Tuesday, September 30, 2003


I have to admit it. I watched American Wedding -- the third installment of the American Pie series (for free i might add) and i liked it!

Can you believe it? I liked it. i laughed at the bloody jokes -- the shit jokes, the sex jokes, the crude physical humour, even that 'special haircut' scene (ok maybe that one not so much, i was more like grossed out by that one).

My review will be out soon
But after watching the movie, i realised I so hate watching movies on me own.
It sucks. It's always best to watch movies with someone else. To compare opinions, to compare favourite cute guys (altho there weren't any in American Wedding) etc etc.


on another note, will be back to the am shift next week. am i looking forward to waking up so bloody early? no. hell no.

but heck i guess i can do stuff after work (i always say that but the probability of that is very low).

Ah, on Monday, attended a 'Masterclass lecture' (as the MDA called it) by Alan Rosenthal, a pretty well-known documentary maker. He showed us quite a few interesting docus and talked about how he became a documentary film-maker. He was actually a lawyer before he turned to docu-making. (!)

Thursday, September 25, 2003

pity about the story

was a week for movie watching -- saw Le Divorce and Secondhand Lions

Le Divorce is based on a best-selling book by Diane Johnson, which i;ve heard isn't too good -- neither is the movie.

It's like when youré putting together a jigsaw puzzle and there are some pieces that look like they fit but they actually don't.

I left the theatre thinking that the show on the whole was alright, watchable but it had so many pieces that didn't fit right. It was very disjointed, and while watching it, I would feel like something's missing.

Generally the film opens with Isabel who's visiting her sister in Paris. The sister's French hubby has just left her for another woman -- so that's where the divorce part comes in.

Then there are the subplots== a tussle about the ownership of a painting that might be by Georges de la Tour; Isabel's affair with an older married Frenchman who once had a relationship with her boss, an American writer; a crazed, jealous husband whosé wife is the one the French hubby's seeing (there's a real hilarious scene at the top of the Eiffel Tower, altho the director probably didn't mean it to be funny)

So the potentially great ensemble cast was let down by a crappy script. Kate Hudson (who gets to wear the best clothes!), Australiá's runner-up darling Naomi Watts (as a very dowdy sister), Matthew Modine, Glenn Close, Stockard Channing, and an assortment of French people (including a v cute Jean-Marc Barr)

Secondhand Lions was a whole lot better. Thanks to Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment.

The film is written and directed by Tim McClanies. Having previously written the screenplay for The Iron Giant and directed one obscure film, you are forgiven for asking Tim who?

But he does a pretty darn decent job with a well-used storyline.

Can't say the same for James Ivory, who directed Le Divorce. Ivory, who also directed 'the beautiful A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, has a thing or two to learn from McCanlies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

feel fat?

i just had to add this: The Online Gym!

culinary literature

i love to read about food. i think it's an art to write about cooking and food. how does one go about describing something like the first bite of a smooth chocolate mousse for example?

I sure can't. that's why i turn to people like Nigel Slater (The Observer's Food Monthly, among others) and occasionally Jeffrey Steingarten (Vogue's food writer) to tempt me and conjure up the most sublime images.

The New York Times also has a pretty darn tasty food section, with an occasional write up by the 'domestic goddess' herself Nigella Lawson.

And the London Times carries articles by sardonic restaurant reviewer Giles Coren and jamie oliver's old stuff. well at least it did. not to say that everything is gone, rather, you'll have to pay for it becos of their switch to the e-paper version. so there goes that.

San Francisco Gate is not too bad either, plus it's free.

im sure there's lots more stuff out there that i haven't mentioned. let me know what else.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


I don't care if you won't
Talk to me
You know I'm not that kind of girl.
And I don't care if you won't
Walk with me
It don't give me such a thrill.
And I don't care about the way you look
You should know I'm not impressed
'Cause there's just one thing
That I'm looking for
And he don't wear a dress.
I need a man...
I need a man...
Baby baby baby
Don't you shave your legs
Don't you double comb your hair
Don't powder puff
Just leave it rough
I like your fingers bare.
When the night comes down
I can turn it round
I can take you anywhere.
I don't need love
Forget that stuff
You know that I don't care
I need a man...
I need a man...
I don't need a heartbreaker
Fifty-faced trouble maker
Two timing time taker
Dirty little money maker
Muscle bound cheap skate
Low down woman hater
Triple crossing double dater
Yella bellied alligator...
I don't care if you won't
Talk to me
You know I'm not that kind of girl.
And I don't care if you won't
Walk with me
It don't give me such a thrill.
And I don't care about the way you look
You should know I'm not impressed
'Cause there's just one thing
That I'm looking for
And he don't wear a dress.

bon appetite!

Oo la la! had an excellent dinner last night at Sebastien's, a delightful French restaurante at Greenwood Avenue.

