Wednesday, June 30, 2004


kinokuniya recently had a 20% discount for booklovers, provided they cut out the tiny coupons in Saturdays' Life! of course.

Here's my haul:
Peter Carey - My Life As A Fake
Hanif Kureishi - THe Buddha of Suburbia
Jose Saramago - Blindness
Jasper Fforde - THe Well Of Lost Plots
Jeffrey Steingarten - THe Man Who Ate Everything
Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential
Ursula Le Guin - Earthsea Quartet
Thomas Friedman - The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Steven Pinker - How The Mind Works
hmmm and there's one more book that i now cannot recall!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

runner's log

interesting to call myself a runner. but i guess i am sorta becoming one. this week i've run everyday so far, except yesterday when i decided i needed a break (plus for some reason my er... left shin? was aching - i am getting old! almost a quarter of a century now!!!)

usually i run what i think is a 2.8km route. (it's the old route that we used at jc for the 2.4 plus i add a little extra on. it feels abt another 400m).

i try to take it easy except for a little bit of a sprint at the end.

i've never been a running sort. i would always say that i hate to run. i hate it less now. i'd really rather be swimming but i like a challenge. i'd like to run a 5k and see how that goes. (yes i've still not worked myself up to that yet!)

but today, i think i ran twice the usual. i have no idea what the length is cos i've never ran that way before. but i took about twice my time at my usual jogging pace. so i felt pretty good about that! i think a decent estimate wld be abt 4 k or so?
i have no idea really.

i just wish my asics racers were prettier. !

Monday, June 21, 2004

or not

hmm... might consider taking back what i said about hmv singapore. it's really such a love-hate relationship we have!

well this morning i decided to give hmv heeren a call to find out if 50 first dates dvd is out. (not that i'm a big adam sandler fan or anything, i had to find a dvd for review for work - streats is very poor, no budget and no tie-ups.)

so i call the main number and a v grumpy girl answered with an inaudible mumbled "HMV" i asked if this was the right number to call to ask about dvds. she said, "you hold on ah" in a grumpy, couldn't care less attitude. not that i expected anything better of course.

but i was surprised when a guy from the dvd retail section answered the phone. he was polite and attentive! wow! i asked abt the dvd, he said it wouldn't be out until July. So i asked if there were any new releases. He said he wasn't sure whether these dvds were for this week or the next but he gave me a nice longish list of dvds. Willingly. not grumpily. but relatively cheerfully. i was very impressed. good on you gregory!

btw, am also q impressed with Janet from the Japanese embassy here. had been shuttled back and forth to the consulate department etc until I somehow got put through to Janet. Explained the situation (by this time had explained it several tiems already, and still was difficult to explain) she listened, told me she would see how she could help me out and clarified some details with me.

I called her again (i've learnt that a lot of times, have to be majorly pushy to get the point across) this morning and she said she had already asked some other department and they are making the relevant phone calls. it's a bit of a tricky issue i guess cos Singaporeans dont need a visa to get into japan but what if you're signing off from a commercial vessel? what happens then? no one seems to know and i dont want to call japan again and have pp say moshi moshi to me and then rattle something in japanese.

i just hope i can get this situation resolved ASAP. then i can start the wheels turning. and i have a lot of wheels to turn...

Saturday, June 19, 2004

retail therapy

i needed a serious dose of retail therapy on Friday. was feeling a bit down, which i shall not elaborate here, and thought i'd better not gripe to anyone since it was (a) friday (b) people were at work and i was off

so i headed down to city hall and got myself some nice orange sneakers (yes orange, not yella this time around). will snap a pic of them lovlies soon. unfort the discount was for a second pair of shoes (40% off!) but i decided nah... i had already bought some sandals a couple of weeks back so i just paid $89.90 for those lovely orange sneaks.

and then when i meet tien later for the starlight cinema (fiona and 5 of tien's friends made up the 8 pp there) i learnt that she had picked up a pair of shoes at j west too. but from the branch at scotts. ah.. we shld've just gone shopping together!

anyway starlight cinema was nice but it was very empty, unlike when i went with ep and mel a couple of years back for the first two LOTR flicks.

but it was good all the same. met lena and weiyong there too. they had brought along lena's new dog Tara. what a sweetie!

anyway, back to the retail therapy bit - besides buying shoes, i went over to kino last night before meeting sean for the singapore internationl documentary film festival, which of course i had free tickets to!

i bought 4 books from kino. it was the liang court branch so i couldn't find any film books worth getting hold of. will have to pay a proper visit to that heaven for booklovers at takashimaya soon. before the discount's no longer valid. i have waited too long to buy Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Quartet!

oh, btw The Other Final, the closing film at the docu film fest was brilliant. it was very well-made, very touching and also quite hilarious here and there. one of the best docus i've ever seen.

essentially it's the true story of a football match between the two lowest Fifa- ranked countries in the world, Montserrat and Bhutan.

a Dutch guy decided that the two nations should get together and play a game, in the name of football, brotherly love and world peace.

well, bhutan thrashed montserrat 4-0.

but it was all good in the end. they split the trophy, everyone signed autographs, everyone had their share of the spotlight and had fun. and then they got together to watch the real World Cup final.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

crap and less crap

i watched two kinda crappy films last week.

numero uno - Godsend. This was for work. I guess I could've just NOT gone for this but I felt the need to leave work before 7 on a thursday. So i did.

