Saturday, November 18, 2006

Books list

List of books to buy

Patricia McKillip:
The Book of Atrix Wolfe
Riddlemaster of Hed

Robin McKinley:
Everything especially The Hero and the Crown and Deerskin *

Jose Carlos Somoza:
The Athenian Murders

Koushun Takami:
Battle Royale

Neil Gaiman:
Neverwhere
Stardust

Meredith Anne Pierce:
The Darkangel trilogy *
The Woman Who Loved Reindeer

Eoin Colfer:
The Lost Colony ****

C. S. Lewis:
Till We Have Faces
Screwtape letters **

Geraldine Brooks:
Year of Wonders *

Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones ***

Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray ****

Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
The Relic
Still Life with Crows
Thunderhead
Reliquary

Michele Jaffe
Bad Girl
Lady Killer
Secret Admirer

Hermann Hesse
Demian

Gillian Bradshaw
The Wolf Hunt

Nicole Krauss
The History of Love

Jean Paul Sartre
Existentialism and Humanism (non-fiction)

and certain classic books mentioned in the previous post



List of books to borrow

Tamora Pierce:
Song of the Lionness series
Trickster series

Bernard Weber
Empire of Ants

*recommended online
**recommended by my sister
***recommended by ms thiang my literature teacher
****wanted it for a really long time

Monday, October 16, 2006

Movie Review 01: Death Note

When I saw the trailer for Death Notes months ago, I didn't thought that it would even be half as good as the manga. I was proved completely wrong when I watched the movie yesterday. Even my sister who knows nothing about Death Note likes it.

The plot is basically this: a university law student, Yagami Light finds a notebook that claims people can be killed just by thinking of the person and writing the name in it. When he discovers that it's real, he uses it to kill criminals to make the world a "better" place. That is, until the international police(or something similar) turns to L for help, a famous mysterious detective, and the fun begins with the two geniuses fighting a battle of wits.

It is NOT a horror movie.

It is a surprisingly good movie with a very good plot. And the protagonist is so evil that you almost can't imagine it. The only thing I didn't like was the acting of Light by Tatsuya Fujiwara. He just isn't evil enough. Give more psychotic smirks and laughter!

I like the details paid to the characters. L, for example was portrayed very well as the genius weirdo with a sweet tooth. Everyone laughed when he made his first appearance. And when he started eating and eating and... eating.

One word of warning. The movie has a very anti-climatic ending. Everything will be continued in the the second movie, Death Note: The Last Name.

Death Note: The Last Name is coming out in Singapore on 28th December 2006.

Death Note: The Last Name Trailer 1 and Trailer 2

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Haze, Pow Sing and ?

It's 6.42 am now and the sky is red with the haze. It's foggy and I anticipate that it will be far worse than whatever yesterday reading's was. Right now the PSI is 69. Everyone take your mask out!

Dinner was a scary affair yesterday at the family gathering. Normally, there is a constant flow of food from 4.30pm onwards to 10pm at night. But for yesterday "enjoy food festival", 120 satays from Chomp Chomp, very famous chicken rice, crispy tofu, the famous fish head curry, duck with sea cucumber and oyster egg from Pow Sing. And two home-cooked vegetables dished. Oh don't forget the ben and jerry ice cream. And I didn't join in for the supper part (chinese tea, mooncakes and other assorted delicious treats).

I kind of feel like this:



I feel fat now. haha. although my cousins were giving me black faces when the weighing scales says I'm still 46.6kg. :P But I guess I ate too much cos I got a horrible nightmare about ghosts. @__@

It was fun though. All the nice food. Though we couldn't finish the statays. Too many!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dell's service should improve

Having enduring no computer (or in my sister's case, hauling her laptop from work to home everyday) for weeks, we finally caved in and bought a dell computer online. Which started off a chain of events that left us quite unhappy.

To do Dell justice, their response after we ordered our PC was quick. They send us an email regarding our delivery, explaining why it cannot be send on that day. They even called. Which was nice.

