Monday, 22nd November '04
Life... And Stuff Like That.
Yeah, another bullet enty. On life. And stuff like that.
1. Singapore Idol: Oli's gone. Singapore Idol is turning into a hoot. Like, I said, Sylvester, healthy voting demographic of little Chinese girls. I guess I don't begrudge him the spot in the finals - at least I think if someone can appeal to this many people on his own merit, then there must be some sort of "X factor" there. But in terms of pure ability and talent it was pretty unfair. It's getting harder to see people go, I think, for Singapore and for the Idols themselves. So many sobbing fans in the audience, and even the poor Taufik was supposedly crying when Oli left. I guess people are beginning to feel the investment of effort into the competition is not balancing the slight joy of just "coming this far". But on to happier things, you know how the American Idol finals are always moved from Hollywood to some huge location like Caeser's Palace for the final night? Well, friends abroad, you might be amused to know that we're moving from Caldecott Hill to *drumrolls* The Singapore Indoor Stadium.
2. Qiong, you know that song by Bleu in the margin... have I ever recommended it to you? I just heard it again today, and I thought if I haven't I should.
3. Cleo's Hunk Calender 2005 is a sad piece of work. I know this not because I went looking for it, but because Mum has tacked it to the wall of her room. Probably she just has not yet gotten one of those nice Chinese calenders that tell you the Chinese dates and the days of the Turf Club races yet. Anyways, the long and short of it is that either I set a very high threshold for the word "hunk", or these guys should keep their shirts on. Literally. I swear, I think the dude for April looks kind of like Guy Sebastian. *snort*
4. Mel's only just got MSN! (Like, 1 minute ago.) Minor miracle, that. The fact that she's actually got it now, not that she's taken so long.
5. The O.C.'s website has just gotten a ROCKING new online game. Don't be fooled by that lame-ass name "Skate the O.C.", it's almost as good as Tony Hawk - for a free, online PC game, I'd say that's not too shabby. Maybe if I practice enough, I might just beat Shaun one day. Nah. What's the likelihood of that.
6. Property paper today was very not-happifying. Thank GOODNESS I read Kelvin Low's muggers on Palk v. Mortage *something something*. Yes, that's exactly how well I know my stuff. Don't look at me like that. There really are a MILLION cases.
7. Duyi Bookshop at Tan Tock Seng is having a sale! It's amazing. They have Air Supply, Jay Chou and Sun Yanzi CDs going for ten bucks. And they're the latest ones too. I got a pack of Post-its for 50 cents today, 6 penguin-shaped paper clips for a dollar, and a roll of wrapping paper for 30 cents! The cheapskate in me is happy.
8. "o jstf;u yjoml oy'd foggovi;y yp vtsvl" - Methinks Tzo has invented a new secret code *draws trenchcoat around self and peers furtively out of under the rim of cocked fedora*
I guess that's it for now...
[19 photographs developed.]
Thursday, 18th November '04
Bay-BEHH, I KOMpared You To A KEESE From A Rozz!
Alright, might as well treasure these last few opportunities to blog about Singapore Idol. Top three tonight, so only one more round of blogging after this.
Today was odd. Movie and musical week, and some of the choices made by the top three finalists were questionable. Well, at least I familiar enough with most of the songs to know how to comment (but if I didn't, would that really stop me, hmm? ) It was a very peaceful show today, because apart from Sylvester's great entertainment value (more on that later), no one was really really drop-dead fantastic. And there was no annoying Daphane to get all agitated about. But it still didn't have the kick I expected from a movie and musical themed night. *sigh* All of the contestants were a little off the mark.
But here goes the critique. Gah, anything but study proprietary estoppel, right?
"Hero" from Footloose
Hmm. I kind of wish she has sang the actual song "Footloose". Olinda has never done and trule fun piece yet and she really REALLY needed to spice up her act - especially since Taufik and Sylvester have MAD GIRLIE FANS. But she didn't. Of course it was vocally flawless (although she sounded a bit like Cher in this one), but predictable and really, she could do more at this stage of the competition. I was so rooting for her.
"Hopelessly Devoted To You" from Grease
Simon Cowell would have called this one *Brit accent* "sweet, but so wot?". I would have thought since Carmen Ramussen messed this one up mightily in American Idol 2, no one would ever take on this song again. It's really only Olivia Newton John who could do this one and sound strong and fragile at the same time - it's the pure uniqueness of her voice. Anyway, Olinda can't do badly, as I've always said, but once again she left me wanting. I didn't feel inspired to vote, and it's sad because she's so good, but she didn't do well enough.
"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from Evita
Ah ha!!! THAT'S what I was waiting for. Emoting wasn't all that strong, but the vocals achieved good varietion and the "musical feel" was suitably conveyed. Still, with only that one song done really well, it's hard to tell what her fate will be tomorrow night.