So anyway, dragged jem along to watch this damn crappy show and I believe it'll be the first show that i'm rating below the pass mark. i'm trying to decide between 1 or 1.5 stars.

yes it's really THAT BAD!!! so PLEASE don't watch Godsend. even if you're a thriller fan. because the story line is bad (it's abt a cloned child who retains memories of a past life and goes a bit loony and creepy) and the thriller tactics (the music, the dark corridors, the closeups of the kid asleep and then he opens his eyes with a start) is all just so used.

ok i have to admit that some parts made my heart beat faster but it's that kinda shock tactics that later make you think: eh? what the hell was that for??

anyway so what if it had greg kinear and the great de niro? it was just one hell of a sad sad film.

Numero dos: The Punisher
i was quite neutral about watching this one (altho life rated it 1.5 stars - í dont trust Life's review anyway!! Troy didnt deserve 5 stars...)
but didnt have much to do on saturday so went to watch that at lido. (where the popcorn lines were DAMN LONG!!) usually dont like watching movies there but lido 2 is prob one of hte better cinemas there so it wasnt too bad.

i think the best word to describe this show - CHEESY. it was just damn cheesy with all his 'superhero' poses. it was also quite meaningless - i didnt like the way he mercilessly killed all the bad guys. i mean, in the sense that he didn't show that he had any heart in that buff body of his. Tom Jane I believe his name is, was sorta touted to be the next hugh jackman, the way they both made their big screen debut as superheros. but Jane doesnt look as good as Jackman and his role as the punisher is definitely less meaty than Jackman's Wolverine. (now wolverine at least, shows that he has a heart, altho he probably would never admit to that!!)

if i had to rate this, i'd give it a 2.5. it was watchable. could've made more sense and the roles should've been fleshed out some more but was watchable.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

the return

i watched the new season of Alias, which premiered on Monday and I wasn't too pleased.

Yeah it was good to find out a bit more of what happened since the shocker of a final episode in the last season, where she wakes up and finds that she has been missing and presumed dead for two years. and that vaughn has gone and (gasp!) gotten married!

so the first ep provided a slight bit more information about the past two years, except that no one knows anything about Sidney's whereabouts, not even Sidney herself.

But what I did not like at all, was that incredibly immediate way she got herself back into the game, went on a mission, went to find Sloan, went to kill a thug and his underlings, and got her dad out of prison.

It seemed way to easy.

(Interesting the way I am so caught up in this show though! Especially since I've not been watching regular tv for quite a while. So i guess despite it's flaws, Alias is a pretty damn good show on regular tv right now. better than those reality shows at least!)

So here's one TV viewer who will be awaiting next week's episode of Alias.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


i hate it when music reviewers/critics write about up-&-coming bands with regards to other more established ones. like this excerpt of Keane's Hopes and Fears

Rolling Stone, June 10, 2004
"Keane reconfigures the high-romantic aesthetic introduced by Radiohead and mainstreamed by Coldplay as the launchpad for a serious hookfest"

One of my favourite bands, Muse, has oft been called "the poor man's Radiohead". I mean, come on... that's a bit much. So there might be hints of Radiohead and so on, but doesn't mean that they totally copied off Radiohead.
(wld write more but just realised the time!)

hot or not

i love will and grace!

this is one of the reasons...

Will's Dad (to Jack): Are you going on a hot date?

Jack: No, but the guy I'm dating is!

(well can't remember the exact lines, but something of that sort!)

Friday, June 04, 2004

and if you want me
you better speak up i won't wait
so you better, move fast


its interesting how one can get from not owning any radiohead albums to owning several in a few months.

so being bored today i've decided to list some of my favourite radiohead songs.

In no particular order, except that Black Star does top the list.

Black Star
You and whose army?
(Nice Dream)
My Iron Lung
Bulletproof... I wish I was
Wolf at the Door
Karma Police

but recently i've also been hooked on:
Nelly Furtado's Try
Jason Mraz's You and I Both (altho mostly cos that song sorta has a particular meaning for me)
Muse's Hysteria, Time Is Running Out, Falling Away With You
Wilco's When You Wake Up Feeling Old
Pearl Jam's version of The Who's Baba O'Reilly

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

service without a smile

in case you didnt know it already, service at Singapore's HMV is always without a smile.

