Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Whimsical Ruminations (WR) 3

Cliches
People diss cliches but the author has a fondness of some , like Swan Lake in October and The Nutcracker at Christmas, Gershwin on a midsummer's evening - so it's sentimental crap, so what?!


Good news - not blogging for the next month , see ya around christmas

WR2

Target Setting
People set targets for life, ever wonder what next after achieving the d'Yquems, the loft, the car? As a kid, the author dreamt of working for Conde Nast, dining at Maxim's, driving a Lamborghini, of course that was when Rupert Murdoch was a life idol . What's so different ? Well, Conde Nast became part of another huge American media empire, a bad episode of escargot and new culinary trends meant other restaurants were more desirable, a very publicised harold robbins series forever ruined the image of Lamborghini and Rupert Murdoch became a bully

ok, so targets named were all materialistic, but saying something like your aim is world peace is simply to aim to be a beauty queen (see Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality) . ever heard of an abstract target?

Whimsical Ruminations (WR) 1

Cooking
Cooking is not all about the end product( how else do you cook chianti beef when you don't eat beef) although a tasty product means the process is all the more theurapeutic

Frankly, for innocent friends, dishes may indicate if you're gonna be a target for a rant. Generally, the sweeter the dish, the worse the snit. When it comes to the chocoholic cheese cake (1/2 crust, 1/2 cheese), even best friends know it's stormy times ahead, why else would you combine maltesers, nestle crunch, oreos, cocopops to form part of a cheesecake, no amount of mascarpone's gonna counter that! When life's that bitter, you need lotsa sugar!

Monday, November 21, 2005

selective memory please!

saw an interview - chris patten is the chancellor?! (ok, so the author has a selective memory when it comes to bad news - if it's ironic, think about the hongkonger alumni )

if there were selective amnesia options, what would you forget? The author prefers to erase the last 28 years, not the friends though!

Frivolous musings

saw a telecast of the golden horse awards (the chinese oscars kinda) - just a thought ; zhou jie lun can act ?! he was his usual expressionless self throughout the movie (which was seriously bad btw) . btw, aaron kwok can act?! (aaron kwok can sing?!)

you know you've watched too many movies when you recognize the theme songs and the movie clips that accompanied the performance of all those songs

FiFa notes

It was amusing to note that the german player who won the world cyber games fifa challenge was better looking than many members of the german squad - the revenge of the nerds?!

Even more amusing was the mascot's lack of , erm, lowerbody accessories - mayhap a result of the recent Eu embargo on Chinese imports?!

The biggest slap however came in the form of the fact that the official beer of the world cup is gonna be american - oohh not pretty!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

That's Life2

The guy who makes you prefer the tv
Ever met a guy whose idea of interesting
conversation is to expound all his ideas and
opinions whilst you mutter polite nonsense then at
the end of that conversation (more like soliloquy),
he actually says "don't you have an opinion of your
own?!"


The only thing that saved that guy from bodily harm
was his height and the author's refusal to end up in
court due to this buffoon (who happened to be a
lawyer) . The lesson - being opinionated and having
an opinion are sometimes not too different?!

Bad movie experiences
Certain movies should not be watched by certain
people or at certain times. For example, don't let
those with pre-wedding jitters watch "war of the
roses" or "double jeopardy", those who are afraid of
working in tall buildings should probably avoid "the
towering inferno" and "die hard" . Avoid watching "
kama sutra" with medic students and don't watch "the
waves" if you're having dinner after the movie -
it's the only movie that'll probably cause sea-
sickness without you ever being near the sea (and
even if you've never been sea-sick before) . ooh and
avoid being the only female in a room full of guys
watching species- you'll be reminded of how ironic
that title can be!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

That's Life!

Life experiences that make you go 'huh?'


An affinity with animals and kids
The author must state that yours truly has never
been the type to go gaga over animals or kids, being
the allergic type (sneezing and going "eewww" ). For
some unfathomable reason, kids and animals tend to
be drawn to the author. Apart from 2 crazy german
shepherds who wanted to have the author for dinner
(age 3) , most dogs just like to lick the author, be
it an old friend's hugely overgrown dog who tackled
the author and tried to drown the author in dog
drool or that dog who ignored all the dog crazy
friends of the author and proceeded to lick the
author when she was waiting for a cab to go to a
party. And that's ignoring the dogs in the park
who're invariably friendly - remind the author to
name any potential perfume invention "Lick me!" On
the whole, big dogs are preferable to the small
yappy dogs - does anyone remember those two annoying
dogs who were yapping around Fyfield - look like toy
dogs but yapping like banshees?!