Since I was in the middle of my exams and my sisters are both at work, we postponed our delivery. Instead of receiving our computer on friday due to some dell problems, we requested them to send our computer on the next Thursday. That's when all the unhappiness began.

My sister rushed home, and worm even came. It was a wasted trip for him though. The PC did not arrive. When worm called the customer service hotmail, a woman informed us that the PC will arrive at 6 pm. It did not. The worst thing was no one even bothered to inform us that the PC was not coming. A simple call would have done the trick. But they did not. I was furious, my sister annoyed, and my mom pissed off.

What a waste of time.

The second incident that made us unhappy was regarding the setting up of the computer. We have no idea we have to ask dell to fix the PC when we ordered. It was a good thing worm was here. If not the computer would have just collected dust in the boxes. It was possible that we did not check the box for the computer set up (we wouldn't have mind paying more for it), but still...

Another matter that grated me was the warrenty card. I think dell should have written somewhere that the card doesn't comes with the PC. :( My sister had to email them to clear everything up. sigh.

This incident has given us a really bad experience from Dell. Unless Dell has some extreme discount, I doubt I will buy my laptop from them next year.

Edit: it appears that dell has found my blog. i wonder how they found it? hmm. not going to reply back to them cos everything is here. and the warranty card thing is resolved.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Death Note the movie

19th October 2006

it's listed in yahoo as a documentary. WTF?!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Writings: Who took my heart

Today I tried to run. But I can't. I felt nothing but a growing emptiness. I glanced down and saw a gaping hole. Where my heart was.

Who took my heart?

I wondered how I am still alive and breathing and walking and doing everything that people with hearts do. I recalled reading how humans cannot function with hearts. Hearts beat the oxygen to the rest of the bodies.

Where is my heart?

Blood grows cold. They pool around the body. Shiny and red. Like strawberries freshly picked. The colour of tomato. They are warm. But even they bow down to the cold.

Who stole my heart?

I ran. Rather, I tried to. The cold took over me until I was a figure of ice. I bowed down.

Am I dying?

The blood is cold and dark. The body is cold. It stole my heart.

Who are you the creature with no heart?

I stared at the knife in my hand. The blood has already crusted. It is a dark red, almost brown. Like the timberland shoes it was wearing. He stole my heart. The monster broke free in me. And it stole his. A fair exchange.

We have no heart.

Because he took ours.

Note: was trying out a new style of writing. I think I made some errors here and there. Probably no one will understand.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

WOMAD


Together with the North East Community Development Council, the festival presents another night of WOMADNESS with WOMAD in the Heartlands. This year will be the fourth edition of the festival’s outreach program and will take place in Hougang (Blk 814, Hougang Ave 10) on 19 August from 7pm.

The WOMAD artists, flags and global village of international food and craft stalls will all appear and help bring the spirit, music and color of WOMAD and the world to Hougang. WOMAD in the Heartlands will feature artist Stevie Goldsmith, who will present a series of workshops that share the movements, stories and music of Aboriginal culture with the school children of Hougang, culminating in a short performance piece.

Womad today! Go and watch it!

edit: came back. it's pretty interesting. took the photo that graced this post. Hougang is pretty happening now. There were like two other events going on apart from WOMAD. The line-dancing and the usual chinese (opera?/getai) performances.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Food 01+02: Mix and Man Jia Le

You can't say that Raffles City is boring anymore. Most of the shops in the basement have already opened and I advised you to take a walk around it. Market place has became so much bigger and a large portion of the carpark probably went into it as well. There are plently of restaurants like Thai Express, Din Tai Fung and Teahouse the Asian Kitchen. And yes, our favorite icecream Ben & Jerry.

But what caught my eye was Mix. My mother bought a smoothie (wee size at $5.80) from there and we sat down on the comfortable seats that they provided. The environment was great with nice seats which looked a great deal more comfortable than the ones at Ben & Jerry. They even provide free internet surfing at the two PC there. The drink we ordered was really brilliant with fruits like strawberry and banana with yogurt thrown in. They also offer sandwiches and other nice nice food.

