Monday, 20th November '06
Just for the record - and it's going to be a lousy sort of record because I can't be too explicit.
Limin and I have a bet going. The wager is one decent dinner. Limin's bet is that event X will happen within exactly 122 days from event Y. The day count begins on the date that event Y takes place, i.e. Day 1 = day event Y happens. The 122nd day ends at 11.59.pm, 122 days after event Y.
I have taken this bet with a corresponding wager. I.e. if event X does not happen within aforementioned time frame, Limin owes me dinner.
We think we're mature and dong de zhuo ren enough not to need to haggle out the price of dinner right now.
Just so you know, the results of this will be out around October / November 2007.
Yeah, we think long term.
[2 photographs developed.]
Sunday, 19th November '06
I've never really thought about tracking how many people watch which of my youtube videos. But I've lately noticed some trends. They're not exactly thought-proking, but they can be surprising. Here are my most popular videos, as ranked only by the number of hits they've gotten on youtube.
Seriously, for some of these you'd wonder who in their right minds would click on these links. I'm talking about the perfect strangers, the people who are not otherwise affiliated with these videos, of course.
1. Jamie Cullum performing Kanye West's Golddigger
-- 3679 hits, average video rating 4/5, 7 comments from total strangers.
I don't think this is surprising; he is a celebrity after all. And it is a very entertaining piece of work. Credit to Gerri, though. The Jamie Cullum vids are all her.
2. Hockey Fight 1
-- 1345 hits.
Again, not too strange. This was a amateur league game, and a very popular sport. Halifax Mooseheads v. St John's Fog Devils, not too obscure. And it was a good fight. Haha. Not my vid though. Someone got it from someone, I forget the details. But from now on you can expect things to get a little weirder.
3. Teething Dinos
-- 1166 hits, average video rating 2/5, 1 comment from a total stranger.
A rather inane home video of Qiong, Vic, Ningz, Tzo and I fooling around with toy dinosaurs in the gift shop of the American Museum of Natural History during the Christmas 2005 trip to New York. It beats me why anyone but us would watch this at all. And I'm scared of myself in this one.
4. Hockey Fight 2
-- 891 hits.
Like I said, this getting a lot of hits is not a big deal. This vid is mine though; you can hear Tina yelling enthusiastically.
5. Under the Boardwalk
-- 653 hits, average video rating 5/5.
I may have caused the disproportionate interest in this video by placing inappropriate meta tags. But not too shocking. Nice a capella in the New York Sub.
6. Little Drummer Boy
-- 587 hits.
Now THIS is a shocker. One would not have expected Chris and Andre's unfortunate carolling incident at Kenneth's party (also New York, Christmas 2005) to attract this much attention.
7. Mitsubishi & Kwasha
-- 248 hits.
I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone who wasn't forced to watch these clowns for 2 hours (as she queued up for a completely not worth it skate at the Rockefellar Center) would want to watch this.
8. Karaoke at Domus
-- 79 hits.
Now, who would not want to watch Derek, drunk as a skunk, proclaiming to the whole Pogue Fado (resident pub of the domus legis, aka "house of law", aka Dalhousie Law School drinking society) that he is "an asshole". The guy's actually pretty nice, but it WAS halloween. And as is anything else in Halifax, as good a reason as any to get smashed.
9. Chelsea Movie Making
-- 64 hits.
Potentially people looking for the English football club and/or gay porn (Chelsea being a New Yorkian gay district). Must have been disappointed to find only Pooch and Penguin and a vodkaed-up Qiong instead.
10. Tuan Yuan Fan
-- 58 hits.
Probably accessed by people who want a quick lesson by Vicki on the steamboat food we had prepped for the tuan yuan fan (Chinese New Year, Halifax 2006).
And now it is time for bed.
[3 photographs developed.]
Thursday, 16th November '06
Whoever programmed the module registration computeres in the law school computer cluster deserves to be bludgeoned in his bed.
WHAT PART OF "EUROPEAN UNION LAW ENDS ON 16 FEBRUARY AND TOPICS IN IP LAW (D) BEGINS ON 27 FEBRUARY THEREFORE THEY DO NOT CLASH" DOES HE NOT UNDERSTAND?
So now he has to reprogramme the system when they shut down for lunch. I am forced to make my long way home to Bedok and then bleeding hell COME BACK to the BTC at 2pm so I can register my modules.
