Monday, December 27, 2004



Gokurousama means "Thank you for your troubles" in Japanese and it is also the name of this blog. Gokurousama celebrates and recognizes the hard work of others.

That explains why I truly respect and enjoy the services rendered by the Japanese and the pride for their hard work.
Gokurousama makes any chores or work truly worth doing.

via Joi Ito's web

The Gokurousama blog and the pictures on it are a very good way to understand the Japanese way of gokurousama. It's also the spirit behind good service and a very nice way to show appreciation of good service. A simple gokurosama will go a long way and is much more respectful than flipping someone a hundred yen coin.

:: beaches and tsunami ::

I used to gripe and bitch about how lousy Singapore beaches are.
No big waves, imported sands, non-horizon views and how dirty and polluted they can be.
Very much unlike the smooth sands and clear waters of our neighbouring countries in the beautiful tropical weather of South East Asia.

A usual lazy Sunday was spent surfing TV channels when I chanced upon ChannelNewsAsia's newsflash "Tidal waves hit Phuket", I thought it was no big deal, just another one of nature's occassional tempers.

But when I saw it as breaking news at BBC and CNN tv channels, it then strucked me on the magnitude of this tragedy. There was not much pictures to show then, just reports from the various correspondents about how a tsunami epicenter near Sumatra, Indonesia has caused havoc to many parts on Asia's shores.

ChannelNewsAsia still do not have much coverage on this tragedy at this point, only its normal Sunday programs. Whatever happens to the being the voice of Asia?.

When I woke up this morning, the devastation was clear - some 20,000 people were killed (at this point of writing).

I prayed for how lucky Singapore is geographically (big brothers Indonesia and Malaysia have shielded us from the quake) and for the resume of normal life to the people all over who were strucked by this tragecy the soonest possible.

::Patong beach of Phuket - In memoriam ::

Saturday, December 25, 2004

:: Christ was killed and Christmas was born ::

Merry Christmas!

Subway commuters walk by an advertisement for the DVD release of Mel Gibson's "Passion" in Tokyo's Iidabashi station on Christmas Day, 2004.

The poster juxtaposes one image of a young man climbing a flight of steps and agonizing under the weight of his girlfriend's Christmas present with another image of Jesus Christ carrying his cross on his way to be crucified.

The Japanese copy reads, "Christ was killed and Christmas was born."

On Christmas Eve, generally considered the most romantic day of the year in Japan, the film was all rented out at one video rental store in the popular Roppongi Hills district as couples snuggled up to watch its explicit violence and brutal murder of Jesus

via Mainichi Daily News

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

:: Best Science and Maths Students - SINGAPORE!::

The local media reported on how Singapore students are the best in maths and science. Guess it is good to read from other nation's perspective.

Japanese students' science levels slip

Japanese pupils' science skills, once regarded as the best in the world, have declined in recent years, according to an international assessment of student abilities.

In 2003, average scores dropped from five years ago for both fourth graders and pupils in their second year of junior high school, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

News of the decline comes following last week's disclosure of results of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development test that showed Japanese first-year high school students in 2003 had showed a marked drop in reading ability from three years earlier.

Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama pledged to rectify Japan's slumping school standards.

"Results of the two international comparative surveys indicate declines in achievements by the children of our country. Students certainly cannot be said to be at the world's top levels," the minister said.

"We must acknowledge the results and take measures accordingly," a ministry bureaucrat said.

TIMMS tested 116,951 elementary pupils from 25 countries or territories and 224,503 junior high school students from 46 countries or territories. Results were scaled so that the average score was 500 points.

Japanese fourth grade pupils scored 543 points for science, a drop of 10 points from the previous survey in 1999 and slipped from the second to third highest score in the world.

Junior high school pupils dropped from 579 points to 570 points, but remained in fifth place overall.

In 1999 and 1995, junior high school pupils dropped 2 points in math skills. At the time, however, the Education Ministry was not alarmed, saying the 2-point decline fell within the study's margin of error.

Exceptional students also declined, with the 29 percent who topped 625 points in 1999 falling to 24 percent by last year. The number of pupils falling below 550 points rose from 34 percent to 38 percent.

Elementary school pupils also showed lower standards, with the number of pupils scoring below 550 points rising from 46 percent to 51 percent and the number of pupils above that score falling from 54 percent to 49 percent.

