Sunday, February 25, 2007

eh, got fireworks, la!

eh, got fireworks, la!

Do you know that? Well, I don't.

I was in a shopping mood yesterday. And those who know me will know that I'm not the shopping type. Only when the mood kick in, then will I get off my ass to wander at the malls. Otherwise, it's just a go-straight-for-the-stuff-and-buy affair.

Thing is, when I really do shop, I usually ending up inflicting some serious damage to my pockets. Luckily I know where to head for the discounts.

Dragged my cousins, nephews and nieces all the way to Queesway S.C. just to get a pair of Crocs. FYI, there's this shop there that sell (original) Crocs excluding gst so my mary-janes cost $49++ instead of $52++, as sold outside. At least Sue also bought a pair so I don't feel so bad having them following me there...

Then I got myself a new digicam at $499 instead of the usual $600++ because of the CNY promotions. Funny thing is, I had aimed, researched and intended to buy the Nikon S8 and yet, I walked away from Harvey Norman with an Olympus Stylus 740. And that includes a free 512mb SD card, card reader and screen protector (almost $90 worth). And I'm claiming another (free!) 1gb SD card and an Adobe software (more than $60 worth) from the Olympus office. And $10 off my puchase of a new battery.

I was so tempted to get the coloured ones but I was reminded that scratches will be obvious so I opt for the silver one instead... :P

After having dragged them through Suntec, Millenia Walk and Marina (I dunno Dorothy Perkins Suntec is closed), I compensate by offering to chill at the Esplanade with some ice-cream. We chose to sit on the bridge, seeing that it's not as crowded as the waterfront. Little do I know that our choice location was brought on by a stroke of luck...

When it's almost 9pm, I can see that more and more people are packing the waterfront and even the bridge. And curiously enough, most of them were leaning on the railings at where we're sitting. My cousin Nor had mentioned that there could be a fireworks display. Hmm...

At the stroke of 9 I heard someone doing the countdown at the River Hongbao fair on the other side and true enough, a brilliant display of lights actually exploded in the dark night sky. I also realised that the place we sat at was a strategic spot cos' we got a direct view of the fireworks. Superb!

Got a new camera, might as well use it, right?

Do you get dizzy viewing that? Well I do. There are other videos to upload actually but I chose that one. That's just the sadist in me, there. Heh.

Remind me to NEVER allow my cousin Yati to take videos EVER AGAIN. Her hands are super unsteady, man!

Friday, February 23, 2007

public holiday, avoid sentosa

when public holiday, avoid sentosa at all costs
Monday, 19th Feb


I think that the brood of 3 adults, 3 teens, 9 little nephews & nieces that I came with are the only handful of locals at Sentosa that day.

That island was teeming with foreigners of all shapes and sizes. And that include those who are based here.

I felt like a foreigner in my own country. And the weather didn't help much, either.

Driving to Harbourfront (parking only at $2/= per entry on PH.. so cheap!!), I came across a traffic jam which I wrongly assume to be leading into Vivo City. Turns out, all the cars were turning into the Sentosa Gateway. And my cousin told me that there was a snaking queue at the bus interchange. Need I even mention the Sentosa Express (monorail)?? Oh, oh... And the tram service to the beaches??

I almost turned back.

Then it also rained. I assumed it to be the usual passing cloud and that's it. But it lasted for over 15mins and it was a DOWNPOUR, actually. Then the skies poured its load again and AGAIN. We adults were so worried for the kids' well-being while they took the chance to frolick in the afternoon showers.

And you know what's the irony? That when the tide was receeding and the water gets shallower, the crowd comes in full force. The lagoon was like an overcrowded bathtub. I think the lifeguards must have had a big headache handling the onslaught of picnickers.

And taking the bus transfer back was another issue. Sentosa practically hired some private buses on top of their own fleet of buses to shuttle the mass of visitors back to Harbourfront.

But the kids were so happy. I guess the smiles on their faces makes all the ordeal worth enduring.

