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 +

samedi, juillet 30, 2005

 Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 3 FINAL DAY!

altered frequency | photo opportunity

(left) Altered Frequency (Malaysia) - I really liked their set, but they could have done some other stuff from their album, and not introduced so many "new" songs - not that it was a problem, since almost nobody knew who they were. Pity. They're pretty good, and the lead singer has an awesome voice, and a great heart for God.

(right) This was everyone screaming cos Sonic Fest needed good "crowd photographs", so they got us (all of us!) to pose. I thought it was quite neat. :-)

crowd going stark raving bonkers | SonicFlood rocking fort canning

(left pic) This was the crowd going totally BONKERS as SonicFlood got on stage. Totally, stark, raving mad - and this was during their SOUND CHECK. Imagine the INSANITY when they actually started playing! (right pic) Tonight's lineup: (1) open the eyes of my heart (2) heart of worship (3) I could sing of Your love forever (4) holiness (all from their SonicFlood album, some doubled on other albums too), (5) I want to know you (in the secret place) (from SonicPraise), (6) this generation (7) all i've failed to be (8) everlasting (from this generation) (9) Lord of the dance (from resonate) [and from yesterday's set (in addition to what was repeated) - resonate (from resonate)]

sf 2005 day 3 wristbands | festival of praise 2005

Ahh...till next year. Or next week, when Deliriou5? comes to town for FOP! Some of my friends have blogged that christian rock is an oxymoron, but that's alright. We'll be morons for the Lord. (Or is that "oxes for the Lord" instead? :-) )

[Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 3 FINAL DAY!]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.7.05 { 0 comments }

vendredi, juillet 29, 2005

 Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 2

Sonic Festival Day 2 - PlanetShakers and Sonic Flood. Ooh yeah.

Finally, some people whom I can actually go to
Sonic Fest with - instead of going by my loser self,
as I've done... since SF's inception. (The old jokes can start now.)

Sonic Fest wristbands are always cool - and this year,
there are three to collect. SF Day 1 was blue,
SF Day 2 is green, I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Tau hui (and chin chao) to end the night is always a good thing.
Especially if the tauhui is super duper icy cold
and is from the famous Prinsep Street tauhui store...

[Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 2]
Sngs Alumni @ 29.7.05 { 0 comments }

jeudi, juillet 28, 2005

 Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 1

Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 1
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
Sonic Festival 2005, Day 1 - 28 July 2005:
Fort Canning Green - the Give Stage.

PlanetShakers obviously rocked the house down.

And thank God that Eddie, SX and Bev decided to bring my ticket down! And for my dear Prof, for finishing lecture early, and for mommy, who didn't need a pickup service.

[Sonic Festival 2005 - Day 1]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It's just as well that I didn't have very high expectations of this book. I read the book spoiled due to a rather evil poster on a forum who posted the "who-killed-who" report right in front, so I already knew the deed would be done, just not when.

Spoilers ahead, you know the drill.

827 pages long (or so says my PDF file), this is one heavy brick to be lugging around on buses, and I was rather surprised to finish it in five hours - without rushing, as I consciously took my time about it. I also made the effort not to scan, as readers on the computer are wont to do, reading each word - and yet, the book was done in five paltry hours. Such a pity, but this book definitely had much tighter writing (or better editing) than the long, draggy Order of the Pheonix.

Potter's rescued from the Durseys (again), goes off to the Burrows (again), they start having mysterious tipoffs and adventures when they go shopping at Diagon Alley (again), Harry finds something out on the Hogswart Express (again), there's a Quiddich match (again), Harry gets knocked about (again)... see a pattern? (I suppose I can't really blame JKR, it's pretty much the same with Blyton's 'St Clare' and 'Mallory Towers' boarding school genre of childrens' literature.)

As I mentioned to one totally Potter-obsessed friend, I was rather disappointed with Snape's deception. JKR could have done interesting things with that character, like she did with Malfoy, to make the character more sympathetic and complex, and to finally damn Snape in this book felt like something of a cop-out. Apart from You-Know-Who, Snape's character had the most room for author-play. He had all the characteristics of an evil character, yet was endorsed by the best - Albus Dumbledore himself.

And for Dumbledore to be killed because he was deceived by something so trite, by someone whom our hero had been telling him, warning him about since the first book... well, it seems rather harsh to punish that character for wanting to believe the best in someone, even in a character as loathsome as Severus Snape. But it was an interesting move on JKR's part to kill him - almost as if signalling that with the imminent writing of her seventh (and final) book - that there are no sacred cows. Dumbledore is dead, the Ministry of Magic is in shambles, the world of Muggles is being intruded upon more and more by the Wizarding community, Aurors are (apparently) in the pay of Voldemort (where does he get the galleons, I wonder), and what I think is the most shocking news of all - Hogswart is closed, and Potter is to wander around the countryside lonely like a cloud till he finds Snape and Mouldy-Voldy. Or something to that effect. (Amanda - 10 bonus points to you if you can find the literary reference! Maybe I should put one in every post...)