I thought their concept is lovely and their idea for the cup size (wee, wow, woah!) is cute. Though it is more on the expensive side, it sure won't kill you to at least try it once.

Rating: 7/10

Before I met up with my mum at raffles city, my sister and I were shopping at Far Esat Plaza. Feeling very thirsty, I dragged my sister to the basement for a drink where she discovered Man Jia Le which has a few newspaper cuttings on its drinks, in particular, Yuan Yang and Nai Chai (milk tea). So I tried their Hong Kong Milk Tea ($1.80) while my sister tried the Yuan Yang ($2).

The nai chai is good but after drinking the real thing in Hong Kong last year, especially after the one that is highly recommended in HK itself, this is nothing. I still can't find any that can best that. The nai chai at Man Jia Le is better than the usual singapore standard but nothing exciting. The yuan yang is great though.

Rating: 6.5/10 If I didn't had that ultra nice nai chai in HK, I would have given them a much higher score.

Both Mix and Man Jia Le are nice but go to Man Jia Le if you want cheap and nice drinks.

Food 00: menotti

A friend has recently informed me that one should never dine in a restaurant within 6 months of its opening especially for chinese food. This is a piece of really good advice as my terrifying experience at the Imperial Treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Marina Square has shown me in June when I celebrated my bday with my family.

Yesterday, taking the advice to heart, we went to the italian restaurant (or café & bar) Menotti, at Raffles City. The service is fantastic. We ordered our food from an uber friendly waitress who was very patient with my mother who wanted lobster and spaghetti yada yada. Kudos to that.

The food is alright, above average. I ordered a dinner set for $29.90, while my mother and sisters went for the pasta. I tried all three while waiting for my main course and I thought they tasted rather good. For me, I had a starter of spinach and crab soup (which was pretty nice though my mum hated it) and fish with mushroom in white wine (can't really remember) and finally a free choice for desert (pastry) which my sister decided on the sinfully sorbert.

I have to minus marks for that stinky error they made in not cooking the fish completely. One of the pieces was not well cooked and I could see some redness in the middle. Fortunately that was the last piece I ate or I would have lost my appetite. Ignoring that, the main course was actually rather nice, especially when I ate the fish with the mashed potato with the white wine sauce. Taken on its own, the white wine sauce would have overpowered the taste of the black pepper fish.

We had actually wanted to order one of the cakes which was recommended by a friend but it was not available. Pity. Also, I do not believe you can reserve in advance. When my sister and I tried to reserve at 5++, they politely shattered that thought. Finally, Menotti is mildly expensive. Pasta starts from $19. Desert is a must try unless you can afford to go to Bakerz Inn. In fact, go there for the pastry and cake and not for lunch/dinner.

Rating: 6.8/10 Would have gave more but for the fish.

Menotti is at #01-17, beside Bakerz Inn. Tel: 6333 9366

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Movie Review 00: The King and the Clown


I watched the King and the Clown with my sis yesterday. It's a pretty good movie with a rather good insight as to the historical Korean culture. That Lee Joon Ki acted in this movie is an extra point.

It's rather funny in the beginning. However, it's mostly sexual in reference. If you dislike this sort of thing, you may feel offended.

Plot wise, it's pretty good. The subtleties involved in enlightening the King and the way he ignored those that he did not want to see are fantastic. I especially liked the friendship between Gong gil and Jang-sang is really powerful and in particular, the part where they pretended to be blind. Though, this is a movie with homosexual themes, it does not really show anything (apart from the kiss and Gong gil taking off his clothes in the beginning). Rather mild when you compared to Brokeback Mountain. However, if you can't stand loads of emotional vibes between guys you may want to skip the movie.

What I really noticed in the movie, are the background and the costumes. They are so beautiful! The palace is rather different from the one I saw in Jewel in the Palace. Probably because their budget is a lot higher than the TV serials.

