Monday, November 29, 2004

Fav Movies of 2004 Part 2.

This round, I will talk about 2 more movies that I enjoyed this year. The Terminal and The Passion of Christ.

The Terminal: Tom Hanks is back in form again. He plays a transit traveller stuck at the international Terminal of the NY airport with no citizenship, and nowhere to go. The screenplay is based on a true story, though the movie used a phony country name and the actual airport wasn't a US airport. However, this movie succeeds in the same way Cast Away did - it carried the main character through a process of change and discovery. Both characters were placed in a strange location where they cannot leave, and they both tried to find the reasons to carry on with their lives. The setup was good, with cleverly designed characters. Another thumbs up from me for this movie by Steven Spielberg.

The Passion of Christ: This movie is a powerful one. The message is universal, and the images are strong. Whether it is an accurate depiction of the last 12 hours is debatable. This interpretation was that of Mel Gibson's, which was inspired by a description of the Passion by Lady Anne Catherine Emmerich from the 18th century who had a vision of the crucification. However, the movie resulted was that faithful to the visions, and Mel Gibson's guerilla tactics of marketing the film had a huge impact on well it was eventually received. Churches all around the world hailed the film and praises for the film spread like wildfire. Eventually, the "documentary" style of the film worked great to bolster the film's credibilty, and the seriousness of the subject was dealt with in a respectful manner. A great movie that will touch and be watched by millions in years to come.

The very thought of you.

The very thought of you,
sends the shiver down my spine.
The evil thoughts of your ways,
skewer the mess out of my brain.
Whenever you make a move,
I will never cease to behold.
The wonderment of your motion,
is a dangerous distraction.
You are a dangerous attention,
I know but I couldn't bear the consequences.
The result of your absence,
would be of dire circumstances.

No other roads that will lead to my redemption.
I know the failure but I could not bear not to mention.
My deepest feelings to confess,
is the honesty I want to profess.
To tear away the mask that I wear,
which hides the truth that I cannot bear.
Everyday the question beckons,
Though the answer is probably in the open.
The risk of rejection is clear,
but the price of regret is dear.
Maybe this pursuit is not about the question,
but the timing of the entire situation.
Perhaps Patience is a hard game to play,
But I think I have no choice anyway.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Week review 28-Nov 2004

Main Theme of the week: Death of James Wong. Shitty work week. Getting to convince myself to move on to a new target in my love life. The current one is starting to look hopeless. Maybe it has always been hopeless, but I guess I just can't get over the fact that I never even tried asking.

Lows of the week: Tension @ work. Cold war escalating.

Highlight of the week: Hmm ... been a pretty shitty week. So, highlight would be hanging out with my friend on the weekend. Nothing spectacular, but it was nice and relaxing. De-stressing .... Oh yah maybe a little bit. Got to know a new chick this week. She's got a nice personailty and sunny disposition. Rather attractive i might say. We'll see how things progress in the coming week.

Movie of the week: Birth ... and it is really not that enjoyable. The story does not explain well. It ends on a lingering note. It does not make u ask what if, nor does it make you think, but it just provided a question and didn't bother to explain it. What I felt was, the story teller couldn't make up his mind on which stand he wanted to take. Sorry, but i have made my stand, and that is this movie sucked.

Song of the week: 忘記他。"Forget him". Song first sung by Teresa Teng. Written by the venerable James Wong. Song of the week for obvious reasons.

James Wong 1941-2004

James Wong, one of the greatest eastern thinker, artiste, writer and composer of our time has passed. The reason why I wrote the previous post in mandarin, was because I thought it would be most appropriate. I love the chinese langauage, and the reason for so were the exposure to and influences by some very special people throughout my life. James Wong was a personality that defies classification. His grasp of the chinese language was impeccable and it was shown through his numerous compositions and writings. A multi-talented figure that will forever be remembered. I thank him for making chinese language such a thrill to learn and explore and as an inspiration on how i choose to lead my life.