Oh, and he (stupidly) breaks up with Ginny Weasley too, using a variation of that super-hero line that we all know -
"Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He's already used you as bait once, and that was just because you're my best friend's sister. Think how much danger you'll be in if we keep this up. He'll know, he'll find out. He'll try and get to me through you."
I'm rather put-out by this; I was rather enjoying them together! I've always liked Ginny - I hope she still goes after him. Stupid men, thinking that they can save the world without a girl by their side. (Always, always, always have a reward for yourself in the end. Making it back from some adventure or other just to kiss the girl can sometimes be a very large motivator for survival...) Ron and Hermione, however, have yet to fall head-over-heels, or snog, as JKR so quaintly puts it in British English, but JKR's really making them put up an interesting dance for us, so that's fairly entertaining reading. Alas, there aren't any particularly brilliant zingers, like what was found in the Order of the Pheonix (revived here from my June 2003 (!) post on it):
A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said,
"One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode."

"Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have," said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.
"Emotional range of a teaspoon!" That line cracks me up everytime. In fact, it's probably the first line I'll quote if you ask me about Harry Potter. "Emotional range of a teaspoon!"

These romantic liaisons seem to be related to the larger theme of the book , which seems to be "love". Unfortunately, it is thrown at us in a rather heavy-handed manner - one wishes she could have just alluded gently to it rather than bashing it into our heads with her (very thick) book. I also rather hated the way it ended - as I hated the way ALL her other books had ended. JKR has yet to grasp the subtle art of the literary anticlimax. (And for some weird reason, Terence Trent D'Arby's "Let Her Down Easy" comes to mind...)

I don't know how she's going to be able to fit in the conclusion with the final book, given two things : that she has (1) removed most of the boarding-school structure that she writes in (but Harry will still start the next book at the Durseys, never fear; just that he won't have Hogswart to go to anymore), and that she's (2) killed off a rather central, stabilising character (Dumbledore.) JKR says she's got the whole thing planned out in her head already, but I'm of the opinion that Harry Potter was just a brainwave that's grown into something its creator might not be able to handle. We'll see. Bring on that final book and we'll evaluate the entire series together. (Who guesses that she'll be blowing her publishing deadline by a couple of years?)

Libellés :

[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.7.05 { 0 comments }

mercredi, juillet 27, 2005


Tell me, dear reader, how it comes to pass that Clementi University has systems which allow lecturers to have a sense of humour, while Jurong University is so... unlike that?

Module Registration Exercise:
Midnight - A Secret Reading Group
by Dr Gwee Li Sui

Sngs Alumni @ 27.7.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, juillet 25, 2005

 Be patient with my doubt, cos I really want to know You still...

It's well past midnight, and I'm awake with questions that won't wait for daylight. Separating fact from my imaginary fiction, on this shelf of my conviction... I need to find a place where You and I come face to face.

Thomas needed proof that You had really risen undefeated - when he placed his fingers where the nails once broke Your skin, did his faith finally begin? I've lied if I've denied the common ground I share with him...

And I really want to know You - I want to make each day a different way that I can show You how much I really want to love You.

Be patient with my doubt
I'm just tryin' to figure out Your will
And I really want to know You still

To Know You Nicole Nordeman

[Be patient with my doubt, cos I really want to know You still...]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Sin City

I was both impressed and underwhelmed by the movie. Underwhelmed because they cheated and put three stories within the movie, forcing each story to plot itself tigher, and fooling the average movie-goer into thinking that there was more "substance" than the movie really had.

Sure, the stories were tight, but what impressed me was the style rather than the substance. It got wearying after a while - film noir does not impress me - but I'll give credit where it's due - it's a pretty little movie, marginalised women and all. (Really, do all the women have to be hookers? Except that one (lesbian) parole officer?)

I liked the cast best. I like them all, they were brilliantly cast - except for that one hooker with the blue eyes. She should just stick to Gilmore Girls and leave the acting to the professionals. Alexis Bledel didn't have a difficult part - not like the extended part that Mickey Rourke or Bruce Willis had. But anyone could have played a hooker taunting gangsters better than her - anyone. She's a horrible actress, and I really hope that they stop giving her parts in anything.

Devon Aoki was an extremely pleasant surprise - I thought she was underutilised in 2 Fast 2 Furious, but she hasn't had many movie outings since then - too busy with the catwalk, I suppose. Elijah "Frodo" Wood also made a good freaky Hannibal-Lector-in-Converse-Sneakers - someone told me that the hobbit image she had of him was dispelled forever, and I think that probably goes for most of the people who watched Sin City... and was probably the impetus behind his choice of character to play. Josh Hartnett was a pleasant surprise - but blink and you'll miss him.

The impressive thing about Sin City is that there's not much dialogue. There's a lot of posing, but very sparse dialogue. In fact, Devon Aoki and Elijah Wood have no lines whatsoever. They just do their thing (Aoki with the Kill Bill samurai swords, and Wood with the converse sneakers jumping), and let the action (and draggy voiceovers) carry the show forward. That was an unusual move, and elevated it (in my book, at least) beyond the level of being just another kitchy movie masquerading as an "instant classic" due to its use of black and white.

Extreme violence, hookers, sex and nudity, electrocution, blood, a smelly yellow old paedophile with a pot-belly, and guns, guns and guns. (The yellow guy's the scariest of the lot.)

[Sin City]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.7.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, juillet 24, 2005

 iPod users

www.lajo.biz is having a 50% sale on all iPod accessories. We're trying to do a bulk order to save on the shipping costs, so if anyone would like anything from the site, call/sms me. Orders above US$50 get DHLed free - and we're up to US$25 already. Postage is US$5 otherwise.

