Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back.

IMG_0162

Following three 1.79m tall models from Ukraine all around town today was an exercise in... I dunno what, but it was an exercise alright.

Generally, I love women who are distinctly comfortable in their own skin - not appearing comfortable for the sake of appearing so - and these girls were quite something. I like!

But it was tiresome. Not speaking the language didn't help much. Being with three girls without knowing what they're saying all day can be really tiring. I can't smile for that long.




After it was over, and I was exhausted and tired and mentally preparing myself for the long night ahead (its still the beginning, even now), I guess maybe I was looking to let off some steam.

So it was just that guy's bad luck that I walked past him just as he snapped a photo from a digital camera, held discreetly in his hands which were down by his side as if he was holding it as he walked past. But it was held at a strange angle, so it looked deliberate.

The flash went off, which made me look, and I saw him lift up the camera almost immediately after as he stood at the bus stop, 'previewing' the shot.

I looked around, a bit bewildered. Where are the short skirts or big boobs? The only bit of flesh I saw was from a woman in mini-shorts and heels.

That's it? I thought I might have made a mistake.

But the dude just kept looking at his camera, and I suppose he just had that kind of face that made me want to yell at him.




"Did you just take a photo of that woman in shorts?"

He turned, and the look on his face was all the confirmation I needed.

"No! No, no...."

"I saw you. I saw the flash go off."

"No no no you can see the photo."

And I did, and obviously he missed his mark because the shorts was almost not in the frame. So what now? Failed attempt means no attempt is it!?

"So what's the point of this photo? Why did you even take it in the first place?"

--- stammer, more 'No no no no no' ---

"It was an accident, is it??"

"Yes, yes.. accident, accident."

"But you immediately went to look at the photo you took! I saw you!"

--- stammer, more 'No no no no no' ---



I said some other line, calling him sick and what not and just turned and left. I would've told the woman, but he didn't have a photo anyway, and talking to him didn't help me blow steam, it made me pissed off.

So then I was thinking, whether or not he did do anything wrong. Public property and all that. Plus pple take photos of cute strangers all the time.

I dunno, maybe it was the perverse-ness of this situation, and how I had spent all day worrying men behind me on the escalator were looking up the models' skirts....



Aiyah. I have a lot of work to finish.

Immortally Challenged

After trawling through a euphemisms site and other ways to describe death, I think the one above is my favourite so far.


Exhausting week. If you couldn't tell already, since I'm posting after finishing stuff at 4 am. Ideally I shouldn't sleep, but realistically I have to.

Someone asked me, wah Jess, why you always stay at work till so late?

Slight misconception there, that long hours = hardworking. To me, long hours = slow and stupid.

But oh well, we do what we can!



Tongkat Ali coffee has been a very good friend.



Exhausting week also, because I have been doing research on single fathers and spoken to a few of them. There is something very very very draining about these interviews, and I think maybe its because I am just not used to hearing men say things like this:

"I have just grown to love them more and more. They need to be loved so much and to be safe and secure, it breaks my heart that they wouldn’t have an intact family and that they have to carry those scars and wounds for the rest of their lives. Sometimes I look into their eyes and I see their vulnerability, and it physically hurts me to think they will have to one day face this themselves."

Its one thing to read this in an email interview, and another to have the emotion and the pauses and the deep breaths when hear it spoken to you.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Sembawang music shop near my house turned out to be a gem of a place. I bought a Travis singles compilation and A Scanner Darkly VCD for $12.90 each.

Maybe I've not really been in-tune with the prices of such things these days, but these are bloody cheap in my book.

Not too sure why I chose Travis though, over all the other slightly more 'recent' stuff they had on offer. Maybe it was the CD cover. Or the fonts. Or the fact that seeing their name made me smile.

Its been a long long while. I think the last time I really listened to them was back in 2001 after the Coldplay/Travis concert. I still remember what I wore to that place. Some shiny silver top from Bodynits which I can't seem to find anymore, and I suspect I left it behind in Darren's place. Dammit. I liked that top.

That was also the first time I went to Rice Table. I remembered thinking it was a helluva bad idea because I ate till I was going to burst and you can't help but be conscious of a bloated tummy when you're wearing a shiny top.



