Thursday, January 26, 2006

Could there BE a more beautiful movie?


Zhang Ziyi (Or Ziyi Zhang, she calls herself now to prevent confusion to American viewers...) wasn't fantastic. The movie was an over-orientalised version of Japan from the eyes of a foreigner. The love affair was unsettling if not creepy. But it was breathtakingly beautiful.

One forgets that it is a Caucasian at the helm and one wonders which of the Chinese greats shot the grandeur that was Memoirs. It was spectacular the way that Raise the Red Lantern was spectacular, with set shots that took my breath away as they seared themselves into my mind.

Gong Li. What more can I say about her? A look that can stop a men in his tracks? Gong Li could stop an army. Her portrayal of Hatsumomo was poignant as she was raging in the grip of insanity or while quietly smouldering in the background. She stole the show. Bravo!
Zhang Ziyi paled in comparison.

I went into the movie with a sense of cynicism. After all, it was a movie set in Japan that featured no Japanese women in any of the lead Geisha roles. I felt that they could have cast Sayuri better but then again Ziyi was surrounded with a cast that soared. It also had an American directing it, thus creating, in my opinion, a Japan that not only no longer existed but never existed in the first place. An Orientalised version of a oriental culture. It was all that. But then again, Marshall does such a great job replicating the oriental that I couldn't differentiate his work from that of Zhang Yimou or similar auteurs. Overall, it was a movie that managed to overwhelm me with its beauty in a way that I haven't been in any hollywood movie.


Just need to wait for the DVD and my 70" Plasma TV to recreate the experience...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

They paved parking lot and put up a paradise...

...uhm...Sort of.

I was driving by Takashimaya today when I realised that the URA carpark opposite Orchard Cineleasure was gone. It was gone, period. About 100 parking lots...gone...and in it's place, a grove complete with trees. Full grown trees. How'd they manage that?

Admittedly, it wasn't quite paradise. It was just a ma(e)ss of greenery where there used to be tarmac. And all the while, I was thinking that a whole lot of prime space had suddenly disappeared. My first thought was Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi. My 2nd thought was that someone in the government's got a really sardonic sense of irony. My 3rd was "Where the heck am I going to park?"

"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone..."

Friday, January 20, 2006


4 Jobs you've had in your life.
  1. Host at the Hard Rock Cafe
  2. Data Entry at the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
  3. Gopher in the Prudential Company
  4. Relief Teacher at RGS
4 Movies you could watch over and over again.
  1. Leon (The Professional)
  2. Before Sunrise
  3. The Prince of Egypt
  4. My Fair Lady
4 TV shows you love to watch.
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. The West Wing
  3. Firefly
  4. Party of Five (Guilty, guilty pleasure)
4 Places you've lived.
  1. Thomson Green, Singapore
  2. Cairnhill Mansion, Singapore
  3. Parkville, Victoria
  4. Carlton, Victoria
4 Places you've been on vacation to.
  1. Tasmania
  2. Wellington
  3. Bali
  4. Seattle
4 Places you'd rather be.
  1. Melbourne
  2. Vancouver
  3. Calgary
  4. Anywhere else but here
4 of your favourite foods.
  1. Steak
  2. Basmati rice (with Makhani Chicken)
  3. BBQ Wings
  4. Burgers
4 Websites you visit daily.
  1. Doonesbury
  2. Non-sequitur
  3. Popmatters
  4. Hardwarezone
(No blogs included. Going for Websites specifically)

4 tagged.
  1. Ondine
  2. Chick
  3. JL
  4. WJ


Friday, January 13, 2006

New in the Askewniverse.

Just because they serve you doesn't mean they like you.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A town that's good enough to eat...

Only sorry that I didn't get this set up in time for Christmas. I curse my procrastination...

We were walking back from the Sydney Sunday market when nature called and we answered in The Four Seasons hotel, our honeymoon hotel. :) Well, after said toilet break, we saw this amazing sight on display in the lobby, partially hidden by the stairs...

A whole gingerbread town...

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While they metaphorically say that the snow covered the land like frosting on a cake, these guys took it literally...

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Nutri Grain for bricks on this house.

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Rainbow sprinkled cookies for tiles.

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Pretzel fencing...This is the house that Hansel and Gretel must have eaten.

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Merry belated Christmas to everyone and to everyone a good night!

Let's see if this sounds vaguely familiar...

This is in response to the, let's face it, IDIOTS, who, following a bunch of bad experiences (None of which I condone, mind you...) at this year's New Year's Eve countdown party on Orchard road, decided that it was time to ban foreign workers from all public functions.

Let's see, we've got:

  1. A bunch of bat eggs within a minority group causes trouble at a social arena.
  2. The media blows the whole issue up into a frenzy.
  3. The majority decides that the entire minority group should no longer have access to said social arena.
  4. ...What's the next step? Hmmm...
It's disgusting. And I'm not talking about the perpetrators of the spray and grope incidents. Ban foreign nationals from parties? What's next? Whites Singaporeans only beaches? It's ridiculous. Just because of a few bad eggs, we're going to exclude the whole bunch of them? There have also been suggestions by certain members of the community to send them all back from where they come from...But here's a newsflash to the uninformed or the plain stupid:

They're here.

They build our roads. Upgrade our flats. Muck out our drains. Pretty much do everything that we don't want to do just so that we don't have to. Most of them are hardworking people who keep their heads down and just get by to send money home to their families.
The few bad ones? Well, let's just say that there are bad Singaporeans too...should we ban Singaporeans from our parties? (Heck, I think we should...)

What really infuriates me is knowing that these are probably the exact same Singaporeans who, while the Aussies were beating up people of Middle Eastern descent, were going "tsk tsk, how horribly racist..."

Talk about your double standards.


I guess that all I can say is this:

Women, please be more careful at parties. There are idiots out there, foreign or not. And guys, please make it a point to avoid being morons.

And people, please look out for each other.
It's bad enough that these incidents happened. It's worse to think that hardly anyone got caught. Massive crowds. People ALL AROUND. People, open your eyes and start caring about the person next to you!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

For all the browncoats out there...


And a new year in school.

Apologies for the tone of the last post and it's atypical of me to start a new year on a bad note. Anyways, I've cleared up the funk that I've been in for the past 2 days and I'm all hunky dory and ready for a new year in school. It's been a good holiday but I face the new year with a sense of trepidition and uncertainty simply because this would be the first year that I'm taking a class that's headed for a major examination. *Gasp*

The responsibility...Shock.

Anyways, aside from that, it's going to be a good year simply because my bond ends in June. Yes folks, come june 06, I'll be bond free. Still teaching but with the option of leaving anytime I feel like it. Which means that if I do leave, my aunt and my sister-in-law would not have to fork out an obscene amount of money to pay for my skedaddling.

Well...all that said, may 2006 be a blessed year for all involved and, because I'm not in the habit of making resolutions that I will inevitably fail to achieve, may we be better people for it.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another year over...a new one has begun...

And more of the same fucking thing.

A...C'est la vie.