[iPod users]
Sngs Alumni @ 24.7.05 { 0 comments }

mardi, juillet 19, 2005

 Used up like a wet tissue

I think I used up all my good birthday karma on Sunday and Monday, because I feel crappy today. Goodnight.

[Used up like a wet tissue]
Sngs Alumni @ 19.7.05 { 0 comments }

 It's my birthday today!

Essential Brew
Quarter of a century deserves its own blog post title, methinks. And what better way to spend it than to tell you what happened at the strangely large gathering that happened on Sunday night at Essential Brew... D owns a part of this place (who knows what percentage, I just treat him like the big boss), and even though he was in Arizona at that time (on taxpayer's money, no less!) I got him to make a nebulous reservation for "maybe 20-30 people lah." Of course, the sweet dear obliged (but of course, you could argue that there was a touch of noblesse oblige in that gesture, but like a peasant, I'll take what I can get.)

fat legs!
Let them have cake.
Let's see... people present. Jiaying Davina Eunice Fang Ting Huijun Jeffrey Joshua Kevin Mark Matthew Melvin Mervin Huifen Samuel Soojin Vanessa Stanley Waitat Zibing Weilong Lijie Diana Ivan Celine. 24, just one shy of D's projection of 25. Ooh, plus me, so yes - 25. (Auspicious number!)

Everyone simply sprawed out at the second storey's shopfront, playing "大风吹" as long-lost friends suddenly appeared out of nowhere. "I thought you died!" was the reigning cry of the first half and hour. (Or maybe not. Maybe it was just mine.)

yoga divas
There was an impromptu yoga session in the middle of the entire photo-taking session (Jiaying's idea, though I think she still has some way to go before she actually makes yoga master), and all around everyone had pretty good buzz - even those who were super sleepy (i.e. lychee) :)

There was cake, of course - sweet secrets, no less. Matto had quite the time trying to divide the round cake into twenty slices, but managed somehow. I just sat and stared, amazed at how quickly this gathering materialised, and how everyone managed to make a Sunday night dinner appointment possible.

All in all, a pretty good day. Thanks, guys.

[It's my birthday today!]
Sngs Alumni @ 19.7.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, juillet 17, 2005

 who's cooler than my friends?

I had a blast today. And I ate surprisingly little cake. But I am sleepy (oh looky here, it's even before 5am!) so goooooood-night. I'll dream of yummy sweet secrets.

Crazy badly taken photos of pertinent events should be up here once The Powers That Be approve my photos.

[who's cooler than my friends?]
Sngs Alumni @ 17.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Fighting Hand

Fighting Hand
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
(post-script, otherwise known as the P.S. - for younger readers, I highly recommend that you open m-w.com in another window to check words.)

About a month and a half ago, I made the tragic, tragic mistake of bursting in upon the YTU committee (or YATU, I'm not much into this form of etymology) discussing their nefarious plans for the next quarter. One of the weeks they had planned out was labelled "watch movie." Wondering, I asked what film they were intending to watch. Fulfilling the cliché that committees can never decide anything, they told me "We don't know leh, you can recommend or not?"

There is nothing to be said about most Christian movies. The fact of the matter is: they suck. Sometimes, they suck due to bad acting. Sometimes, they suck due to bad filmography and camerawork. But mostly, they suffer due to bad plot and scriptwriting.

Having seen some real, true, honest-to-God crap Christian movies when I was younger, I used to wonder if there was any way we could write a script which:
1) Would not compromise the message of our faith;
2) Carry an evangelistic message - understanding though, that there is a spectrum of belief instead of a "your side/my side" polemic;
3) Would be commercially viable in every sense - interesting and intriguing to most audiences (I hesitate to say "all" as that encompasses too large a net to cast), successful in the box-office as well as home video/DVD sales.

(Gibson's "The Passion of Christ" doesn't count, as it was a depiction of a real event, as opposed to a completely new fiction.)

I was pleasantly surprised to put my old prejudices down when we watched "Lay It Down" in youth camp. Perhaps not all the way down, but to at least rest that gauntlet a little. The message was still didactic, and the premise of the storyline was shamelessly ripped off from "The Fast and the Furious" (the Vin Diesel version), but the movie script was, on the whole, not too shoddy.

I had issues with the cinematography (they faked car racing a few too many times for suspension of belief to withstand the onslaught), and the editing was to terrible to talk about, but the script, part from a slight misogynist slant on how unwanted pregnancy should be dealt with, was much better than I had expected. Mind you, it wasn't good per se, just above my expectations (which weren't that low, despite how I might be putting it.)

Coming back to that YTU meeting, I suggested that they look into watching "愿来是爱", as I heard that the movie was pretty good, and a real tearjerker. I told them that it was a pretty sure bet that someone from church had probably bought the VCD, as it was making the Christian rounds last year rather (fast and) furiously.

Imagine my surprise when nobody had the movie - some hadn't even heard of it. Bev SMSed me and told me to buy it, so I went out to various Christian bookstores (SKS, Baptist Bookstore, Crusade Mass Media), but none of them had it - well, BB had it, but it was the DVD version, and I didn't think it was worth a DVD. After asking around and realising that it was put of stock, I decided that I would pass them Touch Ministries' "奇迹酒吧:打手" instead to watch. However, reluctant to hand them the VCD before previewing it beforehand, I sat myself down tonight to watch it.