Singapore's students scored the best results in all subjects for either year surveyed. Finland, which topped half the OECD polls, did not take part in the TIMMS survey. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Dec. 15, 2004)

:: first an assuring man's arm, now this ...::::

Employees of the Japanese toy maker Trane Co., Ltd. relax their heads atop the company's new 'lap pillow', a polyurethane pillow shaped like a kneeling woman from the waist-down in Tokyo on Wednesday

what can i say? i love Japan!

Source : Manichi Daily News

Sunday, December 05, 2004

:: too little time, so much happenings ::

now that ZoukOut is over, there are so many things to update.
The flu, the little hari raya mood, job stuff, etc.

for now, all i want for christmas this year, is this phone

- darn! why can't we have the latest tech gadgets here....

Thursday, December 02, 2004

:: even the most powerful man forgets ::

it has happened to all guys.
even to the president of the US of A.
wonder if our PM noticed it :)

Japan PM : "Bush, your fly is open and your undie is white..."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

:: it's zoukout time again!::


I am determined to party hard this year-end - after 2 years of withdrawal from attending this event.

I missed its inaugural party in 2001 at Sentosa (which incidentally 2 party-goers died from drowining), because it was held during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, and again in 2002.

Last year in 2003 when it was held at Marina South, I watched a movie instead, had romantic dinner and walked alongside the Marina Bay with my date. Sounded nice as it was, but the beats from the parties was something more fulfilling than the getting lucky at the end of the nite. When I was driving passed the Sheares Bridge on the way home around 3 in the morning, I wished I had made a detour to the party instead.

After all said and done, I resolved to end this year like its party 1999.

So this year, watch I come!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

:: j-pop deprivation - FM96.3 FM ::

One of the source of being in tune with the Japanese music chart used to be from the international radio channel FM96.3 right here in Singapore.

Sad to say, the harsh economic setback in the recent years has cause a significant reduction in the Japanese program over the radio. Now, they are only available from 7.00 am to 9.30 am - much of which are related to the news and information meant for the dwindling Japanese community in Singapore.

Even their J-pop chart in their website is pathetic. It was last updated on 3rd January 2003!

Luckily for me, I can always count on the Japanese greatest chart...the Oricon for my J-pop updates.

But I am sadden by the demise of the once-ever popular J-pop chart countdown on 96.3FM on every Thursday nite. It was my source of J-pop salvation because it was so close and home.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

:: end of doldrums? ::

I have not been particularly active in this blog for the last month of so, eversince with the new job.

I hope the highest peak of work pressures and expectations have reduced, and I am able to be more focus with things - other than work. It was difficult and the thought of quitting almost came to mind, but I decided that its because I am facing another level of challenges and demands with the new job. It will soon pass, I believe, and I think I will be a better 'workman' for it.

The Japanese "salaryman" are well known for having burn-outs because of work. I know of a Japanese friend who needs to wake up very early in the morning, around 5am simply because he needs to drive and park his car to the local train-station, take an hour train ride to Tokyo, with the many inter-changes of stations. And then, take a short walk to the office. Imagine having to do this both...BEFORE and AFTER work. 4 hours of precious time is spent on commuting, and energy permits, still spend some time at the bars for booze and dinner.

Don't believe me? Read this from the Japanese himself....

I wish I could sleep on the way and from work at times, but with the crazy traffic in the highways and reckless foreign motorcycles, driving while sleeping is not an option.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

HBO: Sex and the City - Season 6, Part 2, when cumming huh?

Something for me to look forward to, to get away from the adjustments and pressures of my new job.

AND, at the same time, I am currently reading this book too. Dunno why I am behaving weird lately - been depressed since I started work...but today, I am feeling little relieved as the deliverables have been completed (well, almost!)

The final eight episodes of SATC will be released to DVD on December 28, 2004. Technical details are as follows:

Sex and the City Season Six: Part Two - The final eight episodes.

3-Disc Set
RT: 270 minutes (8 episodes)
Audio: English 5.1, English Dolby Surround and Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

DVD Bonus Features include:
- Three never-before-seen alternate endings to the series finale
- Two 30-minute farewell tributes as seen on HBO
- 2004 US Comedy Arts Festival Seminar featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Patrick King and the writers.
- Four audio commentaries by Michael Patrick King
- Deleted scenes from Seasons 1-6

HBO: Sex and the City

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

How Horny Am I?

