Thursday, December 30, 2004

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.

so goes Frank Sinatra's My Way.

well, the end of streats is tomorrow. the last issue of Streats will be on Dec 31.

desk is packed and it's time to head out the door.

it's been a great ride.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

clearing up

i'm sitting at my desk at work, facing a half-empty shelf, a big cardboard box sits next to me, and it's slowly filling up with all the stuff I need to bring upstairs to my new office.

we were busy taking photographs this evening. farewell photos which hopefully will turn out good.

and yesterday, there was a farewell party at the usual central mall area. bad food, good company and plenty of fun (well there's always fun to be had with freeflow of alcohol).

as a friend said, a bittersweet party.

i dont know how it's gonna be upstairs. i hope it'll be a challenge. i'm up for a challenge. i know i've already faced this one challenge in this year's job. let's see how next year goes.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Sunday, December 26, 2004

best of the best

thought i'd just write up a list of some of the best movies i've seen this year. (in no particular order and i might add more cos this is all i can remember watching at the moment)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
how could i not love a movie with such a title, and written by the brilliant Charlie Kaufman too. jim carrey and kate winslet sparkled in this absolute gem.

- The Incredibles
ok not as funny as i thought it would be but definitely entertaining especially that bit about superheroes and their capes. who can resist?

- Last Life In The Universe
this thai-japanese film startled with its quiet charm. a little dark a little obscure (and some people have complained about how slowmoving it was) but i loved it.


- Spider-Man Two

sequels usually suck this one didn't. it actually somehow managed to do better, maybe cos i cldn't stand the green goblin in the first one

- Collateral
similar to the way Road To Perdition surprised me some years ago, I went to see Collateral not expecting to like it. i just wanted to see how Tom Cruise did as a bad guy i think. but Michael Mann's beautiful tribute to Los Angeles just took my breath away. ok, maybe some of the violence also helped with that. but one of the nicest surprises for me this year movie-wise.

- Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
sequels usually suck. this isn't a sequel but the third in the series and it was simply THE BEST, thanks to the brilliant Alfonso CuarĂ³n, who's also responsible for one of my favourite movies Y Tu Mama Tambien.

- Open Water
this movie had some bite and i'm including it because it was a small indie movie with no budget that somehow popped into my head when i was swimming in the sea at Koh Samui. and that's the mark of a movie. one that you don't forget, even if it's just to think of sharks and other creatures swimming below you.

- Zatoichi
i loved this samurai film by Takashi Kitano. funny, action-packed and with a blind samurai who has a shock of blond hair. how could i not include this one?

- Ocean's Twelve
i hesitate to include this cos it wasn't as intelligent as the first one and it seemed to push too much screen time to the other actors but it was still entertaining all the same, with plenty of eye candy to go round.

wait can i include the ROTK?
i can't remember when that came out, but nevertheless, it was a good film. i finally got to see the extended version and although a little bit too long, was of course good, especially since you get to christopher lee, who got cut from the movie release.

also included in this list should be Before Sunset, but I DIDN"T SEE IT!!! don't ask why.
There were too many movies I missed out on, including Maria Full Of Grace, Mean Girls, The Return, and Kill Bill 2 (although i later fell asleep watching it on dvd)


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

- this award goes to Alexander. i was expecting bigger and better but what i watched was a film that was deflating right from the start.
Alfie is also a disappointment. It looked promising in the beginning being very stylish and of course Alfie being a charmer (plus its a Jude Law movie!) but it got so boring towards the end, you begin wondering if there's a plot to this or is Alfie really just going to spend the entire movie going from girl to girl? I just HAVE to watch the original Michael Caine version now, to see how different it is.

MEANWHILE,
I'm waiting the opening of the following films:
Mar Adentro
Closer
We Don't Live Here Anymore
The Aviator (yes it's got leo dicaprio but he looked good in the Vanity Fair spread and hopefully this film will redeem him. he was after all quite brilliant in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? which brings me onto the next reason why I want to see....)Finding Neverland (JOHNNY DEPP!)