As I inserted the VCD into the player, I mentally geared myself up for a really bad hour. Three things stood out in my mind:
1) It was conceptualised, filmed, edited and produced in Singapore.
2) By a Christian organisation.
3) In chinese.

Okay, the last reason was (the most) irrational. But imagine my surprise when "The Fighter" (that's the english translation, not "fighting hand" as my title suggests) was actually not only watchable, but pleasantly so. Revolving around a rather run-of-the-mill gangster-went-to-prison- turned-over-a-new-leaf storyline, the cinematography was very tight; the editing, superb. Dialogue was kept almost to a minimum; plot was advanced though action and terse looks rather than through dialogue, which meant that there wasn't much philosophising going on.

Unfortunately, the Christian theme isn't portrayed much - or at all: this is definitely one of those shows which are perfectly meant to segue into a real-live message from a pastor or elder. Themes of forgiveness, inner strength to change, the importance of family - not overtly Christian, yet wholesome - come through subtly but firmly in this short film.

Due to the fact that "奇迹酒吧" or "Miracle Pub" is a series of five, it's not surprising that there are a couple of unexplained scenes, like the bartender giving away a bottle of wine to a pretty lady in a truly pathetic attempt to flirt, or like how the pub owner is associated with a police inspector. But apart from these oblique references (which aren't intrusive at all), the show gets the thumbs up from me: good job, Touch Ministries.

I hope you guys in YTU/YATU like it when you watch it. That is, if Beverly and Eddie approve. :)

[Fighting Hand]
Sngs Alumni @ 17.7.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, juillet 16, 2005


Email Screenshot
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
Before I go into the school, requirements for graduation are: 2 modules + 1 dissertation.

I go in, then a website states: 3 modules + 1 dissertation.

Secretary gives me a piece of paper which reads: 4 modules + 1 dissertation.

I log in to register for modules, and it tells me: 2 modules + 1 dissertation.

I check that damned website again, and it says: 3 modules + 1 dissertation.

I dig up that paper that the secretary prepares for me, and it states in black and white ink: 4 modules + 1 dissertation.

I ask and ask twice, and NOW the secretary says: 3 modules + 1 dissertation.

Was anyone going to inform me about this new development? Or did I have to go around asking and asking and basically making a nuisance of myself to EVERYONE in the department before this information was GRUDGINGLY given me?

Ladies and gentlemen who might wish to enter into the hallowed halls of this U's learning, the sixty-thousand dollar question is:

What the FUCK is going on?!

Sngs Alumni @ 16.7.05 { 0 comments }

jeudi, juillet 14, 2005

 TST 1: NKF 0 - Financial Fallout

Being a good girl and starting to make a dent in my reading lists on public relations online has changed my perspective on how the NKF is handling its lawsuit against Singapore Press Holdings.

Mistakes they've made:
1) Trying to function as a for-profit organisation

There is a reason why there is a bias against working in the non-profit sector for money: because there plainly isn't any. The NKF grew too big for its boots, earning enough money from their donations and government grants that they could afford paying their executives to great excess. At the same time, their name became so recognisable that the acronym "NKF" became a brand name, giving them the ability to function like a for-profit organisation, even managing to "branch out" into subsets of their main mission, like the Children's Medical Fund (CMF) and the NKF Cancer Fund, both of which, though good/noble/honourable, detract from their main mission.

The ironic thing about this is that most Singaporeans don't know that it isn't a non-profit organisation, not per-se, due to obscure accounting tax laws and whatnot. It's more like a government-funded operation - but really, what isn't these days?

2) Trying to take on the press, and their contractors
Singaporeans are pretty kiasee, but the NKF apparently thought that the reporters from TST were more desperate for a hot "gold plated tap" story than smart about their sources. Contractors love to talk. They can talk you into anything (even installing gold-plated toilet installations, as the NKF unfortunately found out.) In this case, they will talk to you to install the taps, then blab about it to the reporters, and now, they've proven that they'll even tell the judge what everyone told them.

And now the press is covering the story - the press whom you're trying to press a libel suit against. I'm sure honest and fair reporting is going on, but there's certainly a slant that's been given to things...

3) Not being transparent

a) On accounts matters
The NKF were not transparent about their executive salaries, their perks, their accounting. They lied about their $189 million reserves - I'm not sure if anyone remembers this, but they did try to cover up the amount they had in reserves BEFORE this number came out. Only AFTER they were found out did they say that the $189 million could only last three years "if stretched." And yet, today we hear Mr Durai saying "three years is an inaccuracy..." and the defense lawyer suggesting that it could last longer. (Today, 13 July 2005) In fact, someone on the boards has stated that the NKF now has closer to $262 million in reserves, while only spending a paltry $32 million on the patients themselves.

b) From their CEO
It could be that these sins of omission were due to the excesses of their CEO, now disgraced T.T. Durai. According to Rodney on soc.culture.singapore, he omitted plenty:

Did not disclose to his board he had other paid directorships;
Did not disclose to his board he had external business interest with
ex-NKF employeee and current board member;
Had a fleet of 8 cars at his disposal, and yet his personal Mercedes,
maintained at NKF cost, was used by his wife and family;

c) On their website
Go to http://www.nkfs.org.sg. There is NO mention of this lawsuit at all, nothing in their "NKF in the News" pages, nothing in their press release archives, that give any indication that the NKF is currently in the midst of a severely debilitating crisis of the nuclear plant meltdown kind. Nothing at all.