Apart from the dogs, there have been cats (these
just walk a figure 8 around the author, which is
funny unless you're afraid to trod on its tail which
is when you wonder if it's an ambush set by cats),
deer (if you've smelt them, you would comprehend why
scent packs ain't part of the bambi merchandising
concept ) , squirrels ( they were cute and friendly
until someone remarked that they could tear a hostel
room apart - never looked at them or that person in
the same way again - besides, if you heard what anna
said about the gere-gerbil urban legend, you'd be
freaked!) and a horse (who scared its rider as much
as the author by trotting up to the author and
licking the author )

As for the kids, every flight(particularly the long
haul flights) invariably means some whinny toddlers
or screaming babies wailing at decibel defying
volumes who for some reason stop screaming when they
glimpse the author and break out to a smile. The
winning prize goes to that toddler who toddled up to
the author and smiled ...and drooled. Even without
the joke that that was probably the only time the
author would have a guy drooling at her, it was
disarming and those teary blue eyes didn't help. The
toddlers who were inventive and played peek-a-boo
with the author who was barely civil must be
commended for their courage!

To the feminist who said that giving birth is like
expelling an apartment block complete with swimming
pool and facilities, are kids loudspeaker and
playdoh gone crazy?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The sappy factor: Korean vs Indian

Ok, so love stories are a sappy lot and they don't
get any sappier than korean dramas (and movies) and
hindi movies. The difference is the type of
sappiness. Korean dramas are recommended for those
who like to cry themselves silly over improbable
story lines (you thought qiong yao was bad, you
ain't seen nuthing yet!) - it's bitter to the point
of you asking why? - much like drinking decaf .
Stairway to Heaven is a classic example.

Hindi movies , like Muhjse Dosti Karoge, are like
cotton candy. The biggest contrast is the blatant
dramatic nature of the movies- c'mon no one breaks
out in song every 10 minutes or so - mindnumbingly
sweet and gagging when you overindulge.

In essence, it's the cinematic equivalent of those
torrid romances that're the mainstay of many teen
female readers. If you've read any, you'll probably
comprehend why the author thinks they should sell
them as comic relief (and no, deb, the giggling
wasn't over the "naughty" bits but rather the
ridiculous nature of the romance - guess where the
satin sheets comment originated?!) where pulp
fiction's concerned, tom clancy's preferable any
time!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

blogging again

blogging once again - older but not wiser

;-p

rather disturbing that the news that made the headlines the last couple of days were all terrorism and race related - it's a sad world when one man's religion leads to another's demise - correction: interpretation of religion - 'cos no religion advocates violence

not much in the mood for blogging - the weather's crap, the author's strophy, inspiration's lacking (was it ever abundant?!)

besides, there's a growing suspicion that a fellow blogger's the younger sibling of a friend - don't wanna corrupt young minds!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Personal Ads, the alpha male and the snag

Saw some personal ads - no, wasn't looking at sites, some idiot sends those sample personal ads regularly as spam- and was laughing so loudly people stared. The regular ones read like a line from Racine's plays (don't ask which, was ages since yours truly read any Racine), the really exaggerated ones sound like Brad Pitt seeking Angelina Jolie; the question is not why people post such ads but do they really think people believe these ad descriptions?!

What would the author's personal ad sound like ? Okie, just for laughs :
Mercurial of mood
Sarcastic of tongue
Unattractive of appearance
Intolerant of fools (particularly those smarter than yours truly)

Too much virtue can be criminal.
Andromache Act 3


so is honesty!

So what's the ideal male? Well, that'll depend on the purpose

The ideal male friend is invariably the snag ; great as a confidante and shopping companion but drives you up the wall as a romantic companion

The neanderthal is your soccer, american football, hockey etc sports companion and drinking buddy

The alpha male (if you need a definition, read the following http://archive.salon.com/people/feature/2000/02/23/fratboys/ it's dated but pretty accurate) is that friend you keep at a distance 'cos you don't wanna be blinded by his charms and incur unnecessary heartache.