Ok i have to admit only making a purchase there ONCE, when i bought a couple of VCDs that cost less than $10 each. (HMV's CDs are usually so ridiculously priced, it doesn't warrant a visit at all - i usually just go to browse the mags) it was a weekday afternoon I recall, and as a result, there weren't that many customers around.

So I placed my purchases on the counter. she scans in the prices and puts them in a bag. she doesn't tell me what the total is, doesn't utter a word and naturally doesn't give a smile (can you say "cos i work at HMV and ít's just too cool a place to smile"?)
i was tempted to just say, forget it i changed my mind about the vcd. i should've. but i wanted one of the vcds cos i hadnt seen it (Mumford - starring loren dean and jason lee! and i love jason lee!)

anyway i stalked out there determined never to buy anything from HMV anymore.

but then again, i just did.

no i have not gone back on my word. i just havent bought anything from the singapore store since. i made my purchase this time in Toronto where service was definitely with a smile.

pp will definitely expect better service in places like the US and canada at restaurants etc becos of the practice of tipping. but in a store like HMV where of course tipping doesn't happen? exactly.
i was looking for the Will & Grace box set. but could only find season 2. i wanted to get hold of season 1 as well but that was all that was on the shelf.

so i approached one of the cashiers, this asian-canadian girl, and asked about it. she was like.. oh? that's odd. and she went over with me to the shelf and had a quick look around. and then she nicely asked me to stick around while she checked the stock. and apologised when she returned to say that they didnt have it in stock. but i decided to get season 2 anyway (after all, we all know it's not going to shown on local tv) and she rang it up for me, adding that if i liked, she could place an order for me and i could prob pick it up within the next few days. i explained that i was leaving town that night so it wasnt possible. but it was great that she offered to do that. i was very pleased. :)

meanwhile, back in sg, i popped over to borders (yes another service without a smile place) a couple of days ago on my off day.

i was looking for a book for a friend's bday present. wasnt sure if borders had it, altho i know did. so i decided to check with the info counter. the guy was quite nice, checked it up on the computer (altho he took ages to find it) and said they didnt have it in store. i cld order it tho it would take about 4-6 weeks to get in. shipping would be free.

so i thanked him and did some wandering around the cd section. smsed jem to let him know that we'd need to go to plan b, watever that was. he wanted me to ask if there were any other books on running away (which would be another story for another day...)
so i headed back towards the books area. and then decided to poke around the travel section cos i knew the bday girl liked to travel n cld prob do with a guide bk or sthg like that.

and whaddya know... i found the very book i had been searching for - there was one copy right there in the travel section (which is one of the shelves near the info counter btw) so naturally i bought it. and left borders thinking wat a clueless place it was. full of pp who absolutely have no clue wat the hell they're doing.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

i was just thinking

i received some news today that made me feel a little down but let's just see how that all goes. maybe it wont be that bad. but who am i kidding...

anyway that's the thing about blogs isnt it? how much to say. how much not to say.

i know that very very few people read this blog so i shldnt really care and shld just spew whatever crap i want. (and i think i do that sometimes when i just cant be bothered) but then i think... hmmm... what if that person actually reads this bloody thing? then i wld be screwed. definitely.

anyway the lyrics below are from Teitur - whom i just Adore. the scandinavian singer-songwriter has such beautiful songs! (and very sappy ones i might add)

this one's called Poetry & Aeroplanes, in case you havent guessed already.

and that also happens to be the name of the album as well.

other stuff i've been listening to:
Keane's Hopes & Fears (yay!)
Teenage Fanclub's 4766 Seconds (also Yay!)
The Vines' Highly Evolved (not so much a yay)
Radiohead (YAY!)
Muse's Absolution (a definite Yay!)

oh yeah and i did just get back from canada. where apparently i missed seeing the jealous sound! and my morning jacket... sigh...
and i WANT to go to Lollapalooza.
i mean, the flaming lips, broken social scene, the von bondies, wilco, and ELBOW!!!! i love ELBOW!!! damnit i should've flown to perth to see them... damnit damnit damnit

anyone want to sponsor me???
There was a party last night, last night
Cigarettes and empty bottles, empty bottles
Better open up this window, this window
Need some air to clear my head, clear my head
Alone in these strange beds
I think that I’ve traveled enough
Poetry and Aeroplanes
I am tired of waiting for love
Tend to fall asleep in the fast lane, in the fast lane
Sometimes sinking low in the high life, in the high life
No more happy songs of heartbreak, oh’ heartbreak
Or playing white knight misunderstood, misunderstood
Alone in these strange streets
I think that I’ve walked them enough
Poetry and Aeroplanes
I am tired of waiting for love
Another night I lie awake
In woken dreams of faith and fate
Hope my love don’t come too late
Hope my love don’t come too late
Alone in these strange streets
I think that I’ve walked them enough
Poetry and Aeroplanes
I am tired of waiting for love