"Ain't No Sunshine" from Oz / Notting Hill
Whee! Taufik was awesome in this song. It was jazzy and classy and very VERY focused. You could feel all the energy and the stage presence coming over through the TV set. Perhaps I wouldn't go as far as Dick Lee as to say that it was a World Idol standard performance, but it was certainly one of the best performances of the season and rivaled a good number of the American Idol performances I've seen. Yay, go Taufik!
"I Must Go On" from Jekyll & Hyde
Remember how I've been saying Taufik captures the essence of every genre he does? Well, he did it again! I didn't like the vocals that much and I don't think his voice is as good as Olinda's but my GOSH, this boy has so much awareness of his body language and tone of delivery it's frightening. The timber of the voice might not have been "musical" standard (in fact I thought it was slightly week), but the stance he assumed while singing - it immediately said "listen to me, I have something to share with you". And, you'll really want to listen. And I had never heard this song before, but at that point I felt like I empathised without really knowing why. Now that's a mark of a true performer.
"True To Your Heart" from Mulan
I think Taufik ran out of steam by this part. It wasn't very inspired or inspiring, but he did very well in picking a final song that showed him back in his own skin - and he's always comfortable in Stevie Wonder items. All in all, he's definitely in the final two.
"Music Of The Night" from The Phantom Of The Opera
Kaoz. I don't know how to say this nicely. IT SUCKED. I've loved this song since I was 11 years old. It's a beautiful Micheal Crawford classic that's supposed to make you, for the first time, see a tender side of the Phantom. And come ON. Do you really think Sylvester can compete with Micheal Crawford's original - Micheal Crawford!! A world-class opera singer!! If Sylvester wasn't so damned lovable and boy-boy cute, I would have caught him in my Punjab Lasso and strung him up like Joseph Buquet. Or garrotted him like Piangi. *whips out half cut-off mask* (Ok, that last line was probably only for Tzo and Vicki.) How, HOW could anyone make such a BAD choice, I don't know. It isn't enough that he's only a pseudo-rocker and has bad diction? Truly, the only reason I'm still nice about him is because as a person he always seems so mild and sweet. But that performance was PAINFUL, alright? PAINFUL. He didn't know nuts about the genre, and it was such a waste because he could have done so well singing one of his pseudo-rock songs. All along he very wisely catered to a demographic of healthy, enthusiastic voters - the little Chinese girls. But today he tried to get to a different crowd and succeed in scaring the pants off the rest of us. A chandelier should have fallen right on top of him - that would have ended the trauma. Or the Singpore Idol backdrop, at least. Really, I'm quite sad now.
"Picture Of You" from Snow Day
Ok, needless to say this was a big improvement from the last performance. Not a great effort, however. He looked very worn out and slightly constipated. Mum says it's because he knows he's an obvious step down from both Olinda and Taufik. That might be right, but he's really very popular in his own right, so I can't say that he should be worried. But back to the song, I didn't like the idea that a so-called rocker like him was singing a Boyzone song. Isn't there some unwritten rule against rock dudes singing boyband songs? It was also a bit wierd that he finished the whole deal off by pointing at the audience in a "ooh, I have so much attitude!" way and flashing around the "Metal" sign. \m/!
"Kiss From A Ross" from Batman Forever
OOOKKK. By now you've probably already realised how dangerous it is (at least on this blog) for anyone to sing a song that En Ying loves. And En Ying loves this song too. She used to loop it on her computer when she was 13. There was nothing remarkable about this performance, however, and at times it was only what I could call zao siah. His diction was also, as Dick Lee said, getting "worser-er and worser-er". "Bay-BEHH, I KOMpared You To A KEESE From A Rozz!" One word: alamak.
So now, after that analysis, I honestly have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. And I can't find a good reason to vote. Taufik is a great performer but doesn't have an Idol voice. Olinda has an Idol voice, but the least drawing power and marketability of the three. Sylvester turned in a miserable night and has no stamina, but has this uncanny knack of making people fall in love with his personality.
HOW?!? What am I supposed to do now?
Oh, I know, I'll study proprietary estoppel.
[6 photographs developed.]
Wednesday, 17th November '04
The Return Of The Mad Blogger
Exchange applications were madness today. I couldn't have survived without Limin (checking my personal statement) and Liang (uploading the stuff when my computer decided to die on me).
And anyways, has anyone noticed that my blogging rate varies directly with the proximity of the blogging date to the exams?
But on to happier things. That last entry there seemed to have been rather well-received, hee hee. So here I go again, and here's another translated Jay Chou gem (don't laugh, but I like this song! Really! I like a lot of his songs lah) with appropriately inserted snide remarks. The tendency seems for me to poke fun at his rappy less-than-serious songs because, well, some of his songs are great to mess around with in English, but are so well written in Chinese that I can't bear to be mean about them in any form. Once again, I applaud the translator (no, not me! My Chinese is far from half as powerful) for the exellent work done.
