Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Wedding Anniversaries and the Tao of Ice Cream.

Today marked our second wedding anniversary. Yay!

We were apart for most of the day but we ended up having dinner and topped that with ice cream from The Daily Scoop. (Shameless plug: Their Peanut Butter ice cream's to die for)

Well, we both had double scoops atop a chocolate coated waffle cone and all the ice cream got me thinking of the times that we used to have gelato in Melly. Ondine always complained that she could never consume her ice cream without ending up with half of it melted onto her fingers and I would spend hours teasing her about it mercilessly...but I digress. As we were taking a walk around Sunset way, I started thinking about the control of a double scoop of ice cream mounted on a cone...and I realised that marriage is similar in some respect:

Firstly, one needs to make sure that one pays attention to it. One cannot afford to take one's eye off it because that's when the melt overflows the edge of the cone. With a single scoop, one can afford to let ones eyes stray because single scoops are easily manageable. Double scoops are less so because they need a lot of work before the two become one.

Secondly, even pressure is the key. Push too hard and it topples. Gently does it. Shape it with a continuous caress. If one does not, then often the damage will be impossible to mend without an excessive save.

Thirdly, it's a whole lot of work that one has to put into making sure that it all stays together. A WHOLE LOT OF WORK. One has to ensure that the ice cream cone is constantly rotated and one has to cover all the bases. You can't let any part of it slip, otherwise, it starts cracking up.

That was all I gleaned from tonight's ice cream encounter.

I remember when I was at the altar waiting for Ondine to arrive two years ago and I guess that I was as nervous then as I ever was. Thoughts of flight actually went through my head because the thought of getting married was so huge. Then again, it could've been stage fright. But here's the thing. I thought that the one big step was all I was going to take and that would be it, happily ever after...but it's not. The wedding is only the starter's pistol. Then it's all about running the race. It's hard work really. Adjusting, finding time to be kind to each other, loving the person when you're squabbling over the bills or things that you (read: I) forgot to do, just being with each other without taking the other for granted. It's all hard work. But then I realised that despite the hard work, it's also the easiest thing to do.

It's been two wonderful years...and many more to come.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Firstly, I'm going to come right out and say it, I liked Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. I can hear the collective groans of a world of Star Wars fans but let me explain. I thought he was quite impressive as a fledgling Jedi, despite the horrific lines that he was forced to deliver. (Your skin...is so...smooth...) Ugh. The first scene with the young Anakin and Senator Palpatine was so poignant as he stood by his side (exactly as David Prouse would eventually do in Return of the Jedi) that it sent shivers down my spine. His performance was nuanced when it wasn't hamfisted and I appreciated that he could glower convincingly (although his pout was inexcusible). So truthfully, I suspected that he was just an unfortunate actor that was stuck with a lousy script and a director who concentrated more on getting performances from his actors that were “faster and more intense” than actually getting them to act convicingly well. Poor Christensen had a bad rep and it was (I suspected before going to watch Revenge of the Sith) going to get worse.

He does turn the corner, in my opinion, in Sith. He owns Anakin Skywalker and the performance that he gives is truly tres magnifique...aside from the occasional leftover pout and the clunky lines. (No help there especially since George W. Bu...uhm...Darth Lucas is at the helm both scriptwise and as director) The main plotline in the story, Anakin's fall to the dark side, is both convincing and heart wrenching and the final battle (in this trilogy) between Obi Wan and Anakin is painful and poignant to watch.

Now, all that said...how was the movie?

I've taken all the time in the world to put this down. Was my mind clouded by the fact that for the first time in this milenium, we have a Star Wars movie that is not bad beyind all reason? Was it a matter of relativity that Episode II was so bad that anything after was just lifted to the realm of ESB just if it didn't suck? Did George “I am your father” Lucas pull the Jedi mind trick on me?

I think it was none of the three. It was a good movie, one that actually seemed to fit into the Star Wars canon the way that the previous two didn't. That said, it was not a great movie, but a good Star Wars one. (If that doesn't make sense to you, you're not a big enough Star Wars fan) Not quite A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back but it was better than Return of the Jedi.

Clunky line of the movie (thankfully these are quite few and far between): “You're so beautiful.” “It's because I'm in love.” “No, it's because I love you.”

It's not Shakespeare. But then again, Star Wars never was. Despite the corny script (which all Star Wars movies suffered from) the actors played their parts very well. Natalie Portman, thankfully, was delegated far into the background, thus forcing George “Harlequin Romance” Lucas to insert some sense of restraint into his “love scenes”. Ewan Macgregor IS Obi Wan Kenobi and it seems like he's so much more comfortable in the role now than he ever was. McDiarmid? Well, he starts out very well...a snake in the grass that is both seductive and deceitful. He's the bad guy you love to hate and yet you can't help but like him. Unfortunately, when he shows his true colours, that all goes down the “faster, more intense” toilet and he just becomes a tragically comic baddy. (Sans handlebar moustache)

(For all ye Anti-Bush fans out there, there's a ton of allegory in there so watch for it.)

Overall, an all star effort despite George “Hack” Lucas' efforts to the contrary and as previously mentioned, the movie has indeed risen beyond its creator. Watching Episode III was like meeting a long reunion, something that holds no surprises, yet holds enough emotional resonance to knock your socks off.

The saga is now complete.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Episode III: Redemption of the George.

I'm going to channel some students here and I will just say this:


Despite the fact that George "Mills and Boon" Lucas still can't write a romance to save his life, and the fact that Princess Leia remembers her mother and her sad smile and the fact that Lord Vader taking his first steps looks suspiciously like Frankenstein, OMG.

Short version is that Star Wars has indeed risen above it's creator...and for me, the canonical series begins here.