Perhaps their corporate communication staff are all trying to handle the hordes of reporters outside the courtroom? Or are they too, being shut out from the discussions, and are as bewildered as anyone else on the streets about their company's - oops, organisation's sins? Or maybe their webmaster is a disgruntled systems analyst who is secretly revelling in the media fallout that his organisation is currently undergoing.

Whatever it is, by totally ignoring everything, they've made a huge blunder. Public discussion abhors a vacuum, and in the presence of one, they'll take the news from the only other news source available - that from the Singapore press, whom the NKF currently has a suit against. Why send an ignorant public to your enemy's lair, hoping that they'll take the high road and sing your praises? Bad PR strategy there.

I now feel sorry for all the NDK dialysis patients whom the NDF have honestly helped - and for those who are on the waiting list for NKF aid. I anticipate that donations will decrease rather radically in these couple of months - at least until the end of the year - before things pick up again for Christmas. The trouble with this crisis for the layman is that now, nobody feels like donating to the NKF anymore, but at the same time, we do still feel for kidney patients who need dialysis. But we are reluctant to donate because we don't trust the NKF to do the right thing with our money anymore. Until public trust can be restored, the support (both financial or otherwise) for the NKF will continue to be on shaky ground.

[TST 1: NKF 0 - Financial Fallout]
Sngs Alumni @ 14.7.05 { 0 comments }

mardi, juillet 12, 2005

 Firefox lagging

Get Firefox!

Why is my firefox browser making all my other applications lag after I updated it to v1.04? :-( Sometimes even the typing lags!

Maybe it's just the old computer... bought in 2002, it's lasted more than 3 years of my abuse - and about five or so total memory wipes and reinstallation of expee.

On another completely unrelated note, don't you love their icons?

Get Thunderbird!

ETA: Found out that the problem was the inefficiently written blogsnip javascript that had featured for 2 days on this blog. I have since removed it, and it's been all systems go, so do download firefox ASAP (you know who you are!) And no, don't worry about the eaten post, I'm only too glad to write tasty letters.

[Firefox lagging]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.7.05 { 0 comments }






In such an environment, with such gorgeous language, how did I survive with less-than-stellar language skills? Only by God's grace... I wish my teachers had made it more fun to learn Chinese. No sentence construction in English can ever match the beauty and compactness (and beauty in compactness) of something as simple as "同贺" - "together, we wish you well" just does not go anywhere near the sentiment that "同贺" evokes.

I guess it's up to people like gnoliew to change the face of chinese education. (WL: we're all counting on you!)

Sngs Alumni @ 12.7.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, juillet 11, 2005

 From Jane Austen to Garth Ennis

I seem to be clearing my shelves of "respectable books" and replacing them with novels of ill-repute.

Preacher: Gone to Texas

How can it be that this was found selling at S$10.40 at MPH? The US price alone is US$15! Unless it's an insidious plot to encourage hapless consumers (such as myself) buy the first (of 10) graphic novels, and continue the collection (which I was going to do anyway.)

[From Jane Austen to Garth Ennis]
Sngs Alumni @ 11.7.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, juillet 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
Seriously, my school needs to get its shit together. It's the INFOCOMM SCHOOL, for fuck's sake.

First, they give me this piece of printed paper which is unavailable online, telling me that I haev to finish 4 modules + the thesis (of undefined length.) Then the module registration website says that students admitted 2005 onwards only need to complete 3 modules. So, good student that I am, I log on and try to register, and there's a popup that accuses me of completing my module requirements, and castigates me for wasting system resources and its time by trying to register illegally for more modules. But I've only taken two modules so far.

People, go to Clementi or Bras Basah. Jurong's administration has an uptight ass, refuses to answer questions unless a form is filled in in TRIPLICATE, and is confused. Very confused. I think it must be from the pollution from the heavy industries which are located at Jurong.

Sngs Alumni @ 10.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Evil Yahoo

Evil Yahoo
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
I don't understand. Yahoo already has a share (or outright BOUGHT) flickr, which is cross-platform compatible, but now they roll out a Yahoo Photo service which doesn't work with ANYTHING but IE. Stupid strategy, just stupid. Even if the system's in beta testing, you should offer platform compatibility to your users. Now you have a public product proclaiming your allegiance to The Dark Side (read: MS.)

[Evil Yahoo]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.7.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, juillet 09, 2005

 Gossip Girl: children's books section with adult content

Caution: adult content on a book found in the children's section? Doesn't that ring some bells?

[Gossip Girl: children's books section with adult content]
Sngs Alumni @ 9.7.05 { 0 comments }


Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
A humourous comment for Neverwhere... sad in light of recent developments in London...

Sngs Alumni @ 9.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Sandman: Preludes And Nocturnes

Guess he ran out of good ideas to write down after signing for a zillion people, so he just drew silver pen ink coming out from Dream's eyes...

