self-improving individual might be glad that these things do come up. i'm not sure if it's called coming to terms with things but at least i know knots are being untied. caring too much can do heinous things too. people have different value systems, people have different methods to face up to things that come their way and they don't necessarily have to be in tuned with what you believe in. if they don't come together and say hi, i should let it fly.

i was about to say relationships should be easy, but i stop and thought that blood baths were started just because two individuals in power didn't get along: bush-saddam; mary of scots-elizabeth I, etc. and it's worse when things are so lucid i'm beginning to stop thinking about it. when that happens, indifference is born and degeneration is almost bound to mutate out of that. see, wherever i move is a plunge downwards.

on a much lighter note (or not cos the food consumed is quite the tonnage), i brought mummy dearest on 'her day' (Mother's Day) to Jade@Fullerton. Let's just say we had little piece of heaven on a large piece of my wallet. but all in good stride.

but to end this, questions of life are better left neigh-answered, ain't that the saner route out?

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Revived from the almost dead

and now the slaughter is done, the roast is ready.

pretty much sums up my papers, the later one at least. had to end with such a bang, the ugliest form of a bang.

and now i'm skitting off to a glorious start of a vacation which would culminase in my setting off to Edinburgh and the greener pastures of Europe (literally huh? Hansel and Gretel prancing around mental image). i'll try endeavouring to this this little piece of virtuality to update all while i'm not around so make sure to check back of course. gee, i sound like i'm already gone.

like i said, happiness doesn't inspire, one must just live it out and stretch it too all ends of the world and i shall leave with this- the shortest entry ever, perhaps.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Of Fungibility and Helpless Hiatus

it's with deepest regret that this hiatus had to occur. academic slaughter can be quite that pain in the arse, especially when stretched over a protracted period of time. together with ground-breaking results over past assignments, this noxious mix is proving to be the lingering bad medicine in the mouth. i'm suspecting my next update of this virtual journal is likely to occur when the examinations are wiped clean-slated.

but it's not without excitement, this hiatus is happening. a lot of peculiar and excitable events did occur, however small they might come. take for example this book i'm just done with (well not quite, was done with it end last month): Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong. it details the idiosyncracies and misunderstood quirks of the French people, rationalizing it with history, embedded beliefs of their land and cultural backlog, complete with lurid examples of their habits and inherent beliefs. it makes for an interesting read and informative at that, just makes u wanna land yourself in France and test the hypotheses provided by the authors. one thing stuck firmly in my mind surfaced from this quote: don't make your lending of money sound like a matter of principle. the french rationalizes their huge public lending and skewed fiscal policies with that and compounded with the infamous French pride, it is easy to see the nuance of the quote.

then there is this episode in the gym which i would kindly label it as 'colonial hangover masked in fake politeness'. well to spare everyone the intricacies of the exact factual matrix of the incident, i was rather cheesed off when some caucasian-expats come around and give you attitude like they are the supreme race, still imprinted with the impression that S'pore is a British colony thereby justifying their faux pas imperialistic overtones. i mean i was just resting b/w sets and this overriped ang moh comes by and says r u fiddling with ur ipod or exercising. oh well until they understand that us Chinese will be assuredly taking over the world in less than 10 yrs' time, they'll forever be in their compromised state. careful we make the United States of America become the United Provinces of Greater China.

oh cinematically wise, Spanglish was quite an unexpected treat. it was more than i prima facie cut it out to be. it was sweet, heartening and the comedy of cultural errors was simple and audience-friendly. characteristically 'mind your language' humour but with more heart and romance. and quotes like 'lately your low self-esteem is good common sense' and saccharine-sweetness things like 'they should name a gender after you' makes you just wanna hug the actors..ha. the drunked mother was the best supporting cast in the show.

meanwhile it's back to my academic progeny- notes materialised from forced discipline and an intrinsic fear of faring poorly. so until then, luck to all under the mercy of this invitation to a beheading.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Life's a Player and All of Us a Mere Stage

Life imitating art imitating life. This concept has been pounded over and over since time memorial and yet there still remains this streak of fascination in the audience at large. So starts my discourse on 'Stage Beauty' which i caught earlier at a preview event thingy. And to pun the title, it was staged rather beautifully.