Sigh... So much for the kids... ; )

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Protege (Mandarin)

Starring: Andy Lau, Daniel Wu, Zhang Jingchu, Anita Yuen, Louis Koo

I know I have to watch this movie when I viewed the trailer and saw the casting line-up.

Frankly, as much as it is compared to Infernal Affairs, I'll dare say that watching this is like viewing a documentary. You can imagine some Discovery Channel production crew getting the scoop by having an access into the dark realm of heroin production.

Right from when it's harvested in the poppy fields, to the production of 'U.S dollar' slabs , the delivery, the process where they are converted into 'H.K dollars' and the trafficking in progress. We're then briefly explained as to what measures are taken to minimise infiltration. You can sense just how much director Derek Yee has researched about this trade and how he tried to fully utilise what's been learnt.

What an eye opener.

Most of the drama comes in the form of Jane (Zhang Jingchu), a junkie who came from the lower rungs of society, as she struggled to overcome her addiction and hold on to her daughter; while at the same time, running away from her fellow junkie (and almost deranged) husband (Louis Koo).

The main character, Nick (Daniel Wu), is an undercover from the narcotics bureau, who's 8 years into this job; who was given the chance to view both ends of the drug trafficking spectrum.
Right from his alliance with drug-lord Kwan (Andy Lau), as his protege, down to planning out the trafficking and seeing for himself, the impact of the poison he supposedly deals with, on a person whom he had sub-consciously become close to.

It's interesting to see Andy Lau's role as a drug lord is much unlike the stereotypical potrayal of such characters as we've seen in past HK movies. Here is a guy who totally detest the goods that he painstakingly trade in because he know that they're bad. His stellar acting shows when he becomes delusional when discussing about the evils of his trade. And he hams up his role as a family man with deteriorating health.

Daniel's acting is pretty consistent, seeing that most of his roles all seemed similar; a good guy in a broody, dark-themed movie. You can see the pain in his eyes as he struggles with his guilt towards his mentor, tried to control the sympathy he had for Jane & her daughter and the anger he supressed towards all those involved.

Zhang Jingchu, she's awesome! Her acting is definitely notable. That anguish on her face, her helplessness as she succumbed to her addiction. Then there's the love for her daughter and the fear of her husband. It's all seem real. One wonders if she had even tried being a junkie, seeing that her potrayal had seemed so real.

The plot is direct. Not exactly ambigious although there's a lot of grey areas. It's not surprising if at one point, you end up sympathising with Kwan and almost despised Nick.

It's such a waste that the charismatic Anita Yuen only carry a cameo role here. Same goes for Louis Koo. Anita acts as the Kwan's dutiful wife who held him to the ground while Louis's antics brought on some humour into this otherwise brooding movie.

They could have contributed more. Not that this movie is bland anyway.

And why is it that the girl acting as Jane's daughter; who's supposed to be under-fed and malnourished, so chubby (albeit being really cute)?

The message here is clear: Drugs are bad evil. No matter who you are, never get involved. It's a menace after all.

My take on this? Go watch it. Of all the movies that open this week, my money's on this one. But it's definitely not for those who wants to be entertained. Just like watching Blood Diamond. It's almost depressing.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

release tension...

release tension...

The past 2 weeks have been a pretty downslide at work. No thanks to the overtiming of course. I dunno if it is their belief or just for the record but is it necessary to have work done by chinese new year?

Maybe yeah, praticality is one thing. The long holidays and all but seriously???

I'm beat. Even my masseuse had said that my body screams, 'Fatigue!!!"

Anyway, after a whole week of OT and even coming back that Saturday (27th Jan) to burn some hours at work, I realise that I need to release the pent-up tension. I called my most reliable source of fun-seekers - my cousins Sue & Yati and Yati's brood of kids.

I remembered that I hadn't been able to talk to my father that few days because I came home late from work and he slept early. So I resolved to spend some time with my family; considering they're pretty immobile without the car and my bro (the other driver) has gone for re-service so I bring them out for a dinner of Ayam Penyet before jetting off to the west (in this case, Jurong) to fetch my brood of fun-seekers.

