Saturday, July 30, 2005

Revamp, remake, readjust, reconstruct, re-do.

The sites that have been rendering me into girlish fits of giggles in the dead of the night should be visited by all.

Born on the Ninth of August

The "Very Uniquely Singaporean Blog" got some video clips which I'm sure most of us has already watched.

But here are the more specific links, for the:

1. Cloudywind's National Day Dance MTV (rightclicksaveas)

(highly recommended that you view the Original clips first. Who's a better dancer? Stephen Chow or Taufik? Close fight man. Let's see what becomes of poor Rui En after this.)

Regarding the original video, what's up with that multi-coloured phoenix-like weirdo bird that keeps flying around? Is that our country's new logo? Lion, Tiger, Orang Utan and now Phoenix issit.


2. The NKF Affairs I and II

(Damn funny lah. Although i seem to be the only one to think so.)
(Lars: Erm. National Kidney Foundation controversy recently about the CEO being paid too much and using public money to do what was considered too extravagant stuff for a so-called charity organisation. The Peanuts references is due to a comment made by our ex-prime minister's wife that a pay of S$600,000 was considered "peanuts".)

(Rewatched the clip. Tony Leung is just......... *sigh*.)

3. Tak Giu

I couldn't watch it in Bangladesh due to the supremely fast connection, but I just did. Haha. Not exactly a really good production, but the Singlish was thoroughly enjoyable lah.

(Lars: It's about local soccer, in a mixture of Mandarin and dialect. The accents are about as accurate as u can get LISTEN AND LEARN)


------------------------------------


Note: Cat does not seem perturbed by loud nationalistic music despite close proximity. Put forth that either cat is damn bloody lazy, or music is soothing (worse?)

What do you all think about this year's National Day video ah. Don't state the obvious like, song sucks, singers sucks etc lah.

Let's see... this year they protrayed (breakdown included because I am damn free):

1. Weird-ass bird badly superimposed over typical nighttime Singapore skyline
2. Young vibrant youths dancing outside old Supreme Court dressed in Hip Hop/Funk clothes
3. Typical scenic sunset with romantic couple walking
4. Breakdancing
5. Youths/Teenagers playing basketball
6. International and local kindergarten kiddos
7. Factory workers
8. Weird-ass bird fly over Raffles Statue
9. Weird-ass bird fly over PSA cranes
10. Weird-ass bird fly over Changi control tower
11. Weird-ass bird fly over ShentonWayish buildings
12. Malay boy playing Chinese chess with old Chinese man
13. Graduates flinging caps
14. Smiling factory workers
15. S-League
16. Series of Happy Family shots
17. Youths dancing in subwayish MTVish shiny metal place (unable to identify what type of look they were trying to achieve)
18. Office 9-to-5 workers looking happy and dancing
19. RuiEn and Taufik looking "glam" in front of some shower of gold sparkly things
20. Weird-ass bird flys across sky

Erm ok. I tried to think of more stereotypes they can include to round up the happysmiley package, and they forgot:

1. old people chatting at HDB voiddecks
2. people getting married


That's about it I think.


I reject the video based purely on intuitive emotional responses, in the sense that I refuse to identify with it or allow myself to feel "happy wholesome feelings" which I'm sure the filmmakers were trying (desparetly) to evoke.

Which is stupid, really, because how can you find fault with all the cliches listed above. You can't say "NO that's not true" because they're all kinda quite accurate.

But the lie is in what we DON'T see, which is really stupid to find fault with because I mean, it's a NATIONAL DAY video.

So it all comes down to the same reason = the utter denial of shit = the kitsch.

Hiyah, I think I will forever be regurgitating anything that came packaged by the government. That's just a terrible attitude.


-------------------------------------------


After I kao bei about something about GoFar, Cherian said something which made me feel a bit shocked.

He said, that journalistic curiousity is not a selfish sort of interest, (he was addressing something like my worry about exploiting subjects for the sake of stories), but a curiousity put forth for the public.

Not for yourself, but for the public. "The public's right to know"...