claire danes and billy crudup at the helm. it's once a self-discovery of the male lead and once a menage a plusieurs of the characters that gives such refined taste and essence to the movie. rupert everett as king is a blast with a finicky sort of humour and a presence that is both imposing and comedically-heavy. he seems to be the fulcrum by which the see-saw of the whole plot rotates since afterall he did affect legislation to the extent that the makeup of the characters revolve around these changes. Claire Danes had this period-beauty that keeps one enchanted throughout the course of the film and is unwavering to the point of being captivating. Her formidable capture of the English accent keeps her credible and her tour de force of acting lands the audience its respect and prolonged interest. it's just that i still can't see how her character of 'Mrs. Margaret Hughes' can be so indulged in kynaston, who is so sexually confused and psychologically screwed-up that when asked who he really is in the end, he slaughters the climax by saying 'i don't know'. twice, no less. Billy Crudup has this clash of ego and insecurity in his acting that i adore. His obsession of being a woman, whom he thinks does all things beautiful (what a crime to think that), does not sit well with a lot of ultra right wing-sexual purists, but his inner turmoil of being compelled to rediscover who he is, is truly applauble and to a certain extent heart-wrenchingly deserving of our sympathy. 'What is life without beauty' rang in my head for a long time after he said it in the film and i guess that's probably one of his downfall, thinking how exhausting it can be, always looking for beauty in life where there's so much ugliness around and that one must encompass or at least recognise this sense of shantiness to realise that beauty does not come easy and relativity makes this aphorisitc pill all the more harder to swallow. and i would have thought that if he tried to recreate this mirage of beauty always or attempts to see beauty in all the things that he does, he could be doubly disappointed when (literally) the ugly head of reality starts rearing its head and refuses to retract itself. rather, over-optimism could be the bitch of life.

one more noteworthy point was i can't quite recall when was the last time i was literally holding my breath in utter anticipation in a movie. it was almost as real an experience as watching the actual Othello right in front of me, as a real theatrical play. it was the death scene and Desdemona was to be suffocated by Iago and it was almost like Iago (Crudup) had simultaneously taken away the breaths of the audience and Desdemona. the theatrics of it was so convincing that it's amazing to watch. and i had to remind myself to breathe again when the resolution finally reveals itself to be otherwise, that Claire Danes remains alive. that was one hell of a movie-moment.

drama aside, today's equity tutorial was much better. much less suffocating than the less, resulting in the much-bleak post. maybe preparedness if the only key to locking the insecurity beast deep in the dungeons of academia-uncertainty. and then again, the culmination of this semester is coming up and i had persist in this preparedness spirit and drive on, light speed ahead.

but all in all, for a film this good, it can, ironically, hardly be only mere theatrics.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Unculpable Murder of Ego

so it's proven: that academia can be that unculpable murder of ego and self-faith. the slaughterhouse of the seminar room is the crime scene. unculpable because you attract your murderer, you are the sole provoker. this culmination of allegories stem from a very trying seminar i had earlier this evening, accentuated by the fact that the crime date is a friday evening, a very non-inspiring time of the week to get your grey matter cracking. subject matter: resulting trust. and it was very resulting indeed- that never be unprepared for a tutorial that has so much ambiguities and debate over even the core underpinnings. the rattling didn't help and the bull's eye-questions by more knowing coursemates proved that fact even more audibly. so next up i shall be more constructive (dedna: get the deadly pun?) with the next seminar. just for general accessibility to the private joke-pun: the next seminar is on constructive trust. ok now, don't glare.

actually i never did really talk about my bangkok trip did i? i think the climax is enough to talk about really. this climax truly lives up to its name: it's almost orgasmic. bed supperclub- one of a kind. if you haven't heard me raving incessantly about it already, it's this club-cum-restaurant designed by Orbitz Lab. the surprise don't end there, the crust of the club and the 'wow's of the interior were simply foreplay. then there was the dinner. c'est magnifique absolutement. french to suit the avant garde french cuisine we were served. it was a four course surprise dinner. i don't quite recall the last time i was being culinarily surprised really but this was more than just a pleasant one. i only managed to talk down three of the courses:

1. Antipasto: Chilled melon broth with spiced apple bits and crabmeat.

2. Entree: Garlic and lemon thyme roasted snowfish on yellow lentil pumpkin salsa, cherry tomatoes and whipped corn broth.