It was crowded and real noisy (my friends joked about how our tiny Asian lungs cannot compete with those of the mostly European crowd at the restaurant) Could barely hear each other talk sometimes!

Ah now for the degustation menu (well not exactly, we ordered a la carte)

we started off with a portobello salad (unfortunately we shared A portobello mushroom)
and i had one of the specials of the night, the osso bucco, which came with a nice buttery mashed potato. It was somewhat like that beef bourguignon. the meat was nice and tender (hardly needed the knife!) but i still prefer the one at Pontini which had a less heavy-going sauce.

Mel had the duck confit - always good. But she didn't like the amount of salad they gave. Should have ordered it myself!!

Yubin chose the lamb - also another good choice. That was what i had the last time (also the first time) i was there. It comes with an interesting assortment of diced veg, comprising squash, tomatoes, eggplant and others.

and char went with the glazed pork ribs, also another special of the day. It was very sweet but the meat was oh so tender!

We decided we still had space for dessert, but this is not to say that the portions were small. This is no teenyweeny portions the size of a one-dollarcoin type of place. it was good hearty food.

So we went for the poached pear and the peach melba. unfortunately not very good choices! they were very sweet and had quite a... acquired? taste. not something i'd try again, to be honest.

But it was overall an excellent meal and definitely will be heading back again - next time i will order the duck!!

Quick aside: have been meaning to post this URL for the Julie/Julia project where this lady (julie) is cooking her way thru the Mastering the art of French Cooking hence, Julia (Childs). very interesting

Thursday, September 18, 2003

sharp dresser

It was a cold rainy morning. The perfect weather to sleep in.
Unfortunately I had to drag myself out of bed before 9 and get ready to leave.

But it was worth it, because I got to attend a press conference for My Teacher Mr Kim.

My Teacher Mr Who? you might ask.

It's a new Korean film. Very big becos it was the first K film to have its rights bought up ... BEFORE production was over. (The Others like Il Mare and My Sassy Girl only had their rights bought up... AFTER production was over, so you must understand the significance here)

Anyway, the lead actor Cha Seung Won and director Jang Gyu Sung were at the Goodwood Park HOtel to answer questions from the media. Unfortunately I'm a nobody so didn't score a one-on-one.

But it was quite interesting, with the bulk of the questions focusing on the dramatic issue of bribery in schools - that's what the show features, as Mr Kim is sent into 'exile' for not being discreet about the bribery.

I would say that 80% of the questions were about that. So it was very tedious.

Especially since everything had to be translated to and from Korean.

But hell, Mr Cha was a feast for the eyes!

Tall (1.88m), with a sharp sense of dressing, and a nice deep voice (although i would hardly call Korean a romantic language), he was pretty darn good looking. Well he did start out as a model after all.

But you'd be disappointed if you watch the movie, he's so much better looking in person.

If you understand Korean click here and if you don't click here anyway cos it's a cute site. (just click on the korean words below the chalkboard)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

zombies alert!

just came back from watching the preview of 28 days later. the latest story from alex garland, of The Beach fame.

it's a zombie flick, a doomsday, outbreak-ish type of film.

Here's the premise:

a group of animal rights activists break into a lab to free the poor chimps which get tortured there. besides being kept in small cages, the poor fellas are forced to... watch tv. essentially violent images mostly from the news - strikes, protests etc.

but a lab tech warns them that the chimps have been infected. they don't believe him. who would - he tells them they are infected 'with RAGE'. so they free a chimp and it fells raving mad on one of the activists and bites her. She begins to puke blood. and then it goes to black.

and 28 days later, we meet jim, who's just woken up from a coma in a london hospital. the hospital is empty, just full of upturned furniture. it's the same outside. there's no one. but when he steps into a church, he meets one of the infected. they're easy to spot, blood-shot eyes, and crazy arm movements. and of course, they don't speak, only making odd baby-like noises.

they chase after him and he gets rescued by a couple of other survivors. and they meet somemore survivors.

and that's all i'll say. cos i dont want you to go saying that i've spoiled the whole movie by telling you what it's all about. let me just tell u this though: STAY UNTIL THE CREDITS ARE OVER! don't be kiasu and rush to leave the cinema yeah?

anyway a good show, much better than expected. and if i'm not wrong, all shot on digital. which makes it seem even more unHollywood than it already is.

by the way, if u are wondering who's acting in 28 Days Later, don't. They're pretty much unknowns.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

long day's journey into the morning

wow had a seriously long day at work yesterday, which ended with me managing to catch (just in the nick of time btw) the 130am bus home. and to add to my troubles i couldn't get the door of the minibus to open!! the driver (who was really really nice) even had to come out and open it for me!

anyway, i blame it all on SM lee. he's turning 80 on tuesday and ST just had to do an 8 page spread on him. and STI just had to do a webspecial based on that spread. and i just had to be put in charge of it (altho the truth is i didn't really know what i was doing - so it was all thanks to my web designer and webmaster that it managed to get up!)