So here you have it, a fantasy themed song that I found so fun but so strange when I first heard it that Dage had to explain that it was from the Warcraft soundtrack. *rolls eyes* . Yeah, so I'm going to use my very limited Warcraft experience (I think I have played for a grand total of one hour) to try and make sense of the following mess. Anyways, let's stop mooshing around (some of us have work to do!) and get it on with...
半獸人 (a.k.a. "The Orcs")
No longer have pure white souls; from mankind degenerates to become Orcs
-- *voice drips with sarcasm* Now the ONLY thing I don't understand is why "Orcs" begins with a capital "O". Oh wait, I know. My Warcraft shifu Mr Shaun said that Orcs are a race of people or something. It's like how "Man" must have a capital "M".
I start to use the first person narative
To write down all the things that happens in front of my eyes
-- Oh alright, these lines sounded good in Chinese. Bleugh.
I take delight in the early morning that wakes the blood forest
Any invasion becomes a possibility
I use the ancient incantation to repeat
-- On the other hand, these lines were equally useless in Chinese.
Sing soul prelude to find base facing the dark side's kiss
I turn around so as to not get polluted; maintain the pure white symbol
And then turn back into humans
-- Fickle, sia. I don't remember my Men turning into Orcs and vice versa. But when the ACBC Kai can play the game as the Undead, anything's possible, I guess.
-- Now, whatever you think of me after, I do have a soft spot for the chorus, ok? It's honestly not all that bad. It's very reflective of, well, Orcs.
讓我們 半獸人 的眼神 單純
Let us, the Orcs, souls toss.
-- Wha...? *imagines flying Orc spirits* *shudders* And by the way, the LOTR Orcs are PRETTY compared to Warcraft Orcs with their coarsely pixelated features.
Pack up brutality
The process of beast's memories decaying
Let us, the Orcs, expression of the eyes pure
And not greedily wanting eternity only loyal to violence
讓我們 半獸人 的靈魂 單純
Let us, the Orcs, souls toss.
The war that can never be finished
Let us, the Orcs, expression of the eyes pure
I use the humble identity
Towards the far anciently existing god
-- Wait. There are GODS in Warcraft? The altar only summons heros, right?
Tears boiling, the abnormal ice cold wind
The sounds from the hoofs of a horse, lets people sleep unsafe and insecure
I am waiting for the soul prelude to be completed
Leading fellow clansmen to write down the prayer
-- You lost me, bub. Have you become a human again?
That town, sacrificing meaninglessly
-- I think it was at this point that Dage started to wonder why my little peasants were happily walking into his territory, completely unarmed and so NOT on a peasant rush. Muahahaa. Damn you, Shaun, and your terrible advice.
Fire burning war, the altar is starting to sink
-- Yes, I remember very painfully what it felt like when my first hero died in the line of duty. *sniff*
I am waiting for the offspring of the fellow clansmen to become aware
We proceed south to start to open up the earth again
-- So he's finished opening the sky (c.f. "Long Quan") and starts on the earth. What's left for him to open next? The sea? Oh, whatever.
Yeah, that's it. Enjoy. I'm going back to Property for the millioneth time this week. Yeuch.
[5 photographs developed.]
Tuesday, 16th November '04
I discovered Chinese music on Ares and went on a little Wang Lee Hom / Jay Chou downloading spree. It's impossible to get full albums, though, and I'm sure some of these files were put up there by American-born Chinese or something - half the files are translated, some well and some not. In fact, some of these files have gosh-awful names that go something like this:
"Good Heart Break Up" - hao xin fen shou
"Forever The First Day" - yong yuan de di yi tian
"Love Before the Century" - ai zai xi yuan qian
"Common Jasmine Orange" - qi li xiang
"Star Love" - xing qing That's a wrong translation anyway, even I know that.
"Cannot Speak" - kai bu liao kou
"Impossible To Miss You" - bu ke neng cuo guo ni
"Tornado (Chinese) Dope Song" - long juan feng I kid you not.
"Two People Are Not Equal To Us" - liang ge ren bing bu deng yu wo men
"Not Your Average Thug" - Oh wait, that IS an English song. But it's so horrible it might as well not be. It's sad, really, because Wang Lee Hom writes good R&B music but has HORRIFIC English lyrics. "I have love for the ghetto"?? What the heck?! You're CHINESE!! This song is so wannabe Black it's almost BLINESE!
But perhaps the greatest travesty of all is that you can barely find any files under the name "Jay Chou". What you will find, however, are a LOT of files credited to "Jay ChoW". These can really only have been uploaded by the same people who call fried noodles "Chow Mein" and have that questionable and inexistant-in-Chinese-culture fortune cookie after every meal.
And while I was on a roll (i.e. wasting time not-studying) there, I found one of the most ridiculous sounding translations since Britney Spear's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" was translated into Spanish and back into English again and became "Strike myself, small children, a time second". *falls over laughing*.