3. Dessert (you're allowed to hyperventilate): seasonal berries over white chocolate polenta cake with vanilla whipped cream.

so get why it's all so orgasmic? plus we get to enjoy the food right in bed, what more can a fussy patron of chi-chi restaurants ask for?and service was near impeccable. with the whole experience going on for us, we were more than just feeling climaxy about it..haha. and of course there is the company, without which, the experience could not be brought to such refreshing levels. dedna was dead after one coffee liquer, so that doesn't quite count (haha). YS was being himself, 'nuff said. and with dedna (when she was still sober-alive) as the buffer of our humour, or the subject matter of which, it has got to be fun. and dedna was resurrected once we stepped back into our hotel room. talk about untimely. but we love you all the same Ms. D!..hiak.

then to list unexcitingly, we also went for tea at shangri-la, spa session at Banyan Tree, seafood dinner at this semi-dingy restaurant we found by the road in Chinatown and miscellaneous shopping trips in malls and definitely-dingy streets. i guess we had a whale of a time and a reoccurence of it would be just fine.

and now back to reality, the bleakness of equity shall fade away as i consciously abound on a trip of self-improvement and self-realisation that i can achieve more. idealisms get you the high, actual action is an entire thing by itself altogether. let's see about that.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Two-three: The Roomful of Love

yes it's that time of the year again, the crossing of age, the transcendence of time or a minor crossroad reached. i always believed that something within you changes everytime you cross a birthday line. it might be a perspective of something, some weird part of your psychosis or just a maturing or dematuring of some necessary facet that's required for you to move on with life. i think that might just be what's happening with me now, two days before the dawning of my big two-three.

may i first add that twenty three is a rather daunting number. hsien, just know that it applies to men too so stop the whine for that tad. it's the mid age between twenty and mid twenties, an unwelcome march towards ancientdom.ha.ok being dramatic doesn't help but everyone goes through it, might as well deal with it.

it was literally a roomful of good friends. everyone that i wanted to see, who are here in singapore, were there in that room. thinking back it's quite the luck and gratitude of my life. i need moments like these to remind myself that i should never fucking complain about how lonely i am. some people literally dropped what they had to do to be in that room and i'm here sulking how lonely i am. i'm too much theatrics and bullshit sometimes. i have, in this lifetime, the right to say that i have a roomful of friends, who are not simply hi-bye or friends that i need beside me for some higher perpetuatory purposes, they are all friends i keenly wanted to see. it was a very deep sense of joy and gratitude that i'm swimming in right now. it's overwhelming and tithering on the fringes of being emotional especially with ek's card. i have no idea what i have done to deserve such friends to exist in my life. and the best thing is, i'm feeling this at the aftermath of one of the most sober parties i ever had at my place or otherwise. it's a very entrenching feeling and it's more than just feeling warm all over or merely being thankful for what you have. it's a true understanding (albeit i need to learn to embrace it more steadfastly) that i have no cause to complain what i'm lacking in the romantic realm of my life. i always claim that it's always different, that special someone, but i think it's a lot of fluff and overhyped propagandized material that is inflating this feeling. to come down to it all, i have to learn to be content, to always think so many other people can never truly say that they have a roomful of love. ok u can take it the Freudian way but i don't serve to tease here.

so at this juncture, it's this deep understanding and bare feel of this love that i leave all you people tonight. thanks for all who came and made this happen. and it's apologies out if it's like a wussy piece of writing. but looking at the photos, the presents, the cards and the conversations, you would die to be in my position. take that.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


' Please don't mistake my natural anal retentiveness for actual affection ' -- Bree van der Kamp (Desperate Housewives)

' You deprive me of my solitude and offer me no company ' --Voltaire

I can't help it, it cracks me out and seems in potential practicability when i come into contact with lines like these. It's too ingrained in my intellectual personality to avoid all these and not remember/record them. So for teaser sake, enjoy and stop judging. Employ them sometime and you might have a ball of a time.