More later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

And to kick off Star Wars Week.

This is quite hilarious.


This one's for the wife... :)

I want one...

...thanks to Terz.

Bend over and take it like a man...

...was what I was thinking as I got my jabs for reservist coming in September. (3 to be exact.) I am now vaccinated against Polio, Typhoid, Tetanus and the Flu.

re: The title of the post, of the three jabs, one ended up on my left arm. Here's a clue, my right arm did NOT get jabbed.

The other 2 shots (after a relatively painless Typhoid shot on my left arm) were in a small room in the SMC. (Seletar base Medical Center) The dialogue went something like this: (all those with delicate constitutions may wish to avert their eyes.)

Medic 1: "Pull down your pants and underwear and place your hands on the bed."
Me: "You've got to be kidding"
/me pulls down pants and underwear...
/me = much shrinkage due to the two needles that I see brandished before me...
Medic 1: "Bend over and put your hands on the bed."
/me thinks that it sounds suspiciously like a bad prison movie.
/me bends over.
Medic 1: "You will feel a little prick."
/me thinks this sounds suspiciously like a bad prison PORNO movie.
/medics 1 & 2 plunges needles into both butt cheeks.
/me thinks that this is suspisciously like a bad prison porno movie WITH DOUBLE PENETRATION.

Well...all that said, it wasn't as bad as it was in my head as I was looking despondantly at the slip that said I needed 4 vaccinations and freaking out about needles.

My phobia about said needles, I think, can be traced back to the primary school nurse who told me that if I strained my arm too hard, the needle'd break off in my arm and I would need to get an amputation...In primary 4, I once ran from the nurse who was trying to give me a jab starting a wild chase around the little room...If you can imagine the scenario, I was running from a grown woman who was wielding a syringe. It's the stuff of nightmares (mine anyway).

Anyway, I didn't actually try to make a break for it (despite my flight or fight response kicking in sometime before the first jab and the during the second and third) and was reasonably peaceable(even bovine)-like through my 3 jabs. Today, only my butt is sore. Right cheek only.

Later. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

So far, so good.

Seems like the reviews for Revenge of the Sith have been good so far. Keeping my fingers crossed. Amazingly enough, it's presently at 91% on the rottentomato meter, a rating that brings it up to the level of it's forebears...and by that, I don't mean the two previous movies, one of which I refuse to believe existed in any form. The 91% rating lifts it to the level of A New Hope (93%) and The Empire Strikes Back (98%). One can only hope that it keeps up.

O well...on with life. Tickets are booked for the 19th at 7:50pm.

Monday, May 09, 2005


I've been accused of being a voyeur and I think that the statement warrents an explanation. I am a voyeur. I like to watch...people. It's a therapy of sorts. It's interesting watching lives passing you, even if it's just for a moment, sliding by and barely intersecting yours before it passes and is never seen again.

People are voyeuristic by nature. We all like to watch. Just happens that prior to the last post, I happened to turn that voyeurism into a digital photo that I posted onto the internet so that you all could watch too. That said, it's not normal behaviour for me to take photos of strange women with my phone. :)

It was just commentary for the taking.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Fashion Faux Pas


When one's butt hangs out that much it's usually time to buy new jeans. Plus I was also reminded of something a student told me and almost dropped a pen into the crack of doom.


I see boots with miniskirts, I think Julia in Pretty Woman...and all that connotes.

This post inspired by Go Fug Yourself, formerly known as Fug it up.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Much ado about falling snow.

I was watching CNA last night when Xiaxue (which the dude narrating pronounced as Siah Suay har har) appeared to comment about how Podcasting was a vastly inferior byproduct of blogging. Watching this rather (lianishly) pretty girl on TV, I realised something that I sorta guessed upon glancing at her blog...there's not a lot there. I'm sorry to say that the most popular Singaporean blogger is, sadly, getting by on her looks and little else. Either that or our society is way more insipid than I give it credit for. Either way, the Blogosphere is in more danger than just an attack by governmental authorities (read: the overly sensitive PAP[smear]).

There's a rather interesting phrase by Neil Postman, "Amusing Ourselves to Death" that sticks out rather strongly when I think about phenoms like our lady of snow. The draw of the media eventually is about style over substance...image over information...a surface without depth. All the while, people get caught up with the hype and the glamour and they become dazzled by the pretty pink pictures. I liked the Blogosphere because it lent a voice to the voices of resistance and added reason where there usually is none. It allows the every(wo)man to make some noise. But then again, I realise that the majority of the noise is white. And it's very deafening.

I am not knocking Xiaxue or bloggers of her ilk. (Admittedly, this rant may be a little motivated by Blog Envy.) They are what the people choose to tune in to. It's no biggie. It's just disturbing that at the end of the day, people would rather eat cotton candy than something more substantial. I guess that living in a society that doesn't encourage a lot of thinking, it's exactly the taste that people will develop.


Her blog's simply titled "Why are you worshipping the ground I blog on?"

Truthfully, I'm not.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Photos from the North.

Well...posting from KL. Several shots courtesy of my 6170.


We saw this man as we were walking along Bukit Bintang. Think he was crippled, and yet he moved along at a steady pace, using his arms to propel him along the footpath. I gave him two dollars the next night. Interesting note: A clerk working the night shift at 7-11 went out with a cup of coffee and gave it to the beggar man. Nice thing he did, I thought.


Dinner that night with stingray + roasted chicken wings. Yummy!


Funny sign. It sold Bak Kut Teh I think...I hope.


We were in Chinatown tonight when I saw this lady sitting by herself nursing a bottle of Tiger. I like the way the photo turned out because it looks like the world is passing by as she sits...and that's exactly what it looked like.

Overall, a nice trip...we need weekends like that more often.