[Sandman: Preludes And Nocturnes]
Sngs Alumni @ 9.7.05 { 0 comments }

jeudi, juillet 07, 2005

 The End! ... well, almost


Finished! My 29th Star Wars book, all read within the month of June 2005. Which works out to about a book a day, proving once and for all that I, 我, moi, am trulymadlydeeply insane. I toyed with the idea of writing reviews for each book, like I did with the previous post on the SW books, but it would take up too much energy to go back and revisit the books. Plus, I have to hmmm, I don't know, get cracking on something called my thesis? But since we're here, and I am so inclined...

Darksaber is well-written, well-researched. Kevin J. Anderson makes up for the pathetic outing that was the Jedi Academy Trilogy with this novel. The empire- returns- with- yet- another- superweapon plot is predictable, so much that Anderson even makes one of his characters comment on the seemingly limitless superweapons that the Empire keeps digging up.*

And yet, despite the predictable plot, you have regular EU (extended universe) characters showing up - Admiral Daala (is she a clone too?) teams up with Vice-Admiral Pelleon and attacks Yavin IV. There are Hutts involved. Wedge and blue-skinned Qwi Xux on a Hutt-world date. Dorsk 81 teams up with Kyp Durron. Dorsk 80 and 82 die. Mara Jade bitchslaps Callista for being a total tool. Callista leaves Luke in heartbreak and disappears.

The penultimate sentence of that last paragraph was untrue.

I think the funniest event of the entire book was when the superweapon failed to work when fired for the first time. It just went something like "phut!", and drifted off, cold, into space. In the end of course, the Empire remnant is defeated (again), Luke and friends triumph (again), but now, Daala's resigned her commission and Vice-Admiral Pelleon is now ADMIRAL, setting him up for the events in Spectre of the Past and Vision of the Future.

I liked how Anderson wove Yavin IV and the into the storyline.

Last three! (Promise!!! Comics only!)

*But you've got to admit, the Empire has pretty funky death weapons. First, the Death Star. Then Death Star part II. Then the Emperor himself returns as a clone. Then Thrawn - superweapon Chiss in his own right. Then the Sun Crusher. Then the Eye of Palpatine (retch.) Then Darksaber. Then the Katana Fleet. Then the Hand of Thrawn. It's a veritable library system of WMD!

[The End! ... well, almost]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.7.05 { 0 comments }

mercredi, juillet 06, 2005

 Bewitched, fully, utterly, completely, charmed out of my pants

Although I am utterly charmed and very, very, very glad that I did this today, I will NEVER do what I did today again. No matter how fabulous the author is. Neil Gaiman: the only author on EARTH who has had the pleasure of my company as he autographs my books. What was I thinking?!? And how come there are SUDDENLY so many Gaiman fans? The whole of Singapore, JB and KL who weren't working must have turned up at the book signing today at Kinokuniya!

I did not expect to be anywhere near the first in line, since I turned up at 3pm for the 4-630pm signing, but I did not expect to be parsecs away from the signing table! So much that I did not get to the table by 630pm - and had to wait till 830pm when he got back to continue the signing. I guess I would have gotten there a lot sooner except that there were quite a number of queue-jumpers. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

His schedule:
1600-1830hrs - Kinokuniya book signing
1830-1930hrs - Dinner (I guess...)
1930-2030hrs - Talk at Library@Orchard
2030-????hrs - Continue the Kinokuniya signing (probably till Kino closed)

The last thing on the list was a testament to how popular he is, and how accommodating he is (or how he doesn't want to lose fans by being mean and just leaving us hanging high and dry.) He wasn't supposed to return for the signing - he was supposed to end the talk in the library, and that was it for him - but there were still approximately a hundred people left in the queue (including me!), so he decided to come back and finish everyone who had queued up. The Kino staff closed the queue, of course, or it would have been a neverending story.

My schedule:
1500-1830hrs - Wait. Get disappointed as he leaves apologetically for dinner.
1830-1930hrs - Dinner at Mos Burger with a new friend, Joyce, who came all the way from KL! She was standing before me in the queue. Another girl, Deepa (from the Philippines, queueing for her boyfriend, also Filipino) was holding our places in the queue for us. We were 4,5 and 6th in line for the 2030hrs signing! The guy who was the "cutoff point" at 1830hrs was a little ticked off and left - thank God that I wasn't the one at the cutoff point; I think I would have been beside myself with chagrin. Many, many people left the queue at that point. I would have, except that I figured that I probably had invested too much time into this endeavour to leave without at least SOMETHING to show for it.
2030hrs - FINALLY! We stand up awaiting The Sandman.
2035hrs - Eh? No show.
2040hrs - Increasing number of people coming from the library.
2045hrs - He's here! Mad scramble for books and pens. Some people agonise over the three books to be autographed, having bought more during the time waiting.
2050hrs - Woot! I get my books autographed by Mr. Neil! Preludes and Nocturnes gets a generic author's scribble, Neverwhere gets a "Mind the Gap!" and signature, and Death: The High Cost of Living - my (first) birthday present to myself - is a "Dear ..., Happy 25th Birthday! Don't die! Neil Gaiman."

