Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gifts and more gifts

I know, it's like the hundredth time I am saying this, but work is really too much at this time of year!

When most people are winding down with Christmas and New Year's and shopping, I am stuck at work till 9.

Anyway, yesterday was a colleague's birthday and we only celebrated it today, with a cake and a present.

I have never bought such an expensive gift before for anyone, except for myself of course.

You see, this colleague of mine lost his mobile phone last month, a Nokia 6233, after having it for a grand total of 2 days!

His previous phone was a really old one, with monochrome screen, also a Nokia.

We believed it was swiped of his work desk when the trash lady came to empty the waste basket.

Immediately, a colleague and I decided to get him the exact same phone for his birthday. We asked around and managed to get the whole department to chip in.

I was assigned the task of buying the phone, which I did on Christmas eve morning.

I got it for $400 (without a mobile plan) and shared among 7 of us. I think with a 2-year contract mobile plan, it is about $100. This website says it sells for AU$499, so not too bad lar.

Initially, I was a bit worried that his family or friends might have the same brilliant idea and got him a phone too as a gift, but thankfully they did not.

When he unwrapped the present, he was truly shocked and stunned. I could tell from his expression that he was really touched and didn't expect it at all.

I think for that alone, it's worth the money. These kind of things, as Mastercard says, are priceless.


Anyway, I did my own shopping one week before Christmas.

Actually, it was more of impulsive buying. I wasn't really planning to buy anything, but then I have been looking for a bag for some time and there was this shop at Vivocity which had a 20% store-opening discount .... which means it is only $28 ...

So, this is what I bought:

By the way, I don't really like Vivocity. It's too crowded (and even more so during the current school holidays), the floor plan is confusing and it doesn't feel very spacious, even though it's the largest mall here in Singapore.

Though that didn't stop me from walking around some more and buying this pair of shoes:

So, that's that.

Anyway, I will be coming back to KL this weekend. Yay!

I could really use with the long weekend break, coz I have been told I need to work on the first weekend of January. Not just one day, but both Saturday and Sunday! Sigh ...

The flood doesn't affect the North-South highway, does it?

Happy New Year everyone! Let's look forward to a better and more exciting 2007.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas on the beach

I spent Christmas eve at Sentosa, on the beach, listening to the waves, talking, laughing, drinking ....

Was afraid the rain would spoil the plans, but luckily it stopped just in time.

Arrived at the beach close to midnight, with nary a visitor in sight. Actually, there were, but it was too dark to see. Sentosa looks totally different in the dark.

Found a nice little hut cum shelter to put down our stuff and food - turkey and log cake and drinks.

A few invitees didn't turn up and coincidentally, I asked someone to come along. Should have ask more people as we have lots of unfinished food when we left this morning.

It's a different way to spend Christmas eve, away from the crowds, the lights of the city, the noise of the vehicles. I never like countdowns; people stand so close to each other that they can smell what the other had for dinner.

Which explains why I have never been to one at KLCC or Bukit Bintang or wherever.

Most of them, I have only met once. But it was fun, to see them again.

We joked, we laughed, we made fun and teased each other.


And I told him, finally.

It's never easy to break the bad news. But I suppose truth hurts, untruth hurts more.

I am more used to being down, rather than doing it.

Which probably explains my hesitance.

I planned to do it some time later, after I come back from KL, but someone said that now was as good a time as any.

I was wrong to have misled him, to have given mixed signals or worse still, hope.

I am really sorry for that.

Admittedly, the attention was flattering. It was nice to be cared for. It was touching to have someone buy dinner when I was working late.

I actually did try. For the past two weeks, I did. By going out, watching movies, dinner, the book I got him .....

But these things can't be forced, can they? Deep down, I knew what to do, but it was the doing part that was difficult.

Thanks to someone, I was given a little push to just say it.

To just do it. To just let it out.

And I did.

I felt better after that. He did too.

He's a nice person. I can even say that he is caring to a fault sometimes. He deserves someone better who can appreciate him for who is.

More importantly, we are still friends.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Death Note 2

I caught the midnight screening of Death Note 2 yesterday.

For those who did not watch the first part, I strongly suggest you do, at least find out from online resources about the manga or anime.

Death Note 2 may be slightly confusing if you did not. Also, it might appeal to fans of the manga only, because at slightly more than 2 hours, it was a bit draggy at parts and could do with tighter editing.

Let me say that the movie is really different from the manga, which it is based on and which sold 10 million copies in Japan alone.

