Saturday, March 23, 2002

E-filed my taxes. Fast and easy. Boy I earn crumbs...
Not getting married. Will this become a social trend?

In a profound shift that has changed the notion of what constitutes a family in many countries, more and more European children are being born out of wedlock into a new social order in which, it seems, few of the old stigmas apply. The trend is far more pronounced in the Nordic countries, in France and in Britain, and less so in southern countries like Italy and Switzerland, but the figures as a whole are startling, particularly because they tend to hold up across all social classes.

In Norway, for instance, 49 percent of all the births in 1999 were to unwed parents. In Iceland, the figure was 62 percent. In Britain, it was 38 percent, and in France, 41 percent, in 1998, the last year figures were available. Even in Ireland, a deeply Catholic country where divorce became legal a mere seven years ago, about 31 percent of the births in 1999 took place outside of marriage, a figure on par with that in the United States.
Jo came by yesterday and delivered a bunch of DVDs, including Baraka (some new agey film, I admit, but beautiful images), Wit (based on the play with Emma Thompson as the lead) and (a docu about the rise and fall of a dot com and its two founders). I'm psyched! Thanks Jo! Also got a book about Digital Video filmmaking. Hope it's not too general.
North Korea's human rights abuses, as drawn by a teenager.
Banner hanging at a secondary school I passed by: We Are Value Added Again. Oh man...
Just had lunch with brother and sis in law at the Pho place near Prinsep. Supposed to be a $5 bargain but the portions were measly and lots of MSG. Feeling dizzy now. Think I'll stay home and watch Miss Singapore Universe and maybe a DVD. Entitled to some time off. Nice quiet evening. Maybe going to Bidari tomorrow and seeing who else I can drag along.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Well it was a small event. There were a bunch of Channel U people shooting one of their people a short film winner and they were surprised to see me there. Did talk to some people from Mediaworks about transfering as well as another production company. We'll see where it goes after this. And I got the cheque. Woohoo! Time to shop for a DV Cam...
Can one day really change your life? I'll find out tomorrow. I've had other 'life-altering' days before. Some good, some bad. But I think I still hold a lot of my own fate in my hands. Almost time to kiss goodbye to IT and step back into the big bad world of production. I wonder who took first place. Probably some twenty year old dude.

I just hope I don't have to give a speech. I just hope it's not too chaotic.
Came back from watching two of the Singapore short film finalists. My views are mixed. Royston's 15 is shot beautifully but still too much telling, not much showing. Some homoerotic hints that'll probably go down well with the judges, but too self-conscious for its own good. Lilin's Holiday felt more complete but the second half didn't hold together too well. I prefered Lilin's though.

Also met Andrew and Mel at the screening, DINKies with no aspiration to having children. Quite happy with two dogs. Ended up at Newton for supper which was pretty lousy. The satay was terrible. I'm really not sure about what's happening tomorrow. Will wait and see.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Got my US leave. YES!
Still have 20.5 days to take... not sure if I'll be able to use all that up. Maybe short trips here and there...
How the Academy screws screenwriters.

Most of us writers have had the experience, at one time or another, of devising an original story idea, working out the plot, creating the characters, constructing the scenes, and yes, writing the snappy dialogue, and then going to the theater and seeing the words "A film by," followed by the director's name. A director who was hired long after the film was conceived, written, and then repeatedly re-written. It doesn't always happen this way, of course—movie development is a rich and mysterious process, and ideas can come from anywhere—but this one's at least as common as any other.


Several generations ago, MGM production head Irving Thalberg said, "Writers are the most important people in this business, and if they ever realize it, we're in big trouble." He was wrong about one thing: The problem isn't that writers don't realize it, the problem is that no one else is willing to acknowledge it publicly.


But there's another way to look at it. One can regard the film director as being more closely akin to an orchestral conductor. He interprets, he shapes, he balances, he paces—a symphonic performance is unimaginable without him—but he is not the sole or even primary creative element. Wilhelm Furtwangler was a great conductor, and some of his performances were revelatory, but we still understand that when he conducted the "Eroica" symphony, it was Beethoven's music he was conducting, not his own.

Ah well.. can't wait for tomorrow. The head scriptwriter for the company sits behind me and they just passed him an invite for the event. Wonder what his reaction will be...
Around 4-5 hours to knocking off. Attending the premier of Lilin's short film. She's another filmmaker whose craft I greatly admire. I've asked her why she hasn't tackled a feature yet and she says she will do it when she's ready. Smart woman. I, of course, have little patience...
A Daughter Of Eve

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
It's winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:--
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.

  - Christina Rossetti

(Yes Eve and Wee, I know that was depressing.. )
If Robbie Williams can do it, so can you. Become a minister in three minutes! Also funny.
"The ULC (Universal Life Church) wants you to recognise that as a denomination we are active advocates of the good life in the here and now. The easiest way in which to gain whatever you may select as the good life is with money." (I'm not sure this is entirely my recollection of the teachings of Christ, but hey this is the third millennium and it's a tough world out there.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I am so... so... so.. sleepy.
Pretty hilarious. And no I'm definitely not the Dave in the story..
Ovaltine biscuits in Milo. Yumma.
Listening to:
Coal Chamber - The Roof Is On Fire

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Well went to the American Embassy in the morning to get the VISA done. Need a 20 day waiting period though. What a pain. Saw two guys application get rejected. One of them didn't have a job, the other I'm not sure why. They weren't overly nasty but not nice either. My passport finally gets another chop after a long lull. Haven't travelled as much as I used to. Certainly hope for more soon.
Loaned a book Singapore's 100 Historic Places today. Information is kind of sparse and there's no information on Bidari (Yes I know I'm obssessed with that cemetry), maybe because it's being removed so that another bunch of HDB blocks can take its place. Some interesting tidbits here and there though, such as MacDonald House, the brick building near Plaza Singapura, being the site of a terrorist bomb attack in 1965, when two Indonesian saboteurs placed a bomb on the mezzanine floor that killed three and wounded 33. This was one of a number of terrorist attacks to oppose the formation of the Federation of Malaysia with the merger of Singapore, Malaya, Sabah and Sarawark.
Totally bizarre. DNA tests to lift ratings of daytime talk shows.
There are probably multiple levels of sianness and the sianness I'm feeling now is between suicidally and superly sian. Maybe I should have some more aspirations like being the first person to kill himself with paperclips...
Latest odd search term for my blog: how can i get rid of my double chin in 6 days

Monday, March 18, 2002

If you're wondering where I get this sites from, it's from Yahoo Picks Of The Week.
A site dedicated to photographer Harry Besson.
Maybe my mission in life is to put links to odd articles or websites...
101 dumbest moments in Business
Woke up and had this feeling of being fucking old. It's one of those existentialist moments that hit you and fill you with fear. What have you done so far? What is this all leading to? What are you doing with your life? It's a damned scary feeling, like time is twisting your arm to have an epiphany.
Got off work pretty late for me, 7:30. ;) Ok I hate staying late at work. Totally drained and hard to keep morale up the next day. Wasn't very happy about getting an email at 5 pm for changes to a system that everyone knew was going live TODAY to a select group of users after months and months of delays.
Latest tune: Shonen Knife - Daydream Believer

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Dragging yourself out of bed for Monday is one of the hardest things in the world...
Watched a Korean DVD I had lying around for far too long, Flower Island. Can't say I liked it much. Seemed to lose its thread too much in the middle. Also saw Ice Age which was enjoyable. A very safe story but a few good jokes as well as slapstick humour. Better than Shrek, not as good as Monsters Inc.