Have been very stressed. Mostly because the article I'm working on is supposed to be the opening article and I don't really feel very confident that its going to do the magazine much justice. They may just switch it to the back, and I really really wouldn't mind.

But then again, this is the reason why I left ST, because I had forgotten what stress felt like. Stress, not just nervousness or anxiety. But pure stress that stems from ugly feelings of insecurity and questions about your own abilities. And stress that requires you swallow all that down just so that you are able to function.

I always did have a masochistic streak in me.



A Scanner Darkly proved slightly disappointing. I liked the idea and all, but a brief read of the original script by Charlie Kaufman makes me think that Linklater made a slight mistake adapting it by himself.

And I don't really appreciate drug-laden performances anymore. The hyperarticulate Robert Downing Jr. was of course utterly entertaining, and that scene where they argue about the purchase of a 18-speed bike was really quite something - but I think maybe real life is harder to deal with and I guess I don't relate to whatever point the director is trying to make.

But I love the title of the movie.

And now I am wondering if the numerous bug/aphids/roach-references is any indication of an influence from Kafka? Themes of alienation, identity, self-imprisonment? It has to be.


I just felt like talking. Back to work now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Coincidences

















Strange week.

I'm not too sure what it means, but almost every person I had to deal with this week was Saggi. It became so obvious that I would ask halfway through the conversation, "So when's your birthday?"

1. Model from Czech Republic (Re: See Above)
2. Bubbly girl I liase with from the modelling agency
3. Prominent local lawyer whose wife passed away
4. Local 'celebrity stylist'
5. Ghim Lay


So its a bit of an overdose, but I'm happy because I liked all these people (some more than the others), and its just so agreeable to have something in common with nice people.


I was also reminded time and time again this week what an utter embarassment I am/was to my race/ethnicity when I was forced to converse in proper Mandarin and realised it was more painful than studying it in school.

And that's REALLY saying something.

I did try my best, but it was not easy speaking to people in Hong Kong and then sending an email to China, and then trying to decipher a website entirely in Mandarin before having to give an interview in, you guessed it, Mandarin.

In living rooms all over Singapore tonight, I will be ridiculed and shamed. My parents' parenting ability will be questioned, and there will no doubts be conversations about the sad state of youth and their lack of respect for culture.

I AM SORRY!!!!

I will listen to more 95.8FM.



I really never did feel so ashamed about it before. Maybe because I never really had to try very hard. Taxi-driver conversations are easy to get around because you don't have to sound smart. Or at least non-idiotic.





Also. I do believe that Bruno is Sacha Baron Cohen's best character. Less on the slapstick, pile on the talk. Its probably the 'smartest' character around who allows people to make the mistakes themselves instead of creating a slapstick situation.

Another reason of course, is that he did to Giselle da Model what I've been dying to do for a long time. Go up to a random stranger and:

"HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW ARE YOU!? How have you been!? I haven't seen you in a while!? Remember the last time??"

Never have the guts and probably never will =(




Oh and if you didn't know already. I have a camera again.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Skin Deep

Choosing a model is quite a strange experience. Its an almost perverse feeling, that sense of power you have over women who are undeniably more beautiful than you. And yet, it is probably one of those things that you get used to over time. Passing snap judgements, unabashedly grading people by their looks. I'm not so sure I want to get used to it, but I suppose such feelings are already inherent in most of us.

I kinda like not having any control over who my subjects are.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ramble Bamble

Just another one of those which will go on and on until I am forced to take a pause so that my wrist doesn't go into spasms. Mixing a shot of solid espresso and U2's 1993 Zooropa tour on repeat mode is bound to elicit some happyhappyhappy rambles.

In the National Library's study lounge trying to get a bit of work done. I officially do not do any work at home, mainly because I can't. Maybe after I've invested in a nice desk and nice table lamp and a filing system. Right now, there's an inconvenient lack of table space. Which is ridiculous, since I've two tables in the room.

But yes. The study lounge is full. It is the middle of the first month of the year - what are all these people studying for!?? It is very perplexing. I don't think January existed in my academic life. It was always Feb-May and July-Oct.