不文才子,黃霑 1941﹣2004


現今的年輕一代,不會有很多机會接臅黃前背的作品。今日的文學作品和歌曲,大多都是偏向於白話,直接易懂。但黃霑的字字句句都似乎經過一反精心的設計, 帶有詩意,而又毫放万丈。他的外貌及形像好似那看盡世事万種的中年人,但卻又帶著那毫爽放蕩的俠气。黃霑雖已經不在人世,但他所留下來的作品,所說過的名言,將留傳千古。我由衷感激他所給於我的影響﹣就是因為有黃霑這樣的人物,我才會對中華文化如此的著迷。

Friday, November 26, 2004

Embrace the change

It is a very depressing week. Lack of understanding, difficulty in trying to get ideas across, conflicts, and the inability to act within traditional confines. I hate being tied down by conventions, and I hate following trends. But working in an environment where people are unwilling to change and would rather play safe, is extremely stifling and unbearably annoying.

I feel helpless, ineffective, and caged. Why put me through these if you want me to come and exact changes? Why not do things differently so that people will be caught unaware? When unconventional ways of approach is exacted, there'll be no basis for comparison, cos there's no competition.

The disconnect between radical thinking and being secure, is the main reason for the lack of innovation. High risks, high returns. I am willing to take the risks, but sad to say, not many will. They'd rather die a slow and steady death, then to try different ways to capture the flag.

I urge all my friends to think different, not just out of the box, but throw out the box, kick the box and if the box is in the way, replace the box with something else. The world keeps turning, because people change. We would still be living in the 60s if no one tried anything new, or if we never tried to innovate, or if we didn't try to dream. There will be no inventions if there're no one willing to take chances. Embrace the change, and love it. Resist it, and stay in the same spot forever.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Week review 21-Nov 2004

Theme(s)/Main Plot/subplots of the week: Mainly a work week. Hanging out with my good friend alex over this past weekend. Nothing too crazy. Sunday was nice cos I met up with a friend from US that I haven't seen for a while. Nice to share crazy business ideas with him and maybe looking out for some opportunities in New York. Exciting :P Bought 2 new games : 1) Paper Mario 2) Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. GREAT GAMES ....

Highlight of the Week: The 2 Games totally rocked my week. Especially Metroid Prime 2. Totally kicked Halo's ass. All the hype and shit. Halo's just another FPS!!! And the media and fans are hyping it like it is the next coming. WTF?? Granted, I only spent an hour with it, and I totally hate the controls. Well, will give it another shot this coming week and we'll see.

Movie of the week: Watched 2 movies this week. "Shutter" and "Girl Next Door". I love horror movies, but this round, the winner goes to "Girl Next Door". In case you haven't heard about it, it is because it never made it to Singapore. Movie is about a boy who falls for his super hot neighbour , who turned out to be a former porn star. Very very hot chick Elisha Cuthbert. :P Very funny story. Though it was a box office flop in US, it has definitely garnered a cult following. Totally made my week. :)
Check out the trailer. And import the DVD.

Song of the week: Love Hurts - version by Heart. This track was originally by a group called Nazareth, but I have a live version by Heart that is just awesome. My good friend keeps playing this track everytime he's in my car, must have heard it at least 10 times over the past week. From the album "The Road Home". Highly recommended.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Gays and Trannies ... toilet adventure

Today, I went to the toilet .... and I didn't notice that I was followed by a woman. When I was in there, and I noticed the female was tagging behind me, I got worried. Did I enter the wrong toilet?? I turned around, just to double check, half expecting the lady to be embarrassed. But as I turned (think slow motion), I noticed that the lady was a rather tall one. She kinda avoided me quickly and ran into the first cubicle. Then i heard, the seat lifted, and almost immediately, a gush of water pouring into the toilet bowl. Then as I saw the urinals against the wall, I confirmed a few things.
1) I am in a Male's toilet
2) That was a Man-woman.