Started work since 1st Sept, and already fall sick today (and tomorrow) with 2 days of Medical Leave.

Chanced upon this and this has perked me up a little bit :)

50-70% Horny
You have an active sex life and you enjoy it,
though its not the most important thing in your
life, your horniness factor is about 50-70%

How Horny Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, August 29, 2004

::Goodbye Olympics 2004 -Thank You Athens!

I have a lot of respect for sports men and women, I really do.

That is the reason why I have been glued to the TV almost daily for the Olympic 2004 - all for the best of reasons. Well, you see, I am emotional when it comes to sports. There are too many triumphs and the agony of defeats throughout this Olympics and there are simply too many to write.

Among other will be the rise of Asian underdogs (think Japan and China in Athletics and Swimming, Thailand and Indonesia in Weight-lifting), the loss of favourites (4X100 metres women relay's loss of USA, Radcliffe's defeat in women's marathon and 10,000 metres, Maurice Greene's Greatest Of All Times (GOAT) tattoo which we all know is false), and those world-record breaking events (think women's pole vault, 100 metres freestyle (women and men) and so on.

So, as a chapter to close my attachment of the 'Olympic-addicts' for the couple of weeks or so (since I am not working anyway), here is an olympic joke to enjoy and cherish...

A man is out shopping and discovers a new brand of Olympic condoms. Clearly impressed, he buys a pack. Upon getting home he announces to his wife the purchase he just made.
"Olympic condoms?", she asks, "What makes them so special?"
"There are three colors", he replies, "Gold, Silver and Bronze."
"What color are you going to wear tonight?", she asks cheekily.
"Gold of course", says the man proudly.
The wife responds, "Really, why don't you wear Silver, it would be nice if you came second for a change!

So, here's a toast - to the spirits of sportmanship and ever lasting friendship in the world over!

And remember, in the next Olympics in Beijing, China, we will all be 4 years older!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

:: JB oh JB ::

The only one thing that I have some 'connection' with our Northern neighbour of Malaysia is Johor Baru (or romanised Johore Bahru or glam name JB).

I am unfortunate by not having any relatives who are Malaysians, and was often envious when my school friends would 'balik kampong' or visit their relatives (who have wide open spaces and places to run, play ball, hide and seek in the villages) during the school holidays.

Now back to JB.

My old pal and now-neighbour - KC and I would often drive to JB in late hours for these two reasons:
1) Top-up petrol (who cares about 15% discount at Bukit Timah petrol stations, when the ones in JB are 50%)
2) Car wash (with internal vacuum, tyres waxes) for only RM$8.00 only - so very cheap hor....yeah, cheapskate me.

From where we are staying, it will only take about 15 minutes to clear the immigrations and customs in both sides (sans traffic and/or inefficient civil servants).

Other than that, we would contribute to JB's economy by eating good food at Tebrau, buy cigarettes (I don't like Singapore's ugly health covers..hee2), some chewing gums and other 'vices' which are not good for the intellectual property - you know I mean?

Anyhow, tonight, while waiting at the usual car wash, we decided to check out the pub which has already been a centre of curiosity for us. We saw many fashionably nice people going in to a particular pub for a couple of times already, and tonight...cannot 'tahan' to find out why.

::first to carwash, then to booze::

The pub's name is called "Orang-Orang" which means many people in Malay, and it reminded me of the old pub in Holland Village called Chaplin's. It was rather familiar - both in ambience and music. They have outdoor areas (with those water mists and fan combi machine) and indoor ones. The music played reminded me of Hard Rock Cafe with the usual rock and roll fares like (Mony Mony - Billy Idol, I Love Rock N Roll - Joan Jetts and the Heartbreakers, Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams) well, you get my drift. All TV sets were tuned to the sports channels - ESPN's EPL games, Astro Sport's Olympics, Star Sport's Bowlings, etc etc.

