looking for baudrillard, boorstin, or eco?

dare to hope for what is good
instead of what is merely good enough.
Dead in sin | Saved by grace | Living in hope | Walking by faith | Surviving on a prayer

+ sola scriptura + sola gratia + solus Christus + sola fide + sola Deo gloria +

lundi, mars 28, 2005

 Looking for Ethan?

Adeline and I were in Kinokuniya looking for Aldous Huxley's "Devils of Loudon" in the "H" shelves. This Kino employee (very sweet girl) was on the floor sorting books, and as we passed by the shelves going "James, H is before J so there's still I to go..."she sat up and asked us, "Are you looking for Ethan Hawke*?" Smartass me just had to go, "No, but if you see him, would you let us know?"

* I just realised that his book was mentioned in the Sunday Times, so people should have been looking for Ash Wednesday all day on Sunday, I guess. Fantastic employee.

[Looking for Ethan?]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.3.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, mars 26, 2005

 A rose is a rose is a rose

Unless you're the Holy Father of the Philippines, that is. During the course of one month, researching and writing a term paper on the Philippines, I found out that the guy sort-of in charge of the country's spiritual status was named Jaime Cardinal Sin. (He retired in 2003.)

[A rose is a rose is a rose]
Sngs Alumni @ 26.3.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 21, 2005

 Death and Taxes

Why are tax forms so hard to fill up? Can I claim for examinations that I didn't go for courses for, like the TOEFL and GRE which I took last year and cost S$470? How about my one year two month flirtation with French, which I really, really want to claim for since all enrollment fees came up to (egads!) S$2213!

And yay! My CPF contribution is $350 shy of some $5000 cap or other, but I can make it up with my insurance!

(Stupid thought of the day: can a situation arise where my income tax is NEGATIVE and the government PAYS me income tax?)

[Death and Taxes]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.3.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 20, 2005

 Study hard, play hard

So now that I'm stuck working my ass off all week in the far flung corners of our little socialist Kingdom (read: NTU), the weekends are a time where I delude myself into thinking that I will actually STUDY when I come home. So I cart all these books and readings and pencils and paper into my bag (along with other unmentionables which come home to be laundered), then promptly disappear into the generic abyss called Orchard Road for the whole of Friday night and Saturday.

First, a total recall of class 31-97 leads to a pathetic state of affairs where only four meet - but hey, at least we got to know that one of our classmates led a hedonistic life of self-discovery for two years in the US before settling down in her current (fantabulously orange-coloured) job. We also discovered that the Raffles Hotel chef (sous-chef? pastry chef?) from France is quite the character. And if you think by saying "character", I mean "total righteous asshole of a poopy-head", you've got that right. But he's a French Paris-ian - did you expect class instead of crass? Michelle and I topped off the evening with That CD Shop buys - me buying FOUR $10 China imports of Robbie Williams (two albums, Swing and Best Of), Joss Stone (Body, Mind and Soul) and George Michael (Patience). How I miss the days where everything could be bought off the net... without cash. *wink*

(On the by-and-by, I have a HIDEOUS story about China chinese students to narrate, but I'm still in the middle of a situation, and the whole story would have a more fitting end when all the stupid little details have been ironed out. Suffice it to say that I was suitably olfactorily offended.)

Then on Saturday, Mr s.Tan invited me to watch a preview screening of Coach Carter with him, specially for teachers. We sat beside this middle-aged lady who was at first alone, then suddenly COMMANDED a bunch of youngish looking (what I presume to be) teachers to sit beside her. "Obviously a HOD," I whispered to Mr s.Tan, who pretty much agreed with me with a snigger.

A sudden pleasant surprise meeting with Ms Neo and merf pretty much stretched my day to its limits. A day which started with me expecting to eat a WHOLESOME, HEALTHY Subway lunch - thanks to the impromptu party - quickly developed into a gastronomic Amazing Race along Orchard Road: first, an APPLE (the $2000 kind, not the crunchy types), then Mos, then Coffee Club, then Cuppage food court, then Carrefour to buy a TUB of Ben & Jerry's and some shi lin chicken to top it off nicely. WHY DID WE EAT THAT ICE-CREAM?!

And now Mr s.Tan is starting to suggest training for next year's biathlon again. (That's just crazy talk, man!)

[Study hard, play hard]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.3.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 13, 2005


Gee whiz mommy, look at what I got! A whole 23 bucks, courtesy of the Big People! Wow! I really wonder what I can do with this - do you think I could set up a lemonade stand outside with the money?

Sngs Alumni @ 13.3.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, mars 12, 2005

 Revenge of the Sith

I've just seen the trailer for Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (which premiered on The O.C. a couple of days ago in the US), and rather unfortunately, it looks as boring as Episodes 1 and 2. Natalie Portman looks as lovely as ever, but I'm sorry to say that Hayden Christiansen is still ugly, and Ewan McGregor sports a very, very, ugly beard in what I surmise to be a poor bid to develop into Ben Kenobe of Tatooine.

[Revenge of the Sith]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.3.05 { 0 comments }

vendredi, mars 11, 2005

 Hygienic Men

Today, I spoke with a fellow student who hails from China, and she was complaining to me about how she detests Chinese men because they're either rude, or extremely unhygienic.

This, after I arrived in school today finding my roommate sleeping in our shared room because he was too tired after rushing his research last night (deadline today.)

[Hygienic Men]
Sngs Alumni @ 11.3.05 { 0 comments }

mardi, mars 08, 2005

 Howl's Moving Castle Review

It's another tragic case of "What-Have-They-Done-To-The-Book" adaptations for screen.