That set me thinking. Should a trannie (transvestite) - a male turned female - enter a male's toilet or female's toilet? Or should a gay enter a male's toilet or female one? Who should we protect, the real deal or the converted?

Share your thoughts?? :)

Sorry Everybody ...

This website is set up by Americans who didn't vote for Bush. Check out the gallery, and feel comforted that there are still almost 1/2 of them who are really really really nice (and intelligent :P) people.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Fav Movies of 2004 Part 1.

After a pretty disappointing Shark's Tales last night, here I look back to some of my personal Favs of the year ... So far that is. There's still 1.5 mths before then end of the year and some pretty incredible films i am still very much looking forward to ... "The Incredibles", "The Birth", etc.... 2004 has seen it's share of good movies, and some that pop to my mind so far include, "Captain Sky and the World of Tomorrow", "Spiderman 2", "Farenheit 911", "Kill bill 2" etc. Counting down to the end of 2004, I will do a few "lookbacks" to the those movies that moved and awed me in the past year, and when the year ends, I will put up a top 10/15 or 20 list of the year's favs.

This installment features: "Spider-man 2" and "Kill bill 2"

Spider-man 2: I would not have imagined myself to list a superhero movie as one of the best film of the year. But this is one movie that not only looked good, had great special effects .. and most importantly, had a HEART! wow! .. a Superhero movie that actually had a proper story to push it through and still kicked ass with their action sequences. This is now one of my all time favourite superhero movies - putting it up in the ranks of Superman I,II and The Crow. What I loved about the main character was how "everyday" he was. He was a regular college student, with money problems, schoolwork problems and also girl problem. He was trying so hard to do so many things, to make money cos he needs to pay rent and to eat, to cope with his school work and all these while trying to save the world. You could feel sorry for him, and almost wished that he could just live like a normal person. The person who wrote the script was a genius. A great story for a great superhero. Bravo!

The director Sam Raimi is also one of my favourite directors, and his previous works were all wide and varied. His past works included the Evil Dead series, A Simple Plan, and also the TV series Hercules and Xena. Very versatile dude and you guys should really check out his previous movies - especially "A Simple Plan".

Kill Bill 2: Woah ... both these movies are sequels. But these sequels were in everyway equal or better than their predecessor. The interesting thing about Kill Bill 2 is that, those who disliked it gave the same reasons as those who disliked Spider-man 2 - they all complained that it was too slow. I feel really sorry for these people who would rather sit through a mindless action movie than to have one that explored the depths of the characters' relationships. They will never understand the true underlying work that went into creating these great characters and the beauty of really good writing. Well, that aside, why do I like Kill Bill 2? Basically it is because this sequel made Kill Bill 1 better. What i meant was that, after watching Vol. 2, it made me wanna watch Vol. 1 again. The script was cheesy, yet witty. The setup was simple yet ingenious. The acting was outrageous but extremely fun to watch. The format was unconventional yet so thoroughly original. I applaud the efforts of Quentin Tarantino. This is probably one of my all time favourite movies - along with Pulp Fiction.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Breaking up is hard to do ...

Got a call from a close friend of mine. She just broke up. Details would be spared to hide the identities of the parties. Let's just say that I know them both for more than a decade, and both the guy and girl are among my closest of friends. Now when i first broke up with one of my ex of 2 years, it took me close to 6 years to totally shake the impact. Now with this decade long relationship, I can't imagine how much harder it would be. We are talking about 10 years of memories. This is a hell lot of baggage to unload and it won't be easy.

Over the phone, I could tell she was holding back the tears. I tried to make sense of the senseless situation, but it was not easy. She asked me how I got over my past rejections (this chick who rejected me 3 times this year? :P) and how i moved on. She asked me how I could let things go so easily? The fact is I wasn't so "siao sar"( chinese for being "taking it in my stride"), it took 7 mths for me ... it could take much longer for her.