In other words, it was a nice pub for smokes, macho talks, girl watching and drinks. But there is ONE important thing that is special in this pub. You see, the waitresses are beautiful and elegant (well, at least 80% anyways). They wear stylish evening gowns, short skirts and mostly in their Julia-Roberts-high-boots-in-Pretty-Woman-outfit and they have a NUMBER TAG. is not a hostess club, or nightclub or KTV, but they have number tags? I asked 101 - a beautiful and trendy Malay girl called Wati from Kulai, JB, what the number tag is for? With her hands on my shoulder and my hand, she said that if I want her to serve me drinks, I just called for her number, and if I want to buy her drinks, she will sit with me until the drinks are finished.It's that simple, she said and her job is to make sure that we drink until we cannot 'tahan', she added...with a laugh.

That sound interesting, but then, it was the closing time. I did not realise that it was already 2.30 am. KC and I have decided that for the next boys' nite out, it will be this place. I will let you know about the number tag experience in about 2 weeks time ;-)

Maybe, I will do a business analysis of why most nite spots in Singapore sucks big time then.


Saturday, August 21, 2004

:: 7th month is here ::

my immediate neighbours are what i called 'hungry ghosts activists'.

every year, without fail, they will organise the hungry-ghost-appeasing ceremony in conjuction with the 7th month. sort of having sexy singing and dancing in what we locals called 'getai', i realised that it was more a 'religious' ceremony than a commercial one. anything that has to do with religious and cultural beliefs - i respect them at all times, so absolutely no complains! after all, i am used to the burning of hell notes and the smell of smoke, only once or twice a year what, so what's the big deal?

end in mind -> so i just close all windows at home for 3 hours and watch dvds - why worry, right?

Friday, August 20, 2004

:: BBQ with the Mats::

The term "Mat" is a short nick name for "Mat Rock" - which is used to describe Malay young men who are so influenced by the Rock and Roll lifestyle that they emulate everything - like learning to play the guitar (usually under the void deck), keeping long hairs, tight jeans and denim jackets, etc.

But of course, we all know that these are stereotypes.

I, for once, have never been labelled a 'Mat' - maybe because I was not drawn into the Malay rock music and fashion in the 80s, or for whatever other reason. Anyhow, I am proud to be a 'Mat' - so be it! I love Rock and Roll and can rival any head-bangers on a good concert - anytime. Rockers' attitude? count me in babe!

Anyhow, my very good friends since secondary schools, together with their friends from their soccer team and other friends we knew when we were all in the motorcycle craze period of 1994-1998 had a 'mini-reunion'. Someone had rented a chalet at Pasir Ris Downtown East (what crap name that is) and had organised a BBQ.

I am not the sort who like to BBQ, I would rather come fashionably late and just enjoy the food that has been prepared...but this time, it was different - slightly. For once in a long long time, I started the fires and I am proud to say that my scouting skills have been useful after all these years. The fires were beautiful and on time, but then, of course, I had some help ;)

Anyhow...after all the food, talks, drinks, etc....oh yeah, some come with their wives and kids too. And you know what was the highlight of the BBQ?

It was Playstation 2's Championship Eleven tournament. 8 'mats' battling it out on the game screen - many passer-bys came and stopped over. It was unlike the 'mats' we were once before - listening to the mini-compo, fingering some guitar riffs and playing stupid games in all attempt to be cool.

Guess if we can't play in a soccer league, at least we have sharpen our dribbling skills with the gamepads.

Instead of roaring our motorbikes in the highway, we drove silently home.

Things have changed.

::bye bye work, well, at least for now::

:: the place where my ass spend sometime most of the working day ::

when it comes to work, i am contented with just the notebook and a big bottle of water. i don't like to talk over the phone much, i would rather "dazzle and razzle 'em" face-to-face, it's better that way, i figured. i am good at body language and picking up visual clues - well, at least, most of the time.

today is my last day at work - but it is work as usual. i have spent the earlier part of the morning in meeting, doing some presentation and then, the 'exit process' with the human resources. i have returned all company properties, signed off one final email to say thanks and goodbye to all who had been supportive of me - bosses included, and headed off for the staff annual convention held at kallang theatre.

there, amidst the pre-event food and drinks, i meet more people, say my thanks and goodbyes before heading to the convention proper. it is a normal business talk - about performances, moving ahead, etc etc. it is weird because i am not going to be a part of the business plan and future because today is, well, my last day :)

convention ended - said more friendly farewells and headed off the newasia bar at swisshotel westin, with old friend claudine and hubby,soren - and their friends. told them about my last day at work and was suggested that we should all drink to that, on my tab obviously. well...why not?

couple of reds and champagne later, dance a little, another old friend/colleague-ex-colleague now, simon, joined us. we stayed on with more drinks (compliments of him) and we headed home soon after.

i realised that today, i have been very active for more than 18 hours, and it was my last day of work.

so long farewell, work - well, at least for another 10 days ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2004



what is typogenerator?
typoGenerator is a random generator for 'typoPosters'. a typoPoster is a poster, created from images and letters/text that doesn´t have any sense, just to look good

how does typogenerator work?
the user types some text; typoGenerator searches for the text and creates a background from the found images, using randomly chosen effects. then it places the text, using random effects too.

i typed "agentX rambles" and this was what I got...