The most amazing thing is that while he didn't pose for photographs (not very much anyway, and not personal shots), he made a sinister face for one of my photos while autographing something, and he actually talked to us (me and my new friends.) Joyce gave him some eerie voodoo doll-ish keychain, while I presented him a short list of junk food he should try before high-tailing it off our island. (They were: Taka's octopus balls since they were nearby, popiah at Sembawang Hills Estate hawker centre, and Fong Seng's 24 hour prata shop. Yes, I think these are good. I'm not makansutra.) He actually STOPPED signing and READ the hand-written piece of paper, STOOD UP, shook my hand and THANKED ME for the information, used my name and thanked me AGAIN for coming down.

If I wasn't a fan before, I am now. *swoon*

Death: The High Cost of Living

I have pictures of the event and scans of the autographs themselves, but I've exceeded my flickr upload limit this month.

[Bewitched, fully, utterly, completely, charmed out of my pants]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.7.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, juillet 04, 2005

 Cuteness Collage: A New Definition of Eye Candy

The pretty pretty girl is Tammi, Pastor's daughter.
Naughty boy with tongue sticking out is Zachary, Pastor's son.
Shy boy behind Zach is Thaddeus.

[Cuteness Collage: A New Definition of Eye Candy]
Sngs Alumni @ 4.7.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, juillet 03, 2005

 Wedding Dresses

Merlyn and I met up the other day and started talking about her wedding. I wondered out loud why she wasn't designing her own dress, and she said that she'd be bored of the dress by the time the wedding came around, and would want to tweak it a lot during the process. (I personally term this the "tweak freak" behaviour that almost ALL designers have, one way or another.)

But in the middle of eating dinner (I ate, she watched), pens and paper emerged, and so did four designs...





[Wedding Dresses]
Sngs Alumni @ 3.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Tiramisu: for Ms Rachel "I am a girl, of COURSE I can cook" Gan


To make the white part:
4 eggs (5 eggs if you get the smaller sized ones)
150g sugar
450g mascarpone cheese (Cold Storage will have, dunno about NTUC/Shop n Save. You should leave this out to soften before starting)
3/4 cup cream (whip it yourself, it's cheaper)

To make the sponge-cake-coffee-rum layer:

instant coffee (I like Indocafe)
3 tbsp liquer (like dark rum, cointreau, even baileys)
sponge cake (as much or as little as you like) OR
crushed digestive biscuits (my personal favourite)

For the top:

Cocoa powder (DON'T CHEAT AND USE MILO!!!)

Mixing machine (or at least, an egg whisker)
Mixing bowls
Pretty pretty glass serving bowls/cups.

01) Separate the egg yolk and white. (If you cannot do this, I suggest don't try to continue.)
02) Mix the egg yolks and sugar until you get a creamy mixture (A).
03) Use the mixer to mash the mascarpone cheese into some sort of mixture, then add in the egg yolks and sugar mixture slowly. Mix well.
04) Beat egg whites until the mixture is stiff, with a lot of tiny bubbles.
05) Whip the cream.
06) Mix cream with egg whites (B).
07) Mix both (A) and (B) together.
08) Now you have the cream layers! Yay. Next, you'll want to make the coffee-liquer layer.
09) Make the coffee.
10) Mix coffee with the liquer. If you don't like liquer, you can totally omit the liquer.
11) Yay! Now you can start making the tiramisu for real.
12) Pick up your pretty glass serving bowl.
13) Scoop a little or a lot of cream into the bowl. Use your spoon and make it level.
14) Take a slice of sponge cake (or sprinkle a thick layer of digestive biscuits) and layer it on top of the cream.
15) Splash the coffee-liquer on the sponge cake. Not too much, just enough to soak the sponge. (If you keep adding the coffee, it will eventually soak through the cream and end up at the bottom of the bowl. Which can be a nice end-touch. Or not. You decide. I quite like ending with coffee-liquer when I eat.)
16) Continue until you have no more space in the bowl.
17) Refrigerate! At least 2-3 hours! (This means cannot last-minute make before party... unless you plan to have 2-3 hours of activity before serving dessert.)
18) Sprinkle the cocoa powder just before you serve.


Of course, there's a shortcut: go out and buy.

[Tiramisu: for Ms Rachel "I am a girl, of COURSE I can cook" Gan]
Sngs Alumni @ 3.7.05 { 0 comments }

vendredi, juillet 01, 2005

 Sho Ishii: I hope you dance in heaven

After valiantly fighting leukemia for the last two years, Sho Ishii was called home to be with the Lord yesterday. For those who know the family, you can write to Seiji et al:

He was only 5 years old. I didn't expect this to happen because he was doing so well - he had fought off a whole round of chemotherapy, and even had a bone marrow transplant on May 18th 2005. I thought he was doing really well, and was going to be released soon... I guess God had other plans. But this is going to be so hard on the family...

Pray for the family - dad Seiji, mom Kaoru, and elder sis Saki, and give, if you feel you want to help in that way. Click for more information.

