Thursday, October 1, 2009

busy

yes yes i've been so busy that i have not updated my blog for a long time, i know.
my whole october's weekends are packed full and my weekdays are no different either.
i should get something up by 5th october when at least one of my assignments are done up tho.

until then.. keep gritting my teeth i guess!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The inevitable topic... Boomz!

Yes everyone is talking about this topic. It’s so hot that even I cannot help not talking about it.

What is it? Miss Ris Low – Miss Singapore World 2009 contestant

First off, I would like to begin by asking how can someone like that win the local qualifying competition? Although I must applaud the effort that she puts into the competition, I highly doubt the taste and competency of the judges, or rather the lack of taste and competency.

As with all Miss World/Miss Universe pageants, it is not just about looks; which I again would give our representative, Miss Ris Low, full marks for effort. But really, are the judges blind or are those who signed up this year really that bad? I’m not critiquing on her looks although I must say that not many Singaporean girls look that great comparatively to other native Asians. I’ve met a few gorgeous ones, yes, but still they’re like one in a million.

Next comes the point which grinds my gears. She seems to have a slight difficulty in her proficiency of the English language. Have you heard her speak? Yes she does not spew horrible broken English and her sentences are quite grammatically correct. But it’s the thick Singaporean AhLian/Cheena accent that irks me. No I’m not asking for the Queen’s English, British or American accents, but what would have been ideal was if she did not have that Cheena accent. Its just embarrassing, I for one, am not proud that we Singaporeans speak like that. Well, if it is used in a local context it is fine, but Miss Ris Low is going up to the international stage. Perhaps the rest of the world may not be so particular and fussy about that small accent thing because every country has their own accent. But if we cannot be proud of the things which we ‘produce’, then the competition has already been lost before it started, hasn’t it?

Now comes the point that a few people have mentioned about. They say that it is “normal for Singaporeans to speak like this”, and ask why is the internet community complaining and why the populace seems to be expecting so much. Honestly, not many Singaporeans speak like that, not anymore. Perhaps in the past, such a phenomenon was more common when the branches of education are just reaching out to the populace, but definitely not today. Therefore, for those people who say that it is “normal” for Singaporeans to speak like this, I urge them to attend the ‘Speak Good English’ campaign. This campaign is not only to educate one to speak proper English at the right times, without the fusion of Singlish, but it is also designed to help one know when is the right time to use the Singaporean accent. While it would be almost impossible to remove all hint of a native accent from one’s speech, it is possible to learn and know when to say it in the right way.
Besides, just because a large number of people are doing it, it does not make it ‘right’ or ‘normal’. Ever heard of the phenomenon of de-individualization? Where a person does something that a large majority is doing, he thinks that he is right by behaving similarly. I’m not saying Ris is ‘wrong’ for speaking like that, its her natural way and there is no justification in faulting her. However, the fault lies with the judges for selecting her out of the other contestants. Then again, maybe the other contestants were really that bad that Ris was the best choice out of them.

By the way, I would also like to emphasize that a beauty contest of this scale does not only look at the external looks of the contestant, but she will also be asked questions. If people think that a beauty pageant such as Miss Universe is only about the looks and does not require brains or verbal skills, why would the judges bother asking questions or have the contestants introduce themselves anyway?

I believe Ris also needs some media training.
“Wear something rat and lau’d” – Pronunciation needs fixing.

“Feeling naughty, wear a bigini and jeans and trot down Orchard Road” – Pronounciation needs fixing. And obviously she does not know what that this line just made her totally bimbotic. Obviously she does not know that she can be arrested for indecent exposure, and in Singapore, a bikini as a top and going down Orchard Road is really pushing the limit.

“Zebra prints” and “Leopard prince (prints)” – Fashion disaster much? Even Boy George looked better.

“Boomz!” – What’s with this? Perhaps it wouldn’t sound half as bad/kiddish/AhLian-ish if she didn’t have the ‘Z’ sound at the end. Obviously we know she is trying to describe herself wearing something loud and eye catching.. But “Boomz!”, wow, appalling. I guess she must be the kind who types on MSN and SMS messages with words like “lolx” “omgx” “pls lehz” “dearz”. I shudder. Keep it to your own personal text among friends. On the international community, proper language proficiency is always a plus, please.

This incident made me recall a ‘theory’ about models which my friend came up with during our free time in reservist. He mentioned that models in Singapore are ‘second tier’. The first tier, being the really gorgeous looking and super rare ones, know that with their looks they can get better prospects than being a model. Hence when they are scout by these modeling scouts, they reject them. Next comes tier two, those who think that they look good but are not sure of it themselves. When the modeling scouts, who got rejected by the Tier Ones, they scout out the Tier Twos whom because of being scouted, receive a ‘confirmation’ that they look good. Hence why our models are substandard, Tier Two ones.

Of course, with that I must add that there are always exceptions and I personally know a few models who are Tier One caliber.