The computer cluster lady dares to tell me "Doesn't matter right? You'll be in school anyway!"
I'm not going to f***ing be in school. I'm going HOME. Unlike her, I have a life. Sigh, it's not her fault, but I'm not above killing the messenger.
It's probably a disproportionate reaction but, I'd like to smash every tooth in the damn programmer's head.
Excuse me, I've been listening to too many of Stephen Patrick Morrissey's florid desperate-depressive lyrics.
And I'm having my period. My uterus is falling out. It is impossible to be nice and/or patient on a day like this.
[1 photograph developed.]
Tuesday, 14th November '06
Gramophone Is Bad for My Wallet
So you think us "Join the Revolution" types (see Universal Music v. Sharmaan Licensing Ltd, "The Kazaa Case") are breaking the music industry? I'll have you know I spent a very generous $67.60 at the Gramophone (Scotts Shopping Centre) Clearance Sale today.
Something I like a lot about Gramophone is that they are a nice little accessible franchise which sells good music at good prices. Unlike HMV and Tower Records, which sell good music at terrible prices and Sembawang Music and CD Rama which sell bad music at good prices.
Allow me to display the spoils of war. I will also do some price comparisons because I need to justify that I have not let myself and my POSBank account down tonight.
I am now the proud new owner of:
1. Gipsy Kings Live -- Gipsy Kings
Gramophone Price: S$11.90
Amazon Price: US$11.98 = S$18.68
Amazon Average Customer Rating: 5/5
Hmm. Perhaps not as cheap a steal as I thought it would be. But I did need some world music education and the guys who sang "Bamboleo" can't be bad. And since watching the CSI episode "Snakes" a couple of days back, I've had a bit of an itch for Spanish / Mexi / Mariachi type stuff. This isn't quite the Narco Corridos (think gansta-mariachi, as Catherine Willows says) that CSI showcased, but well. It's hard to acquire this by any other means than purchase, really.
2. Lifeblood -- Manic Street Preachers
Gramophone Price: S$11.90
Amazon Price: US$14.49 = S$22.57
Amazon Average Customer Rating: 4/5
According to Wikipedia, this album isn't characteristic Manics, which is a little sad. I also just found out off Wikipedia that it's post-Richey James. Because I'm just getting to know the Manics beyond "If You Tolerate This (You Children Will Be Next)", this may or may not be the best way to start on them... learning about them first by their changed sound. Anyway, I jumped on this one for two reasons:
First, it was a case of choosing a CD by its cover. Which is far more legitimate than choosing a book by its cover, if you think about it. Artist get a lot more input in their album art than authors get in their covers. And the insides are great too. Glossy inserts (and I mean hard gloss, which gives Mac lip products a run for their money) and a blood spattered CD label. Yummy.
The other reason is this was the only Manics album available in the store, at least on the clearance sale list.
3. Hey Ho, Let's Go: The Anthology -- Ramones
Gramophone Price: S$16.95
Amazon Price: US$28.99 = S$45.15
Amazon Average Customer Rating: 4.5/5
The Godfather's of Punk. You don't really need to justify a $16.95 purchase of a 2CD greatest hits collection with 58 hit singles including titles like "Blitzkrieg Bop" (which makes me insanely happy each time I listen), "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "The KKK Took My Baby Away".
4. The Queen is Dead -- The Smiths
Gramophone Price: S$11.90
Amazon Price: US$14.99 = S$23.34
Amazon Average Customer Rating: 5/5
Wikipedia says, "... the record reached number two in the UK chart, and is now generally thought of as their best work. In 1989 SPIN magazine rated The Queen Is Dead as number one of "The Greatest Albums Ever Made." Subsequent "Greatest Albums" lists by numerous music publications have placed the album at the top or within the top ten, including the NME and Melody Maker. In June 2006, the NME even dedicated an entire issue to the twentieth anniversary of the record's release."
For rifling through clearance sale material with only a vague notion of what the Smiths were famous for, I consider I've done very well with myself.
5. The Very Best of the Smiths -- The Smiths
Gramophone Price: S$14.95
Amazon Price: US$15.95 = S$24.84
Amazon Average Customer Rating: 4/5
Because I'm a sucker for cheap greatest hits sets.