I had no idea where to bring them for dinner so I just drove to the 1st place that comes to mind, Al-Ameen (Bt. Timah). The food there is pretty mediocre. The standard's been slipping, I think. But I've seen people ordering their North indian dishes and the fact there's a chef dealing with their real tandoor oven intrigue me enough. Maybe next time I'll just stick to ordering JUST those.

And we also tried this.

Fried Ice-Cream
Just some ice-cream inside some fried doughnut. Interesting. But I much prefer the Belgian waffles that's offered by this certain fella in the same premise (pay differently).

I think there're 5 flavours to choose from but we forgot to cite our preference and got only strawberry & vanilla. -_-

Then it's off to West Coast Park.
...You may ask, why there?

C'mon. Admit it. Every one of us still have the inner child within. What better way to release tension than goofing around in a playground? Who say adults are no longer capable of such fun? Besides, West Coast Park have equipments that facilitate adult use.

Dun even think of using those regular ones u see in your neighbourhood, lest you wanna risk damaging them. Those are meant for KIDS aged max. 12 yrs old.

Yati & her kids. One of her boys are absent.

(L) Yati on this crazy 'pogo-merry-go-round' that spins real fast.
(R) Sue shrieking and laughing away as she zip down the flying-fox thingy.

I miss climbing the massive triangular rope structure cos' this brood aren't the climbing type. Maybe next time, I'll bring my brother.
We goofed and played till pass midnite. The time I called it quits is when I start getting dizzy from too many spins at the merry-go-rounds and was desperate for a huge cup of limeade from macD.

I met junior of mine from poly who also opt out of the architecture line to be a cabin-crew with SIA. He told me he'd rather go around the world 'seeing' architecture than getting involved in it.

Wise guy...

He was also there to play. Cool.
Anyway, after sips of that limeade, the dizziness dissipated and I felt that my head is clearer that ever. Playground can bring such great theraphy.

Maybe you should try that too.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

CINTA : A Story About Love (Malay)

CINTA : A Story About Love (Malay)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When this movie was about to be screened in M'sia, many were pretty apprehensive, given the less-than-good reputation of the romantic movies there. As cliched as can be, one might say.

And after the preview, everyone raved about it; the critics, media and the general public alike. And the main reason they rave? Because it's different. And it IS good. Many ladies remarked, "Bring the tissues. You'll need it."

I was dismayed to see that none of the S'pore cinemas are screening it. Apparently, no local distributor think it to be worth bringing in. I asked the M'sian online community, even those familiar with the media or film industry, if anyone know if this movie is to be screened here but no one had any idea. Sheesh!

I know that I can just head over to City Square in JB (the nearest movie theatre across the causeway) but that's not an option.


My cousin informed me that she had bought a copy of the VCD (original, ok). Apprently, it's been released and immediately, I got her to purchase one for me.

Is it worth all that raving?


They say it's different. I say it's not even worth comparing to. It's on a league of it's own. Sure it's reminiscent of that British movie, Love Actually but it's just the concept. The 5 stories are all seemed original.

And how the stories flow, well, it's inter-connected yet at the same time it can be independent of each other. It's just some mere/minute detail that intertwine each story together.

And the plot, it's straightforward. There's no beating about the bush in getting the message through. Emotions are openly expressed through the character's physical actions or facial expressions.

And they explore different aspects of love with each story.

Like in the first story: Does compassion & sympathy lead to love? What if you are already in the twilight years? Is it too late for love?

How does it feel to love a married man? And having your only brother despise you because of that? How far will you go for sibling love?

A private man who's a public figure. Just how far will you go in keeping you life secluded from the public eye? Even your love life?

Have you realised that you've been blinded to the affections of the very person close to you, as you yearn for the very person who's pushed you away?

What do you do when the person you love betray you? Do you hold on? How do you move on?

