Showing posts from June, 2004

Blasts from the pasts

Oh, and since my posting may be somewhat intermittent for the next week, I thought I'd entertain y'alls by dragging out old stuff I've written back when this was a website, not a blog. So here's my list of greatest one-hit wonders , written back in 2001... will rack my brains for possible new additions to the list.

Got it just don't get it

Posting may slow in the next few days as I try to get my disorganised life in order... both the family home and the apartment under renovation, and my chores are piling up. But enough complaining: I should note that Baybeats looks interesting. Was at Brix with the Girlfriend over the weekend where the excellent live band (Absence of Color) played "Hey Ya!", which is now stuck in my head. There are worse fates than having arguably the song of the year as your earworm . Well, one of two earworms, really: I keep hearing Outkast's " Roses " on the radio and that "roses really smell like poo-oo-oo" line keeps repeating in my mind.


Picture of a sign at Singapore's North-East Line. Just thinking about Bill Bryson's point in Mother Tongue that the mashing of two words together in brand names was very 1990s (WordPerfect, PowerBook etc.), just as "-o-rama" was very 1950s. Maybe the idea was to sound like you were such a busy person you even rushed through spaces. :) So how long before the name "HarbourFront" appears dated? Which is as good as any to rail again against the use of the "@" sign to try to appear cool.

Quiz: 22 points in Scrabble

I'm in a quiz-taking mood... this one's results are hilarious, if sadly not that truthful... D Dreamy A Awesome R Rich Y Yummy L Luxurious Name / Username: Name Acronym Generator From

Design flaw

Talk about being sensitive to criticism: designer dies for curtain comment .

No time to talk, just to link

Interesting Singaporean blog watch: Popagandhi - good music taste, coverage of topics from tech to GLBT issues. These blogs, they comfort me. Set the gnomes free: Front de Libération des Nains de Jardins The Nimbus 2000 : good for adults too. Song in my head: that "Lisa, it's your birthday" tune (officially "Lisa's Birthday Song") from the Simpsons episode with Michael Jackson. But I did hear " Hypnotize " on the radio today, which made me happy.

The Book Quiz

You're The Poisonwood Bible ! by Barbara Kingsolver Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people, but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be Belgian. Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid .

Oxen of the Sun

[10pm, and my favourite chapter name in the schemata.] Good time it is to revive Ulysses for Dummies or to see BBC's Cheat's Guide to Joyce's Ulysses . Ah, reductio ad absurdum. But the Guardian's Bloomsday blog is really quite stimulating, and it was lovely that even Google did a Joyce tribute.


[Bloomsday, 8pm - all entries written on my Palm in real time, and all posting times changed in the Ulysses entries to create some sense of Bloomsday] Unable to upload the photo as yet, but I passed by the Dubliner pub last night on the bus, so I thought I'd take a snapshot... Edit: here's the pic


[7pm, between Cyclops and Nausikaa. Not from Barney Keirnan's tavern, but food-related, anyway.] A shot of a receipt from Chatterbox restaurant, at the Mandarin Hotel. Took this photo because I love the way the phrase "NO CHOICE" is highlighted in red - stark, authoritarian, sums up the service quality found in a lot of Singapore, unfortunately. Very Soup Nazi: "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" Fortunately, Chatterbox itself has quite good service. For a good Singapore food blog, try umami .

Wandering Rocks

[3pm, chapter 10] No Liffey here, but the Singapore river is to the west of this location. Hill Street Centre, car park exit. Trying to figure out what happened here. My guess: someone lost their license plate driving out of the carpark, and some kind soul took it and put it among the plants, in a prominent location. Will the owner of car SCP9668U please get your license plate back?

Scylla & Charybdis

[2pm, roughly, on Bloomsday; chapter 9, the Library chapter. Ulysses schemata available here.] My own Bloomsday has been mundane: awoke late, hit with the sun in my eye eliding through the flimsy curtain; the procession of the day continues. I spent my lunch hour (Lestrygonians, chaper 8, 1pm) foraging for the dimensions of a queen-size bed, hence found myself wandering with my bandaged, bloody toe into Robinsons , a man in sandals. Joy of joys, to find a salesman in Singapore who's willing to help even when you say you just want information and you won't buy today. 60' x 75', and indeed the service at the store is every bit as good as the loyal customers would have it. Right now good puzzle would be cross Singapore without passing a sale. Beforehand had searched in vain for Picket and Rail at Stamford House - gone, apparently, the space now occupied by paintings. Ah, to have a house of no furniture and all paintings: a life of pure art, pure pleasure, no funct


Let us honour the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday (16 June 1904). Ulysses is perhaps the greatest novel of all time; it certainly has my vote, swooping as it does from the personal to the metropolitan to the religious. And that final chapter is pure virtuosity. In the spirit of celebration, I thought I'd quote from an essay I wrote on injuries and disabilities in Ulysses 4 years ago: This is thus Joyce's account of Dublin. In 'mean scrupulousness' (the spirit with which he set out to write Dubliners , and which carries over to the descriptions of the streets in Ulysses ), he populates the city with a cast comprising with numerous injuries and disabilities, visible or otherwise. But to filter out, or to be so distant that one does not even notice the state of the city is to ignore the true character of the Hibernian metropolis, for it is a city of families in trouble (the Dedalus and Dignam families) and of residents with psychological troubles, of which the injure

Death to the Danish

Ugh. I forgot to mention that when I went for a haircut recently, I heard the most terrible song EVER. An English version of Jacky Cheung's "Wen Bie", by Michael Learns to Rock, with attendant execrable lyrics. It was the first time I ever wished the hairdresser would wash the shampoo into my ears. Hell, having the shampoo in my eyes would have been less painful. Edit: for those of you who don't know, Michael Learns to Rock are the wussiest Danes this side of Hamlet, and far less poetic.