Monday, September 14, 2009

coonmake making. moonmake caking. mooncake making.

Today, I learnt how to make mooncakes from my mum. Not much to say, although it was a very interesting process. Below are the pictures, with some descriptions as usual:


Roasted melon seeds


Salted duck yolks


Balls of lotus paste, mixed with the melon seeds



a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2WoFBjc1pJBZFwbocdTdxQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCISh6dPr_7iXAQ&feat=embedwebsite">
Lye water (alkaline water; not battery water fyi), peanut oil and sugar syrup


The three liquids mixed with Hong Kong flour to create the mooncake pastry


The mooncake pastry


Wrap the pastry around the lotus paste, mould them and throw them into the oven




Egg-wash the mooncakes, then bake again!




Second round of egg-washed mooncakes. Egg wash again, and bake again!




The end product.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone!
Sip your Chinese tea, look at the moon, carry lanterns and walk around!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Atas bus and non-atas bus.

Today’s topic may seem a little weird, but it’s something that I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile already. Atas bus and non-atas bus.

For those of you that don’t know the meaning of ‘atas’, its Malay (if I’m not wrong) for ‘high class’ or if you want to put it in a more refined manner; ‘burgeois’ (pronounced as Bur-Zhoo-Wha).

So ok, back to todays topic, Atas bus and non atas bus, now that you know the definition. I live at Serangoon North as most of you know. I love this place, it is very convenient. I have two bus stops within 2 minutes walk and 2 mrt stations (AMK on North South Line and Serangoon on North East Line) within 15minutes (max) traveling time by bus to take me to anywhere I want to go. I usually take the NEL though. So to get to Serangoon MRT station, I have two choices of buses, services 43 and 70.

I prefer to commute on service 70 instead of 43 though. Here is where the atas part comes in.

On many occasions in the past, I have boarded service 43. It is just a strange unexplainable phenomenon (but I have my own explanation for it actually) that when I board service 43, the people onboard seem weirder. I’m serious! In comparison to service 70 where the people look well.. normal.. I have observed that there are weird people on 43.

Now what do I mean by weird? I have noticed that the people who commute on bus 43 usually fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

When you board the bus, they look at you as if you’re some alien, or you have a piece of steak stuck to your forehead. They just eyeball you from top to toe.

They look lost. I mean lost in their lives. They don’t know what they are doing, don’t know where they are going, have no purpose, or just look plain clueless/lost/directionless/purposeless. Imagine zombie apocalypse. Where’s Jill Valentine or Ada Wong?

They stink. Yes, they seem to not like to shower.

They are retarded. Ok I don’t mean to sound evil and discriminate these people, but how on earth can their next of kin let someone who needs a guardian beside them travel alone? What if something happens to them? These people board the bus looking normal, or maybe some of them you can tell they are a little weird. They sit down quietly until some trigger event suddenly sparks off their madness and they start yelling. Just the other day when I was returning home from lesson with my friend Kelvin, we boarded this bus service 147. A retarded guy sneezed really loudly, so naturally it would kind of get the attention of people around him. He started yelling at everyone on the bus and only stopped when the bus driver threatened to call the police if he did not.

They are retarded. Now this is where the real retarded people come in – They are retarded because they board the bus and they stand at the rear exiting door, blocking everybody when there is enough space at the standing area.

The music play-aloud’ers. – These people are what? Too poor to afford earphones? You know at opticians they ask you to donate your old glasses to the poor and the needy who cannot afford visual aid right? I think there should be a box to collect used earphones to donate to these people. And amazingly, these people come from ALL demographics. I’ve seen before your typical secondary school kid playing his hiphop or jay chou out loud. Its easy to spot; you see them boarding the bus with in their school uniforms, shirt tucked out, planting (I wouldn’t say wearing) a trucker cap barely on their heads with so much air space inside without knowing they look stupid. Some 50 year old uncle who plays his Teresa Teng. And some weirdo ahbeng with gold centre parting hair looking like the McDonalds logo still listening to techno and playing it out loud. The list goes on, but you can imagine. I’m perfectly fine with having them on the bus, just please, don’t need to share the music. As if the noise pollution from SqueakyMobile (TV Mobile), the louder than burglar alarm EZ-Link card scanner and other background chatter isn’t enough to drive you nuts. Thank god I have my iPod.

The talk a lot/talk aloud – Self explanatory: People who yell into their mobile phones. There are Singaporeans; namely the weirdos (see above), the ex-ahbengs, and the older generation (can’t fault them much because they aren’t as educated as the younger generation so they have a tendency to be more “rough”).

The socially/environmentally oblivious – These people board the bus and if there are no seats, they stand, naturally. But they stand AT THE DOOR. You know what your sergeants said during NS when there was an empty space waiting to be filled up and nobody would move in there; “Got ghost ah?”. These people block the door, slowing down entrance and exits. These people also refuse to move to ALL THE WAY to the rear when the bus is crowded. Obviously they do not understand that if the bus is so crowded and the person at the front door cannot board for the door to close, the bus cannot move off and everyone WILL BE DELAYED.