The gist of the story is basically how a college student (high school student in the manga) found a Death Note, in which whose name is written in it will die within 40 seconds of a heart attack. If the cause of death is to be stated, it has to be written in the Death Note within 400 seconds.

Sounds really childish, doesn't it? But there are quite heavy moral discussions and issues involved.

The main character, Light Yagami, used the notebook to kill criminals worldwide. Crime rates fell everywhere, because people know that so-called justice is served by Kira, the name given to the executioner of the bad guys.

But is taking the law into your own hands and killing bad guys the right way? Is creating an utopian crime free world based on fear and punishment, ideal?

The Japanese police is hot on the heels of Kira, led by international crime solver, L or his name Ryuzaki.

The first Death Note movie wasn't strictly based on the manga, as quite a number of things were changed, like how Light and L met and Light having a girlfriend in the movie when it wasn't mentioned at all in the comic.

The pacing was slow as a lot of introduction to the characters have to be made, though it ended with quite a cliffhanger in the end.

The second movie picked up where the first left off, with Light joining the investigative time to capture Kira. It is ironic that the criminal is on the good side trying to capture himself, which is how the trailer promoted the movie as a battle of wits between two geniuses, one good and one evil.

There are many twist and turns, but they all are faithful to the manga. A new character was introduced, as in the third Kira was different from the comic.

Two thirds into the movie, I was afraid that there would be a third movie as it followed the manga faithfully, with no ending in sight.

However I was wrong.

What I am really impressed with though is the ending. I think it is better than the one in the manga, where the former has proper closure and the latter did not. In the manga, it kind of lost its steam after L died.

I shall not spoil it for you but I applaud the producers and writers who came up with the ending.

There was also more human drama and emotion towards the end of the movie, whereas the manga was more on the cat-and-mouse between L and Light.

I can't divulge more without spoiling the story.

Light, played by Tatsuya Fujiwara, isn't really cute in my opinion. Looks a bit too chubby for my liking.

L, played by Ken'ichi Matsuyama is much cuter, if he loses the make-up he has on for the movie. Also, he is more endearing in the second movie and really captured the essence of L, with his weird behaviour and intellectual superiority as in the manga.

Overall I would rate it a 4 out of 5.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I watched a midnight movie yesterday, which was so un-terrific and average, that the only saving grace was the venue of the cinema.

I was at the Cathay, where it used to be an old cinema, like what we used to have in KL - standalone one-hall cinemas with popcorns strewn on the floor after every movie.

The Cathay at Handy Road has been transformed into a new cineplex which was only opened this year. Must be quite impressive if it is even listed in Wikipedia, no?

I actually wanted to go to the one at Cineleisure, but the movie was shown in a small cinema. Of course, me being a fan of the bigger the better (ahem!) I chose the Cathay where the midnight session was shown on a much bigger one.

Oh boy, was the cinema grand! A lot of people in Singapore have not been there either, because it is a bit out of the way from Orchard, even though it is only like 500 metres away from the main shopping area.

Since when has a cinema screen has curtains, like what you see on performance stages? Or a voice which says "Welcome to the Cathay. We wish you an enjoyable movie experience" and the red curtains slide away to the sides?

I know those olden-days cinema had them minus the voice, but new ones?

It all looked very grand. The whole hall was bathed in red lights, red carpeting and walls with golden Roman pillars and trimmings. There was a lot of leg room too.

I would most probably go there again, if the movie I am watching is going to be screened in that hall.

Now to the movie.

It started quite interestingly, with an elf being chased and got caught by bad guys, with a voice-over in the background.

Very-LOTR like.

And also, that is like the only thing they took from the book it was based on, written by Christopher Paolini.

There are many similarities with LOTR, probably because the director wanted to emulate the grandiose and epicness of the former.

The next scene after that showed Eragon and his uncle and cousin working in the farm in summer. Much like the early scene of the Shire where everything is green and alive.

But the book started in winter. As I said, the opening scene was the only thing they took from the book, besides the title.

Moreover, the whole movie felt rushed. The scenes kept alternating between Eragon and the king, which didn't come across as smooth and coherent.

Another rubbish scene was how the dragon, about 5 feet long, flew in the sky, got strike by lightning three times and become 30-feet long. A baby dragon to an adult in three blinks of the eye.

Like, hello? I know it's fantasy, but at least some credibility.

A lot of things are left unexplained, or rather have been omitted. Eragon, the young farm boy could suddenly do magic spells and fight within the first half hour of the movie, without training whatsoever save one scene where he trained swords with Brom, the ex-Dragon Rider.