I think 6 months of not having done commercial journalism made me forget this very fundamental thing about journalism.

So I was shocked because I indeed had not been thinking about my "audience". I don't know how I forgot about them... but I think was too carried away by my stories or subjects to care about who was supposed to be reading about 'em.

But then the problem is - what if I don't give a shit about the public?

Then wrong profession already right?

Hm.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Why is it so hard for some people to be nice.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Who is The Tree?

The Tree.

1. Who are you
2. Why is your nickname so... ya.

Do you know how difficult it was (at this time of night) to come up with a another sentence other than "Who is the tree?" I feel stupid.

-------------------------

Screen Singapore looks good. I'm definately going for Pontianak Night. I've such a one-off interest in movies.

Too bad not showing Singapore Rebel. When will we ever get to watch that show? I want to see how neutrel and how deserving of the ban the director was.

-----------------------

And Jalees did good in telling everyone about the 401 list. I mean, I heard about it, but never did check it out.

Better than friendster man. No one can update their photos.

I'm surprised mine turned out decent. (SHUT UP DON'T CONTRADICT ME ON THIS POINT), considering that the reason why I may like taking photos is just so that I don't have to be on the other side because i always turn out looking like someone else.

Don't you all get that? I never look like how I think I look like. Not that I think I look like a supermodel, but it just feels kinda funny-weird different.

There's a theory waiting to be applied here, but I'm too tired to think.



Right now wondering what to do about my lack of accomodation, since I can't get hostel till godknowswhen, and had to pass on someone's very tempting offer to rent a flat because i've been a bloody slacker and have no savings of my own to sponge off.



And oh, lost my handphone. Can last 6 months in Bangladesh, but 1 month in Singapore and some bloodymtfker had to "decide not to return it". Remember (s)he didn't technically STEAL it since I probably left it someplace. Checking table when you leave and checking taxi seat when you get out is apparently not enough of a measure(s) to prevent loss of handphone. Boody dirty, scratched, one piece of plastic hanging on for its dear life... and plus everyone says it's ugly!! I've the most "bo hua" to steal phone in the world...


Shall drown my... erm.. sorrows? with a very lonely new unopened bottle of my favourite poison in the kitchen. All hail DFS.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

First day at school and i'm already procrastinating on work.

Felt quite claustrophobic in school... just so many bloody people. Doesn't help that I'm pmsing and had a terrible start to the day.

But the thing is, I realised that after three years, I STILL DON'T RECOGNISE SOME PEOPLE.

On the way home, I ran into two schoolmates from primary school that I occasionally bump into and have that random conversation once every couple of years. Apparently, they were "meeting to catch up" and have "been in touch regularly ever since primary school".

I can safely say that I don't keep in touch regularly with ANYBODY from primary school. The most regular would have to be my primary six form teacher - and i haven't spoken to her in at least a year.

And when my friends from secondary school (thank god at least i've some left over from that era) get together to talk about the "old times", i find myself at a complete blank. Complete episodes which they remember so well are totally not in my mind at all.

I don't know why I've always been flitting in and out of places and things in my life to end up with such a poor impression and even worse memory of my past. My memories are all "selfish", in the sense that i only remember things that happened to me. But i know people who can tell me stuff that happened to others, even stuff that happened to me which I forgot about.

Even from JC, which is only 4 years ago... i don't keep in touch with anyone at all. I can barely remember what it was like in class - only if i really sit down and force myself to reconstruct a scene.

I'm just wondering - do i have such a poor regard for human interaction?

I'm just feeling a little perplexed tonight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Return of the Jessdie (geddit?)

There are two ways to post an entry after a trip to a place like Aceh:

1. The factual report (bitching included)
2. The story style

I'll do both lah.

------------------------------------------------



"When the first wave came, you could hear people screaming for help, 'Tolong, tolong!'. After the second wave, you couldn't hear anyone anymore."

Singaporeans at 63 typically start to retire. Those lucky enough already have grandchildren and a fat pension, spending their times either in kopitiams downing Guiness or in country clubs sipping wine - depending on the strata of society.