Rating: 7/10 Worth $8.90 to watch it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Drama Review 00: My Girl


My Girl is one of the top Korean drama in 2005/2006, braodcasted between 2005-12-14 to 2006-02-02.

Like many korean drama, it has a heroine with two gorgeous men chasing after her heart. Typical story line. The heroine in question, Ju Yoo-rin (Lee Da Hae), is another poor woman with no money and an useless father. In her attempt to get $$$ survive, she takes any job. Even if it is not very legal.

The story goes like this: Guy meets girl. They got into lots of funny situations. Guy needs someone to pretend to be his long-lost cousin for his grandfather. Girl agrees. More funny situation comes up as they lied to the whole family. Another guy appears to try to win her heart.

Based on the one episode I have watch, it is hilarilous. This is a show that will have you rolling on the floor. Fans who have seen Lee Joon Ki in The King and the Clown should also watch him take on a completely different role. (I particularly loved the part where he fought in episode two. The driving! X3)

Rating: 7/10. Watch it while you suffer from deprivation of Goong.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day: a time for spending!

Today. A fine sunny rainy Sunday. Forteen of May. Two oh oh six. Afternoon. Mother's Day.

It's mother's day, the day when we filial children dig into our pockets to shower our beloved mothers with gifts of love. While we sob for our empty pockets, our mothers glow with pride and the irritating retailing and dining stores laugh their way to the counters.

Argh.

I am deeply ashamed to say that I have never ever bought a Mother's day gift for my mother. Apart from a card I made with my sister in Primary one (two?), I have never give anything for mother to boost about to her friends. This year my mother had enough. She came home on this friday with a new handbag and pointed at me, "Thank you for your Mother's day present. Thirty dollar please."

-_____-|||

My intelligent mother then proceed to give vague warnings to my two sisters, using her new handbag (and me) as an example. I must confess that we switched the topics immediately.

To make sure that my sisters (and I to give her the thirty dollars) cannot forget today, she dangled her new handbag in front of us the past two days and announced that she will not cook on Sunday nor do chores.

Her tactics worked. My eldest sister decided to bring her out for a late mother's day lunch next week while I took my precious thirty dollar out of my poor purse and sacrificed myself for those chores. My second sister has decided to go into hiding. Doubtless she will return when she finds the cheapest acceptable thing to give to my mother. (just kidding!)

Of course my mother is filled with pride now and is busily boasting to all her firends how filial her children are.

Oh my poor wallet. Curse those retailing stores for having discounts now.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Election: The Singapore World Cup

Photo from Yawning Bread.

Short summary of the rally: policemen, WP flags, ice cream men, lots and lots of people and summon officers (!)

The Singapore Election is the Singapore equivalent of the World Cup. I went to Workers' Party rally yesterday at the Hougang open field. It was an eye opener. I have never thought that Singaporeans would actually be willing to stand in the middle of a field, hot and sticky, and not complaining. This is the Singapore World Cup. It happens once every 5 years. There is no other event that will make us Singaporeans to do "siao" things like these but football and elections.

There were at least 20,000 people there. While I was leaving the place at 9pm (I promised my sister I will be back by nine), I saw even more people walking in groups to the field. Such is the draw of the rally.

I have no clue where the stage was due to the crowd. I could hear the voice of the speaker booming but I could see no hide nor skin of him. So I climbed 13 stories. On every floor, apart from the first level, people were crowding to see a clearer view of the rally. The lift was completely packed and stairs were filled with people like me climbing up. There was a kind man who allowed me to take his position to take some photos (although my camera decided not to cooperate >_<). He must have been thinking, even xiao mei mei also interested in elections now! I also find it highly amusing that the ice cream men and other enterprising singaporeans set up their temporary (illegal?) stores at the field. Who says Singaporeans have are not enterprising now? They were making quite a trade. In any case, I can feel the atmosphere. People were cheering for the Workers' Party. I read in other blogs that the people even booed the police when they tried to take their flags away at the end of the rally. I see people waving their WP flags and reading the manifesto. It's like one huge support for WP. But Hougang may not necessary be in WP's hands. Half of the people at the rally probably wasn't even from Hougang. I know of people from Holland Village, Tampines coming to see the rally. So despite the turnout, there isn't anything that the PAP need to care about. Turnout at rally does not equal to votes. Afterall, we have seen this happening over and over again when the results are shown. This is also the major problem all oppositions faced. People listen to the rally, they cheer at the rally but they do not vote for them.