Drumroll ...
She wavers, she hesitates; in one word, she is a woman.
(Elle flotte, elle h├ęsite; en un mot, elle est femme.)
Athalie Act 3

The ideal male is a cross of the alpha male with the snag minus the annoying traits that develop the minute his male bonding crowd appears

But ideals of love are as subjective as love itself, so friends beware

Love is not a fire to be shut up in a soul. Everything betrays us: voice, silence, eyes; half-covered fires burn all the brighter.

Andromache Act 2

P.S. so preparing to leave a country not merely encourages elimination of unnecessary baggage but revives some interesting memories

cryptic reminder

ok, whose birthday is on 4th Nov? or was there some date for a meal? some cryptic reminder , mebbe it's spam

Equality depends on who you work for

Bush's recent defense of Cheney's former aide is admirable - sure, with the current legal system , innocent till proven guilty is a cornerstone of any legal defence. But when torture is a means by which "evidence" is extracted, is that cornerstone still there? The fact that the US Supreme Court hasn't been able to rule decisively on torture is disturbing (see Professor Cohn's article on the Supreme Court's ruling http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew113.php ) and the wrangling over nominating new conservative judges to the supreme court only strengthens the liberals' fear that democracy and its liberal ideals are going to the dogs

Varied Responses

Chris
Last heard, she was going to Australia, but that was years ago, then all news evaporated ... Jean - left msg on your site

Music
erm, Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter, not saxophonist - hey, wasn't grouping by categories!

Old Movies

would imagine that hmv sells videos, worst comes to worst, try Past Times (gosh, haven't thought of that retailer in years!)

Bossa Nova

nope, not going to the Lisa Ono concert - it's 6/11 and not much of a fan of bossa nova (frankly, only the promo tune sounds attractive - los boleros?) anyway, different singers interpret songs differently - didn't like laura fygi's interpretation of "don't it make my brown eyes blue" - prefer crystal gayle's original
Why blog? Not just the anonymity or honesty factor, it's the time factor. Not to mention not repeating the same emails ad nauseum. Sometimes blogging is like a quickie (entirely based on friends' experiences ;-}), way too fast to allow regret! But that's part of the honesty factor right?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Louis Cha novels and politics

Not about to post some thesis on the topic, just a random thought. The romantic dalliances of Louis Cha's heroes seem to reflect the disillusionment with politics of the times. Through many of the novels, there's a movement away from politics towards a secluded life with the beloved - whether it's Duan Yu and his 2 friends in Tian Long Ba Bu, or Yang Guo who disappears with Xiaolong Nu at the end of Shen Diao Xia Lu. Even politically involved figures like Guo Jing and Zhang Wuji long to retreat from the complicated politics of the world, whilst Chen Jialuo's greatest regret is not disassociating from the politics of the times. The most comically ironic political commentary is , however, none of the above but rather Wei Xiaobao whose numerous dalliances mirror his multifaceted political loyalties and manouevres, "xia liu or feng liu" depends on how you look at it!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Music and the night

Does music just sound better at night or is it just the sound system? Maybe it's just the combination of the velvet darkness of the night, a tired mind and a keener ear, but just listen to (whatever your poison may be) classical or jazz or even pop and it all sounds better. Listen to Lin Zhi Xuan, Faye Wong, David Tao, The Platters (ok, ok, the secret's out!), Ella, George Michael , Koz, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Parker, Coltrane or an excerpt from Samson et Dalila and the good goosebumps will just tell you the truth!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Casablanca has never been a fav of the author, but rather a pet peeve. For one, the (often erroneous ) gratuitous references to the movie just generates groans of a bad kind. Everyone always parodies the "Play it again Sam" line which never existed in the film - read the transcripts if you doubt that.

And how about the last scene where the self sacrificing Rick and Ilsa decide to sacrifice love for the great cause of the resistance? Never made sense the first time , doesn't make sense now, Victor's not gonna crumble just because of Ilsa?!

But probably what proved to be the root of irritation was the traumatic experience of watching the classic being screened on the big screen on its 50th anniversary. None of the author's friends would go for the screening (the typical reaction being "hahaha, you're kidding right?!"), which meant that this author watched a movie alone for the first time without the safety of numbers . The only arthouse cinema (in the country at the time) had special screenings for a week and considering that it was a morning screening, there were only 20 people in that theatre which meant that it was extraordinarily cold (for a theatre in the tropics) and the average age of the other theatre patrons merely heightened the juvenile age of the author then. Everyone looked at the author like some freak and even the usher thought the author had gone to the wrong show. The show started off pretty well, then blurred into slowness, besides (braving the displeasure of bogie fans) Bogart is even less impressive on the big screen (vs telly screenings) - an acquired taste no doubt. Which might explain why when "Gone with the Wind" was screened, the author frankly didn't give a damn! Now you know how bad quotes can be, well, here's looking at you kid!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Old movies

It was once suggested that the author pursue a degree in film studies, not as a compliment but rather a reference to the film addict nature of the author. Though the author is age-phobic, when it comes to movies (and music ) , old movies are sometimes the preferred fare.