Monday, August 16, 2004

:: Ipod casing by Dunhill

dunhill's tradition for inventiveness and exceptional design makes the Apple™ iPod™ case an obvious addition to dunhill's small leather goods.

Using dunhill's modern, sleek Sidecar and d-eight designs, dunhill has created ergonomic and luxurious cases for the original iPod™ (15, 20 and 40GB models) and the new mini iPod™


i can't imagine something as slick as ipod goes with something as 'leathery' as dunhill , luxury products gone wild! :)

PhysOrg: Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

PhysOrg: Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

Have you ever dream of 100 terabyte of data per 3.5-inch disk? New patented innovation nanotechnology from Michael E. Thomas, president of Colossal Storage Corporation, makes it real.

:: Abc... Whatever - The World's Longest Alphabetical Email Address ""

Abc... Whatever - The World's Longest Alphabetical Email Address

It is long, but easy to remember, don't u think?

via - J-Walk Blog

:: 2 weddings and a new dad ::

>-the chain gang-<

leslie dearest takes good photos and her email today to inform us that her pixs for yaz's weddding are now online.

and that reminded me with a lot of things.

i wanted to write all about the wedding which took place last month. i had even took pixs for the food-tasting at Tepak Sireh Restaurant 3 days before the event, more pixs during the solemnization in their comfy new home and lagi more pixs during the wedding dinner - with the historical kampong gelam palace as the backdrop for the beautiful evening.

there were so many things that i wanted to write. the venue (being a historical site of the palace of the malay empire before raffles), the mood, emotions, the pre-wedding dinner 'drinks' at mas' loft, the thou-shall-not-be-a-bitch-tonight-incident,etc, etc and of course MARIA (well, that's another story).

after all, yaz is one of my bestest friends.

but, after spending so much energies for the wedding, the post-wedding drinks after that and the work day the folowing day - i had lost the 'kick' to write them. it will not be the same,

But i guess, i had seen it all, and i believe that is enough. thanks for the pixs to remind me of that day.

it has been a hectic year for most of us in the gang - we had 2 weddings this year and a new dad. the same gang is the people that i had known since college in 1989, and i believe, they will be my friends for life.

cheers people!.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

::happy birthday maddie, er...esther::

<<this is how she is best remembered by me>>

blush, favourite pop idol since 12years old is 46 today!
may her kabaalah faith, her 2 kids and that guy richie fellow be happy and together always.

:: Bob's Inappropriate Toys for Children ::

Mr Dope Man, a great way to increase your knowledge of botany!

Kids make-believe play mimics what they see and hear around them. For today's kids, we have a plastic surgeon's kit with props for hours of creative play. $21.99

Bob's Inappropriate Toys for Children

Kids just want to have fun - maybe not always doing things we'd prefer them to do. Here's an unusual collection of toys to encourage the inquisitive, provocative and often mischievious children in your life.

With toys like these, who needs adults? :-)

Via Geisha asobi

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 favourite Japanese drama is now on TV::


This drama also known as "Power Ladies". The life of female office workers is given a comic slant in "ShomuNi" (The Second General Affairs Section/ The drama's central figure, played by Makiko Esumi, is an older "office lady" who refuses to be controlled by circumstances and destiny. She is pretty headstrong, but her fellow office workers also have their own idiosyncrasies.

The story of Shomuni is this is the department within a corporation that people don't want to work in. "The Department of Errands" is where people who get demoted for doing something wrong go to. But at this department, the six women of shomu-ni are the last people people want to piss off.