Promulgation of Spring

well that's the essence really. Chinese New Year is like the vernal equinox. so starts the sometimes tedious process of visitations and faux pas recognition of family friends you're not too keen to encounter, even on a yearly basis. and of course how could i go without mentioning the punishing entertainment to the reunion dinner- in the form of the crassest denomination of karaoke. *groans* but as a chinese, a proud one at that, i do recognise the importance of this festival. coming together, catching up, it's at worst a harmless holiday. and for me, salvation came in friendly packages as ek and LW caught each other at wine company. i needed the wine really to numb those perturbing images of karaoke and horrendous lyrics disguised as festive songs. i only barely managed getting by the whole dinner through the tmesis of impossible, i.e. i'm possible. Possible to tide through this knowing how alone i've been the past year. This can't be as bad as the latter. Never.

as i linger around my fingers the public law assignment that's much of an impediment and a wet blanket to this holiday, i realised that i kind of do need this holiday. liberal cash power combined with nuggets of new year tidbits that you somehow can't keep your hands off of. especially my mummy's pineapple tartlet, is such a ball of pleasure (literally, note the shape). and the bah kwa which i'll endearingly miss when the next lunar new year swings by and i'm in dreary edinburgh trying to kickstart the festive mood by myself (hopefully with other solitary chinese in a land of white). i think i'll miss home a great deal during that time. but as of now, edinburgh, i want you close, now.

well friends all, have a divine new year and simply, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Ce n'est pas grave

C'est une triste chose que tous le monde est en train de recherche le amour toujours. Peut-etre pas triste mais c'est obsession que est trop temps. Pour moi, je suis seule pour quelque fois. C'est temps j'ai besoin quelqu'un dans ma vie. Mais ce n'est pas facile rechercher quelqu'un que veux etre parfait pour toi. Il y a beaucoup folle personne dans le monde. Mais je pense si je perserve ou continuer espere, alors peut-etre quelqu'un apparaitrai.

De toute facon, quelque fois c'est une bonne chose que on est seule. Donc, je devrais etre heureuse.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Flirting With the Line

ya, if that was what safin did really well with the serves on the Ts, the baselines and the out-lines, he would have been a bona fide 'line-slut'. ha, line-slut. but it was nonetheless a thrilling Australian Open final match between him and the higher-ranked hewitt, very much deserving of the tennis history books. and safin only managed to execute his famous exploding serves with intricate aplomb only in the second set, but then again he might just be testing terra hoste (literally, playing against an Australian on Australian soil) or just, well, toying with his prey. but safin was clearly the more strategic and the more 'know-your-enemy-to-crash-your-enemy' kind of player.

yesterday was ah-hsien's birthday.ha. it was at a rather nicely done up place with food that surpassed expectations a little, which doesn't speak much of it since Ms.D was clearly not in the advocatory mood for it in the first place when we asked for her take on it. It was at Flutes at the Fort, serving what was supposed to be contemporary Australian food (if only someone could tell me what exactly Australian cuisine is..). The entrees were pleasantly delightful, more like flavourful actually, since one should know how typical French entrees are mere whetting of the palattes and to excite, rather than to indulge. Indulgence at the onset, is a bestial concept in haute cuisine left best for American diners: the word according to Europe. my Duck confit was, malnourished, and i was left exactly at that as well, at the end of the dinner. entire new definition to 'you are what you eat'. it was good, but just, unsatisfyingly meagre in portion. well clearly, they have the French cuisine sequence wrong. but then again, we were supposed to have 'Australian'. wine went well with the food though, not so much mine since i was having duck but should have gone well with the rest of the company who had mainly fish and sorts. it was a 2003 Mt. Clair Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. a little too young and sweet but did appeal to the general sensories.

we then retreated to the top of the world, nearly, at New Asia Bar by Equinox. lovely place and one of us had the guts to get us a table at the Members' Corner which made things much cosier. free coupon was highly restrictive so bulk of us ended up with terribly unexciting poisons. and thereby, consequently, turned out to be terribly unexcitingly non-toxifying. but was a nice place to chill, and that we did just so well.

and my charitable hair cut today? according to certain 'critics', i look AGED. well they say older, but it my world of age-mathematics, it's the equivalent. and tomorrow, i will be an overaged student strutting the compounds of NUS because his hair was the ultimate impediment to his academic progress and ego development. swines.