I’m sure that you can relate much to this article, especially if you take public transport during the peak hours. The same applies on the MRT.

Why I prefer to take service 70. The chance of meeting a weirdo on bus 70 is probably 2 out of 100 trips as compared to bus 43 where its like 78 out of 100.

Here comes my reasoning why I think 43 ferries weird people:
Service 43 starts from Punggol (ulu place) and ends at Upper East Coast Road (ulu place).

Service 70 starts from Yio Chu Kang (affluent place) and ends at Shenton Way (affluent place).

Discriminate much? ^_^
Of course if you were to feel offended by this article (although you shouldn’t be), I apologize for it as it is simply through my own personal observation and has no intention of causing or stirring up any unpleasant feelings in any way. Of course I must also add that there are always exceptional cases where there are no weirdos on 43 and instead there are on 70. Well.. What to do? It’s called PUBLIC transport for a reason. I’m just thankful I’m not clinging onto the outside of a bus like in Mumbai.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The meaning of ‘Meaning’

That’s what I have to write about for my Screen Theories module essay. Rather, I’m supposed to write about how meaning is constructed and understood by society and people. Here’s how my assignment question reads;

“Meaning in any film is produced as a result of combining the formal elements of cinema (the use of camera, lighting, sound, mise-en-scene, use of narrative technique etc). However, this meaning is also shaped through normative assumptions about gender, race, class, work, the family and so on that exist in our culture. Films merely reaffirm these assumptions rather than contest them”.

Well, I won’t go into detail about society, discourse, Baudrillard, Foucault, discourse, governmentality and stuff like that; it’s too deep for a brainless blog like this already.
I was quite surprised I had to break out my old skool TMC Advanced Diploma textbook for references and quotes on this topic. I thought I’d never have to touch the crummy useless textbook from the school anymore. You never know eh?


“Every step with you” pfft!




A close up view of the notes I highlighted:





Ahh fun times… Thank god for the assignment deadline being pushed to 17th Sept. I don’t know how I’ll juggle this and my crazy PR assignment about pirates when their deadlines are back to back!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another save money weekend!

Woohoo!! Another weekend at home, another $100 saved. At this rate, I’m gonna be rich! So anyways, I stayed home and played Everquest2 the whole weekend instead of doing my essays. Well, PR is due on the 11th and Screen Theories got extended to the 17th, so I got some spare time I guess. But I shall not rest on my laurels! Must get to work asap.

Oh by the way, I made some nice foodies these two days too:

Saturday night’s dinner; gigantic salad with cream cheese baked potatoes. The vege got covered by the stuff on top but if you look closely you can see some greens along the edges.


And my second (and better attempt) at making hummus. This time with lime, oregano and a sprinkle of Cajun powder on top (although Cajun powder isn’t in the original recipe, I think it goes quite well with the hummus).

So there you have it! Another uber exciting weekend! Next week, another 2 dishes and another $100 saved! Woohoo!!! I say its time for a beer. To the kopitiam!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Slack blogger. Blog slacker.

Woah its been so long since I last updated. Well, ok, about a week. I was busy doing my assignments and shit and didn’t really feel like opening MS Word to draft something else other than my essays. Anyway I’m back. Like yeah, wow.

Ok… Updates..
Not much actually. Just a few food pictures.. Other than that was quite a boring week I must say. Well, I did pick up two new games… Farmville (on Facebook) and Everquest2.
Ok Everquest2 is not new per se, its like a return to what I used to play.

Here’s some screenshots of these two games:

Farmville – IMMA FARMA !!!!!!


Everquest 2






Yes, as you may have noticed I’m playing as a female character. Why? Honestly, don’t you get bored staring at a man’s ass after prolonged playing? And I’m not the kind who would check out a man’s ass, even though the in-game avatar is supposed to ‘represent’ me and its made up of pixels. I’d still rather stare at pixel female ass.



So anyway, as I mentioned I was busy doing my assignments, but I’ve no forgotten what I’m good at doing either. I’ve been busy in the kitchen as well, although I do admit that this week’s attempts are mostly half assed efforts. Here’s some pics for you to see:


Mashed potatoes with jap curry and baked cod fish


Half assed effort breaded chicken with a pathetic attempt at making BAKED breaded onion rings.


Best effort so far. Mezze platter with a glass of chardonnay. Consists of oven toasted foccacia bread, olives, chick peas, onions, hard boiled eggs and white wine Portobello mushrooms. Oh and not to forget a side dip of olive oil with oregano and slightly overcooked garlic.

Here’s the upclose pics of the platter





All in all this is what I’ve been doing the past week other than hitting the gym. Nothing much interesting really. I need to get a life. But come to think about it, I am intentionally denying myself of ‘a life’ because I’m trying to save money. And yes, to me having ‘a life’ will see me spending. Oh wells.