He spends his day sawing wood, building a new shelf to put his things on. Everything in his tent supplied by the UN were scavanged from the ruins of Ujung Karang, the little outcrop of land not unlike a peninsular - the place which was the worst hit in Meulaboh, the place that had been his home for the past 20 years.

He stays next to his friend, probably his oldest friend other than his wife. He has not yet found his wife's body. It may have already been six months, and he may have already stopped looking, but the desire for closure is still there.

"I know she's dead, but until I see the body, I don't know if i've lost her, or if she's died."

His face is blank and expressionless when I force him to recount the day the waves collasped on Ujung Karang. This is the first time in six months they have spoken about it.

"After the earthquake in the morning, we sat on the roof of our houses staring at the sea. We saw the waters start to go down, as if it were low tide, and we went down to pick the fishes left behind. When we saw the wave rushing towards us, we ran to the other side. But there was a wave coming from there too. There was no where to run. The waves came at us from three directions. When they crashed, it was like a bomb exploding."

He survived by clinging on to a piece of wood, and was swept out to sea.

"I was lucky to go out to see. Later, when the waters came back from the city, it brought with it all the dead bodies. Everyone who was swept to the city died."

I asked if he knew of entire families that had been wiped out. He repeated what he had already told me with an ironic smile, "Remember? Only three of us from our village survived."

Ujung Karang is beautiful, even by the standards of those who frequent beach resorts. The sunsets will take your breathe away, the silhouettes of empty broken houses just make the place more tranquil.

Perhaps, the beauty of the place is all the more enhanced by the knowledge of how much has been sacrificed to it. It is not known how many are buried in the mass graves, but to speak in thousands would be safe.

With nothing left to build your imagination on, it is difficult to envision what this place used to be like. After half a year, rubble and the dead has been cleared, leaving broken pieces of foundations and flooring overrun by weeds. A few pieces of clothing and personal items are strewn all over the place.

I wanted to ask him, "Why do you still go on living?" But I ask that with an assumption that he does, and I really did not want to be corrected on that point.




------------------------------------------------------

After a few days, I stopped asking people I met "Did you lose anyone in the tsunami." I asked instead, "Who did you lose in the tsunami?"

The first question was pointless. Because everyone said yes. And I mean everyone. My driver, my translator, the people I interviewed, the people I chatted to on the streets. Every single fucking one. And to have to ask two questions on the topic was simply uncalled for.

Girlfriends, mothers, fathers, brothers, children, sisters, grandchildren, neighbours, babies.

Guiqing mentioned something about all this being such a big fucking joke. What a way to kick people when they're down, eh? As if being poor wasn't enough.

Other than that, I enjoyed myself. What a fucking strange thing to say, yes? But as an experience, it was good, I learnt stuff. I liked the people, my driver, Rahman, made my life so easy, going out of his way to help me catch the sunsets.

Even though I enjoyed myself, I'd like to believe that there is a line between having a good experience, and making a mockery out of the entire event.

Judging by the behaviours that I witnessed in my group, I think at some point or other, everyone made a mockery of the disaster.

I was initially pissed off at it, but hey, a joke is a joke, and who am I to decide what really goes on in their head? But I am amazed that some people, throughout that one week, remained relatively impassive and unemotionally touched by what has happened.

My theory is that they were to caught up with getting their stories done. Which is all fine, because hell we were supposed to do that anyway. But I really don't know how to not get affected when interviewing people who have lost everything. Not in front of the people anyway, but after that, when in the house, I just had to get away from all the joking and laughter and seemingly mundane talk.

I am starting to feel "morally superior". It's a flaw, I am aware.

We all have different ways of dealing with things.

But when I got to know the people, I didn't want to do the stories anymore. It seemed pointless after awhile. I guess I didn't have that much faith in my stories being able to help anyone. I wanted to do the help myself, with my own hands. It seemed a much better use of my time.