ALSO....

Best album in my books is Juanes' Mi Sangre. But Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous is just the next notch below. I know these albums won't make critics top 10 lists (most of them list The Streets, Animal Collective, Kanye West - whom i also love, Franz Ferdinand, Madvillain, Nick Cave and the like) but I thought these two albums showed how both Colombia's Juanes and California's Rilo Kiley have grown, developed for the better over the years. Three cheers.


2004 was a good movie year, may 2005 be even better!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

food blogs!

i'm so excited to discover these amazing foodie blogs. yes, might be abit late catching on but they're definitely worth reading every so often.

Pim
Chocolate and Zucchini
Shiokadelicious!
Domestic Goddess
101 Cookbooks
Tiny Fork
The Grub Report

Friday, December 17, 2004

island in the sun

just got back from a short holiday in koh samui. and what a place! the main area of chaweng is just full of old white men and their thai girls zooming around on motorbikes. the beaches there are decent, with waves that come crashing right near the cafes during high tide. we moved to the choeng mon area after the first two nights (we arrived mon night at 10pm so decided not to waste good money and instead spent first two nights at cheapo place not too near the beach) to stay at the fabulous Sila Evason Hideaway. Worth every cent! and more! the pool villa was just beautiful, and like all the other villas has a view you cannot believe. even the reception has such a gorgeous view, and i cant begin to describe the view from the main swimming pool. it was a decadent two days. hit the gym, swim, lunch, swim a bit more, a massage at the spa (where the treatment rooms... wait for it... also have amazing views!

unfortunately my camera battery gave up on me the day i got there - that is, i actually have to go get a whole new lithium-ion battery!
damnit!!!


Saturday, December 11, 2004

long time no bother

it's been a long time

and i've been a lucky person. i will not use that word that i hate 'blessed' - i see it used too often in quotes from newsmakers. 'i've been so blessed' tends to be the catchphrase of the year.

anyway, i've had an amazing few weeks.
i got the chance to meet Colombian artist Fernando Botero twice and listen to his dialogue with Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming as well.

Botero is a delightful, warm and charming man. and i wish i cld've spent a little more time with him but i knew he had been speaking to reporters the whole day and honestly, that the story wasn't going to require too much from him. it was after all my third Botero story! streats ended up doing 5 stories on the man and the exhibition. overkill

also, i got the chance to interview writer Chang-Rae Lee, who's written Native Speaker, A Gesture Life and Aloft. I only got the chance to read Native Speaker halfway before my i/v with the korean-american. but i am so glad i decided to rush down to the library in between assignments and pick up his book. it is a magnificent book. his writing is truly eloquent although the storyline is a little wanting at times.
when i read his words, i just want to sit and breathe it all in, slowly.

there are some books you want to race through, the storyline pushing you to read fast to find out more. soon. quick. now.

but this is one book to savour, to sit and think about and to wonder at the brilliance of such a man.

i'm always delighted when i find out that people who have found fame are just down-to-earth, easygoing characters. they're easy to talk to, to get to open up and do not seem fatigued by what must be the umpteenth interview they've had to sit through. they pay you their fullest attention, careful to understand your bumbled question and they think their answers through.

i also spent the later part of hte morning (after interviewing lee at the ritz-carlton) talking to the owners of Bunalun, an organic food store at Chip Bee. they were also a delight to talk to. not the preachy type of people as some businessmen can be but interesting and frank about their products. and no, organic food is not just about brown rice. they have chocolate mousse too! and i assure you, it is delicious. and chocolatey. and you can bet that i'm going there again.
(they have a lunch menu at $15 for a tart, two salads and a dessert) truly delightful. Tony even sat down with edwin and i to have lunch, asking us about the way the food tastes and just chitchatting about different things.

sometimes i love my job but then when i have to get into the office and write a boring-ass story, i just want to get a gin and tonic.

i left the office earlyish on friday, the story wasn't writing itself (none of the above stories though, something entirely more boring - 3d animation!) and will have to punish myself tmr by going back to the office to finish it up.