Saturday, February 02, 2002

What do you know? They might be filming The Incredible Hulk at Berkeley...
Dan Ryan's tomorrow morning 6:45 am for the Superbowl. Will be supporting the Patriots since the Rams are conference rivals with the 9ers, and they're the underdogs. I hope it's a good game. The thought of having to go to work in the afternoon is however, quite sian. This is going to be a killer week.
Sent off my first credit card payment today. I didn't have one until recently. I kept a debit card so it'd keep me honest but I think I should just terminate it since there's a monthly charge that's unavoidable, because I'm terminally afraid of going into debt. Not sure if I'd need another one. Eventually I'll rack up yearly charges for these things.
Went to get two not-too-heavy movies. Rush Hour 2 and X-Men. Both were reasonably enjoyable though X-Men was quite heavy going at times. Rush Hour 2 had some enjoyable outtakes and deleted scenes which I thought were pretty good. Chris Tucker was a bit annoying though.
Well had a long day taking photos of the artistes and getting their pix on the web for a Best Dressed contest. Could have flowed a lot smoother but the artistes were all great, and so was the photographer taking pix. Some of the outfits were totally bizarre though, which has always been the trend for such events. Let you judge for yourself about the outfits. Michelle Chia sprouts an Afro, for example.

Friday, February 01, 2002

The ugly truth about all those products with charity tie-ins. Who are they kidding? Sony

A Hit CD, but No Contract

Within days of the attacks, executives at Sony Music were anticipating the strong commercial appeal of songs rooted in themes of God and country. Searching their library of master recordings, they quickly assembled songs by everyone from Sinatra to Springsteen onto a compact disc. "God Bless America" was rushed to stores by mid October.

"We were putting it out for profit," Patricia Kiel, senior vice president for communications at Sony Music, said when first asked about the album. "But," she added, "we were also going to give a huge amount to charity."

Prominent on the disc's cover are the words, "For the benefit of the Twin Towers Fund," the charity established by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani for the families of uniformed rescuers killed in the World Trade Center collapse. In small print on the back, the disc also says that a "substantial portion" of Sony Music's profits will be donated to the fund.

Already, "God Bless America" has sold nearly 1.2 million copies worldwide, generating millions of dollars in profits. As well, the label on the disc urges customers to visit the Web site — godblessamerica — which again mentions the Twin Towers Fund and steers customers to other Sony recordings. The site does not mention that these recordings are strictly for profit.

Should have gone for a swim before going to work. The weather's perfect. Sheesh.
You were lying wide awake in the garden
trying to get over your stardom
and I could never see you depart us
and you’re my baby,
you’re just another girl
you’re just another girl

- Pete Yorn, Just Another Girl

Briefly available at my Briefcase.
MTV Asia Awards is the event of the day. Everybody seems to be trying to get tix but I'm avoiding it like the plague. Awards shows are so colourless and so self-important; please spare me. With such a list of artists coming, I think it'll turn out to be a very dull event.
Saw Shallow Hal yesterday which wasn't very good, but my friend thought it was funny. It did have some moments, but chairs falling apart weren't it. The points just seem so labored for this movie, dipped in treacle yet still making fun of the very people they're embracing.

After the movie while chatting to friend who had a colleague that said this about Singapore men:
1) They expect to go dutch on dates.
2) Won't pick up or drop off their dates at their homes.
3) Will always test the waters before asking a gal out.

Hmm.. not really fair criticism I would say. I mean, most Singapore guys would pick and drop off their dates IF THEY HAD A CAR and most would pick up the tab just not ALL the time. I said her colleague took a pretty small sample size of guys, and most guys would definitely do #2 at least.

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Well good thing is I get Monday morning off to watch the Super Bowl. I bet it'll be a blowout though. It's the only live American Football game I get to watch every year. I've no love for soccer, which means I should travel this year around world cup time. Probably save me a bundle.
The thought of working this weekend is SIAN. Just a TON of stuff to do, very little of it interesting. Sigh...
The deadline for Daniel Pearl gets extended by a day. I wonder what's going on in his mind right now. I hope his life is spared. The violence will become never ending if this continues.
Listening to Supergrass cover of Some Girls are Bigger Than Others. Jammin'.
Evening was spent with Eve and Jos watching Millionaire at Creation Cafe. It was quite boring until the last guy came on; an awkward looking bald guy who didn't crack a smile until The Flying Dutchman kept jibing at him. Eventually he did a Beavis and Butthead impersonation that was pretty good and actually started to smile without looking constipated. Got to hand it to the Dutchman...
Oh what a voice. Suzanne Vega's voice is warm and floats over one etherally, experienced yet not cold.
With a long and slender body
And the sweetest softest hands
And we'll blow away forever soon
And go on to different lands
And please do not ever look for me
But with me you will stay
And you will hear yourself in song
Blowing by one day

- Gypsy, Suzanne Vega
The life of a reporter hangs in the balance with time dwindling. Praying that he'll live...