I did tell her that I had to find that "one single thought", that I could revisit to remind me, hey "stop wasting your time!". I took 7 mths to come to that realization, to wake up, to be enlightened, and make sense of the situation and move on. How about her? I do not know, but she would need to find that "one single thought" no matter what. It is usually the process of getting there that is the toughest.

What to do in the meantime before hitting the "single thought"? Get busy!! Volunteer to do some extra work in the office, take up a course, and catch up with all your friends! You'll be amazed how much you have missed out, and before long, you will find life full of hopes when all the opportunities (be it career wise or love wise) start knocking on the door. When you start complaining about all the "work" you are getting and the achievements you are making, you know you are on your way to recovery.

Do not wallow in self pity. Move on, cos the other party would. Why stay in one place when he will be off to see the world. You better not let the breakup hold you back. Your life is yours to embrace, so don't get stagnated. Hey if you are reading this my old friend, I am always available when u need someone to scream at, or just for plain coffee. My treat, and it doesn't have to be at Moonriver :) "When you're down ... and troubled .. and you need a helping hand ..."

Week review 14-Nov 2004

Highlight of the week: Karaoke twice a week? Bad for my throat, but good for my karma. ;) New shelf and new chair from Ikea ... :) I am easy to please.

Downs of the week: Breakup news of my close friends.

Main Plot(s)/Theme(s): The main theme of the week seems to be breaking up/letting go. Sub-plots include my good friend Alex's adventures after the return of his wedding ring from his ex. Ouch? But he got over rather quickly with a little help from yours truly and some cool recommendations. ;) Another interesting subplot- Karaoke dramas, people storming in and out of the room, not your typical K-ing experience. :)

Song of the week: Oasis - Don't look back in Anger. Got an unplugged version of the song that sounded awesome! Legit of course. :)

Movie of the week: Shark Tales. What a downer!

Shark tales/Finding Nemo

Dreamworks has gotta get some creative juices pumping and stop hitting on others for ideas .. and I am talking about their animation studios. Though I do admit, I LOVE shrek1 and shrek2. However, the rest of their animated features are just ... underwhelming. After all the glowing reviews from friends and more friends, I told myself I just gotta check it out. And check it out I did last night.

Now Shark tales is not too bad. Really. It really wasn't as bad as I thought, but honestly, it is not good either. It was rather lousy, just not as lousy as I thought it would be. There were a few jokes that made me smile, but none that made me laugh. The main character played by Will Smith, somehow felt subdued and he didn't even seemed to be havin as much fun as I see him in other movies like "Independence Day", "Bad Boys" etc. Robert De Niro's Shark also pulled in an unispired voice acting.

Shrek was clever and witty, but Shark Tales was like a kid trying to be a smart alec. Was it by any chance that Dreamworks tried to rush out "Antz" when Pixar was releasing "A Bug's Life", and now "Shark tales" came right after Pixar's roaring underwater success "Finding Nemo". It is obvious with all of Dreamwork's efforts, they are trying to build an image that "we are making animations for the thinking adults". Though Pixar's animation works are generally more "family oriented", they succeed at being seemingly kiddy, yet having adult thematics and feelings injected into them. Pixar tries to be kiddy with the looks and animation, yet adult with their topics. Dreamworks tries to be adult both in their dialogues and character designs, and you can see this in almost all their efforts, yet so far, the only one that shone through was Shrek. Was it by any chance that Shrek was also not designed to knock off anyone's efforts, but by being creative and original?

Creativity and innovation drives the market and there can be no better examples than Shrek and Pixar's animated features.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

STD vaccine ... wooo :)

Very interesting news. I wonder what are the consequences. It is quite a rather cool vaccine. It will
1) prevent getting the disease
2) prevent spreading the disease .. even thru sex!