I was sienz half way through the movie. Predictable and not much excitement. The bad guys only know how to say threats and growl and not even once seem menacing enough.

The only saving grace is the visual effects. The dragon looked really life-like (but it has feathers on its wings, which is like, so salah!) and the final battle scene was really good.

Character development was poor because the director seemed to be rushing everything. They seemed so stereotypical. A mentor for the hero, a power-hungry king, Durza the dark wizard and his followers who can't capture the hero, etc.

Apparently it was never the intention to make the story a trilogy. There would only be a sequel if the movie was a success, which by the looks of it, I doubt so.

Hopefully, there would be no sequel so that we'll be spared a third-grade LOTR.

I rate the movie a 5.5 out of ten. IMDB has an average rating of 5.2 from 1200 viewers.

Save yourself the ticket money. The book is so much better.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spoilt Sunday

Can't believe like that this is only the third post of the month!

I have been working quite late this past week, staying till about 11 p.m. in the office. I know that to some of you, that is like nothing. Seriously, I don't know how you guys do it.

I haven't the faintest idea how investment bankers do it either. Day in, day out, 100 hours per week. But of course, they get paid like 20 times what I earn, or more.

On the other hand, I shouldn't be complaining. Someone else is even more busy at work till the boyfriend feels neglected!

I was invited to attend Alex's (such a dear!) gathering last weekend, but unfortunately I wasn't in KL. Thanks, Alex. Will make it up to you!

Last Sunday, I was at Sungai Buloh Wetland Reserve (Singapore, not the Sungai Buloh in KL). It's basically a mangrove area gazetted as a national park, so that it can't be developed into something like, say the Integrated Resort (which Genting won the bid to the Sentosa's one last Saturday). As it is winter now in the northern hemisphere, the reserve is like a pitstop for migratory birds, similar to Tanjong Tuan in Melaka.

And now for some photos.

Stick insect


Red pincer crab



More of them birds


After that, Lloyd and I rushed to Plaza Singapura to catch Quinceañera, a gay-themed film rated M18 (Mature 18) which has received quite good reviews.

At the ticket counter, I was asked to produce a photo ID. Now, it's not a must to carry my Malaysian I/C here, which was why I didn't. I only carry my employment pass, something like a work permit card, but which doesn't have a photo, just the date of birth.

But the ticketing guy let me buy a ticket anyway.

At the entrance to the cinema halls, this old man requested for my ID too. I thought the ticketing guy allowed me to buy the tickets, surely this old man was going to give me much trouble.

But jeunowat, he did! He bloody denied me entry, in front of all the other patrons! I was too shocked and my jaw nearly dropped!

Hello, I may look young, but definitely not THAT young. I think it happened, probably because of him being a stickler for rules and not using common sense.

I was totally pissed. Even though the ticket was refunded, but I actually rushed all the way there (a 40-minute train ride) and had a quick bite ... all gone to waste.

Yeah, I know, people kept telling me that I should be happy that I was mistaken for a 18 year old, but hey, it was an old uncle ... not some cute guy! So no consolation there.

But someone was around and tried to make me feel better.

And honestly, I would rather have watched the movie instead. I mean, I am a practical person. Indirect compliments or implied ones don't make up for it.

Fortunately, I was sufficiently entertained by a hula hoop competition for kids at the shopping mall. The kids were damn cute with their concentrated expressions and desire to outdo each other. It was really funny and the MC was hilarious too!

I had a really good laugh watching them performed.

Did a little Christmas shopping after that and then headed for home.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ménage à trois II

A ménage à trois is the French term describing a relationship or domestic arrangement in which three people, often a married couple and another lover, share a sexual relationship, although the relationship might or might not involve all three persons having sexual relations with each other. The French phrase literally translates as "household of three".

Two weeks ago, a member of the Yahoogroup that I am subscribed to, posted a message regarding three persons in a relationship.

"Can a person fall in love with 2 different people at the same time? If he chooses both and gives both his very best, will that make him unfaithful to either one? :-("

The next reply to the post was someone admitting to having two boyfriends and both of them know the existence of the other.

Almost immediately, the replies came fast and furious. The type of responses given were not unexpected, like:

How can one love more than one person? If you say you love one for different needs, different personalities, thats a bit bias, isn't it? If you can do that, would you like it do be done onto you?