Btw, i was extremely appalled at an article in today's Sunday Times, about the murders in South Australia. i wasn't appalled at the murders actually but rather this little sentence just stuck in my mind and pissed me off.

And here it is: They referred to their killing as 'playing', and often played the song Selling The Drama by the group Live when they killed. One line from the song goes: 'Hey, now that we won't be raped, hey, now we won't be scarred like that.'

Why am i pissed off with this sentence? becos I listen to Live and i think they make pretty darn good music. And I don't like the inference that the writer makes about listening to the music. I've listened to that song, many many times, and i like that song. And am i out there killing people? NO!!

I've been reading this book Killing Monsters: WHy children need fantasy, super heroes and make-believe violence by Gerard Jones.

He's trying to explain how violence in video games and tv shows aren't always harmful, and in fact how it can actually help lower aggression in a kid. and how ít's crazy that people are trying to ban violent tv shows/video games esp after Columbine.

And i think music can also be included in that argument. So wat if the murderers listened to that song when they were doing the killing? would it have been included in the story if they so happened to be listening to classical music at that time?

Jones also includes in his argument the many faulty 'experiments' that were used to show how media violence affects children. But i shan't go into detail here - this blog is already too long. Instead, check out a short excerpt of his book right here.

Thank you for listening! (or in this case, reading)

Friday, September 12, 2003

food is king

How fascinating! The venerable New York Times's J. W. Apple Jr has written an article on Singapore's food when he was here on a visit. Our very own foodie Seetoh of Makansutra fame was his host.

And man is he a good food writer!
A classic Peking duck with skin as crisp as parchment was accompanied, for example, by five-spice duck foie gras. Crisp prawns were served with wasabi mayonnaise. Meltingly soft tofu, better than any I had ever tasted before, was house-made with puréed spinach, like tagliatelle verde. A jellied dessert was flavored with lemon grass. It was Singapore on a plate, or rather several plates, brought up to date: traditions blended without strain.

Poetry from the palate, for the palate! (hell it's making me hungry!!)

Read the article

Thursday, September 11, 2003

time to shang yue

i had almost forgotten about the Mid-Autumn fest until a colleague mentioned last night that it was the fifteenth.

I'd been stuffing myself with mooncakes way before that that i didn't even realise the actual date hadn't passed yet.

We've had a variety of mooncakes at the office including green tea and even champagne truffle mooncakes (this is a snowskin kind with a white chocolate champagne truffle in the middle of each small mooncake - really divine altho it doesn't sound that way)

But I''m more of a traditional lotus paste snowskin (NO egg yolk please!) type of mooncake eater.

The best is of course those that emerge from the kitchen of me own house! Have been helping me mum to make mooncakes the past couple of weeks (we started early so as to ensure that Maki was able to take some homemade ones back to Japan) and we've actually done this for quite a few years.

And i have to admit, it is pretty fun. Making sure the colouring is right otherwise the light green skin will turn out to be some glow-in-the-dark type or hazardous waste material warning type of colour.

And making sure there's the right amount of lotus paste for each mooncake so it won't look too stuffed or too flat. (this is probably the more tricky part) and whacking it out of the wooden mold properly so the pattern will be distinct and even.

ah gotta go get lunch and then get ready to head to work....

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Movie Mania

I have been on a movie-watching mania these few days.

It all started with Legally Blonde 2 last friday and then Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl on Sunday.
A couple of movie previews were on during the next two days so I got to watch a touching Korean movie called My Teacher, Mr Kim on Monday and a somewhat different American (obviously non-Hollywood) film called Camp, which is essentially about a group of teens who attend a theatre camp during the summer but also tries to embrace various issues like teenage sexuality ie homosexuality.

And today, saw Turn Left Turn Right starring the very delicious Takeshi Kaneshiro (who was i kidding when I said he doesn't look good with that floppy girly hair....he does!) and Gigi Leung. The movie's based on an illustrated book by Jimmy Liao or something like that. It was definitely hyped up a lot here, mostly cos it's co-produced by Mediacorp''s Raintree and the two stars did make a rare trip to Singapore.

But I was disappointed. It was trying too hard and the harder it tried, the more 'Oh man!' it got. What I mean is that, the show is all about destiny and coincidences and how this guy and this girl are destined to meet and yet they never meet although they're staying steps away from each other. So it gets painful (that's where the Oh man! remark comes in) when they pass each other and not notice or they miss each other in the lift or the train or the park or the bridge.....