This vaccine may be injected to teenagers at school, before they have the opportunity to learn the "ways of the world". I can imagine some singaporean students taking the jabs alongside their "BCG" and saying "hey, this is the sex jab. Can have sex after this liao!". Wow. I wish i could live in the times to see how this goes. :P too bad i am not in primary school anymore. :P

So what do u guys make of this wonder vaccine? :)

Sunday, November 07, 2004

New York New York!

I have always loved New York City. And reading these two articles made me felt even stronger for it. The people living there, are diverse, colorful, and so receptive to "thinking differently". The people you speak to there, are more streetsmart, enthusiatic about their jobs and just basically more passionate about their own beliefs, yet theya re also extremely open to new and different ideas. They love being where they are and being who they are. I just wish the rest of America is more like that. Ironic isn't it, that they were the ones being attacked, yet 80% of them voted against Bush. Hope that will send some sort of signal to those heartlanders who overwhelmingly voted for Bush.

A Blue City (Disconsolate, Even) Bewildered by a Red America

Two Nations Under God

I truly miss New York. Maybe i should just take a quite direct flight there for a quick getaway. New York New York!!

Best Chicken Briyani

Yes .... I gotta share this with the world (or at least Singaporeans).
The Chicken Nasi Briyani is awesome at Sixth Ave. Must check it out ... So far .. definitely the best I have tasted in singapore ...

They sometimes sell out of them ... so go early :)


Friday, November 05, 2004

2 days of lives

These past 2 days almost felt like a scheme, a setup of sorts that had things happening and people interacting with me that gives me an opportunity to reflect on my own life. Or maybe it is just pure coincidence. Really the past 2 days almost seemed like a drama unfolding upon me, like the movie magnolia, where lives of seemingly unrelated people, intertwined and affecting one another. Granted my life is not as disastrous as those in the movie, but the events are pretty dramatic of sorts - in their own little ways.

1) Cash problem. - I needed cash urgently. Something happened int he past 2 days, that seemed to help suddenly with this problem. My stocks went up by a few thousand dollars, and I just gotten a few payments from my own personal projects ... and they all happened in the same few days. The balance is neutral. Though normally I would have been pretty upset with the sudden lack of cash but this time, everything unrelated happening recently seemed to have cushioned the whole situation. Luck? Coincidence?

2) 2 nights ago, a customer of mine came by to pick up his wedding DVD which I should have prepared, but forgot to bring. He had several times wanted to pay for my wedding video services but never got the chance to. He did so that night without picking up the DVD even though i insisted there's no need to. Guess what? the money did come in handy the very next day.

3) Now the DVD ... since my client didn't pick up the DVD 2 nights ago when he was supposed to, he promised to come by last night. Something cropped up, and he couldn't make it. That in turn led to a serious of events that could only be accounted as fate .... The DVD on my counter, attracted a small talk with this customer of mine, and we eventually sat down and engaged in a very interesting conversation. This man, let's just call him Peter, seemed to share plenty of likes and interests with me and we talk quite a bit about short filmmaking, the importance of a strong script and story, and editing and the works. A new friend made, in a matter of minutes, through a series of seemingly unconnected events ....

4) Now that's not the end. He went on to open up to me and told me about his own life. I have this weird ability of somehow making people feel comfortable opening up to me and talking to me like they've known me for years. But anyhow, I learnt that he is now undergoing a separation, and have 3 children. He told me how old they were but I didn't quite remember, but one of them being 22mths. Now why is this significant to mention? Guess what? I had just let someone go at my other workplace (who was recently separated and has a kid of ) just one day before. Now is this a sign? What is this whole situation trying to tell me?

5) Now talking about the person I had let go 2 days ago. It was for some very strange reasons but both the party and myself understood that it was not an easy decision. He ended up being the one consoling me and telling me that there's no hard feelings. It is never easy to fire anyone, no matter what reasons there may be. But this time, it almost seemed like he was fated to leave, and I was fated to be the one to make the decision to let him go. Very hard to explain, but somehow, all these things seem to happen for a reason.