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

[Sho Ishii: I hope you dance in heaven]
Sngs Alumni @ 1.7.05 { 0 comments }

 Episode 8: Penultimate Chapter

Children of the Jedi
Barbara Hambly should be shot for writing such a crappy novel, complete with a rather bizarre romance. I really wanted to like Callista after hearing so much about how she broke Luke's heart, but the whole focus-on-love in this issue (Han-Leia, Luke-Callista, Cray-Nichos) was (paraphrasing dear Ade) a little too Mills and Boons. Plus the story was full of really strange things and beings - Children of the Jedi and Hambly's other SW's outing, Planet of Twilight, has me convinced that she likes creepy bugs, what with the drochs in Planet of Twilight and the kretch in Children of the Jedi ... ew. Upping the 'ew' factor was spectre-copulation: what is up with that?!

I should have read this before Survivor's Quest.

Survivor's Quest
Luke and Mara married-but-before-the-kid adventure! The Chiss! Echoes of Grand Admiral Thrawn, BEST VILLIAN EVER! Darth Vader's stormtroopers! Booster Terrick's BRIGHT RED STAR DESTROYER! Painted and re-fitted by Gerneral Bel Iblis! Supplied secretly by Talon Karrde! Written by the one, the only, Timothy Zahn! In the everlasting words of Gershwin: who could ask for anything more? And did I mention the BRIGHT RED STAR DESTROYER?

Why I'm totally enamoured of the BRIGHT RED STAR DESTROYER is not just because it's a BRIGHT RED STAR DESTROYER, but because it picks up a very thin, very amusing, very throwaway line that Michael A. Stackpole had in I, Jedi - something about Booster seeing a similarly-hued Corellian freighter, and desperately wanting to repaint the Errant Venture in the exact same shade of red.

Apart from my glee at the BRIGHT RED STAR DESTROYER, the rest of the story was very pretty - of course I'm reading it for the Luke-Mara adventure, and it was nice to see than Zahn is totally in control of this relationship, managing to weave the husband-wife dynamics into the story neatly - sometimes a little too neatly, I think. No arguments? Or rather, two-second arguments where Mara wins most of the time? On the other hand, that might actually be more reflective of real-life than I know. Hur.

All I know after reading Survivor's Quest is that Zahn should be kidnapped by Luke-Mara fans and forced to write about the times between oh, I don't know, The Last Command and Survivor's Quest.

I, Jedi
I would like to state for the record that the title is of course, a total complete rip-off from Asimov's I, Robot, which recently spawned a not-quite-accurate (but what's new?) movie featuring the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and if Michael A. Stackpole thinks that his writing should be compared with Issac "Foundation/Robot" Asimov, he's got another thing coming.

But apart from the naming faux-pas, this book was deliciously long and good to read. The ONLY Star Wars novel to be written in the first person - hence the "I, Jedi" title - it's a four-hour read, instead of the usual three-hours that the regular novels take me. Overlapping the slightly verbose Jedi Academy series, this novel traces the progress of one Rogue-Nine pilot Corran Horn through his journey to becoming a Jedi, which is a good alternate perspective from boring old Luke, or even Leia perspectives. Horn's a pilot, his wife is kidnapped, he needs to train to be a Jedi to take up the gauntlet, he abandons being a Jedi since Luke's Jedi Academy is so plain boring, tells that to Luke in his face (!), goes off, infiltrates the organisation holding his wife, picks up a Caamasi servant, gets totally turned on and propositioned by an ex-Moff/current Admiral, merges his CorSec and Jedi personalities and makes himself a funky extendable lightsaber (which shorts out anyway, because that's what funky things do), meets up with Luke and saves his wife. Taa-daa! Oh, and he manages to discuss having a relationship with Mara Jade within the book too. Which is just nasty since he's married, and Jade would kick his ass at lightsaber practice anyway.

Tatooine Ghost
Tatooine Ghost is a Han-Leia adventure. Perhaps I came to the book very rather low expectations (after all, it was written by the guy who killed off one of Luke's nephews, effectively negating Chewbacca's sacrifice in Vector Prime), but it surprised me by being not only well-written, but well-integrated into the plots and characters of Episodes I and II. Dealing with Leia's reactions to her father's personality before he became Darth Vader, Troy Denning managed to bridge the uneasy distance between The Truce at Bakura (where Leia is met with a Force apparition that is Anakin Skywalker, asking for forgiveness which she resolutely refuses to give him) by giving Leia a chance to see Anakin's old friends, and view an old holo-diary of her grandmother, Shmi Skywalker.

His portrayal of Leia and Han was pretty much spot-on too, hitting that sweet-spot between newlyweds and before the jaded political punching-bag air that Leia sometimes carries around sets in. My only gripe with this novel is that it does not seem to have an anti-climax epilogue to it: it exits right at the peak of the excitement. They're out of danger and totally hauling ass back to Coruscant, data chip destroyed/melted, but this is one situation where the saying "quit while you're ahead" does NOT apply. Bring us down, Captain!

Oh man... I just re-read this post before posting, and I sound so...something. But congratulate me! (That is, if anyone out there is still reading this after bothering to sift through two page-down clicks of me ramble on and on about Star Wars...) I only have ONE more book that I want to read (I have resolved to avoid the New Jedi Order series until maybe... next year?) before I can end this rather bizarre chapter in my life, where I've read almost a book a day for the month of June. I'll make a nice Amazon.com collage of all the books when I'm done being a Star Wars uber-nerd.

I need a new hobby. "Reading" just doesn't cut it after Primary 4 autograph books.

[Episode 8: Penultimate Chapter]
Sngs Alumni @ 1.7.05 { 0 comments }

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