(now quick, someone say something nice about my hair, i need it documented here.)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

'I'm apathetic too, but i just like to bitch'

it's the worst state a citizen of a sovereign state can be, said a vociferous academic in the field: to be apathetic about apathy. but it's a well and tested theory, and a very much entrenched social phenomenon: that when economic success is so widespread and societal stability begins to be taken for granted, people automatically get politically lazy, i.e. no motivation to be apathetic. i think this point being accentuated by the intrinsic chinese desire to make more money, being probably the most cash-acute ethnicity amongst others. 'why fix it if it ain't broken?'

amidst all the hooplas of constitutionalism that i've been in contact with these days, it's sad to realise at the end of the day, it's not what the entrenching provisions that protect our fundamental liberties that is the concern of the day, or even of the life of an average singaporean. it then reduces down to that our constitution may just well be a fanfare of words, the 'tyranny of language' where even some of the most fundamental liberties are ignored but no one makes a collective voice audible enough to force things to change (like the right to vote and the right to property are all blatantly missing from our constitution). are things really that bad, the situation that bleak? or is it a chinese thing per se? well Hong Kongers often take to the streets their gripes about the dwindling bastion of democracy but critics say they do that because this apparent lack of democracy brought about by the hinterland that is China, is precisely the thing impinging on financial progress and the hick in the prosperity wheel. the foreshadowing of poverty is the only pushing force in those rallies. so it's probably true then, that economic success equate to political stability which in turn equates to a populace being increasingly apathetic, because to shake things up may very well mean the shattering of some major piggy banks or standards of living that had been too comfortable.

but this can't be right, can it? you see singaporeans complain the whole while, pre-Hong Lim Park times, about the lack of forums to speak out to masses, and post-Hong Lim Park era, about some other things that somehow they claim to be political. and often the voices you hear are not featured in our familiar columns of the forums of the major newspapers, but out from the mouths of these people, that disappear into thin air once the topic dissipates. it seems that perhaps Singapore as a nation is of a 'I am apathetic but i just like to bitch' nature?

for a start and for fear of flaming bushes one too many, yours truly is guilty as charged (the charge that i am author of, no less). but this is because i do recognise singapore to be in a vastly unique position, with sensitive demographical concerns and regional socio-political landmines to be taken into account. extraneous and insular issues that come together to present a most quagmire of circumstance.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Proclivities Towards a Columnist

Instead of rightly ploughing through the overstressed-compulsory readings of trust and of public, i'm here writing on things academics and parents all round deem much more secondary to the former. but nonetheless here i am, carving in the weekly happenings, much to the fancy of a columnist, which i'm gradually developing proclivities towards. but instead of dishing out saucy sex advice, i shall mangle you people with the ongoings of my life, of which i'm sure it's divinely much saucier. go, me.

since my life apparently needs to be scurrying around my varsity life, i guess i shall rattle off with that. i think i'm beginning to find thio lee ann's wryness and her quirky hicks rather tiresome if you really asked me. well conversing with her without the relevant academic opportunity cost would be fine but plus that in as a major factor, it's not too much of a joyride. but she is still undeniably a constitutional force to be reckoned with and that much i hold up to her. speaking of which, some lady at another of my module is starting to really piss me off. why i know it doesn't take much but she sure takes a whole chunk of cake in that department. masquerading her 'lessons' into inane games meant for mental retards is just insulting. plus her nag of lectures really isn't the way to go. 4 credits, i can survive this, plus my endurance is way tougher with legal writing under my belt/leash.

and yes, there was the Golden Globes. i have no idea why i waste time watching these things, feeling happy for people i don't know, thanking more people i don't know. anyhow maybe it's true, this moth to a flame theory, that it applies to more people than we know. we're just naturally attracted to things that glitter- fame, power, diamonds...and combined with that ever so subtle streak of voyeurism and voila, we have a tabloid nation.