Review: Japanese Story

(Warning: this review gives away spoilers on a turning point in the film. I'll put an appropriate warning just before the spoilers.) Sometimes, someone flies in like a comet in your life, and the beauty of it is in the evanescence of the interaction. In Japanese Story , director Sue Brooks gives us a geologist named Sandy (Toni Collette), and a protagonist named Hiro (Gotaro Tsunashima). Their names may be obvious, but little else is about their characters: Tachibana Hiromitsu (to use his full name) is the straight-laced, buttoned-down product of Japanese cultural norms and stifling family business, while Sandy is the hard-as-nails geologist. No hearts on sleeves here. There's obviously more to the two main characters, of course. Collette does a wonderful job of depicting Sandy visibly softening as she gets into contact with Hiro. Collette's face, looking upon Hiro emerging from the water, is a wonder of multiple emotions: curiosity, aesthetic appreciation of his body, a


Badger Flash animations slay me! There's football badgers and my (and the Girlfriend's) favourite, Bananaphone .

Georgia on My Mind

RIP Ray Charles.

I wanna rock with you (all night)

Also, the Girlfriend has given me permission to mention her in this blog, as long as she isn't named. Yay! We checked out the almost brand spankin' new hip-hop night at Cocco Latte last weekend, at the Gallery Hotel. Until midnight the warm-up DJ was playing mostly old school rap - I (train-)spotted tunes by Kurtis Blow (the classic " The Breaks "), KRS-One, Biz Markie. There was even some old-school funk (Charles Wright's "Express Yourself") and R&B (Michael Jackson's "Rock With You"), plus the uncategorisable Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache", which is such a great song. Not her scene, unfortunately, and she wasn't going to wait around till the dance floor filled out with more conventional tunes, so we left early. But we'll be back.

Everybody move to the back of the bus

Is there any more wonderful sight on a Singapore bus than the "Maintenance in Progress" sticker on those danged TV Mobile TVs? They blare random programmes regardless of whether passengers want to watch, they skip annoyingly, they show Chinese shows without subtitles thus alienating minority populations. Peace and quiet, ah. The TV Mobile slogan is "TV Mobile - It's Everywhere", which I find strangely non-positive sounding. You could say something is everywhere while loving it ("Oxygen - it's everywhere!") or while hating it ("Cockroaches - they're everywhere!").

More Singapore(an) blogs

Continuing my quest for interesting Singaporean blogs, here's John and Belle Have a Blog , which shuttles nicely between general commentary and pithy observations on Singapore. Plus, I gave it bonus points for being the only (other) Singapore blog I've found which also has Eschaton on its blogroll. :)

Singapore Idol vs Singaporean Idol

Someone wrote a letter to the Straits Times ' forum page the other day asking why the show is called "Singapore Idol" here, not "Singaporean Idol", given that other incarnations are called "American Idol", "Australian Idol", and so on. This got me thinking: actually the fact that "Singapore" and "Singaporean" can both be used as adjectives to describe things from this island is actually a reflection of the fact that Singapore is a city-state. The adjective "Singaporean" can refer to things from either the country or city of Singapore, while "Singapore", used as an adjective, can refer to things from the city of Singapore. Consider: if there were a New York-only edition of American Idol, it would almost certainly be called "New York Idol", not "New Yorker Idol" (Who the New Yorker 's idol is, of course, is a question for another debate.) The same principle applies to talking about

V is very very extraordinary

Public art in Singapore. Here's the Robert Indiana sculpture outside the Glass House next to Park Mall. Cheers me up everytime I sight it from the bus. When I was 18 I climbed up into the tilted "O" of the sculpture... can't find the photos of that moment though. Robert Indiana, of course, wasn't his real name - he was Robert Clark, and took the name of his home state. Somehow, Daryl Singapore doesn't have that artsy a ring to it.

Donald Rumsfeld, poet

FINDING SADDAM By Donald Rumsfeld the only way we ever found him is finally somebody put enough pressure on enough people to find out that somebody had an idea where somebody might know somebody who might know somebody who would know where he might have been. Adapted from Rumsfeld's speech on the USS Essex .

Quoth the crow, never more

Every morning, I take a little walk to work across the Elgin Bridge (built 1929, separates North Bridge Road and South Bridge Road, oldest crossing in Singapore probably given that there's been a bridge there since 1819). Gives me a great sense of this country's history as I look across the river on the bumboats to the old Hill Street Police Station. But the last two days have seen a more pedestrian (literally) complaint - this danged crow keeps flying straight into the back of my head as I walk to work! Apparently I'm not the only one affected - this old Indian man pointed to the crow after it hit me and started swearing at it. In fluent Hokkien, amazingly. Besides my worries about being hit on the head and aggravating my concussion, I actually find this whole situation quite amusing. Only in Singapore. Will try to get a photo of the Evil Head-Hunting Crow. But unlikely. Meanwhile, I've been trying to find interesting Singapore blogs that aren't about weepy teen