I felt that another show that i've watched recently put forward this idea or issue about fate and destiny better and that was My Sassy Girl. If i explained it, I'd have to reveal quite a bit of the story so will just say, go rent or buy the dvd/vcd of My Sassy Girl. it's definitely worth it.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

flaming lips

Attended a little office party (of sorts) at an ex-colleague's house (recently retired with a very nice golden handshake, also recently recovering from hip surgery! which the company paid for btw) I think there were about 15 of us altogether at the party. The boss was conveniently on a business trip to Olso.

The food was fantastic! there was naan (store bought actually), chicken curry, veges, a real tasty prawn sambal. And the bartender (the colleague's son) wasn't too bad. He did a potent Long Island Tea. altho i don't think youre supposed to add OJ to it!

So great food, great conversation, great company and of course lotsa alcohol! It was my first (and i think for many of the others, their first too) time drinking sambuca, that italian liquor made of aniseed. Spicy.

What happens is that you gulp down the drink (pour shot-style in a small glass), taking care not to get any on your lips, gargle a little and open your mouth wide (keeping the drink in your mouth ie not swallowing it) Someone (preferably not afraid of fire!!) lights a match or lighter and lowers the flame into your mouth, thus igniting the liquor, thus creating a mini fire in your mouth! Sounds a little freaky doesn't it. Just remember to swallow! don't spit it out! Might just burn a hole in the carpet.

The drink is pretty tasty, similar to licorice, which i never took a liking to, so i didn't have seconds. Plus i was driving back later.

Today, went to see Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl.

IT WAS FANTASTIC!! TWO THUMBS UP! (afraid i just had to shout that out!)

i was so looking forward to seeing this show, for months. and it did not disappoint! It was definitely an adventure and who cares if it was based somewhat on a ride in Disneyland? It was fun, exciting and it had Johnny Depp! Doing what he's best at doing, being well... weird.

I'm afraid I am very biased, as I am a big Depp fan, ever since....secondary school (quick aside here: the recent episodes of Alias made me really happy - also had my sec school pinup faves - Christian Slater and Ethan Hawke - but my opinion of Mr Hawke has dimished somewhat ever since his affair with some other actress. i mean for heavens' sakes man, you already have Uma Thurman!!)

Anyway, back to Mr Depp. Sigh.... he always has such a charm. And this time although he plays a bit of an effeminate pirate (he's got beaded hair and wat looks like eyeliner!) he's still got it. At the age of 40, Mr Depp is still my fave.

I mean, who cares about the scrawny Orlando Bloom (with that disgusting little mustache of his) - ok i have to admit it, i do somewhat care about Mr Bloom, but only as Legolas! Everytime he had a romantic scene with Keira Knightley, i was like...ah heck get on with it already!

I do realise I am rambling on quite a lot so here's a quick bit about another movie i saw, this time on Friday. Legally Blonde 2 with that darling Elle Woods herself.

A lot of reviews have scoffed at that show. It's true, the storyline isn't all too strong but it was entertaining. She is such a darling, you just can't resist! and my friend was like....oh love those shoes...it's true, Elle Woods has such fashion sense, it's so inspiring!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

mala gente

had to also mention that Juanes was the big winner at the latin Grammys!!! woo hoo!

of course i am listening to his music right now, altho it's not reflected in my sidebar at the moment (at work lah, trying to churn this out real fast so i wont get caught - oh who cares anyway!!)

ah just visited the juanes site and they have more stuff in english now! maybe he has more non-spanish speaking fans now!
or they could be trying to market him to the rest of the world - ie Enrique (gross!) who i've just learnt is acting alongside the spanish god himself Antonio Banderas in Once Upon A Time In Mexico. (how scary - havin to see moley enrique for longer than a music video!)


hmm thought david blaine was insane, Guardian writer Tim Dowling just tried out living for 24 hours in a 7ft by 7ft by 3ft 'coffin', just to see what it'll be like when Blaine does it.


Tuesday, September 02, 2003

confessions of a dashboard

Dashboard Confessional - i'm hooked!

A friend told me about it, describing it as 'heartbreaking'. i checked out their site and listened to their free downloads from the new album (a mark, a mission....) and i loved Ghost Of A Good Thing! heartbreaking? hell yeah.

so i've been doing some downloading - what to do, i can't find it in the stores.
and I've discovered Screaming Infidelities, Sweet Summer and A Plain Morning. Much more cheerful than Ghost. But all falling into the 'emo' genre. tho i've heard that dashboard confessional hates that term.

meanwhile, picked up Beck's latest and the quintessential Nirvana album - both for thirty bucks (total) at your friendly Borders store. This time, i mean it. The cashier actually showed an interest in my purchase, saying he was glad someone finally bought the beck album as it's a good one. exactly! a little more weepy than Beck's usual but good nonetheless.

i always thought that sales staff/cashiers at borders didn't know shit so this guy proved me wrong for once.
ok maybe they don't don't know shit but many of them seem like they don't care at all. wrong attitude man. the exact reason why i don't buy from HMV. bad attitude!!!!