and how can i go by without a mention of those ubiquitous rude remainders i had of singaporean driving. i swear the benchmark of courtesy and consideration are eroding ever so rapidly down the abyss of caveman-behaviour. it truly gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'driving is an emotional experience', worded ever so enlighteningly by, me. if automobilic orgasm comes in the form of a mischa burton-clone driving a Maserati Quattroporte, then the erectile dysfunction of automobilism must be the punishing behaviour of singaporean driving. saddening state of affairs, for such a civilised nation, of first world economics and infrastructure, stressing on the wonders of a world-class transport system to still bearing witness to this horrid, churlish and garish state of behaviour.

i've noticed some blogs marvellously ablazed with mutants of self glorification, either pictorally or otherwise, and it just amazes me how much one can mention of oneself. and speaking of which, all the ego-bearing statements and snides must be taken with a pinch of salt, naturally- i would expect my fans to know me better than that (haha). but back to my observation, it's completely like a mirror on the internet, only worse. because u take effort it actually constructing this mirror from scratch and adorning it not with glass but with, well, no prizes for guessing what. this must be a dismal reflection (pun intended) of self-portrayal, in probably one of the worser forms it could take. but who am i to say? i'm merely someone, who recognises that the only person who could truly love oneself is yourself, exclusively mortal references of course.

happy was truly an apt name for that place. we sat at a cosy corner which was simply electrifying with good company. a booth for a company of less than 3 probably and a delightful party could be formed. there were only 2 of us that day but it was equally enjoyable. it's these little things that make clubbing that little bit more special nowadays. people are just so hard to please these days.

in entirety a good weekend, wish things wouldn't need to be so contrived sometimes, this relating of events, but i only take things/events as they come. this week, they came a little too routinal and mundane. but the little nuances did add a bit more spark. so i'm glad and it's time for me to retreat into my appalling realities of cases and vitriolicisms of professor thio.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Of Springing Events

theoretically there is of course no four seasons in Singapore but it's always nice to add a dash of 'spring' in our state of meteorological drone. thus the spring semester has thrashed open with academic loom already amassing itself ever so gradually with pre-readings and pre-readings to the pre-readings, BUT there were some good news to boot.


(City of Edinburgh's Coat of Arms: 'Except the Lord in Vain')

i really wanted to write on the day that i received this elating news but like i've said before (or mentioned in my subconscious or something like that) that happiness doesn't inspire- it is a true linguistical-inspiration murderer. since obviously one wouldn't have wanted to word down what exactly the state of joy one is in, the simplest and smartest thing to enjoy that moment is to outrightly celebrate it! so i did that, somewhat. and proceeding that, you get into a daze, a sense of foggy surrealism that you are actually going away for a prolonged period of time, all the more for someone who has stayed in this country for all of his life, save for the occasional travelling, which couldn't be prolonged for obvious wallet-thinning reasons. and u think about edinburgh, scotland, bagpipes, gorgeous castle, horrid food with good beer to down, and this sense of surrealism is perpetuated with threads of day-dreaming and yearning that the day would come sooner. but i'm more settled now, it is reality, and the logistics of moving is hitting me right in the head. although magical in everyway and i've gotten what i wanted, the preparatory work of going is quite that thorn in the arse. but i should probably quit that train of thinking and submerge myself, for just that little while longer, in my tub of roses and misty reality.

and it's Edinburgh! i shall learn to cook, fatten my bank account for fashion havens in the heartland of Europe, tugged ever so conveniently at Edinburgh's doorstep, learn to listen to murmured, jumbled-up accents of English, and... miss so many people back home.

so anyone, do come visit me in Edinburgh if circumstances permit, and if they don't: make them happen. by the time you come, i'll be supremely versed in local history and sight-seeing so you shall definitely be in good hands.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Reoccurence of the Original (Alcoholic) Sin

a massive oversight on my part- i've almost let time zip past me without any documented records of my hit-of-a-cocktail that i've concocted over the NYE celebrations @ the Ritz. heinous indeed. so before my memory turns enemy against me, here's a rough guide to my liquid version of the Original Sin (oh, that sounds so wrong), of which i shall very preliminarily name 'Serenpolitan':