Ok, granted this Jay Chou song has been translated very painstakingly and detailedly and is actually quite accurately done if you know the original song (yes, Gnet, I'm sure you do). Mind you, I like this song too, and I don't mean to take away from the great work done by the translator. But still, I think it just highlights that thing we learnt about the problems of languages in Comparative Legal Traditions. Translations, no matter how well done, just don't work. You won't understand a shit until you understand the language, culture and context. But enough talk, let's get the laughing started.
"龍拳" (a.k.a. "Dragon Fist")
By means of Dunhuang as the eastnorth east centre of a circle this nation's coastal line is like a bow.
-- Um. OOOKKKKK.
That Great Wall is like ever since 5000 years ago it has been waiting for the shooting dream.
I use my arms to pull away the weight of this whole land.
-- Indeed, Atlas.
跨越黃河 東 登上泰山頂 峰
我向西 引北風 曬成一身古銅
The Mongolia north plateau; the wind that descends from it writes what contents.
After all, do you understand Chinese characters?
-- Not when they've been turned into this!
The same skin colour and face I stride over the yellow river
I ascend the top of Mount Taishan
The peak I face west, I draw the eastern wind
It tans my whole body bronze
-- This part in the original is really quite a cool musical piece of work. *sigh*
I am longing for my blood vessels to communicate with each other; an infinite number of thousands of brothers
-- I warrant, this is my favourite line EVER.
I take the sky and ground and tear open the seal and I take the Changjiang River and draw it empty
People in the middle of the ancient river-bed undergoes a transformation
-- Into DRAGONS??
把 山河重新移動 填平裂縫
將 東方 的日出調整了時空
回到洪荒 去支配 去操縱
我 右拳打開了天 化身為龍
那 大地心臟洶湧 不安跳動
全 世界 的表情只剩下一種
My right fist opens the sky; incarnate into dragon
-- *dissolves into hopeless giggles*
Take the mountain and rivers and start to move them again
Fill up the cracks, take the east sunrise and adjust the whole time period
Go back to primitiveness to dominate, to control
My right fist opens the sky; incarnate into dragon
That Earth's heart turbulent, restless beating
The whole world's expression there is only one kind left
Waiting for a hero, I am that dragon
Yes, En Ying the dragon must go to bed now. Must rest up my blood vessels for another round of communication tomorrow.
[5 photographs developed.]
Friday, 12th November '04
Yessss *Hisses Viciously*
Yesss! to these little joys:
1. Starbucks's new Toffee Nut Latte. Mel (Ng) and I were quite contentedly sipping away in Starbucks today.
2. Getting a decent amount of dance stuff settled. Going to start calling choreographers tomorrow. Good thing Julius suggested a stage presence / acting class thing too. He's right, Jeffrey and Xujie weren't too happy with our dancers because we weren't able to emote well. Can Aud, Ave, Bec or Siti or anyone send me TC's number again? I lost it with my phone, and I need to either ask him if he'll take the workshop or recommend someone.
3. Daphane getting voted out. Humm dee dum. I'd like to think my clever engineering of my votes did it, but we'll never know *wink*
4. Finishing the bloody C.L.T. paper. What kind of 100% exam question asks you to set an exam question and explain why it's a good one?!
5. My haircut. Has been getting rather nice reviews.
6. Me possibly convincing Dad to watch Shark Tale with me tomorrow. *laughs*
Nooo!!! to these horrors:
1. My earholes closing up. I just jammed my fat ear studs in again. Yeow.
2. My new mini-hifi thing not working the way it should and coming without a manual. Basket. Must go and change.
3. Me actually going to the shop to buy the BSB DVD and then being too kiam siap to spend the money. What's up with me, man, I already put that amount aside. Hrrmph.
Alright, off to watch the SI results show proper! (Only got the results, you see.)
[5 photographs developed.]
Take A Deep Breath And Jump Right In
I have to get the stress of tomorrow's exam off my mind. Hence another entry.
I have rediscovered Chen Xiao Dong music. Ha! I don't know why either. I just picked the CD from the fast-gathering-dust pile in my room. I bought that CD in 1998 - the time I still consider the Golden Age of Chinese pop (perhaps the only one who approximates that now is Jay Chou). I still like it. That's nice to know.
C.L.T. sucks. Grr. I agree with Grace's MSN nick: "I want to kick Glenn in the thingamajigs". Glenn wrote the main text we're using by the way. He's not all bad, but he's got a slightly annoying condescending way of writing about the common law and he likes to try to inject his pseudo-humourous little one-liners all over the place in endless paratheses. He's not entirely un-funny either, but it doesn't help when you're in a rush to finish the readings the ambitious (or maybe just over-enthusiastic) Prof. Bell has set us on the module. His little lame jokes and interjections waste a significant amount of time.