A sign of being "in love" with someone is that you are able to be 100% monogamous and faithful to that person and do not even give a second thought to bringing a third (or fourth or fifth) party into the equation or worse still looking outside the relationship for SO CALLED "specific needs" to be fulfilled. If the above is not the case then just please face the fact that you are not really "in love" with the person.

If you can't decide who you are most in love with, or you think you are equally in love with two persons, then, you are most in love with YOURSELF!

After that, there were views which state said that it was OK to them, as long as the people involved are fair to each other but still they cannot really accept it. There were more opposing than agreeing on this kind of arrangement.

Personally, I understand that most initial reactions would be what a selfish bastard that person is. How greedy! What a jerk!

Could it be because of our exposure to things such as a husband having a mistress with the long-suffering wife ignored or husbands taking in more than one wife? Of the latter, there are numerous Chinese serials depicting how the wives are unhappy and compete with each other for the husband's attention.

In both instances, we usually pity the wives and blame the husband. Very seldom that the household are in harmony and both wives get along well with each other with the husband showering equal care and love.

In a gay threesome, wouldn't you expect it to be different? All and each of the three persons are capable of loving the other two, unlike a one-man-two-woman arrangement. It is quite unlikely and almost unfathomable, though not impossible, that the two women would have a lesbian affair.

True, it would be difficult to maintain such an arrangement. There are TWO persons feelings and needs to take care off, thus more difficult to manage.

Though from another point of view, one could also say that one person has two other people taking care of his needs and who wouldn't like that?

Ultimately, the giving and taking would amount be the same.

Of course, there is also the concern of what if two of the three like each other more and start to ignore or worse still, ditch the third? What if the other two are spending more time with each other and the third feels neglected and even a little jealous?

But really, how is this any different from a two person relationship? Even in such a relationship, one person might still feel slighted by the other like not spending enough time together, for whatever reason such as work or hanging out with his other friends? There is also the common occurrence of one's partner cheating with another person.

Some have commented that such arrangements are acceptable as why be bounded by traditional norms, either through centuries of practice, religion or simply because it is "not done" and "frowned upon".

To me, it seems to imply that it is as if anything goes in the gay community; as if whatever the heterosexuals are doing and we're doing it differently, we should be accepting of it. Afterall, we are all for diversity, aren't we?

I am rather uncomfortable with such a train of thought. It is as if we're accepting something for the sake of diversity, as long as it not too overboard. Heck, even if it's too overboard, it's OK coz we're gay!

Personally, I believe it is something acceptable because hey, it works for them! If three people really love amongst themselves and can managed comfortably in a ménage à trois, well, good for them! Why not do it just because no one else you know is in a similar position?

As someone correctly pointed out, monogamous relationship aren't that great either. It is fraught with problems and issues. With three persons, the disagreements may tripled or quadrupled exponentially, by with three heads, who knows, it may be solvable.

In addition, is our capacity to love so limited and only to one person at any one time? That we can't love two different people at one time?

Someone else pointed out that we do love different people at different times in our lives i.e. from one relationship to another.

What if we love two at one time? Must the option be always choose one or the other?

Of course, not everyone can manage such a complex arrangement. I don't even know how do you start one!

Would it be like, "X, this is Z. Z, this is X. I love the both of you equally and I don't think I can choose one over the other, let's see whether the both of you can work something out."

Many are readily to admit that coping with one other half is already difficult, but with two, no thanks man!

Fair enough. I would concur too.

It is already taking up a lot of time to date, placate, support, watch movies, withstand the mood swings, understand, listen, care for, make decisions together, compromise with, etc our partner, what more partners.

But somehow, a lot of people still think of it as "main kayu tiga" (unfaithful or affair). How can something be unfaithful which implies dishonesty and cheating, when all three know about each other and everything is in the open?

The variables are more, certainly. Hence, it would take three very committed, open-minded, wonderful listeners and communicators and whatever other characters that are possibly more in supply than the rest of us, to make such an arrangement doable, feasable and manageable.

Or maybe it's simply loads and loads of luck!

As for myself, I would say that it is not something suitable for me. One person is enough, unless I have the hands of fate serve me another person who loves me a lot and who happens to love my current partner too.

That would be something to be decided if and when it happens, as it is rather unlikely and remote.

Perhaps it has nothing to do with love at all.

Perhaps the formula that makes it work is simpler and it's just three persons enjoying each other's company so much and they can have romantic feelings for each other.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ménage à trois

Can three persons be in a relationship? As in, can a person have two boyfriends and both the boyfriends know each other and all three are in a relationship together?