(a) 3 parts Absolut Citron/Kurant (somehow Kurant seems to be more in-sync with the drink as a whole)

(b) 1 1/2 part Cointreau/Triple Sec

(c) 2 parts Cranberry Juice

(d) 2 parts Pink Grapefruit Juice

* obviously the usual requirements of putting sufficient ice into the shaker and shaking it amply all apply. Then strain into a preferably chilled martini glass. I think we can do without any garnishings.

before any smart-ass bartending student comes along and disses me about how 'original' it is (well technically it is a Cosmopolitan replacing the lime with the pink grapefruit instead), try changing any long-established cocktail recipes and make it taste this nice. ok, no hard feelings of course, i'm just a proud createur, defensive of his newborn. and besides i think i've given due credit by subsuming the orignal suffix into my new drink. and if u were wondering, the prefix comes from 'serendipity' since on that faithful day this baby of mine was born, i was planning to get lime juice and make the generic, oh-so-boring Cosmo but instead i chanced upon some pink grapefruit juice and decided to give that a shot.

all about risk management baby.

and i forgot to take a photo of it, together with some really satisfied customers relishing it. Dope. i could have been so much more famous. Dope.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Back of the Bus

and serendipity has served me well once again. when we were not planning to catch a film and was just harmlessly browsing what was on at the box office at PS, we decided to randomly catch 'Being Julia' since it was at a spot-on time and it was the least of all the evils that were being offered (Kungfu Hustle, etc, not much to argue there). honestly a w. somerset maugham-plot seemed the least inspring of writers to base a film on, but like i said, least of all evils.

spellbound and fascinatingly surprised cynics-turned-converts, were we as we left the theatre.

and i think we might have very well stumbled upon a shimmering piece of cinematic gem. annette bening was in fact very much responsible for the glitter and shine of this piece of work. there's so much to talk about this film but i think this is a good startpoint. her accent, her gravity of acting, her immense power to convey the frailties and dynamic existence of a flamboyant personality and detail to characterization leaves much room for the audience's respect and awe. julia lambert is really quite a personality in her own right and league. but i was as though annette bening recedes into utter obscurity, giving the entire stage and being to julia lambert. the pun on 'stage' is entirely (oops, i did it again) unintended but it does seem appropriate for the story which revolves around a well-known theatre actress (a real one, because real actresses don't act in films- see even this is humour in itself) and her escapades and her play of life. the intricate essence of 'being julia' is brought out ever so refinedly and aptly. well-titled indeed.

then there is definitely the plot. who would have thought that somerset maugham, of 'human bondage' and yawn-inspiring meganovels fame is actually capable of a touche, awe-inspiring novella of such delectable storyline and intelligible humour/wit, running into such rarity in our Hollywood times. and delivered so well at that by the respective actors. it creates a rhapsody of charm, an atmosphere of delight and definitely being entertained at every speck of a moment. because isn't that what any art form is about? profanities delivered with such teasing aplomb, drama with such fine sensitivity and even the stage within the film is treated with such wild and fresh wit. the stage within a stage concept although old is ingenious and refreshing if treated well. in this case, it's hands down so. especially memorable is the climax, at the end of the movie where she gets her full and sweet revenge and the claiming back of her pride on stage, as an actress, where she probably first develops it anyways. this, i can't help but launch into hyperbolic praise but say once again, it's sheer ingenuity.

i figured the combination of the Shakespearean concept of the muse/fool to deal with the conscience of our protaganist, the Wildeian-irreverent wit meshed with contemporary humour, and the wildly original play with familiar human concepts of revenge, love, companionship, and jealousy makes it so attachable to anyone watching.

at the end, ain't 'being' fascination enough? since i can't outwrite nor outwit maugham here, i'll just stand and applause with all surrender and awe.

(the title of this post 'the Back of the Bus' was used in the movie to describe someone butt-ugly, i just thought this film was the antithesis of it and...i could use it as a buzzline, probably in nearer a future as i forsee it.)