By the way, I'm getting all my incoherence and subject-hopping out of the way before I have 4 hours to write a 1200 word essay on a subject I know nothing about, on a early Friday morning - yes, that's tomorrow. *has a bad taste in mouth* So do forgive the mess that is this entry.
Winston's MSN nick is also very much on point tonight: "Ji Tao Sian".
Am glad I'm getting out of the house tomorrow on an errand unrelated to studies. Going to meet Mel to discuss some Dance Camp stuff. I actually think getting to call and get personally acquainted with Singapore's cool dance choreographers would be fun.
Singapore Idol today was rather "hmm". No one was a stunner, although Olinda's Coco Lee song was largely impressive. For once I agreed with Douglas O when he told Daphane that "two bad songs don't make a right", but as it came to it again, Dick and Florence loved her and Ken Lim was cryptic and unfathomable but on the not-too-happy side. I did feel a bit annoyed that Dick criticised her for her poor Chinese diction - for one thing, there were many more things to criticise about that performance, and for another, they never said this was Singapore Mother Tongue Idol. The girl didn't even grow up in Singapore, so what do you really expect? (See, to some extent I can be objective too!) Taufik didn't really shine in my opinion (but that's very likely because I know nothing about Malay pop) and was disturbingly nasal; Sylvester was also just generally good (i.e. I like to see him sing Chinese songs, Jay Chou ones too!).
Once again, I don't see anyone but Daphane deserving to go home, but I'm too tired and preoccupied with more important things (C.L.friggin'T.) to launch into the superlatives. I'm bored of saying how much I think she doesn't deserve to be there - but honestly, at the rate the thing is going I predict she'll win!
Tonight I think my vote breakdown goes like this:
Oli - 4; Sylvester - 1; Taufik - 1.
Another MSN nick gem has come out of Grace: "Merry had a little man...": Merryman is the author of our main book on the Civil Law. He's not too bad lah.
Must go to bed now. Will be back to blog on the horrors of the paper and the novelty of my first online exam! One comment though: it's rather strange that we have to do a 4 hour paper online probably because it's too tiring for us and the invigilators to all be cooped up in a room for 4 hours at a time. But then because it's an online paper, Prof. Bell said that the question only takes 2 hours to complete and the other 2 hours are buffer time in case the system messes up. 2 hours, then, could well be invigilated. Ironic, much?
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Tuesday, 9th November '04
I Said "Damn", Dammit.
There's gotta be a tumour in my humour today (thanks, Mr Williams). What else could explain that title?
But anyway, last day of kiddie tours today, and a good thing too. Even though I had fun, waking up so early to trek sweatily around the CBD isn't something I like doing with my exams hanging over my head. Pay day too! Gave mum and dad some cake money (I always feel good when I can do that, even if it's a miniscule amount), and will give myself a treat of a Backstreet Boys DVD the next time I go to Orchard.
But despite promising myself never to curse in front of small kids and holding it in for the past two days, my resolve broke. I told them the incense sticks at the Yue Hai Qing temple were spiral because they had to burn for 72 hours and if they weren't spiral they would be "DAMN LONG". And then in horror I realised the evil I had unleashed from my filthy mouth and stopped in a petrified silence. I waited for the inevitable chorus of giggles and a cacophony of reproachful "HHHOOOOORRRRRRR..."s.
Seems like the poor kiddos were too tired out from the long LONG walk to even notice what I was saying. So I got away easy. It didn't seem to bother the parent-volunteer either. Funny, I would definately have picked up on that when I was 10. Either the morals of the kids are going down the drain or me and my classmates were just huge prudes.
Well, with that money, Grace and I went down to this expensive-looking jewellry shop and promptly refused to spend anything. And there I had taken a shine to this impressive pair of green-blue crystal earings. Oh well. I don't think I can really incur anymore liabilities right now, and 55 bucks for a pair of earings on a whim just isn't a me thing to do when I have my sights set on a new acoustic plug-in guitar, a BSB DVD, the Return of the King DVD, saving money for my Tshirt business and the new O.C. soundtrack. Yes, that's my Christmas wishlist, by the way.
And then had an interesting lunch with the Undergrads Alliance (Linus roped most of them in for the tourguiding thing). I made a mistake about asking about what the Alliance really did, and then go treated to a long lecture about financial planning and how insurance policies are riping the common man off and how they can help. On one hand, I suppose they succeeded in making me feel inadequate - these guys earn about $6000 a month in commissions while still in school, if anyone's seen their interview in the Straits Times (Linus, Terence and Don, I think) - they've all already got cars or are getting one within the year. It's definately impressive, but well, I guess we all have to balance what we want in life, yeah? I couldn't help but feel that BenKoh might be interested in meeting Linus though. And all in all, it was one good lunch in that I got to see things from a very different perspective than I've known thus far. And the curry chicken noodles weren't half bad either.
Right then, this girl has actually got to try and study.