It could be a case of curiosity. People want to know what the oppositions are doing. If they want to know about PAP, all they need to do is to switch on their TV. There is no need for them to sweat. But for the oppositions, the news hardly report anything on their rallies even on the rare occasions they do, it is misleading or very briefly. To know what they are doing, they can only go to the rally. Just go and hear loh, that will be the mindset of these people. They could also be there as oppositions' rallies are more interesting than the PAP's.

I see a case of PAP winning almost all the seats. They may not win Hougang but they will definitely win others, unless, the mindsets of people change. Highly unlikely. It is not difficult to see why. Look at how the oppositions work. Apart from Workers' Party which is one of the better ones (and messed up in the James Gomez issue), none of them can be compared with PAP. This is the sad reality of Singapore.

"Bet you didn't know this" facts:
  • An old couple sitting at a bench away from the rally said, in teochew: "PAP rally confirm no people go."
  • The road along Kovan was jammed with people trying to go to the rally.
  • It cost five dollars to buy the flags, manifesto etc...
  • as compared to SDP's (I think) 2 dollars.
  • There was a Getai nearby. Hmmm.
  • There was a SUMMON OFFICER!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The new Trailer


Over 15,000,000 copies sold, it is now a movie!

Deathnote

http://pdl.warnerbros.com/wbol/jp/deathnote/swf/trailer2.swf

I must have watched the trailer around six times.

It is fabulous. The new trailer is sooooooo much better than the old one. I thought that Red Hot Chili Pepper's Dani California will totally spoil the movie (Rap? What are they thinking?!) but it turns out that I'm wrong. Fits the movie pretty well. And L (Kenichi Matsui) looks so good. Light (Tatsuya Fujiwara), on the other hand, appears awful. Also his acting from the trailer is not good. He should be acting MAD. Light is insane afterall. I hope in the movie he will perform the iamcrazypsychoticmonster Light to his best ability. I like how he smirks though. :3

CGed Ryuk appears for the first time. He looks fantastic AND creepy. They have done a very good job on him. It makes me want to keep some apples for him. *grin*

I am anticpitating the movie. It's a pity that they didn't show the tennis scene in the trailer. That was one of the scenes that would have been great in action. In any case, it is highly possible that the movie will be distributed to other countries. It will depend on how well it will do in Japan first though.

While promotion of the movie is getting all exciting, deathnote is coming to an end. Page 107 is shocking. The series is finally at its climax. Somewhere out there, L must be laughing. I hate Nate River. Anyway, people are predicting that it will end it is ending at Page 108. Which is totally fine with me. I think Death Note should have ended at Page 59. The first part of Death Note completely screwed up my mind. It is that good. The second arc is not even half as good as it. Only the recent chapters (90+) redempted it. Hopefully the movie will do the manga justice.

The movie will be shown on the 17th of June 2006, in theaters, Japan.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Play: Death and the Maiden

"Death and the Maiden is a moral and psychological thriller about a woman, Paulina, who believes that a stranger who comes to her home is the doctor who, under a military dictatorship, tortured and raped her many years before. Recognising her aggressor by the sound of his voice she begins a sequence of events that she hopes will enable her to both take her revenge and put to an end the voices that have haunted her since her incarceration. However, things are not all they seem and her husband, a political go-getter, starts to doubt his wife's sanity and the stranger's supposed guilt."

6.5/10

Stars Karen Tan, Lim Yu Beng and Daniel Jenkins.