I don't know, I can't wait to go back in September, and see the old men again. FUCK THE ETHICS I am bringing them stuff.

Ethics are for when I start working, and I'm not working now.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Thanks Mervin. Sorry Pong.

MERVIN

Hiyah. I don't have ur email add. My webmail is full. I lazy.

Can you please de-link my blog from ur blog? Thanks horrrrrrrrr

paiseh.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A supposedly great day went awry at night.

After dinner with mom at Toa Payoh, I couldn't bear to go home, and no one seemed free, so I headed to City Hall by myself.

Took a slow walk (above ground) to Esplanade, I spotted what looked like the OIC delegates (why do you all still wear your dog tags at night) walking towards the Raffles City Plaza's hotel (whatever they changed the name to so far)... and that elaborate security system they set up complete with newly installed ground sensors and huge tents and armed mats joking around (haha). Then later at night I realised it was probably Tony Blair in there.. ah well.

Wouldn't it have been funny for a group of us to pretend to campaign for the Olympics to be held in Singapore? Haha give out fake flyers and put up fake posters.

Anyway, when I reached the Esplanade, I managed to catch the last two songs by NUS's Lounge Lizards.. rather tight jazz piece if you ask me, a little unsure of themselves, but still it was very enjoyable. It's been so long since I heard live music.

And better still, later when I was outside California Bistro headed to the waterside a group of boys was doing a bit of serenading, complete with costumes. I'm still a little lost as to what exactly they were.. a mix of ang mohs and mats playing little guitars.. singing in Spanish (i heard the word Senorita) but dressed a la medieval Britain with tights and fluffy tunics. Confusing. But it was very very nice to hear.

And then later I just relaxed by the water, in between a couple making out and two mats smoking and talking about stuff.

And as I was headed towards Fullerton, trying to figure out where to get my bus from, I heard what sounded like cannon or gun shots (how'd i know the difference right) from the Shenton Way area, and walked quickly to emerge from under the Fullerton bridge to see fireworks lighting up the sky. It was quite a sight... it wasn't those puny little bursts.. it was one huge burst of sparkles after another, illuminating the skyline of Shenton Way and making everything smoky. I don't know what it was for though.

So I headed home. And that's kinda when it all went downhill. Because the bus I thought I could get for a nice long ride home turned out to not operate past 7pm on weekdays (like PH would say, a very SMLJ situation), so I had to take a bus and transfer to MRT and walk.

But I DID see the same manja tabby on the way back. Purring like anything. That's a plus.

But I think it's because I've been trying to hard to stay out of the house (i think everyone thinks i'm nuts i'm always wanting to meet nowadays, what a fucking doublestandards hypocrite i am)then when i do reach home, everything comes crashing down.

Eventually went to sleep, and I had nightmares about the same thing over and over and over tille I woke up at 2 pm with a fucking headache and feeling hot and sticky all over because of sweat.

It's no use running away from things. I ran for a week, running and running supper after supper and meeting and msging people and trying to get away but its no use it always catches up with you. And when it does, it bites back even harder.

I can't give subjects to my posts anymore because I don't know what's going on.

I can't wait for Aceh. I need to go back to the basics. This may all be made worse by a subconscious Dhaka-withdrawal thing. But yes, I miss the anonymity, if anything. I miss being FORCED to be alone.

Like I told my mom yesterday... when your life's difficult, your choices become easier to make. Not talking about myself of course. Like I know I can spend a whole fucking day wondering whether to buy a Pair of Shoes A or Pair of Shoes B. But in Dhaka, you just fucking buy it if you need it lah.

I guess that's what I miss. Its so-called the "hard life", not in the sense difficult (because fuck i had more steak in Dhaka than in Singapore), but entirely raw. None of that pansy flitting in and around of life, but almost primal and well.. just your basic raw existence. Food, Water, Shelter.

Because I didn't have all that much money to spend and live like an expat, I couldn't exactly have the life that I was used to. So it was work-sleep-work-sleep-occasional indulgence in brownies and latte-work-sleep-work-sleep.