So, not a bad job, if I do say so myself. I've missed a lot of things about having real, tangible records in hand since the advent of this digital music phenomenon. The excitement of taking off the plastic wrapper for the first time and hoping against hope that that paper sticker you see is on the ouside of the wrap and not right on the CD case or, heaven forbid, the actual paper insert inside. The tenderness of fingering the jewel case ever so gingerly to avoid soiling it with prints. Placing the disc in the player. Easing the insert out of the 4 little semicircles of plastic holding it in place, enjoying the sensual nature of just touching it and admiring the texture and resolution. Opening the insert and crossing my fingers that all the lyrics are in there. Reading the song credits and appreciating the people behind the whole work, and learning that these people, the backup vocalists, the extra instruments, the producers, the sound engineers and guest musicians do exist. Reading the thank yous and shoutouts. Admiring the pinups and publicity shots. There's a tingly sense of personalness in owning a real object, and I admit, it's kinda nice.
Not least because I know that if the IPOS comes banging down my door, that's one work of art they can't take away from me.
The only downside, ironically enough, is that I feel mildly guilty. Like I betrayed something (besides my wallet). Someone once told me it should be against principles to pay for music. I never really believed that, but something still feels a bit like I sold out. A guilty pleasure, but who cares?
Ciao, I'm going to play with my new toys.
[6 photographs developed.]
En Ying's Chut Chut Adventure
Potentially a shuqingwen written in English, but I know y'all excuse my melodrama for the most part.
So there I was, in search of a gastronomic adventure. The family had gone to that Hong Kong Street branch at Bedok North Ave 3 for quite a while now, and we really hadn't done much in the way of venturing beyond XO fish slice beehoon and fish slice horfun. A previous attempt to order ham (yes, of mai ham! mai hum! fame) had gone awry because... well. Hong Kong Street had run out of ham. So today we decided to abadon the fish slice variants and opt for the sea cucumber duck, a slab of sting ray, and on a (rather big) whim, CHUT CHUT.
What's a chut chut, you ask. I suppose it's a cousin of the ham, lala, tutu and all other Chinese shellfish whose names bear more resemblance to a 2-month-old's repetition of monosyllabic utterings than anything else. Perhaps they name the silly, hapless looking creatures after the sound you end up having to make when you eat them - I don't know. You see, the chut chut is a little snail-like dude who makes his home in a conical spirally shell. His tail end (for lack of a more scientifically accurate word) is stuck to the sharp end of the shell and by the time he's cooked (in a stir fry of oil, chilli, chopped garlic and some other seasonings), his head end has shriveled up pretty deeply into the shell. Add this to the fact that a thin disc like piece of shell (more the texture of a prawn shell than a shellfish shell) covers the opening, this all just means that you have to put the one open end of the chut chut in your mouth and suck it for all your worth. Making a "chut chut" sound in the process.
It's all very unglam, of course. Picture a family of us making slurpy sounds with pointy shellfish sticking out between our lips.
It's also pretty strenuous work. So difficult, in fact, that I imagine rookie Geylang prostitutes might well be sent to Hong Kong Street outlets at Joo Chiat to practise their blow jobs on large chut chuts. I expect Dad had the same inkling, coz later on he said to please not tell anyone we ate chut chuts.
But I digress.
Now let me illustrate how difficult it is to eat a damn chut chut. First you have sort of inspect it to determine if its rotten. By the nature of the closed chut chut shell, you can't open it and see at a glance what you're eating until you suck on the end of it. It's not like ham. So if the chut chut is giving off a funny smell, I suggest you pick another piece. Next, you have to find a way to fit your lips around the shell opening. Human lips were meant for anything but chut chut eating. The shell's a funny irregular shape so you have to half purse, half pucker your lips over the opening. If that sounds contradictory, it's because it is. For me, a number of facial contortions ensued that would put Jim Carrey to shame.
Alright, so it's finally time to suck. You perverts. Here's the thing, it has to be controlled. You have to suck the chut chut bearing in mind that a little pool of hot oil has managed to gather in the deep recesses of the spiral shell, but it's now blocked by a combination of that disc piece in the front and garlic bits that have gotten in too. So as you suck, be sure to cap your glottis over your trachea to prevent choking. Ready, steady, slurp!!