The story involves Sophie, the eldest daughter of three, who became a hatter (or hat-maker) to support the family when her father died. Lettie, her middle sister, is sent to work as an apprentice under a baker, and Martha, the youngest, was sent to study magic. In the course of the book, both Martha and Lettie switch places, and confusion ensues (as is the norm for most Diana Wynne-Jones's books.)

The twist in the book (which we discover early on, so this isn't really ruining a surprise for anyone) is that Sophie herself is a very powerful witch, who casts spells by merely talking to objects and people. There's also a prince Justin, and the country Wales, the scarecrow does NOT hang arund, Seven-League Boots, and a Miss Angorian (yes, like the hideous sweater), and there's no time-travel involved. Love is not declared - in the book.

The book is complicated - but everything knits itself up neatly in the end, there's not much slack (if any at all), and all loose ends are handled very well. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the film adaptation. The story threads are flying everywhere in the movie - only Lettie appears in the film, albeit in a very arbitrary manner, Sophie's inherent magical ability is hinted at (when she manages to make the weird machine fly by kicking it) but never overtly mentioned, the Wicked Witch of the Waste is not vanquished by Suliman (who - in the book - offers Lettie a magic apprenticeship or something), and Howl's continuous attempts at curing Sophie are only alluded to when you see Sophie switching between being 80 years old and being 18. In fact, my friend was wondering if the animators had made a mistake with Howl and Sophie, since they kept changing their "look" and age so often in the movie. Mizayaki's Howl also was a little too bland for my taste - he could have spiced Howl up a lot more with costumes and hairstyles, but I guess Takuya Kimura was enough behind-the-scenes action for everyone.

Everything feels half-done, almost like the scriptwriters wanted to retain as much original information as possible, but knew that they wouldn't be able to make a two-hour feature with that much material, so they shortened it. Badly.

Apart from the (sigh) usual failure of print-to-screen, I disliked Mizayaki's interpretation of the moving castle. I suppose there has to be a reason behind his choice of depiction - a grotesque monster, almost organic in its conception - it has a crude "face" and a tongue, and four chicken legs (reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's description of Baba-Yaga's "flying machine" - which turned out to be a modern day Boeing, but that's another great story waiting to be ruined). I'm positing that it probably has something to do with an attempt to contrast OR reconcile Howl/magic with the machinations of the ongoing war between Ingary and who-knows-where-else.

On a different note, when Howl opened the door to the field of flowers that he "gave" to Sophie, I couldn't help but think that he had a precognition of Will Smith's Hitch's dating advice advertisements: you know, the ones that go Date Doctor Advice #4 - Always give a girl flowers - and then upped the ante by giving Sophie a whole FIELD of live flowers.

Overall, an okay movie. If I were to give it a rating, it'd be 3 out of 5 fields of flowers.

[Howl's Moving Castle Review]
Sngs Alumni @ 8.3.05 { 0 comments }

 One Year Ago today

Exactly one year ago today, I was on a boat out to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha-Long Bay, Vietnam. Three hours in a mini-van, and I was treated to limestone caves and beautiful karst landforms in the sea for the whole day.

Then, as a bonus at night, two cool Italian boys who were on a cycling trip took me out to dinner, where I ate pigeon. (No chicken available in Vietnam due to the bird flu.)

I want to go back again.

[One Year Ago today]
Sngs Alumni @ 8.3.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, mars 07, 2005

 Problem man...

I think I have a problem with authority, but I'm not sure how to fix it, which I have to, or else I'll just continually self-destruct.

[Problem man...]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.3.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 06, 2005

 Surveys are harrd to design

I never knew that those stupid little survey things which people keep thrusting under my nose are so hard to design and make. I just installed this survey software (very, very funky stuff) on my web server since I need to do a research project on blogging (which I am fully counting on EVERYONE who reads this to participate in), but I'm getting as far as "setting conditions" for certain questions, and I'm back to the drawing board again.

I need to write everything out first before I start sitting down at the computer to do anything; the problem is me - this software is amazing! (I hope I'm not proven wrong...)

Et aussi - bon voyage, mon amis Fuzzy! Prend beaucoup des photos à Cambridge, en particuliare avec le Riviere Cam (or on the banks at least). Si'l tu plait/aime, les jardins botanique (je pense c'est le nom) est ouvert et gratuit sur Lundi et Mercredi.

[Surveys are harrd to design]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.3.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, mars 05, 2005

 Delicious Monster

If I ever get enough money to have an apartment and stack it from floor to ceiling with lovely, lovely books and CDs and DVDs etc, I'll have one computer dedicated to a database system, and it'll be a mac, and I'll use Delicious Monster software because it's, like, hott.

Now, stand up very, very straight, overarch your spine a little, tilt your head at least 45deg to the right, and then read the last part of that sentence in a breathy, low voice. That's it. You're now Paris Hilton.

[Delicious Monster]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.3.05 { 0 comments }

 Want to move out?

Sometimes, I wonder where I would be, were I to move out. Then I read this, and it's so scary, I think I'll go hide under my blanket.


[Want to move out?]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.3.05 { 0 comments }

mercredi, mars 02, 2005

 Use gmail as a file server

Yes, unlock that 1G worth of online space to your advantage. NOT SUPPORTED BY GMAIL. Go here to find out more.

[Use gmail as a file server]
Sngs Alumni @ 2.3.05 { 0 comments }

 Philipino Idiot

I don't know if she's as pissed as me. but man, Fuzz and I are pissed off at someone.

[Philipino Idiot]
Sngs Alumni @ 2.3.05 { 0 comments }

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Musings on Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life (PII)


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+ before i die +

Stuff I'd Like
Lake Tahoe
Pyramids, Egypt
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Taj Mahal
Great Ocean Road
Maldives to DIVE!
Great Barrier Reef to DIVE!
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