[1 photograph developed.]
Early Morning When I Wake Up, I Look Like Kiss Without The Make-Up.
Frankly, I don't know what Kiss looks like without make-up. Probably scarier, if that's possible. Major kudos to JY for recognising the lyrics!
Yay! I finally settled on a new CD player since my old OLD hi-fi got sold to the karang-guni-po-zhua-dian-xi-kee! uncle for a whopping sum of 15 dollars. It's quite a pretty laser-y and silvery looking thing. I actually wanted a prettier one with a funky as heck CD deck opening mechanism, but this one had more functions for the same price.
I have also bought a new CD! Quite a miracle for me, all things considered. Robbie Williams, you should be very proud of yourself. The greatest hits album is very listenable. And the pictures are so creative. And it's nice to see the various sides to you all in one place. You are also the luckiest singer alive because "Angels" was the one song that Christopher Micheal Lee did not butcher in Singapore Idol. (Darn, can't I go just one post without blogging about Singapore Idol?)
Got a raise for the tour guiding job, somehow. It now pays 50 bucks per session. Wonder what inspired the change. I get paid to drag little kiddies around the CBD area for about an hour and watch a (it's actually very nicely directed. I don't say spectacularly, but definately very nicely directed) Hokkien film by Roystan Tan over and over again. I think that's good stuff.
Gotta mug gotta mug gotta mug! I'm so screwed.
[1 photograph developed.]
Saturday, 6th November '04
A State Of Mixed-Uppedness
This is what is going through my head right now:
1. I'm feeling strangely comfortable and safe, yet nostalgic because I'm listening to the Backstreet Boys' Greatest Hits album. The feeling is nice. I'm reminded of all the joy of my youth (I am very proudly of the BSB generation, though not a teeny bopper in any imaginable way) and the incredible likeness my little Backstreet Men bore to the real fellas. I remember freaking out at AJ's upside down Satanic cross when I was in Pri 6. I remember that I had to buy another first album CD for Mich after she literally wore hers out and we discovered, quite intriguingly, that Kevin and AJ's pictures were swapped in the newer edition and that if she kept it long enough, the mistake would probably make the thing a collector's item. I still think "Get Down" is a song that makes me feel like dancing, although looking back on old vids, the just-post-80's-but-we're-so-not-the-next-NKOTB thing is hilarious in retrospect. And when Brian sings "I'm feeling heaven..." it STILL sounds like "I'm feeling Kevin..." But I'm missing awaiting new releases from them.
2. I'm feeling mildly guilty about Daphane-bashing (thanks Siao Charn and Bec. hee) because I know I have no proof of anything I allege or have heard through the grapevine - apart from the visual and audible proof of her underservedness in continuing. But I'm also adamant that public figures are there to be talked about and it was only her choice to put herself up there to be criticised.
3. I'm proud of myself for doing quite a bit of studying today, and finally understanding how the rules against perpetuities and legal v. equitable property rights work.
4. I'm determined to wake up tomorrow to test out my waffle-maker once and for all, so that I can actually make dear ol' Broken Leg Ben waffles like I was supposed to. Oh, dear, his cast might already be off tho'. Must check up on that.
5. I'm smiling as I hear the opening strains of BSB's "The Call" because it makes me think of Qiong. I miss Qiong. Not that I don't miss the rest of my overseas friends, but Qiong's just the latest one I lost to the dark side.
6. I'm both happy and jealous of Kai and Gnet. Kai for her great new temp job, and Gnet because her exams are over! And I want to see them both VERY SOON.
7. I am suffering from movie-withdrawal. I NEED to see Shark Tale.
8. I am pleased with myself for finally starting the 717Mb task of downloading Cabin Fever. If Tzo knows who's in this show, I will probably have to burn her a CD soon.
9. I am undecided as to whether to go guitar shopping tomorrow. Linus (Wong) says $400 bucks is a good price for a Yamaha, but I really don't think I'm up to that. And do I really want to tackle the potentially sneering and know-it-all guitar dudes at Peninsula yet?
10. I'm a little bit apprehensive of the next tour-guiding job; please don't let me get lost, Lord.
11. I'm stressed about qualifying for exchange. Vicki, I may never get to see you again if I don't perform some kind of miracle in the coming exams.
12. I am craving for some food of some sort, but I don't know what it is. Maybe that chicken pie just wasn't enough of a dinner.
13. I love my new pirated-Mogu doggie. But I miss my real old doggie so, SO much more. I am also aware that I might have transferred my intense need for a little creature to love to a bead-filled sack of cloth.
14. I want to do some community service. Should sign up with the SPCA or the DHFS (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Federation, Singapore) in the hols.
15. I want to travel. I can't wait for the Aussie trip to come, and I pray that the financial situation at home will be supportive of that.
16. I am still residually happy and only very slightly guilty about something that only Tzo knows about.
Now, if I had anymore thoughts and emotions flowing through me right now, I'm sure I would have gone mad.