My palette is hit with an oily, salty mix of gravy and garlic. BUT NO CHUT CHUT. Suck again. Nothing. AGAIN. Nothing. Damn you, you little piece of evolutionarily-inferior mollusc.
Mum says suck harder. Ok. SUCK. SUUCCKK. SSSSSUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKK. Nothing doing.
You know what, this sucks. (No pun intended)
I pick up the shell and it looks suspiciously empty. Either I have succeeded in eating the shrivelled little guy inside without even noticing, or there was never a little guy inside anyway. Oh, for the love of Mike.
Anyway, I go on to try a half a dozen other little guys and I get NOTHING. For all my efforts, not a single little chut chut waves a foot at me. Remember that I have no idea what a chut chut looks or tastes like yet. Because all I've seen are shells and oily gravy. It's doubly frustrating because Mum and Dad are having a fine time, getting nice pieces out of every shell. To rub salt on my chut chut (which I assume will disintegrate like a slug), they're laughing at me.
I wonder about inventing some chut chut eating tools. Like a tiny vacuum cleaner thing, or escargot picks, whatever they're called. Or a graduated corkscrew that can be inserted into the shell to skewer the chutchut and extract him.
On about the 8th or 9th piece we hit gold. A little skinny, dehydrated black thingie peeps out at me from the shell. Well HELLO THERE! I try to suck him out further but that's all he's gonna go. I get a toothpick from the auntie and with a lot of poking and prodding, he emerges, spiraling out of his shell.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT A CHUT CHUT LOOKS LIKE OUT OF HIS SHELL?? Utterly pathetic. It's not bloody and fat and juicy like a ham. It's not ugly like a topshell. It's looks like a piece of 4cm, gradient coloured package twine dipped halfway into chinese callligraphy ink and poked at with a yellow-green highlighter. It's coiled up in a helix and is so small you don't taste it while it's in your mouth and you only get a teeny bitter aftertaste when you swallow.
Needless to say I am very disappointed.
[5 photographs developed.]
Thursday, 9th November '06
Stop Smoking, Bambang!
I'll be the first one to admit some of Mr Brown's podcasts are a little bit superfluous, but this is freaking hilarious. It's been a long time since I last met Ruby... but her "Loong" impressions are rather amusing.
So do we really kiss the Mat Saleh backside? I guess we do. Sometimes. Most times.
Put out your damn cigarettes lah, Bambang.
[7 photographs developed.]
Hari Raya and the Prestige
Short one because I'm still feeling woozy and my sinuses feel like they've linked to my ear drums. Gahh..
The Hari Raya visiting was great... first time doing it so I felt a bit of an idiot. It's strange don't you think... 22 years in this country and I have never really had a proper Malay friend. I mean, one close enough to go visit for Raya. YAY SITI! Something to think about. I am now in love with Malay laksa, which was the main thing I kept chowing down as four girls around the table discussed everything from ayam panyet to how gays give better blow jobs than normal girls.
And then the Prestige last night... good movie. I liked the way they did the turn-of-the-century period drama part. Usually movies of that period feel drab and monotonous, but this was nicely done. Yes, Ave, Hugh Jackman is a pleasure to watch. No big reviews today because I don't have the energy or inspiration, but I did find an amusing picture / caption on the web:
Now, back to hearsay.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Friday, 3rd November '06
What I should be doing:
- Finishing Conflicts assignment
- Summarising IP cases
- Freaking out about Evidence
What I'm doing instead:
Discipline, thou hath forsaken me in my hour of need.
[1 photograph developed.]
Thursday, 2nd November '06
Zoot Suit Riot!
"A killer-diller coat with a drape shape, reet pleats and shoulders padded like a lunatic's cell."
-- Malcom X.
Are these not the most exciting clothes around?
Now I have my Halloween costume idea for next year, assuming I actually get off my ass and go to a Halloween party. Still mightily embarrassed for missing Sabrina's birthday cum Halloween thing invite (I am told by Seetoh that I missed a great night), and THEN missing her request for seat saving today. Eep.
Did you also know that in 1942 America the zoot suit was banned because it was deemed a waste of precious suiting material during wartime? I'm sure in today's times of luxury and excess it's going to come back in style.
"Zoot suit riot, throw back a bottle of beer!"
Oh of course I'm listenting to the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, what did you think?
[2 photographs developed.]