It REALLY is! oh my god it really is easier to be happy when you've less things to be happy about.

And now i'm back, and its the same old FUCKING tune that makes me sick, orchard-movie-hanging out at coffee places-people watching-window shopping-another movie-beer-more beer-clubbing-shouting at people in noisy clubs-back to orchard-movie-have coffee.

Fuck lah. I should've known better and eased myself into it. But Noooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Guiqing asked me the other day if I missed Dhaka. Ya, I do. And I think we all do, not Dhaka, but what it represents. But not everyone knows it, so we just live our lives knowing we're missing something and needing something and we never know what it is. The itch that we just can't find.

I'm so, so incredibly lucky to at least have a small idea of what it is.

Monday, July 04, 2005

More feline matters

What I don't understand, after an hour of surfing, is how come... pets are so troublesome?

The extent of information available on healthcare for pets, particularly kittens, is so bloody extensive... its like having a freakin' baby.

From tips on teething, to how to spot symptoms of flu, to how often and whether to bath her and how to change from milk to solid food and how blahblahblah... Cats also get acne you know???

I just wanna take care of my kitty the kampong style - if it runs and plays and bites and looks okay - then its ok.

Seriously.. the amount of paranoia. Forum questions about kittens that meow too much, problems with this and that... hiyoh.. i'm so lucky that my cat's problem free.

Other than her biting. And occasional eye discharge. And dunno if the medicine i gave to deworm her worked.

Hmmmmmmmmm. haha.

And if you go search the pages on cats... a lot of stuff on pure bred animals.. not much on darling stray cats - in my opinion always the best choice. Not nua nua , but like tough stuff, yaknow?

I mean check this one out:

I see already I wanna Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Fatty. Third Place in some show.

But hiyah I also want my cat to become a big fat cat. Smart, big fat cat.

And this one:

Best kitten you know? In the same competition.

MY KITTY WILL TAKE YOU ON ANYTIME MAN. Cockeye summore.

I'm not being biased hor. My cat's a monster, albiet lazy one.

And this other "award-winning kitten":



Wah so much fur, walk also kang koh.

Ah well... I just being defensive for kitty.

But to be disloyal for a little while, I still stand by my belief that Russian Blues are the chioest cats ever.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Me and My Love


Me and My Love
Originally uploaded by elsija.
Heeeeeeeeeeheeee.

(ps: Decided against forcing a name. I'm Holly Golightly as far as cats are concerned. Poor no name slobs.)
(update of sorts: I'm calling her Dhaka. Heh. It just hit me out of nowhere that i gotta call her that. But i'll be an irritating newfangled mom and spell it coolly like "Decka" or "Darkar")

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Mom and her Indian Prince

Immigrant Kitty

My photography is.. erm.. at a standstill right now. Will have to spend about 2 days worth of scannning stuff in school when they finally reopen the computer labs.

I've never tried so hard to fill up my time. Free time is totally foreign to me... You should've seen me and Guiqing stuck at a bus stop in the middle of Farrer Road trying to desparately figure out where to go and what to do.

Pong was right. IT's a fuck of a walk to MacRitchie Tree Top thing. Why do they have to turn everything into some kinda touristy show. "HSBC Tree Top Walk". Hiyah.

But we DID cut through the Singapore Island Country Club golf course, and I chickened out of stealing one of the flag thingys. Golf looks fun only because they get to stand in big open spaces. But ya, disgusting land wasters alright. Too bad no one stopped us or anything.

I was scolded the last time by a young boy (young meaning pre-NS) wearing sama Tiger Woods checkered stuff for picking up a golf ball at the golf course at Seletar area.

HahahahaAHHAHAHAHA

I seriously had thought that I found a stray ball. He looked so pissed at me spoiling the game. Come to think of it.. ahaha it's funny.

That's interesting though.

"Eh dude, this weekend where you wanna go hangout"

"Er... after we go LAN, we go play golf lah."

Hm.

Am addicted to Russell Peters. Whoever wants the full 45 min clip, email me.