I am grateful to the good people of Channel 8 for showing the final installation of this series on Sundays at 11 pm - with good old English subtitles ;-)

More about this drama --> THE J!-ENT JAPANESE DRAMA DATABASE

quirky japan homepage

quirky japan homepage

Are you tired of shrines and temples, reconstructed ferro-concrete castles and tea ceremonies? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Would you like to meet Japanese people who do not meet the conformist stereotype? Japan, behind the conservative grey suits and formal bows, is a country quirkier than you can ever imagine. The Quirky Japan Homepage provides information about oddities such as the The Meguro Parasitalogical Museum, the Thousand Person Bathtub, love hotels, temple lodging, and the Yakiimo man (the ice cream man's evil twin).

I just love Japan!

Monday, August 09, 2004

:: hari kebangsaan 2004 ::

the english translation for the title above in malay is 'national day 2004'.
today marks the 39th birthday of Singapore. like it or not, i have always been a little bit sentimental about 9th of august.

i have watched the national day parade quite a number of times in my lifetime for both the 'preview' and the actual event, that i actually lost count. from a schoolboy, to a cop while serving the national service and to a NS-man after completing the national service - i have seen and participated in all. the parade (as a scout contigent during school day, to a police contingent during NS), the performances (as a school contigent) and concerts during the schools' celebrations.

so, the thrill of trying to try my luck to get the tickets for the event has worn out for me.

however, watching the parade (whether it is live or on TV) has always give me goosebumps. that is the only segment in the national day that i will never miss (except for twice which i went away for a short trip, like many kiasu singaporeans who will take advantage of a slightly long weekend)is the march-past of the parade contingent.

I remembered the 'chest-out-stomach-in' posture in full attention as a march past contigent, the shine of my boots, the stiffness of my no. 1 uniform and the pride that i have - all this while waiting for the instructions of the parade commander. even as a NS-man, i will saluting at the flying march past and singing the National Anthem - Majulah Singapura, all in the regal smartness of my a-little-tight-police uniform :).

so, be rest assured that i will be having these memories again, when i will be watching the parade 'live' on TV in 3 hours' away.

Majulah Singapura!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

:: so long, Eng Hwa....::

:: his work station, left it like it was when he was still around ::

it was the email from hr that shocked all of us at work. it informed us of the death of a colleague - he had collapsed yesterday while at a meeting with the customer. it also detailed a little of his career background and how he was well-liked and will be missed by all of us. a donation box for the funeral and the wake details were also listed in the email. it was brief but poignant, nevertheless.

i did not know how old lim eng hwa was. i did not know him personally, but i have seen him and exchange pleasantries in pantries and also during coffee and cigarette breaks. he was somebody i knew, who happened to be working in the same firm as i was. his working space was some distance adjacent from mine, and i took one last look of it today. the 'streats' newspaper that he read yesterday while still there, and so were his drinking mug. unfinished work, documents were all like it was - when he was still alive.

needless, to say, i am feeling sad about his demise. for someone like him who had given loyal service to the firm for 15 years, i wondered how many in the office that he can considered as 'friends' instead of 'colleagues'. i guess, i will never is too late to be his friend now, and rest in peace, eng hwa....

Saturday, July 31, 2004

::some stories can change your life::

watching 4 dvds at home was what i did over the weekend.
the cloudy skies and laziness were good excuse to be indoors, besides, there was much food and snacks at home, so why not.

i started the movie marathon with "the legend of suriyothai"- a beautiful movie which was set in 16th century Thailand, this historical epic is about Queen Suriyothai, a queen who stood by her King and her politics (if you may call that). it was inspirational which did justice to the gentle and fascinating thai cultures and history. it was befitting that francis ford coppola was the executive producer for this movie - the man obviously know his stuff.

next, it was my 3rd time watching "the school of rock", with my niece and nephew. i really enjoyed the rock and roll "mojo" in this movie and brought out the 'rocker' in me. i dig rock music - big time, and i guess it was the early influences of the rock bands in 70s - thanks to my brothers' constant loud black sabbath, led zepplin, deep purple and all sorts of bands to wake me up almost everyday - before i would go to my afternoon school and again, when i returned home for school. best of all, this movie rocks with humour, and the rock vibes are all i need with too many jazz-fusion-house cds in my driving playlists.

always a fan of japanese movie, i continued with a mytical movie called "Onmyoji". this Heian period (A.D. 794-1185) epic stars Mansai Nomura as Seimei, Kyoto's court Onmyoji (a kind of fortune teller in commune with the spirits). when a young samurai named Hiromasa comes to Seimei to discuss a possible plot against the government, the two discover that the court's formidable magician, Doson, is indeed planning a coup.
it was spooky when it needed to be, and the fighting scenes were subtle and showed tht it did not take a hollywood budget to achieve the same effect of awe. i enjoyed this movie - altho' it was past the bewitching hour of 12 am....and the ghosts and demons were scary...