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Met a starving artist type yesterday evening. Slightly cocky but driven. He's also 30 and still staying at home with income coming in sporadically. I admire him but know it's not the life for me. Can't give up staying on my own after so many years or live hand to mouth. Hope I've put those days behind me.
First credit card bill for the clear card came today and the biggest charge was for the Diana Krall tix, which I haven't received yet. I hate it when people charge you and NOT deliver the product. Some professionalism, please.
The rivers are bursting their banks. Must be a metaphor for something. One of the scenes I remember most comes from Midnight's Children where a flood drowns newspapers. I think there's another flood scene in a Kunendra novel (The Unbearable Lightness of Being ?) where the park benches of Prague are carried away by a river. Such an image.
Boy, long day. Tomorrow going to be a mad rush as the winners for the MTV tickets are coming to collect them. I just hope there's no need to call security...
If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back, It will always be yours.
If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with.
If it just sits there in your living room, messes up all of your stuff, eats all of your food, uses your telephone, takes your money, and doesn't realize that you had set it free...You either married it or gave birth to it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

New Yorker has a story by Edna O'Brien. Her last piece in the magazine was a stunner; a memoir of a daughter trying to come to terms with her mother's life. Stirring.
Oh man so much to do. ARGH... February going to be a damn busy month for me. Don't think I can take any leave at all.
Listening to:
Down By The Water - PJ Harvey
Well things for the US trip look pretty much confirmed. Will be staying until May 4th. Wish I could stay longer but don't have much time. It's from SF to Santa Barbara and back to SF for me. Ethos Books also wants to reprint Gone Case, and asked if I would want to rewrite parts of it, and I said no. It's been ages and I think I like it as it is; raw. Don't need no Director's Cut. She said it was a good anthithesis to Darren Shiau's Heartland, another novel set in the HDB landscape that I haven't ever read. We were also discussing Singapore Fiction and how it needs a hard boost, and I said that good or bad, more is better than less at this stage.

Will be seeing the rest of the writers on Friday for the launch of some romance poetry compilation. It's not mushy, or so she claims...
Tried to listen to a bit of radio and they started playing this Eurotrash. Back to winamp for me...

Monday, January 28, 2002

Cool studio that does commercials and music videos, such as the Mountain Dew Code Red ad featuring Chris Webber and Tracy McGrady appearing at a New York recreational court unannounced.
What? Stephen King not writing anymore??
Well, the Channel U ratings are beating the TCS ratings. Even they admit it here.
Maybe I should establish standards in my blog. Lyrics will be in courier, titles will be bold, quotation in italics... hmm.. ok time to hit the showers. A lot of people are surprised to hear I don't have hot water so I've been taking cold morning showers ever since I've stayed here.
This Life

My friend tells me
a man in my house jumped off the roof
the roof is the eighth floor of this building
the roof door was locked how did he manage?
his girlfriend had said goodbye I'm leaving
he was 22
his mother and father were hurrying
at that very moment
from upstate to help him move out of Brooklyn
they had heard about the girl

the people who usually look up
and call jump jump did not see him
the life savers who creep around the back staircases
and reach the roof's edge just in time
never got their chance he meant it he wanted
only one person to know

did he imagine that she would grieve
all her young life away tell everyone
this boy I kind of lived with last year
he died on account of me

my friend was not interested he said you're always
inventing stuff what I want to know how could he throw
his life away how do these guys do it
just like that and here I am fighting this
ferocious insane vindictive virus day and
night day and night and for what? for only
one thing this life this life

-- Grace Pauley
Tuesday... hard to imagine that January is almost over. X12 and the year is done. Scary... Damn it where are the brakes?
Wasn't too impressed with Songs From The Second Floor. Much too dark and ponderous. Yes, I know it's the end of the world, but the attempts at humour just slips off, and some of the symbolism too obvious. Maybe I'm just not an experimental film guy...
Didn't get many good shots. Lots of cloud cover all of a sudden. Still managed to waste a roll. Will see how it all turns out.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Ok half day to shoot Thaipusam. Hope I can get some good shots. Seems to be pretty good weather. Must rush back and change since watching Songs From The Second Floor tonight as well. Looking forward to that.
Bought an el cheapo CD player today, an AIWA for $138. The CD player on my old hifi hasn't worked for ages and had attached an external Discman that's highly temperemental and won't play CD-R. Miss the bass boost on my old system though. Probably will get mom to bring the old system back to JB...
Just saw The Shining on DVD. Man what a mindfuck. Jack Nicholson is damn incredible, turning from father to menace. Some of the scenes freeze your blood in place, without resorting in any gore. There's a scene of Danny playing in a corridor with his fire trucks, and suddenly a ball rolls into the scene from nowhere. True horror isn't about gore; it's about tension, and Kubrick laid it on in spades.