Please discuss or comment. ;P

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jack and the Beansprout

The day after my little embarrassing experience, I woke up with a headache. Not a serious one, just a mild ache on the right side of my cranium but painful enough to make me not want to get out of bed.

But get up I must, as I have bought tickets to a musical / pantomime called "Jack and the Beansprout". I bought two tickets end of last month to take advantage of the early bird discount.

The musical was at the National Library. I was still feeling somewhat sick from last night and didn't feel like eating at all even though I hadn't eaten anything since the night before.

But I force myself to have a sandwich just before the show started.

Anyway, it is pretty obvious that it's a local take on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack's mom was played by Ivan Heng, the Artistic Director of W!ld Rice production house itself.

And damn, this guy is really good in drag. He literally brought the house down with his antics.

This was not really a gay play, but more like for children in conjunction with the school holidays and Christmas. Hence, about half the attendees were children.

In addition, there were interactions with the crowd, something like an interactive play. Jack, played by Sebastian Tan who by the way looks kinda cute in secondary school uniform with knee-length pants, would ask the crowd "Should Jack continue to climb or go down?"

Of course, the adults were not forgotten as there were some "adult" jokes which were lost on the kids. But maybe not, seeing nowadays how kids can be pretty smart.

There were a few phrases in Hokkien, which I could not understand. But I still laughed anyway, as I could vaguely guessed the correct meaning. I think.

The supporting actors were fabulous as well. The harp and the golden goose could really sing well and their voices were superb.

As for the songs, some of them are really catchy. All very up-tempo and upbeat.

One character that was really cute is Bamboo, the Giant's housekeeper. She was dressed in those cute Japanese dresses which are quite outrageous and which you would only find girls wearing them in Japan.

The thing that was really adorable about her was how she made all those exaggerated gestures when she is happy or sad. Like those you see in manga or anime.

In fact, when she cried, she actually used her hands and draw out half M's from her eyes, like she was making a McDonald's sign but starting from both her eyes.

Really kawaii and funny! I was laughing like mad!

Overall, I really enjoyed the show. Though it was a bit draggy at two and a half hours, it didn't feel that long and it managed to keep me entertained for the most up.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Inebriated II

I have been swamped at work for the past week because of the auditors. In addition, my boss has just left the company.

So now, I am boss-less and manager-less. I deal straight with my MD, which is bad and good.

For the past three weeks, I have been meeting lots of people. Which is good, because I now have people to hang out whenever I need someone. The downside is that I haven't had much time for myself.

For the past four weekends except for this one, I have been out clubbing. I am already tired of it.

It's great when it's with a bunch of friends or when I am really stressed out and need to let my hair down. Otherwise, it's just going for the sake of going.

Besides, I need more than one day to recover. When I reach home in the wee of hours of the morning, I could barely sleep. I am not sure whether it's the alcohol or me taking a longer time to wind down, but I could never sleep soundly. I will probably be awake by 9 am and maybe get a couple of hours of sleep in the afternoon.

I definitely need more than 5 hours of sleep a day!

For every one hour of lost sleep, one needs two hours to compensate. So for the rest of the week, I would be half conscious and zombie-like.

Nothing of significance happened, except that I was at a party on Friday. There was another one yesterday, but I didn't go as I wanted to recuperate from my slightly excessive alcohol binge.

Actually, I do know when to stop. I know what my limits are. I was pretty OK when I left the host's house. But once I got into the car and it started moving, the motion was unbearable and I felt ill.

The alcohol effect was immediate.

I knew where I was and what I was doing. I could hear other people's voices but my eyelids were heavy.

I puked on the roadside and I was taken to a petrol station's toilet to puke some more. But actually there wasn't anything else to come out.

Getting back into the car, there was occasionally the feeling of more wanting to come out, but I think I only puked one more time.

Really, this is the first time I have had it this bad. I still think it was all because of the motion sickness that made it worse.

The other people in the car were kind enough to take good care of me and especially holding the bag for me.

Thanks, guys! Thanks too for guiding me up back to my flat and to the front door.

Anyway, I was identified as a "drunken prawn" in the mailing list the very next day. No thanks to the work of the evil friend who drove me back home.

The drunken prawn got home safely, thanks to all those who nursed him all the way back, although he attracted considerable attention from curious motorists wondering why he was topless, comatose and clutching a plastic bag.

When I left the party, I was looking alright and no way anyone would have thought I would be ill!

Thankfully, I didn't know that many people at the party. Ten, max.

And hopefully, not many remember my name! ;P