::the movie tagline was "some stories can change your life" - this movie did not change my life, but the story sure ring a bell::

just before i hit the sack, i decided to watch "Japanese Story". i thought it will be melodramatic and slow - and i would fall asleep half-way. i was wrong!

i was totally absorbed with the movie, and toni collette - you ARE among my A list actress from now on.

Tony Collette was named Best Actress in a Leading Role by the Australian Film Institute for her brave performance as Sandy in the provocative drama “Japanese Story.” Sandy is an emotionally withdrawn geologist who is forced to chauffeur Japanese business man Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsunashima) on a field trip around a remote desert in Western Australia. Faced with a life or death situation, the two strangers who seemingly have nothing in common are forced to find comfort and strength in each other’s company as they go beyond surface expectations.

the story was melodramatic alright (without being too much), and yes, it had a tragic ending - sorry to be a spoiler.

it was quick but it was memorable. without being like "the english patient", it was surreal yet practical.

i could feel the openess in the hearts of the characters and the pain that sandy had to endure. i love the wild australia outback with harsh deserts but glowing red sand dusts. i will be doing that - someday.

i had a japanese story to tell too, but although it did not end as tragically as this movie, the emotions are similar. too similar.

to "SD" of Ashiya-ku, i am sorry. but i am glad of what we have become and will forever cherish the memorable stories together - from Japan, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. it was MY Japanese story.

:: arabian nite ::

- hibiscus juice, indonesian cigarettes and lots of conversation -

after stuffing myself silly with sashimis, sushis, udons and oysters at a japanese buffet at SAFRA tampines, i headed to Arab Street to catch up with my old buddies for few rounds of drinks.

the set-up was simple. old buddies and a spouse at having all sorts of middle eastern teas and drinks by the roadside - adjacent to the simple 'arab kopi tiam'.

we drank (sans any alcohol), smoke and chats. and boy, did we really chat...anything from local and international politics, current affairs, entertainment gossips and bitchin'...hehehe.

total time was 6 hours doing just that. and the total bill....only $5.

simple pleasures, simple life. it is good to be back to basic at time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

:: hunger pangs ::

it is after 1 am and yet i am still thinking of food.

although i am not hungry (in fact, feeling rather 'bloated' from the chinese seafood lunch with my colleagues), but somehow the images of food have prevented me to hit the sack....and my cat, Sumoki, has been waiting impatiently so that he can join me in bed.

and yes, he sleeps on my bed with his own pillows and blanket.

anyhow, back to my sudden desire for many things associated the taste buds. i blame it on the short gateway over the weekend at kuala lumpur, malaysia.

there, i had japanese, american, french, chinese, peranakan and of course, the malaysian fare , evertime for lunch, dinner and supper (i skipped breakfast though). and eversince, i had put on 2 kg of extra 'baggage' and my face is a little tad puffy.

tomorrow, i will be having lunch appointment with my customers-turned-friends , and we are planning for nasi padang at the famous hajah maimunah 's. my last time there was about a month ago, and i had some snapshots via the mobile phone which will serve me well for my bed-time drooling....


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

:: wires, wires ::

:: 2 shorter k-wires and 1 longer one :: Posted by Hello

Today is the removal of the remaining 2 k-wires from my 5th metacarpal bone from my left palm.

I had an early morning drive to the hospital for the day surgery, something which I have not been doing for many many months. I guess why the 'morning people' love the morning simply because it is quiet and cool, not many traffic, and one can get many things done.

As I had my pre-registration done, it was a breeze - within 30 minutes I was dressed and ready for the operating theatre. The last thing I recalled was the oxygen mask and by then, I was in deep slumber. Once I returned to the hospital room, I was still in deep sleep (perhaps I had only 3 hours sleep the night before) or could be due to the general anaethesia. I was awoken by my jolly surgeon Dr Chang who send me the wires for keep-sake and told me to see him in a week's time, I must be talking gibbrish with him as I cannot recall anything other than that.