[1 photograph developed.]
Alright. I Surrender.
A quick one because I'm really running of of things to say about Singapore Idol. It seems this is all I blog about because, well, it's the only distraction I have besides mugging. And because I spent odd moments of today bitching with Liang and Weihong about Daphane and the disasterous fact that she...
IS STILL FRIGGIN' IN THE COMPETITION.
Alright, I surrender, Daphane is going to be the Singapore Idol and when I go to any other country with an Idol franchise I will introduce myself like this: "Hi, I'm En Ying from Singapore and YES, I am ashamed of our Singapore Idol too".
I've repeated this ad nauseum, but Singapore Idol is a farce simply because of the teeny tiny voting population. They should make it like an election. Everyone gets only one vote and it's free. Then we'll see who's laughing.
I was sad to see Leandra go today, because it struck me how young she is (16? 17?) and how maturedly she took it all. You could tell it took a huge amount of control to smile right through to the end and to sing her swansong with full effort still. She wasn't a champion in terms of voice, but she had it all there in attitude. It was heartbreaking to watch the rest of the contestants hug her and yet see her keep her focus on the performance.
Daphane on the other hand, is young but still annoying, still can't sing nor emote for shit, and is still sustained (to the best of my knowledge and common belief) by her filthy rich family and extended family. Apart from one probably too soft-hearted Hanting, I don't know a single person who thinks she should still be here. Good golly. It's like watching Carmen Rasmussen in American Idol all over again., except that Carman (for all her lack of ability to sing) was actually likeable. I actually don't know why I'm so annoyed by this. Maybe I need something to fixate on to distract myself from the impending papers. Maybe I need an inspiration and Daphane, but making me very grumpy, is actually an inspiration of sorts. Kinda the same way my PRC customer from hell was in February two years back. I need to get really frustrated about something for any semblance of humour and passion to spring forth from my loins. Ok, eek, that was a really strange sentence.
Most of all, I think, Singapore Idol gets to me because it comes across as a high profile reflection of our arts and music scene. It was a big deal for Singapore to get the franchise rights, and so far the producers have been doing as best they can with our limited resources. The contestants have done their part too, I'm sure, if only in their own interests. So Singapore Idol should be showing the world what we can do, given a world-class scheme and a rather large budget. The only people that are screwing it all up, are (surprise, surprise) the local public with its lack of taste and unevenly distributed wealth. I'm also sometimes sure that people are voting along racial demographics (how else do you explain Jessea?). I so badly want a look at thos AC Nielson statistics now. How much of the population is actually being represented? I do not advocate a duty to vote, but I strongly oppose flooding the lines with calls simply because there are people who don't have that kind of financial ability. I hate the fact that other worthy people's dreams have been crushed in an untimely fashion simply because they don't come from wealthy backgrounds. And I'm freaking out now because we're so close to losing our only world class contender, Olinda. And because at the stage of the FINAL FOUR, we still have a contested that would make William Hung look like he has stage presence. In AI2 the fourth place went to Josh Gracin - can you SEE the difference yet???
Sigh, alright, in the interests of Daphane's reputation and protecting myself against allegations of defamation (heaven knows what the filthy rich family might do. Take me to court? Bring it on!) I don't know the girl, and I don't dislike her on a personal level. I only dislike everything I've seen so far and that is purely a personal opinion. Buy her CD, people! But only if you're deaf and blind 'cause that's the only way it'll be enjoyable. (Oh glory, I AM a bitch.)
Next week I will start spending more money on Olinda and Taufik. This situation is getting ridiculous.
[2 photographs developed.]
Thursday, 4th November '04
Since I Can't Negative Vote Daphane, I Will Now Vote For Everyone Else. Hmmph.
Just returned from Mel's (Lwee) and Grace's (Tang) rooms. Was quite a fun time, watching Singapore Idol together in Mel's room, and very heartwarming because I realised we all have the same taste. Hanging out with Law people is the nicest part of staying in PGP, I think. Now I'm listening to cheesy Christmas songs and blogging.
And because tonight's Singapore Idol was so darned interesting - R&B - and somehow almost everyone was in their element tonight, and the standard shot up so much, I'm going to write another review.
The first word on the subject tonight however, will be an expression of my intense joy that Daphane will Leave The Competition tomorrow. Unless she jerryongs her way into the next round, of course. This time there was such a clearcut difference between her and the other contestants that even the seemingly bought judges couldn't do anything but warn her that she was walking on thin ice. HA! Again, because I know Singapore is such a tiny country and some friend of hers or even the girl herself might chance upon this, I make no judgment as to her character or private life beyond a rather malicious - but I think not entirely unevidenced - speculation that her parents are paying people to vote her in. Oh heck, it's not a speculation, it's an accepted-as-the-truth fact in still-very-bitter-about-the-loss-of-Chinhao law school. Still, I'm sure she's a nice enough person in real life, but I just don't think she's of Idol material, and while she can hold a tune, has a vocal quality akin to a tickle-me-elmo doll. And I dare anyone to contradict me on this.