The notable exception is probably musicals - if you were ever a convent girl shown biannual screenings of musicals like "The Sound of Music", " The King and I", "Chittychittybangbang", "7 wives for 7 brothers" (why that choice when "femmie" power was supposed to be advocated) and "Flower Drum Song", you'd agree. It might not have been that excruciating if they had the sense to screen " An American in Paris " or even "Singing in The Rain", insipid but passable.

Frankly, the author loves more dramatic fare (hear that "ta-dum" soundtrack?!) . Cat on a hot tin roof and A streetcar named desire are about the only movies featuring elizabeth taylor that the author likes and drama doesn't get any tenser. Those who weep at Casablanca have not watched "An Affair to Remember" , sorry, not a bogie fan here, but frankly even if you were a bogie fan, Maltese falcon is much better, if it's Sam Spade vs Rick, Sam wins cinematically. Where Hitchcock is concerned, "Rear Window" and "Vertigo" are scary without much horror and paranoia can't have a better name than "North by Northwest".

When comic relief is called for, The Parent Trap, How to steal a million, His Girl Friday are a hoot. War movies, like Westerns, tend to blend after a while, The Great Escape was probably an exception. If you just wanna watch a movie that results in bittersweet awws , how about Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Guess the point of this post is that because of the "boring" or way too serious tag, many don't consider old movies a good watch, just give it a chance. As for those who still think film studies is the right major for the author - hmm, don't think there's a decent film studies course that focuses on cheesy or popular movies ;-p , so no go! Besides, when interest becomes work, the attention span reduces dramatically as most friends noticed with my univ major!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blast from the Past

Watched the movie for the nth time- partly 'cos the tv station seems to be recycling movies, partly 'cos there wasn't much else to watch that wasn't mindless entertainment and partly as galpals are quite familiar, Brendan Fraser was a fav (long , long time ago)

There are 3 interesting points about this particular movie;
  • Reflecting the gradual extinction of the "nice guy" species

Adam (how appropriate?!) is the modern version of a Renaissance guy who only is so 'cos he was caught in an atomic fallout shelter for 35 years. He's also about the only nice guy in this movie, who isn't gay, a fact that some friends will be happy to point out?! Anyway, what does it say about the nice guy species that the only way for a modern guy to be somewhat gentlemanly is for him to be caught in some time-space continuum warp?!

  • The myth of a "golden age"

Ever so often, humanity seems to look back on a certain era as some "golden age" free from modern excesses or degradation. A certain longing for simpler times when life wasn't so ugly or complicated, a kind of anti-progress movement (luddites anyone?!) at times. The biggest question is : has that "golden age" ever existed? Frankly, it's more of a myth that reflects humanity's disillusionment with the present (whatever the year it is) , the illusion of a prettier alternative. Be it the Greeks, Romans or even myths like Camelot, they are ideals without flaws only 'cos we choose to be blind to the disturbing facets of these times. The same reason why some " maintain" the myth of an ideal guy (or gal) by never falling in love with anyone who resembles the ideal 'cos the reality often mars the ideal. Similarly we see in the movie that when the female protagonist meets Adam and realises how perfect he is, she decides to commit him to an asylum- what that says about society is ... comical irony!

  • References to old movies

Why do movies self referentially refer (does that sound logical?!) to old movies (seems to be a trend) ? Above all, why do a majority refer to Casablanca?! Argghhh, don't they have other movies to refer to? It was funny though to see some director posit some non-existent connection between lindy hop and Casablanca- which 'll probably drive some fans nuts!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Posting

Gonna post for the week 'cos the coming week's quite hectic and not posting for the next week for obvious reasons (obvious to some at least!)

not to be churlish but every time no celebration is declared, someone will invariably celebrate on a big scale and there'll be people invited who the author doesn't particularly want to see - the horrible 20s are bad enough, no aggravation on the last of them - figured if yours truly is awol online, no one's gonna sabotage this time