Had to do a simple assignment yesterday, ended up sitting in the middle of a tailor's learning about bespoke tailoring and exchanging sarcastic banter with the British old man who came to get his suit fitted.

I will never tire of sarcasm, deadpan faces, irreverance and self-deprecating humour. Its a crying shame that few people get it right. You have to be sincere about the self-deprecating people. Not a half-hearted attempt to fish for compliments. I don't know why I am so addicted to these things. Colonial hangover?


And then I went off for Grandma's birthday dinner.

Birthday dinners are always rather schizophrenic in my family. Unless we actually bother to head down to some restaurant, which rarely happens. It'll end up being a mixture of home-cooked food and stuff bought from outside. it is always slightly weird to eat KFC chicken and pizza together with chilli crab and horfun, and then steamed fish and bak kut teh. They just throw all the usual favourites on the table. So much for planning the menu eh?


Ooh. Just realised that three dudes with very well-chiselled arms (lean and toned, not chunky monkey) took the table in front of me. Well-chiselled arms, like irreverance, is rather addictive. Its hard not to stare. Give me a moment.


Hm.


Maybe the airconditioning unit will break down. Maybe they will decide its a good idea to study without their shirts on.


Hm.


Ooh. One of them just picked something up from the floor.




Pardon the irreverance.


I'll get back to work now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Organs Plan Intervention

IN a valiant effort to save their environment, various organs in Jessica’s body have decided to stage an intervention on Wednesday.

“We know the last attempt kinda didn’t go the way it was supposed to, but we really have no choice but to keep trying,” said Brain, who felt slightly responsible for not playing a larger role in preventing the regression.

Liver, which only consented to a quick interview due to “poor health”, expressed gratitude that the other organs were similarly interested in rectifying the situation even if they were not the ones being affected directly.

“I’m sure they understood it was only a matter of time before they were in the same shitty state. I mean, I work twice as hard as any of the others.”

Liver pointed out that processing a couple of gin and tonics were a reasonable amount of work. However, as the couple of light cocktails gradually progressed to harder liquors being mixed with various beers and wine, “I started to get very pissed off because there's no such thing as OT pay in this shitty workplace.”

Most interviewed were not too sure how effective the intervention was going to be since they lacked the "surprise-and-corner element". Another source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said it was doomed to fail since Jessica had already agreed to a "meeting" with old friends on Friday.

"I mean, what are they going to do? Sit and talk and sip tea? I think we all know her better than that."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Having-One-Beer Plan Goes Awry

Today's headline is (similarly, and from now on, always will be) brought to you by The Onion Day-To-Day Calendar.

Having-One-Beer Plan Goes Awry

The Onion

Having-One-Beer Plan Goes Awry

YPSILANTI, MI-Due to outside influence and unforeseen events, the having-one-beer plan that 29-year-old Keith Flemming devised at the outset of Monday evening went awry.







After receiving a news bulletin that
"Nato-led forces have killed up to 150 Taleban fighters in a battle in eastern Afghanistan",
I decided to once-and-for-all find out for sure which conflicts/wars are still going on.
I'm tired of reading things that make me say,
"Oh I didn't know they were even/still fighting."
So here's the List.

Monday, January 08, 2007

War On String May Be Unwinnable, Says Cat General

Today's headline is brought to you by the Onion 2007 day-by-day calendar.

No real reason for the blogging hiatus. Its just become a bit more inconvenient, is all. The internet connection is now primarily connected into the desktop comp in my brother's room, and I seldom find enough motivation or energy to unhook and restart.

In other more scintillating news, I finished off Buffy Season 7 over the weekend. I figured it was better to get it out of my system rather than think about it during the work week. Now I just want to watch it again, and it wasn't even that great. The Spike-Buffy thing was unconvincing, but because I want to believe it so much I willingly submit to denial. And after seeing
Nathan Fillion (pleasant surprise), I want to watch Firefly again to wash off the bad taste of watching him as Caleb.

Work is beginning to pile up. I think I have it easier than my colleague, but then again he's
smarter than me.



I miss having a camera.