I must have dozed off again. The 2nd time was the staff nurse who asked me to have my breakfast and get ready for home. I ate toasts and Milo, changed and guess what, I fell asleep again. I guess the Staff Nurse Delicia took pity on me and let me sleep for another hour or so.

Luckily, I soon woke up and decided to leave (and not risking to pay the full day room rate :)) and thanked the nurse and staff and left the hospital. It was a rainy day and thank God I did not fall asleep while driving home.

Looking at these 3 wires, I guess I must have missed them to be inside my skin. In their tribute, I am listening to Frank Sinatra's 'I Got You Under My Skin' right now

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

:: doubts, uncertainty and anything left unsaid ::

the morning went cheerfully - despite the fact that i was in the hospital to pay my dear surgeon Dr W C Cheang a visit at Gleneages Medical Centre.

it has been 9 weeks since the wires in 5th left metacarpel bone (ie: my palm) were inserted to help with the growth of the fracture - due to the result of an inline-skating accident. You can read more of the history here

anyway, the fracture has healed and the appointment has been set for next tuesday for the removal of the 2 remaining wires still inside my hand. somehow, I am rather excited about the thought of going to the operating theatre again. maybe it is the anxiety when one is being bed-wheeled from the hospital room, or the view (horizontally) from going down the elevator or perhaps the extremely cold and loud music in the operating theatre. i am always marvel with the wonders of modern science, but what intrigued me more was that i did not (and will not) feel any pain during the minor ops and will be dead asleep ;-)

on the work front, things have not been easy about the news of my resignation. new projects and works have been building faster than i could imagine, bossess are still trying to talk me out of the resignaion. i am mentally tired and emotionally to cool to be bothered. it is always easier to join an organization than to leave - that's my conclusion for the day.

Monday, July 12, 2004

:: the resignation ::

:: the resignation letter ::

It is not easy to leave your job, especially so when one does not have any compelling 'push' factor to do so.

After 2 years of faithful and dedicated service, I have decided to is not easy because of the many friendships cultivated and exciting challenges that I have encountered and learned.

I was in the same firm before, it was my 1st job when I graduated from the university, initially I was there for 3 years. I left and re-joined after 2 years because of new opportunities which was opened for me. For that, I am externally grateful.

But I had to leave. The new exposures and challenges in my new job proved too resist to say 'no'. I have always wanted to travel for work, and I have got this chance now. Singapore is getting on my nerves at times, I need to survive in a bigger pond, perhaps.

Wish me luck....

:: what is in the name ::

from one of those name generator website...

My japanese name is 小川 Ogawa (small river) 直樹 Naoki (straight tree).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

:: the pianist ::

I spent my lazy Sunday watching "The Pianist" on DVD and had to break the movie into two parts. Because I feel asleep in the middle of it.

Blame it on the wet and rather cool Sunday weather, or to the fact that I had too much too eat during lunch - and subsequent deserts for tea.

But seriously, I think the subject of the story is aluminium-thin. The only fact about the pianist and how he survived the war because of this gifted talent was only explained in the last five minutes of the movie!

The rest of the movies were melodramatic and what else? human sufferings in war-time Poland - but hey, we have seen "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler's Lists" and other war movies which focussed on the same theme.

Did Adrien Brody deserved the Best Actor Award and the highly-published 'award-giving wet kiss' with Harry Belle during the Oscars? Well...let's just say he was the better ones among the other nominees in 2002.

My overall rating is 2 out of 5

:: my favourite pool in the world - so far ::

oh is the pool ;-P

:: the ascott, kuala lumpur ::

I have always loved The Ascott, Kuala Lumpur so just one reason - the swimming pool.

Located on the 22nd floor at the roof of the adjacent Kirana Condominium, it faces directly the grand twin tower of Kuala Lumpur - with all its grandeur and lights at night. I have been there 3 times for the past 2 months and am going there again in 2 weeks time.

I will show you more pix to show my perhaps obsessive attraction to this pool, and yeah, I have not had my sun-tanning there yet, just swimming laps at the pool :-)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

:: rainy days and wednesday::

what can i say, i am at home for 3 weeks to rest from my left palm injury which had resulted in a fracture.

trying out blogging, continually, i hope.