6) Now this last thing seemed unconnected to the above 5 matters, but I have a feeling that I am scheduled to receive the news only yesterday. One of my staff have been very down in the past few weeks. The past 2 days, things seemed to have gone for the worst. She would come in, and stare into blankness, and suddenly tears would flow from her eyes. I tried to reach out to her but she would refuse to talk to me (or anyone for that matter). Initially I had thought it was due to the recent wage/tips which I had withheld from everyone but I had learnt of the truth last night finally. It appears that her grandmother was very very ill. I supposed it must be life threatening or it wouldn't have affected her so bad. Now this news affected me most personally. Why you may ask? My own mother recently had a relapse of a condition of hers which I didn;t think much of before. She had to be rushed to the doctor and I took a day off (there's no excuse in this case:P) to bring her to my friend's wife who is a doctor. My mom was given a full checkup, and found out that she was under too much stress, and that's why she kept fainting. My employee's sadness suddenly triggered me to ask myself, "How would I feel should something bad really happen to my mom?" This reminded me of one of the reasons why I was working so hard - I need to make sure I can take care of my brothers, and especially my youngest sister (and god knows, my father?) should any (touch wood) bad things happen. I need to be prepared ....

7) Now the 2 persons that I mentioned before who were separated? Meeting them strengthened my will to work harder because my family is in a similar situation. I won't go into details, but those who are close to me should understand what I mean. I am the only one who can help the rest of the family should any bad things happen. Maybe this is the final message of them all - I should be ready for the worst.

Just Like in Magnolia .... one of my favourite movies, now I see lives of many different people, intertwined with mine. Their stories inspiring me, and giving me hints on how I should lead mine. Signs that scream out to me, to see the connection of people around me and how I should treasure my every moment, my every opportunity and my every aquaintance. I am very grateful for all the good things and the bad. I just wish I could help others see things the way I do too.

Ok ... probably the longest blog entry I've ever written so far. This could be my new story. :)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Dou Hua

Now i just gotta write this down before I forget. :P
On my way home I stopped by a famous beancurd (dou hua) store to buy some soy bean milk to drink. There I saw a very "well endowed" woman. And this inspired the following :


Hahhahahh :P ... now this is what I call stroke of genius :P and a spark of inspiration :P

Try this before it is gone!!!

Ok .. this is really funny and cool :P ...

Goto this link

Right click the image of george w and laura bush, and save the file as. See what is the name of the file :P

Then, check out this link

Very very funny!!!!

Bushman is here to stay

Yes .... Mr George W Bush is gonna be with us for the next 4 years to come. Kerry conceded eventually. The only good thing we can read from this, is that he will not be here beyond the 4 year term. Close to half of America will not be pleased with the outcome, but they would have to live with the slight majority.

So let's welcome Mr Bush back for 4 more years of bloopers, absurdities, bloodshed, and world disharmony.

Let's pray that the bible code is wrong.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bad move buddy ...

There are times when hard decision needs to be made, but when you made it, it might not have the desired results as you expected. I have had the pleasure of executing a bad move recently. :P

Now as business goes, many things should not have been decided upon without thorough thought, and I do admit that the execution was partly flawed. The intention was to cause an alarm, and to serve as a wake up call, but it seemed to have some side effects of lowering the morale. Well, what's done cannot be undone, and the hardest part was trying to spin it in a way that will have the results we want, but yet not having the desired side effects.

All these must sound somewhat crytic, but it is meant to be that way. Sorry if all these doesn't make sense to you. The takeaway is (if there's any), is that you should always put yourself in other people's shoes whenever you make any decisions. Yes I always do that, but this time, it was truly overlooked. Of course, I don't forsee any of my staff reading this, but even if they did, what the heck. The aim was to get attention, and attention I had gotten. Everyone is talking about it and that's what I wanted. Next month things should return to usual. In the meantime, i forsee that it is gonna be a tough month ahead ....

Shit I am starting to sound like George W Bush.