The long and short of the rest of the review: Taufik blew me away, and I've actually been converted to a Taufik shipper! If he keeps improving like this, he will be in the final two with Olinda and will be a very strong and worthy contender. Olinda, marvellous opening song, predictable but nonetheless a totally-steady-pom-pee-pee *shudder* closing song. Sylvester, decent first song and decidedly wierd closing song. Leandra, completely unremarkable opening song bordering on bad, sufficiently entertaining closing song.
Opening Song - Stevie Wonder's "Superstition"
A classic done and done proudly. You know how some cover versions of a song destroy the song (like T.A.T.U's cover of the Smith's "How Soon Is Now"), some covers simply do a song justice (like Ronan Keating's "If Tomorrow Never Comes"), some covers better the original (like that Reggae version of Elvis' "Fools Rush In") and some are so amazing that the original artist is moved to tears by the cover (like Clay's performance of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire"). Well this one was at least at the middle or better of the spectrum. It was an amazing performance for Taufik and I don't think Wonder would have anything to complain about hearing Taufik do this one. Also, he exuded more than enough stage presence to finally be worthy of being in an Idol competition. I have to take my hat off to him, as Dick Lee said, because he really has been improving by leaps and bounds, has learnt to pick songs that suit him, and his range is getting really huge. He even did a great performance of "Moondance" at last week's "Big Band" themed final, and a couple of weeks ago his "September" was great too. I now love that he's a chameleon and does every single genre now the way that it should be. He captures the spirit and the essence of each song and I have to say, I really never saw it coming out of him.
Closing Song - Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"
Another stunner from this fella. The falsetto was almost impeccably controlled, and it was such a slick, confident show. Once again, the presence was all there. Very very very good. I could have done without so many trills, but I guess we can't have it all.
Opening Song - Des'ree's "You Gotta Be"
Useless. Boring, uninspired and insipid. You gotta be going home, girlie.
Closing Song - R Kelly / Celine Dion's "Angel"
In a word, bleugh. Unfocused and zero for interpretation. Ken Lim got it right when he said "I'm going to do you a favour and not say anything."
Opening Song - All 4 One's "I Swear"
A more than decent job for him, I thought, although the judges were a little tentative in their comments. I enjoyed the treatment he gave it, for once being sure enough of himself to not try to do overdo the rock thing, and actually remembering the genre. I actually like him much better when he's not doing the pseudo-poser "I am rocker, hear me rock" act.
Closing Song - Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body"
Sylvester Sim!! Are you mad?? Justin Timberlake?!? (At least that's what went through my mind when the opening strains started playing) On the whole this song is one I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I don't like the song much, and neither do I particularly love Timberlake's original voice. Still, when Sylvester tried his hand at this one I came to appreciate the song for its techincal side. It was kind of like Elton John night in American Idol 3. The struggle the contestants had with his songs really reflected how hard the songs must be to sing and to make look effortless. Sylvester was struggling with this one, you could see the concentration written on his face. He missed a lot of the high notes and didn't get the Timberlake groove on at all. On the other hand, it was nice to see him giving a damn (c.f. Disco Night) and it was, no doubt, entertaining. He did do good beatbox - and we all know Timberlake is the KING of that and isn't an easy act to follow. And when Sylvester ended it all, I was forcefully reminded of an unpolished Jay Chou - an observation which send the whole room into peal of laughter. The bottomline: it was bad in an endearing sort of way.
Opening Song - Karyn White's "Superwoman"
Olinda is, of course, vocally the strongest in the competition - her only problem being a tad too alto for the mainstream. This was a very VERY refreshing move for her, as she conveyed the emotions of the song and the tenderness of it is a way completely unlike herself. It was a like for a moment we saw her step out of her shoes and assumed another persona. And it was a well-timed move too. I was getting very tired of strong powerhouse performances that were all of the same character.
Closing Song - Aretha Franklin's "Rescue Me"
And Oli goes back to the old style. Solid show, nonetheless, but it's come to be well-expected of her.
I can't remember the title of the song. This was a very safe performance bodering on the bad and boring. If Daphane's rich connections pick up the phone enough, Leandra is going to be in some trouble.
Closing Song - Alicia Keys' "Falling"
Obviously one has quite a work on one's hands if one is going to do a Keys song, but I was quite pleasantly surprised to note that she did it well. Emoting was a little off and I didn't believe that she felt the song or really understood it. BUT, the vocal's were credible and the slickness was there. Pitch wasn't any problem at all and although she's been a little under par lately, she deserves one more week on the show.
Argh. Long reviews make me tired. Shall blog about my first tour guiding job another day.
[3 photographs developed.]