Death and the Maiden would have scored higher if it wasn't so boring in the beginning. It was only when the doctor went over to stay over night at their house that the speed began to pick up. The suspense that the play created is great.

I was wondering whether the doctor is indeed gulity and I loved how the play ends. Perfect. The acting was alright but it could have been better. Overall, a great performance.

Just wondering. Was I the only one who hate the husband? He is quite a jerk hmm?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Play: Furthest North Deepest South

7 out of 10.

A rather good play. I'm too lazy to write further. Maybe next time. :X

Friday, March 17, 2006

More information on the movie plus trailer

The trailer (for the better quality go to the official site and click on the TV in Ratio's room)looks great. I like how the apple is floating around, how the there are fang marks on it. You can almost imagine the invisible Ryuk playing around with the apple, invisible to all but Ratio(Light). The split second footage of L, staring like a corpse. And the scenes of the skies, indication of how Light wants to be seen as God. The weather is almost listening and doing his bidding. Light Yagami. God of the New World.

Distributor: Warner Bros.
"Warners Financing Live Action 'Death Note' Movie"
(Aiming box-office sales of 10 billion yen, more than 320 theaters.)

Cast
Light: Tatsuya Fujiwara
L: Kenichi Matsui
Misa: Erika Toda
Souichiro: Takeshi Kaga
Sayu: Hikari Mitsushima
Sachiko: Michiko Godai
Watari: Shunji Fujimura
Matsuda: Souta Aoyoama
Aizawa: Shin Shimizu
Ukita: Tatsushi Okuda
Mogi: Ikuji Nakamura
Shiori: (original character for the movie) Yuu Kashima
Raye Penber: Shigeki Hosokawa
Naomi Misora: Asaka Seto
Takuo Shibuimaru: Kaohiko Kaoda

Shinigami will be represented with CG.
The voice actors for Ryuk and Rem are not decided yet.


From the 10 billion yen expectations and it being distributed by Warner Bros, this is a major movie. Or rather major movies. There are two movies. And if the movies are sucessful, we can expect a third.

The fact that they booked an entire subway line (one of the busiest in Japan) in the day to film the movie, proves that this movie is teh BIG. The amount of money they poured in.....

I can only hope that they do not screw the plot too much. And Ryuk MUST look alright. I'm praying that he do not look like Jar Jar Blinks. If not the entire movie is ruined. Here's hoping that he will looks so creepy that he will give me nightmares.

From the feel of the trailer, especially the first teaser trailer, it seems as though the movies will have a horror feel. Which is fine by me. I do hope that the movies will have the same screw-your-mind effect that the manga has.

High chances that it will come to Singapore?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Play: Confessions of 300 unmarried men

I watched Confessions of 300 unmarried men by Action Theater at Drama Centre last night and I thought it was alright. Not too bad but not too good either.

Basically it's about unmarried men. We have 3 actors who acted as well, everyone. Mothers, bachelors, girlfriends etc. But mainly, we see the confessions of three men in 20s, 30s and 40s. It is pretty funny in certain part like when they pretended to sing. And the naked men part. The scandalous dressing and dancing... That is hilarious.

There are loads of sexual jokes. All the birds, balls and stuff. MY BIRD CAN SING LOUDER THAN YOUR BIRD. Yes. Something like that.

On the flip side, I think it could have been much better. The play isn't properly glued together and it feels strange to jump from one scene to another. I know that the singing and stuff is supposed to be humor but somehow I feel that it just don't have much of a link to the rest of the play. The tech is great though. They/he/she placed the props and stuff without me noticing at all. Rather unlike Turning Othello. Then again, those are students.

The best thing about this play? I didn't need to pay a single cent. Yup. VIP seat. First row somemore. And I'm supposed to pay $20 to watch it this coming Saturday afternoon so I'm totally happy about it. *grin* I supposed I have to thank my sister and most so, her friend for providing those VIP seats. Thank you!