Golden words of wisdom I learn from this movie.
"Sometimes the person we love most is the most difficult to love."

"A little girl taught me that to love someone is to let go."
My only gripe is the poor picture & sound quality of the vcd. I should have just waited for the DVD. Even the subtitles are sparse.

The soundtrack is good. Enough (good) songs to let you get 'the feel' throughout the movie.

My verdict: Watch it. Dun worry. This movie is no Yusof Haslam. Far from it. I assure you.

Friday, February 02, 2007

i dislike changes

i hate dislike changes

...and that's the truth.

But at the same time, I adapt easily to new environments. *bah*

Work is crazy right now. I have not seen my dad for the past few days. My working late isn't compatible with his sleeping early habit.

And my bro's gone for re-service!!! 2 weeks liao! He did come back last night, though. Talked the whole night. But then he'll be gone from this afternoon till next Saturday!! *boo hoo*

It still is weird to see my mum at home on weeknights. Though I used to dislike the routine, I now kinda miss those times when I send her to work.

Those were the days when my nocturnal activities had to be worked around my mum's working schedule, "Either before 10.30pm or after 11pm. Need to send my mum." Or, "I'll ask my bro if he can send my mum."

And now the flat is accomodating 5 of us (no longer 4). I have a feeling there'll be a 6th.

I need a new flat. A bigger flat. If not for the words running through the grapevine saying that my block is up for en-bloc in maybe 5 years time, I would have paid *HDB a visit last week.

Now my pc is right smack facing my front door. Accompanied by my bro's PS II. Our 'mini entertainment centre'.

We hardly eat out nowdays. Previously we ate out at least once a week. Then chill at the beach before sending my mum to work. Now my mum cooks rice on a regular basis. Gone are the days when a 2kg rice pack can last us almost 3 months.

And we receive visitors EVERY weekend. The past 2 Sundays have been like Hari Raya all over again.

Then there's the conspicuous wheelchair and foldable walking aid beside the front door.

For those not in the loop, my gramma is now staying with me since she suffered "brain-stroke" almost a month ago.

We've been warned that she's to be under surveillance 24/7 given the critical condition she's in. Her eyesight seemed to be affected too. And her left knee's up for another operation.

There's no way that we're going to let her live alone. No matter what she says, knowing how fiercely independent she is.

So my mum, being the only daughter, took it upon herself to look after her mum. Yes, she resigned from her job with a 24-hour notice, despite her company's objection. She got the neurologist to write a letter and simply hand that over to the upper management.

Wham-bam-thank-you-m'am. My family's lifestyle have gone through an upheaval.

There's nothing that I'm griping about here. Okay... maybe the tightness of space at home. And maybe in the car. And our less comfortable financial situation.

Ahh... financial. I felt the first effects of my mum's resignation when the car went for it's major 40, ooo km sevice. A major overhaul is definitely not cheap and I literally baulked at the cost of it. And we'll be dividing the amount amongst the 3 of us instead of 4. My mum's contribution is sorely missed.

But hey, just some petty sacrifices. It does take some getting used to. We're Singaporeans after all. We adapt to changes quite easily (despite making a lot of noise initially).

Besides, it's nice to see another presence within midst. As the saying goes, the more the merrier. Another person to greet in the morning. Another person to keep company. Another face at the table during dinner (if I come back early that is).

This morning, as I dug around the wardrobe for clothes to wear, my gramma asked, "Aren't you going to work?"

Later, as I came to her before I left for work, she spontaneously put out her hand and put her cheek forward. It amused me to bits to see her do that. I realised that she's been looking forward to me kissing her cheeks before I go off every morning.

I realise that her presence keeps me aground. My mum- her only daughter, taking care of her. And me- my mum's only daughter, taking care of my mum as she takes care of HER mum.


...if the idea of hiring a maid to help my mum care for my grandma is indeed in the works, please let me be informed.

I really need to go to *HDB then.

*Singapore's Housing & Development Board. Where Singaporeans buy their flats (public apartments) from.